Last post on Dec 09, 2013 at 4:17 PM
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#25016 of 26456 Re: Is this worth restoring? [stickguy]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Feb 01, 2013 (6:45 pm)
Well let's figure that top of the mountain for this car is $80,000 for a show winner----so if you buy one needing just about everthing, then there's no pot of gold at the end of THAT rainbow.
It's a little different for this other fellow I know---he paid $75K for a certain vintage Maserati---and it, too, is now completely in pieces down to the last nut and bolt---but on the far end, he has a potential value of $375,000---so he has some breathing room there.
#25017 of 26456 Re: Is this worth restoring? [boomchek]
Feb 01, 2013 (6:54 pm)
The baby moons and general detail issues have me skeptical. They want 35K, might need to knock it down to 25K to set it right. I think nice ones can be had in the 30s. Are you really wanting to buy one?
#25018 of 26456 Re: Is this worth restoring? [fintail]
Feb 04, 2013 (12:48 am)
I've been looking around to see if I can pick up something old and interesting to fix up and maybe sell. However I know very little about old cars and costs involved into making them presentable.
So far I've just been browsing Craigslist for old Mopars, Camaros, Mustangs, and similiar type of cars. There seem to be plenty non runners for under $5k,
but I just don't want to end up buying one only to bury myself with a $50k restoration and losing money on it.
#25019 of 26456 Re: Is this worth restoring? [fintail]
Feb 04, 2013 (5:41 am)
The wrong wheels and anachronistic wide whitewalls on this car already make me want to pass on this one. This car appears to be somebody else's idea of what looks "cool." I'd have to spend megabucks just to undo what is wrong on that car.
I saw a really nice light green 1965 Continental in the neighborhood near my workplace about 10 years ago for $4,500. It had a patina, but it wasn't such a wreck I'd be ashamed of it. Trouble is, I don't have the room for such a car and I sure as heck wouldn't want to leave that beauty out on a city street.
#25020 of 26456 My E39 is becoming a project car
Feb 04, 2013 (8:33 am)
About a year ago, I bought a 2003 BMW 540i M-sport with 85,000 miles. It now has 91,000 miles, and I've done the following repairs and maintenance:
Radio LCD display;
Radiator, water pump, fan, thermostat, water tank, and hoses on front of engine;
Transmission fluid change;
Brake fluid flush;
Differential fluid change;
Valve cover gaskets;
Rear brake rotors;
Front brake pads, rotors, and wear sensors;
Thrust arm bushings;
Power steering hoses;
New drive belts and tensioners.
That's all that I can think of. About $6,000, and I did some of the labor myself.
Here are its current service needs:
Intake gasket repair (~$800);
Transmission fluid leak;
Possible VANOS/timing chain cover oil leak;
Possible bent wheel or tire problem (there is a vibration when the car is cold);
Either a power steering whine ($$$) or gear whine from the transmission ($$$$);
Idler arm "a little loose" per mechanic;
It will need spark plugs at 100,000 miles;
Curb rash on three wheels.
I also have a 2009 Altima 2.5S that is my boring daily driver. I love the way the BMW drives and can tolerate its fuel economy (19-20 MPG), but do not love the repair bills and, for some reason , I'm not comfortable taking it very far from home. The previous owner smoked a tobacco pipe and the smell is kind of annoying in the summer when the interior gets hot.
Here are a couple of options I'll put on the table:
1. Fix the BMW and keep both cars. Hope nothing major goes wrong.
2. Sell both cars, buy a used 335i. The 335i is newer than the 540i and (theoretically) should have fewer problems. Most of them are in the $30,000 range, and I hesitate to spend that much on a used car with little or no warranty.
3. Sell both cars, buy or lease a new GTI or Jetta GLI. I previously leased an Audi A4 with the 2.0T engine and liked it but haven't driven the GTI or GLI. I would miss the V8, but would have an entertaining car with a warranty for the next 36,000 miles.
4. Sell both cars, buy or lease a 2013 Altima 3.5SL. The last time I checked, the lease rates were pretty attractive on this car. I have driven this car back to back with an Accord, and preferred the Altima because it felt more responsive and the steering had more heft to it.
5. Something else?
A penny for your thoughts.
#25021 of 26456 Re: Is this worth restoring? [boomchek]
Feb 04, 2013 (8:49 am)
I think flipping non mainstream cars would be pretty tough - you have to be pretty lucky in the original purchase, and craigslist is pretty competitive - lots of people looking for the old widow selling the forgotten old muscle car for nothing. Also as you have seen, most owners think very highly of their cars, and price accordingly. Might be able to do it easier with daily driver cars where there is more demand. And there is always demand for cheap cars, below a few grand.
You live in a condo building, right? Might want to think about parking space size with something like an old Lincoln too - I know something like that simply wouldn't fit in some of the spaces in my building.
#25022 of 26456 Re: Is this worth restoring? [lemko]
Feb 04, 2013 (8:48 am)
Small detail issues can sometimes lead to larger issues. When they spend money - but do it incorrectly, it can be an alarm. Like when I see older MBs with aftermarket wheels and stereos etc, I am very skeptical about the health of the car.
#25023 of 26456 Re: My E39 is becoming a project car [corvette]
Feb 04, 2013 (8:52 am)
Wow, that's worse than my E55 since 2006, and part of my work was under warranty.
Personally, I would sell at least the BMW (sounds like one of those cars built on a Friday in late September) and maybe find something else, or sell both and buy one car that will keep you relatively happy. Did you test the 2013 Accord? I had read it drove better, but that could be marketing stuff.
#25024 of 26456 Re: My E39 is becoming a project car [fintail]
Feb 04, 2013 (9:59 am)
"Did you test the 2013 Accord?"
Yes, back to back with the 2013 Altima. The Accord's steering was awful. It handled well, but automatic transmission was flat-footed and the tires on the sedan are too narrow to put the power from the big V6 down to the ground. I've read that the 2013 Altima's ride is too soft, but I didn't really get to test that on my drive.
Selling the BMW presents its own challenges--list it and disclose all the issues, or go to Carmax and pray to the car gods for a good offer?
#25025 of 26456 Re: My E39 is becoming a project car [corvette]
Feb 04, 2013 (10:25 am)
Oh, shame about the Accord. I had thought it was supposed to be improved - it looks nicer anyway. I remember when the Accord was easily the best driving midsize box. Then it became a Camry.
For the BMW, I would certainly brag about the work you have done, and maybe leave it at that. A potential buyer should know what to expect with those cars - your problems sound like known issues. They'd hopefully have it inspected before purchase anyway. Try Carmax first of course, they might surprise you.