1974 2002 opinions

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I've never owned a 2002, but I had a couple friends who had them and I've driven one before and liked it.

I'm looking at the BMW as shown here:


I've talked to the owner on the phone, but haven't been able to drive or look inside the car.

It has Behr AC that the owner says is working. I understand that working AC in a 2002 is very rare. The paint looks pretty nice, apparently it's somewhat close to the original color. Not sure what the original color would be it's kind of gold color now. It had been repainted black at one point.

I could see pretty well underneath the back of the car. The differential was leaking, but that didn't look too bad. It looked like the boots on one of the CV joints had some superficial cracking. I'd think that with the much less range of turning these have when compared to a front wheel drive car they would last longer. How hard are these to change?

I saw one little rust area underneath the trunk where the middle rear bumper support was mounted. I wasn't able to look inside the trunk (I wanted to check the shock towers), but the underside of the spare wheel well looked good.

The engine was rebuilt about ten years ago, he had receipts for about $4500 on the dash, showing new pistons, etc. I think the owner said it had about 50,000 miles since then. The transmission was replaced with a low mileage transmission that he said had a total of 60,000 miles on it.

It's got Weber carb. Original steel wheels, Momo steering wheel.

The rear bumper (aluminum?) has a little twist to it, I'm thinking the car was probably rear ended at some point. Both bumpers have kind of a light machine turned look to them. I'm not sure if that was the intended effect or if the guy was trying to polish them. I'm figuring as long as they haven't been clear coated I can polish them with a buffing wheel. Are black rubber corners for the bumpers still available?

There's a fair bit of black soot where the tailpipe exits. I haven't seen the car run, I'm wondering if it's either burning oil or running rich at idle. Maybe it's just the way the muffler is routed, terminating just under the back of the car.

The seats had a few split seams, but not too bad. The dash looked to be in very good condition.

The guy is asking 3000 or best offer. Does this sound like good deal?

As far as using a 2002 as regular transportation. I don't currently have a bike rack. Will a road bike fit in the trunk with the wheels removed? I seem to recall that a friend of mine who had a 2002 was able to do this. It's kind of medium sized frame - 56cm. FWIW I used to carry my bike this way in the back of an old CRX.

Also, I don't won't to pull a boat or anything, but is it possible to fit a trailer hitch to the car? I have small 2 wheel trailer that I use sometimes for errands on the weekend with my current Civic.

With a dialed in weber and assuming the engine is strong, I should get 25ish mpg on the high way right?


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Eric, 1st of all, where are you? Take a trip to Calif. & buy a rust-free '76 & take it home w/you. They are a bargain to non-Calif. residents due to the state's smog laws which require '76 & later cars to be smogged each year. The '74 looks like it's hiding a bunch of nasty surprises. (they all do to a degree) That one does not sway me, it could be a bondo-bomb.

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Yeah, those pics didnt make me wanna buy it....You can find nicer ones in the 3k range I think. But in my opinion, you will be looking at ones that run really well...or ones that look really well...not both. Not for 3k....So if it runs good and you dont mind it being a bit ugly, then thats what you get. You usually dont get both for 3k and the ones that tell you its both sometimes turn out to be neither. My advice...find a car with as little rust as possible. None on the shock towers. None on the floorpans. No accidents. Then get it checked mechanically by someone who knows 2002s. This will let ou know EXACTLY whats wrong with it. It could be minor or major, but most 33+ year old cars need something, and most people selling 33+ year old cars dont fix everything before they sell them, they wont make any money. So if you know this going into it then great. I bought a very nive one in december for 3k. But I just replaced almost everything mechanical. It didnt NEED it. I wanted the peace of mind of reliability. But the original engine ran, but smoked, had good compression, and burned a bit of oil....needed a clutch. But body was in good shape and very little rust. I could have put a clutch in it and drove it for years like that...but I was looking for more performance and alot of reliability so I put the money into it. Now its an amazing car to drive...and dependable. Good luck with your search...good ones are out there!

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I agree with all the above comments.

I waited and bought my '73 last May for $2900. Engine was rebuilt 10,000 miles ago, very little rust (it had more hornet's nests than rust!). It needed paint, but it ran great and was virtually rust free. I read an article on how to buy a 2002 and what to look for.

Read this buyers guide BEFORE you choose any car.



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