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HB
Joined
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

I was planning to tune up my own car this summer, which means I have around 6 months to gather the information required. A few things that I'd like to know from previous car owners of the E28, E30 and E34 are:

your experience
maintenance
driving pleasure
fuel efficiency (over all, because I know the engine is a great factor)
and anything else you'd like to share.

All other suggestions are welcomed, and ow, I still have not purchased any, so I'm looking to see which on to buy and the later on tune. basically tear up everything and just use the chassis
 

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I'm from NJ. So What!?!
Joined
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2,247 Posts
Ah yes the "which is better Question". The e30, the e28, or the e34.
Each car in this category is a champion in it's own right.
You have the iconic e30. The father of the M5, the e28.
And the legacy of the e34.

Well Junebug you've opened up a Pandora's box of sorts. For you will see, read and hear
different accounts depicting the passionate love affair of all three.
The problem with this query is truthfully... you have to open the door, sit down, turn the
roundel crested key, and have a go at it to get the full picture.

So it would definitely be a personal description your looking for.

In my case, I've owned a e30 and currently on my forth e34.
To be honest I love(d) both.
However my love for BMW began in high school some 2 1/2 decades ago.
My passion for e34s began out of necessity but grew into an enthusiast infatuation.

My first BMW was a 1986 e30 325es. I loved it's simplicity, its command of the road,
it's beauty. It was a car if I saw it again for sale I'd drop coin on the spot to bring it home again.


It was a car that introduced me to the mechanical side of german engineering.
I've had german cars previously but that e30 was the first german bred car I ever truly tinkered with.
In the same respect I didn't truly get the chance to appreciate it as much as I do my e34s.

Fortunately but unfortunate all things come to an end. My need for a larger car outweighed my love for the e30 so I jumped in my first example of a e34 which was a 535i 5spd manual.

It was a great car. Very clean, engine and suspension was solid. But it was taken from me quickly due to a freak ice storm.
So I never got the opportunity to get the most out of it.



Then I bought my longest bmw companion which was Zaraki. A well driven, multi owner,
m30 powered 5spd manual e34 that I basically rebuilt from the ground up.
Never a night passed that I didn't find myself staring at it for less than 15 minutes.

how zaraki looked at time of purchase



5 years later




My current e34: 1995 bmw 525 OBDI s52 swap





I guess that's what your searching for. What would drive a human being to have such a
relationship with a car that it would place the owner in a semi trance state just admiring the
body lines and perfect imperfections.

Accomplishment, maybe. Thrill of the road, possible. The classic lines, subtle curves
and perfect imperfections, very well could be.

My definition would be it's a car which is rewarding and adapts to the driver.
It is the last of the old world notion of man's connection to the road.
One that looks graceful in motion and stunning in park.
From the M5 to the 520, it is truly the last drivers car BMW produced.

It's predecessor the e28 is also held in a somewhat cult following. For it truly was
the father of the modern day M5. It was raw, held in prestige at it's time.
It held on to the more simple engineering also seen in the e30.

I have a high respect for the e28.

However my car of choice is the e34. It fits my personality and lifestyle.
In it's base it's not as powerful as the later 5 series models.
But the innovations in engine swaps and force induction changes all that.
The interiors and electronics aren't as complex as a e60. Yet the majority of the
basic functions transcend throughout the 5 series year models.
Once you open that door, turn that key, it comes to life without much computer
calibrated sensory assistance.
Or better said you feel it's "soul" pulsating in unison with your own.

That said and long winded...
Don't just respect your elders.... Know your place.
 

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HB
Joined
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah yes the "which is better Question". The e30, the e28, or the e34.
Each car in this category is a champion in it's own right.
You have the iconic e30. The father of the M5, the e28.
And the legacy of the e34.

Well Junebug you've opened up a Pandora's box of sorts. For you will see, read and hear
different accounts depicting the passionate love affair of all three.
The problem with this query is truthfully... you have to open the door, sit down, turn the
roundel crested key, and have a go at it to get the full picture.

So it would definitely be a personal description your looking for.

In my case, I've owned a e30 and currently on my forth e34.
To be honest I love(d) both.
However my love for BMW began in high school some 2 1/2 decades ago.
My passion for e34s began out of necessity but grew into an enthusiast infatuation.

My first BMW was a 1986 e30 325es. I loved it's simplicity, its command of the road,
it's beauty. It was a car if I saw it again for sale I'd drop coin on the spot to bring it home again.


It was a car that introduced me to the mechanical side of german engineering.
I've had german cars previously but that e30 was the first german bred car I ever truly tinkered with.
In the same respect I didn't truly get the chance to appreciate it as much as I do my e34s.

Fortunately but unfortunate all things come to an end. My need for a larger car outweighed my love for the e30 so I jumped in my first example of a e34 which was a 535i 5spd manual.

It was a great car. Very clean, engine and suspension was solid. But it was taken from me quickly due to a freak ice storm.
So I never got the opportunity to get the most out of it.



Then I bought my longest bmw companion which was Zaraki. A well driven, multi owner,
m30 powered 5spd manual e34 that I basically rebuilt from the ground up.
Never a night passed that I didn't find myself staring at it for less than 15 minutes.

how zaraki looked at time of purchase



5 years later




My current e34: 1995 bmw 525 OBDI s52 swap





I guess that's what your searching for. What would drive a human being to have such a
relationship with a car that it would place the owner in a semi trance state just admiring the
body lines and perfect imperfections.

Accomplishment, maybe. Thrill of the road, possible. The classic lines, subtle curves
and perfect imperfections, very well could be.

My definition would be it's a car which is rewarding and adapts to the driver.
It is the last of the old world notion of man's connection to the road.
One that looks graceful in motion and stunning in park.
From the M5 to the 520, it is truly the last drivers car BMW produced.

It's predecessor the e28 is also held in a somewhat cult following. For it truly was
the father of the modern day M5. It was raw, held in prestige at it's time.
It held on to the more simple engineering also seen in the e30.

I have a high respect for the e28.

However my car of choice is the e34. It fits my personality and lifestyle.
In it's base it's not as powerful as the later 5 series models.
But the innovations in engine swaps and force induction changes all that.
The interiors and electronics aren't as complex as a e60. Yet the majority of the
basic functions transcend throughout the 5 series year models.
Once you open that door, turn that key, it comes to life without much computer
calibrated sensory assistance.
Or better said you feel it's "soul" pulsating in unison with your own.

That said and long winded...
Don't just respect your elders.... Know your place.
Thanks for the insight, It really gives me a better perspective over the e34. As you mentioned, engine swapping has made it easy to chose a design and just pump it up and use it to punish some tires in an old fashioned way.

What are your thoughts about the engine swapping, what would you suggest would be deserving for such a beauty?
 

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Got Beemer?
Joined
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917 Posts
Dang satin you nailed the description!! Very well said!!!


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
 

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Registered
Joined
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80 Posts
before anything else:
e28 - I do not see so many in the junkyard (maybe 2 in one year), thus parts could be an issue;
e30 - finding a good one will be hard, or just buy a cheap one an rebuild it.
e34 - in my area there are a lot in the junkyards; chances are that no one raced one, thus transmission parts (and so on) should be ok..
When I am saying this, I am referring to stuff that will not make sense to buy new (body parts, small plastic stuff, interior stuff, diff, gearbox and so).

Issues for all three:
- be prepared to buy suspension parts;
- fuel pump will die;
- blower motor could cause fire;
- dash issues, especially for the e30 the real mileage will be unknown ;
- I would not buy an auto;
- depending on your area, rust could be an issue;
- a good interior will be hard to find;
- engine sensors will make you swear a lot;

I owned all three with different engines and combinations. Maintenance is not an issue if you are able to do it yourself. Most of the parts are still available new, but some surprise could show up.

There are tutorials for almost anything that there is to do on these cars and online db for parts are still available :)

Fuel efficiency, depending on your engine and what you expect ( :))) ) will be mostly related to how well you are maintaining (O2 sensors, filters, spark plugs and so on) your car and how fast you drive.

I think that the most fuel efficient of all 3 would be an e30 (2 doors) m40 1.8 5 speed with a 3.73 diff. You could also go with a e30 (2 doors) m40 1.6 5 speed with a 4.10 diff.

All 3 are fun to drive, but the bigger the engine the better :)))))))))))))))
 

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Banned
Joined
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1,790 Posts
I went into a semi trance state while reading MSD's post. Damn that roughneck can write. Beautiful sir !
 

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Old School
Joined
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4,123 Posts
I have had E30, got an E34 and a good friend has an E28M (not ME28). For potential with minimal work I'd go for the E28M. All the cars you mention will need MAJOR work and parts replacement to go 'track quick' but the ME28 is ahead to start with. For driving comfort and highway cruise E34. Economy the E30 with 2.5 motor. All pale into a dot in the mirrors compared to my E32 and E38 but that is IMO stuff.......
BTW repair costs I find the same across the range BUT I baby my cars and have so far been very lucky. Obscure faults will cost a fortune (to trace) and generaly minimal $ (in comparison) to fix. Maintenance costs about the same for all.
 

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Every Ricers Nemesis
Joined
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435 Posts
My answer is a e30 is tiny and light and too small for most people but can be made into a lightning fast track with little effort. The e28 is your link between the e30 and the e34, weighing in at around 3000lbs it makes for a excellent handling car and has the same if not more power choices than the e30 plus when it comes to parts ebay is your friend. The e34 is the German Cadillac of the bunch being very roomy and super comfy but also making it the heaviest, handling can be improved greatly but will never match up to the handling of the e30 or e28 but you do have the advantage of getting a V8 with 290HP with a stock setup. Having owned both a e28 and a e34 if I was gonna make a track car Id do it with the e28 with a M50 swap, but if I wanted a dailydriver/powerhouse Id get a e34 540i/6.
 

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Resident e34 Racer
Joined
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3,091 Posts
My answer is a e30 is tiny and light and too small for most people but can be made into a lightning fast track with little effort. The e28 is your link between the e30 and the e34, weighing in at around 3000lbs it makes for a excellent handling car and has the same if not more power choices than the e30 plus when it comes to parts ebay is your friend. The e34 is the German Cadillac of the bunch being very roomy and super comfy but also making it the heaviest, handling can be improved greatly but will never match up to the handling of the e30 or e28 but you do have the advantage of getting a V8 with 290HP with a stock setup. Having owned both a e28 and a e34 if I was gonna make a track car Id do it with the e28 with a M50 swap, but if I wanted a dailydriver/powerhouse Id get a e34 540i/6.
+1 basically what i was gonna say.
 
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