Hello All. Welcome to one of my obsessions.
This page is about my BMW 735i. The E32 model cars were the 7-series from 1987 until approx. 1996... models include the 730 & 735 6 cylinders, the 740 v8 and the 750 V12. There are both 'i' and 'iL' variants, the iL being 4" longer in the rear doors. All models had high standard equipment specifications, with lots of electronics - remember, this was 1987...
This website is intended as a help for other owners, a little of a diary of the trials & joys of owning a BMW car... before "the Blob", as my car is called, I had had 3 BMW motor bikes (the K100 fuel-injected model) over 11 years, so I thought I knew a little about what I could expect from the cars... yeah, right!
Obviously, there are a lot of differences with cars & motorbikes, but there is still the BMW build quality & safety reputation, which is what I wanted when I bought the car, and since I have done a lot of medium-depth DIY, so I thought I could cope. So far, I have, but some of the "wrinkles" in owning this car are the reasons for this website.
Please note my approach to this car: it is a "daily driver", and so I want it to WORK. I like the build reliability of the BMWs, and the degree of over-engineering in many aspects - but I do use generic/wrecker parts when appropriate, and I do budget more for keeping the car on the road than for cosmetics. Don't expect to see much in the way of "beauty" work here, people... it gets washed & polished when it's worth it, but money for "clear corners" etc gets spent on parts & tyres.
Before you start DIY work on your car, I highly recommend:
0) Always bear in mind whether your car is LHD or RHD. Mine is RHD, but many information sources are based on workign on LHD cars (US, Europe). Make sure you're clear where "right" and "left" are, and who is "driver" and who is "passenger"...
1) BUY THE MANUAL: There is an authorised service manual available for the E32 models, from Robert Bentley Publishers - it does cover all the models, in some impressive depth, but is mainly for LHD installs. It is still worth it for RHD versions, but do be aware of the difference. It's about $70US new, but worth it just to save yourself being bamboozled by a repairer even once; be warned it often starts referring about special BMW tools, but that's the time you start looking for Internet FAQ websites that will take you past that stage... there's lots of good knowledge out there, but some of us don't like repeating what's in "the Bible".
2) Read & think about my warnings. These cars are big, full of complex systems and will probably be driven to the limit (handling, speed, braking... whatever) at some point. Know when to stop: even if you get a subassembly out for a specialist to look at, it's saved money, right? Know to think a procedure through BEFORE you start, so you know how to "back out" if you need to.
3) Check for FAQs on the Internet: there are some very good websites out there that deal with a lot more than I have here... My personal approach has been "if it isn't broke don't fix it", so I haven't done some repairs yet - others have, and with very good documentation.
4) Check for E34 5-series FAQs on the internet. The
E34 5-series used a lot of the systems pioneered in the E32 7-series, and
a lot of the repairs are IDENTICAL. (In many cases, think of an E32 as
an over-the-top E34 - the standard spec driver comforts on the 7 series
were often top-of-the-market add-ins for the "lower" 5 series.)
I do this website for fun, and mostly for myself, really. In the past some comments have surfaced on the "quality" of presentation, site pop-ups and other "issues". If you don't like what is here, then I'm open to constructive criticism - but don't expect the world, OK? I do do repairs, but I'm not going to spend extra time worrying & keeping my car off-the-road taking too many pics of every screw that needs undoing for every job. Likely, if it's in the Bentleys manual, I'll assume you've got that and can get to my starting point by using that, and not having me point out absolutely everything... same with some other websites, use them first, try to plan it in your head. After all this, good luck!!
If you don't like the FreeYellow pop-ups, go try something like the Proxomitron.