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maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/7/24 5:35 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
Patrick said:

semi not joking if you do sell it in the future

 

If you buy it I want dibs when you sell it.

I call whatever the opposite of dibs is. You people are messed up!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/7/24 5:35 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have visions of a biturbo that braps

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
4/7/24 6:24 p.m.

I got to sit in the BiTurbo today. The original cushy leather is all completely intact. That thing is like driving a Barcolounger!

 

Maybe when it dies someday you can replace the windshield with a big screen TV and share it with your friends. The most cushy living room on wheels EVAR! 🤣

pimpm3 (Forum Supporter)
pimpm3 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/7/24 9:21 p.m.

I too sat in the BiTurbo.  The seats had little leather socks over the headrest support rods, nothing screams opulence like leather socks.

The interior was actually really nice.

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/8/24 11:30 a.m.

We got back home at about 0430 this morning after about 12 hours on the road.  I know this needs to go into the other unreliable Eurotrash thread, but being able to pull 6.5 hours and 450 miles in one sitting - Buccees to Buccees with no stops in-between! - is pretty nice.  I wish that after 12 hours of reflection I could tell you that I have a plan, but I really don't.  Thoughts I have, but I'm not sure exactly what to do now.

Throughout the event, one of the most common questions that I got was "So, what are you going to do with it after the Challenge?"  No matter how many times I was asked that, all I could give was a dumb look.  Granted, that is sort of my specialty, but I just didn't have a good answer.  I set out with three goals:

  1. Be the first to bring a Maserati Biturbo to the $2000 Challenge and compete in all three events using the original Maserati power - check!
  2. Score at least a 14 in the Concourse - check!
  3. Be one of the most talked-about cars at the event - check!

So I am now feeling like the dog that caught the car; I'm just hanging off the bumper by my teeth, looking around.

One of the problems that I have is that I've got a lot going on right now:  The $1,200 Miata is still not ready to go to paint and I haven't driven it in 2 years.  Becca has a gorgeous EK Civic that she bought with a rod knock that needs a new engine or a rebuild job.  The Saab has a bunch of niggling issues that need to be rectified, especially as the middlest daughter just got her temps and will be needing something to drive around in soon.  The 1gn SRT-swapped Neon has a long list of annoyances that I'd like to address some time - I've got this interior that Michael sold me that I've been sitting on forever, the speedometer and fuel gauges don't work, it needs more droop engineered into the suspension, the vinyl on it is getting old and cracked, I'd like to have Megasquirt in control of the cooling fans, the old wiring needs to be cleaned up, and there's a bunch of other stuff that isn't germaine to this discussion.

It is a running and driving Maserati Biturbo, but it does have a list of things that I know need to be done to it still:

  • It's making a lot of extra noise when you're not pressing down on the clutch.  It may just need new gearbox fluid, but I fear it's the input shaft bearing
  • The steering rack needs to be rebuilt
  • It is making an occasional metal-on-metal sound at idle that I can't find.  Might be something external just vibrating, but could it be something under the valve cover?  Or something behind the timing cover?
  • The airbox should be repaired or replaced
  • The steering column bushing is missing
  • The suspension is original from 1985, so struts, bushings, and ball joints should all be replaced
  • An automated way of switching the fan should be installed
  • The valves need to be adjusted
  • The left turbo is definitely blowing some oil into the plenum, although from the videos that I've seen, it's not smoking at all!
  • Boost gauge is not connected
  • A front bumper would be nice
  • The electrics are iffy - the power windows work only when they want to, I think the horn is just missing, the gas tank release doesn't work at all, the dash lights are haunted
  • It should really have the correct Biturbo E grille and Nardi steering wheel
  • The hood and fenders need to be sanded and painted
  • The doors have rust along the bottom that needs to be addressed
  • The hood does not line up because I think the core support is in the wrong place after they welded in the new fenders
  • It needs a shift knob
  • New brakes all around would be a good idea
  • If I were going to drive it, I think I'd want A/C
  • There are some rust spots on the body that need to be addressed

I've been watching the market for about a year now, and I can't honestly tell you that I recall seeing a running, driving Biturbo advertised for sale anywhere.  The closest to that was one a couple weeks ago in Cincinnati that was in pretty rough-looking shape that would start and run on starting fluid.  It was advertised for $3,500 and sold in a week or two.  Given that datapoint, I don't know how accurate the Hagerty pricing is because the description of "fair" condition is that it "runs fine" which that car very much did not.

That also doesn't account for it being an "E", which may or may not matter.  Maybe someone who's really in to Maserati Biturbos would care about that?  I've never had a "one of..." car before so I don't know if that matters at all or if these are so unloved that it's just a hunk of junk.  I also don't know what the cars I'm seeing on FBM are actually selling for.  I can't imagine that someone listing the car for $3500 would have sold it for $1000 that quickly though.  So I don't really know what the thing would be worth on the open (such that it is) market.

Of course, I could do a few of the things to embetter it and make it a real driver - valve job, steering rack, figure out the transmission - and that would probably jump the value quite a bit. 

I also have a handful of spares for it that could be sold off to recoup money into the Challenge budget.  I'm only at around $1,500 by the official rules, so I could do a little more testing, try to find some way to adapt something to replace the struts, turn the boost up a little bit, adjust the valves, get the best GTN$-compliant tires I can find, redo the brakes, trade the vinyl for a little spray paint on the front end, and try to bring it back next year as a more competitive entry.  But I really don't think that the car is capable of getting itself on the podium and I think the novelty has worn off.

Another possibility is that I clean it up and save it for some special occasions like Cars and Coffee.  I've never actually been to one and I've certainly never had a car that was worth taking to one, but this would certainly fit in with that crowd.  But where am I going to put it?  I'm running out of places to put cars - I've got the Miata stuffed in the garage with the wife's 5, der Scheißwagen sits in the driveway with the Neon, the Saab is parked on the street, and we'll need to find some place to put Becca's Honda.  I guess I could keep it at the workshop.  Or maybe the Neon could live on the trailer and then the Miata and the Maserati could fight for garage space?  I would probably put historic tags on it and try to do one of those classic car insurance policies but if I understand those correctly I'd have to keep it in a garage and I assume that I wouldn't be able to let my daughters drive it.

So, yeah, I still don't know.  If I could get $6k for it as it sits (well, after I take the vinyl off to mount on the wall at the shop) there's a really good chance that I'd be selling it.  But I don't know that I'd be willing to part with it if I'd only get $3k.  On the one hand I've kind of wanted one since the GRM article back in '06, but at the same time I feel like I've already got so much going on.  So open discussion time, then:  Talk me in to keeping it or selling it!  No wrong answers.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
4/8/24 12:00 p.m.

In reply to wae :

It was great seeing you!  Congrats!

I think there actually is 1 bad answer. Letting it sit. You've got a running BiTurbo right now. If you let it sit, you may rapidly have a non-running one.

You told me at the Challenge that you have no idea what is special about a BiTurbo. I guess it comes down to one question... Do you have any love for it?

It sounds like your life is pretty full. Don't make an old BiTurbo a higher priority than life. You won't have much more time with your daughters. 
 

You've accomplished your goals. Bravo!  If it was me I'd sell it quick for whatever I could get for it before it became a money pit or I developed an unhealthy attraction to the poor orphan. 
 

You really can take absolutely anything to cars and coffee. 
 

Congrats again!

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/8/24 12:06 p.m.

Yeah I agree, unless you're in love with it, pass it on to someone that is. Maybe take it to a cars and coffee once, while it's still running and then sell it to some poor, unsuspecting rube 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
4/8/24 12:50 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have visions of a biturbo that braps

I have been trying to convince him to do a subaru subframe swap.  The engine compartment is nice and wide.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/8/24 12:59 p.m.

Maybe I missed it; did you tow it with your diesel GL?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/8/24 1:03 p.m.
eastsideTim said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have visions of a biturbo that braps

I have been trying to convince him to do a subaru subframe swap.  The engine compartment is nice and wide.

...yeah.... 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
4/8/24 1:03 p.m.

The window motors will work fine, after the connectors to the switch and the motor are cleaned up.

     Adjusting the valves is a special job, the shims are under the lifter.  Take measurements, remove cam box, measure and replace shims, replace everything and measure again.  One of the lifters operates 2 valves, so the top of those 2 shims must be level, you measure the gap at the top of the lifter.  If anything drops while taking it apart, lifter or shim, then you will have a mystery to solve.

 

   Everything on these can be made to work, often the fix is fairly simple, but the end result, I basically replaced mine with a mini cooper.

    Selling a Biturbo can be difficult, hard to say the the value really is.....

 

      They are interesting Italian cars, but that is kind of the problem.

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/8/24 1:04 p.m.

In reply to yupididit :

There and back, no problems!  Set the cruise at 70 and it got right around 18mpg.

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/8/24 1:10 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

Thank you!  I'm glad I got a chance to chat with you for a bit!  I can't wait to see what your partner's daughter is able to do with the parking lot build!

You make a really good point!  I have to decide if I love it.  Actually, that's not completely correct:  I need to see if my wife has any love for it.  She'd made a few comments about it in the past that - as I think about it now - might have been hints that she might have some attraction for it.  I guess I should let her take it for a drive and see how she feels.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/8/24 1:11 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
eastsideTim said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have visions of a biturbo that braps

I have been trying to convince him to do a subaru subframe swap.  The engine compartment is nice and wide.

...yeah.... 

You know the expected reliability is bad when Subaru is the answer. Says the guy with a Subaru engine in his vanagon.

If I were engine swapping a Biturbo, I'd be using an Ecoboost V6. Twin turbo V6, of course. Although I think you'd have to do the whole drivetrain, I've heard that there's a fuse in there. The rear end, maybe?

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/8/24 1:13 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
eastsideTim said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have visions of a biturbo that braps

I have been trying to convince him to do a subaru subframe swap.  The engine compartment is nice and wide.

...yeah.... 

If I keep the car, I would only do it if I kept the original(ish) drivetrain.  I'd consider a swap to a fuel-injected version of the motor, but I don't like the chassis itself enough to try to swap something.  It's kind of handsome, but not really that good looking.

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/8/24 1:16 p.m.
TED_fiestaHP said:

The window motors will work fine, after the connectors to the switch and the motor are cleaned up.

     Adjusting the valves is a special job, the shims are under the lifter.  Take measurements, remove cam box, measure and replace shims, replace everything and measure again.  One of the lifters operates 2 valves, so the top of those 2 shims must be level, you measure the gap at the top of the lifter.  If anything drops while taking it apart, lifter or shim, then you will have a mystery to solve.

 

   Everything on these can be made to work, often the fix is fairly simple, but the end result, I basically replaced mine with a mini cooper.

    Selling a Biturbo can be difficult, hard to say the the value really is.....

 

      They are interesting Italian cars, but that is kind of the problem.

I mean, they do seem fairly simple.  Not "easy", but conceptually pretty simple.  They do plenty of complicated things that make it very fiddly, and there are plenty of parts that are hard to find, but the fixes aren't awful.  I appreciate all the information you've put in here! 

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/8/24 1:16 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
eastsideTim said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have visions of a biturbo that braps

I have been trying to convince him to do a subaru subframe swap.  The engine compartment is nice and wide.

...yeah.... 

You know the expected reliability is bad when Subaru is the answer. Says the guy with a Subaru engine in his vanagon.

If I were engine swapping a Biturbo, I'd be using an Ecoboost V6. Twin turbo V6, of course. Although I think you'd have to do the whole drivetrain, I've heard that there's a fuse in there. The rear end, maybe?

Yes!  If I did any sort of swap it would have to be something with two turbos, and the 3.5EB would be my first choice.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/8/24 1:31 p.m.

I feel you. I've been in the same place with the Free Europa for... check calendar... almost a whole year now. Luckily this one seems okay with sitting, and it still runs, but I still haven't brought it to a car show. I have made some really solid plans for it, but I don't know if I actually like Lotus Europas or if I just like engineering really solid plans.

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
4/8/24 1:38 p.m.

"I'm running out of places to put cars".  Your words, although me looking at 5 cars in a 2 car garage and small driveway with no real decent street parking.  Road isn't very wide, no sidewalks and visions of that Civic that took out my mailbox a year ago (and landed on his roof).

Reading the first big post, it sounds like you accomplished what you set out to do.  A pretty big goal as well.  But now what?  Is it REALLY a car that interests you?  Or in a few months are you going to decide it's just not your thing.  (Again, I can totally relate.)  Especially with the maintenance you need to do on the other projects, it might be different if they were all good runners.

I say GRM has it's own Bring a Trailer auction right here.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/8/24 3:08 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

If I were engine swapping a Biturbo, I'd be using an Ecoboost V6. Twin turbo V6, of course.

I'd suggest an Audi 2.7T because that was an engine also often referred to as "biturbo".  Also, it really seems like that car needs an engine with more "character" than an Ecoboost. :)

 

 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
4/8/24 3:18 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Keith Tanner said:

If I were engine swapping a Biturbo, I'd be using an Ecoboost V6. Twin turbo V6, of course.

I'd suggest an Audi 2.7T because that was an engine also often referred to as "biturbo".  Also, it really seems like that car needs an engine with more "character" than an Ecoboost. :)

 

 

Oh great, yeah, let's get the Germans and the Italians to team up again. Sounds like a great plan. 

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/8/24 3:20 p.m.
barefootcyborg5000 said:
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Keith Tanner said:

If I were engine swapping a Biturbo, I'd be using an Ecoboost V6. Twin turbo V6, of course.

I'd suggest an Audi 2.7T because that was an engine also often referred to as "biturbo".  Also, it really seems like that car needs an engine with more "character" than an Ecoboost. :)

 

 

Oh great, yeah, let's get the Germans and the Italians to team up again. Sounds like a great plan. 

Would that mean that the engine would still be running but the car around it would quit?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/8/24 3:24 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
eastsideTim said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have visions of a biturbo that braps

I have been trying to convince him to do a subaru subframe swap.  The engine compartment is nice and wide.

...yeah.... 

You know the expected reliability is bad when Subaru is the answer. Says the guy with a Subaru engine in his vanagon.

If I were engine swapping a Biturbo, I'd be using an Ecoboost V6. Twin turbo V6, of course. Although I think you'd have to do the whole drivetrain, I've heard that there's a fuse in there. The rear end, maybe?

It's not the reliability so much as it is the reality of shoving a Subaru engine in the front of a European car.

The Biturbo has a trans tunnel and rear suspension designed around a diff, at least.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
4/8/24 3:25 p.m.

In reply to wae :

It means it would go on autopilot, destination Poland. 

Recon1342
Recon1342 SuperDork
4/8/24 3:26 p.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

You know as soon as the last bolt for the swap was tightened, the car would spontaneously combust. 

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