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Thread: What goes wrong on E34s

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Leuchars,Scotland
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    62

    Default What goes wrong on E34s

    Im looking to buy an E34, ideally an M50 520 or 525. just after a list of things that are likely to ruin the ownership for me. the wife insists that the car must last more than 12 months and not need major money spending on rectifying inevitable faults so what is likely to go wrong,what do i want to look for when viewing.

    I remember hearing that the water pumps need to be replaced for metal impellored ones but is there anything else?

    Sig car has gone, but buying an E34 on my return to Britain in 3 months

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Belgium
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    429

    Default

    watch for

    engine not shaking the car
    check if AC is working
    rust in the bottom of the doors
    open the oil cap and watch inside
    get under the car and check for fluid leaks. buy a torch and mirror.
    test drive and check if there is noise while driving on bumps.

    that's the last 525 M50 I checked. never bought it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordan View Post
    watch for

    engine not shaking the car
    check if AC is working
    rust in the bottom of the doors
    open the oil cap and watch inside
    get under the car and check for fluid leaks. buy a torch and mirror.
    test drive and check if there is noise while driving on bumps.

    that's the last 525 M50 I checked. never bought it
    on your test drive temp guage should be right on 12 oclock all the time once it's warm or you have a rad/cooling problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oldham, England
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    3,078

    Default

    There was a check list of things to look out for on bmwe34.net but my old link isnt working as it has moved. Search that first. With respect I dont think I'd buy a 520 as its a lot to expect a 2 litre to shift about a tonne and a half of steel about. My own checklist would be water pump, timing chains/guides, front suspension joints and rear subframe mounts. And go for a manual unless you want to replace the gearbox every two years

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    370

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskychaser View Post
    There was a check list of things to look out for on bmwe34.net but my old link isnt working as it has moved. Search that first. With respect I dont think I'd buy a 520 as its a lot to expect a 2 litre to shift about a tonne and a half of steel about. My own checklist would be water pump, timing chains/guides, front suspension joints and rear subframe mounts. And go for a manual unless you want to replace the gearbox every two years
    this is the one i have i can't get enough of this site i'm so happy bruno is keeping it going. http://gator482.hostgator.com/~bruno...?page=homepage

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oldham, England
    Posts
    3,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 525i winter driver View Post
    this is the one i have i can't get enough of this site i'm so happy bruno is keeping it going. http://gator482.hostgator.com/~bruno...?page=homepage
    Wow! That's gone posh! Will have to bookmark it. Anyway, things to look out for should be in there somewhere. Can I add that a good place to start is to view the E34 as a hobby and that you involve your dear lady from day one. She may not be too impressed making sandwiches and pouring beer for you and the lads while you tinker ad infinitum

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
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    quite frankly I think you are being a bit unrealistic.We are talking about cars that are up to 20 years old now.Buy a cheap one and expect issues,buy the absolute best one you can find,and you MAY not have to do anything for a while.
    Gone but not forgotten

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New Forest, ,UK,
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    794

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    All the above is good advice which a lot of us should have read BEFORE buying. I can only add that looking at the owners habits and the care he has put into his cars is a good guide to weather he has "bodged" it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    109

    Default

    I think the e34 is pretty damn reliable and well built. The stuff that goes wrong on them is to be expected on any 13-20 year old car. Bushings, mounts, gaskets seems to all be commonly failing items but that rubber was never meant to last that long.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Montreal
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    857

    Default

    Whatever you do, don't get a 520. Your mileage will be worse than a 525 can do, simply because the car is too heavy for a 2.0L engine. It's gonna have to work on higher revs to get the right kind of torque to keep speed, let alone accelerate. Actually, even 540s seem to do better mileage than a 525, simply because the engine has more power (torque especially) at low revs.

    Somebody here was trying to swap his 520 for a 525 for exactly that reason.

    Diesel would be another story. Diesel engines have more torque; it's in the nature of that engine. That's why they get such great mileage.

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