The configure script does not account for the --disable-64bit-build flag when building on a 64 bit system for a 32 bit target. If the 64 bit system has both a 32 bit gcc and a 64 bit gcc installed, and a 32 bit build is selected(not easy btw) the /lib64 path will always be included in the LD_FLAGS macro for the makefiles. This causes the 32 bit link to fial because the linker is trying to use the 64 bit libraries, which are in a format that is does not recognize. As a result, the 32 bit build fails.
This was attempted on a centos 5 installation that had been upgraded to gcc 4.2. The upgraded installation included both a 32 bit and 64 bit compiler capability.
The only work around I could find was to edit configure and remove the references to the /lib64 directory.