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Not Quite An 02... Bavaria Advice


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I'm looking at a Bavaria to add to my collection. It's an old 3L automatic. The car runs, but needs a head gasket, and a front left fender (looks like somebody hit it with a hammer). Where's the ideal place to shop for parts, and is there a resource online where I can find more info on these cars? I've also thought of going the route on an S54 swap, but I've got a turbo track car already, and don't really need that for a cruiser. All tips pointers etc would be nice.

Turbo M10 e30

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They're great cars, think of it as an E9 underneath with a sedan body.  They are very prone to rust, so you should definitely be thorough in your per-purchase inspection. 


There are people left out there who know them pretty well, but don't expect to have your hand held.  there's a different mentality born of self-sufficiency when it comes to the older cars.  Those who aren't used to it either cry and whine or embrace it as a new challenge.  


Be prepared for some higher costs (strut bearings $200-ish each for example), but overall its a very rewarding car.


I might be helpful a bit ( a n d r e w a d a m s @ i e m o t o r s p o r t . c o m ) but there are also others like The Werk Shop, La Jolla Independent, Coupe King, Korman Autoworks, etc.

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I used to have a 72 Bavaria and the SeniorSix group was the only resource I got involved in.  At the time they didn't have a forum, looks like they still don't, but they did have an emailing circuit that, at the time, worked if you wanted info, but got annoying if you didn't want every single email.  They are a good bunch of folks, at least they were in 2004, lots of good knowledge and the emails were a split between technical and the love of beer and pork.  The site does appear to be falling out of currency, too bad.

1972 Bavaria (sold)

1985 535i (sold)

1986 535i (sold)

1996 328is daily driver

1973 2002

1968 Porsche 912

1973 Triumph TR6

2 - 2012 Hotwheels BMW 2002s (Inka and Chamonix) 0 miles! (both are #21 of 247!!)

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They are very prone to rust, so you should definitely be thorough in your per-purchase inspection.

This times 1000. An intense PPI will save you quite a bit of heartache later on, probably even more than with a 2002. I remember going to look at what was advertised as a pristine "barn-find" Bavaria, only to accidentally push my finger through the C-pillar. Honest seller or not, these models love to rust.

- Justin

1973 2002tii

The toolbox is where truth and contentment lie... -James May

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Another thing to watch out for on Bavarias (and all Bimmers with M30 motors, for that matter)--camshafts tend to wear and may need replacement on high mileage cars; also M30 motors that were fitted with thermal reactors ('75-early 80s) had problems with heads cracking due to heat and the weight of the thermal reactor itself.  That blown head gasket on the one you're looking at may also have a cracked head and worn camshaft...and yes, they make 2002s look like they're made from galvanized steel...



'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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I have a late model Bavaria, a 1976 530i , I got a legal smog on a rebuilt engine, swapped a noisy Gertrag 4 speed with a quiet but leaky (look at this Saturday ) ZF  4 speed (Cheers Jeremy ) what a lovely car to drive, mine is lowered with Bav chrome bumpers , rear one on front this Sat all being well. Good luck with the real Bav.

1970 4 speed 2002 (Daily driver/track car ) 
1974  Hybrid powered twin cam engine, Pig Cheeks , ( now a round tail.) Getting ready to Sell 

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Also go to http://www.e9coupe.com

they have a Bav/E3 forum and links to all the places mentioned.

Look at the Tech Info section, they rust the same as E9s which is a lot.


If it's rusty with a blown head gasket walk away. You are looking at 4-7K for getting the engine rebuilt. Head gasket means new head most likely.

Edited by adawil2002

Andrew Wilson
Vern- 1973 2002tii, https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/blog/304-andrew-wilsons-vern-restoration/ 
Veronika- 1968 1600 Cabriolet, Athena- 1973 3.0 CSi,  Rodney- 1988 M5, The M3- 1997 M3,

The Unicorn- 2007 X3, Julia- 2007 Z4 Coupe, Ophelia- 2014 X3, Herman- 1914 KisselKar 4-40

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