1974 BMW 2002tii Sunroof Looks Good Runs Great Some Rust Drive it and Smile

  • Condition: Used
  • Make: BMW
  • Model: 2002
  • SubModel: TII
  • Trim: TII
  • Year: 1974
  • Mileage: 120,495
  • VIN: 2782260
  • Color: Polaris Silver
  • Engine size: FUEL INJECTED 4 CYL
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: NAVY
  • Options: Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Interested? Contact seller!

1974 BMW 2002 TII Description

1974 BMW 2002tiiNot Rust-Free, But Not Bad -- Great tii to Drive As-Is and Enjoy
Pretty and Shiny from 10 Feet (maybe 5 if you've had a few)Runs GreatSunroofCrack-Free DashNumbers-Matching EngineHead Just RedoneNo Trailing Throttle Smoke (really, very little exhaust smoke of any kind)Very Tight, Steering and Suspension-WiseVery Good in Terms of Thunk, Clunk, and Rattles (for a 40 year old car)Located in Boston -- Easy East Coast Pickup150 High Resolution Photographs -- You Will Know What You Are BuyingLinks to Six Videos$11,500 Buy It Now, Reasonable Reserve

Hi folks. I'm Rob Siegel. For 30 years, I've written the column "The Hack Mechanic" for BMW CCA Roundel Magazine. I've owned 30 2002s, including seven tiis ( currently own three). That doesn't mean I know more than you do, but it does mean you can trust me to tell you everything I know about this car.
Cards on the table: I've put a Buy it Now of $11,500 on the car. The value of less-than-perfect 1974 big-bumpered square-taillight tiis has been all over the map. Compared with a few other recent sales, I don't think it's worth $11,500, but I've been wrong (way too low) about the value of any number of tiis recently. And next year it probably will be. And, it's on the East Coast. There is a reasonable reserve on the auction to ensure that the Buy It Now doesn't vanish when the first bid comes in. Any lower than the reserve and I'll just keep the car for another year, as I actually enjoy driving it more than my '72tii. I will really, really try to let the auction run its course, butI also have the car listed locally. Anyone who looks at it locally, though, I will strongly encourage to centralize bidding through eBay unless they want to meet the Buy it Now price.
Scroll down for the 150 high-res photos and links to six videos that follow the description.
I bought Otto from his second owner last July.He'd owned it since 1977. I'm not really big on naming cars, but when a seller has owned a car for 38 years and the last thing he says when you buy it is "his name is Otto," you risk angering The Automotive Powers That Be if you don't call it Otto. So Otto it is.
Mileage is 120,450. VIN is 2782260. I have a Massachusetts title in my name. I've been driving the car legally and frequently.
There are some body issues, which we'll get into in detail (rust on the rear shock towers, rust-through on the front of the left rocker where it joins the floor pan, on the front corner of the left rear wheel well, and more minor rust few other minor places) and paint issues (some areas of surface rust and bubbling paint), but Otto presents well from ten feet, is pretty, and runs very well. Any of my friends who has driven it will confirm that the steering and suspension are remarkably tight, that the car is surprisingly good in terms of thunks, clunks and rattles, at least for a 40 year old car, and that it goes like a '74tii should when you get on it. Plus, I just installed a newly rebuilt head, which is like an extra helping of pie.
People, understandably, want pretty, shiny, rust-free cars. But in terms of owning and driving, what you want is a tightcar. Andwhen you buy something sight-unseen, you really have no way to know if you're buying a tight car. Cars that are taken apart, restored (or just painted), and put back together, are often rattle-buckets because they've been disassembled and painted, due to loose trim, bumpers, windows, and more. Believe me, getting a car tight and relatively rattle and clunk-free is more than just replacing the four subframe bushings you often hear people talk about. This tii is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but tightness-wise, it'sbetter than most. It's better than the '72tii I've had for six years and have spent a lot of time de-rattling. It's a car you can drive every day and not have it drive you nuts. And that's exactly what I did -- after I bought it last July, I put it on my regular insurance policy (not my Hagerty policy) and used it as a daily driver until the weather turned in late December. And it was great.
People also get wrapped around the axle about fixing rust and then being "underwater" in a car. It not unreasonable to look at the cost to fix rust on a car and ask if you should spend more and buy one without rust. In fact, it's the responsible way to look at it. But many people walk up that curve, find out they may have to spend $25k to get a purportedly rust-free squarie tii with unblemished paint and a cherry interior, and wind up buying nothing. Then the car continues to appreciate and zing further out of reach. I'm a believer in buying a car within your budget. You can buy a 2002 with some rust, keep it dry, driving it as-is, and be the guy (or girl) with the Cheshire Cat grin on his (or her) face. That was me all last fall, driving this car. Someone will really enjoy this car as a stress-free tii they don't need to be neurotic about.
Lastly, every 2002aficionadowants a small-bumpered round tail light 2002tii, but damn they've gotten expensive, and if you're actually going to use one, drive it in traffic, and park it on the street, the big bumpersareawfully practical.

ALL of the pics are at the end of this description, after all of the text.

The previous owner had a complete outer body restoration done on the car in 1981, at Dick's Auto Body in Somerville MA, back when they were THE shop in the Boston area for that sort of thing. I believe that every outer body panel on the car was replaced (that's why it's wearing a snorkel nose). At some point not long after that, the car became only a fair-weather driver. But that was a long time ago. While there's no denying that the car has body issues, if you keep it dry, you'll be able to drive it as-is for many years.
--The frame rails and front shock towers appear to be fine.
--The floors appear to be good with the exception of the left front corner as described below.
The rust points are (these are all meticulously photographed):
--There is rust on both rear shock towers. The left one is worse, clearly rusted through; the right one isn't as extensive. You can judge for yourself from the photographs. They can be left alone, or patched, or the sheet metal replaced entirely. I have new old stock non-OEM replacement rear shock tower sheet metal, both outer and inner (photographed below) that I'll include with the purchase of the car. Everyone knows to look for rear shock tower rust, like watching a gymnast "stick the landing." This is the shock attachment point, not the spring attachment point, so it's not quite as structural as people make it out to be. In my opinion, the car is perfectly safe to drive (I drove it all last fall), and the rust will advance very slowly if the car is kept dry, but by all means seek whatever opinions you need to make the right choice for you.
--There is rust-through on the front left rocker panel, on the front of the left front floor panel, and at the bottom of the left front fender, at the place where they all meet.
--There is rust-through on the front corner of the left rear wheel well, near where the rear subframe bushings is. Note that the subframe attachment points themselves are not right next to the bushing -- they are under the rear seat, and these appear to be fine. I've photographed them. They both look like they have rust, but on the left one, what you're seeing is a wad of old horsehair seat padding, and on the right one what you're seeing is utterly trivial surface rust. I checked. I poked it with a screwdriver. It's nothing. The photos of these are after the photograph of the back seat.
--There is rust-through in the spare tire well.

The rest of the rust is more minor.
--There is rust forming at the front of the right rocker panel. I have not poked it with a screwdriver, but if I did, it might go through.
--There are other patches of surface rust on the underside of the car that are just that -- surface rust.
--There is minor surface rust in the engine compartment on both the left and right sides.
--There is some small rust bubbling and surface rust on the outside bottom of the right door, and a very small amount on the inside of the bottom of the door lip. The left door appears to be fine.
--There is a very small amount of rust bubbling on the inside of the right rear fender arch.
--There is a tiny amount of surface rust on the forward edge of the left rear fender.
--There are some patches of surface rust on the hood and on the doors. The largest one is on the left rear corner of the hood. It may be worth getting this one done since it is at eye level.
There are detailed photos of all of these areas below.
But that having been said, the car is quite presentable. The Polaris paint is shiny and the car looks good.
There are faint scratches below the molding line on both sides. The previous owner's driveway had juniper bushes on both sides. They would likely come out with a compounding and polishing.
In two of the photos, it looks like there's a big scratch on the left side of the car. There's not. It's just a reflection.
There is a very faint small crease near the forward edge of the driver's door. You'd have to look at it in just the right light to see it.
I'd be lying if I said that I've thoroughly and systematically sorted out this car. I haven't. I bought it, said "sheesh, this thing runs great," threw a dwell meter on it to verify that the points weren't about to pit themselves closed, adjusted the valves, changed the oil and the transmission and differential fluids (Redline),and drove it all through the fall.
--When I prepared this car for sale in the spring, I did a compression test and was very surprised to find that cylinder #3 was low. I pulled the head and found that it was warped and cracked in two places. This was, incredibly, asymptomatic. In fact, the videos (linked to below) were shot before I knew there was an issue and changed the head. I sourced a straight, crack-free head, and had it milled and had the valves done by my local machine shop. New OEM rockers and shafts were used. New valve seals were installed (Reinz, part of the head gasket set). The valves, springs, and guides were deemed fine by the machine shop and reused. I wrote about all of this in my weekly Roundel Online pieces that can be found here:
decapitation part I
decapitation part II
decapitation part III
decapitation part IV
recapitation part I
recapitation part II
recapitation part III
Note that in the last piece, I mention the intake manifold hitting the block-off plate for the fuel pump rod in the head. That has been addressed. It is no longer hitting.
--A compression test (photographed below) shows compression between 160 and 170 psi in all four cylinders. The test was done with the engine warm, with all four plugs out, spinning the engine six times.
--The most recent bill from the previous owner (in the two inch thick folder of receipts the car came with) is for $3000 worth of work fully refreshing the fuel system, including a new OEM gas tank, the metal fuel line, and all rubber fuel hoses. I was tempted to pull the tank out and put it into my '72tii, but I hate making work for myself. The next most recent receipt for new rear wheel cylinders.
--The engine runs great, and there's no visible trailing throttle smoke -- it doesn't suck oil past the valve guides when you rev it up and then lift off the gas as many 2002s do. You may see just a little oil smoke at startup, but I don't see any during normal driving.
--Yes the engine number matches the VIN.
--The engine was weeping a little oil around the front timing cover (like every 2002 M10 engine ever made), but it isn't anymore since the head was redone and the cover was milled and re-sealed.
--The transmission sometimes has a very slight catch downshifting into second. On a normal gentle shift from 1st to second, it's absolutely fine. On a normal gentle shift at low speeds from 3rd to 2nd, there's a slight catch. If you shift hard from 3rd to 2nd, or downshift it at higher speeds, it'll crunch. I don't consider it the "they all do that" 2nd gear munch. If you drove the car gently on a test drive, you wouldn't even notice it.
--As I said, suspension and steering are very tight. Bilstein shocks are visible in the rear. I assume the front struts are Bilsteins as well. The sway bars look to my eyes to be one size bigger than stock (probably 22mm front, 19mm rear).
--The brakes feel good, but I have not done the rotors, pads, drums, or shoes. It was pulling a bit to one side because one of the rubber lines on the front was plugged up. I replaced all six rubber brake lines -- front and rear -- with braided stainless, and thoroughly bled it. It no longer pulls to one side on braking.
--I have not gone through the cooling system. The radiator looks like it has not been recently replaced. But the car does not run hot (in fact, it runs about 1/3 of the way up the gauge), does not appear to be leaking coolant, and there is not any unacceptable play in the water pump. While I had the head off, I scraped corrosion off any of the coolant necks whose hoses I had off.
--The tii injection linkage is fairly tight.
--The car still has its thermo time switch, pretty rare for a tii. Most of them break and are replaced with a simple push-button that fires the cold start valve. This one still has the timer. You turn the key, and the car starts right up and idles.
--The car has a trunk-mounted rear battery. Normally I'm not a big fan of these in 2002s, since that's where I put my aluminum floor jack on long trips, but on a tii, because the fuel injection pump lives where the alternator usually is, the alternator was relocated by the factory down low, so it's a pain in the butt to reach without removing the battery, and even with it removed, the battery tray is in the way. This one has had the tray removed, making alternator access very easy. The battery is in a box that's ratchet-strapped in place.
--The car is a little fumey (again, like every 2002 ever made). I assume this is due to air from the engine compartment entering through the flaps in the heater box.
The interior is fairly nice. The dashboard is completely crack-free, which is almost unheard of these days. The headliner is a little discolored with age but has no rips or tears. The seats have no rips or tears. I have another driver's seat with a better-looking left-side hinge and headrest than the one in the car. If you buy the car, if you want to pull the pieces off and swap them, you can. The door cards are good, though they do have speakers in them.
The car had what was a state-of-the-art sound system installed by Rich's Car Tunes in Watertown in the early 1980s. It has a pair of Alpine power amps under the back seat, ADS 300i flush mount speakers on the back deck, a Benzi Box in the center console, and an Alpine graphic EQ in the glovebox. Unfortunately, whatever cassette deck was in the Benzi Box slide mount has been lost to the sands of time, so the stereo is currently nonfunctional.
Also in the center console is a set of three VDO gauges -- voltage, amperage, and temperature. I unhooked the temperature gauge, as it appeared to be interfering with the dashboard temperature gauge.
The rug looks original but intact. It shows it age but has no glaring rips or stains.
The car has a very nice 14" Momo steering wheel that is the absolutely perfect size and feel. I almost stole it, but I think it should stay with the car.
In the photos, the black inset pieces of the door handles are missing. They have been replaced.
Engine Compartment
The engine compartment isn't going to win any eat-off-it prizes, but it is relatively original. The car still wears its original vacuum retard distributor, intake connection and hoses -- the only emission control on a stock '74tii. The stickers are there.
Wheels and Tires
The car has a set of presentable but not mint E30 bottlecaps with brand new General Altimax 195 60 14 tires with less than a thousand miles on them. I also have the slotted steel wheels that were on the car when I bought it. I'll include as well if you want them. I don't like the way bottlecaps look on round tail light small bumpered 2002s, but I think they look great on '74 to '76 big-bumpered cars; something about the juxtaposition of the bottlecaps and the big bumpers make it look like a giant rack and pinion.
--The inspection electricals -- wipers, lights, horn, etc -- all worked as of the inspection last fall. They all still appear to work.
--The heater blower fan is not working, and the foam on the flaps of the heater box has disintegrated, allowing the heater box to let in outside air even when the flaps are closed. As you probably know, this is very common on 2002s. The heater box would need to be be removed and rebuilt to address both of these issues. I was planning on doing it over the winter, but other issues took precedence.
--There is a set of original foglights with the original dashboard switch and the original crash guards around them. They are not currently working. I have not trouble-shot them.
--The clock ticks but does not appear to be advancing.
--In addition to the trunk-mounted battery, the gauge cluster in the console, and the incomplete 80s killer stereo, the car has an integrated radar detector (not sure what brand) and a non-functional Ungo alarm system installed, with a horn in the engine compartment (behind the coil, up against the fire wall) and horns under the seat.
The bumpers and chrome are all in very good condition. The left rear waistline piece of chrome trim has a visible ding in it, but that's about it.
Inspection and Test Drives
Both are welcome. The car is at my house in West Newton MA and is registered and insured. I am available through the 4th of July weekend. I have a mid-rise lift here at the house if you want to get a good look at the undercarriage.
US Buyers Only
I have the auction restricted to US buyers only. I've never sold internationally. If you're international and have a good long eBay feedback record, we can probably work it out, but if you're international with virtually no track record with eBay, sorry, there's just too much risk for me.
The usual. $500 PayPal deposit within 24 hours, immediately if you punch the BIN. The rest by wire transfer, bank check or money order, which will need to clear before you pick up the car.
I'm sure you'll agree that the hundred photographs of the inside and outside of the car provide way more information than is present in most eBay auctions and show you exactly what it is you're bidding on, so there will be no haggling on pickup because you didn't see something or didn't know something. Please understand that I have zero tolerance for this, and anyone who tries it will go home empty handed.
I can help (meaning be there for the load-up), but it's your responsibility. I'm in West Newton on a very small street that big rigs can't get down. Arrangements need to be made to meet around the corner. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of.
The Videos
There are six videos of the car up on Youtube. Search for "Otto 1974 BMW 2002tii" and you'll find them. Here are the links, but eBay sometimes messes them up:
Very short drive with hand-held camera
Longer drive with windshield-mounted camera
Very short video of tach while nailing it in second and third gear
Highway speed
All these videos were shot when, unbeknownst to me, the car had a cracked head and low compression in one cylinder. It runs even better now.

Contacting Me
Since I've described the car so thoroughly, I ask that you read the auction and look at the photos, and only then contact me (through eBay) if you still have questions. I love to talk 2002s as much as the next guy (okay, maybe more than the next guy), but I do have a job and a life. If there is something that can't wait, like you're in Boston tonight only and want to see the car, my cell is 617-365-8303, but if you're calling to say "I want to buy the car, what do I need to do to buy the car," just buy the car with the Buy it Now.
And please: Don't call me to ask about my other cars, or if I could help find you "a nice one."
The Pictures
All photos follow. There is no descriptive text between them, so just scroll, you're not going to miss any description when you scroll through. The photos of the exterior are first, then the interior, then the crouch-high body (valence and rockers), then the underbody. When photographing the underbody, I went around the car, from the right front to right rear to left rear to left front. At each, I pulled off the wheel and photographed the underside of the wheel well, usually in the order of front, up, back.
Oh, and look for my first book Memoirs of a Hack Mechanicand my newly-released book The Hack Mechanic Guide to European Automotive Electrical Systems on your favorite online bookseller. (What, after that long description, you didn't think I'd take this opportunity for some shameless marketing?)
And away we go...

On Jun-30-16 at 19:13:19 PDT, seller added the following information:

For some reason, the links to the videos and the Roundel Online articles aren't working. If you search youtube for "Otto 1974 BMW 2002tii," you'll find the six videos. I'll work on getting the links to the Roundel Online articles working.

On Jul-01-16 at 14:11:52 PDT, seller added the following information:

This is an attempt to fix the links to both the videos and the Roundel Online articles. I can't see if they work until I submit the changes, so here goes.

The links to the videos are:
Very short drive with hand-held camera
Longer drive with windshield-mounted camera
Very short video of tach while nailing it in second and third gear
Highway speed

The links to the Roundel Online articles are:
decapitation part I
decapitation part II
decapitation part III
decapitation part IV
re-capitation part I
re-capitation part II
re-capitation part III