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      01-14-2017, 01:00 PM   #1
OUGrad05
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Thinking about an E34 M5...am I crazy?

I'm giving serious thought to dumping my Scion FR-S (my weekend or occasional weekday car) and picking up an E34 M5. I have always loved the E34, they're properly cheap for one in good condition and exceedingly rare. They're also reasonably reliable. I like the E39 like most folks do, but the maintenance issues and cost of ownership along with the cost of the car just doesn't make sense.

Any thoughts on the E34?
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      01-16-2017, 08:37 PM   #2
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Get one with service records and look out for rust. A huge plus if the heater core was recently replaced as the labor is a PITA. Back in 2011 I was in the market for a M car and there was only one e34 M5 not too far from me in CT when I was living in NY but had hidden rust spots and leaked oil, along with coolant smell from the vents. I walked and chose a e39 M5 instead. Any M car you purchase will require more maintenance compared to a 'normal' series, except the e36 M3 is similar to maintain to a 328i.
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      01-16-2017, 08:59 PM   #3
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Cool car for collecting but you'd better be into it for that reason first and performance second, since the performance isn't that good.
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      01-16-2017, 09:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30lolz View Post
Get one with service records and look out for rust. A huge plus if the heater core was recently replaced as the labor is a PITA. Back in 2011 I was in the market for a M car and there was only one e34 M5 not too far from me in CT when I was living in NY but had hidden rust spots and leaked oil, along with coolant smell from the vents. I walked and chose a e39 M5 instead. Any M car you purchase will require more maintenance compared to a 'normal' series, except the e36 M3 is similar to maintain to a 328i.
Yeah, I've done a ton of reading on that the last couple days. It seems even the V8 powered 5 series cars (non M) are a real bitch to maintain as well. Kind of disappointing. I like the E34 because it's one of the first BMWs I fell in love with. The E39 M5 was the dream car in high school but have read they are absolutely awful to keep on the road and I want something I can drive a day or two each week.

May have to rethink and go with a Porsche Cayman or something else :\
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      01-16-2017, 09:53 PM   #5
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If you are worried about maintenance, an M5 regardless of vintage is probably going to be more than a "normal" car. If your heart says E34 M5, do it. Buy one with proper maintenance records and have it inspected by an indy BMW mechanic. These cars need proper preventive maintenance or you can have some grief.

Think about an E39 540 with M-tech package. They are out there but you have to look for them. I had two E39 540s and put over 250k miles between them. They were both absolutely bullet proof. My favorite car ever was my 2003 540 m tech. The differential in the m-tech has different gearing and it totally changes the quickness (at the expense of some fuel efficiency, but worth it.) I got hit in it and totaled the car or I would still be driving it. That said, if M5 is what you want, don't settle. Just be prepared to spend some money from time to time.

Good luck!

Last edited by sygazelle; 01-16-2017 at 10:44 PM.
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      01-16-2017, 09:57 PM   #6
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Join M5Board.com as the knowledge is 2nd to none. I was even toying with the idea of trading in my e90 for a e60 M5, however, after doing my homework on the s85 and other components of the car, now wouldn't be the right time haha. IMHO, the e90 is the perfect balance that my family and I need. I too fell in love with the e34's right after I got my e28 back in '96 and even owned two e34's.
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      01-17-2017, 03:00 PM   #7
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Let's see, as far as BMW M's back-catalogue is concerned, the E34 M5 has all the following traits:
• Last hand-assembled M5 & last M-car that wasn't "mass produced" in the contemporary sense of the word.
• Assembled at the BMW Motorsport GmbH facility in Garching, not on the 5-series assembly line.
• S38 inline-six ('Big Six') bloodline descends directly from the BMW M1's M88 and E9 CSL's M49 racing engines. Last M-car that has direct lineage to the original 1970s motorsport programs.
• 6-speed manual only.
• Looks & sounds great.

It's a special car indeed. So OP, you're not crazy.
The only problem is finding one in good shape now that they are almost a few decades old.

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Last edited by Law; 01-17-2017 at 03:06 PM.
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      01-17-2017, 03:53 PM   #8
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It is going to be a labour of love. I know nothing of the E34 reliability or costs. But I'd say that if you want it get it. Just look for a clean example as best as possible within your budget. There is no sure way to guarantee your running costs will be low. But if it's your spare car, why not take the risk on passion.
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      01-17-2017, 05:38 PM   #9
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I agree with Law, it is easily one of the coolest M cars of all time, and for me the best M5. If you can find one in good condition, I'd go for it in a heartbeat. I never drove an E34, but I did get a chance to drive an E28 with the same S38 engine, it was something I'll never forget.
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      01-18-2017, 02:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
The E39 M5 was the dream car in high school but have read they are absolutely awful to keep on the road and I want something I can drive a day or two each week.

May have to rethink and go with a Porsche Cayman or something else :\
Bought an E39 M5 in 2009 with 66k on it, sold it 2015 with 95k on it (for quite a bit more $, I might add).

Along the way there were almost constant little things going wrong, wearing out, and preventative maintenance... BUT it never left me stranded, never had a truly expensive failure, and never had anything go wrong that was a major inconvenience (like my friend's much newer Audi S4 whose rear windows would go down... but not back up).

Basically, if you're willing to budget $2k/yr (I averaged $1,100/yr including normal wear items, doing most work myself) and don't mind working on cars (most things are actually not that hard to do), it's an awesome car and worth it. If you're not willing to invest that kind of love, it will get annoying.
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      01-18-2017, 10:38 AM   #11
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<-------- searches BAT & eBay for a E34m
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      01-18-2017, 12:45 PM   #12
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EutGUdwHQQ


Apparently they make great drift cars too. Seems like techno violet?
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