njansenv HalfDork
July 11, 2011 1:13 p.m.

Hopefully none of you are getting sick of my "next project" posts. As noted in another thread, I looked at a BMW 2002 project. I went away a little disappointed, but after sleeping on it realize that my expectations might be a little unrealistic.

So I'm reconsidering.
The car was reportedly restored in the early 90's, and all the panels except the passenger side rocker and driver inner fender (under the brake fluid reservoir) were solid. Doors have no evidence of rust or bondo, and the same is true for the fenders. The rear shock towers appear solid. The chrome is "ok". It's no show car, but looks fantastic at 10 feet. The car needs brake lines, and the interior needs work. The door and window seals need work.
My wife LOVES the car, and I can pick it up for $2500 delivered. (A bonus, since a tow or rental trailer would cost ~$200+ a full day of my time).

The trouble is, we have a totally rust free E30 sedan in the garage waiting for me to put a drivetrain in it and rebuild the suspension...but I've been having a hard time staying motivated on that project. While it's more solid (and a "better" car), it doesn't quite hit the "classic" button that the 2002 does. I've thought about keeping both, but that rarely works out well....

A bonus with the 2002: classic car insurance is $100 a year. The E30 wouldn't qualify, and would be about $100/month.
Thoughts?

Tyler H Dork
July 11, 2011 1:17 p.m.

If you hold real still, you can can hear 2002s slowly returning to the earth. Sounds like Rice Krispies. They're great cars in that retro sense, but unless you're adept at rust remediation, I would fix the E30. Everybody under 30 already thinks they're classics.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
July 11, 2011 1:17 p.m.
  1. get rid of e30 either before or after picking up '02
  2. buy '02
  3. put Panasports on '02
  4. ?
  5. profit!
Duke SuperDork
July 11, 2011 1:23 p.m.

You're unmotivated by the E30 and your wife loves the 2002 - I'd say those 2 factors answer your question by themselves. A rust-free E30 shell probably won't hang around your garage any longer than you want it to, either.

DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
July 11, 2011 1:32 p.m.
AngryCorvair wrote: 1. get rid of e30 either before or after picking up '02 2. buy '02 3. put Panasports on '02 4. put box flares on '02 5. ? 6. profit!

fixed...

July 11, 2011 1:35 p.m.

Seriously, buy the 2002 now. Sounds like an affordable deal for you and you seem more engaged in it. Get rid of the project E30 asap and spend the time to bring the running 2002 up to par while you enjoy it. This seems so easy to me but you sound like you need convinced. Do it!

Tom Heath Web Manager
July 11, 2011 1:44 p.m.

Did someone say BMW 2002 project?

We've got one of those.

I'm pretty sure I've liked every 2002 I've ever seen. Do it!

ultraclyde HalfDork
July 11, 2011 2:18 p.m.

I have to say, for a car known as rust-friendly, that sounds like a solid winner. Any car from 72 would normally have more rust than that even here in the Sunny South.

If you don't love the E30, get the 2002. you won't have many opportunities on a 2002 in that good a shape for that low money (it seems, I'm not a bimmer guy).

Either car qualifies as a hobby, so do what makes you happy. If that is now the 2002 and no longer the e30, don't let it bother you. Don't worry about what you "Should" do or which is the "better" car.

mad_machine SuperDork
July 11, 2011 2:20 p.m.

buy it before you regret it

Keith SuperDork
July 11, 2011 2:30 p.m.

Bill at FM bought a 2002 that was rust free and a nice little driver. Here's what it looks like right now. He started to fix the little bit of rust on the spare tire well...

$2500 is a great deal, though. They don't depreciate, so you get to drive for free. More importantly, it's a driver and not a shell in the garage. It's a lot more fun to work on smaller projects on a driveable car than it is to chew through a mammoth job. I have rediscovered this after the MG is back on the road. I'm a lot more motivated to tackle something like replacing the door cards or swapping out a sway bar when I know I can take the car for a drive when I'm done.

Woody SuperDork
July 11, 2011 2:35 p.m.
Tom Heath wrote: Did someone say BMW 2002 project? We've got one of those.

Why was I not informed of this?

Tom Heath Web Manager
July 11, 2011 2:36 p.m.

In reply to Woody:

Not a Classic Motorsports Subscriber? Don't get to the main page? Missed that other links that I've littered about the internet? There are many possible explanations, but it's not something we're trying to keep a secret.

mw HalfDork
July 11, 2011 2:49 p.m.

I'm pretty sure your e30 would qualify for the cheap classic car insurance (15 years ). I hate doing body work, so I'd lean towards the e30. I do love the 02, but living in Ontario, I really appreciate a car that's never rusted.

Woody SuperDork
July 11, 2011 3:33 p.m.
Tom Heath wrote: In reply to Woody: Not a Classic Motorsports Subscriber? Don't get to the main page? Missed that other links that I've littered about the internet? There are many possible explanations, but it's not something we're trying to keep a secret.

Was. No. Yes.

And, they just closed the two closest Border's...

njansenv HalfDork
July 11, 2011 4:43 p.m.
jimbob_racing wrote: Seriously, buy the 2002 now. Sounds like an affordable deal for you and you seem more engaged in it. Get rid of the project E30 asap and spend the time to bring the running 2002 up to par while you enjoy it. This seems so easy to me but you sound like you need convinced. Do it!

:) Boy did I come to the wrong place to get talked down. The owner just called me: he's hit a deadline to get rid of it, and I agreed to purchase it for $2100. We're VERY excited. I think Keith nailed it: it's a driving project, one that we can enjoy as we go...and it certainly doesn't seem like we'll lose anything on the purchase. That said, I hope I don't go down the road that Bill went down!

As to bodywork: the E30 needed to get painted anyways if I keep it...and the 2002 doesn't 'need' bodywork in it's current state as a 'fun driver'. It does need a new/redone drivers seat: anyone have any leads?

EDIT: And AngryC is right: it needs Panasports. I've been buying/following enough "Classic Motorsports" that it is definitely time to subscribe...

mad_machine SuperDork
July 11, 2011 4:43 p.m.

it's worth it.. not only is a clean looking 02.. but a round taillight 02

ddavidv SuperDork
July 11, 2011 5:20 p.m.

You can't buy those that cheap. You did well.

Having built a couple '02s and now racing an E30, I prefer the E30 myself. Mostly it's because of the M20 engine. Do not be obsessed with keeping the '02 stock. The one I helped restore when it was done was kind of a snooze to drive. With some good suspension under another one I found a much different car that was a great deal of fun. Stock sucks; go crazy.

oldtin Dork
July 11, 2011 5:46 p.m.

I've had 3 02s. I'll have another in the not too distant future. congrats. Sounds like a decent buy. Oh, an m20 will fit. So will an m50 or ls.

njansenv HalfDork
July 11, 2011 6:11 p.m.

ls, as in, LS1?

No drivetrain swaps planned (yet). An M20 would be fun: great sound and good power for the weight of the car, but I hear mixed reviews about how it impacts the car's balance. In the back of my mind, I have thoughts about researching later BMW 4's...but I haven't (and won't) go there until the car is roadworthy. The plan really is to have a fun cruiser that the family can enjoy, and one that I can tackle in reasonable bites as time allows. I suspect it may get panasports and a suspension rebuild over the winter...

I won't really know how good the deal was until I start taking things apart and finding what behind it, but it looks promising.

TurboDogsDad New Reader
July 11, 2011 7:29 p.m.

Yeah, what Keith didn't mention was that I drove that little '02 "ZOOZ" home from Atlanta in January a year ago. Got the webers straightened out, put in Miata seats, undid "most" of what PO screwed up and had a decent drive. Then decided to replace the trunk floor/spare tire well and rockers. And found a little bit of rust here, a little bit there and look where I am now....Yikes! But misery loves company, glad you bought one!

mad_machine SuperDork
July 11, 2011 8:10 p.m.

the M10 can be a little screamer.. however, a worked over M42 can be just as good if not better than an S14. I read where a BMW engineer said the M42's head flowed better than that of the S14.

Bonus.. M42s and M44s can be had all day... S14s not so much

T.J. SuperDork
July 11, 2011 8:47 p.m.

M42/M44 swaps leave you with a steering linkage and an oil pan that want to occupy the same space I think. There are a few completed swaps on 2002faq.com, but it seems that there have been many more attempts that were never completed. I want to turbo my M10 someday, but before I go that route I'd want to tackle the tired stock suspension first.

Nitroracer SuperDork
July 11, 2011 8:58 p.m.
Keith wrote: They don't depreciate, so you get to drive for free. More importantly, it's a driver and not a shell in the garage. It's a lot more fun to work on smaller projects on a driveable car than it is to chew through a mammoth job. I have rediscovered this after the MG is back on the road. I'm a lot more motivated to tackle something like replacing the door cards or swapping out a sway bar when I know I can take the car for a drive when I'm done.

Does this hold true for a later model 2002? Say a 76' with the bigger bumpers and square tail lights?

oldtin Dork
July 11, 2011 9:50 p.m.

There are a few m42/44 swaps in the wild. One has decent documentation on working out the oil pan and steering. the m20 adds something like 70-80 lbs in the nose. Not ideal but isn't the handling disaster people would have you think. That said, I was pretty happy with cruising around with the m10. Its a nice drive, can stay with traffic and is cooler than most everything else around you. I always had people approaching to check them out or even make offers.

850Combat New Reader
July 11, 2011 11:03 p.m.

I think it is the second most refined 2000lb car I ever had. I like them a lot. Not all that peppy stock though.

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