Parked since ’83! 1973 BMW 2002 tii

Calling all enthusiasts! If you’ve never driven a BMW 2002, put it on your To-Do list. Go ahead; I’ll wait. Few cars deliver fun-for-four in a simpler, more enjoyable package than these iconic two-door sedans. This 1973 BMW 2002tii in Richmond, California seeks a new owner here on eBay where at least 10 bids have set the market value above $10,500. This non-running project car was parked in 1983! Don’t even think of bidding unless you have a plan to rehabilitate the intricate mechanical fuel injection system. The number of parts in that system alone that top $250 could barely be listed in the length of this article. This one retains its original engine.

I’ve owned several BMWs including my current project car, the 1972 version of this car, a tii in Colorado orange, slightly different from this car’s Inka hue. The 2002 is a pleasure to work on, and has caused me to wonder when BMW stopped building cars like this, cars for drivers who do their own maintenance, cars that deliver decades of pleasure without an umbilical cord stretching back to the dealer. Today’s emphasis on Feature Wars makes buying a used BMW a real dice roll. Intelligent Battery Sensor? Phooey!

Always pop the trunk on a 2002 before agreeing on price. The rear shock mounts are prone to rust. Fixing them properly requires not only structural welding but the cosmetic challenges of matching the painted undercoating. These look good! Check out the simplicity of the fuel tank. Remove some perimeter bolts, two electrical connections, supply and return fuel lines, and voila, the tank is removed and you’re staring at grass. Consider salvaging it if there’s no rust-through as replacements top $1000. BMW Classic restored a similar car to demonstrate their supply of factory replacement parts. Check out their amazing video!

I was just looking at this view last night on mine! Speaking of parts that cost more than $1000, the Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection pump is over $3000 if you can find one, and a rebuilt is about $1500. Mechanical fuel injectors run nearly $300… each. Adjustments modern cars make with computers –varying fuel based on temperature, load, RPM, and throttle position– are all done with rods and cams, bimetal coils, and other Rube Goldberg devices on this BMW. That said, it works remarkably well. A well-maintained tii can be a highly reliable daily driver, though many have their four speed gearbox upgraded to a five-speed for highway driving. Though it’s no tire-shredding demon, the 130 HP engine makes the 2100 lb tii feel spritely, and the nimble suspension rivals new BMWs for its blend of handling and ride. Pot holes and railroad crossings… no problem. If you enjoy the simple joy of threading down your favorite two-lane in partnership with a sporty mechanical companion, the 2002 is hard to beat. What vehicle would you choose to enjoy the world’s curvaceous byways?


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  1. Jay B Staff

    Awesome car and awesome write-up, Todd!

    Like 2
  2. Howard A. Member

    In the fall of ’73, a then friend of mine bought a car exactly like this. He traded in his Vega GT, which was a good car, btw, I had my MGB and we did a lot of touring. Even though, the engines were close in displacement, the BMW ate my MG for lunch. The MG handled good, but the BMW better. The kicker was, 2nd gear started to grind on the Beemer, and began using oil. BMW fixed the trans, but the oil burning got worse and he sold it and the little MGB chugged on and on until it broke in half.

    Like 1

    These are fun cars to drive. I grew up around them and owned several.
    Rust is the demon, like most cars from this age, besides the shock towers there is the trailing arm attachment points, floor boards and around the turn signals in the nose piece.
    Other areas to check are the pedal box, be sure to clean and grease, and the subframe on the right side near the motor mounts tend to crack.
    I am more of an Alfa guy than BMW guy but the Kugelfischer shows you how good a mechanical FI system can be compared to that POS SPICA system on Alfa’s. The Kugel is relatively easy to setup and with regular oil changes will last 150 to 200k.
    The one thing I would change is putting in a 5 speed box. The normal one out of an e30 is fine but the dogleg close ratio Getrag is preferable and priced accordingly.
    This one looks as if someone has removed the spacers from the top of the shocks, we normally put the spacer back on top so that it showed in the engine compartment for a couple of reasons. One was a fear of of cracking the chassis there and two it was just a good place to keep track of them as opposed to losing them in the garage.
    Also the nose pieces are often damaged, I can’t tell if this one has been replaced or not. I don’t know the current situation but the availability of nose panels use to be inconsistent.
    Fun cars though

    Like 1
  4. Brian Ach

    A kugelfischer is around $700 and are easily found. Rebuilding is around $1500 and includes the warm-up regulator, and both should be done at the same time. Most pumps will work for 100K+ miles and rarely need a rebuild unless they got water in them or sat without oil…even then they may be able to be revived. They are surprisingly durable. Injectors are hard to find and are indeed $300 each, but many times they will be shot. They cannot be rebuilt, there are no parts to do it. They can be flow tested by a diesel injection place. They either work or don’t.
    Judging from the primer I would say the nose was replaced at some point, but it has no snorkle, so either it is a correct Tii nose or it had snorkle surgery (or is original. It doesn’t matter, a restored sunroof matching-numbers Colorado Tii is a very good car to have.
    I have a euro rear diff in mine, with the original 4sp, and it is the perfect combination. Very difficult to find the euro diff nowadays though, so the 5sp is acceptable and desirable if you are driving long distances on the highway. If not, the 4sp is perfectly fine. these are great cars obviously, and all parts are available, and the 2002faq is one of the best resources and group of people in the entire car hobby.

  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Nov 15, 2019 , 11:12AM
    Winning bid:
    US $10,700.00 [ 11 bids ]

    Like 1
  6. Skippy

    Somebody got a decent deal but there is a lot of risk here. I’ve seen a few running tii examples sell in the mid-teens lately. I’m in the middle of a total strip, restoration and rebuild of one of my 2002s, a one owner, 70k mile, rust free example parked in a heated garage since 2005. I’ll probably never get the money spent back out of it (and I do most of the work myself), but they are a lot of fun to find, restore and drive.

    Like 2
  7. mountainwoodie

    So I’ve had two and rue the day I sold each of them. One was a ’72 auto that I dropped a Getrag 5 speed into, sunroof and dealer installed air. I know that time marches on but every time I see a car I’ve had, sell for a price I would never have paid back in the seventies and eighties (even accounting for inflation), I want to kick myself. I’m hunting around now for the next car few people want today but I want; and will break big by the time I’m 90. :)

    Like 1
  8. Britcarguy

    Had 2, loved them both. Yes to the 5-speed. Period ads said the cars were built to drive at speed on an autobahn all day long. Romantic thought, and they would do it, but on a cross-country trip out west I felt like I was hurting the engine at 80 for hours at a stretch (Long time ago). When I got a tii, my indie BMW mechanic/friend advised me that the injection needed work. He told me (then) that there were only 2 guys he knew of in this country qualified to mess with the springs and shims and all that – Hans and Franz and they were each about 130 years old. So we opted for a Korman cam/header/valve upgrade and put a pair of 40 DCOEs on. Had to add a choke for starting but otherwise great setup. Not so great on fuel mileage but was fun to drive.

    Like 1
    • JMB#7

      Korman also sold a turbo package with water to air intercooler & blown through twin dual throat side draft Webers. Many good cars and engines came out of that shop & still do.

      Like 1
  9. Steve

    With all the drama over the engine & FI, why not drop a Subaru turbo engine in there? Bullet proof reliability and way more horsepower.

    • JMB#7

      Never under estimate the might of the BMW of the BMW motor. It has about the most rugged bottom end of any motor made. Back around 1985 I ran several on the dyno exceeding 200 hp, normally aspirated, with side draft webers.

      Like 2
  10. JMB#7

    Fond memories of several 2002 from Korman’s shop in Greensboro NC. Dan probably still has his race prepped car there. I’ll always remember when we had the “orange crate” out and some guy asked Henry if that was his “two double naught two”. Never heard it put that way before or since then.

    Like 2

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