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I just got a 1991 M5 two days ago. I anticipate having to spend money on the car in order to keep it running well. it has 140K Km's on it now, I understand that the car is 14 years old now and things will go wrong... I intend on replacing the tensioner with an S50B32 unit when it arives in my hands sometime next week. I believe that I will replace all the coolant hoses this summer. the oil pump is on my list as well.

My question is:

Can I rely on this car as a daily driver? if I perform preventative maintenance as described above.

I just want to start working on my "defence" when my wife starts to ask these questions...

p.s. there are a lot of variable I know... but just an honest opinion is what I need. thanks

Bruce
 

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Beeej said:
I just got a 1991 M5 two days ago. I anticipate having to spend money on the car in order to keep it running well. it has 140K Km's on it now, I understand that the car is 14 years old now and things will go wrong... I intend on replacing the tensioner with an S50B32 unit when it arives in my hands sometime next week. I believe that I will replace all the coolant hoses this summer. the oil pump is on my list as well.

My question is:

Can I rely on this car as a daily driver? if I perform preventative maintenance as described above.

I just want to start working on my "defence" when my wife starts to ask these questions...

p.s. there are a lot of variable I know... but just an honest opinion is what I need. thanks

Bruce
Hello Bruce
I used a 3.8 as an everyday car for 4 yrs. I have now retired it to part time use.
Regardless of your/my preventative maintenance which from my part was considerable, you will need a few thousand (US not canadian) dollars a yr to run it dependant on the pricing strategy for parts. This does not include fuel costs.
Things start wearing out once beyond the 150,000 kms mark & you can expect to be paying out on small niggly items items regularly as well as suspension parts, cooling packs, condensers etc.

I hope that makes things a little more clear.


Regards
Farrell
 

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My M5 is my only car and has been for about the last 6 years. During this time it has only needed maintenance to fix wear and tear items such as AC, waterpump, clutch, shocks, brakes, misc hoses and belts and such that any car 10+ years old would need. All items mentioned were fixed within a day EXCEPT the AC which due to BMW's great lack of info took 3 months to repair (compressor discontinued ETK pointed out new compressor but did not list a new bracket needed. AC shop, BMW Honolulu and BMW NA all couldn't get me answer; BMA did). PM or email me and I can send you a more detailed and aproximate cost of fixing most of the items I mentioned. My cost almost nothing to maintain the first 3 years the last few have not been as kind as the AC, Clutch, Shocks were replaced all big money items. Expect to pay an average of a thousand a year sometimes less sometimes alot more!

Regards,
 

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Beeej

Congrats on the M5! I use mine everyday - had it tuned (properly), no fuss - had the inspection 2 last week, just need to replace a rubber joint on one of linkages on the steering arms, and a slightly loose pipe that was sweating oil, which was duly titghtened. Absolutely nothing else (well nothing they picked up on anyway).

I will do the oil pump on mine, I bought it last year and 4th gear sync ring needs replacing, am going to put some ActiV8 in the gear box till I get it fixed.

Have fun!

Regards

J
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gentlemen,


Thanks for your quick reply's

That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I knew that getting into the M5 would require "extra attention" (otherwise I would have bought a civic!!)

it sounds like with a preventative maintenance schedule and the willingness to crawl underneath... I should be able to enjoy my car as a daily driver.

I'm looking forward to it.

thanks again

Bruce
 

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To add, starting off from a reasonable car base, the advantage of using it as a daily driver is that you will instinctively "know" when something's going south. In my case I could feel play in the steering box (if not replaced then needs tightening up periodically) and miscellaneous suspension parts going awry - it's an heavy car.

But hey, enjoy the experience.
 

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Mine gets driven 30 miles a day, it was used before me as a daily driver and I have no problems so far.

The only bit is bad fuel economy when driving enthusiastically but thats to be expected.

Good luck!
 

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If its at all comparable, I have had a '89 535i sport auto for nearly 3 years, and drive it heavily - it had 95,000 miles on when i bought it, - its now got 155,000 miles, and I haven't had to replace anything other than standard consumables, tyres, brake discs / pads, few bushes and hoses, and that's it.

I am also possibly about to buy a '91 M5, and use it daily, and am hoping it will be as good to me as the 535i has been.

Only hot weather isn't usually a problem here in the UK, and I've had no over heating problems, even when some radiator hoses were leaking.
 

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I have use my car as a daily driver on and off over the past 9 years. It works beautifully even though I sometimes have to repalce a few parts. The last item was the alternator.
The car is currently used as a daily driver and I drive 180 km a day presently.
Treat the car nicely and ou will get thousands of miles out from it.
I did learn a very good trick many years ago when I was training aerobatics: You can make a tunnel roll with a fully occupied commersial aircraft if you do it gently. The same goes for the M5. You can dive it very fast and at the endge of its capability if you do it gently. Just drive the car gently and you can make it preform in a way you would not think it could. It will also save you a lot of money.
I drive reasonable fast and i still have the original cluth in the car (250.000 km), so you don't have to beat the sh*t out of the car to make it perform.

Cheers :)
 

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Many engines are killed due to failed seals or gaskets.
(Leaking exhaust seals my burn exhaust valves as an example)
Also:
All big Six Cylinder BMW’s start to ping if they get older.
Due to carbon build up in the head.
Also if a previous owner used pure water in the Cooling system.
Aluminium corrosion will have build around waterways.
(Some times Head gaskets are badly affected by this corrosion)
One sure sign is white oxidation around water hose connections.
At around 180.000 km I would take the Head off.
De-Carbon the Cylinder head, leap the valves seats back in.
Replace the valve steam seals while you are at it.
(To eliminate that puff of smoke, when changing gear at high rev’s)
Clean all air inlet paths with alcohol based brake cleaner.
(Throttle bodies will have oil sludge build up from the breather, again use STP brake cleaner)
The smooth idling and the increased mileage per gallon after this work is just
Astonishing.
I have found at 180.000 km bore and piston size was still well within limits.
I would not use thin oils ( Mobil 1) in a S38, as this will drop your oil pressure.
The clearances of bearing shells and oil pump wear cope better with high quality Part synthetic oils.

Just my two cents

regards
 

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I've ran mine since February with no problems, doing maybe three days a week commuting. Find the gears are a bit tight till the oil heats up but other than that been faultless, and that's about 2500 miles so far.

Cheers,
David.
 
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