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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. Posted asking for advice on a 102k mile 2008 a few weeks back. I decided to let that one go based on overall condition. Now another more promising car has caught my eye and I’m looking for advice. Only 2 owners, 89k miles, SMG, every option available (including heated wheel!) asking $14k. All maintenance performed by BMW. Recent services include:
Spark plugs/coils 86k
Brakes and rotors 82k
DSC Hydraulic unit 79k
Clutch position sensor 76k
Clutch slave cylinder 76k
Trans, diff, coolant, power steering fluid 75k
Battery / alternator 69k

Obviously bearings will have to be done immediately. The car is 600 miles away from me and I’m not sure I’d want to even drive it back without doing the bearings. Would probably ship it.
Main cause of concern for me is the mileage and potential SMG issues arising. I see 6M cars for sell all the time with 140k+ on the clock but it seems i rarely ever see an SMG car past 110ish. Makes me think there’s an SMG shaped reason for that.
Anyway, any advice appreciated!
 

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2008 E60 M5 Dinan S2+
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My theory is that you will tend to see higher mileage 6MT's mostly because the transmissions are more reliable and cheaper to fix. The SMG can be owned for not too much money, there is a wealth of knowledge on the board here. But most owners are not on the board and take them to a shop when they start to fail around 100k to 130k miles (like gps wiring or something along those lines). The shops don't really diagnose and start willy nilly replacing expensive components or quoting people for whole hydraulic assemblies for like $12k, and the owners get tired of it and dump the cars or stop driving them. I could be way off on that one but who knows

EDIT: If you post a link to the listing people might be able to offer you some better advice. Seems a little underpriced to me but who knows
 

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2008 E60 M5 Dinan S2+
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My theory is that you will tend to see higher mileage 6MT's mostly because the transmissions are more reliable and cheaper to fix. The SMG can be owned for not too much money, there is a wealth of knowledge on the board here. But most owners are not on the board and take them to a shop when they start to fail around 100k to 130k miles (like gps wiring or something along those lines). The shops don't really diagnose and start willy nilly replacing expensive components or quoting people for whole hydraulic assemblies for like $12k, and the owners get tired of it and dump the cars or stop driving them. I could be way off on that one but who knows
The SMG can certainly take a beating. There are several active forum members who do flog their SMG M5s on the track often. Our own @flacoramos moderator tracks his SMG pig. But to @N_Rob's point, the manual transmission will be much less of a headache to maintain. A good independent shop and research through this forum will help in times of trouble. I'm still scratching the surface, but many times it's not so much the SMG hydraulics or pumps that needs to be replaced - sometimes it's as simple as carbon build up or the SMG motor (i.e. Don't replace your SMG Hydraulics or Pump)

If you make the decision to join the ranks of E60 M5/E63 M6 ownership - do your research, and come to terms with the fact that you may have to shell out some $$$. To each his/her own - but the sheer joy of the S85 V10 is worth it for me.
 
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Hey guys. Posted asking for advice on a 102k mile 2008 a few weeks back. I decided to let that one go based on overall condition. Now another more promising car has caught my eye and I’m looking for advice. Only 2 owners, 89k miles, SMG, every option available (including heated wheel!) asking $14k. All maintenance performed by BMW. Recent services include:
Spark plugs/coils 86k
Brakes and rotors 82k
DSC Hydraulic unit 79k
Clutch position sensor 76k
Clutch slave cylinder 76k
Trans, diff, coolant, power steering fluid 75k
Battery / alternator 69k

Obviously bearings will have to be done immediately. The car is 600 miles away from me and I’m not sure I’d want to even drive it back without doing the bearings. Would probably ship it.
Main cause of concern for me is the mileage and potential SMG issues arising. I see 6M cars for sell all the time with 140k+ on the clock but it seems i rarely ever see an SMG car past 110ish. Makes me think there’s an SMG shaped reason for that.
Anyway, any advice appreciated!
If you notice the smg issue threads in this board.. there are plenty. But hey, if you like to wrench smg's have at it.. I dont lol.. I've been too busy enjoying modding the V10 and suspension, brakes (need to install the stoptech bbk) - much better than fixing if you ask me. But I also do preemptive maintenance on top of it of course. Thats just reality to me. That money you saving for getting one for 14k will go to your smg later.. maybe not, who knows maybe it will be one of the unicorns out there without smg problems. IMO since you posted this, better to put up some extra cash upfront and get a 2008 and up LCI with 6MT. You can thank me later.

20200822_183513.jpg
 

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I would be more worried about the rod bearings than the SMG. If the the crank is scored your only option is to rebuild or replace the motor. The SMGs can be fixed regardless of what is wrong with them and the one your considering looks to have already had some SMG maintenance done. At 89k you should factor in a clutch and PP and with the Tranz down you can do a ton of preventive maintenance that will keep the SMG reliable for a few years at least. I think the decision though also rests largely on your ability to do the work or will you need to have a shop work on the car? If shop, the bills can pile up high and fast. Then 6sp is probably a better option.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Like I said, rod bearings I would address immediately. And yes I would be doing the work myself. What’s “clutch and PP”?
 

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With all the above said, $14K seems fair.
It would be preferable get the seller to agree to, and to find someone who can scan it AFTER a 20 -30 minute drive cycle.
If no issues I wouldn't be scared of a 600 mile drive as long as you have emergency roadside service available.
You might also want to plot out a couple verified indy's along the way for the drive home.
Is the car a daily driver? Has it been sitting for long?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No it isn't a daily driver. Another thing I forgot to mention is it has a Dinan Stage 1 Tune and full exhaust. Which does make me a little apprehensive. Just hope it hasn't been ran hard its whole life. Current owner told me the tune and exhaust have been on it for the last 10 years.
 

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My standard answer is be prepared to spend $5k at any moment to keep the car on the road. There are several things that are expensive and you would be addressing one. An 08 is a plus for the many engine updates but if you are paying an indy to do the rod bearings that money could go to the purchase. There is a Troy Jep stroked M5 on CL with 10k on the motor for $20k, the motor is worth half that.

It appears that getting into the 120k miles that the SMG's are starting to need some love. The clutch is a wash as both transmissions need them. That leaves you with the controls. Most of the HPU stuff has been sorted out through maintenance but you really have to DIY. The wiring and shift block is another matter that still has some mystery, I think the last one I read being put in was $8k.

Never forget it is a $100k car so $5k for a repair is nothing. If you are committed take your time and find one with the RB done and maybe even a new clutch, I did. There is no other car that does what this car does but the membership fees can be high. You are in the right place for information now just be patient.
 

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Like I said, rod bearings I would address immediately. And yes I would be doing the work myself. What’s “clutch and PP”?
clutch and Pressure plate, but will also likely need the flywheel replaced also
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think someone said something at one point here about Vanos Solenoids? I knew about the high pressure line but haven't heard much about solenoids. Am I missing something on this? It requires 4 right? I just googled Vanos Solenoids and I'm seeing $1700 each???? Times 4?
 

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You can get aftermarket ones for $120ea. I have used them as have many other members. I think the vanos problems were related to the testing of them with ISTA? If the car runs, drives and sets no codes I would not touch them. Being an 08 you would have the updated exhaust cam gears so the engine should be quite.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Also seen one or two people mention replacing oil squirters when they do the Vanos Line and Rod Bearings, but then others not mention it. What's the consensus on that too?

Does an 08 basically have all of the improvements for all MY?
 

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Also seen one or two people mention replacing oil squirters when they do the Vanos Line and Rod Bearings, but then others not mention it. What's the consensus on that too?

Does an 08 basically have all of the improvements for all MY?
That's just for the engine but the SMG didn't change AFAIK. For squirters, I probably wouldn't bother. Personal preference I suppose, they changed for a reason. Better piston cooling I think? Not sure
 

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Only significant change I am aware of after 08 is the navigation system. In 2010 the CCC was placed by the infinitely better CIC system. 09s got the upgraded controller but not the system behind it.
 

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That link above lists more changes the 09/10 engines got. For squirters there's no consensus. I didn't update mine. But a few conspiracy theories about pistons overheating causing contact with cylinders makes me wish I did (just cause I track my car and it sees high oil temps often). If you don't track your car you'll be just fine.
 

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No it isn't a daily driver. Another thing I forgot to mention is it has a Dinan Stage 1 Tune and full exhaust. Which does make me a little apprehensive. Just hope it hasn't been ran hard its whole life. Current owner told me the tune and exhaust have been on it for the last 10 years.
Errr... I retract my purchase approval statement if it is not regularly driven.
Has it been sitting long?
How many miles in the last year?
The last 90 days?
Often (but not always) when beasts sit for long while it is due to owners not wanting to spend $$ on maint. which is often the case with 3rd and 4th vehicles.
Just something to consider...
Question... does the current owner have scanning software? You did say they have a Dinan tune and Stage 1, right?
I would be apprehensive without a vehicle inspection and scan, especially since it is 600 mi away.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I didn’t mean it was sitting for long periods of time. It’s not the guys daily driver. He’s been driving it about 30 miles a week to keep it running. Somewhat concerning he’s only actually owned it for 6 months. Claims he just wants a 6M instead of the SMG.
I hear you with the scan, but it’s just a little difficult to coordinate that because I’m in a foreign city and also I’d need to ask the guy to have the car for a few hours, which seems a little much to ask. He showed me the maintenance screen from the onboard system that showed all systems healthy. What sort of scan are you referring to? Is it something I could get the software for or a tool I could do it myself?
 

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the fact that he has only owned it for 6 month and now wants to sell is a big red flag. The onboard maint screen is not even close to a reliable indicator and it needs to be scanned for codes at the least. Actually i would want a PPI at a shop that you trust or you should would walk away. If he balks at this its a further sign of potential issues.
 
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