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Thread: Uh oh... What did I just get myself into? (Buying an E34)

  1. #1
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    Uh oh... What did I just get myself into? (Buying an E34)

    Greetings everyone!

    A quick intro... I have been on these forums for 10 years now (albeit a bit less active lately). I will be the proud owner of an E39 528 for 12 years this upcoming January. It's been an amazing car, but I couldn't help but notice a nice E34 for sale one day last week on the way to visit my brother:
    v6L5x4z.jpg
    Not bad I thought! Upon closer inspection I noticed something I wasn't expecting... a 6 speed?!?!?
    LH1Q1Rf.jpg

    I took a look at this car this past Monday evening. I can't believe how clean this sucker is! It has been enthusiast owned since new (Original owner is a local doctor and dealer serviced it until it changed hands to the 2nd owner, a local locksmith and owner of several vintage bimmers). It has all the service records since new. Current owner has owned it for 2 years and is looking to sell because he is looking to downsize, and this one was the Bimmer to go. Only real flaws I can find with it are a few stone chips in the windshield, as well as the fact it was likely a victim of the Nikasil issues (motor replacement in 2001 under manufacturers warranty due to rough idle and motor shaking, saw the receipts in the maintenance history). I am picking this bad boy up tomorrow just as soon as I get out of work.

    I wanted to check in and introduce myself and get everyone's opinion (i.e. did I do good?). As far as what to do with it, or what to do with my E39, I really have no clue as of yet. I didn't really anticipate something like this happening, but sometimes a special car just kind of lands in your lap Also more pictures to come this weekend. Also, before you ask... NO, I do not plan on driving this in the snow, despite having Blizzaks. I have a camping truck that doubles as a winter Daily Driver, and this would only come out on nice days when the roads are clear and salt-free.

    1997 528i 5spd - Mostly Stock "Daily Driver"
    1995 540i 6spd - Newbie in the garage
    1997 GMC K2500 Diesel Suburban - Camping Truck/Winter Daily
    1984 Ford LTD LX - pretty much a Foxbody Mustang...

  2. #2
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    Keep them both and alternate between them,
    much as you would with 2 girlfriends!...lol.




  3. #3
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    That's a great deal with that mileage and all the records from new. Good luck!

  4. #4
    moroza's Avatar
    moroza is offline MORΩN ΛABIA BMW CCA Member
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    Unless there's meaningful rust or serious issues, $3200 for a black 540iM with 117k (and probably less than 100k on the engine) is a great deal.
    Last edited by moroza; 12-14-2018 at 02:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up

    Who among us would not have jumped on such a deal?, not a one I presume.
    The type of vehicle along with condition and records, a GREAT catch!
    Btw, my previous post still applies




  6. #6
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    What a find! You seriously made out like a bandit I'm surprised an enthusiast owner would let it go so cheap especially with the prices these things have been commanding lately.

    Edit: I'll take it off your hands for $3300
    Last edited by m60power; 12-14-2018 at 09:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKYZZ4 View Post
    Keep them both and alternate between them,
    much as you would with 2 girlfriends!...lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKYZZ4 View Post
    Who among us would not have jumped on such a deal?, not a one I presume.
    The type of vehicle along with condition and records, a GREAT catch!
    Btw, my previous post still applies
    YES!
    One could counter that multiple girlfriends would leave one broke faster than one would leave after hearing the pregnancy test results...

    My heart says "KEEP BOTH", but the brain is going "well..." I have two other vehicles other than the E39. One of them is a project as well... On the other hand, I can afford them, have plenty of storage, and don't have a wife to nag me about them so... We'll see how it goes

    Quote Originally Posted by moroza View Post
    Unless there's meaningful rust or serious issues, $3200 for a black 540iM with 117k (and probably less than 100k on the engine) is a great deal.
    There are only 3 issues I can find:
    1. Two chips in the windshield need to repair ASAP
    2. The previous owner replaced the battery, and now I have to figure out the whole Anti-theft code thing on the radio (I see the radio prochure, so I assume it's probably in there)
    3. The airbag light stayed lit for about 15-20 seconds after startup driving it home (didn't occur on the test drive). No too worried about it. My E39 had the airbag light pop on a few times, but then went away. My E39 actually does this from time to time. Something electrical will malfunction or a warning light will pop on, but then things seem to miraculously fix themselves shortly after. Are E34s similar in this fashion?


    Quote Originally Posted by m60power View Post
    What a find! You seriously made out like a bandit I'm surprised an enthusiast owner would let it go so cheap especially with the prices these things have been commanding lately.
    Edit: I'll take it off your hands for $3300
    lol I saw some of them on BAT and it raised my eyebrow, but generally speaking I view the prices on that site as over inflated a bit.
    Last edited by Jerrysull2; 12-14-2018 at 11:33 PM.

    1997 528i 5spd - Mostly Stock "Daily Driver"
    1995 540i 6spd - Newbie in the garage
    1997 GMC K2500 Diesel Suburban - Camping Truck/Winter Daily
    1984 Ford LTD LX - pretty much a Foxbody Mustang...

  8. #8
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    I love my HE53.IMG_3786.jpg
    USC Ralph - Long Beach, CA USA
    1989 E34 White 525i (M20) 310,000m (Sold)
    1993 E34 Black 525i (M50) 301,463m
    1995 E34 Calypso Red 540i/6 (M60) 193,254m

  9. #9
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    hiss by my window
    Unmolested examples of these are getting tough to find, looks like yours is good condition too.
    As for the "uh,oh" I'm sure you'll find several takers here should you decide it's not for you.
    I'm curious to hear your thoughts after having an opportunity to compare this to your E39.
    Nice find, welcome aboard

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

  10. #10
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    I hate it when you already have one too many cars and a sweet deal falls in your lap. Decisions, decisions.

    I would fix the issues with the E34, drive it and keep the one you like best. The E34 will be easy to flip for a profit if you go that route.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
    I'm curious to hear your thoughts after having an opportunity to compare this to your E39.
    For me I'd rather choose my e34 over my e39. The e34 is a much simpler machine to maintain.
    demet
    88'535is, 88'M5, 89'535i, 01'525it

  12. #12
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    So... I am now in the middle of the worst stage in getting a new car...
    Trying to figure out just when you can get to the DMW for plates and a title, all the while I can practically hear it calling out for me from the driveway
    DRIVE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
    I'm curious to hear your thoughts after having an opportunity to compare this to your E39.
    Nice find, welcome aboard
    The two are UBER similar! In fact, I felt right at home in it, and all of the little quirks one learns about these cars carry right over to the other one. They are noticeably different in a few ways though. Here are my initial thoughts:
    1. It doesn't feel quite as refined as the E39, but the trade off to this is it feels a bit better built (e.g. one of my chief complaints about the E39 is the extensive use of plastics, ESPECIALLY as both cars are not 20+ years old. There seems to be a lot less plastic on this car, but the trade off is things come off as a bit "clunkier"). Not necessarily better one way or another, just... different.

    2. The clutch is ridiculously light. It grabs just fine, and I'm used to this and was half expecting it because my E39 is light as well, but the E34 is noticeably lighter. However... it's not quite the fairest comparison as I have done a CDV delete on the E39 (I assime the same can be done on the E34).

    3. The E34 is MUCH faster than the E39, but it's got 2 more cylinders
    4. The E34 is MUCH thirstier than the E39, but it's got 2 more cylinders...

    That's what I could come up with so far... I'm sure I will think of more and get a better idea once I get more acquainted with the E34

    Quote Originally Posted by zubbie View Post
    I hate it when you already have one too many cars and a sweet deal falls in your lap. Decisions, decisions.

    I would fix the issues with the E34, drive it and keep the one you like best. The E34 will be easy to flip for a profit if you go that route.
    I know what you mean. If you told me a month ago about this whole ordeal, I would thought you were crazy. I mean, I know I'm a car nut, and have made peace with the fact I'll most likely be the creepy hermit with a garage packed to the gills with random cars in my older years, but of my three cars, ALL of them are 4 door sedans. I pictured a 4th car more along the lines of a 2 door sports car or grand tourer. But hey... I'm happy with my choice!

    Besides... what's not to say I can't push those plans back for car number 5?

    1997 528i 5spd - Mostly Stock "Daily Driver"
    1995 540i 6spd - Newbie in the garage
    1997 GMC K2500 Diesel Suburban - Camping Truck/Winter Daily
    1984 Ford LTD LX - pretty much a Foxbody Mustang...

  13. #13
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    Congrats on the find. HE53 cars aren't getting any easier to find nowadays. Not a bad deal at all. I'd get it up on the lift and get a good look at the underside.

  14. #14
    moroza's Avatar
    moroza is offline MORΩN ΛABIA BMW CCA Member
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    Random electricals fixing themselves happens occasionally on E34, not as often as newer cars.

    I've had decent to good results with the RainX windshield repair kit.

    E34 has no CDV.

  15. #15
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    2008 M5, 1995 540i
    If I saw that at that price I would now have a second 540i 6 speed in my garage.

    Congrats
    Current Cars
    2008 BMW M5 Black Sapphire
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    Former Cars
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  16. #16
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    Can the Nikasil issue be resolved to this day? Mine seems to expose a bit of those issues listed...

  17. #17
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    That is a screaming deal. I bought mine for $3300 and it needs more work then yours. I feel that is a $5,000 car. Nice buy
    2011 BMX X5 Xdrive50i - 122K - No muffler, BMS Stage 1
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