Now, after thinking long and hard I have decided to try and part with this thing. The Great* BMW 635CSi. I bought this car from some dark shady place in Hackney and everything told me to walk away but in true shitter style I handed over the cash and drove it home. That was about 6 years ago.
The plan was for it to be a rolling project but behind the scenes it was far worse than it looked and the bridge was looming. I took some weeks off work and tore it to pieces after taking it to fail an MOT. This showed me what I needed to do to get it legal after about 20 years of fudging it's way through life on bent tickets.
Work done and it was used pretty much daily but it was a ticking time bomb waiting for all those 1980's parts to expire. Most of them did and were replaced accordingly. It's broke down twice. Once was a loose earth to the battery which was probably my fault and was so obvious that no one found it and the second time the main relay gave out.
This car was my pride and joy and nothing would keep it from moving.
^ In it's prime*
It's got plenty of character. It has a mind boggling electrical problem to do with the interior electrics which when I bought it involved having to remove the interior fuse under the bonnet to shut the engine down, and likewise the opposite to start it... not handy when refulling so I bunged a switch inside. It's now a safety feature.
It's got a little knock when selecting reverse, it's always done it which tells me it's working.
The bonnet, I removed no less than 12 coats of paint as it was chipping like a china plate. It is now in grey epoxy but the air flow meter blowing up dented it a little bit. Thanks.
No BMW alarm anymore. The previous owner had this removed as it was thought to be causing the starting issues. The BMW wiring expert* consequently buggered up the cars electrics resulting in the above.
ABS is disconnected as it was working at random. Never used ABS, don't know what it's for so it's left disconnected
Heater valve has always been knackered. Blows fast hot only so that's never been looked at as it is considered to be working.
I can live with these problems but then it developed more sinister issues:
1) The rear half shaft undone itself but not completely
2) the boot lock failed to work and had to be drilled out
3) ignition issues resulting in 3 distributor caps.
4) Air flow meter exploded one fine morning resulting in a total Motronic system check and overhaul where needed.
5) The starter motor stopped starting the motor which was an absolute A hole to change.
6) The most recent, the brakes all lock on when the engine gets hot.
7) The fuel pressure regulator needs to be replaced. The car runs great on it but it can be improved. It causes a minor on/ off surge on fast straights in the summer.
Problems I've caused.
1) The ride height is too low
Due to a complete career shift I had to give up my unit which was where miracles took place and weekly inspections and repairs could be done. The car was pressed into daily service, 100 miles a day for a few months or so until the brake problem became apparent, on the A14, in heavy traffic. Terribly embarrassing.
My career is very demanding and since May last year this car has been sat. I have no time usually and I hate seeing the thing stuck outside and it hates me for leaving it there. I have managed to get some time to do bits and have started to replace stuff on the master cylinder, pressure sphere ect but I don't know if this is the cure... which will just give me the arsehole if it isn't. I have also detected that the bulkhead seals and possibly the windscreen is letting water by. I removed the carpets and hey presto... I have some welding to do.
So what's the future for it?
I don't like it anymore... it's beaten me down and without my unit, working on it is hard work (I also own a Land rover...) I have come to realise after a year or so that I can't afford the time and aggro with it anymore and I think that it's best to move it on. BUT I DON'T WANT TO!
So, I'm am continuing to repair the mysterious brake issue in a bid to fix it and I'm going to weld er up and continue to try seek some enjoyment out of it like the good old days but in the meantime it's like having an anchor around my neck so if it sells, it sells.
The good bits...
1) The car is fast. Hit that sport switch and boot it. Nothing falls off and you stay in the same lane. Gives plenty of modernz a run for their money. That engine will gowan and on, it's been serviced when it's been due with only the best oil and proper plugs, compression tested too. I put a pipercross in it but thought it was shit so reverted to the standard filter.
2) Decent HT leads
3) Auto box had some work years ago totaling £1500! What?
4) Most (about 85%) of the bushes are polybushes. Trailing arms need doing although there is no play with the current rubbery ones.
5) Most 'messed about and lashed up by previous owner' stuff has been changed out.
6) Rear tyres (cooper) are recent but I'm not happy with their performance in the wet pulling away as they can smoke and lose it like fcuk. The car suits dunlop sports well but I kept getting irrepairable punctures which gets expensive. The fronts are sports but are worn. Spare is original rim and tyre (good luck using that).
7) Leather is in good nik with no rips. Drivers bolster is worn obviously but tarts up ok.
Underside is well alright. I have pictures of all the bits that I done to it.
9) Body paint is totally and utterly fucked because patina (shit paint job, laquer peel and fading). Ideally needs some panel rust dealing with and a blow over. I like it as it is... Looks street Yo.
10) Heaps of paperwork, receipts, MOT'S, plans of action and diag test results all in a lever arch binder. Can get pictures on file too.
The bits it'll ideally need soon:
1) New suspension. You'll get the hump with the lowness. Working on it sucks.
2) The sills have only another couple of years in them at a push.
3) Brake backing plates. I've repaired them. The backs are holding out ok but the fronts are gonna vanish
4) doors seals, sunroof seal
5) back light seals and chrome. It's all fucked and can't be fixed.
6) I'm putting on new front brakes as they got fried
7) Probably a power steering pump as it whines sometimes when cold
To make it ACE:
1) All of the above but decent parts are becoming an absolute joke to get hold of. Walloth are catering more for these now but the 635 has been largely left out of the club.
Here are some pictures took today after pushing it out of hibernation...
So there... I've been honest, buy it for £NOT FORCED STALE and put me out of my misery. However, as I do want to sell it don't want to sell it, as I fix the thing and get it back on the road, the price will reflect that and probably will end up not being for sale.