SlickDizzy SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 9:32 a.m.
craigslist guy said: $1000 1976 BMW 2002 for sale. White, 4spd man trans and BMW alloy wheels. Runs, drives and everything works. Needs ignition switch but can be started easily with screwdriver (I'll even throw it in) Has rust on fenders and frame. Comes with some extra parts, a new fender and door in primer. Great for a parts car or an around town driver. Sold as is and price is firm, clean title in hand. Pics on request. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Going to try to look at this as a winter beater/project daily driver. I do love my BMW's, and have been saddened that E30's are outside of my budget these days. However, the simplicity of a 2002 is appealing, provided it's not CRAZY rusty. What do I look for, and what should I know?

docwyte Reader
Oct. 6, 2011 9:36 a.m.

Using that as a winter beater will assure it will rust away to nothing.

mad_machine SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 9:37 a.m.

would be a nice project. Have you looked for E21s?

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 9:38 a.m.
docwyte wrote: Using that as a winter beater will assure it will rust away to nothing.

My intention would be to POR-15 the entire underside and cover it in a thick coat of chassis black. It's already seen plenty of snow apparently, so I wouldn't feel bad letting it see more if I seal it up well.

mrhappy Reader
Oct. 6, 2011 9:40 a.m.

Check the strut towers!

02Pilot Reader
Oct. 6, 2011 9:41 a.m.

Depending how much rust is on it now, you might get one winter out of it without total disintegration. If you're planning to drive it over the winter then do the body work next year, it's probably not too much more work than it would be right now.

That said, look for rust everywhere. Pull up the back seat and check the subframe mounting points, look at the rear shock towers, the front frame rails, the rockers (inner and outer), and the floors, especially up near the corners of the firewall. These are all structural, more or less, and common. If several of these are seriously rusty, it's a big project.

Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
Oct. 6, 2011 9:42 a.m.

Yea, check the rockers and the rear shock towers--but they are simple and somewhat reliable cars that can run for a long time in decrepit form.

Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
Oct. 6, 2011 9:44 a.m.

Slick,

2002s are great to drive, so I can see why you are tempted. Make sure the car isn't too rusty structurally. Not only would this make for a huge project, it could be downright dangerous. If you slid on ice and say hit a curb and the car split in half.......that would be bad.

Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
Oct. 6, 2011 9:47 a.m.

honestly, it doesn't look as bad as the Tii that I bought---it's only welding wire.

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 9:49 a.m.

If anything, it's a great way to brush up on my MIG skills.

Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
Oct. 6, 2011 9:50 a.m.

I've been tempted to buy another 2002 (or 320i) as a beater--as the CMS one is now looking so pretty (and still half assembled) that I'm missing the scruffiness of how it was before I tore it apart for the restoration.

Per

oldtin Dork
Oct. 6, 2011 9:54 a.m.

The stuff prone to rust are the metal parts . I've had several of these. Rear shock towers, floors by the toe board next to sills, kick panel, rockers/sills fender bottoms and door bottoms are the most common. A couple of spots that make me cringe are the rear subframe mounting points and front chassis legs - it's a parts car if those are crap (or you have a lot of time/patience). Repair panels are available so not all that big of a deal for the outer skin other than rear quarter panels are spendy. Get some good tires - they're a lot fun to drive in snow.

OTOH - e36s are at the bottom of the curve - several 1,000 cars in the chicago CL and a driver/runner e21 for 775.

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 10:07 a.m.

Well, I just spoke to the seller on the phone, and have decided not to pursue this one after comments like "there's enough metal left on the frame to weld something to" and "the shock towers are fine. The trunk is really bad though. Then again, the rear towers do have a lot of surface rust..."

I'm skeptical towards E36's for their own well publicized subframe issues, plus insurance is still pretty expensive on them. I'd consider an E21 though.

pres589 Dork
Oct. 6, 2011 10:08 a.m.

Why this car for a winter beater? Is the price nearly free? It seems like it's on the edge where restoration is still possible, but a rough winter later it won't be.

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 10:11 a.m.
pres589 wrote: Why this car for a winter beater? Is the price nearly free? It seems like it's on the edge where restoration is still possible, but a rough winter later it won't be.

Because restoration ISN'T possible, or is at least cost prohibitive. Plus, if it's seen 35 winters already, who am I to keep it from the 36th? I'm not going to pursue it, though. It's basically a running parts car.

Keith SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 10:12 a.m.
Per Schroeder wrote: I've been tempted to buy another 2002 (or 320i) as a beater--as the CMS one is now looking so pretty (and still half assembled) that I'm missing the scruffiness of how it was before I tore it apart for the restoration. Per

Funny, that's exactly what Bill did at FM. He bought his 2002 as a fun car and rolling restoration to drive while he's working on his Opel project. Then a bit of trunk rust repair accidentally ended up as a bare metal restoration, so now he's bought a second 2002 to drive as a fun car and rolling restoration as he restores the first 2002 so he can drive that while he does the Opel.

At least, I think that's the logic.

bravenrace SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 10:16 a.m.

That would almost be considered a cream puff (I may be exaggerating slightly) here in the rust belt. I think it deserves to be restored. You can use anything as a winter beater.

HStockSolo New Reader
Oct. 6, 2011 10:38 a.m.
SlickDizzy wrote: I'm skeptical towards E36's for their own well publicized subframe issues, plus insurance is still pretty expensive on them. I'd consider an E21 though.

Insurance isn't bad on my 1994 325i--right between my 1998 Sienna and 1995 SC2. Most E36 issues are definitely overblown. I have friends with E36 winter beaters, but I don't plan on driving mine in the snow. Considering the rust on mine, I don't think the galvanization was all that great. An E30, E21, or 2002 are going to be worse. BMW listed more galvanization as an improvement with the E46. The 325i is also really low with the sport package and undersized tires. A standard sprung/winter package e36 might be fine. Maybe a 318ti? I believe the LSD was still available in 1997 on those and cloth upholstery.

oldtin Dork
Oct. 6, 2011 10:39 a.m.

$1000 E21

oh yeah spare tire wells are pretty vulnerable

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 10:53 a.m.
oldtin wrote: $1000 E21 oh yeah spare tire wells are pretty vulnerable

That car has been for sale for a loooooong time....

peter Reader
Oct. 6, 2011 11:15 a.m.
Keith wrote: Funny, that's exactly what Bill did at FM. He bought his 2002 as a fun car and rolling restoration to drive while he's working on his Opel project. Then a bit of trunk rust repair accidentally ended up as a bare metal restoration, so now he's bought a second 2002 to drive as a fun car and rolling restoration as he restores the first 2002 so he can drive that while he does the Opel. At least, I think that's the logic.

Bill obviously needs to post here more often.

NY535iManual
NY535iManual New Reader
Oct. 6, 2011 11:49 a.m.

In reply to oldtin:

Those seats seem to be E34 comfort seats, and probably weigh about 20% of the rest of the car.

T.J. SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 3:33 p.m.

Buy my 2002.

mad_machine SuperDork
Oct. 6, 2011 4:31 p.m.
HStockSolo wrote: <Maybe a 318ti? I believe the LSD was still available in 1997 on those and cloth upholstery.

early 1996 is the cutoff... I know, I have one of the last ones with an LSD instead of traction control

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