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Thread: The E38: An unexpected journey

  1. #1
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    Default The E38: An unexpected journey

    If you come from the Porsche thread, you can skip to post #2, you already read the first one.

    If you are a new visitor you are welcome to read everything, and even have a look at THIS thread.


    Off we go.


    I bought another car.

    Posting about it on the thread of another car of mine is like telling my wife I have a new girlfriend, but on this particular case I don’t think they care as much or even.

    If you ever search for my posts (why would you) you would find that every time someone posts something about a long wheelbase e38 I just lose it. Most of the time I want to say “I wish I had your car” or “jeeeezzzaaaaaas help me!” but I end up just posting “one day, one day”.

    You see where this is going?

    For the past 5 years I have been looking for one. Here in Mexico the e38 is such a rare car, first of all, 90% of them are armored so finding one of the 10% is quite an achievement, finding a long wheelbase model is even more difficult, and when you finally find one, they are on the last leg of their life or very poorly maintained.

    For that particular reason E38s are way more expensive than the newer, uglier E65s+

    Whenever a unicorn popped out it was just way out of my price range and they had a lot of Kilometers, worn out interiors, non long wheelbase, or fugly color combinations.

    A family member runs a used car lot so I told him way long ago that if he ever came across one he should tell me.

    3 weeks ago he messages me. –“Look what I have here” and attaches this picture.



    Mixed emotions filled my heart/stomach, I always wanted a facelift model, never cared for the pre-facelift front but then again maybe I was asking too much, I immediately call him back and ask the big question.

    Is it armored?

    With a laugh he answers –No, and that isn’t even best part, it has 29,000 kilometers. ( that is 18,000 miles for those of you on the imperial planet )

    Now this is at a time I can’t make any stupid expenses because I am finishing a house and it is consuming all my pesos!

    I jumped of my chair, asked for permission to leave work and took path to the lot.
    On the way I had the good angel bad angel on my shoulders moment.

    It was a very intensive back and forth moment with myself but this the resume of it.

    Good – Don’t do it, you have so much expenses and you don’t need another car.
    Bad – You have been looking for this too long, take it!

    So I take a decision, fix an amount in my head that I would be comfortable paying for it and prepared to be heart broken in case it didn’t work out.

    I arrive and make my best effort not to run around the car like a ballerina.

    It is the real deal. Euro Spec 740iL with a big list of options installed.

    Car was solid, of course as steel is. But the odometer was real, interior was clean, suspension felt firm, all electronics were working.

    Yet 18 years are a lot of time and it took a toll on the car.

    So… We negotiate.

    Start, we discuss the condition of the car and some evident hits.

    I make some calls asking for prices on some parts that will have to be replaced.

    I receive the quote and as I hang I suspire and with the horror of losing the opportunity and getting beat by an old man out of disrespect I make my offer, which is almost 50% of asking price.

    His eyes pop out and says no way.

    Again with my heart pumping to offer a lot more I stay firm and leave. ( not like superhero leaving an explosion, we actually say goodbye and stuff ).

    Few days later I get a counter offer, after dealing with my inner demons again, I accept it.

    So that one day I always said is today. Well not today today... but…

    Today I present to you not only what is my e38, but what is a vehicle that I always wanted, I always drooled about and finally got it. Good Times.





    The Good,

    Interior is in excellent condition, a bit of grime and grease here and there, all plastics need some nivea.



    Full individual electronic rear seat and rear entertainment console with adjustment of front passenger seat, this will come handy for my daughter if she wants to piss off her mother.



    I know it’s dirty, I won’t detail it till I finish doing some repairs to it.




    The Bad

    So, what does it take to make a low mileage e38 affordable?

    1st – Delaminating protective glazing.









    It’s like Christmas between 2 layers of glass. I will need the 2 front ones and a rear one. Realoem lists them for a grand total of 3500usd +. I hope I can find a better deal on those.

    2nd – Dead pixels



    Somewhere there you can see the odometer. Same for the rear console.

    3rd – “small” hit



    May look superficial but the bumper is out of place on the rear quarter so something is bent inside.

    4th – the big one.

    When I was looking at the car for the first time, owner told me the car was hit by a motorcycle. It must have been a tomahawk because driver’s door is a crooked and the car lacks all airbags on that side.





    Also shows the handy work of another type of Dr. Frank. Or maybe even the same one! This is a small world after all.

    Most likely the car had no insurance and was fixed by the owner on the cheap.

    And that’s it, yeah I know you may be thinking that I could have bought a better car, reality is that maybe I could, but I did not want to let this one pass and then not finding THAT one. Kind of like Shrek and Fiona. She was hot at first but turned fat and green at the end. I did it on reverse on hopes that I can turn a fat and green car into a hot redhead one.

  2. #2
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    This car was not meant to have a thread of its own, it was going to be simple, airbags, wheels, nothing really to post about, most likely I would just bother a lot of people by private messaging asking of their runabouts on offsets and best bag options.

    But something happened, as always does with too good to be true things.

    #1 – AC not working.
    As excited as I just mentioned I was to buy this car I daily drove it for 2 weeks without AC, I didn’t care about the heat, I even rolled with the windows down because Its plain embarrassing to ride around with delaminated glass, I didn’t want people to think I was riding on expired armored glass (which essentially it is) because that is just calling for attention here, and not the good kind.

    #2 – “ABS” shudder.
    Sometimes while braking on rough terrain the front tires would shudder. I thought the front shocks were done and quoted new ones. EDC ones… $1000usd a piece LOL. Car felt fine and switching S-EDC was working perfect so I was puzzled.

    This was the time when I said to myself. Ok you have another car, get on it and fix this one already so you can ride safely with your family on it.

    First AC. Compressor was leaking, changed it, recharged the system and Puff, penguin ready!
    Then I took a look at the front suspension. These cars are amazing, it felt solid, handled amazing and yet both arms bushing were as shot as Kennedy. Yes that shot!.

    Changed them and the car felt even better. Amazing land yatch.

    Then I had a brilliant thought. I’m on a roll, lets align the door so it can have it last problem solved.

    In your best Elmo’s voice just say.

    Oh Boy.

    You had to slam it to close properly, I thought it was misaligned and took it for granted.

    I left the car at NCO’s shop and went to work.

    Later he messages me with these pictures.








    He tells me that the latch cable is stretched and was “fixed” with two zip ties and a plastic valve cap. The latch was also missing the plastic cable guide ( passengers side pictured ).

    We order the cable guide and make a new cable.

    2 days pass by.

    I call him.

    - LCG: WHATZAAAAAAPPP WOSHIZZLE WASHAZZLE PUPASHAZZLE
    - NCO: COMAZZE RAMAZZE UN PENEEEAAZZ
    - LCG: Eh?
    - NCO: you started.
    - LCG: Fair enough, is the car ready?
    - NCO: are you sitting?
    - LCG: really?
    - NCO: yes.
    - LCG: ok I’m sitting now
    - NCO: Good news and Bad news, which ones first
    - LCG: just hit me
    - NCO: Oh you would like that you whore
    - LCG: with your forehead on my stomach bitch
    - NCO: Jesus Christ.
    - LCG: So?
    - NCO: Good news, latch is now working properly, Bad news, latch was not the problem.
    - LCG: ahaaaaa?
    - NCO: you have to come over.
    - LCG: FOSHU AILAIKBEWBIES
    - NCO: FUAKYNGGG RITAAAAAAARD
    - LCG: bye
    - NCO: bye


    So I arrive and he greets me with the biggest grin ever. I know what is up, this will be bad.
    Remember when I said that the car was hit? Well it was, I knew about it.
    No airbags present on driver’s side of the car and a lot of trim damaged, yet the car looked fine.

    He takes me to passenger side, puts a straight edge on the car and says, NOW WATCH THIS, there is no beer around, and where someone says that without beer is confirmation of bad things.

    He takes me to driver’s side and puts the straight edge on it.

    Oh wow.

    I took two steps back and sat on the floor.

    You know when you sit on the floor with your legs crossed, your head down and both of your hands covering your face its bad.

    After a good minute of moving my hands in my face in desperation I look up to him.

    He just says: Well we now know why it has low mileage.

    After a sarcastic laugh I ask him, how bad it is.

    He points to the ruler again and asks if I am blind.

    No stupid fuck I like to sit on a floor full of bondo dust just to have an excuse to spank myself to clean it off.

    ****

    B pillar is almost 3 inches inward.

    ****

    He tells me that usually he would not take a car that has already been fixed because it was so badly fixed that it will be twice as hard to get it right and suggests selling it.

    I cover my face again and get lost in a sea of thoughts.

    I can’t sell it.

  3. #3

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    Damn. I mean.. 3"? Damn...

  4. #4
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    Most women don't even notice 3 inches. So why would you?
    Lucas
    Daily: 2004 Audi A4 B6 1.8T BEX Avant S-line. . . . . . . . . Daily Econobox: 2010 Audi A1 1.4TFSi S-tronic
    Quote Originally Posted by LCG View Post
    High 21! It's like a high 5 but includes both hands, both feet and a boner.

  5. #5
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    That sucks... I was so happy for you finding your dream car.
    Now is a great opportunity to make it B-pillarless and rear suicide doors. Just sayin...
    Good luck with whatever your decision might be!
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamsv View Post
    Damn. I mean.. 3"? Damn...
    Almost 3" but yes..

    Quote Originally Posted by loekaaz View Post
    Most women don't even notice 3 inches. So why would you?
    I think I would feel 3 inches, I don't even want to know.


    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    That sucks... I was so happy for you finding your dream car.
    Now is a great opportunity to make it B-pillarless and rear suicide doors. Just sayin...
    Good luck with whatever your decision might be!
    I'm thinking of doing something completely new and different, I have this radical idea of letting it rust and hide it away for a few years while I convert it into a coupe and make it a spaceframed vintage widebody racecar, then I will come back here, do eventual posts of the build and stop doing it after a while.

    Clever.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCG View Post
    I'm thinking of doing something completely new and different, I have this radical idea of letting it rust and hide it away for a few years while I convert it into a coupe and make it a spaceframed vintage widebody racecar, then I will come back here, do eventual posts of the build and stop doing it after a while.
    shots fired

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    Every LCG thread, bullets everywhere...
    Daily: Toyota Avensis 2.0 wagon '06
    Project: Sold, on the hunt for something else
    Follow me: instagram.com/whiteknuckleride

  9. #9
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    holy shit

    "Everything has potential."

  10. #10
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    Damn, that sucks.

    Can you talk to the previous owner about it?
    '18 BMW F80 M3 San Marino blue / Amaro brown
    instagram.com/frodedale

  11. #11
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    Pics of this bent pillar?!?!?!? I can't picture it THAT bent, the car looks decent! Need a pic of both sides plz
    -Christian.

    '91 318iS AW2/blk slow garage queen/build...
    '02 ///M3 carbonschwartz 6MT daily beast
    '37 Chevy pickup-garagequeen...

  12. #12
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    Happy to be on board. Good luck with the yacht.

    Your threads inspire me to actually put effort into my build threads again like I used to. I used to be able to get a boner. Neither look promising for a comeback.

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    wow damn, well I bet you will still do something rad with it regardless.

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    I do not have pictures of the 7 series bendgate drama because I was not going to make a thread about it, and more importantly because I was in such shock that I didn’t think of taking pictures at all.

    I have to explain something thought.

    3” of bending is quite a lot, and if you try to imagine it on a straight edge you will sure think it’s impossible. And it is, at least with a flat roof.

    But Luis WTF, you said 3 inches, or were you measuring in dick inches?

    Not at all. The next text contains a lot of irrelevant data and many characters that could be boring for most of you but important to clarify this isn’t a totaled car.

    The pillar is not actually bent 3 whole inches. That measure comes from comparison to the other side rocker panel/pillar/doors. I searched for a top picture of an e38 without luck.

    He placed a ruler on the floor and another one on the doors, the combination of the bad shape of the wavy doors plus the actual bent pillar plus a somewhat bent rocker panel add up to almost 3 inches.

    That said, here is a picture of the car that could explain it a bit. I took it after NCO and I chatted about solutions, more of that later.



    You can see how the reflection between doors goes twice, this is because the doors should make a round shape between both and now they are like a record surfing wave that goes the wrong way on the center. (Check the first picture of this thread to see what I’m talking about). Yes I know I exaggerate a lot, its part of my life now.


    Most of us at one moment in time have said. “I will keep this car for a long time" some are brave enough to say ”I will keep this car forever " . It is the usual excuse for our brains that is ok to dump lots of money into something we know is not worth it on a financial level.

    Then we sell them for half of the cost of the bare car. It’s the car life, it owns you.

    This car made me so happy when I bought it that I never contemplated the idea of selling it, I was more worried on leaving it as is or trying to fix it and getting it even worse.

    After talking a lot with NCO and asking 40 times if he thought it would be done properly we agree on price for the repair and a full color change paint job.

    And that is when I took the photo, car is already dissembled and being tortured with chains. I have not been there to take pictures because I can take a car that I bought with flaws. But NEVER a car that I pay to fix that has flaws. He knows that so I’m banned from the shop till it is straight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCG View Post

    Most of us at one moment in time have said. “I will keep this car for a long time" some are brave enough to say ”I will keep this car forever " . It is the usual excuse for our brains that is ok to dump lots of money into something we know is not worth it on a financial level.
    Ouch. So true, it hurts.
    Last edited by loekaaz; 01-26-2016 at 11:40 AM.
    Lucas
    Daily: 2004 Audi A4 B6 1.8T BEX Avant S-line. . . . . . . . . Daily Econobox: 2010 Audi A1 1.4TFSi S-tronic
    Quote Originally Posted by LCG View Post
    High 21! It's like a high 5 but includes both hands, both feet and a boner.

  16. #16
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    Soooo..

    When NCO told me that they would take 3 weeks to repair the car I already knew that in body shop lingo that is like 3 years, yet so I want to know what is happening.

    I have been calling him for updates since the beginning ( I bet he makes that "why me" face when he looks who is calling )

    I always ask what has been done to the car, what needs to be replaced to start ordering, color options etc.

    But today I asked for pictures. And he sent me this one.



    ha... ha....

    Now I know why body shops take so long.

  17. #17
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    I believe, LGC, I believe

    Seeing as you already understand the path of buying, getting attached, and selling - I reckon you'll keep this one for a while

    In for more of your funny documenting

  18. #18
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    It was a good story until we discovered the bent B pillar. Good luck with getting it fixed.

    Do you mind if I ask for the VIN number? Wouldn't mind checking out the options etc.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCG View Post
    Soooo..

    When NCO told me that they would take 3 weeks to repair the car I already knew that in body shop lingo that is like 3 years, yet so I want to know what is happening.

    I have been calling him for updates since the beginning ( I bet he makes that "why me" face when he looks who is calling )

    I always ask what has been done to the car, what needs to be replaced to start ordering, color options etc.

    But today I asked for pictures. And he sent me this one.



    ha... ha....

    Now I know why body shops take so long.
    Nah they have stand for that kinda thing, what you are doing is just rachet
    Cool find nevertheless

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mehowski View Post
    I believe, LGC, I believe

    Seeing as you already understand the path of buying, getting attached, and selling - I reckon you'll keep this one for a while

    In for more of your funny documenting
    Thank you for believing, I do plan to keep it a good amount of time unless life happens and slaps me right in the mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy_HR32 View Post
    It was a good story until we discovered the bent B pillar. Good luck with getting it fixed.

    Do you mind if I ask for the VIN number? Wouldn't mind checking out the options etc.
    Everything will be ok, car was measured straight so its just the fact that doors were not closing properly.

    wbagj8103wdl08724

    Quote Originally Posted by klucifers View Post
    Nah they have stand for that kinda thing, what you are doing is just rachet
    Cool find nevertheless
    you mean calling him like 3 times a day?

  21. #21
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    Ever considerd buying a new B pillar from the BMW dealer? Or is the reapir cheaper/quicker/...?

    I bought a new sideskirt+B pillar (comes as one item, only needed the sideskirt) for the E36 some 8 years ago, it was about 300€ if I remember correctly.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nixxon View Post
    Ever considerd buying a new B pillar from the BMW dealer? Or is the reapir cheaper/quicker/...?

    I bought a new sideskirt+B pillar (comes as one item, only needed the sideskirt) for the E36 some 8 years ago, it was about 300€ if I remember correctly.
    That is something I did not think about, could work because the sideskirt is a mess too. I will call the local dealers and ask prices.



    Another thing that is bugging my brain in the middle of the night is the facelift front.

    I think facelifted cars look A LOT newer than square headlight cars and more "luxury-er", yet I like the fact that square ones are glass and well... already have those

    Since the car is getting a full paint job, now is the time to do it, but I have seen plenty of posts about how you need like harnesses, autolevel and bla bla bla... Anyone knows for sure what is involved?

    Or even making a don´t do it hand gesture with a disapproval face with a good argument on why should I keep the square look?...

    please?

  23. #23

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    Could you post a pic of a facelifted 7 please?

  24. #24
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    Sorry, this thing of being on stanceworks makes me think everyone is a BMW expert, my mistake.



    Here, crappy picture so you don't get biased on overall look.


  25. #25

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    I might be in the minority. I like the square headlights. Seem to work better with what really is a boxy/rectangular body style.

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