I don't have an owners manual or service records for the car, what were the original service intervals ?
How often should I change the oil ?
What KM interval for valve shim adjustment , I'm going to have to learn to do this myself as I know the local shops will do a rush job (if at all) and fark it up.
Any other tips ?
I drive about 10,000 to 15,000km a year so the M5 should be good for another 20 years if I look after it (52,000km now).
I've become a bit of a scrooge as I've got older and the M5 will do everything I want and I don't want to drop $10,000 or $20,000 a year in depreciation if I bought a newer BMW.
It was funny last night , the 2011 320 owner sat in the M5's drivers seat and gave it a couple of blips of the throttle which put a big smile on his face , when we got back in the bar he slid his keys across the bar and said 'seriously, straight swap' , if I took the deal I would have been up $25,000 if I sold his car immediately (a new 320 here is US$70,000, second hand around $40 to $45k, I paid $15,000 for the M5) but what do I replace the M5 with ? He hates the locally assembled 320 as he said the build quality is not to European standard (doors, windows and trim rattle) , he's Italian and has been a long time owner of BMW in Europe.
If I drove the 320 for a few years I could sell it in 3 or 4 years for about $15k. If I look after the M5 and bring it back like new I don't need to keep changing cars , so this could be a future 'barn find' for future generations "that old guy has an original 40 year old M5 in his garage and it's like new !" I've got a classic and I don't want to part with it.
I'm about to spend another $3,000 to $5,000 on the M5 this month and go right through it and bring it up to a 9 out of 10 condition , at the moment I give it a 6.5/10.
I wonder how many of the E34 M5s still exist ? With many coming off the road due to corrosion , super high mileage and owners that aren't fanatics junking them due to a big repair bill , accidents , theft etc. 50% of the original production still exists ?
I managed to track down an old off roading buddy who is a 30 year experience BMW technician , he's been with BMW since his apprenticeship and is now head of after sales in another Asian country. Here's what he said about the M5
Nice to hear from you. Sweet car the E34/M5.
It's not easy to find E34 experts within the Dealer organization (Tony note , BMW Eurokars in Kebon Jeruk have an M trained technician)
E34/M5 quite straight forward to service (oils, filters, mixture adjust etc). No ignition timing as it's done by ECU. Only two tricky jobs are throttle valve matching (adjusting all six throttle butterflies to match) and valve clearances which are done by shims (measure first, calculate new shim requirement, order shims, fit, remeasure), but both of these two tasks hardly had much variation from factory settings from one service to the next and hardly needed any adjustment. Could be different as the car gets older though so maybe worth checking one time."
I went to the BMW dealer today for some small parts , wiper blades (just the rubbers as I had the original wipers) , windscreen washer motor (seized and split) , bonnet and boot badges etc, so the expenditure begins.
What was nice was in the workshop was another E34 M5 (waiting for transmission parts), 2 E30 M3s , a heavily modified E30 coupe (track racing only), 3 later model M3s (E36 and E46 including a convertible M3) and a mint condition E24 635Csi 5 speed coupe with 20,000kms , the 635 owner just spent $30,000 on repairs and refurbishing and it looks like new
The workshop manager looked over my M5 and other than the rear shock replacement ($2,500) he said it generally looks in very good shape , he said probably the best original condition M5 he's seen for a long time, but he really wants to have a good look at it when it comes in and he'll give me a list of jobs that need to be done.
As suggested by my english BMW friend they don't have the tools to check the S36 valve clearances, one of the other M5 customers supplies his own special tools.
So the 'big expense' items I have are the rear shocks and maybe the air conditioning, he did say expect to replace a lot of hoses and vacuum lines.
On the way home I took the M5 up to 170kmh on the tollway and there were no noises , oil temp 90 deg C and water temp stayed on mid range reading
So far I found the OEM parts prices reasonable , I deal with Eurocopter and military aircraft spares and it makes BMW parts prices look like beer money (Eurocopter is outrageous but they make beautiful helis).
Stereo is a very subjective, opinion based thing but for what it's worth I have a Kenwood KDC X8016BT headunit. I like it because it has all the ipod/MP3/USB functionality, as well as bluetooth. also it is nice and plain black looking and best of all, all the displays are colour adjustable so the amber colour matches the rest of the cockpit illumination perfectly.
I've found some of these units in Jakarta , the price is approx US$300 which seems very reasonable.
Pete, did it fit in the original radio slot with a minimum of surgery ?
As I said the car has been hardly used for 12 years and I've driven it every day this week expecting mainly electrical components to fail after sitting for a long period.
I replaced the windscreen washer pump yesterday , the bottom outlet had gotten hard and snapped off which explained why the 'windshield wash low' warning was coming on. When the pump was replaced the old pump had actually split in half.