6 Interesting Things about the BMW 633CSi
- The BMW 633CSi was one of the early models of BMW's 6 series coupes. The production and sales of this luxury-sports model started in 1976 in Europe, and it was not until 1978 when it finally reached American shores.
- Initially, the body of the 633CSi, together with other models under the 6 series, were manufactured by Karmann-the largest independent automaker in Germany. Karmann started in 1901 and since then, it has already manufactured over 3 million complete vehicles for various makes such as Audi, Chrysler, Ford, Land Rover, Mercedes, Nissan, Porsche, Renault, Volkswagen, and BMW. After some time, though, production of the 6 series became in-house to BMW.
- During its lifetime, the 633CSi was equipped with several improvements almost every year, and this consistently made it one of BMW's top models at that time. For instance, in 1980, emission control was improved by a new 3-way catalytic converter that was equipped with its own oxygen-sensor feedback. And the following year, there were a few mechanical changes and the vehicle was given a 5-speed gearbox.
- Even if the 633CSi was big in both size and price, sales never dwindled, and this is often credited to the model's outstanding fuel efficiency. The car also had a modest engine, and its 5-speed gearbox was well-loved by consumers because it was something unique to brand.
- Being top of the class made the BMW 633CSi a prime choice for the movies. And perhaps its most famous appearance was on the second installment of Robert Zemeckis'
Back to the Future in 1989 where the model was featured as the villain's main vehicle. Remember Griff Tannen? He sure made Marty McFly's life a living hell in the movie, and he did this with the help of his flying modified black and orange 633CSi. Towards the end of the movie, an exciting car chase even ensued between Griff and Marty, and everyone knows how that ended.
- In 2004, a man by the name of Jeff Chabotte was given the rare chance to purchase the original BMW 633CSi that was used in the Back to the Future movie. When Jeff got the car, it was in pretty bad shape as it had been neglected for years. However, this didn't stop him from restoring the vehicle even if it took him several years.
Some Problems Encountered with the BMW 633CSi
The BMW 633CSi was part of BMW's much talked about 6 series, and its production started during the late 70s in Europe. Upon reaching North America in 1978, this model maintained its top position in terms of sales for a couple years. Its good performance in the market was often credited to its unique 5-speed gearbox, fuel efficiency, powerful engine, and spunky looks. However, the secret to its success is its continuous development and improvement throughout the years. Though no recalls have ever been made for this particular model, some users have still encountered a few common problems during their drives. Here are some of the most encountered problems that are important to note for reference:
A few owners have reported difficulties in starting the vehicle, and this was typically caused by a faulty ignition switch. At times, the car won't start even after turning the key, and it took a few tries before the vehicle finally turned on. This problem was quite easy to remedy, however, as replacing the ignition switch was usually the best solution.
Aside from ignition glitches, there have also been some reports about ill-designed clutch plates that have caused blown out springs. Similar to the ignition problems, this was easily remedied by replacing the clutch plates with better ones.
Though not that alarming because it's quite typical, engine idling has also been reported for some BMW 633CSi units. This problem is often caused by several factors, so double-checking the source of the glitch is imperative. First, it may be caused by a loose or busted vacuum hose; once the hoses are broken, they need to be replaced right away to avoid further problems. Another probable cause is having clogged filters. To prevent this from happening, always inspect the air filter and replace it when necessary. Next, faulty electrical components like the spark plug, spark plug wires, and distributor cap can also cause bad idling, so don't forget to look at these components every once in a while. And lastly, a busted timing belt can also cause bad idling as it affects the vehicle's cam timing and function.
Important Tips that Help Extend the Lifespan of Your BMW 633CSi
Your BMW 633Csi may be old, but are you really ready to part with? With all the mileage and memorable drives that this car has given you, are you just going to accept that it's already time for your baby to retire, when you know that there's something you could do to prolong its service life? Well, if you're interested in keeping your BMW 633CSi a bit longer, then here are ways on how you can extend its lifespan.
- Pay attention to your car's rubber hoses.
Your car is not just made of metallic parts, but with rubbers as well. And most of these rubbers are found in your car's hoses, which serve as passageways for your car's fluids. But these rubber hoses have a more difficult job than that—they are continuously being penetrated by highly pressurized and intensely heated fluids. And with their exposure to extreme heat and pressure, the rubber degrades, eventually wears out or develops cracks, and starts developing leaks. If you're really concerned about having your car for a while longer, then pay attention to the rubber hoses and don't let them wear out up to the point that they're already leaking. It's always wise to check your manual for the proper replacement schedule of your ride's important rubber hoses and stick to its recommendation. Even if a hose still seems fine, you should proceed with the replacement when the manual says it's time for you to do so.
- Don't delay an oil change.
Here's a classic car maintenance task: oil change. But since you have an old car, the importance of getting your engine oil changed couldn't be more stressed. So make sure that you have the oil change schedule tracked and strictly followed. Delaying it means increasing the risk of engine malfunction. And while you're at it, don't forget to keep track of your car's other fluid changes as well. Each fluid has its corresponding function and contributes to the overall performance of your car. Neglecting one over the other is like neglecting them altogether. Replenish each fluid at the correct interval and make sure that you're refilling them with the right one.
- Keep the battery in good condition.
A car's battery deteriorates over time due to weather changes and mishandling. While you can do nothing about the weather, you have full control over how the battery is being taken care of. During summer, extreme heat causes the battery fluid to evaporate faster. And if the battery reaches the point wherein its battery fluid is already below the prescribed minimum level, an internal problem could occur and affect how the battery charges. If the battery's charging capacity is altered, then it will result in overcharging and other issues. So make sure that you keep tabs on your car battery especially during summer.
Battery maintenance, however, shouldn't be done only in summer. When winter's on the way, the more you should pay attention to it because a dead battery during snowy days could leave you stranded. So before the winter kicks in, make it a point to inspect the battery and the charging system, and make sure they are sufficiently maintained all throughout the chilly season.
Looking Back at the BMW 633CSI
The BMW 633CSI was a variant of the first BMW 6 series, the BMW E24, a successor to the BMW E28 series. With model years ranging from 1978 to 1984, the 633CSI is now known as a stylish BMW powered by a reliable engine, decent interiors, and durable components. Today, the BMW 633CSI is an option worth a second-look among second-hand buyers searching for an old bimmer that can still handle the rigors of daily driving.
1978: Introducing the BMW 633CSI
Production for the E24 Series started in 1976, beginning with the two models: the 633CSI and the 630CS. However, it wasn’t until 1978 that the first model was officially launched in the US. The E24 was meant to replace the CSL and CS coupes that were first manufactured in 1965. The initial plans for the E24 were to increase its height to make getting into and out of the car easier. But EVP of Sales Bob Lutz was against the decision. So he presented a different version that was soon used as basis for the 6 Series. Initially, the bodies for the 633CSI and 630CS were made by Karmann, a German manufacturer. However, production was absorbed by BMW in the later years.
During its first year on the US market, the E24 was sold as a 630CSI. In mid-1978 however, the 630CSI was replaced with the 633CSI. From its introduction until 1984, the US 633CSI was equipped with a 3.2L M30 that could produce 181 horsepower.
1980s: Cosmetic and engine upgrades
1983 models for the US market were given a cosmetic upgrade. The changes included a better interior and a redesigned exterior. This redesigned exterior would then redefine the look of the 633CSI, with many considering this model as one of the most stylish units produced by BMW. Technical revisions were also done on 1983 E24s by upgraded them with rear and front suspension system and a new chassis that was based on the E28. Despite a moderately successful run, the BMW 633CSI variant was discontinued in 1984 to make way for a more modern successor.
Even though the 633CSI was discontinued, other E24s continued on and received several upgrades. In 1987, E24 units were equipped with ellipsoidal headlights for improved light beam projection. To meet US regulations, vehicles for the US market were upgraded with thicker bumpers that can withstand impact at 5mph. In 1988, E24s were sold with the new M30, a 304L engine. With a modernized Motronics/DME and a bigger compression ratio, E24s with this engine produced a whopping 208 horsepower and 225 lb/ft. of torque.
Today, the BMW 633CSI continues to attract buyers looking for a reliable second-hand BMW. To address the needs of car owners looking for 633CSI parts, components are still available through select retailers of classic BMW parts. Old units are also commonly found on wrecking yards since the demand for parts are still on the rise.