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Hi all, I’m considering buying an M5 possibly as the list of things to do on my 525i is getting long enough for it not to be worth the money, with the same investment I’ve been told you can find a clean M5. I need some advice on what the common issues are on the M5s, where to look for good examples and most importantly how much I’m looking to pay for a car which ideally doesn’t need to be touched for a couple of years. Doesn’t need to be concourse condition but mechanically solid. Ideally sub 100k, would this be achievable with a budget of say maximum £16-17k?

 

thanks 

Edited by soorooshg

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8 hours ago, soorooshg said:

Hi all, I’m considering buying an M5 possibly as the list of things to do on my 525i is getting long enough for it not to be worth the money, with the same investment I’ve been told you can find a clean M5. I need some advice on what the common issues are on the M5s, where to look for good examples and most importantly how much I’m looking to pay for a car which ideally doesn’t need to be touched for a couple of years. Doesn’t need to be concourse condition but mechanically solid. Ideally sub 100k, would this be achievable with a budget of say maximum £16-17k?

 

thanks 

 

 The most important is finding one with a nice big fat history file of bills ...

 Then checking the bulkhead/jacking points/sill/ seat belt and other mounting points. 

 I would add items like damaged seats with part cloth or full cloth can be expensive to repair properly ....  also finding the right spares.

 I know of a genuine BMW M5  front seat cover drivers side selling for £1,300 and that was only the back .. 

 I would also add a good 120k M5 would most likely have had most of the cooling system changed etc .. Low miles does not mean less issues.

 

 

 Good luck with your search.

Edited by Carl-e34

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Check everything you normally would with any E34, then look for recent (big) bills for the SLS if its fitted, valve adjustments every 20-30k on the 3.6, battery drains, failing blower motors, the air con is unlikely to work, and then take it for a test drive. At this age i'd be looking for evidence of bills for rust treatment, MAF, Suspension, Bushes, Cooling system, regular valve adjustments, a clutch and use of the correct oil in services. 

They are fantastic cars 

Edit

I just read that you want one that won't have to be touched for a couple of years... I'd say even a good condition one, that is quite unlikely. Also i wouldn't worry about a sub 100k example, find one that's been well cared for, with comprehensive history. 

 

Edited by mumbojumbo

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21 hours ago, Carl-e34 said:

 

 The most important is finding one with a nice big fat history file of bills ...

 Then checking the bulkhead/jacking points/sill/ seat belt and other mounting points. 

 I would add items like damaged seats with part cloth or full cloth can be expensive to repair properly ....  also finding the right spares.

 I know of a genuine BMW M5  front seat cover drivers side selling for £1,300 and that was only the back .. 

 I would also add a good 120k M5 would most likely have had most of the cooling system changed etc .. Low miles does not mean less issues.

 

 

 Good luck with your search.

 

15 hours ago, mumbojumbo said:

Check everything you normally would with any E34, then look for recent (big) bills for the SLS if its fitted, valve adjustments every 20-30k on the 3.6, battery drains, failing blower motors, the air con is unlikely to work, and then take it for a test drive. At this age i'd be looking for evidence of bills for rust treatment, MAF, Suspension, Bushes, Cooling system, regular valve adjustments, a clutch and use of the correct oil in services. 

They are fantastic cars 

Edit

I just read that you want one that won't have to be touched for a couple of years... I'd say even a good condition one, that is quite unlikely. Also i wouldn't worry about a sub 100k example, find one that's been well cared for, with comprehensive history. 

 

 

Appreciate both of the replies and you both completely make sense saying higher mileage would have more work done never thought of it that way. Unfortunately I can literally only find a few for sale in the UK...

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It took about a year before the right one came up for me

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Find a good 535i Sport or an Alpina B10 3.5 with a Manual Box and you'll have 90% of the fun of an M5 without the bills. The big M30 is a tough motor if looked after and goes very well when required.

Prices for good cars have been creeping up over the last couple of years but they're still a bargain compared with what you'd pay for an 80's hot hatch.

 

I appreciate the M5 is all about its handbuilt motor, however it's best suited for European hoons and Nurburgring trips and wasted on your London commute. ;)

 

C.

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1 hour ago, cableguy said:

Find a good 535i Sport or an Alpina B10 3.5 with a Manual Box and you'll have 90% of the fun of an M5 without the bills. The big M30 is a tough motor if looked after and goes very well when required.

Prices for good cars have been creeping up over the last couple of years but they're still a bargain compared with what you'd pay for an 80's hot hatch.

 

I appreciate the M5 is all about its handbuilt motor, however it's best suited for European hoons and Nurburgring trips and wasted on your London commute. ;)

 

C.

 

have to agree - I wanted an e34 m5 and after test driving three 3.6 variants I ended up buying a e34 535i se instead.  The M30 is a great engine with great low down torque and a well sorted one will keep up to an m5 up to 100mph.  You really have to screw the m5 after 80/90mph to go fast

 

Never drove a 3.8 so cant comment on that

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23 minutes ago, eamo said:

 The M30 is a great engine with great low down torque and a well sorted one will keep up to an m5 up to 100mph. 

 

Not sure that's right, the M30 is a great engine but 100bhp down on a 3.6 M5. I think its the M thing they don't always feel fast.

 

My M3 saloon never felt quick as it revved so smoothly and and to high revs that day to day it didn't feel quick until you realised you had 3k left to play with.

 

Driven back to back with a 328i (similar power differential) the difference was readily apparent.

 

535i is lovely but its not an M car but its horses for courses.

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Taking cost out of the equation, the S38 is much more fun than the M30 by a considerable margin. An M30 is pretty dull and under powered compared to the V8's and S engine...

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19 minutes ago, mumbojumbo said:

Taking cost out of the equation, the S38 is much more fun than the M30 by a considerable margin. An M30 is pretty dull and under powered compared to the V8's and S engine...

 

I owned an e34 540i/6 for a few months whilst also running the e34 535i/5 Sport which I still have. The V8 was faster but it didn't IMO have the charm of the older big 6, hence keeping the 535.

 

s38 is another car altogether but wasted on commuting and UK roads.

 

C.

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14 minutes ago, cableguy said:

s38 is another car altogether but wasted on commuting and UK roads.

 

So are most cars with more than 300bhp these days i'd say

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43 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

 

So are most cars with more than 300bhp these days i'd say

 

Depends where you live, however Sooroosh is in Londoniumshire. ;)

 

C.

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Agreed around London its totally pointless. I live in SW London and the OBD on my 540 is showing average speed of 16mpg  :(. 

Having said that there are a few decent roads in Surrey that are a pleasure for an early morning blatt

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I can understand the pull of wanting one of the last real hand built M5's  ... But most late M5's are nowhere near their factory HP figures.

But a manual 540 with the right diff and suspension is 90 % the fun of the M5 ... But without the ££££££££££ and each have their own vin number :) 

Edited by Carl-e34

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I had a 3.8 6 speed, its on a whole new level compared to B10 3.5/ 540's.  Its not just the fact they're alot faster. They're fine for traffic work like all big engined E34's they do about 14mpg round the houses.

 

Its the way they feel handle brake etc than makes the M5 special.   The 3.8 doesn't need ragging to get going and they sound epic.  3.6 M5 need working to make progress, the 3.8 doesn't  

 

I miss my 6 speed, turning into a regret selling it last year as it was the sort of car you could go to the ring in 4 up with a boot full of shit and do 150mph.  I did that, i also would pop to shops in it and drive it in traffic to pub on a friday night after work. The clutch is light on them so its no hardship

 

I can't remember the last E34 M5 i saw forsale that had sub 100k milege i'd bin that idea straight off on milege

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