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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

Thank god there is a forum for these cars.

I have been looking for an E34 M5, approx 1990-1993 for quite a while now and have spent lots of time reading about all the options and some things to look far whilst buying, such as a service history (obviously).

Most of them seem to be miles away from my area (Manchester, UK) and would be difficult to view, however, one has just turned up around the corner from me on eBay.

I would appreciate some advice on the suitability of this car and what questions I might ned to ask. There are only a couple of days to go and I will hopefully be arranging to view it anyway.

1991 BMW M5 GREY on eBay, also, BMW, Cars, Cars, Parts Vehicles (end time 31-Aug-08 17:23:48 BST)

Some of you might even know this car as I know there are not many about and this one has had 5 previous owners.

Thanks

Bondy
 

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Hi,

On the surface it looks a nice car and at £2700 pretty cheap. Upon which point you have to ask yourself why. I would budget another £2700 to get the car into really fine fettle.

Go through the car methodically and check for rust. Get someone who is very familiar with the mechanicals to methodically go through it.

The advertiser quotes 320 bhp. It is a small point, but it points to unfamiliarity with the marque, the output is 315 bhp for a stock 3.6. If the seller is unfamiliar with this fairly basic point what else is he unfamiliar with?

Good luck. I hope it turns out to be a good un!

:cheers:


ralph (vadas1)
 

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Hi there

I was going to type a long essay about buying cheap is not always the best way as ralph has so rightly said, as if anything goes wrong is it cost effective to keep the car on the road or scrap it :(, if the engine needs a top end rebuild look for £2k+, gearbox rebuild £1k, ive thrown thousands at my 3.8 and it will never command money it deserves

Check the usual play in steering, binding brakes, knocking suspension, does the engine pull like a train from around 4000rpm, oil in water, overheating whilst stood, oil temperature sitting around the 6' o clock position at its hottest, rust on the arches front and rear, rust around the water channels under the boot lid, under the boot floor, acid corrosion under the back seat (mot failure) dashboard computer pixels, crunching in second and fourth gear, box syncromesh shot and go through the service history with a fine tooth comb, see if any expense has been spared to running the car, what you might find is an owner has had it for 12 months, ragged the hell out of it, found outs its going to cost him money to sort and got shut....then again....then again etc.

Sorry to put a damp view on the car which will probably turn into a fantastic bargain:)

I think that should get you started.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

Andy
 

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Hi there


Check the usual play in steering, binding brakes, knocking suspension, does the engine pull like a train from around 4000rpm, oil in water, overheating whilst stood, oil temperature sitting around the 6' o clock position at its hottest, rust on the arches front and rear, rust around the water channels under the boot lid, under the boot floor, acid corrosion under the back seat (mot failure) dashboard computer pixels, crunching in second and fourth gear, box syncromesh shot and go through the service history with a fine tooth comb, see if any expense has been spared to running the car, what you might find is an owner has had it for 12 months, ragged the hell out of it, found outs its going to cost him money to sort and got shut....then again....then again etc.

Andy
Hi Andy, great tips...

One question: how do I get the back seat off? should be simple, but still to difficult for me...ouich

Thanks.
 

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Grab the edges and pull up pretty hard, it will unclip.

Dont be afraid to use force, they can be stubborn at times!
 

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I bought my E34 M5 below the average market value. I had to spend a good amount of money to get it running right and will have to spend a lot more to make it perfect. Plenty of people sell their cars for less than they are worth, but most M5 owners know what they have. Whenever you are ready to buy, make sure you bring the car to a experienced mechanic before you make your purchase. Hopefully they will know what to look for, but I know they should do a compression test amongst other things. That is the best advice on buying an M5 you can get, nobody can make a diagnosis from a computer. That being said, this car is a dream to drive and for me was worth every penny. Good Luck:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What exactly am I looking for?

Check the usual play in steering, binding brakes, knocking suspension, does the engine pull like a train from around 4000rpm, oil in water, overheating whilst stood, oil temperature sitting around the 6' o clock position at its hottest, rust on the arches front and rear, rust around the water channels under the boot lid, under the boot floor, acid corrosion under the back seat (mot failure) dashboard computer pixels, crunching in second and fourth gear, box syncromesh shot and go through the service history with a fine tooth comb, see if any expense has been spared to running the car, what you might find is an owner has had it for 12 months, ragged the hell out of it, found outs its going to cost him money to sort and got shut....then again....then again etc.
Andy
Thanks Andy,

A couple of details if you don't mind

Should the oil pressure be in the centre all the time?
I didn't know the battery was under the seat. But I will look anyway.
What should I really focus on in the service history?
What running costs would you expect?

I have had more info from the seller, take a look:

"I've had the car for about a year, there is nothing wrong with it i just have other interests now. it has lots of history and was owned locally before myslef, most work was done at reputable bmw specialists, i have change the oil regularly but have only done about 1500 miles in the year. the last major thing was the steering box. if you are local please come and view"

Thanks for your help and advice

Bondy
 

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Hiya Bondy hows it goin

Oil temperature should stay round the 6.30-6pm position when the car is fully warmed up, around 15-20mins it shouldnt really go any higher than this even with aggressive hard driving, any period before 15-20 mins and the needle should be to the left of the 6pm position.

Battery under the seat, there is a stupid rubber gromit about 35mm which drops out and can rust the boot floor, also if acid leaks from the battery under the seat it can cause all types of electrical problems, im sure you will see what i mean when you pop the back seat.

If the steering box has been rplaced recently thats an expensive job in itself, my steering box on my 635csi failed and it cost £600 to sort.

If you can find out the name of teh local BMW specialists, if they have been taking good care of the car, the seller should have no problems in letting you call them up.

History, just make sure its been well serviced, any major recipts, suspension, brakes, steering box :) engine rebuilds id expect at 150k it'd have had some form, clutch, box.

Running costs, ive had my 3.8 for 6 years now, when i got it it was a dog, chucked its head gasket twice, £1000 ea time, clutch £450, gearbox £1500, Inspection 2 service at scothalls BMW leeds (dont use useless) and new EDC (wont matter to you) £2500.

I then layed it up for a few years, last year had it resprayed £3000, box rebuilt again £700, clutch master cylinder done £350, top end engine rebuild again £1200 all by a mechanic i now trust, done 1500 miles and no problems whatsoever, because its a good one now, will probably run forever.

check it out

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...ewbie-forum-uk-m5-3-8-owner-past-5-years.html

If you get a good one, providing you do regular car maintenance with it, it should be a fantastic car, hope i havn't scared you off, M5's are so undervalued and are a unbelievable drivers car.

Andy
 

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Hi Bondy.

I've had my second M5 for about six months now and have spent the purchase cost again already and there's more to do. Steering box is a good sign, suggests someone was willing to spend some money on a small part. From BMW these are four figures!!

Gearboxes have been out of production for some time now and can't always be rebuilt - there was one pinion unavailable for mine and I needed a new one c. £2k.

Check the cooling system's had plenty of attention, there may (should?) be a bill for a new water pump and radiator somewhere, though that may not be the end of cooling system problems. A 3.6 will still have SLS at the rear which can be pricey to fix - invoices good. Basically the more invoices the better.

I'd be wary of a car that's only done 1500 miles in a year and is being sold for "other interests" unless everything else checks out beautifully. You may see cars advertised by board members which may look pricey but are in fact well worth it given the commitment most of these owners have. I wish I'd joined the board, like you've done, before buying my current car!

A lot of cars are bought for a quick thrill, then the owner realises the costs and gets cold feet. You need a little luck to get a good car, and then be sure to stick with it through any big bills that may crop up early - it'll be worth it, they are unforgettable to drive.
 

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Hi Bondy .

How far do you have to look out of your front room window to see the car ?

Have you been to see it yet and what are your thoughts ?

D
 

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hi david
Bondy
please consult someone who understands these cars inside and out they are not just the highest spec 5 series car they are totally different and unless the person knows these vehicles they are difficult to work on without making mistakes. Mistakes on these cars cost 1,000 s not 100 s so be carefull
andy
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Going to see it this afternoon at 4:00, I have my checklist from all the replies from this post, so fingers crossed.

I could get my friend who owns a garage to plug it into his computer, lift it on his jack and do a pressure test but I need to make sure the misses likes it first, she is a trained and fully time served specialist BMW ///M mechanic. NOT!:blabla:

I really don't expect the car to be the one but you have to look at a few before you buy I think. Next thing you know I will have gone and bought it!
 

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bondy
you will find many people on here even people who understand these cars to some degree that have purchased and then the car has bit them in the ***. Ask davidoli about alpine amy and david has bought and sold many of these cars.
andy
 

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No absolutely not but as you wish to purchase a vehicle that you are not familier with it would be wise to take along someone who does.
I saw 6 cars before travelling to northern ireland to buy mine and although I thought I understood cars I soon realised that these are totally different. Others have pointed out the maintainance costs of these cars and the purchase of parts are expensive. I am about 30 miles away and as my bit to the left shows I am in accrington ( near Blackburn ). Do not be afraid to go and see the car take some photos, have a drive ( this will definately make you smile ) but reguardless of the drive to make you part with the money ask the garage if they would allow you to have the vehicle checked over by someone who knows the vehicles. if you get me the last seven digits of the vin number on monday I will talk to bmw and then let you know what the car is and the spec that was on it when it left the factory.
andy
 

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One last thing, if at the end of the day you feel the car is for you buy it. If you find you want the car but still feel wary walk away. If you are somewhere inbetween and you feel that this could be the car then contact Farrel. In my personal opinion is knows more than anyone and if he says buy it then believe him. If he says dont buy then again take his word ,the chap is a genius. i am aware that he is not available untill monday evening so no point contacting him till then.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Went to see the car and...

The registration of the car is H122 HKW, but it did have a private reg in the past (something like H11ARY)

The car looks very nice and it does have the usual small scratches to the bumpers and lower body (no dents) you might expect of a 17 year old car. Unfortunatly it started to rain just before I arrived!

It doesn't have any rust but it might be staring on the front inner wheel arches (paint not dead smooth), probably okay for another couple of years.

The interior is very tidy and all the electrics work, good tires, no oil/water leaks, he even has the original wheel centres in the boot (wrapped up in bubble wrap).

He has not used the car much and says that he has had no problems, as it is not a garage I could not test drive it myself but when he was driving it sounded very solid and accelerated very quickly above 4000 rpm.
One concern to me was that the engine ticked over slightly lumpy (but went when given the slightest revs), not what I expect of a 6 cylinder car. Is this normal. (The owner said the he questioned that when he bought it but was told it was normal). I suggested a compression test and he wasn't interested. He has someone comming from Scotland to look at it on Wednesday.

The service history really stopped after 2005/6 and he just had recipts for things like tires, break pads and odd fiddly bits (mostly BMW parts)

If I think of anything else I will add it. I am a cautious buyer at the best of times but it seemed like a really nice honest car (not showroom like or tarted up too much)

Bondy
 

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Hiya Bondy

Dont worry about the lumpy idle, its part of the car :) you get very used to been stood in traffic with the car wobbling.

It sounds like a pretty straight car mate, its a shame that there isnt any history from 05/06 though, maybe others can chime in here.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
((Wobble))

Thanks Andy,

So the slight wobble is fine then.

I run the risk of excommunication :nono: here but I currently have a straight 6 pot Vauxhall Carlton and you don't know it is even running at tickover, although it is not tuned as much as the M5.

I also know I am running the risk of never being let out of a junction ever again by owning/driving a BMW!:blabla:
 
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