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1985 BMW 735i

I am considering buy a BMW 735i with 4 speed tranny but i am not sure it’s worth it I can buy the parts but i don’t no the reliability of them Please help

If cost of ownership is a concern you’d be better to look at something else. My son had a couple of BMWs and I don’t think he’d get one again.

A 1985 anything will need frequent repairs. The 735i is a good BMW, but it will require frequent work, with expensive parts. Unless you’re a BMW fan, you might want to reconsider.

i have heard that they have transmission problems is this true

Is this the auto?

If you own a Honda 2000, as your name implies, to you the BMW will be an ongoing moneypit. I have a friend who is a wealthy doctor, and his 20 year old BMW 7 series (bought new) is a constant topic at the dinner table, and the dealer’s inability to diagnose problems. These are difficult financial times, and unless you are wealthy and want to spread some of that wealth around, I would stay far away from this car.

The car is going on a quarter of a century old. Reliable is a coin flip no matter who makes the car.

Don’t worry about the transmission. These are cars you buy cheap ($3000 or less) after making sure all the important part work. Drive it till something big breaks, then junk it. Only if you have deep pockets (like the doctor above) do you spend the frequent money to keep it running. You also might want to look at '87 or newer, the '85 model originally came out in '77. Very old tech.

Strange how a model that was considered the “flagship” of the line can turn into something to avoid at all cost’s.

Yeah, but it’s not just BMW - an old Mercedes or (especially) Audi sedan is also real cheap. Repairs are just so expensive.

But I like that older BMW SOHC 3.5l six, great engine.

4 speed manual transmission

Hmm…this is a big heavy 4 door sedan - you sure you want a manual? It’s no sports car. Even a 535i isn’t a lot of fun with a manual, compared to a 325i.

Sure you have a 85 perhaps a grey model as a manual trans wasn’t offered until 87

I hope you didn’t do this!

But, just as a warning to others, there is a REASON why older 7 and 8 series BMWs are so cheap. You see them all the time on Craigslist for a few thousand dollars, they look pretty good, and you have to be thinking…what’s wrong with this picture?

Well, here’s what’s wrong: the REASON they are for sale so cheap is that the first time you take it in for service, the bill is going to be ASTRONOMICAL! These were and are expensive, complex, system and gizmo filled cars that are very expensive to maintain, both in labor hours and parts costs. There are no aftermarket sources for any of the parts, so BMW can and does charge what the market will bear. In our area, a good BMW mechanic gets $120 per hour and up (never mind what the dealer would charge you) and these cars take a LONG time to work on.

Plenty of folks have bought what looked like a good one for $3-4K and discovered it was going to cost them twice that just to get it into shape.

They were and are fine cars, but you really need to know what you are getting into. Many owners just drive them until the upkeep gets too high, and then sell them cheap. Now you know why.


Bob in San Francisco

In Europe we had a 4.5L Turbo version. The 735i probably cost close to 65K in 85,the customers were treated like royalty.