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You have questions.  I have answers.

1. How much is the car?

2. Where is the car located?

3. What does the "L" mean in the model designation "740iL?"

4. Is the car in good, fair, or poor condition?

5. Does the car have the original Nikasil V8 engine block or the updated Alusil engine block?

6. How has the Turner Motorsports (Jim Conforti) chip affected fuel economy and performance?

7. How do the 18-inch wheels handle? Is the ride rough or harsh?

8. Are these the authentic "///M-Parallel" wheels or replicas? What size are the wheels and tires?

9. Who performs the maintenance on the car?

10. How many more miles do you expect out of the car before a major rebuild or overhaul?

11. Has the car ever been in an accident?

12. What parts have you replaced recently?

13. Why are you selling the car?

14. Is there anything wrong with car?

15. Why should I buy a 740iL instead of a 735iL or 750iL?

16. Why should I pay more to buy your car when I can find other E32 7-series cars for less money?

17. Why have you built such a big site to sell your car? Are you a dealer?

18. Who do I contact for more information about the car?



1. How much is the car?
NOTE: This car has been SOLD. Thank you for your interest!
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2. Where is the car located?
The car is in Ashburn, Virginia (a suburb of Washington D.C., just 15 minutes from Dulles International Airport). Buyer assumes all responsibility for pick-up or shipping, although I may be willing to deliver the car to buyers within a reasonable distance.
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3. What does the "L" mean in the model designation "740iL?"
The "L" in "740iL" simply means that the car features a longer wheelbase than the standard-wheelbase "740i." The 740iL has significantly more rear legroom than the 740i, and includes a self-leveling suspension instead of the 740i's conventional suspension. The self-leveling suspension is a desirable feature on the 7-series, as it automatically senses the car's load on startup and adjusts itself to the proper ride height and rake accordingly. The extra legroom afforded by the longer wheelbase makes for luxurious limousine-like accommodations for rear passengers.

4.
Is the car in good, fair, or poor condition?
The
gallery images and service history should speak for themselves. This car is in good mechanical and cosmetic condition. I don't want to misrepresent the car or mislead a potential buyer, so I'll admit the car isn't perfect. I'd rate the exterior condition a 7 out of 10 (10 being perfect) and the interior an 8.5 out of 10. The interior has worn well over the years - no gashes or tears in the leather (no pets and no smoking either), and the seats are still soft and supple (not hard and cracked). As with any car of this age, there are a few rock chips and minor scratches and nicks in the finish, as well as a few scuff marks in the plastic bumper trim from parking encounters. I have always hand-washed and hand-waxed the car, with a few occasional trips to the brushless automatic car wash for quick touch-ups. The body is straight - no dents and just a few dings on some of the doors. The engine compartment is fair and the undercarriage is in good condition. There is no sign of rust anywhere on the body. The car has been garaged for most of its life (including during the daytime at work), and looks as good as the pictures indicate. It probably won't win any concours awards, but it does show well and compares favorably with other 7-series BMW's on the road today. Back to top

5. Does the car have the original Nikasil V8 engine block or the updated Alusil engine block?
In 1998 at 75k miles, the original Nikasil engine block was replaced under warranty by BMW with a brand new engine block featuring the updated Alusil material (BMW part number 11-11-9-069-275). BMW performed this warranty repair because the owner of the vehicle at the time was experiencing a rough idle and stalling. This condition was common to many BMW V8 engines at the time because sulfur in U.S. fuels reacted with the Nikasil engine block material, damaging the cylinder bores until the pistons failed to seal properly. BMW's solution was to replace affected Nikasil engine blocks with Alusil engine blocks, which do not exhibit the same sensitivity to the sulfur in U.S. fuel. Sulfur levels have been reduced dramatically in American gasoline since 1998, so no additional harm should come to cars still equipped with the original Nikasil engines, but some damage may have already occurred prior to the change in fuel formulation. Fortunately, this car received a new Alusil block so the next owner can sleep well knowing that the engine will not fail prematurely due to events that may have hurt it early in its life. Please consult Koala Motorsport's website for more information about the problem with BMW's Nikasil V8's and why you should be careful when buying a V8-equipped BMW from 1993-1995. Back to top

6. How has the Turner Motorsports (Jim Conforti) chip affected fuel economy and performance?
I have not seen any improvement or decrease in fuel mileage (I get 19 MPG around town, and 25-27 MPG on the highway), but the engine chip has made a world of difference in tip-in response, acceleration, and drivability. The idle is smoother and the there is more power available throughout the rev range, especially at partial throttle. In stock form, the V8 doesn't really start pulling until 3000 RPM and then it quickly loses steam at higher RPMs once beyond the "sweet spot." The chip dramatically increases low-RPM grunt and continues pulling up top. Redline is raised to 7000 RPM, and there is no top speed limiter. Turner Motorsport quotes gains of 19 horsepower and 33 lb-ft of torque at 3000 RPM. The only real compromise as far as fuel economy is the requirement for premium gasoline.
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7. How do the 18-inch wheels handle? Is the ride rough or harsh?
The ride is tight and athletic, but I would not describe it as harsh or rough (your opinion may differ). The factory original 15" wheels gave the BMW 7-series a comfortable ride and excellent isolation from the road. The ride is definitely not as comfortable with the 18" wheels and tires because the sidewalls are shorter and have less cushioning. This characteristic enhances steering responsiveness and road feel, but also makes the car more sensitive to road imperfections at the same time. I notice some additional road noise with the 18" tires too, but tire selection and construction play a big part in this. Ultra-high-performance summer tires are very harsh because they have stiff sidewalls (especially run-flats), while touring tires are generally quieter and more comfortable because of softer sidewalls and less aggressive tread patterns. It's also important to note that tire pressure adjustments can facilitate further tuning should different traits be desired. I notice a difference (in perceived ride quality and tracking ability) with only 2 psi adjustments on these sensitive cars. For me, the enhanced looks and handling of the 18" wheels is well worth the small loss in comfort. Having owned many BMW's with both plus-size and stock-size wheels, I can honestly admit that I would never trade my car's excellent control and agility for the original ride (with its somewhat vague steering) any day. Besides, the sporting look of the 18" wheels is killer!
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8. Are these the authentic "///M-Parallel" wheels or replicas? What size are the wheels and tires?
These are the real deal and not imitation replica wheels. Genuine BMW M-Parallel wheels cost almost $2000, but I chose not to save money by buying replicas because I wanted the forged strength and light weight of the factory M-Parallel wheels. Internet message forums are filled with many horror stories about replica M-Parallel wheels, and they have been appropriately nicknamed "butter wheels" because they are too soft and bend easily. Fitment of the replica wheels is also poor, as they are often made to fit several BMW models and are designed with the wrong offset and hub diameters for the E32 7-series. I already learned my lesson repairing cheaper replicas on my 5-series - the cost savings of replicas were quickly offset by repairs and re-balancing hassles. I then put forged BMW M5 "Throwing Stars" on my 535iM and never had to worry about them again (they always balanced right up with very few weights and never bent). These M-Parallel wheels have also proven to be just as resilient.

The wheels are 18x8 in each corner (with 245/40-18 tires). I did not go with the 9.5"-wide wheels for the rear, because I didn't want to ruin the balance of the car (the E32 7-series already understeers with the factory original 15x7's, and the staggered approach with wider rears would just aggravate that understeer even further). I also like the ability to rotate the tires, and wanted to avoid any chance of rubbing or excessive camber in the back. I'm very happy with the 18x8's all around, as they are still wide enough to look more aggressive in a tasteful factory-tuned way without significantly affecting suspension load and geometry.
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9. Who performs the maintenance on the car?
I handle minor things like oil/filter changes, switch/sensor/bulb replacements, and other easy repairs myself (with the assistance of my skilled and patient father - Thanks Dad!). I prefer to let the big boys do the major work, like waterpump and strut replacements, etc. All major repairs and maintenance activities have been performed by my trusted mechanics, who are more than qualified to work on my car. I have been going to see the guys at
Auto Sportsystems Group for 12 years and they have pampered my Porsches and BMWs. They are well-known among Porsche circles as excellent race tuners and are currently campaigning several Porsches in the World Challenge series. They also happen to work on a few lowly BMW's and Audi's in between their more competitive efforts. If you would like to speak with my mechanics about the quality of care I have lavished on my car, contact me and I will tell you who to talk to over there. For a listing of all service activity details, please refer to the service history page elsewhere in this site. Back to top

10. How many more miles do you expect out of the car before a major rebuild or overhaul?
An aging BMW 740iL can potentially suffer from a few well-documented, major problems: a Nikasil engine block that loses compression, oil pump bolts that can back out over time, and an automatic transmission valve body design that results in the loss of reverse gear. These ailments have already been addressed on my car, since the
M60 Nikasil engine block was already replaced with a new Alusil block, the ZF 5HP30 automatic transmission was also replaced with a new transmission featuring an updated valve body design, and I already had the oil pump bolts re-tightened with Loctite Blue. Since a catastrophic failure of the drivetrain is now unlikely, the remaining life of the car will be determined by regular wear and tear. The "new" engine only has 129,XXX miles on it, and should easily be in service for another 100,000+ miles with regular maintenance (the M60 V8 features timing chains and self-adjusting valve tappets). When the valve cover gaskets were replaced last year, the cam shafts were examined and were found to be in good condition. The "new" transmission only has 92,XXX miles on it and I have already replaced the "lifetime fill" ATF and filter in the transmission, so it shouldn't need to be serviced again for a very long time. All forward gears and reverse engage quickly and smoothly. While the chassis and body have accumulated the most mileage, any worn suspension components have been replaced as needed and the car looks and drives like one half its age. A full Inspection II (including the changing of all fluids and filters in the car) was performed last year, 15,XXX miles ago, followed by an Inspection I 6,XXX miles ago, so the car will not need a major service for a while (2 green lights still remain on the gauge cluster's Service Indicator). I have always used Mobil 1 15W-50 synthetic motor oil every 3-6K miles and the engine does not leak a drop. With a rejuvenated powertrain and recently refreshed suspension, this particular 740iL is ready for many more years of enjoyment. I feel confident driving this car anywhere (it's already served me very reliably on numerous 500-mile roadtrips to the coast). Back to top

11. Has the car ever been in an accident?
Yes, the car was involved in a minor accident 3 years ago (with a previous owner). The damage was isolated to the hood, fender, bumper cover, lights, and other cosmetic trim. No mechanical repairs were necessary other than the replacement of a radiator support. A comprehensive list of all the parts that were replaced is available on the
service history page. Back to top

12. What parts have you replaced recently?
I have replaced many parts on the car, spending just under $10,000 on maintenance and upgrades since I have owned it. My pain is your gain. Here is a quick list of some of the items I have replaced in the past 1.5 years (beginning with those items replaced most recently):
  • driver and passenger side motor mounts
  • waterpump
  • thermostat
  • waterpump bracket
  • breather bracket
  • multi-rib accessory belt
  • radiator hose
  • transmission oil cooler
  • inlet & outlet transmission cooler hoses
  • passenger side tail light bulb
  • one tire (Hankook Ventus HRII H405 tire in 245/40 18 size) (due to flat tire caused by a nail)
  • headlight bulbs (Sylvania SilverStar 9005 halogen)
  • fuel door hinge
  • driver side quarter-window privacy shade
  • left rear strut mount/plate
  • windshield washer pump
  • center drag link
  • MAF (mass air flow) sensor
  • oil pan gasket
  • instrument cluster bulbs
  • front strut inserts (OEM Boge Automatic shocks)
  • bump stops
  • ASC+T/power steering filter
  • black wheel bolts (including 4 black locking McGard 27178)
  • wheels (genuine BMW ///M Parallel 18x8 forged wheels)
  • Hankook Ventus HRII H405 tires in 245/40 18 sizes
  • air filter housing clip
  • engine cover cosmetic nut blank cover
  • OBC bulbs
  • spark plugs (Bosch silver dual-electrode F7LDCR)
  • transmission filter
  • 2 fuel filters
  • air filter
  • pollen microfilter
  • accessory belts
  • exhaust hangers to pre-muffler
  • 2 rear marker lamp bulbs
  • passenger side valve cover gaskets
Please consult the
Service History page for exact dates and mileage figures for each item. This page also lists all items regularly replaced during major service activities like Inspection I and II. Back to top

13. Why are you selling the car?
I have been traveling out of town a lot lately (leaving the car at home) and haven't had the time to enjoy the car as much as I would like, so I would like to find a good home for my baby.
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14. Is there anything wrong with car?
The power adjustments for the passenger side headrest and the driver side lumbar support have been inoperable since I have had the car (but both should be do-it-yourself repairs and instructions are available on BMW message forums online). There is a chip in the windshield that has been professionally treated so that it will not crack. Some power steering fluid weeps from the lid on the power steering fluid reservoir (this happens on every BMW and Porsche I have owned because they all use the same ZF design); it's more of a moist residue that collects grime than a leak because I never have to top up the fluid. I just replaced the motor mounts, but the rubber guibo should probably be replaced soon. Everything else works great, including the air conditioning, heated seats, and power rear sunshade. The car doesn't really need anything (it's ready to go "as is"), and it would only take a little attention to the above items to make it perfect again.
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15. Why should I buy a 740iL instead of a 735iL or 750iL?
The 735iL was built from 1988 until it was replaced by the 740iL in 1993. Propelled by the venerable 3.5-liter "big six" mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission, the 735iL's performance was just adequate. With only 208 horsepower, luxury car buyers demanded additional performance and BMW answered them with the 740iL's all-new M60 V8. The all-aluminum, 4.0-liter, 32-valve, DOHC motor produced 282 horsepower and 296 lb-ft, and boasted many modern design features like individual coil ignition, self-adjusting valve tappets, a one-piece injection-molded plastic intake manifold, double-jacketed exhaust manifolds, hot-file mass air flow meter, and 4 knock sensors capable of monitoring all 8 cylinders individually. The key advantages of the M60 V8 engine included the enhancement of BMW's image in the luxury car class, outstanding performance, low fuel consumption, high quality and reliability, optimum acoustics and comfort, low engine weight, and easy servicing. Coupled with an advanced 5-speed automatic transmission with sport programs and ASC+T traction control, the 740iL raised the performance bar for the "entry-level" E32 7-series and represented a major technological leap over its predecessor, the 735iL. In fact, the 740iL was so fast in development testing that BMW handicapped the production version of the car with a modest final drive ratio to preserve the perceived pecking order in the model range and not upset buyers of the more expensive 750iL, discussed below.

The 750iL served as BMW's premium flagship in the 7-series line-up, offering a market-first V12 engine with brisk acceleration, superior top speed, and a long list of luxury features that eclipsed the 735iL's standard offerings. However, the exotic powerplant, while potent, proved to be complex and expensive to maintain. In addition, the thirsty 750iL was no stranger at the gas pump either, returning less than impressive fuel economy.

When the 740iL was introduced in 1993, BMW included most of the same luxury refinements found on the upscale 750iL model. Interior updates included a full leather interior (including center console and door panels), burled walnut wood trim, a new wood-finished console ashtray, and chrome door pulls. Furthermore, the 740iL received the same wider kidney grill design as the 750iL, which gave the car a more aggressive look that is still echoed in contemporary BMW grills today. The 740iL basically looked like a 750iL, drank less gas while keeping up with the V12 from a stoplight, and sold for thousands of dollars below the price of admission for the range-topping 750iL.

Now that time has minimized the difference in used car prices between all three American E32 models (735i/iL, 740i/iL, and 750iL), buyers can choose whichever model they prefer regardless of the huge premiums that originally separated them when they were new. Used 735iL's (and sometimes the 750iL because it was also offered since 1988) will generally be the most affordable as they are the oldest E32's, but that also means they might be the most tired and worn examples. The 740iL was only available for 2 years (1993-1994) at the end of E32 production, so they tend to be a little more expensive as they are relatively newer. 750iL prices cover a large spectrum as they were available throughout all years of E32 production. The 750iL will be the fastest and most richly appointed E32 model, but neither the 735iL nor 750iL can match the 740iL's bang-for-buck efficiency. The 740iL's more modern engine also incorporates many maintenance-free design attributes and requires less to "tune-up." For these reasons, the 740iL represents a nice compromise, offering performance just shy of the 750iL but with better fuel economy and most of the same luxury appointments.
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16. Why should I pay more to buy your car when I can find other E32 7-series cars for less money?
Consider the current market of older, abused, neglected, high-mileage 7-series and my car stands out. The body, paint, and trim are all in good condition. The air conditioning is freezing cold, the stereo sounds great, and (almost) all of the power accessories work flawlessly. The leather interior has survived well over the years, and has seen little passenger traffic (in the back seats especially). The mechanicals have been diligently maintained and much of the wear-and-tear components on the car have already been replaced. It is literally "over the hump" in terms of maintenance repairs, as the big-ticket items have already been replaced and I have refreshed every fluid and filter and many parts on the car since I have owned it. It is ready for many more years of enjoyment and needs little. I constantly receive compliments on this car and people cannot believe how great it looks and runs at such mileage. Most importantly, the car has been driven and maintained by a series of conscientious and responsible owners. This is not a garage queen, and has served many people well as a daily-driver. It deserves to be appreciated by another BMW enthusiast. If you are looking for "just another" 7-series at an affordable price, then you may find a more suitable vehicle elsewhere. If you are looking for a great example of one of BMW's finest cars, then this is the right car for you.

Beware 740i/iL models for sale on the market that are priced significantly cheaper, as these cars most likely still have the original Nikasil V8 engines and may need a rebuild or new block (some owners may not admit this!). Buyer apprehension and fears have severely depressed the resale values of all V8 BMW's still equipped with their original Nikasil engines (mostly E34 5-series, E32 7-series, and some E31 8-series and E38 7-series), even when they may be running perfectly. I experienced this first-hand a few years ago when I sold my E34 540i. Its Nikasil engine was tested by BMW before the warranty expired and it passed with flying colors (it idled and ran smoothly, and cylinder compression was measured within spec too), but buyers were so worried that it might break "tomorrow" that I couldn't get much return on my investment. I didn't want to make the same mistake twice, so I made sure that my next used BMW (the 740iL you're looking at here) already had the updated Alusil engine block before I purchased it. See my response to
FAQ #5 above for more information about this common problem. Back to top

17. Why have you built such a big site to sell your car? Are you a dealer?
No, I am a private owner who just happens to care a lot about my car. I have been an active BMW CCA member for 8 years, have owned many BMWs, and am a true BMW enthusiast. Hopefully this website will help justify my asking price by showing potential buyers that I have been a very meticulous owner.
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18. Who do I contact for more information about the car?
You can contact me, Benjamin Trapp (the owner) for any additional questions. Please view my
Contact page to see how you may reach me. Back to top