Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/23/13 11:49 a.m.

I have a line on this:

1994 BMW E34 525i

Supposedly it's a DOHC VANOS I-6 with an auto. Anything I need to know?

turboswede
turboswede PowerDork
9/23/13 11:57 a.m.

Give my buddy, James, a call at Munich Motorworks in Portland. He can clue you in to any known issues and if you buy, get you parts at a reasonable price.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy UberDork
9/23/13 12:14 p.m.

Early M50, so watch out for the plastic fantastic cooling system parts which will ruin your day if they have not been replaced. That will probably have a ZF auto that takes unicorn piss for fluid. Front suspension is complicated. They were the first BMW where interior quality slipped a bit, but not as bad as the E36. Otherwise they are good, stout cars.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
9/23/13 12:29 p.m.

Good cars, but better with the manual transmission. Long lasting engine if you don't overheat it, a number of bushings up front (and probably rear) almost certainly need to be replaced. They drive like a smaller car - great dynamics.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/23/13 12:35 p.m.

Is it flipable with the auto? It's got over 200K miles on it, too...

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy UberDork
9/23/13 12:46 p.m.
Javelin wrote: Is it flipable with the auto? It's got over 200K miles on it, too...

The auto is a time bomb at that point if it has had anything less than flawless maintenance. That is a $1500-2000 car around these parts, so weigh that against the cost of fixing whatever's wrong with it. Unless it's a couple hundred bucks or free, I'd skip the headache.

turboswede
turboswede PowerDork
9/23/13 12:55 p.m.

I was going to say that the auto is a wear item on those and not easily rebuildable from what I remember.

If the auto is in good shape, someone will buy it since many plebes don't want sticks and just want a status symbol :/

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
9/23/13 12:58 p.m.

Are there really still people who think a 20 yr old BMW is a status symbol?

I think you'd have a much easier time re-selling it if it was a manual.

ppddppdd
ppddppdd Reader
9/23/13 2:44 p.m.
SlickDizzy wrote: They were the first BMW where interior quality slipped a bit, but not as bad as the E36. Otherwise they are good, stout cars.

The interior on mine was wayyyyy better than on the E28 it replaced.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/23/13 3:05 p.m.
SlickDizzy wrote: Unless it's a couple hundred bucks or free, I'd skip the headache.

This. Unless it was really cheap I wouldn't bother.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy SuperDork
9/23/13 5:08 p.m.

I paid $750 for my '95 e34 525iA about 2 years ago. It had a bad (but running ) engine, exactly 200k miles, very good condition body and interior. A known good 100k mile Junk yard engine was $350, they usually go for another about twice that around here, but I was in the right place at the right time. My total cost to get it fully road worthy was just under $1800.

Around here I could easily get $3000 for it without trying real hard, because its a shiny clean BMW, and lots of people are willing to pay for that.

Its only left me stranded once, due to a bad alternator. The alternator from the originally engine, plus a new VR had us back on the road.

Just about a month ago I rebuilt the front suspension and replaced all the struts, most of the old parts looked factory original. That set me back about $500. Now it needs an alignment because it way to much toe in. In fact, I think I might go try a DIY tape measure alignment tonight.

The automatic transmissions in these are GM built, 4L30E I think, and use regular trans fluid. I serviced the trans in mine, the fluid was very dark, but low on sparkling metal bits. It seems to be holding up well.

Its definitely not a sports car, but it a is a comfortable, (but not soft),cruiser with enough power to get out of its own way. All in all I like it, and don't regret buying it. For the right deal I would buy another one, especially if it were a manual gearbox car.

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