I've just stumbled across rather a nice looking BMW 1802 Touring which is for sale, and am quite taken by it.
Are there any 02 owners out there (Mr Evans...) who can offer any advice on potential pitfalls with the model?
Hello Coventry Climax
Sorry for not replying until now... Funnily enough, I remember regularly being driven past the Coventry Climax factory in Coventry en route to seeing relations nearby, but that was a long time ago!
Anyway, that's by the by. I'm guessing that if it's an 1802 (not sold in the UK) that you're in continental Europe or the States, in which case the car will only have one servo unlike the more complex twin set-up of right-hand-drive cars – though I guess that the same test applies. Pump the pedal six times or so and then turn on the ignition while pressing the pedal: if it's sucked away from you, the servo is fine; if there's a kick back, the servo needs rebuilding (c£200 or more).
Like most things built in the ’70s, BMWs weren't that well-protected against rot – and got worse later into the decade with the use of poorer-quality steel. They can rust pretty much anywhere, but look particularly at the front panel-to-wing joins and the A-posts, which are key to the structure and costly to repair (I know, having had both sides done on mine!). Also check the strut top mountings, the front chassis legs (longerons on the monocoque), both ends of the sills, plus the inner and outer wheelarches and the door bottoms. The footwells and floopans are also prone to corrosion, though repair sections are readily available – obviously it will cost a lot more if, like me, you only do fairly basic mechanical work and have to pay someone else to do bodywork. In extreme cases, spare wheels have dropped out because the boot floor has gone so badly!
The rear semi-trailing arms also rust; they're boxed in on a tii, so rot from the inside out. The standard type (as on the 1802) are much less likely to.
The steering will be heavy at parking speeds though should quickly lighten: if not, the centre track rod or strut-top bearings may have partially seized, the steering idler (like another steering box, but on the opposite side) may have corroded or the car could just be on wider tyres than standard. Many now wear 185/70x13s instead of 165s because they're more readily available.
Even though it's worm and roller, the steering should feel reasonably precise – it's designed to have the least play at the straight-ahead – and excessive slack can be adjusted out, unless the adjuster screw is flush with the top of the box. Few people rebuild them properly. In my experience, once the box has run out of adjustment, you're better off looking for a good second-hand one. In fact, when I had the track rods replaced on mine, it gave back a good half turn of adjustment on the steering box.
M10 engines are prone for head-gasket failure, so check for the usual signs: oil in the coolant or emulsion on the oil-filler cap. They also wear valve guides, so get the car properly up to temperature and look for smoke on the overrun when you back off. Also listen for noise from the timing chain and for pinking under load – they all run better on superunleaded, more so tiis which had higher compression ratios (10:1 or 9.5:1).
The handling should feel taut; if it's sloppy and a bit wayward, it could just be worn suspension bushes, which aren't that involved to replace. Lots of ’02s have been stiffened and/or lowered, but to me that spoils the balance of the car. It might be OK if you're into track days and that sort of thing, but poly bushes and Bilstein dampers ruin the ride, which is good considering that it's a sports saloon.
Sorry for the rambling reply, which I hope helps. If you e-mail me your address (email@example.com), I will happily lend you the buyer's guide book that I used when I was looking for a 2002 in the first place. And do please let us know how you get on.
There's also an excellent forum with cars for sale etc here http://02forum.co.uk/
All the best for now, chief tea-maker C&SC
Definitely no need to apologise for the rambling reply David - all very useful and informative, so many thanks for your considerable efforts.
Sod's law being what it is, someone else beat me to it this time, which is a real pity as the car looked fantastic: just two owners from new, low mileage, very tidy condition, and finished in wonderfully period Golf yellow. Definitely a case of love at first sight, and I was quite surprised by how reasonably priced the Touring is compared to the saloon (you'll hate me now, but I have to confess that the styling of the saloon does little for me, whereas the Touring, I think, looks great). Although I wasn't actively looking for one before, I'll definitely be searching the classifieds for another.
What was the title of the book you used when you bought yours? As I'm in Germany it might be better for me to try getting a copy of my own rather than sending yours through the post (but thanks for the generous offer).
Thanks again for your input - I'll let you know how the search goes.
Sorry to hear that you missed out on the car. It sounds as if it was a good ’un, and Golf is a great colour as you say. Funnily enough, I prefer the saloon but don't understand why tourings are cheaper – they're more practical, after all, and they all have the round rear lights, which look better.
The book that I used is The BMW 2002: A Comprehensive Guide to the Classic Sporting Saloon, by Mike Macartney (former boss of Jaymic), RM Clarke and James Taylor. It seems to be about 18 quid and is available from Jaymic, as well as Amazon/eBay etc, so all the best with your search.
Hope to meet you with an ’02 at some point in the future. The best run that I've done with mine was to drive it to Germany for the Bavaria Tour in 2002 (of course).
All the best for now
Brilliant, I'll keep my eyes peeled for a copy of the book.
My theory with the price difference between the saloon and the Touring is that the latter has a more pedestrian image and that increased practicality counts for less when it comes to classics than it does with a modern car. Whatever the case I'm definitely not complaining - I'm quite happy to pay less for what I consider to be the nicer model.
I think I remember reading enviously about your Bavaria trip in the pages of C&SC back in 2002, or am I imagining that? Either way, I'm looking forward to the chance to do the same, even if it's not actually that much of a distance for me as I live in Frankfurt. I've just got to find the right car first...
Yes, I wrote about it in Our classics – it ended up in the workshops at what was then Mobile Tradition because it was running hot – and as a Club Event of the Month. The highlight was having a little go in a couple of other cars – one a full-house Alpina conversion that had been shipped over from Brazil for the event and a fantastically original 2002 from Denmark. Mine also ended up with cable-ties holding two parts of the throttle linkage together – pukka Mobile Tradition ones, though, so I left them on there for a while until I had a replacement for the worn-out piece.
There don't seem to be many tourings for sale at present – I'm guessing that you're after a left-hooker – but I did spot this one in Portugal on AN Other website. It's pricey but it is the rarest model. It looks as if the bumpers have been painted black, which I'm not keen on, though it could just be the photos. Good luck with finding one!
All the best for now, David
Now there's a thing - £8600 for that Portuguese car... The same car is currently advertised on a German website for 6650 euros, which sounds like a bargain in comparison. Adopt a German accent and you could save over £3000, which is pretty unusual as some of the prices you see being asked for run-of-the-mill classics here are eye-watering. Alas, it's a bit too far away and I don't much fancy the bureaucratic hassle involved in importing a car, which is a pity because it doesn't look bad (awful black bumpers aside).
I spotted this on the same German website, and apart from the extra lights and dodgy M badges it's pretty well identical to the one I missed out on before. It sounds pretty good - 100,000km from new, only 2 owners (the last one since 1987), dry weather use only for the last 25 years, etc... A bit beyond my current budget though.
The search continues...
As you say Malcolm, that doesn't ring true – you'd expect it to be the opposite way about. Classics are outrageously expensive at Essen and Retro Classics. I reckon it would be a bargain if it's a genuine touring tii, though I suspect there may be a mistake with the pricing somewhere.
And that Golf 1802 looks lovely, bar the M badges. Why would anyone do that? It looks just as good underneath as on top, but then cars have to for the TüV test I guess. Nice period wheels, too, and great condition.
I'll post something on here if I hear of any more for sale. I don't know of many left-hookers over here, and only one tii that changed hands a couple of years ago to a bloke who had a touring with tii running gear that had gone beyond economic restoration.
All the best for now, David
Nice website, thanks for the link.
The search is still ongoing, but nothing very exciting to report at the moment. I found a really nice looking car at the weekend but it was in Berlin and a bit too pricey (typical Germany). My girlfriend has also announced that the 1802 Touring which started me off on this quest is the ugliest car she's ever seen, and that the colour was simply awful... She'll come round to the idea though.
very nice website, i can find many in it.