BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So one month ago, while browsing car classifieds I found this M5 not far from my office... I have been looking for one since a long time but budget and timing never really met, and I bought a E36 M3 instead a couple of years ago.


But this time price seemed interesting, money was available, so why not have a look?
So it a M5 E34 3.6L de 1992, slightly under 128,000 km.


It only had 2 owners so far, the later one owning the car since 2004 also owns various other classic BMW and Porsche. In Japan you have to renew the title of the car every 2 years (it is called the Shaken) and the one the M5 expired in July, the owner then decided to sell it to please his wife who thinks he has too many cars...

So the car was always running and maintained on a regular basis until July.
The previous owner also offered this car a full paint, in original colour, in 2015, as well as original EVO 18' wheels, with Michelin PS3 on it. The from the outside the car is gorgeous! :)

The interior is however less engaging : it has full leather, and as usual the leather dried and delaminated on the front Door Panels so they are shot. The rest of the leather (seats and centre console) needs a bit of love as it bears various scratches and cracks. However this is totally recoverable with a Colourlock kit.

I looked for the VIN and here it is:


GD55491
Prod. Date 1992-02-10
Type M5 (EUR)
Series E34 (5 Series)
Body Type LIM
Steering LHD
Engine S38
Displacement 3.60
Power 232kw / 316hp
Drive HECK
Transmission Manual
Colour STERLINGSILBER METALLIC (244)
Upholstery (0318)

options
S216A Hydro steeringservotronic
S339A ShadowLine
S401A Liftupandslideback sunroof electric
S416A Roller sun vizor rear lateral
S423A Floor mats velours
S430A Interioroutside mirror with auto dip
S459A Seat adjuster electric with memory
S494A Seat heating driverpassenger
S496A Seat heating rear
S528A Automatic air flow control
S534A Automatic air conditioning
S564A Interior light package
S676A HiFi speaker system
S687A Radio preparation
S781A BMW LA wheel M Kontur
L807A National version japan
S818A Battery master switch
S925A DummySALAPA (-> this is export protection)



...So after a week of thinking I finally gave up to my instincts and bought it!
... And one month later (last Saturday) she was home! :)

On the plus sides:
- it is very soft and smooth compared to my M3. All commands are smooth, the car is very quiet and suspensions are firm but still absorbs well the irregularities on the road. It seems much easier to drive fast than with my M3.

- Engine noise is superb!
- Everything works: powered seats, seat heating, windows, sunroof, aircon, sunvisors, audio system, this is really good as people tend to neglect those systems on old cars.
- The outside look is gorgeous!
- Full maintenance history on 20 years (1992-2012), unfortunately as the book is full, I have no history on 2012-2018 period.
- I have the small BMW lamp in the glovebox!! :)
- Engine does not heat up, no strange mechanical issues I could feel when driving
- It brakes very well

On the minus side:
- Well, it feels a bit slow, especially on the lower rpm band, below 4000. After 4500 it really seems to wake up and pull with a nice noise but below that my M3 seems way faster. The torque curve is very different due to the Vanos on the S50 and also the M3 is much lighter so that could explain it. I need to check engine health anyway.
- My idling is too high : about 1000 rpm. Need to check that
- Steering has a lot of free play, I used to own a E32 10 years ago which had the same issue so I more or less know where this is going. I will start by changing the elements of the front drivetrain then we'll see.
- The alignment is also bad, will need to make it clean after above operation.
- Clutch is a bit noisy, I guess the bearing is tired.

Next week I am going for some spirited mountain drive in Hakone with my friend so I can discover the car a bit more, then we will use this winter for all the needed maintenance. I am quite happy with the purchase, along with my M3 it is the start of a nice collection :)

And so here is the beast! Pictures of the interior will come once cleaned.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Still cannot see the pictures. But lucky you, getting to enjoy that car on the Japanese mountain passes. :)
How much did the M5 set you back in Japan?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It's weird, those images are hosted on my own webiste and they are working everywhere else... How do you guys do to post pictures here?


It cost me about 2 M JPY which is about 15.5 K EUR or 17.5K USD.
For a good car in Europe (I am French) it is really the lower bracket with this mileage, as most of those cars have been driven a lot and now have 250 or 300k km.


Edit: found out that my pictures were probably too wide, it is fixed :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
A twin to mine, but yours has a few extra options (rear shade, autodip mirror, and heated seats), and I drive the HECK out of mine, too.... except I don't know what color interior you have (sorry, not going look up the code). Yes, the door panels are STILL on my list to re-do. They suck.



The idle is set to 950rpm, so it is probably about right, but I have heard that, while very rare, air leaks can possibly cause some trouble.... I am kidding, I know all about the vacuum system, and not by choice, that would be the first place to look for drivability problems.


I am still trying to get used the LONG throttle pedal, even after 5 years plus, and it drives a lot better when I am not tentative with the input. This is really noticeable when I drive any of my other cars and then back the M5 (which I drive almost every day). It really is different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
What a great car! I would call that on the low end price wise for a similar car here in the US, as well.

It sounds like you are pretty knowledgeable about next steps on most of the problems you described. I would suggest checking on your variable resonance system on the airbox, which can really turn these cars into dogs under 4500 RPM as described. In fact, your description of the power and being much stronger above about 4500rpm could be exactly that failure. The variable system is responsible for creating something like 40wtq at the wheels at low RPM!

Do you feel there is slack or wasted travel in the throttle pedal? Sometimes a throttle cable adjustment is needed.

Side note: I’m guessing the E36 is a Euro?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Funny I recall seeing this car, as it was only up pretty briefly and I thought it was a great price (I check Japanese M5 listings regularly since I'm living in Japan at the moment). My M5 is still in the US, but I'd love to bring it to Japan. What BMW shop will you be taking it to for repairs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
A twin to mine, but yours has a few extra options (rear shade, autodip mirror, and heated seats), and I drive the HECK out of mine, too.... except I don't know what color interior you have (sorry, not going look up the code). Yes, the door panels are STILL on my list to re-do. They suck.



The idle is set to 950rpm, so it is probably about right, but I have heard that, while very rare, air leaks can possibly cause some trouble.... I am kidding, I know all about the vacuum system, and not by choice, that would be the first place to look for drivability problems.


I am still trying to get used the LONG throttle pedal, even after 5 years plus, and it drives a lot better when I am not tentative with the input. This is really noticeable when I drive any of my other cars and then back the M5 (which I drive almost every day). It really is different.

My interior is black :)
Idle is really 950 rpm? That sounds high.
Haven't really notice any issue with throttle pedal... Will definitely have to look into the ****load of vacuum hoses though :crying


What a great car! I would call that on the low end price wise for a similar car here in the US, as well.

It sounds like you are pretty knowledgeable about next steps on most of the problems you described. I would suggest checking on your variable resonance system on the airbox, which can really turn these cars into dogs under 4500 RPM as described. In fact, your description of the power and being much stronger above about 4500rpm could be exactly that failure. The variable system is responsible for creating something like 40wtq at the wheels at low RPM!

Do you feel there is slack or wasted travel in the throttle pedal? Sometimes a throttle cable adjustment is needed.

Side note: I’m guessing the E36 is a Euro?

Thanks!
I did not know about this variable resonance system... I found some videos and it seems there is some kind of test to check if it works, I will try asap.
However if it does not, what is the solution? Change the part?


And yes my M3 is a Euro model, US models are fortunately not existing outside of the US :)


Funny I recall seeing this car, as it was only up pretty briefly and I thought it was a great price (I check Japanese M5 listings regularly since I'm living in Japan at the moment). My M5 is still in the US, but I'd love to bring it to Japan. What BMW shop will you be taking it to for repairs?

It stayed about 2 weeks I guess, indeed I jumped on it quite quickly.
The shop keeper who sold it to me is actually a super nice guy who use to race E30 M3, and is still organizing some track day session in Fuji Speedway. I went there last week with the M3 and we had a great time.
I am maintaining my cars at Bitte Motor Works, in Chiba, not far from Disneyland.
Actually I am hanging with a group of friends with who I am doing Endurance racing and altogether (7 or people now) we are maintaining about 12 cars there, all ///M, Alpina and Porsche, and 3 BMW race cars... So let's say we benefit from special conditions. Service is excellent, prices are super reasonable and I can bring my parts (never buy BMW parts in Japan...).


Been in Tokyo for a year and a half, seen a broken down E32, a couple E24s, a pristine E28 M5, and not a single E34. Actually saw my first E46 M3 last week, so it seems M cars are just rare in general.

Funny, I see M cars everywhere in Japan :)
Living there since 8 years though, and frequenting a lot of BMW fans so I might be biased :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
Yes, the idle is high... it is referenced in the Motronic specs somewhere. I remember looking for that specifically, and if I get a chance, will point you in that direction.


The flap will make a noticeable difference, but again, only with (almost) full throttle, which has a long travel. It feels like VANOS on steroids. The specs on its function are also in that same info, I believe.


The function test is extremely complicated, plan for a couple of days to check it. 1. open hood. 2. start car and watch the flap actuator. It will cycle on/off twice if it works. Done.



You can also test the actual function while driving, but I would not try this with the hood up. If it works, it is not very subtle. You can also put a glob of grease on the tip of the rod (after starting. Self-test, remember?) and do some full throttle driving and see if the grease got transferred to the stop.



I was kidding about the two days thing....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Idle is really 950 rpm? That sounds high.
Think the official specs are 970±40, mine hovers around 950 rpm, which is pretty standard.

I am maintaining my cars at Bitte Motor Works, in Chiba, not far from Disneyland.
Actually I am hanging with a group of friends with who I am doing Endurance racing and altogether (7 or people now) we are maintaining about 12 cars there, all ///M, Alpina and Porsche, and 3 BMW race cars... So let's say we benefit from special conditions. Service is excellent, prices are super reasonable and I can bring my parts (never buy BMW parts in Japan...).
The one shop I know is a/tack, the owner always has a couple of rare M cars for sale (like a restored E24 M635i, E30 M3). Yeah none of my friends are Bimmer-philes here :|
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Think the official specs are 970±40, mine hovers around 950 rpm, which is pretty standard.

The one shop I know is a/tack, the owner always has a couple of rare M cars for sale (like a restored E24 M635i, E30 M3). Yeah none of my friends are Bimmer-philes here :|

Where are you?

a/tack is a car audio shop isn't it?


Any cool Japan BMW club stuff there?

No idea actually, the official BMW club seems very elitist here...
You have the BMW Cup however which are BMW-only races organized 5 or 6 times a year, and plenty of BMW drivers on circuits, like in Idler's races. I am not so much doing car events outside of races or track days...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
I used to own GD55498, it's now happily in Texas. Great cars, you will enjoy it.
That blue is something special in person /vbulletin/images/M5Board_vbtoucan/smilies/tango_face_wink.png
I know. I haven’t seen or heard about the car since He got the title. I am assuming it’s well. I was hoping that I would hear how it drives in comparison to the others he owns. I was told it wa sorted but have nothing to compare to. A guy with 4-5 others would be a good judge of that. I do miss it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Yes, the idle is high... it is referenced in the Motronic specs somewhere. I remember looking for that specifically, and if I get a chance, will point you in that direction.


The flap will make a noticeable difference, but again, only with (almost) full throttle, which has a long travel. It feels like VANOS on steroids. The specs on its function are also in that same info, I believe.


The function test is extremely complicated, plan for a couple of days to check it. 1. open hood. 2. start car and watch the flap actuator. It will cycle on/off twice if it works. Done.



You can also test the actual function while driving, but I would not try this with the hood up. If it works, it is not very subtle. You can also put a glob of grease on the tip of the rod (after starting. Self-test, remember?) and do some full throttle driving and see if the grease got transferred to the stop.



I was kidding about the two days thing....

Drove the car today, in fact Idling seems to stabilize around 950 rpm, so I guess it is normal.


However I checked the resonance valve and, well it is trying to move but it barely does... So I need to fix that!
What should I look into? Vaccum hoses or the valve itself? Is it something I can clean and repair or should I change it straight away?
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top