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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The E34 has always intrigued me-- i've always loved its clean, elegant styling and functional attractive interior w/ its vault like build quality. Before I really knew much or cared about BMWs, it was the first BMW that I really liked appearance wise. I've actually only driven one once.

I'm very vaguely toying w/ the idea of looking for an E34. I think I'd look for 1995 (since it was the last model year and will have the kinks worked out), 525i w/ a manual. I'd avoid the V8s due to their nikasil engine problems. The 2.5 liter engine is modern in design w/ self-adjusting hyddraulic lifters, etc-- its an M50-- so our current M54s are direct descendants of this engine. Admittedly, its kind of a heavy car for this engine.

Am I right that all E34s used recirculating ball steering?

Anyone else smitten w/ the e34-- or, if anyone has owned one what did you think of it? What are some isssues to be aware of?
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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I like E34s too. Of course, the ultimate E34 is a M5 Touring. :D I see TONS of very clean examples locally every day so it shouldn't be that tough to find a nice one.
 

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I too like the look of the E34 though I have never driven one. I am toying with the idea of picking one up too :thumbup:
 

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I have a 92 E34 525ia. It's great trip car! Solidly built. 10 years old and it has zero rattles.
 

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funny you mention this. I too am interested in the E34. a friend of mine picked up a real clean one CPO a few years ago. he told me that the sales person told him that a ilttle old lady owned it and only drove it to the store etc. I had to laugh because he believed that story but the car did look it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The last year for the 535i was 1993, correct? I like the idea of the 535 a lot, but don't want to mess w/ its older tech engine-- I know it requires a lot more maintenance than the M50 family. I think its a direct descendant of the original "big six" used in the bavaria (e3). Tempting though... The 525i should be fine w/ a manual. Glad to hear that the e34 is so solidly built-- that was my recollection as well.
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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Well the good thing about the 'old tech' engine is exactly that. A M30 is quite durable, reasonably straightforward, and I believe even the fuelinjection/management is a fairly standard Bosch setup instead of the more custom DME of later models.

Personally, I still want a E24. :thumbup: There are a LOT of em forsale in the new Roundel. Too bad I don't have 'play car' money. :bawling:
 

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robg said:
Anyone else smitten w/ the e34-- or, if anyone has owned one what did you think of it? What are some isssues to be aware of?
When I was at the dealer visiting "Jr." the other day, he was tooling around in a 95 540i M-Sport model. I was going ga-ga over it.... It was silver with black leather and had all the goodies- 6 spd, aero bumpers, 17 inch "throwing star" wheels (I think thats what they call them! :) ) It had low mileage (something like 50k) on it and BMW had recently replaced his engine free of charge under the extended M60 warranty (his car went into service very late and his 6th year expired last winter) This thing was mint. I really wanted to talk to the guy that owned it and offer him some good money for it.

My real craving is for an E34 M5. They are few and far between in my area, and you occasionally see one speeding around on 95, but it doesn't happen often. Clean examples with low mileage are still a little too much for me to justify for an additional vehicle.
 

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Tamer of the Mighty V8
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robg said:
The E34 has always intrigued me-- i've always loved its clean, elegant styling and functional attractive interior w/ its vault like build quality. Before I really knew much or cared about BMWs, it was the first BMW that I really liked appearance wise. I've actually only driven one once.

I'm very vaguely toying w/ the idea of looking for an E34. I think I'd look for 1995 (since it was the last model year and will have the kinks worked out), 525i w/ a manual. I'd avoid the V8s due to their nikasil engine problems. The 2.5 liter engine is modern in design w/ self-adjusting hyddraulic lifters, etc-- its an M50-- so our current M54s are direct descendants of this engine. Admittedly, its kind of a heavy car for this engine.

Am I right that all E34s used recirculating ball steering?

Anyone else smitten w/ the e34-- or, if anyone has owned one what did you think of it? What are some isssues to be aware of?
I would'nt say to avoid the V8's, just make sure it has the Alusil Block. I have a '95 540 with 120k on the car and new block replaced at 67k. The car purrs like a kitten when at idle, but put your foot in it and hold on while it roras like a Lion.
Drive one sometime and you will not reget it.

My 2 cents, Keith
 

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Re: Re: Re: I'm starting to get an E34 craving...

31st330i said:


how can you tell?
You have to crawl under the right front of the car.
All M60 blocks have casting numbers on the right side,directly alongside the 3rd cylinder,slightly above the coolant drain bolt. You will need a long screwdriver to move a small bundle of wires out of the way.

These are the casting numders to look for:

Nikasil M60B30- 1 725 970 or 1 741 212 (old)
Nikasil M60B40- 1 725 963 or 1 742 998 (old)

Now the good Blocks:

Alusil M60B30- 1 745 871
Alusil M60B40- 1 745 872 (my block)

This is the only way to determine which M60 you have, short of removing the cylinder head, or a dealer having replaced it and sharing that information with you.

After finding out that I had a Alusil block, I contacted BMWNA and they gave me the phone number of the dealer that did the work.
They dealer told me they replaced the block on 8/14/97 at 67,129 miles.

Since you're so close to me (dublin) we should hook up sometime for a test drive, what do you think?

Keith '95 540 in P-Town :thumbup:
 

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Hey Rob!

I actually posted a similar thread a while back about getting an E34. Yar..just toying the idea, nothing serious. Everyday seeing my department chair driving an E34 M5 to work isn't helping me to forget about E34s either. I love E34 for its masculinity. And of course, a set of ALPINA wheels make me a very happy owner too. :D

I have searched a while (on autotrader and roundel) and those with about 75K to 100K goes for less than $18k. But of course, price depends on "cleaniness". I think Emission mentioned about maintainability of the engine. And I believe Keith here gave a rather detailed description of the good engine block.

Did someone mentioned that the E34s weigh a lot too? :dunno:
 

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Re: Re: I'm starting to get an E34 craving...

DrBimmer said:


When I was at the dealer visiting "Jr." the other day, he was tooling around in a 95 540i M-Sport model. I was going ga-ga over it.... It was silver with black leather and had all the goodies- 6 spd, aero bumpers, 17 inch "throwing star" wheels (I think thats what they call them! :) ) It had low mileage (something like 50k) on it and BMW had recently replaced his engine free of charge under the extended M60 warranty (his car went into service very late and his 6th year expired last winter) This thing was mint. I really wanted to talk to the guy that owned it and offer him some good money for it.

My real craving is for an E34 M5. They are few and far between in my area, and you occasionally see one speeding around on 95, but it doesn't happen often. Clean examples with low mileage are still a little too much for me to justify for an additional vehicle.
There's what looks to be a nice one at a local used BMW dealer here in Northern VA. 1991, 50K miles, 29K.


http://www.autoadvantage.net/M&8series.htm

According to the owner, this same outfit sort of specializes in the 1995 540i Sport, and they've had three or four through their place in the past couple of years. I looked at a very, very nice silver one with about 30K miles on it, but at $32K it was hard to justify.
 

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Planning on a second car or a replacement for the 325i?

I like the styline a lot, and have only driven one very briefly (M5). Fantastic engine sound and I like the interior a lot. This one was Green, throwing stars, gray leather. Gorgeous. I rode in it for quite a bit and and it is very fast. I don't think that the other models would be fast enough or handle well enough to trade a 325 in for it.

but, as a second car, one would be great! :)
 
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I've posted many times about the E34. I love it. And I do hold a residual temptation to pick up a '95 525i 5-spd for use as a family car (freeing my M3 up from having to serve that role). The 525s are running MUCH less than the V8 E34s and a few hundred dollars gets you a Jim C chip that bumps the HP up into the very respectable range. (I can't remember any specifics this morning but they are easily found online.)

Still VERY tempting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I perused the classifieds in the Roundel and the local paper this weekend. It looks like E34s hold their value even better than I thought. A very clean 95 525i can run in the low 20s! A bit hard to justify-- but I think these were some of the best cars that BMW ever built. I also love the "throwing stars" on the later M5s and the 540i sport package-- but those cars in good condition can easily break $30k!

Nate-- i don't know. I hear what you're saying about the handling and power of an e34 being a bit of a letdown after an e46 325i. On the other hand, I've grown increasingly fond of "old school" German build quality--that sense that this car could be go for 500,000 miles and still feel almost as good as new-- cars like the e34 and the older E class mercedes exemplified this. German cars built up to the early 90s were what "sold me" on eventually owning one. Frankly, my e46 has been a bit of a disappointment in this respect- and yeah, I know its safer, more reliable, stiffer, better handling, etc. Its just missing something in "feel" that I always wanted in a car. It comes closer than any other new car-- but it still falls a bit short. But, if i did get an e34, I think it would be as a second car.
 

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TD said:
a Jim C chip that bumps the HP up into the very respectable range. (I can't remember any specifics this morning but they are easily found online.)
189 hp stock, 211 hp with a JC chip. Although I always am very skeptical of big hp gains from mods, after doing this upgrade myself, I truly believe a 22 hp increase is possible here. Power is good enough with a 5-speed and a stick. A few people with M3s and 535s have commented how quick my car feels at the top end after getting rides.

All E34s have recirculating ball steering. The rack and pinion on our Passat does feel a bit more precise in comparison (one of the very few comparisons the Passat wins over the E34).

You guys are amazing. I would really like to have an E46 and you're all saying how the E34 has that old school build quality that the new cars lack. I can't say you're wrong, though. My lowered car has no squeaks or rattles anywhere even at 106k miles.

One big reason I'm keeping my car is that I have no problems at all bringing a 10 year old car to driving schools. The size is also perfect for my family, and I've had no reliability problems. I could either sell it and get a nice new BMW (330Ci) or maybe keep it as a daily driver and get a used M3 or 325/328 as a track car...until I decide which way to go in a couple years, I'm pretty much satisfied.
 
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