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Thread: Need help with buying e34

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  1. #1

    Default Need help with buying e34

    I am in the market for an e34, was looking for a 535, 530, or 540 (all manual). I drove a 89 535 yesterday and it was very nice. But there is a 1995 530 I am looking at in San Jose. First I wanted to know if there was anybody that could look at it for me (I am in Santa Barbara). Second if you could do that would you mind taking it to a shop for a pre purchase inspection.

    I also wanted to know peoples thoughts on the 530, having a v8 and all, should I just wait till I can affort/find a 540 manual? Any thoughts on what I am getting myself into. I sold my e30 m3 because I couldnt afford the maintainace anymore, so thats where I am coming from.

    Elliott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South North CA, Bay Area
    Posts
    247

    Default

    Well that's funny. I'm in San Jose but I'm leaving for Santa Barbara tomorrow morning. Bimmerfest!!!!

    As for 530/540 V8s (before it sets off another nikasil debate), here's some background info:
    http://www.bmw4life.com/nikasil.htm

    General E34 buying info:
    http://www.bmw4life.com/buyingE34.htm

    and what will break:
    http://www.bmwe34.net/e34main/troubl...will_break.htm

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Elliott,

    I have heard the 3.0 V8 is lacking on the bottom end. Not too much fun around town, but a blast (as most all BMWs are) on the highway. I would save up for a 540iM or do the 535iM.

    I dont know if you have seen my car but I am selling a 535iM with alot of extras right now. I can send you some pics or other info on it if you are interested. I get down to Orange County onece in a while and wouldnt mind working out delivery as well. I have a few interested parties but nothing is commited yet.

    Sorry to highjack the thread. Sort of.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    I'm partial to the big six in the 535, and for maintenance costs I believe the 535 engine is cheaper to maintain than a V8. In fact, when I was looking for my first one, a local indy advised getting a six cylinder and a manual transmission because the maintenance would be cheaper.

    I have to say though, that if the E30 was too expensive, the E34 will surely be moreso. Most of us do our own work to keep the costs down, but many spend upwards of $1k - $2k per year just on parts.

    If you find the right E34, i.e., with good maintenance, you might be on the lower end of the repair bill spectrum, but the car will probably cost more. My first 535 was $6k and I put another $3k into it, and the one I just bought was $10k, but I haven't done a single thing except adjust the valves since I bought it, and everything on it is in tip-top shape. I'd be wary of spending your last penny on one because *something* expensive will surely break!


    EDIT - my 535 has 220,000 miles and still runs like a champ. Kent's looks pretty sharp from the pictures I've seen, and the price he's asking is great assuming it runs as well as it looks - and there are others on the board who might be able to vouch for it.

    HTH,

    Robin
    Last edited by Robin-535im; 04-21-2005 at 01:10 PM.
    Robin

    72 Chevy K10
    01 E39 M5

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin-535im
    I'm partial to the big six in the 535, and for maintenance costs I believe the 535 engine is cheaper to maintain than a V8. In fact, when I was looking for my first one, a local indy advised getting a six cylinder and a manual transmission because the maintenance would be cheaper.

    I have to say though, that if the E30 was too expensive, the E34 will surely be moreso. Most of us do our own work to keep the costs down, but many spend upwards of $1k - $2k per year just on parts.

    If you find the right E34, i.e., with good maintenance, you might be on the lower end of the repair bill spectrum, but the car will probably cost more. My first 535 was $6k and I put another $3k into it, and the one I just bought was $10k, but I haven't done a single thing except adjust the valves since I bought it, and everything on it is in tip-top shape. I'd be wary of spending your last penny on one because *something* expensive will surely break!


    EDIT - my 535 has 220,000 miles and still runs like a champ. Kent's looks pretty sharp from the pictures I've seen, and the price he's asking is great assuming it runs as well as it looks - and there are others on the board who might be able to vouch for it.

    HTH,

    Robin
    You have a good point Robin. When I was shopping someone told me look for a car with 50K miles or one with 150K. It seems like alot of the parts come due for replacment around 100K or so. If you buy one with 90K on the odo and the previous owner hasnt had to do a lot of maintenance it may sound good but chances are your going to get hit wiht the big $$ stuff.

    I have a ton of receipts on my car and most of the big $$ stuff was done around that time or just after. I speak from experience.

    Kent

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,395

    Default

    True!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    479

    Default He's talking about an E30 M3 though...

    I came to the E34 from the same car for the same reason: it was a monster as far as maintainence is concerned. Definately not a daily driver $800 in parts for the timing chain components!!! $189 per control arm and finding people to work on them is tough and costly. I think if low cost of ownership is a priority i would go with an E30 325i or 318. However, since we're talking 5's I would say go with the 535i too. I dont see the advantage to the V8 in the 530. The numbers are extremely close for power and performance. If you can afford one, the 540 would be the most satisfying to drive. For the most part, you will be affected by the common E34 problems. The engines are all pretty good (nikasil issues aside) but the M30 is known for being "bulletproof." The M30 will undoubtedly require less attention than the s14 and since its not an ///M car the other parts will be less too. Robin is absolutely right though, once the car is sorted you should figure 1-2k/yr on maintainence. youre gonna need a bentley manual too.



    Quote Originally Posted by Robin-535im
    I'm partial to the big six in the 535, and for maintenance costs I believe the 535 engine is cheaper to maintain than a V8. In fact, when I was looking for my first one, a local indy advised getting a six cylinder and a manual transmission because the maintenance would be cheaper.

    I have to say though, that if the E30 was too expensive, the E34 will surely be moreso. Most of us do our own work to keep the costs down, but many spend upwards of $1k - $2k per year just on parts.

    If you find the right E34, i.e., with good maintenance, you might be on the lower end of the repair bill spectrum, but the car will probably cost more. My first 535 was $6k and I put another $3k into it, and the one I just bought was $10k, but I haven't done a single thing except adjust the valves since I bought it, and everything on it is in tip-top shape. I'd be wary of spending your last penny on one because *something* expensive will surely break!


    EDIT - my 535 has 220,000 miles and still runs like a champ. Kent's looks pretty sharp from the pictures I've seen, and the price he's asking is great assuming it runs as well as it looks - and there are others on the board who might be able to vouch for it.

    HTH,

    Robin

  8. #8

    Default

    I have the money from my m3 and there is no way I am going to a regular e30 after having an m3. There seems to be a consensus for either the 535 or 540 both of which are hard to find in a 5 or 6-speed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NYC/Boston
    Posts
    238

    Default

    FS: 535iM, super rare. :P

    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/showthread.php?t=11274

    Give me $3600 (for fuel cost) and plane tix back to Newark NJ and I'll deliver it myself. Really.
    '91 535iM - SOLD

    '01 325iM - PP . SP . CWP . HK . SSK . ZHP springs . Konis . M3 strut bar . OEM sirius and aux . TMS sways

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Posts
    313

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    once the car is sorted you should figure 1-2k/yr on maintainence. youre gonna need a bentley manual too.
    don't scare him off!!

    I think 2k is a little high, unless you had several major fixes. I think that once the thing that usually need to be replaced (radiator, suspension, water pump... stuff like that), I would expect to put in under 1k/year in maintance, but getting it to that point will offset the 1k/year quite a bit.
    Former: 95-530iM

    Current: 99 GMC Seirra 1500

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