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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,
I have been looking for sometime for the right E39. Initially I wanted something with like 70K miles but the odds of finding one seem to be tough. I came across this one:

2002 BMW M5 ***SHOWROOM CONDITION***

I got me thinking that ones with over 100K mileage that have been well cared for and have had things like the clutch and such might be better than buying one with lower mileage that have not many of the things like a clutch, O2 sensors and such done. This might be a very good find and something to consider?

What do you all think of this? Is this prices well if in as good of shape as it seems?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
He forgot to post that. It is 114K now.

Looked over that post. Wow 248K miles and looked really nice. I am glad I did not buy the 2000 I was looking at earlier this month. It was nice with only 70K miles and could of got it for a great price of $13500 but I like the newer ones with the updated nav and steering wheel and such. Am not that scared away with over 100K miles if the clutch, o2 sensors and full service history is documented.
 

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There are plenty of the low mileage ones coming up that had the appropriate care and feeding performed but if your decision is based on color, price point and location then yes the resource pool becomes very small. I have travelled near and far in my quest and your right most of the local ones are polished terds but thats half the fun of looking for me.

As far as mileage its still a stigma for me to some degree and it would hav to sail through a PPI and you'd have to really love the car as resale might be difficult if your inclinded to dump it. Once it turns to the 6th digit your buyer pool decreases.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hear you on the 100K mark. Tough to resale down the road. Key is getting it at a really good price. Difference between at 2002 with 65K miles and one with 110K miles could be as much as $8-10K difference in price. Only draw back to the nice mileage ones is that the 65K mileage car might new a new clutch in a year or two along with plugs, o2 sensors and a few other things that could be a good amount of money while the 100K+ car that cost less will may of had these things done which the one above has had been maintained well.

I am not buying an e39 to flip but would like to know that in a year or two if I do decide to sell it I don't take a beating.
 

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Personally, I buy on condition every time. My Fiat Coupe had 130k on it, but had been looked after and I poured into the prev. maintenance fund and it never skipped a beat.

My Beast has 108k on it, but has been well looked after. Much rather have a car that has been looked after for 100k, than never properly serviced and regularly thrashed while cold etc. at 50-60k. I've seen it written that modern engines are made to much finer tolerances using advanced manufacturing techniques and therefore suffer less from high mileage and more from poor maintenance. Just my view on it :)
 
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Guys,
I have been looking for sometime for the right E39. Initially I wanted something with like 70K miles but the odds of finding one seem to be tough. I came across this one:

2002 BMW M5 ***SHOWROOM CONDITION***

I got me thinking that ones with over 100K mileage that have been well cared for and have had things like the clutch and such might be better than buying one with lower mileage that have not many of the things like a clutch, O2 sensors and such done. This might be a very good find and something to consider?

What do you all think of this? Is this prices well if in as good of shape as it seems?

That's not necessarily true. The majority of higher mileage examples (100K or greater) I've looked at actually have more initial issues that the ones under 70K. They were still riding on the original clutch, needed brake overhauls all had worrisome leaks (if you're not a competent DIYer). I have actually seen this for sale for the better part of a year. There must be some things very wrong for buyers to have turned away for so long-- a thorough 3rd party PPI will bring this to light.

Remember to buy the best M5 you can afford. Getting a low priced higher mileage M5 may seem like a bargain but unless you are a DIY guru like Vantaam, the amount of professional maintenance you will have to spend to bring the beast to respectable shape will make you seriously regret it.

Good luck and remember whatever M car you decide on, get a very very thorough inspection and drive or fly in to see it for yourself. Never buy sight unseen.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have committed to seeing first then PPI second. I do really like this one and it looks good on paper and the pictures but you never know. I have seen things that looked great and in person not the case. Just don't want to waste my time driving 4 hours to look at it to know in 5 minutes I am not interested. Hope this one is worth looking at as would take a chance and look at it.

I have made a decision that I wont buy one regardless of condition or price if there is no service history. I know my search might take as long as 6 months and would like to be in the $15K range in terms of price.
 

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I have committed to seeing first then PPI second. I do really like this one and it looks good on paper and the pictures but you never know. I have seen things that looked great and in person not the case. Just don't want to waste my time driving 4 hours to look at it to know in 5 minutes I am not interested. Hope this one is worth looking at as would take a chance and look at it.

I have made a decision that I wont buy one regardless of condition or price if there is no service history. I know my search might take as long as 6 months and would like to be in the $15K range in terms of price.
Well if your budget is only around $15K the M5 with mileages higher than 115K miles is all you're going to find my friend. If you can find one with lower mileage and same price it's gonna be loaded with even more problems.

It's important to get the car inspected first before you test drive. A test drive should only confirm your decision to move forward knowing the PPI problems or break the deal altogether. A positive test drive experience first will make the following PPI problems seem negligible to you and this makes people move into a hasty decision.

Best of luck and remember to set aside several G's for an M5 maintenance fund if you plan on keeping one longer than a few months. I guarantee you will need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am a bit flexible and could go to 18K for the right one. Just can't see spending much more. There are some out there just need to be patient.
 

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I am a bit flexible and could go to 18K for the right one. Just can't see spending much more. There are some out there just need to be patient.

I disagree. Listen to what Joey wrote. For a car in the teens like that, you're going to have high miles. You need to have service records at the mileage to see what has been neglected.

And when someone who actually owns one of these cars tells you to have a few thousand dollars in reserve for repairs, they ain't kidding.

Always buy the best car that you can afford, but don't buy a car that you can't afford to maintain. BMWs in and of themselves are expensive to maintain (especially as the mileage adds up) and M cars are that much worse.

Don't believe me? What's one of the most common failure points on these cars? How about the MAF. A non-M BMW has only one. The M5 has two. And they're not the same part number as the regular car, and will cost you more (sometimes a lot more). So right there, that's $600 or more, depending on how clever you are at sourcing parts.

Then decide if you can handle stuff like that failing several times a year. Front-end parts. Clutches. Cooling system. Belts, pulleys, valve cover gaskets, differential seals, power steering hoses, wheel bearings. And don't even get me started on the electrical items! Sensors, resistors, all the gizmos!

Not try to scare you, just to open your eyes a bit.

Michael
 

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I bought my 2002 with 105k for 18k two months ago. Just a point of reference. What have I done to it so far? Plugs, fuel filter, thermostat (good solid DIY test), cabin/air filters, coolant tank, fan clutch, diff fluid, trans fluid (bought but not put in yet), and lower oil separator hoses. Roughly $600 into it at this point. Cali car all its life and that sure makes a difference. I dont know what value someone would place on a car coming from the non-rustbelt states but it makes things so much easier when removing/reinstalling.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am fully aware of all of this have been on here for a while and read over many posts. I can do many things myself like brakes, rotors, oil changes could change the MAF myself as well as 02 sensors. This would be a 3rd car so would not be putting more than 5K a year on it. There still is tons of things I would need help with and do know the history of these cars.

I don't expect to buy something and it to be maintenance free. I just would like to buy something and know for the first 6 months to a year that I should be OK on the major things. Would hate to buy one and have to deal with a clutch in a short amount of time.
 

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I don't think these guys are criticizing Rich, it's just a matter of ensuring you're aware that these cars aren't cheap to run, but if you've been on here a while, you'll know that.

The worst thing that can happen on these forums, and I can guarantee it happens on nearly every one for every car, is that the guys who buy cheap examples then complain that the cars are rubbish due to constant problems. It seems you're not one of them, having educated yourself on here, and the contributors here are just trying to steer you in the right direction and help you get the best example.

Best of luck with your purchase and I hope you enjoy it every bit as much as the rest of us :)
 

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Sneal how many miles do you have on the car now?
Well in Michigan we have had a rough winter and I do not plan on driving it until spring. However, I have put on about 100 miles since it arrived in Dec. These drives have been local and on dry roads. This is where I found the thermostat issue. It was running cold. So right now it has 105,328. Came to me with 105,218. 3rd owner, guy I bought it from was a Porchetech and took good care of it. I have all dealer history since it was bought.
 

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2002 BMW M5 ***SHOWROOM CONDITION***

I got me thinking that ones with over 100K mileage that have been well cared for and have had things like the clutch and such might be better than buying one with lower mileage that have not many of the things like a clutch, O2 sensors and such done. This might be a very good find and something to consider?

What do you all think of this? Is this prices well if in as good of shape as it seems?
What service records are on file? Should be easy to tell if the guy took care of the beast if it goes back to 2002. Just be aware that the water pump, catalytic converter and a bunch of suspension pieces (ball joints, thrust arm bushings, center tie rods, subframe bushings, etc) get worn out by that mileage, some are labor intensive to replace. Not sure why you're glowing about new O2 sensors ($50 a piece), but you should be looking out for bad Vanos and rod bearing knock, those are potentially deep pocket repairs, just my 2cents.

good luck with your search.
 

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I am fully aware of all of this have been on here for a while and read over many posts. I can do many things myself like brakes, rotors, oil changes could change the MAF myself as well as 02 sensors. This would be a 3rd car so would not be putting more than 5K a year on it. There still is tons of things I would need help with and do know the history of these cars.

I don't expect to buy something and it to be maintenance free. I just would like to buy something and know for the first 6 months to a year that I should be OK on the major things. Would hate to buy one and have to deal with a clutch in a short amount of time.
I knew nothing about these cars until Nov when I started looking. This board can almost walk you through most any repair. Thermostat was one that I would have really screwed up just trying to figure it out myself. I bet I have spent at least 100 hours reading and printing DIY/FAQ posts.
 

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that's one town away from me if you want me to take a look at it for you... if the damn ice ever melts that is
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Brent that would be great if you could take a look at it for me when the ice melts. Also do you know of a place in your area that could do a PPI if I like the car?
 
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