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Opinions please, 2nd car a '97 M3 or a '97 540-6speed?

2209 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Clem
I’m a first time poster. I’ve had many BMWs over the years, starting with a ’72 2002 tii and ending with an ’88 M5, which I sold 2 years ago when I bought my Boxster. I'm going to replace my present 2nd car ('94 Audi 90Q). I'll be using the car mostly in the winter, but it will come in handy when I need to carry more than 2 people.

I’d like to hear opinions on both the ‘97/’98 M3 or ‘97/’98 540 6-speed. Because it will be primarily a winter car, and we do get 5+ months of winter here in Alberta, I’m especially interested to hear how the traction control works on each car in icy and snowy conditions.

I’ll be posting this on both the 3-series and 5-series boards in order to get as balanced a view as possible.

Thanks in advance. :)
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robg said:
The one issue w/ a 97 540 might be the engine block. As you may know, many of the BMW V8s produced through 1997 were suseptible to excessive bore wear due to the high sulfur fuel in North American reacting w/ the Nikasil cylinder wall coating. Many people had their engine blocks replaced as a result-- you should check this out if you go w/ an early 540-- have a dealership perform a "leakdown test".
The 1993-1995 models were effected by this problem. This includes the 3.0 and 4.0l V8's used in the E34, E32 and E38 530i, 540i, and 740i/iL. The problem was solved by the time the 4.4l was introduced in the 1996 model year. By the 1997 model year when the E38 was released, there were no more problems. The 4.4l V8 is a relatively bulletproof engine and did not suffer from any of the engine block issues.
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