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Hi all,

 

Probably in the wrong section and been asked a million times but I'm useless at searching forums, so....

 

I've been offered an E34 540 with 60k miles at what seems to be a reasonable price, I've been looking through the "how to" guides etc, and buying guides and what worries me most is that parts seem to be becoming scarce.

 

You guys are all die-hard fans but would you contemplate E34 ownership in 2021?

 

I'm no expert but I've had E36/E46/E86 and currently have an F30 which is my daily so I'm used to BMWs but is E34 ownership difficult?

 

Any help appreciated

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Depends what parts you're looking for, in terms of mechanicals, then I don't think there's an issue. If you're only looking at the dealer for parts, then yes there is an increasing number of parts becomming obsolete, but it isn't hard to find OEM spec parts elsewhere. Lemforder for suspension, ATE for brakes, etc.

 

The M60 is a tough engine, and at 60k if it's been looked after, and you continue that, there's probably another 200,000 miles in it. Mine's done 198,000 and still pulls like a train, and I have a manual E39 540 (4.4 plus VANOS  vs 4.0 in the E34) so I have a pretty good base for comparison. The cam cover gaskets will most likely fail if they haven't already, so there'll be oil leaks. replacing them is pretty cheap and easy, and a good time to swap the plugs. Nice afternoon job.  Auto box will benefit from a fluid and filter change, though it's probably ok at your mileage. 

 

Body and trim parts are where the problems lie, but they're not parts you need regularly, and not critical to forward motion. I've found a lot of parts on ebay, from all over Europe. Cross referencing part numbers with RealOEM is the key to getting the right bits.

 

The youngest E34's (like my '95) are 26 years old, so you can't expect total reliability. Weird things will fail, but usually electrical niggles. The glass on my hatch  stopped working the other week, but this is the cars way of keeping you occupied. You might get bored or have a life otherwise........

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I think at the moment cars are still being broken so the odds and ends can be found.

 

I wouldn't be too concerned about running an e34 at the moment.

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I run one and am able to keep it in good order. Its an even older e34 from 1988. Theres alot of parts available from the usa. Thats were i will be getting many engine bits from soon.

 

 

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I run an E34 daily - no issues getting the parts. Most stuff can be purchased from EuroCarParts, some things are main dealer only, but everything else can be easily found on AutoDoc, so plenty of choice. The cost for the parts is also reasonable (depending on what you need) and generally speaking, maintaining an E34 doesn't cost a fortune.

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I've owned a run of E34 Tourings with two V8's - it hasn't been mentioned so far but there is/was anecdotal evidence of the bolts that hold the V8 oil pump getting a little loose over time - it isn't that big a job as there is halfway sump thing you can remove to check it but if you have the skills or money to do it's probably worth it.

 

One thing I would say about E34 electronics is that they are best off being used - leaving a car months between use might see some cranky behaviour from the electronics but using it every week or so will hopefully remind the electronics how to behave as well as putting a smile on your face.

 

One thing I would lastly add is check for the first signs of rust  - check the sills underneath and behind the sill covers - also inside the fuel filler, the bottoms of the doors, the boot/tailgate and the edges of the arches.

 

As others have said - check/change the gearbox/diff oil (is it auto or manual, saloon or Touring?) and check to see all windows, instruments, switches , AC/vent, keys, central locking, sunroof all work so you know what you're getting into.

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Thats old car stuff. When buying any old car assume a backlog of maintenence and it need going through. Given it age expect to renew almost everything over the next few years.

 

I have had to replace the heater matrix twice, renew all the suspension parts, fuel lines, brake lines and lots of other work over the past 9.5 years. You buy a car like this not to think ah that bill too much i will scrap it. You buy to maintain it regardless of cost. So long as the shell is sound it worth fixing. E34''s are fine cars.

 

A 540i would be awesome. 

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Welcome to the forum, I run my 93 520 as a daily, mechanically it’s great. Biggest issue for me is bits of trim like the door cards that let it down. Rust is the killer, thankfully mine is pretty much rust free. 

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Right, thank you for all the tips, very, very useful.

 

 I went to see it today and it is bloomin fantastic.  So much so that because I don't have a garage I can't give it the protection it truly deserves.

 

I actually feel a bit sick for passing up on it but I can't bear to think about it sitting out in the rain.

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21 hours ago, Clobber said:

Right, thank you for all the tips, very, very useful.

 

 I went to see it today and it is bloomin fantastic.  So much so that because I don't have a garage I can't give it the protection it truly deserves.

 

I actually feel a bit sick for passing up on it but I can't bear to think about it sitting out in the rain.

 

@clobber - I sent you a PM. I have you been actively looking for an E34 540i and would really appreciate if you can put me in contact with the seller. Thanks in advance! 

 

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I dont garage mine and its not rusting.

 

E34's are robust cars. They don't need wrapping in cotton wool. 

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Mine has been my daily for 21 years, now on 354k and never spent a single night in a garage. As long as you keep on top of general maintenance and any rust is caught early and cut out, they should go on and on.  Once rust is left then repaired to an MOT standard it's a slippery slope.

 

It's on trailering duties twice this month, doing 2x 250 mile return journeys to Donington :)

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If she's faking it, she's doing a pretty good job! Looks like a sweet car, congratultions I hope you enjoy it!

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Congrats. Is it Manual or Auto and what rims is it running, they look like Hartge's...?

 

C.

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Congrats and no worries - I'll just continue praying to the E34 gods that a 540i/6 will show up, or I'll ship mine over from the states. Excited to see a "Progress" thread on here! 

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17 hours ago, Clobber said:

Would love to start a progress thread... is there a link to other interesting E34 projects?

 

Most I've seen are on Bimmerforums.com - have a browse.

 

Also depending on your level of experience - a 6 speed swap would be awesome. My brother just did one in his E32 7 series:

 

https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?2389271-e32-740il-6-Speed-Manual-Conversion

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