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Help buyin a 6 Series

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Nikols View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13-February-2007 at 20:51
Hi have spent the last few years dreamin of an 80's 6 series bmw and spent the last month researching in earnest with the aim of making it a reality. Really hoping one of u guys can help me out with some good advice...

my story is..

plannin a trip to england hopefully at the start of march to see what i can get for my converted euro. Have a good idea what to look out for as potential problems re bodywork eg front wings, round the sunroof etc. dont know very much engine wise (any advice here would be really appreciated). lookin to spend in or around 6 - 8k stg. The hope is a manual m635csi in pretty good nick, is this realistic? and, seein as its gonna be around 20 years young, the question Ive been avoiding in my head but need to ask.. am i opening myself up to years of financial hurt

Thanks

Mark


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fey! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-February-2007 at 21:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nikols Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-February-2007 at 22:55
thanks fey, will keep an eye out on it. had a look at the site and well impressed, some slick cars, have a mate that just sold his 95 m3 this weekend and is lookin for an evo to replace it, sent him on the link for the evo 2, probably a bit steep but he can annoy himself lookin at it..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kbannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-February-2007 at 23:05

Im going to move this to the 6er forum where it will get more relevant hits.

Become friendly with some of the 6 enthuasiasts and you might even get one of them to help inspect it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robbie Bradford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-February-2007 at 23:31

Welcome to the forum Mark, good to see you on here.

Good luck with the search, i'll keep an eye out for you.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nikols Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-February-2007 at 23:59
cheers lads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m3Cecotto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 00:02
Originally posted by Nikols Nikols wrote:

........... am i opening myself up to years of financial hurt

Thanks

Mark




Oh yes.

6000 - 8000 *should* get you a pretty reasonable M635.

Most important thing to look for, as you know, is rust.

They rust everywhere.  The front wings at the indicators, and at the sill. The inner wings in particular rot, principally because of that stupid wee shelf bit. The floorpans and the sills, inner sills and jacking points are all possible rot areas as are the screen surrounds and the base of the B posts along with the arches and the sunroof area.  Oh and they can also rot at the number plate panel and below the rear lights.  Fixing this little lot will cost thousands and thousands.  Here's how I know:- http://bigcoupe.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3190

Don't be put off if the engine sounds a little "busy".  They were never the quietest things.
The timing chain on a UK car MUST be done as soon as is feasible once the car reaches 100,000 miles.  They do snap.  It's not a myth like the E30 M3 timing chain saga.  Budget 1500 if it hasn't been done.  Other than that the engine is pretty strong and you're really looking for evidence of regular servicing and maintenance.  The gearbox can rumble a bit in neutral while warm.  If the noise is only there when you put your foot on the clutch it's the release bearing, if it goes away when you put your foot on the clutch, it's the gearbox.  It'll go on for years like that and I haven't heard a 280 yet that doesn't do it.

In the drivetrain watch out for well known issues like the steering box bracket and diff mounts.  Make sure that the dampers, if replaced have been replaced with the correct items.  I've seen standard dampers on an M635 - either through partsman ignorance or a desire to reduce maintenance costs.

Biggest issues are rust, rust, rust and the timing chain.  A car needing wings and sills tidied and without the chain done will probably be an uneconomic prospect unfortunately, but the money you want to spend should get you a good one.

If you want any assistance, please get in touch.  I'd be prepared to have a look at any prospects for you, in fact I'm aiming to look at one in Manchester for a prospective purchaser on Thursday.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horsetan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 12:13

Originally posted by m3Cecotto m3Cecotto wrote:

....I'm aiming to look at one in Manchester for a prospective purchaser on Thursday.

That's probably Ryan's.....


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m3Cecotto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 17:29
It is Ryan's, but it turns out that it's not currently in Manchester after all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 18:03
His M635 has/is being fettled by the bodyshop who did my wings. I understand they did quite a bit to his 635CSI & it was pretty tidy when they finished.

Beware having to replace wings. Howard Walker tells me someone dropped the panel stamp so all new wings are now slightly twisted & take some fettling to make fit.

As I have a spot of rust caused by the filch plate I'm having mine removed & stripped back to bare metal on both sides before lead loading & repainting. Anyone know the best way to remove recent underseal?

As advised, get the best Six you can as repair costs mount up very quickly. A 5k Six can easily become a 10k one. you're better off buying a pampered low miler for that kind of money rather than  trying to fettle a tired example by throwing money at it.

WLN aren't really known for selling 635's - Munich Legends are the specialists for those. They say good 635's are becoming hard to source never mind M635's so you may have to hunt around yourself.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m3Cecotto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 21:18
His car was ready for collection last weekend, but he couldn't make it.  It sounds a good job at a reasonable price to me.  His car should be one of the best currently available for sale.  No significant rust issues AND the chain done. Sounds a decent buy to me and it looks good too.  Don't like the wheels, but they're easily/cheaply replaced.

6-8000 won't buy you a standard 635 at ML let alone an M635.


Edited by m3Cecotto
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nikols Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 23:04
hey m3cecotto, cheers for the advice in your post. checked out that website last night and proper put the shts up me. Still feeling undeterred tho there's chinks in the armour now... I'll keep sucking in all the advice I can get over the next month. Cheers for the offer of help, if i see one or two that sparks interest i hope i can bounce them off u anyway
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Howard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 23:29
I have been running 635s and M635s for years. Currently I have an M in the garage with 25K on the clock and a 635 with just over 40K, both in mint condition.

If you have around 40K in the kitty you can have them both. (joking - won't be selling them)

I found a 635 late last year with 5K genuine on the clock, and still kick myself for not buying it for 15K.
There are only about 900 sixes and perhaps 200 M6s left in the UK. The good ones are getting more expensive, and the poor ones cheaper.
You should be able to get a good working example without too much rust and with 80-100K on the clock for between 5K and 8K, but you must be prepared to look and wait. There is nothing that I have driven that is as much fun as a six of either variety. The M6 is great over winding country roads in the dry, but watch them in the wet, if they have old original tyres on them. TRX ones. These are now only available at two sources in the UK, and cost around 220 each. I just changed my 1988 rears on the 6 last week after they had done 40K - dated March 1988. All the side wall split on one of them. Still had 4mm tread all round.

Th M6 on the other hand was fitted with new TRXs for a trip to Belgium last year, and drives really well in the wet or dry. So its not tRXs that skip in the wet - just old ones.

All the tips that you have been given are generally correct, but the timing chain is not really the problem that it is made out to be. My last M6 is still running on the original, and it had well over 150K miles on the clock when I sold it some years back. However, the consequences of it breaking are very severe, so it may be worth the cost. Incidentally, the 1500 covers all the other incidentals that are best done when you go to the expense of taking the head off an M635. It is the labour that costs, so have the valves and the rest of the gear changed at the same time.

MPG will be around 20 -22 for the M6 driven carefully, with up to 28 on a run using 98+octane petrol.
The 635 should do around 24 overall with 31 on a good long run using Motorways. Not many of them in Ireland. Make sure your suspension is OK or you will suffer! I know, havng done 1000 miles last year on a tour of the south. Bones still aching!

If you are a youngster, you probably will not notice, as the joy of driving a six is worth the pain!

I will advise if any good original ones come up for sale. There was a well repaired on for sale in the last issue of the BMW Car Club magazine - owned by Ross Harris if I remember correctly - rumoured to have had upwards of 15 K spent on it,and pretty well done.

Best wishes in your search.

Howard
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horsetan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-February-2007 at 23:49

Originally posted by m3Cecotto m3Cecotto wrote:

It is Ryan's, but it turns out that it's not currently in Manchester after all.

It was on eBay, with reserve set some way over six grand... So that's me out of the running

Originally posted by Howard Howard wrote:

....If you are a youngster, you probably will not notice, as the joy of driving a six is worth the pain!

Half-joking tip: get a relative to sponsor part or all of the cost.  

Quote I will advise if any good original ones come up for sale. There was a well repaired on for sale in the last issue of the BMW Car Club magazine - owned by Ross Harris if I remember correctly - rumoured to have had upwards of 15 K spent on it,and pretty well done.

Twenty grand, Howard, twenty grand. But there are few others like it.



Edited by Horsetan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RossM6/635 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-February-2007 at 05:47
Hi
She is still for sale, and open to any inspection. And Ivan`s nearly right , almost 20K has been spent on her over the past few years , paper work to prove. The car is perfect and only for sale because  arrival of B7 Turbo. What a beast
Check out EBay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m3Cecotto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-February-2007 at 14:31
Originally posted by Horsetan Horsetan wrote:

Originally posted by m3Cecotto m3Cecotto wrote:

It is Ryan's, but it turns out that it's not currently in Manchester after all.

It was on eBay, with reserve set some way over six grand... So that's me out of the running



He's realistic about what it will sell for.  It's a good car with all the major expense expended.  Got to be worth 6500 all day long in my view.


However 12000 (asking price) for Ross's Macau beauty is a steal - if you've got 12000 to lay out on a 6er.


Edited by m3Cecotto
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sohlman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-February-2007 at 20:34

I agree with all comments above.

On TRX wheels i personally am not a fan. However the most recent batch of TRX's that i am sure howard has on his car has a more regular tread pattern and they work well. What you want to look out for is TRX's with the X tread pattern. They are useless new or old wet or dry. Personally as good as the later TRX michelins are i would always go with some imperial rubber on some 16" or 17" rims, but thats down to personal choice.

6-8k will get you a reasonable M635csi, but will probable require a new chain which is exspensive. It will also need some work doing to it. Maybe a little bit of rust, but should not need new wings or major bodywork surgery. 10 - 12k will get you an excellent example and the best examples like Howards and Ross's M635's if you can find them will command prices well above 15k

Remember all sixes will have some rust in them apart from Ross's cars and as mentioned above i think 12k for Ross's 635csi Highline Motorsport is very good value for money.

For your budget 6-8K however i would exspect that you could probable pick up and absolute mint late highline needing almost nothing doing to it.

Driving the two cars they are very different and i would base your choice on what you want.

M635csi is a bit of an animal. They are revy enourmously fun to drive, but can also be a great long distant companion. Ride is stiffer and harder they are a bit lower and suit a more comited driving style. Clutches are usually heavy and so driving in town is hard work. For me this is not a problem, but for some it is. The engine spools up quickly, the gearchange is positive if a little slow, and the feedback is direct.

635csi are much softer and are great long distant cars. They rev lower on the motorway (due to a higher diff ratio) so are a more relaxed car, but are no slouches performance wise. All are auto's with very few exceptions. They are great in town and waft along effortlessly. Due to a less complicated engine they are cheaper to run, better on fuel and are slightly more torquey with a flat torque curve. (The M engine has more torque, but it comes in higher) However if you drive one like an M635 they roll a lot round corners, the brakes go off quickly and ultimately are not as satisfying to drive when driven hard. Good, but not like the M635.

Then in the middle you have a manual 635 if you can find one. These are rarer then either car. Only 1 in 20 was manual and almost no series 2 cars. These had a LSD as standard and basically the same box as the m635 but with the 635's final drive. They give a bit of a halfway house in driving style. You have the same relaxed cruise as the 635, but are more rewarding when you press on. They will deliver better fuel consumption then the 635 as a well driven manual is more efficient then an old auto box, but will have the same town driving draw backs as the M635.

However the soft suspension can be easily sorted by applying M635 dampers and springs to a standard car. This sorts out the handling and many owners are now uprating the brakes to 750/540 spec giving equivercle braking to the M car. All M parts can be added and this is what i have. A manual 635 with the suspension and braking system uprated to just beyond M635 spec.

Anyway to end my rambling rust is the biggest evil with these cars. I would prefere to buy a sorted rust free 635 that is perfect then a slightly rust m635 as you never know what lies beneth.

Hope this helps

James

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horsetan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-February-2007 at 22:53

Originally posted by Sohlman Sohlman wrote:

.....you never know what lies beneath.

Yes you do!

Time to get the bargepole out. The extendable one.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horsetan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-February-2007 at 22:55
Originally posted by Horsetan Horsetan wrote:

Originally posted by Sohlman Sohlman wrote:

.....you never know what lies beneath.

Yes you do! That's how I came to be lying in the gutter a few weeks ago:

Time to get the bargepole out. The extendable one.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote panrixx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2007 at 03:56

Originally posted by RossM6/635 RossM6/635 wrote:

Hi
She is still for sale, and open to any inspection......

Hi,

Is she now sold?  If not, can you let me have some details/photos?

Regards

Brian

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