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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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Old 09-02-2009, 06:37 PM
mahay mahay is offline
the new guy
Location: Kc, Mo
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 1988 528e
Exclamation might be trading for a 1990 535i

Hey guys,
at the moment I have an '88 528e, but I have a meeting with a guy and I might be trading for a '90 535i. What should I pat particular attention to when I'm looking at it?

Any worries?
Any advice?

thanks guys!
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:49 PM
nmp411 nmp411 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Iowa
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 303
Mein Auto: 90 535iM
Before buying an e34, you should definitely check out everything in this link. It will help you avoid later problems.


You'll enjoy the upgrade though. e34's are great. I'm fairly local to you (Council Bluffs, Iowa) and if you get it and need parts I have two parts cars.

Good luck!
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:39 PM
mahay mahay is offline
the new guy
Location: Kc, Mo
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 1988 528e
cool, thanks!
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:42 AM
CarDriver's Avatar
CarDriver CarDriver is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Saint Albans, New York
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,421
Mein Auto: 1992 525it /2004 ML350
Also check out www.bmwe34.net This site is dedicated to the e34 and will give you great info. Some of the links will not be available unless you register with the site and create an accout. It is free of charge and will not spam your email address.

Pay close attention to the front fenders aft of the wheels for rust. However, New fenders for that can be purchased for under 40 bucks. Check the tubing for the air intake and the MAF as they crack over time but they are cheap too. The Control arms are only good for about 80K but you can test them out by taking the car on the highway and pay close attention to the feel between fifty and 60 mph. If the control arms are bad, you will have a vibration between those speeds. This vibration will increase when breaking.

All of this does not mean that if these things are bad you should not get the car... A set of new control arms are about 189 from FCP and will last a few years. But BMWe34.net will explain all of that and give you the symptoms to look for.

Take it on the worst road you can find and look for bumps to hit (Not deep Pot Holes, LOL...). If you hear clunking from the front end, that would more than likely mean bad strut mounts. They can run as much as 125 each

The most important thing is to listen to the motor and drive the car. Pay close attention to the shifting of the gears. Listen carefully when you put it in gear and be mindful of any vibration or clunking when you first pull off. If you have clunking or under carriage vibration in that case it could be drive shaft or flex disk or both.

I am not trying to scare you but just keep in mind that we are dealing with twenty year old cars and there are bound to be some problems. But aside from a bad engine or transmission, every thing else can be overcome with a bit of effort and lots of love... Or is that a bit of Love and lots of effort. LOL...

It all depend on what it is worth to you my friend.

Last edited by CarDriver; 09-03-2009 at 06:13 AM.
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