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Discussion Starter #1
A few years ago I sold my Carbon Black 02 Beast to a fellow member. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of my old Beast. I have the opportunity to purchase a 2003 one-owner 60K miles (Sterling Grey) for a great price. I am planning on having a ppi done. I have included some pics of the engine bay. Please let me know if you see any red flags. Thanks!
 

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um yeah its filthy LOL. DEFINITELY get PPI done.
 

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um yeah its filthy LOL. DEFINITELY get PPI done.

^^this!

What kind of service history comes with it? That (or lack of one) plus a PPI should make an easy decision. Hope she comes out with a clean bill of health!


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Busted clip on on right micro filter air channel, #8 here:
RealOEM.com Â* BMW E39 M5 MICROFILTER/ACTIVATED CARBON CONTAINER

Power steering reservoir mounts are toast the way it leans forward

Dust don't mean too much, may run like a champ. One of this things I look at in all cars is date codes of every plastic item I can see.

http://www.tradesparq.com/products/384107/Date-code-date-marked-pins-of-plastic-injection-mould-manufacturers

For example, if the top of the Hella headlights have date code just prior to the production date on the car it is likely its never been in a front end wreck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It has the basic unreliable car fax report. It has always been serviced at the same BMW dealership. My concern is that the closest reputable indy shop is a 2hr drive away from where the beast is located. There is only one BMW dealership in town and they are the ones selling the beast.
 

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so its a bmw dealership selling it but they don't bother to wipe down the engine bay. Looks poorly looked after at 60k miles
 

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What is up with the electrical connector to the Intensive Washer pump? That type of electrical work would be a red flag to me. If that is indicative of the care and level of workmanship that this car has been subjected to, keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What is up with the electrical connector to the Intensive Washer pump? That type of electrical work would be a red flag to me. If that is indicative of the care and level of workmanship that this car has been subjected to, keep looking.
That's the first thing I notice.
I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks!
 

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Is that coolant splash on the air box? check for cracked radiator neck.
 

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What is up with the electrical connector to the Intensive Washer pump? That type of electrical work would be a red flag to me. If that is indicative of the care and level of workmanship that this car has been subjected to, keep looking.
True it is a red flag. But it may have been done by the owner as well who may not be very mechanically inclined. IMHO it is a 2003 which makes it sought after. If it checks out mechanically and service records are all there, then go for it. You can always sort out the smaller issues in due time. I would give this one a good look, but if the red flags pile up then back out. There will surely be others for sale, just be patient :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
True it is a red flag. But it may have been done by the owner as well who may not be very mechanically inclined. IMHO it is a 2003 which makes it sought after. If it checks out mechanically and service records are all there, then go for it. You can always sort out the smaller issues in due time. I would give this one a good look, but if the red flags pile up then back out. There will surely be others for sale, just be patient :)
It took me a little over a year to find my first Beast, so being patient is something I know.

I am always impressed by the way this community looks out for each other. Yes, some of us get a little temperamental every now and then, but for the most part, all of us are enthusiasts willing to help out.
 

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'"One owner 2003 with 60K" and "great price," when used together and in the same context, raise all sorts of red flags for me. I guess I'm jaded (in this respect!) but I usually find you get what you pay for. This should not be a bargain car. While the dirty engine bay is not pleasant, and would raise my suspicions, I agree it is not a deal breaker. I'm concerned there is a "story" hidden somewhere. A solid PPI is a must.

GL - I hope you get back into an M5 soon!
 
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A coolant leak at the radiator would fling coolant in exactly that pattern on the driver's side airbox and headlight, since that is exactly the pattern I had when my radiator finally started weeping. So at some point there was, or still is, a coolant leak and I bet that accounts for most of the mess in the engine bay. I wouldn't write the car off for anything shown in those images. Go check it out and see what's what.
 

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Engine bay looks exactly like how mine did when my radiator exploded. Check the drive's side plastic radiator end. I love my full leather. May be a little ocd on my part, but I have 120k and the leather on my inner door handle is not as bad as that.
 

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For example, if the top of the Hella headlights have date code just prior to the production date on the car it is likely its never been in a front end wreck.
Note that many E39s have had headlamp assembly replacements, under warranty even, due to the plastic internal adjusters breaking since the only way to "fix" the problem (from BMW's standpoint) is to replace the whole assembly (many on the board here of course have long known how to fix the problem with a bit of work). Good point to check on dates though but just wanted to mention a potentially common replacement part for the average (below average?) owner.
 
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