Old BMWs are built like tanks

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Dave NoCal, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Dave NoCal

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    Alright, just a little story. Last Thursday evening I was driving home kind of late and the fog was fairly thick. Just as I turn onto my road, it became total whiteout and a moment later I had driven over a curb that delineated the edge of the road. It was a couple of really big bumps followed by the sound and sensation of metal sliding over concrete. There was no sidewalk on the otherside, as this is in the mountains, and the ground beyond the curb slopes downward. Anyway, here's my 86 BMW sitting on it's belly pan on this curb with the front wheels in the air and the rear end up so the tires have no traction. A neighbor came by with a chain and pulled it out with his big 4X4 pickup. It looked alright on the outside so I started it and there are no warning lights. So I drove home about 1200 feet down the side of a canyon and then about 1400 feet up the other side. This is all in the distance of two miles. I guess if I was going to drive off the road, I picked the right place. The fog was still really bad so I went real slowly. When I got to where I thought my driveway might be, I had to get out and walk around to figure out where it actually was. The next day I drove back to town with no problems going about seventy. No shakes, wobbles, or pulling to one side. Yesterday I had it put up on a lift for inspection. The damage includes one slightly crushed exhaust pipe, a slightly dislocated exhaust pipe bracket, a scuff on the oil pan, and another scuff on the lower A-arm. That's it! I'm amazed, not to mention relieved.
    This car is twenty-two years old and has 230,000 miles. Maybe I should keep it and see if I can get it to 300,000.
    Dave
     
  2. losangelestim

    losangelestim Member

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    it's a keeper
     
  3. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Nice! I need to find me a car like that. All of my cars crap out after 150,000 miles.
     
  4. jnp

    jnp New Member

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    I'm glad to hear you're okay!! I have the totally worst luck in the world when it comes to driving lol....I've had 4 wrecks right now lol. But I'm glad you have a very safe car, and nothing was hurt too badly.
     
  5. WessexEN

    WessexEN New Member

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    If you look out of the window of a passing train,
    It might be an idea to get some areas "ultrasonically tested", just to be sure that there are no invisible cracks in the entire structure. If anything, what did you hit? Apart from the side of a mountain.
     
  6. ManlyBanisters

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    I'll testify to that, Dave - I drive one of these old german tanks myself - puny little French Peugot crashed into me once - my bumper did its job and fell off absorbing most of the impact - his car was fucked.

    Das is gut, ich liebe es!
     
  7. NCbear

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    Glad you're OK, and your car's driveable.

    NCbear (who admits to being just a bit jealous re: the second part of the sentence, above)
     
  8. ladsonbehr49

    ladsonbehr49 Member

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    you have 4 wrecks under your belt?? where do you live so I wont go there and who is your insurance so I wont have them...lol

    I dont even have a speeding ticket or anything on my driving record....Ya think that the insurance companies would love me but no, they also check your credit report which does not make sense, it should be about your driving record only....
     
  9. Dave NoCal

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    Thanks, WessexEN. I'll look into that. All I hit was the curb, somewhat at an angle, so maybe the shock was less severe. MB, they are pretty amazing. Last summer, when I had my car at the shop, they had a mid-eighties 3 series that was wrecked and thew were removing it's brand new engine to use in some other car. Anyway, they told me the car was being driven up in the mountains and the driver swerved to try to avoid hitting a deer. There was a baby in a child safety seat in the back. The car rolled several times landing off the road in the trees. The driver had one bruise and the baby was uninjured.
     
  10. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over wrecked BMW's

    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.

     
  11. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over crashed BMW's

    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.
     
  12. WessexEN

    WessexEN New Member

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    If you look out of the window of a passing train,

    yeah, probably right about that, I thought you hit something more significant, like something larger (crash barrier), that would probably require a checkup. When you induce soo mucn stress on a metal structure, it is most likely to start cracking in some places. The thing to look for, is "hairline cracks". As the name implies, a small crack not usually seen, so thats why I suggested ultrasonic testing, which will also pick up things such as corrosion (what it does, is test the thickness of the metal, thats it.) Now, there are tollerences, so don't worry if it turns out to be less than you expect, if they say its safe, they are probably right.

    To be honest, I am not sure what the required thickness is for cars, but for boilers in steam locomotives, its something like 10mm minimun.
     
  13. ClaireTalon

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    If possible, I would have the concerned's A-arm suspension checked completely, especially welds, joints and the scuff itself, either ultrasonic or roentgenographic. You don't want it to break completely due to vibration within the next few thousand miles.

    But I agree on your tank comment, anytime. I have heard of more than one BMW engine reaching 300,000+ miles without problems. I guess their projected lifetime is somewhere around that.
     
  14. Principessa

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    Consider your self lucky. For years most American cars were only made to go 100,000 miles.


    That's not funny! :headache: No wonder insurance companys charge more for males under 25! :mad::rolleyes::eek:


     
  15. dannymawg

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    The only BMW I've ever driven on a regular basis was a 1985 528td (turbodiesel), belonging to the little mom & pop deli foods distributor I was working for in the 90s. Used as a gofer on last-minute deliveries/items missing from orders.

    Now that was a tank - with 200 lbs. of ham in the trunk :biggrin1:

    A quickie Google search says these cars were pretty rare, and that Ford bought a bunch of these engines to install in 1985 Lincoln Continentals(!).
     
  16. headbang8

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    You're so HAWT when you talk dirty like that, Claire!
     
  17. ClaireTalon

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    *Points at headbang*

    Next thing he'll say is that he gets a hardon from seeing women in oil-stained tank tops, grease smudges on their skin and wrenches in their pockets. :wink:
     
  18. vindicator

    vindicator Member

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    I've got a 02 BMW M5 with about 80,000 miles on it. I've heard of some guys getting over 200,000 miles on the e39 body style 5 series. I hope mine lasts that long. I've had it for 2 years and so far no problems!

    I really do hope the engine holds together. It's about $20,000 for a new one... and about $6000 for a transmission. (without labour!) :mad:

    BMW's are good cars as long as nothing major goes wrong!

    Nothing beats driving a BMW though.
     
  19. Nrets

    Nrets Member

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    BMW engines are very strong. German engines in general. A friend bought a beater 1984 318i for $150 in 2001. He drove the hell out of that thing. The odo said 140,000 when he got it and 144,000 when he blew the engine up. It might have actually been 344,000. That odo only worked intermittantly when he first got the car. The speedo would only work if you hit the dash like Mike Tyson hitting Riddick bowe in the balls. When it did work it often registered in excess of 1o0 mph. (we were 16). This car was a stick. He would redline it frequently. It was a two door. We would take it offroading with 4 people. 3 of us more than 6 feet tall. I would get the backseat for some reason and my nuts would go numb. Fucking cramped ass BMW's. Eventually he cracked the radiator and had to get to work. He ended up sucking a valve and warping the head. It got donated. We took out the 1000 sound system. Left all the other little "fast" cosmetic accessories. The only real accesory in that car was that engine. It was bone stock and maybe 130 HP. But that thing had heart.
     
  20. Drifterwood

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    Old tanks are built like Beemers.

    I have a new 330 TD they call it 335 , but whatever. It is a great engine.
     
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