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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > M Series > E34 M5 (1988-1995)

E34 M5 (1988-1995)

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  #1  
Old 09-16-2010, 10:16 PM
noleafofclover noleafofclover is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: K3500
1988 BMW M5 Need Help

Hello All,

Sorry new here, and thought you might be able to help me with few questions. I looked at a 1988 BMW M5 at the local car lot. It has 248,000 miles but started right up, it was sitting for 3 months. I could smell the fuel, I guess she needs a tune up, and also the yellow check light was flashing in the center of the instrument cluster. No check engine light was on the top, I guess where the sun roof button is, just the coolant light and rear and front lights were on. So she was running, I took the engine oil cap off, and right away the engine started running funny like it wants to shut off, and the same when I took the dipstick out. I could also smell gasoline in the oil I think, I might be wrong. I saw some oil marks under the car, seems fresh. The body is straight, I guess just the cosmetics with the front bumper spoiler. The interior was rough, but nothing scary needs work, also the rear self leveling is gone, so I guess need to replace them with regular struts. I heard some metal buzzing sounded like the exhaust, maybe a hole somewhere. They want $4,500 for it, I would love to have her, but afraid of the engine being bad, with the cap and dip stick affecting engine running when they are removed. Could you guys help me out, and give me some advice. Thank you so much.
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2010, 03:46 PM
gtopaul gtopaul is offline
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Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 131
Mein Auto: 540 & 525iT
Quote:
Originally Posted by noleafofclover View Post
Hello All,

Sorry new here, and thought you might be able to help me with few questions. I looked at a 1988 BMW M5 at the local car lot. It has 248,000 miles but started right up, it was sitting for 3 months. I could smell the fuel, I guess she needs a tune up, and also the yellow check light was flashing in the center of the instrument cluster. No check engine light was on the top, I guess where the sun roof button is, just the coolant light and rear and front lights were on. So she was running, I took the engine oil cap off, and right away the engine started running funny like it wants to shut off, and the same when I took the dipstick out. I could also smell gasoline in the oil I think, I might be wrong. I saw some oil marks under the car, seems fresh. The body is straight, I guess just the cosmetics with the front bumper spoiler. The interior was rough, but nothing scary needs work, also the rear self leveling is gone, so I guess need to replace them with regular struts. I heard some metal buzzing sounded like the exhaust, maybe a hole somewhere. They want $4,500 for it, I would love to have her, but afraid of the engine being bad, with the cap and dip stick affecting engine running when they are removed. Could you guys help me out, and give me some advice. Thank you so much.
It should affect the quality of the idle if you pull the dipstick or take the oil cap off. It's the loss of vacuum which affects it this way. A good indicator in that it has good vacuum until you do that. The 88 M5 doesn't have self leveling in the back. The fuel smell on start up is fairly normal although you'll want to check for dried out rubber gas lines which can seep gas, also normal for the age of the car. Check lights are just that, check for lights out and low coolant level. If it hasn't been kept up with 248k miles on it it's going to be due for a lot of work. Parts are expensive. If you have to rely on a mechanic let someone else have the pride of ownership otherwise you'll become your mechanics best friend.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2010, 11:05 AM
funfunfer funfunfer is offline
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Location: Montgomery, TX
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: 91 M5, 88 M5, 97 Exploder
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtopaul View Post
It should affect the quality of the idle if you pull the dipstick or take the oil cap off. It's the loss of vacuum which affects it this way. A good indicator in that it has good vacuum until you do that. The 88 M5 doesn't have self leveling in the back. The fuel smell on start up is fairly normal although you'll want to check for dried out rubber gas lines which can seep gas, also normal for the age of the car. Check lights are just that, check for lights out and low coolant level. If it hasn't been kept up with 248k miles on it it's going to be due for a lot of work. Parts are expensive. If you have to rely on a mechanic let someone else have the pride of ownership otherwise you'll become your mechanics best friend.
My 88 M5 had self leveling suspension. Standard procedure is to replace that with 535 shocks and springs when it fails.

Amen to the "if you have to rely on a mechanic" comment. There is a whole world of information and support for these great cars, but at 248k miles, yours will probably need plenty of work. Great if you enjoy doing the work yourself. Painful if you need to pay someone to do it.

Rust is the biggest issue. Run from a rusty car. (ask me how I know)
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2010, 04:59 PM
gahawkins gahawkins is offline
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Location: Rochester, NY 14506
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 1991 M5
Thumbs up 88 was a good year!

They are beautiful cars! I agree with all the posted comments. I would count on roughly $10K to "revitalize" it over the next 1-2 years. If no rust, it's worth it. If rust, run....
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