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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 01-12-2013, 03:32 PM
Pela84 Pela84 is offline
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Location: Tucson, AZ
 
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Mein Auto: 1990 bmw 525i
First 5 series - new owner questions

Hey I just bought a auto 1990 525i with 210k miles for $1500. The head was replaced 15k miles ago, timing belt replaced 20k ago... new suspension all around, newish tires (rubber goes fast here in the southwest, though). New hoses all around (except the lower radiator).

Although I already bought it (it was a pretty good deal - I couldn't pass it up), I was wondering if there are things specific to this car that I should look out for (common problems). The only real concern I have is the transmission having 210k miles on it... I read mixed reviews about the trans. and wonder if anybody has input on the reliability of it. It feels really solid, but I am used to a clutch and a stick. Shift points feel odd on down shift.

Thank in advance,
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2013, 06:42 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
Humble E34 lover
Location: Asheboro, NC
 
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Posts: 5,264
Mein Auto: 1992 525i
Cooling system
Front suspension
Auto transmission (if not serviced regularly)

Also, see: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=525152
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It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #3  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:54 PM
boriska137 boriska137 is offline
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hello guys, I am planing to purchase a used 1995 540i with 116,000 miles on it . I was wondering if you have any comments about this model and it's relaibility
Thank you.
Bob
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2013, 07:16 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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These are pretty durable cars That said, you will be on a continual maintenance program since it is a 20+ yr old high end vehicle.

Personally, I would never have bought one with an automatic. They seem to last fairly well when maintained but maintenance is often difficult to verify on cars of this age. At 210k miles, you are on borrowed time, few of them make it beyond 250k. It will not shift like a modern auto, because it isn't. Just make sure the fluid is the correct level and a nice red/pink color with no burnt smell. I think there is also a cable adjustment near the throttle body that affects shift points, make sure it is properly adjusted, I suspect the procedure is in the Bentley manual.
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Last edited by snowsled7; 01-13-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2013, 08:08 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
+1 on above. When (if) you get it give it a full Insp2 service and a wheel alignment. Bit expensive but gives a base line for future maintenance. Good luck with it. BTW keep an eye on battery cables, terminations and earth points. They seem to be the start of all sorts of problems. Get to them first.
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E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2013, 11:04 AM
Pela84 Pela84 is offline
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Location: Tucson, AZ
 
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Mein Auto: 1990 bmw 525i
Thanks for the info...
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:46 PM
rv6rick rv6rick is offline
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I have the same car and would NEVER buy another one. It's basically like driving a tank with airconditioning. I parked mine in the garage a couple weeks ago,....came back 7 days later and it gave up the ghost. I've checked everything under the sun and everything imaginable and it still won't start.

You can have mine for free...come get it....it has only a couple hundred miles on a brand new set of tires. Interior is almost perfect. By the weekend we are going to push it out of the garage and into the woods behind our house. In about a hundred years it will melt right back into Mother Earth .

Free Tip - I would NOT buy that car !!

Rick in Ohio

Quote:
Originally Posted by boriska137 View Post
hello guys, I am planing to purchase a used 1995 540i with 116,000 miles on it . I was wondering if you have any comments about this model and it's relaibility
Thank you.
Bob

Last edited by rv6rick; 01-14-2013 at 08:48 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:57 PM
paperplane94 paperplane94 is offline
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1989 525i M20B25
^ now now...
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2013, 09:40 PM
driveright driveright is offline
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Location: australia
 
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Mein Auto: 520i e34
I just bought a 520i with 125k only, front shocks where shot, battery, cluster, door handle seals, tappet cover gasket, front rotors, a/c clutch bearing,( not fixed ), all shot but now all fixed and I can't stop driving her, what a drive, a bit of a slug with the 2 ltr but worth every penny. enjoy your bimmer. BTW anyone had trouble with the LCD display in cluster that shows what gear you r in, mine fade out when it's hot weather
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2013, 10:30 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
Old School
Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,289
Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
I wish I was over Ohio! Free car - just make it start! Woo Hoo!
__________________
Good - Fast - Cheap: Pick any two.
Current:
E23 735i; E32 735iL (X 2 - 1 Alpine White and 1 Glacier Blue); E34 535i; E38 735iL; R50 Cooper; R55 Cooper Clubman.
Previous:
E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2013, 10:40 PM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 e34 S52b32/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
These are pretty durable cars That said, you will be on a continual maintenance program since it is a 20+ yr old high end vehicle.
This^

Quote:
Originally Posted by rv6rick View Post
I have the same car and would NEVER buy another one. It's basically like driving a tank with airconditioning. I parked mine in the garage a couple weeks ago,....came back 7 days later and it gave up the ghost. I've checked everything under the sun and everything imaginable and it still won't start.

You can have mine for free...come get it....it has only a couple hundred miles on a brand new set of tires. Interior is almost perfect. By the weekend we are going to push it out of the garage and into the woods behind our house. In about a hundred years it will melt right back into Mother Earth .

Free Tip - I would NOT buy that car !!

Rick in Ohio
Not this^

Here's why.
Yes these are 20+ year old cars who in their prime were the good expensive imports from europe.
They will (within reason) take pretty much anything you throw at it.
However they are again 20+ year old cars.
There will be some maintenance... expect it, understand it, love it (not really), deal with it.
And not all of it will not be pretty.
If the idea of turning a wrench is not your cup of tea.
Then maybe these cars aren't for you. Go honda. Just honest.

It's like having kids.
You should already understand that they will cry, make a mess of things and/or themselves,
do some things that question your own intelligence, break a bone, get cuts, scrapes and some bruises.
They will just require some attention and love to make them happy and fly right.
If not then sell and by a honda.
Just being honest.

I agree autos are not the most ideal to dive into on a elder BMW.
But if it's strong and not jerky.
Drive it till it falls out and replace with a 5 speed manual.
Don't bother rebuilding the auto trans. Waste of time and money.

A 5 or 6 speed manual e34 is the epicenter of asphalt clitorical pleasure.
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_______________________________________

Every once in a while the Lion has to show the Jackals who he is...
- Christopher Walken "The Lion Speech"
95 e34 525 5 spd S52 Swap... The new Garden State Grocery Getter projekt.

Last edited by MySatinDoll; 01-14-2013 at 10:42 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:34 AM
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supertech777 supertech777 is offline
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Location: springfield , missouri
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 753
Mein Auto: 1995 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by MySatinDoll View Post
This^



Not this^

Here's why.
Yes these are 20+ year old cars who in their prime were the good expensive imports from europe.
They will (within reason) take pretty much anything you throw at it.
However they are again 20+ year old cars.
There will be some maintenance... expect it, understand it, love it (not really), deal with it.
And not all of it will not be pretty.
If the idea of turning a wrench is not your cup of tea.
Then maybe these cars aren't for you. Go honda. Just honest.

It's like having kids.
You should already understand that they will cry, make a mess of things and/or themselves,
do some things that question your own intelligence, break a bone, get cuts, scrapes and some bruises.
They will just require some attention and love to make them happy and fly right.
If not then sell and by a honda.
Just being honest.

I agree autos are not the most ideal to dive into on a elder BMW.
But if it's strong and not jerky.
Drive it till it falls out and replace with a 5 speed manual.
Don't bother rebuilding the auto trans. Waste of time and money.

A 5 or 6 speed manual e34 is the epicenter of asphalt clitorical pleasure.
Perfectly said ! ^+1
Sent from my Desire HD using Bimmer App
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:23 PM
Pela84 Pela84 is offline
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Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 30
Mein Auto: 1990 bmw 525i
Awesome stuff!
Yeah, I am not scared to turn a wrench at all. Not saying I know what I am doing... but I always make sure to do my research and LEARN what to do before I do it. So far the e34 is doing great. A lot of the suspension has been replaced over the past years - so it has a better than expected ride. I'm going to change the water pump, and replace the one remaining old hose that I can find before the AZ summer hits. Seems as though who ever changed the brakes decided not to replace the sensors on the pad. The dash light stating "brake lining" ALMOST bothers me enough to take the tires off and replace the sensors.

If any body is getting a car for speed, this is not the BMW for you - get the e30 with the same engine. But the ride is so nice and visibility is really good, too.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:36 PM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Location: Pineapple Under the Sea
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pela84 View Post
The dash light stating "brake lining" ALMOST bothers me enough to take the tires off and replace the sensors.
Funny enough, even that is too much effort! I replaced them, wheels on, car on the ground. Theres only two in the whole car.
  • Front driver's side
  • Rear passenger side

This is what it looks like

  1. Pull out the sensor from the pad in the caliper
  2. Unplug it at the connector
  3. Installation is the reverse of removal

And this is where you get them! Brake Pad Wear Sensor
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1995 525iA 250k mi
2006 325i/6 57k mi
2003 350Z 88k mi

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Last edited by Monsignor; 01-15-2013 at 01:54 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:39 PM
Pela84 Pela84 is offline
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Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Mein Auto: 1990 bmw 525i
^WHAT?! this is good news!

Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:55 PM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Location: Pineapple Under the Sea
 
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Mein Auto: M50 Big Body
if only everything was this easy
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1995 525iA 250k mi
2006 325i/6 57k mi
2003 350Z 88k mi

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  #17  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:03 PM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
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Location: Next door bring tools and beer.
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 e34 S52b32/5
Thanks for reminding me. I have to hunt down my faulty brake sensor(s).
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_______________________________________

Every once in a while the Lion has to show the Jackals who he is...
- Christopher Walken "The Lion Speech"
95 e34 525 5 spd S52 Swap... The new Garden State Grocery Getter projekt.
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  #18  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:12 PM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Location: Pineapple Under the Sea
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MySatinDoll View Post
Thanks for reminding me. I have to hunt down my faulty brake sensor(s).
brake lining or ABS? the difference is about 26x as expensive
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1995 525iA 250k mi
2006 325i/6 57k mi
2003 350Z 88k mi

Instagram: @Titan_E34
Snapchat: Titan_E34
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  #19  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:28 PM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
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Location: Next door bring tools and beer.
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 e34 S52b32/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsignor View Post
brake lining or abs? The difference is about 26x as expensive
abs.
I'm a yard rat. I'll hit the yard for a few of them and do the job if it warms up next week.
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_______________________________________

Every once in a while the Lion has to show the Jackals who he is...
- Christopher Walken "The Lion Speech"
95 e34 525 5 spd S52 Swap... The new Garden State Grocery Getter projekt.

Last edited by MySatinDoll; 01-15-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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  #20  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:24 PM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Location: Pineapple Under the Sea
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MySatinDoll View Post
abs.
I'm a yard rat. I'll hit the yard for a few of them and do the job if it warms up next week.
What are the chances you could find some for an E28?

Sent from Joe's Galaxy SIII via BimmerApp
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1995 525iA 250k mi
2006 325i/6 57k mi
2003 350Z 88k mi

Instagram: @Titan_E34
Snapchat: Titan_E34
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  #21  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:22 AM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
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Location: Next door bring tools and beer.
 
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Posts: 1,433
Mein Auto: 1995 e34 S52b32/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsignor View Post
What are the chances you could find some for an E28?

Sent from Joe's Galaxy SIII via BimmerApp
Not good. but your on bf.c too right? contact shapeshifter.
He's my partner in crime when it comes to yarding.
He's in MD and has a ton of yards in his area.

Tell him Joe aka Nooch referred you

He'll probably be able to find it faster than me.
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Every once in a while the Lion has to show the Jackals who he is...
- Christopher Walken "The Lion Speech"
95 e34 525 5 spd S52 Swap... The new Garden State Grocery Getter projekt.
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  #22  
Old 01-16-2013, 12:15 PM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Location: Pineapple Under the Sea
 
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thanks man
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1995 525iA 250k mi
2006 325i/6 57k mi
2003 350Z 88k mi

Instagram: @Titan_E34
Snapchat: Titan_E34
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