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View Full Version : FAO: Sean Re: E34s as family cars


TD
04-02-2003, 08:39 AM
I know you have an E34 525i that you use as the family hauler. I am rather familiar with the E34 as a car (not as a family hauler) as my dad had one from 1988 (it was an early 1989 model) until late 1999 (when it was replaced by an E39), but I am curious as to your take on it as a family car. Do you feel there is enough space? Have you had any reliability issues (reliability not maintenance)? Any other relevant observations?

Sean
04-02-2003, 10:35 AM
I think it's the perfect size and it has been fairly reliable considering it's a 92 MY (w/o VANOS, according to many techs this is a good thing) with 130,500 miles. It's not fast and it's not a great handler, but it rides really well and it's very comfortable. Basisally it's a touring vehicle instead of a sports sedan. The only big expense I've had so far (knock on wood) was a new radiator, water pump and thermostat ($1200). With it's age, as I'm sure you know, it will have to have a suspension flush as my dealer calls it. This includes new control arms, thrust arms with bushings and so forth. To give you an idea, my car is a slow work in progress. I'm replacing everything that needs to be replaced due to age one piece at a time. I drove it to Hilton Head, SC last August and it seriously is the best trip car I've ever had or been in. Of course immediately after I got back the alternator went out, I had a local shop rebuld it (1yr. warranty)

Here's an idea of what's been done to it in almost 2 years of ownership.

1. I replaced the spark plugs and air fiter ($48.29)

2. I replaced the fuel filter ($21.18)

3. Dealer replaced Vac hoses, flushed brake fluid and did an oil change ($311.93)

4. I replaced the 02 sensor ($90.80)

5. I replaced the Mircofilter ($24.30)

6. Rebulit Valeo Alternator ($213.00)

7. I replaced the main relays ($33.13)

8. Dealer replaced sunroof headliner and coolant flush ($197.74)

9. I replaced the sliding cover for the auto trans shifter. ($6.50)

10. Dealer replaced the radiator, water pump and thermostat ($1230)

11. I replaced the front console window switches (one unit) ($68.83)

12. Dealer replaced defective O2 sensor

13. Used BMW BBS basket weave wheel ($150)

14. Front Hawk Pads and Brembo rotors (231.00 plus $144.00 labor)

15. I replaced the rubber air intake boot and cleaned the throttle body ($40.00)

16. Also various oil changes I've performed.



Now here's what it still needs:

1. Upper and lower control arms

2. Guibo

3. Fuel pump, regulator and fuel sender (sensor)

4. New Coil Packs ($100 each)

5. It has a power steering leak

6. Eventually the R12 A/C and trans will go. :cry:

There may be more. Older german cars are very expensive to maintain, as I'm sure you know, but I really like the car. When it's been washed and waxed it looks so good and when I take a trip I'm very glad that I own it. It is one of the last classic BMWs.

TD
04-02-2003, 10:39 AM
Thanks for taking the time to put together that response.

There is a '95 540i 6-spd w/~89K miles that's located about 90 minutes from me that I'm thinking about going to look at this weekend. So I was curious as to how happy you've been with your 525.

Sean
04-02-2003, 10:45 AM
It's built like a tank, very solid! :D Has less rattles than the 330 since the day it rolled off the truck.

gr8330
04-02-2003, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by TD
Thanks for taking the time to put together that response.

There is a '95 540i 6-spd w/~89K miles that's located about 90 minutes from me that I'm thinking about going to look at this weekend. So I was curious as to how happy you've been with your 525.

If I was only a few hours drive (Arizona) from that 95 540 I sure would go look at it. Damn...low miles, price wasn't that bad, 6-speed, 540... that is number one on my list. Good luck and if you buy.. post pics and make me drool.

Sean
04-03-2003, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by gr8330
If I was only a few hours drive (Arizona) from that 95 540 I sure would go look at it. Damn...low miles, price wasn't that bad, 6-speed, 540... that is number one on my list. Good luck and if you buy.. post pics and make me drool.


It appears that the vehicle had a terrible past per CarFax.

DanB
04-03-2003, 10:59 AM
I'd do just about anything for a gray market July of '95 production euro M5. mmmmm

-DanB

gr8330
04-03-2003, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Sean
It appears that the vehicle had a terrible past per CarFax.


Kinda bad...real bad or forget about it bad :dunno:

TD
04-03-2003, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by gr8330
Kinda bad...real bad or forget about it bad :dunno:

Forget about it bad.

Mutiple accidents, TOTALLED w/salvage title that was later "laundered". The current owner didn't even know. I sent him the Carfax and he was (genuinely) shocked.

gr8330
04-03-2003, 06:51 PM
:mad: Before carfax there is a good chance that you wouldn’t have found that out :eek: It sure looked good.