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Skotso

Should I take the plunge?

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I've recently started toying with the idea of purchasing what has long been my grail vintage car - a 2002 Turbo.  Its a lot of money, and they're fairly rare.  I love my cars, I drive my cars, and often something breaks.  I'm concerned about the kind of maintenance that a turbo might require, as well as access to parts unique to the turbo(though I assume there is a fair amount of crossover of parts shared with the regular 2002).  I am not a mechanic and do only the very minimal maintenance my self (change oil, change a bulb). I live in NYC and have yet to find a really good, trustworthy 02 mechanic over the last decade. I was hoping that you, the enthusiasts here could give me some very basic guidance on whether or not I should take this plunge. Do I go whole hog, or just let the dream die?

 

 

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The 2002 Turbo is every bit as reliable as a standard 2002.  There are some unique pieces on a Turbo that can be hard to find should you need them.  Most of them are not what I would call normally consumable items, or things that wear out easily.  The biggest problem with a 2002 Turbo are usually poor or sloppy maintenance in the past.  There was a time when they were just a old BMW and more often than not someone that did not know what they were doing tried to repair it with a $0 budget and close to 0 skill.  They are now worth enough that people that know what they are doing are able to afford to repair them properly and as such the cost to buy a really good one is quite high.  

 

You are better off finding one that has been restored that you are able to inspect it before the sale.  Buying a $75k project and thinking you can Turn it into a $150k car for an additional $75k can quickly bite you in the ass.  By this time all of the good restoration projects have been found and the ones that are left usually have big enough issues (RUST) and are missing some of the unique Turbo parts and/or original engine.  

 

I would not hesitate to drive mine across the country and have even thought about shipping it to Europe to do a couple of the big rallies (Bavaria Tour etc)    

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Hey Preyupy,

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond.  What you're sayin makes total sense.  I guess the trick is finding one that's had a great owner.

 

How much do you drive yours?  How much maintenance year to year does it require?

 

I just went to look at one and had the salesman tell me me expect to spend $100K on maintenance if I actually buy one.... I was quite surprised by the frankness, and the number he threw at me.  Of course it sounds like your experience has been different.

 

As for the car, it looked pretty good.  NO RUST. Claimed was all original. Great interior.  Looked like some oil leakage around the transmission ( he said it was from the valve cover). Saw a small coolant leak. He said it probably could use an engine rebuild. This is probably not the perfect car you are talking about.... Kinda bummed.

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Mine has been on the road for 10 years now after the restoration. Other than oil changes, brake fluid changes and frequent detailing I have had to do no work on it at all.  I purchased the car 19 years ago knowing that it was a non runner and at minimum needed the engine rebuilt.  When it showed up (I bought it from someone I know in England sight unseen, we talked a lot about it and it was not surprised by anything when it arrived)  Once I got started working on it there were a number of things I wanted to fix "while it's apart" and mission creep took over and it wound up being stripped down to bare metal and a complete restoration happened, not just the quick rebuild I had hopped to do when I bought it. 9 years later when I finished it I have touched every nut and bolt on the car personally.  I know how much money I have spent on it in the process but I also have about 1500-1800 hours of my own time in it.  I get to fool myself into thinking I'm in great shape money wise in the car but at the same time I've always wanted one and it's not for sale, me estate is going to have to deal with it when I die.   

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Good question : Like you  10 years ago I found a Turbo sitting in a shed . "It  just needs a new battery " was the owners comment .Purchase made and 10 years later and way, way over 100K I have a wonderful restored 2002 turbo .

I was lucky the car was a Japanese car, so minimal rust  by some miracle . It is also a full matching numbers car .( Polaris)

Lots of challenges over the journey , which are still ongoing ,but the great thing about being a turbo owner has been the wonderful family of owners and lovers of the car I have encountered, who have and continue to assist me with the car .  Byron who tells his story above has been my saviour on many occasions and continues this day assisting with a very challenging K pump .Laurens In Holland has always been available to give assistance as have so many others including the various parts suppliers around the world  who are totally professional .

Would I do it again, probably not .Its not easy when you are not mechanically minded .

Byron's advice on purchasing  is very valuable.

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Ok.  So it sounds like the advice is - buy a perfect one, or prepare for a long rough (maybe fulfilling) ride.  Seems like its not something I should get involved with until I have the time and space to really dig in on. I'm kinda bummed, but definitely appreciate the reality check.

 

Heres the car by the way - https://www.blackbridgesales.com/1974-BMW-2002-Norwalk-CT-Westport-Darien-Fairfield-Fairfield/used_car/3E6D6QRa1dc%3d in case anyone wants to take a swing at it, or take a look and convince me to reconsider.

 

thanks all!

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I just completed restoring a crusty/incomplete one.... so far i am finding it nicer than expected...not just power but the way it drives. they are reliable cars...as you know, the block & injection system ended-up on F1 engines...so not fragile like some italians.

The great thing is that its a proper series production BMW...meaning reasonable parts support (95% shared with the tii) and proper parts list and setup/ repair instructions.... if you buy some 2002 thats got an engine transplant, bling brakes and a 1980s differential then you are on your own..no documentation, no obvious source of parts and value thats only appreciated by a certain section of buyers...

 

buy now to avoid disappointment...

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I don’t know anything about that car.  It is obviously not a crusty old barn find and if I was looking for a Turbo I would at least give it a good look.  They don’t show any real detailed pictures or even a price.  Just based on the exhaust I would guess it is probably one of the first 700 cars or so.  
 

It really depends on what you want, if you are looking for a good car that you can drive anytime you want You need something that is mechanically good.  You want to make sure there are no serious rust issues.  If it isn’t a “concourse”  level restoration you won’t feel bad about taking it out for a drive whenever the mood strikes you.  If it’s perfect you won’t want to drive it. 
 

My recommendation is carefully inspect the car(s), have someone that knows them really well look it over. Buy the best one you can afford, don’t think you can buy a cheap one and “fix it up” unless you are a REALLY good mechanic for anything like reasonable money.  Remember that a good shop either mechanical or body is going to charge you $125-150/hr plus parts and materials.  If you strip the car down, repair any minor rust ( they all have some, but some are a lot worse than others) paint it and reassemble with new trim and door/window seals be prepared to spend $80k+ then you need to deal with the Engine, Trans, diff, suspension etc. 

 

They are great cars but finding a good one isn’t easy or cheap.   

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At one point there was a "Turbo" thread  listing all the details/changes that make the car unique (e.g. oil  pan, differential, nose clip and the like). You'll need this list to save some brain damage finding parts. I still haven't found a factory oil pan.

 

A lot of these were raced or abused and have associated damage. Maybe the guys can tell you what to look for as far as "repairs" to the body.

 

Last point, you do need someone with "2002 Turbo" experience to get it tuned correctly.

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There are specific photos that are missing from the listing & to me say Red Flag & buyer beware.

A. No dash cluster photos. Should be a red faced cluster with the cross hair gauges.

B. No engine photos, a Turbo is a turbo'd 2002Tii with modifications.

C. 4290675 VIN listed, that will tell the absolute truth. Send the VIN to [email protected] to get the build date, delivery destination & original color. 

 

41 minutes ago, Skotso said:

Are there 02 Turbo "experts" in the NorthEast?

 

Yes, Matt McGinn & Nate Williams at Sports Car Restoration in Plainville CT, outside Hartford.

Yes, Mario & Chris Langsten at Vintage Sports & Restoration in Bedford New Hampshire, outside Manchester.

 

I will be in Norwalk CT later today, Saturday October 17th, around 4:30ish. I know '02s well & turbos enough to know what's right or wrong & overall condition.    

 

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I just realised the VIN is in the ad

On 10/16/2020 at 10:41 AM, Skotso said:

Heres the car by the way - https://www.blackbridgesales.com/1974-BMW-2002-Norwalk-CT-Westport-Darien-Fairfield-Fairfield/used_car/3E6D6QRa1dc%3d in case anyone wants to take a swing at it, or take a look and convince me to reconsider.

 

 it was previously on BAT: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1974-bmw-2002-turbo-3/ there's more pictures there

 

and now here:

https://www.pcarmarket.com/auction/dealtank-1974-bmw-2002-turbo/

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Different ad, yet similar doubts as with Skotso for me..

 

What are the 'must check' points to verify with an 02 turbo prior proceeding with purchase? From a mechanics and originality standpoint.. 

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Start off making sure it is a real one, the vin must start with 429. Then make sure it has all the correct bits, fuel injection, correct turbo, correct interior and dash. Brakes and suspension pieces. Does the engine # match the VIN? 

 

RUST?  It’s not IF there is rust it’s HOW MUCH AND WHERE? Unless you are buying a fully restored one.  

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