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Base Vs Tii


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Hey everyone- I guess I'll start off with admitting my noobness- in fact I don't even own an 02 as of yet. My question is as I'm shopping around waiting for the right car will I be happy with a base over a tii or vice versa? I'm not one to get there quick but I still love when a car can get up and go. Will I get that with both or does the fuel injected tii offer something more? Also it's not like I can drive to a dealership and take one for a test drive. I really rely on you current owners to help guide me. I appreciate your honest feedback.

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step one...

buy a copy of the McCartney book "2002 restoration guide"  available from amazon.

 

step two..

read it cover to cover...twice

 

step three...

start looking for a car

 

not kidding or messing with you.  it is a great one stop resource for a beginning understanding of everything about the differences in the models, how to buy one, what to look out for, popular mods, etc.  

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Also it's not like I can drive to a dealership and take one for a test drive.

 

Yeah, you're not likely to find one at a dealer, but don't let that stop you from test driving as many as possible.  The two references cited in this thread are excellent, but seeing and driving a lot of examples will tell you things you cannot read.  I drove a half-dozen cars, including a 1600 and a tii; the four "base" 2002s I drove were all very different cars on the road. 

 

I suggest determining your minimum condition and maximum price criteria first; you mention neither in your post, but they will have a huge impact on what you buy.  How much work are you willing to do? Are you looking for a $4,000 car? an $8,000 car? or is the difference between 10k and 40k pocket change for you?  Do you place a premium on a matching-numbers, original car? Your answers here will make a bigger difference than whether the "right" car was fuel injected from the factory or not. 

 

The tii drives and accelerates differently than the base 2002.  It cost considerably more new and the driving experience reflects that.  That said, a regular '02 with a cam upgrade and dual sidedrafts, header, and exhaust will likely have more "get up and go" than an unmodified tii.  A suspension upgrade and the right tires will also make a base 2002 handle better than an original tii. 

 

If I had no budget constraints, I'd be looking for a very original tii with matching numbers and documented provenance/records.  I would expect to pay at least $20,000 for such a car and maybe up to twice that.  It would need nothing beyond dusting off the pollen to bring out the shine.

 

If you see enough cars (and do enough reading) to actually recognize the "right" car when you see it, and will be spending less, I believe you can find a 2002 you can tinker with and enjoy driving in the $4,000-$8,000 range.  It will be usable the day you bring it home but you'll have no trouble listing things you should or want to do. 

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I bought a base car and replaced anything that needed fixing and im in $27k, but im alittle obsessive. The base model with a nice carb setup is not slow (given the age of the vehicle).

 

You buy these cars for the driving experience and the enjoyment, not the speed, and i think you will get the driving experience for a base or a Tii. A Tii is not particularly fast by modern car standards anyway.

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All good feedback here.  I'm definitely not looking for a 35+ year old car for performance.  I probably go on record for the slowest time driving The Tail of The Dragon simply because I just enjoy the ride. I'm much more in it for the experience but also having a car to tinker with and work on and for lack of better terms, make it mine.  I think a lot of this is stemming from a previous e30 experience having first bought a 325e, being dissapointed, only to later realize i should have bought an i - the two cars are night and day difference in terms of performance and handling.  I did learn a lot on that first car but ultimately would have saved a lot of money had I gone with the i initially.

 

I'm looking to spend somewhere in the 3-5K range for a rolling project car.  I fully anticipate putting more $ into it over time but that's all part of the experience and the process of "making it mine".  My minimum condition expectation for this car would be something with low rust (i expect there to be some surface rust) but nothing where shock towers or spare tire are about to fall through.  I want something with the nice chrome bits but they also don't have to be in amazing condition - so some petina is ok.  I'd like the car to at least be running or close to running at time of purchase so I can at least create a reasonable base line of it's condition. Matching VIN from body to engine would be important but I don't think it's a deal breaker.  Am I out of line to think it should pass state inspection for a 3-5K rolling project?

 

The feedback and links are great guys - and not overlooking any of it.  I will try my hardest to find some cars to drive. Anyone want to loan me their spare 02 for a weekend???...hehe kidding.

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wait...these cars wouldnt require state inspection.   ahhh, noob face palm....  1 of ? more

 

Depends on how it's registered, if you register it as an antique, most states do not require inspection. Yet a responsible owner will still have the car gone through by a qualified professional for safety. Not inspecting does not mean one can neglect maintaining.

 

Check your local DMV for rules and restrictions on Classic or Antique plates.

 

Any car you decide to buy will need something, these cars are 44-37 years old.

 

Vern, my '73 Tii, has a regular registration and gets inspected annually.

Edited by adawil2002
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All good feedback here.  I'm definitely not looking for a 35+ year old car for performance.  I probably go on record for the slowest time driving The Tail of The Dragon simply because I just enjoy the ride. I'm much more in it for the experience but also having a car to tinker with and work on and for lack of better terms, make it mine.  I think a lot of this is stemming from a previous e30 experience having first bought a 325e, being dissapointed, only to later realize i should have bought an i - the two cars are night and day difference in terms of performance and handling.  I did learn a lot on that first car but ultimately would have saved a lot of money had I gone with the i initially.

 

:D  yeah....35+ year old cars can't perform...that is exactly what i like all the newer M cars to think right before my "vintage" car goes on track with them....<evil grin>

 

e30s's are fun...I race a 325is and i daily drive a 325e(with a slush box).  yeah, drive train is a bit different, but the handling and braking is identical.  all the same parts.   of course you could have put an iS head on your 2.7l eta bottom end and had a cheap e30 M3 killer....; ;)

 

having a car to tinker with and make your own is what it is all about!

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