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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all :)

time to confess my fetish for the E34 M5. Had this fixation on this model ever since I realized my department chair drives one to school everyday. I even took the guts to talk to him about his M5 once in the lift. The conversation even ended with this from him "It has 340hp and has 4 doors!".

Something about the "macho-ness" of the E34 M5 that got hold of me. Not to the extend of sleepless nights, but strong enough to make me think twice about trading in for one. Eversince I took my E46 325i last year, I will encounter at least one E34 in LA almost everyday. Perhaps the *sign* has come? :eek: And of course, if in_d_haus remember, we saw a black one at BimmerFest 02.

The E34 M5 should be really sexy with a set of Alpina softline wheels, and perhaps the spoilers to dress it up like a B10 Biturbo.

Would like to hear from everyone here. Help out alpina.nut here. Help me get out of this web of confusion. :D I am ALL ears...

Btw this one is up for sale... yummy...:p
 

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Automotive Monomaniac
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The US version of the E34 M5 had 311 hp. I think it did 0-60 in about 6 seconds - along the same lines of a 330i (stick shift).

My dad had an E34 535i (5-speed). It was a nice car, but a bit slow off the line (only 208 hp). Acceleration was better at high speeds. Reliability was average.

The E34 M5 engine is a jewel. Unfortunately, it is also very complex (individual throttles on each cylinder). Just like the E30 M3 engine, I am betting parts are expensive, and tune-ups are a difficult.
 

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Ex-Dictator
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Ah ha! Here you go again :D

Why not ? Hell, the E34 has one of the most beautiful BMW designs,IMO. And the M5 has monster power too. I'm not an M expert here, but I'm sure board-gurus will give more info.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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VinceTopasBlau3 said:
Hey all :)

time to confess my fetish for the E34 M5. Had this fixation on this model ever since I realized my department chair drives one to school everyday. I even took the guts to talk to him about his M5 once in the lift. The conversation even ended with this from him "It has 340hp and has 4 doors!".

Something about the "macho-ness" of the E34 M5 that got hold of me. Not to the extend of sleepless nights, but strong enough to make me think twice about trading in for one. Eversince I took my E46 325i last year, I will encounter at least one E34 in LA almost everyday. Perhaps the *sign* has come? :eek: And of course, if in_d_haus remember, we saw a black one at BimmerFest 02.

The E34 M5 should be really sexy with a set of Alpina softline wheels, and perhaps the spoilers to dress it up like a B10 Biturbo.

Would like to hear from everyone here. Help out alpina.nut here. Help me get out of this web of confusion. :D I am ALL ears...

Btw this one is up for sale... yummy...:p
I toyed briefly with the idea of an E34 M5, and more seriously with the idea of an E34 540i Sport. The latter was a limited production model in 1995 that used the European M suspension and body kit, but had the V8 and 6 speed manual from a 540. The 540i Sport makes sense to me over an M5 since it is two years newer than any US market M5s (last imported in 93) and doesn't have the complex 6 cylinder that the M5 does. Performance is nearly identical at low speeds, though the M5 does a bit better up high.

In the end, I decided against the E34 for a couple of reasons. First, the cars are expensive for their age. A nice 540i Sport or M5 will cost in the mid- to upper-20s, and you probably don't want anything but the best low mileage example you can find. That's a lot of money to pay for a nearly 10 year old car, especially if you are going to use it as a daily driver (and thus expect durability above all else). Second, and perhaps more importantly, the car is just more vehicle than I need. The E34 in M suspension trim is an impressive car for its size, but it still weighs two tons. Compared to the E46, the E34 feels very, very large. Since I don't have kids and only rarely haul more than one person, the extra weight and loss of precision feel just wasn't necessary.

They sure are nice looking, though. There's an M5 occasionally in my parking garage, and I drool every time I see it. I will say that if you get one, scotch the Alpina wheel upgrade plan. The 17" throwing stars are some of the nicest looking wheels out there, and the later M parallels (used on the Euro M5 and later the 740i Sport) are even better.
 

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Re: Re: Toying with the idea of an E34 M5...

JST said:
A nice 540i Sport or M5 will cost in the mid- to upper-20s, and you probably don't want anything but the best low mileage example you can find. That's a lot of money to pay for a nearly 10 year old car, especially if you are going to use it as a daily driver (and thus expect durability above all else).
I sold my 97 540i because of reliability issues, which led me to my new 02 330i. You can pick up a 97 or 98 E39 for about $25-29k. I'm not sure if the E34 is less than that or if it has held its value.

I learned from owning the 540i that BMW is no expert on V8 engines. I had a series of oil leaks, bad PCV valves, and other issues that eventually made me realize that this was not going to be the reliable daily driver that I wanted. My BMW mechanic even counseled me to get rid of it. Worse, the auto trannys are known to not last too long, possibly because of the "lifetime" fluid issue, although that's unlikely to be a problem with the cars you're looking at. My mid 96 production auto tranny was the same used in the E34.

Then I read things like the latest Roundel, which talk about the common problem of bolts not being tightened properly on oil pumps of E34 V8's, resulting in catastrophic engine failure. Many blown engines later and some people are still getting stiffed with this one.

Then there's the V8 Nikasel issue with E34's, which requires that prospective buyers do their homework on each E34 V8 they investigate.

I personally wouldn't own a BMW out of warranty, and I would never own a V8 again (or a BMW turbo).

--gary
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Re: Re: Re: Toying with the idea of an E34 M5...

Nat Brown said:


I sold my 97 540i because of reliability issues, which led me to my new 02 330i. You can pick up a 97 or 98 E39 for about $25-29k. I'm not sure if the E34 is less than that or if it has held its value.

--gary
"Normal" E34 540s are less; there were only 200 of the 1995 540i Sports (with the M5 suspension and appearance items) imported to the United States. IIRC, the "Sport" option was about $7K above and beyond the 540i sticker price. The 95 Sport really was an M5 in all but engine.
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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My friend with a E30M3 toyed with the E34M5 idea for some time as well, and he came to the same conclusions that JST did. Firstly, he wanted a car that was more of a daily driver than his E30M3. The maintenance costs of a ~10 year old M car just wasn't gonna cut it for him for it to be viable, especially considering the initial cost of the car, and that even good examples tend to be used quite a bit (4dr practicality=being used), even if they're well cared for otherwise.

It doesn't make much sense as a track car, so its hard to justify in that way as well.

That's not to say its not a fantastic car, and if you have the means to buy one for weekend cruising more than anything else, I think its a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies! :D

It was a spur of a moment that I thought of trading in my E46. Very much like that Alpina B3 3.0 touring wagon that was on Ebay last year. :( But of course, there is a *price* to pay for a 10-year-old car. And yes, it will be my daily car. Hence, reliability is definitely THE issue to worry about. Not to forget my occasional visits to Death Valley. I think I will reserve this fun of owning an E34 M5 to my later years in life...:p
 

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Late to the party.

How funny, I was toying with the same idea last week. Was going to get rid of my cab and wait till I could find a nice e34 m5 with some low mileage and turn it into kind of a tinkering project car.

Couple of things I found. The 91-94 models have the 316hp north american motor. The 95s had the full euro 360hp motor. Problem was only like 300 some were brought in. They're tough to find and command a good price. There's always gray market, buying a cheap 91 and doing a transplant or a stroker motor. All of these seem to be commonly explored routes.

I'm really still trying to find the essence of BMW that first had me lusting over them back when my cousin bought a 89 535i. I want a fast four door sports car.

Only thing stopping me at this point is really the upkeep expense. M5 motor is expensive to work on. Aux parts aren't porsche pricey or anything like that, but a full motor rebuild is almost half the initial cost of the car. But I have a feeling the little stuff would nickle and dime me.

Also, the rear suspension is self leveling, that's expensive to repair or you have to rerofit a normal suspension. Then later models had EDC, electronic dampening control. Again, extremely pricey.

Doubt I'll ever have the cahones to do it.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Re: Late to the party.

The other thing that makes an E34 hard to justify is just how good E46s have gotten. A 330i offers performance similar to the 300 hp, 4000 lb M5, but demands much less maintenance, offers superior handling (and feels much lighter and more tossable), and is ten years newer. It's only drawback, really, is that it's slightly smaller. For day-to-day use, the 330 (or an M3/4, if you want better performance and don't mind some additional maintenance) is the obvious choice.

obLu said:
How funny, I was toying with the same idea last week. Was going to get rid of my cab and wait till I could find a nice e34 m5 with some low mileage and turn it into kind of a tinkering project car.

Couple of things I found. The 91-94 models have the 316hp north american motor. The 95s had the full euro 360hp motor. Problem was only like 300 some were brought in. They're tough to find and command a good price. There's always gray market, buying a cheap 91 and doing a transplant or a stroker motor. All of these seem to be commonly explored routes.

I'm really still trying to find the essence of BMW that first had me lusting over them back when my cousin bought a 89 535i. I want a fast four door sports car.

Only thing stopping me at this point is really the upkeep expense. M5 motor is expensive to work on. Aux parts aren't porsche pricey or anything like that, but a full motor rebuild is almost half the initial cost of the car. But I have a feeling the little stuff would nickle and dime me.

Also, the rear suspension is self leveling, that's expensive to repair or you have to rerofit a normal suspension. Then later models had EDC, electronic dampening control. Again, extremely pricey.

Doubt I'll ever have the cahones to do it.
 
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