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Thread: Need Advice on the 525i E34 I just purchased

  1. #1

    Default Need Advice on the 525i E34 I just purchased

    Okay, I have read the newbie advice and hopefully I am ready to post. I just purchased a 1991 525i, red with 218,000 miles on it. It is my first BMW. I bought it out of Chicago and drove it home to Indiana, it is a fantastic, well running car. I completely understand why people love these cars. In any event I paid under $1000- for it. Here is what is wrong with it... Passenger seat is broken (won't go up), door panel fell apart on the way home, drivers side window broken (gone) drivers seat is seriously uncomfortable (no padding left it in it, like sitting on the frame), rust at the bottom of the doors, SERIOUSLY faded paint, cracked rear bumper, front air dam missing, broken headlight, brake lining sensor needs to be replaced, needs exhaust work (noisy-think the muffler is broken), saggy headliner and misc little dents. The GOOD thing is that the backseat is okay, it runs really well, I LOVE the body style, it rides well in short I am 14-1/2 way into the pedal and the car is doing 90, take your hands of off the wheel and it drives straight. So do I replace the seats and drivers door and drive it until the wheels fall off or engine dies then sell it as a parts car and meanwhile save the money I WOULD be making on car payments to buy another E34 with less miles in better shape? Or do I fix it? I have every intention of owning another one of these cars, I love this car already. It has been rewired electrically and suspension pretty much replaced. Have receipts for all of the work. Keep in mind, I am a single mom with little income. Any advice? Sorry for the posting being so long. Just wanted to make sure I provided enough info.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    407

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    First off welcome to the board and to the BMW world. It seems like your car has a lot of issues here and there. If you really like the car in its current state, i would recommend personally to look around for another E34 in better shape, i wouldnt believe the price difference would be that much, and even though i have little expirience in restoration, i would imagine it may be more cost effective to purchase one in better shape.
    Unless you are the restoration type who could afford to set the car aside and wont need it for day to day affairs, but from what i understand this is your primary driver.

    welcome again

    PS, have any pictures??
    Last edited by mzarifkar; 10-02-2006 at 02:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
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    14,723

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    if this is basicly your primary vehicle I would recommend to fix the window and drive it til it drops, save the money you would be spending to get it into shape for another "better" example E34. The E34 is not a cheap car to maintain even if you do all the repairs yourself.
    95 E34 530I V2.37
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  4. #4

    Default thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by 632 Regal
    if this is basicly your primary vehicle I would recommend to fix the window and drive it til it drops, save the money you would be spending to get it into shape for another "better" example E34. The E34 is not a cheap car to maintain even if you do all the repairs yourself.

    Thanks for the advice, this is what I am leaning towards. I am one of those bleeding heart types and believe every car has a personality and feelings ( I know, I KNOW!) so I WANT to fix this car up, someone needs to love it. But I think it is going to be more realistic to fix the basics and save money to buy another e34 with less miles and maybe even keep this one for parts if need be. And yep, its my daily driver well at least it will be as soon as I get it plated!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
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    2,538

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artsoap
    rust at the bottom of the doors,
    SERIOUSLY faded paint,
    broken headlight,
    needs exhaust work (noisy-think the muffler is broken),
    saggy headliner,
    The above are the things most likely to cost you significant $$ and or pain in the posterior. This is without knowing of other front (control arms, tie rods etc) or engine (M50) issues.

    If you can see the rust above the bottom trim on multiple doors, they may be difficult to, or beyond, repair. This is very common on these cars. Door panel are another weak point. You may just need some new panel clips to hold it on properly (pennies from he dealership).
    Glue and or staples will fix other door panel probs.

    The paint is as you well know, not a cheap fix if you want a proper job done. No easy way out of this one.

    If its just the lens broken, it may be a relatively quick DIY, BUT, it sounds as though the vehicles been through a few urban obstacle courses and wouldn't be surprised to find the light 'buckets' damaged as they're not the studiest. Could be cheap, could be expensive.

    Stock rear mufflers (if thats the culprit) run ~ $400 if memory serves. A search of this site will find many cheaper alternatives folks have tried.

    Haven't had to tackle one yet, but others here have and the headliner material can be pricey.

    Most other issues can be addressed with a trip to the boneyard or a talk with out own "Rimaster" or Bret as he is otherwise known as.

    So, Jeff may have the practical answer, but if the engine is solid and you really like the car, maybe sleep on fixing it up. Find out more about the engine, assess whether its leaking/burning 'stuff' and fill us in.

    Good luck and welcome,

    Dave m

    10/90 Build 525im, 630,000+km, Eibach/Sachs, Engine Rebuild
    *RIP Oskar the DOG *

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,027

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    If you spent less than $1000 and can get a year or two of service, you'e in great shape.

    Spend as little as possible on this car... fix the window and stuff the seat... put a clamp on the exhaust... patch her up until you have $5K together to buy something newer.

    There is no prudent alternative.
    1994 540ia|Oxford Green Metallic|Lemforder|KYB in H&R|18" OE Staggered M-Parallel with Pirelli P-Zero

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    TORONTO
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    Paint... is it so bad that you don't care what gets sprayed for a few hundred? For a good two years of travel or so, gotta get Maaco lol.
    :: HIDCanada.com | Illuminating Your World


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Overpelt Belgium
    Posts
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    Welcome,

    My idea is,put another window in it and paint the door.Just the things you need at low cost as possible.Drive the car and learn more about it.In the meantime save some money to buy a better and nicer one.

    Regards



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    533

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qube
    Paint... is it so bad that you don't care what gets sprayed for a few hundred? For a good two years of travel or so, gotta get Maaco lol.
    Meh, not a good idea. If the paint is Glasurit like my Zinno E30 is, then a really good wetsand/buff will take care of 95% of the issues, rust notwithstanding.

    To the OP: I agree with the people saying to fix the big things, but save up and find another example. Use your labor skills to get the drive train in good mechanical shape.

    Go to a junkyard with an E34 and see what you can get! You may be surprised.
    Atlanta, GA/Bloomington, IN, USA

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