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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 10-30-2013, 06:26 PM
doomplug doomplug is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 530i
My 1994 530i bargain find!

Ever since I drove a BMW for the first time it just stuck in my head. The feeling of quality and stability from the steering wheel just grasped at me. I drove a company owned 02 335i for a short time and I absolutely adored that car. I've been an enthusiast without a car for a long time now.

Recently my uncle shows me a classified ad for a 94 bmw 530i 5-speed manual for $799. The ad was fairly non-descript and I was fairly unsure of how I felt about this. I couldn't pass it up, I had to check up on it.

I made the call and talked to the guy and he says to me that the car is in great shape for being 20 years old but he decided to cut the price in half because it would not start. I got a bit more weary but I was interested in picking the car up to fix up and wouldnt be my primary car. I told him I wanted to look at it.

I got there and the car was in really good shape, especially the price. I dont think this guy knew what he was sitting on. I jump started the car and heard the engine. Nearly no abnormal noise, sounded like a very well serviced 260k miles car. I told the guy I would be taking it home and paid for it and left.

All I had to do was replace the battery. I have put about 150 miles on it so far and it drives wonderful. Not even any of the rough idle problems some of the other cars I've been reading about here. I had an issue with a floor mat (if you read my other post) and with that I thought the throttle was dodgy but I cleaned out the throttlebody and IAC. Runs wonderful, might have a bit of a leak at the valve cover, and a squeaky rear strut. there is some slight rust at the typical spots but not rotted and I plan to sand and smooth out and fix that up. It does need a paint job and I will eventually work on that too.

Here's some pictures of the car as it stands now, and hopefully I'll make friends here and you can follow my progress with the car. It seems like it sat all summer so right now I want to replace a lot of engine rubber and gaskets. The IAC hose seemed a tad dry but didnt split yet.

http://imgur.com/a/sHrXS#0

Since this is essentially my first E34 and first BMW that is mine, is there anything you guys wish you did with you car as soon as you got it that you didnt? Also, how many miles do you have on yours?
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2013, 07:13 PM
Xlr8tin Xlr8tin is offline
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Location: Coos Bay, OR.
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Mein Auto: 95 540/6
Congrats and welcome! Looks like a nice little car. I beat that 5 speed is fun. Well I can't say that there are things I wish I did to mine that I didn't do earlier since I just bought my current one a few weeks ago and my first one needed nothing....I can tell you what I'm doing right now. I replaced the valley pan, intake manifold gaskets, cleaned the injectors, replaced water pump, thermostat housing and thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses, replaced both steering hoses from the pump/reservoir, replaced steering gearbox, and fix small brake fluid leak. All of these issues started as a leak.

So unless you have leaks, you could start with getting that suspension back to stock so it will ride better. Good luck
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2013, 07:25 PM
BMR_LVR's Avatar
BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
Humble E34 lover
Location: Asheboro, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,264
Mein Auto: 1992 525i
doomplug, you sir are a theif

Love the color

I would just recommend that you get all of the maintenance stuff up to snuff and consider planning to overhaul the cooling system if you don't know when it was done. Just know that this is the Achilles heel on the venerable E34. Also make sure to check the front end over well as this too tends to need work over time.

You can't beat what you got for the price

READ THE STICKIES at the top if you have not already done so. Lots of info.

Welcome to the Fest.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
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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  #4  
Old 10-31-2013, 04:47 PM
doomplug doomplug is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR_LVR View Post
Love the color
Our cars are the same color! It is actually a good color combo with the walnut interior. I wouldn't normally appreciate the walnut color but calypso red/walnut isn't terrible in combination.

I have read through the stickies and lots of already found info that I will be in need of.

I will probably be changing the oil first of all. I need to clean the engine up quite a bit. Coolant system is definitely at the top of the list. I'll probably be changing the oil first of all. I don't absolutely know the service history, but it sounds and runs very well serviced. The oil looks quite thin and even thinner when hot, but doesn't look terribly dirty.

I just want to catch up to normal maintenance routine and then I want to replace a lot of the rubber. I'd love to replace the throttle cables as they are the most damaged looking part under the hood besides some grime and buildup. I need to get the service manual.

I'm really liking the car though, just getting it out and driving it.
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:21 PM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
The Ornery Old Man
Location: SW Mountains
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 980
Mein Auto: GTI
Just for the sake of clarity, let me know how great a bargain it was after you spend years and thousands restoring it. There are no cheap (bargain) premium German automobiles. You will pay, just a fact.

Calypso is my favorite BMW color, and I was pleased to see it wasn't autotragic. Good Luck!
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2013, 03:58 AM
doomplug doomplug is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
Just for the sake of clarity, let me know how great a bargain it was after you spend years and thousands restoring it. There are no cheap (bargain) premium German automobiles. You will pay, just a fact.

Calypso is my favorite BMW color, and I was pleased to see it wasn't autotragic. Good Luck!
Bargain find might have been a bit of a wrong word to use, but I was looking at these cars and even with high mileage you will see them for much more. People are always looking for more money on a bmw just because of the badge. This price really was quite a steal, especially considering It has no error codes, no lights on the dash except for the SRS light and no rust that isnt easily repaired. I'll update the thread soon with some interior pics, the interior is like brand new.

The color is actually a great color. After I repair the rust I'm unsure if I will keep it or not but it is a great color.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:30 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
The Ornery Old Man
Location: SW Mountains
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 980
Mein Auto: GTI
What people try to get from a 20 year old car with 260,000 miles and rust shouldn't have anything to do with the badge. If you choose to pay for a badge, that is on the buyer. You can find 525s and 530s all day long for $1000 or less, especially with those miles, rust and bad paint.

At 260k miles that baby was on borrowed time. No doubt the PO sold it cheap but, he probably had a good idea of its true value having had to make repairs on it for a period of time. Only considering the initial purchase price on a 20 yr old high milage BMW is naive. You likely have $1000 worth of suspension work and $1000 in cooling system refurb in the next 6-12 months and you haven't even started on the cosmetics. Then budget for a fuel pump, O2 sensors... and the list goes on.

I am glad you are excited about the low initial purchase price. Just be aware that is FAR from the investment needed to keep this car on the road for any length of time. I see it as an expensive tinkering project with little end value. Even if you fixed the rust, repainted it, fitted a low mile M60B40 and caught the manitnenace up it would be a $2500 car... that you spent over $5k on fixing.

So for $800, yep nice car. Once you start feeding that beast, keep an eye on your wallet.
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Current ride... '13 GTI Wolfsburg
BMW's from my past...
'92 535i/5 '89 325ix/5
'98 750iL '86 325(e)/5
'95 740iL '84 318i/5
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2013, 03:00 PM
gmnmsclM540i's Avatar
gmnmsclM540i gmnmsclM540i is offline
545i pilot
Location: a dusty hole
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 528
Mein Auto: e60 545i e34 540 e32 740
Re: My 1994 530i bargain find!

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
What people try to get from a 20 year old car with 260,000 miles and rust shouldn't have anything to do with the badge. If you choose to pay for a badge, that is on the buyer. You can find 525s and 530s all day long for $1000 or less, especially with those miles, rust and bad paint.

At 260k miles that baby was on borrowed time. No doubt the PO sold it cheap but, he probably had a good idea of its true value having had to make repairs on it for a period of time. Only considering the initial purchase price on a 20 yr old high milage BMW is naive. You likely have $1000 worth of suspension work and $1000 in cooling system refurb in the next 6-12 months and you haven't even started on the cosmetics. Then budget for a fuel pump, O2 sensors... and the list goes on.

I am glad you are excited about the low initial purchase price. Just be aware that is FAR from the investment needed to keep this car on the road for any length of time. I see it as an expensive tinkering project with little end value. Even if you fixed the rust, repainted it, fitted a low mile M60B40 and caught the manitnenace up it would be a $2500 car... that you spent over $5k on fixing.

So for $800, yep nice car. Once you start feeding that beast, keep an eye on your wallet.
Scary as it sounds the man speaks truth.

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