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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have, in a pretty much roundabout way, found myself looking at an Alpina B10.

I started, for me in a logical place, at the Volvo 850 T5-R - the place of the R is important - the 850 T5 wasn't lowered, and the 850R was not the original. But they are very rare beasts indeed - and would cost around 20000CHF (£9000). I then focussed on an RS2 - again around the 18-25K mark (you do the maths at 2.3CHF to 1GBP).

Then www.autoscout.ch popped up with an Alpina B10 - not 20km from me - for 30000CHF. What is one today?

I have popped over once and picked up the chassis numbers - which a quick called to Sytner or Alpina on Monday will authenticate the car.

However what I want to know is what should I look out for? What could be going wrong? What sounds are bad sounds? Anything in fact that will let me know whether the car is a "good un".

It is Carbon Black sitting on 19" wheels.

Any and all advice is welcomed and needed - this would be my first Alpina.

In the meantime I shall let you laugh at my current beast

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So no B10 owners willing to their twopence worth!!!

Any problems - eg Torque convertor

Expected average fuel consumption?

Average servicing costs?

Come on guys - I have head good things about this board. I just want to make sure that I dont buy a crap car.

I have already called Alpina and they have confirmed the chassis number as genuine.
 

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I have a 2001 B10 V8 Touring which has now done 75k miles. No major problems and the car goes and feels like the day I bought it. Best car I have ever owned. Fuel consumption is 23.7 with a mixture of fast road and motorway driving. Oil consumption is negligible. I am getting 50k miles from the front tyres and 25k miles from the rears and I drive it very quickly! The tyres are the biggest cost with a set of Michelin Sport Pilot 2's costing about £1,100 a set.

Only problems I have had are the DSP bug which occasionally mutes the radio (affects all E39's - no fix) and the inevitable top hose problem seen on all the V8's. Change as a precaution every 50k miles despite any assurances from the main dealer. Power was down a few weeks back and this was traced to a faulty camshaft sensor. Oh and the PDC sensors can be a pain - I have had four so far due to water ingress.

Basically a very reliable car, rare, special and a joy to drive.
 

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Is it the straight six 3.2/3.3 or V8 model you are looking at? I own a B10 3.3 and cannot fault it. Good performance, handling & steering are superb. The fuel consumption is pretty good as well 30-32 on a motorway journey & 18-20 around town. I would certainly recommend a B10. Test drive and buy !

Kevin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is the potential purchase

They will refurb the 2 scuffed passenger side allows - which are the nice new design and 19". It is carbon black - which is one of my fave colours.

23.7mpg is pretty much what I was expecting and the same as other 300PS cars I have had my eye on

I will run my eye over the service history when I go for a test drive - which is now a certainty thanks to Alpina confirming the chassis number.

The car does have PDC, but it is not over specced - no Sat Nav

When do major things (belts etc) need doing? What is the cost of an average service?
 

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I've had an M5, B10 3.3 and now a B10 V8S. The V8 cars have been fine ( I have covered about 100,000 miles between the three so far ), though the 3.3 drank lots of oil ( see previous threads ). As per previous comments :

1) Check that the PDC works ( 1999 models usually only have it on the back, more recent ones have back and front )
2) Does it have the automatic wipers ( a nice option )
3) 19 inch wheel look nice but check how easy ( or not ) it is to get the lockable hubs off. Because it can be tricky, some owners don't check their air pressure that often
4) Usual E39 problem - check that the pixels on the dashboard computer are all working - because it is an Alpina dash, this can be very expensive to fix
5) Micheline Pilot Sport 1's are now almost impossible to find as they have been replaced by Pilot Sport 2's. What tyres has it got and how much tread do they have left ? Michelin do not recommend driving with different tyres on the front and the back, so you may need 4 new tryes ( then again, other people have done this and reported no difficulties - I ran 1's on the back and 2's on the front of my B10 V8S for 4,000 miles without any major problems )
6) I have found that the temperature up and down buttons break easily
7) The Alpina mats come with studs to keep them in place - these are often broken or missing
8) Some people ( including me ) find the steering wheel on the early pre 2001 models a bit big - I guess it is a matter of taste.
9) I am getting 23.3 mpg on regular fast motorway driving

Best of luck - check out earlier threads for more buying comments on B10's
 

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One other thing - the B10 V8 appears to prefer high octane fuel. I use Shell Optimax (99 RON) or other makes super-unleaded and using a lower octane increases fuel consumption and reduces performance noticeably.
 

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That's funny as I thought I noticed something slightly different ( if I read your reply correctly ). Using a LOWER Octane seemed to give me BETTER fuel consumption, though the power was down. I thought I was just driving slower or in different conditions - has anyone else noticed this ? It doesn't seem to make sense ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the comments - especially the silly things to look out for - ie removing hub caps!!

The car is shod in pretty new PS2s with a good 5mm all round - but I will have to budget in for a set of winter tyres in the next month or 2.

Anyone had any experience of driving it in the snow?

As for the fuel, optimax improved the economy of the Z3 when I had it (and used Optimax) and I would be using 98octane anyway.

I will keep you posted once I have tested it
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Took it out for a (very short) test drive this afternoon.

First of all how do you guys drive these things every day and keep your licence - tooooooorrrrrrrrrrqqqqqqqquuuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeeeeee

Absolutely fantastic. I can not understand how a car like that rides so smoothly on 19" wheels. Mind blowing.

The gearbox is amazing, tap to the left, and then play to your hearts content - down a gear a bit more loud pedal and the car was off. Quick and understated - the way I like it.

The car I love, however it is grey leather (which is not inspiring and not overly classy IMHO) and there is no CD-changer - it the poverty spec professional system with the tape deck. I will check on ebay how much a cd-changer costs - otherwise what is the price from a dealer?

I have pulled myself back to reality - will check out another 1 - or 2 and see where that takes me.
 

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dodgyken said:
The car I love, however it is grey leather (which is not inspiring and not overly classy IMHO) and there is no CD-changer - it the poverty spec professional system with the tape deck. I will check on ebay how much a cd-changer costs - otherwise what is the price from a dealer?

I have pulled myself back to reality - will check out another 1 - or 2 and see where that takes me.
Check in the trunk if the car is CD-changer-prepared.

If not, you'll be pulling out your entire interior to put in the cable that's NOT there if the salesman forgot to tick the (no-cost) box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info - I will definately check because the BMW head units just look nice and tidy.


I have no idea why someone would spec without a CD changer!
 

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I have looked at tons of Alpinas in the past 6 months (still looking). So I am getting very good at understanding the right price (but that is UK only).

If the tyres are Micheline PS2 s then it's a good sign. Anyone using inferior tyres could be a sign that they skimped elsewhere.

Check the bodywork for luminosity/uneven paint. If someones had a ding and a respray will the car ever drive the same again?

Also the display matrix for the Aircon and also the speedo matrix display can fail . this is a common BMW problem ,but the Alpine Speedo replacement can cost £1400, three times the cost of the normal BMW one...

The car should be immaculate, anyone who really understands Alpinas should keep it in great condition.

Refurbished alloys aren't the end of the world, damaged alloys could inidicate a serious curbing which may have screwed the tracking etc.

Most of the Alpinas I've looked at have immaculate interiors.

Also , if your looking from 1998 onwards if I was you I would make sure that it has a BMW/Sytner extended warranty.

If you have to have the engine replaced due to exesive oil consunmption you are looking at a MAJOR cost. Same with any of the Alpina parts themselves.

Personally I have rejected a large number in the UK because they don't have the warranty. Not sure what this situation is like in your country though.

Still looking for mine. Driven and loved them. Pace ,space and grace.

My own criteria is 100,000 miles or less, V8, and sat nav . Becuase it's really easy to get the modern BMW sat nav and DVD unit and upgrade them...

J:wroom:
 
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