Jump to content
Keliuss

E34 Buyers Guide?

Recommended Posts

Hello Folks

 

I'm not normally a frequent visitor to this section but I've a dose of nostalgia of late and am toying with the idea of owning an E34 again with the aim of using it as an occasional weekender and easing it into old age. I've tried the search and have found many buying guides for other marks but an E34 guide I cannot find.

If anyone has done one up please point me in the right direction, or perhaps tell me some of the major things to watch out for.

 

I've had one before, which I only took as part trade-in against a MkIV Supra which was proving difficult to shift at the time, so the E34 was my first (reluctant) dip into Beemerworld and as you can see from my signature I've not looked back. The E34 was in poor nick when I got it, and even poorer when I moved it on. I was only a young lad and basically drove it like I stole it. 

Hence:

Image003.jpg.792a05923d541b1cba7ed171c8dfbca3.jpg

 

This might be a long term aspiration as I've not a lot in the kitty at the moment and haven't even considered how to approach the subject with the missus lol.

 

In Ireland vintage tax is from 30 years old, but insurance companies will offer vintage cover on younger vehicles, not sure if it's 20 or 25 or case by case basis. Due to finances I can really only consider the lower end of the market, so will probably be a higher end mileage car. The larger end engines were rare here too due to the motor tax regime up to 2008 that is based on engine size. For example:

A 1994 528i would cost me €1391 per annum road tax for five years until vintage status whereby it would drop to €56 per annum

A 1994 520i would be €710 pa

A 1994 518i would be €636 pa.

 

These are all considerations I need to mull over. I don't really want a 1.8 four pot but the 2.8 would be hard to justify for occasional use until it hits vintage. Sellers know the closer to vintage, how huge the appeal goes up. So I would need to strike a balance and maybe aim for a 520i that has 5/6 years until vintage.

 

All and any advice welcome.

 

Keliuss

 

I will probably end up getting hit over the head with the frying pan and have to sneak in here, tail between legs to quietly delete this thread lol.

 

 

Edited by Keliuss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have recently restored a 535i se, loads spent on it which might put you off! But I can pm you the list of jobs and cost so you can get an idea of what things cost and what might need doing, mine was in very poor state when purchased and needed pretty much a full restoration.  It will include the costly mods I have done too, which you should ignore, and no labour costs as apart from paint I do it all myself.

best advice I could give is to buy the best you can, and with a good body, especially the sills, jacking points which are a pain in the Ass to rebuild.

pm on its way to you.

ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Ian, 

 

That's quite a long list lol. I'd be hoping to have a much shorter one I could just tinker away at as time permits. 

 

Keliuss

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Keliuss said:

Hello Folks

 

I'm not normally a frequent visitor to this section but I've a dose of nostalgia of late and am toying with the idea of owning an E34 again with the aim of using it as an occasional weekender and easing it into old age. I've tried the search and have found many buying guides for other marks but an E34 guide I cannot find.

If anyone has done one up please point me in the right direction, or perhaps tell me some of the major things to watch out for.

 

I've had one before, which I only took as part trade-in against a MkIV Supra which was proving difficult to shift at the time, so the E34 was my first (reluctant) dip into Beemerworld and as you can see from my signature I've not looked back. The E34 was in poor nick when I got it, and even poorer when I moved it on. I was only a young lad and basically drove it like I stole it. 

Hence:

Image003.jpg.792a05923d541b1cba7ed171c8dfbca3.jpg

 

This might be a long term aspiration as I've not a lot in the kitty at the moment and haven't even considered how to approach the subject with the missus lol.

 

In Ireland vintage tax is from 30 years old, but insurance companies will offer vintage cover on younger vehicles, not sure if it's 20 or 25 or case by case basis. Due to finances I can really only consider the lower end of the market, so will probably be a higher end mileage car. The larger end engines were rare here too due to the motor tax regime up to 2008 that is based on engine size. For example:

A 1994 528i would cost me €1391 per annum road tax for five years until vintage status whereby it would drop to €56 per annum

A 1994 520i would be €710 pa

A 1994 518i would be €636 pa.

 

These are all considerations I need to mull over. I don't really want a 1.8 four pot but the 2.8 would be hard to justify for occasional use until it hits vintage. Sellers know the closer to vintage, how huge the appeal goes up. So I would need to strike a balance and maybe aim for a 520i that has 5/6 years until vintage.

 

All and any advise welcome.

 

Keliuss

 

I will probably end up getting hit over the head with the frying pan and have to sneak in here, tail between legs to quietly delete this thread lol.

 

 

 

 

Ummm, sorry to say but there was never such thing as an E34 528i.....

 

In e28 guise yes

In e39 guise yes

In e34 no

 

Your basically looking at 518i 4 cyl (M40/m43) 520i 6 cyl (M20/M50) 525i (M20/M50) 530i (M30/M60) 535i (M30)540i M60.

 

Obviously the earlier engines were M20, M30 and M40. The later ones were m43, M50 and M60

 

Hope this helps :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, boiliebasher said:

Ummm, sorry to say but there was never such thing as an E34 528i.....

Oops, getting my wires crossed because I was looking at the odd E38 in 728i guise, and was checking the tax bands for it.

 

Thanks for the advice though, appreciated. 

 

Keliuss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Keliuss said:

Oops, getting my wires crossed because I was looking at the odd E38 in 728i guise, and was checking the tax bands for it.

 

Thanks for the advice though, appreciated. 

 

Keliuss

 

No worries.

Unfortunately the M52b28 was never factory fitted into the E34's. Shame though really as it would of made for a lovely car.

Good luck in your search and let us know how you get on ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and I feel for you guys. You seem to get well and truly shafted on road tax regarding the higher capacity engines. My advice would be find a clean 520i shell and replace it with 525i engine. Physically and aesthetically they're identical and no one would ever have know..... :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, boiliebasher said:

Oh and I feel for you guys. You seem to get well and truly shafted on road tax regarding the higher capacity engines. My advice would be find a clean 520i shell and replace it with 525i engine. Physically and aesthetically they're identical and no one would ever have know..... :ph34r:

Same here because to register my 525i it’s the equivalent to 337 euro a year 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am originally from Ireland - and I feel your pain regarding the cost of running some cars over there.

 

I have had quite a few E34s, but never a V8 or a diesel.  I think you should be looking for a nice tidy late 88 / 89 525i.  It will have the older M20 168bhp 2.5l 6 cylinder engine, which while not as good as the later M50, feels and sounds nice.  It will have a belt rather than a chain.

 

As has been said above, look everywhere for rust - that's what kills these.  Issues I have had are fuel line leaks (especially around and above the fuel tank), the famous steering wheel shimmy at about 50mph, the cause of which can be hard to identify (wheel balance, suspension parts, bushes etc) but generally the mechanicals are solid and you can get them fixed anywhere - nothing too complicated.  Some trim is getting hard to find now, but a request in the appropriate section here usually bears fruit.  There are a few guys here who regularly break these cars.

 

These are great cars - built when BMW quality was at its best.  Get a good one before the prices get out of hand. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When purchasing any e34 these days, The buyer should check the bulkhead for the corrosion ...   The bulkhead drains rot out allowing water into the cabin.

  The area is hidden behind the plastic trim, That is located on the bulkheads ... The little plastic nuts can take some of the bulkhead on removal :ph34r:

The danger is the relays under the passenger glove box can get water damaged by the water leaking in ....  So be aware :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Calypso-E34 said:

I am originally from Ireland - and I feel your pain regarding the cost of running some cars over there.

 

I have had quite a few E34s, but never a V8 or a diesel.  I think you should be looking for a nice tidy late 88 / 89 525i.  It will have the older M20 168bhp 2.5l 6 cylinder engine, which while not as good as the later M50, feels and sounds nice.  It will have a belt rather than a chain.

 

As has been said above, look everywhere for rust - that's what kills these.  Issues I have had are fuel line leaks (especially around and above the fuel tank), the famous steering wheel shimmy at about 50mph, the cause of which can be hard to identify (wheel balance, suspension parts, bushes etc) but generally the mechanicals are solid and you can get them fixed anywhere - nothing too complicated.  Some trim is getting hard to find now, but a request in the appropriate section here usually bears fruit.  There are a few guys here who regularly break these cars.

 

These are great cars - built when BMW quality was at its best.  Get a good one before the prices get out of hand. 

 

Thanks Calypso. Unfortunately I think an 88/89 tidy or otherwise is beyond my reach at the moment due to finances. And I've been dropping a few hints in front of the missus too of late. Two words come to mind lol, one is lead, the other is balloon :rolleyes:. So that's also a major work in progress.

 

So if I'm to bear fruit, I think best to aim for a later model.

 

Regarding them being great cars: When I had mine around 15 years ago all my friends called it "The Tank". I caught two of them dancing on it's roof at a weekend music festival. Water off a ducks back it was. I eventually changed it for an E39 which was obviously newer, and felt, well, just newer, but not necessarily all that better. Hard to put into words, just didn't feel as solid, and I don't recall my friends calling that anything other than "your car".

 

Keliuss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Carl-e34 said:

When purchasing any e34 these days, The buyer should check the bulkhead for the corrosion ...   The bulkhead drains rot out allowing water into the cabin.

  The area is hidden behind the plastic trim, That is located on the bulkheads ... The little plastic nuts can take some of the bulkhead on removal :ph34r:

The danger is the relays under the passenger glove box can get water damaged by the water leaking in ....  So be aware :) 

 

Very much appreciated. These are the little gold nuggets that might prove invaluable. What's the handiest way to inspect for it if I was viewing? I don't want to be literally pulling one apart (much) :ph34r:

 

Keliuss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Keliuss said:

 

Very much appreciated. These are the little gold nuggets that might prove invaluable. What's the handiest way to inspect for it if I was viewing? I don't want to be literally pulling one apart (much) :ph34r:

 

Keliuss

 

Carl loves his golden nuggets! :lol:Especially when they have a 4.0 V8 6 speed attached to them! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, welshpug said:

I see the tax in Ireland seems particularly expensive, but what are your fuel prices like?

 

Not too different really - but insurance is pure unadulterated bloody THEFT. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, welshpug said:

I see the tax in Ireland seems particularly expensive, but what are your fuel prices like?

Tax system is emissions (CO2) based since 2008 so is a lot more palatable now. So my current 2008 reg 2.0 diesel with the auto box is €390, the manual is €280. The same car registered in 2007 would be €710.

Diesel is about €1.32/liter at the moment, petrol €1.42

 

Yes insurance is going haywire the past few years thanks to the ridiculous judicial system here awarding massive payouts for whiplash type injuries, which has led everyone to claiming fraudulently.

 

Keliuss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×