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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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Old 08-11-2014, 07:29 AM
cn34 cn34 is offline
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Location: colorado
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 1995 530i
buying advise '95 530i

I have the opportunity to buy a single owner 1995 530i that has 70k original miles on it and has always been garaged. The elderly owner (I know him personally) has driven the car about 7k miles in the last 11 years. He has full service records and all maintenance was done by his local dealer.

Manual Transmission with Traction Control and Heated Seat options.

All the maintenance appears to have been done with the last service in early 2009 to replace valve cover gasket, lower oil pan gasket and valley coolant gasket - for leaks. There's been a few oil changes done since, nothing else. Tires are good.

My main concern is we live in a dry environment and things dry out here.

The last recommended services from dealer (in 2012) included:
brake fluid flush $160
power steering fluid flush $235
engine accessory drive belts $250
front strut replace $1264,

The car looks almost new. It's got a lot less technology but is in better shape than my 2009 Audi A8, which I'm tired of paying on.

KBB value is about $6000 (Private Party).

What kinds of things am I looking at besides the dealer's list from a few years ago - so I can arrive at a fair price?

Is this car drive-able in snow/ice with good all-season tread, given the setup?

Last edited by cn34; 08-12-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:50 PM
cn34 cn34 is offline
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Location: colorado
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 1995 530i
I just found out that in addition to the above, the Owner took it to another dealer earlier for a trade-in and they told him the Struts were fine, but they did the following (just recently):

Tire inspection, found only slight cupping on front tires. Rotated and balanced.
Shift Shaft Seal and OUtput Shaft Seal leaking. replaced
Valve Cover gaskets (both) leak - replaced
Main Drive Beltand A/C Belts cracked - replaced
Intake Silencer Service performed (air filter)
Brake Fluid flushed

In looking thru the service records, the lower oil pan gasket and the valve cover gaskets have now been replaced twice. Seems kind of crazy on a 70k mileage car to me.
What else should I be wary of or check out. I test drove it at 80mph and no shakes or shimmies. The engine seems strong and it rides like a champ. Interior is like brand new.

Thoughts anyone (please)?

Last edited by cn34; 08-12-2014 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:18 PM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
Resident e34 Racer
Location: Orange County , CA
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,091
Mein Auto: 1995 540i SPORT /6 spd
Buy it. If you know the story is true, this is one of those rare finds. Perfect candidate for a m60b40 swap should you choose to go that route. Get the car and enjoy it.. Pics?
Bone stock 95' 540i/6 Blk/blk w/ ram style C.A.I / JBR LWFW/ DUDMD tune/ straight pipe /545 SSK /3.15 LSD / Rev-shift motor mounts/stage 4, 6 puck clutch/ K Sport coil overs/Eibach sway bars/ VAC under drive pulleys/weight reduction /sparco 368, Recaro seats, sparco harnesses, NX wet kit, M/T E/T streets.

"Skill can only get you so far, then comes money!"
R . I . P Paul Walker - 1973 - 2013
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:52 PM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 976
Mein Auto: '95 540i, '95 525it
You're probably due for new suspension thrust arms and bushings, a fresh water pump, all coolant hoses and a radiator. Might as well replace the control arms while changing the thrust arms. Brake hoses also deteriorate with age.

Agreed, waste no time snapping this one up.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:19 AM
cn34 cn34 is offline
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Location: colorado
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 1995 530i
Turned out the old man was offered $2500 on his trade-in, and then told me he wanted $10k. After a few days I gave him the KBB report and we agreed to $5750.

Everything works, has a couple scratches and one door ding. Interior is that of a 5 year old car. I'm pretty stoked! Thanks guys!
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:51 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,106
Mein Auto: E23;E32;E34;E38;R50;R55
The car gods have smiled on you. Service everything and enjoy it.
Good - Fast - Cheap: Pick any two.
3 x E32 735iL (Alpine White, Glacier Blue & Kashmir Beige); 2 X E38 735iL (Oxford Green & Alpine White); E53 X5 4.4i (Pearl Beige); R50 Cooper; R55 Cooper Clubman (Both Pure Silver).
E38 Parts Car
E21 318i; E23 735i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
I've just changed my wiper blades and now my reverse lights don't work. Should I change my fuel pump relay?
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