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OK, so this isn't a new topic, but I would appreciate a few main pointers. I am mechanically pretty savvy, and have owned a number of e34's and e39's before, including an e39 M5 (sob, sob).

I now fancy getting back into an e34 as I have always preferred these to drive over the e39.

I know most of the usual weak spots with e34's (suspension bushes, steering box adjustment, wipers etc.), but besides these, and assuming the motor is good, what should I look out for on a test drive?

I have had my eye on an Avus blue 3.8 on pistonheads and the miles/price seem right to me.

Cheers

Alan
 

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Best advice would be to get a professional to do an inspection for you........there is a long list of things to check for when buying, a search will yield some results....but....

Many tech. savy people have been known to have been caught out by these cars when going over them themselves......give Darren Farrell a shout...he's your best bet.

Cheers
 

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Before you even get into the car look at the money spent on it over the last five or six years and see who has actually done the work. Is the car well cared for externally, any accident damage, ie open the bonnet, door shuts and boot. Check the tyres for alignment and get the owner to start the car from cold, see what comes out from the exhaust. Otherwise its the usual stuff, ie steering, good engine maintenance, steering movement, suspension suppleness, oil temp and what is used, plus if possible get the car up on a ramp and walk along the underside to see any signs of rust, damage, and look closely from both ends at the engine. What are the valve clearances, top end engine rebuild any history, new water pump, oil pump, alternator, cam carrier etc.
 

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Hiya,

As many have pointed out, a lot depends on whether you have to make your decision based on a proper inspection and look on a ramp, or just a test drive and lookaround the car.

Ideally taking an expert like Mr Farrell along will pay dividends, as will taking all the advice above.

Should you find yourself stuck with a car that you really don't want to walk away from, yet can't get onto a ramp with an expert, then here's a few pointers and quick bits of info.



Torch. Jack. Screwdriver or prodding item. A few white cloth rags.

Pop a two tonne trolley jack and a powerful torch in your car with a pad and ask to lift the car either on the rear sub-frame or even better one side then the other at the front along the chassis rails. Check another E34 beforehand so you can see where to lift. A trolleyjack won't use the E34 jacking points, so you need to know where those rails are.

If the guy won't let you, either walk away or park two wheels up on a kerb. Get under the car after the test drive, as firstly you will get covered in dirt and grime and the owner won't be best pleased to let you sit in the car afterwards, and secondly this gives any oil leaks he may have wiped clean a chance to leak out again.

Weak points -

1. Rust on the jacking points. Jacking points, all four, should have rubber seals in to prevent water ingress. Most have fallen out over time. Stick a finger in and also the prodder and check for rust and rubbish.

2. Rust and corrosion on sills below driver and passenger doors and along sill inbetween front jacking point and front wheelarch. Lie down well under car with torch and prodder so you can see back over your chest to view the cill from behind. The bodykit sideskirts on these cars hide evil rust traps at these points.

3. Lower door edges. If these are going rusty or bubbling then the rest of the car will be in similar condition. A good sign of high mileage being hidden (clocking) if supposedly garaged. Ditto for the welded supports for the rear exhaust box, two mounts with rubber donuts either side of the rear silencer.

4. Rear metal between axle beam bushes and where rear of seats are near rear arch. Often perforated on early cars.

5. Wipe up behind wheels around shocks to check for leaking SLS system. Huge money to put right on a 3.8, around £2k to £3k.

6. Look for leaking diff at rear (minor, most owners live with it) and leaking gearbox (minor unless heavy leak, most owners live with it). If the gearbox leaks ask to see receipts for periodic drain and refill for level checks, else walk away.

7. Engine oil leaks. Around rocker cover is repairable easily, leaks from tensioner are a pain but fixable, leaks from front of engine gasket or sump gasket are right aggro. Knock price down accordingly.

8. Check all electrics and knock price down for each and every failure and bulb fault. Check ABS light works.

9. Look through the service history for waterpump change at 80-100k miles and other signs of good maintenance.

10. Look for quality of tyres and matching sets, tying up with good tyres in service history.

11. Lift overmats and press carpet down hard in footwells with a rag or tissue and look for dampness and water, these carpets are thick and hide loads, especially with the BMW overmats in place.

12. Look at panel gaps and tap a small magnet around obvious places where filler might lie, especially if one panel has less scratches and swirl marks in pain indicating newer metal.

13. Open bonnet and check for complete and intact plastic locator pins with torch in the hidden recesses where the front indicators bolt to the front and also the wing of the car. It's a classic E34 "miss point" where a car that's had front wings replaced after an accident only has the front bolts put back in and not the side ones where they mount the wing as they're not really needed and chopshops miss them off.

14. Check for complete and intact plastic locator pins for the plastic headlight shields, air filter box and fan shrould. Any bent missing or broken quite possibly indicates a frontal impact repair. Also check for flaking paint around front hinges for bonnet, also a impact stress point.




15. It's only a poxy E34 with 15mpg fuel consumption and a proprietry obsolete suspension system that's gonna cost 3 grand every couple of years. It's a buyers market. Get a good price! Haggle, dammit !! :)



Regards

Ivan
 
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Great post Ivan !

This is one of the best resources I've read for someone wanting to have a crack at buying an E34 M5 on their own !

Cheers

Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"15. It's only a poxy E34 with 15mpg fuel consumption and a proprietry obsolete suspension system that's gonna cost 3 grand every couple of years. It's a buyers market. Get a good price! Haggle, dammit !! :)"

Thanks for that Ivan, made me smile:hihi: - that's obviously the same technique that the local stealers used when the offered me peanuts for my e60 ([email protected]$^@*>s)!

Most of the basic body stuff I know about, but it's nice to get a bit more info on the mechanicals.

Does anyone know of a good m5 specialist in the North East of England - Farrell might be a little too far away to take tyre kicking!!

The car I'm thinking of looking at is on pistonheads (sorry, never been any good at posting links), Avus Blue with 85 k miles on, and I have had details of a lot of the historical works.

Does anyone know this car?

Cheers

Alan
 

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Does anyone know of a good m5 specialist in the North East of England - Farrell might be a little too far away to take tyre kicking!!

The car I'm thinking of looking at is on pistonheads (sorry, never been any good at posting links), Avus Blue with 85 k miles on, and I have had details of a lot of the historical works.

Does anyone know this car?

Cheers

Alan
http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/332499.htm

Belongs to ebbers on this board IIRC.
 

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ask if he has any particular tire he has to air up more frequently than others...if so then take that wheel off and check the back side for cracks. I had two cracked m// wheels that I had not inspected....that's $300 off right there
 

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Hi Kieran

Nope, the 530d is still with me - despite the hype, these things seem harder to sell than M5's:7:!!

Had an offer from a stealer a couple of weeks back for £8k which was just ridiculous, the week before that a white van put a 4" dent in the passenger front door, and then last week the exhaust manifold cracked (£700 thank you sir). Not good on a 2004, 80k miles car!

So once all is fixed, I might have another go at selling, and your e34 is still nagging away at me.................................

I would still like to come and have a look at yours, but I can't commit unless I sell the 'D', and I don't want to waste your time.

I'll keep in touch

Alan
 
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