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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a (very!) few 5MT with a good body / interior / relatively low km around and I have been toying with the idea of changing up my daily.

It's just one of those things... I love the E46, the feel, the drive and I get a smile (almost) every time I see it.

I thought about an E30 but decided that as much as I would love one they would require too much work for me to be happy. Had one, loved it, need a little more luxury. E36 is nice but doesn't quite push my buttons.

I'm definitely thinking about manual transmission though.

Anyone with experience with E34s? How's the drive? Is it liveable for a DD? Parts and service?

Am I crazy for the thought of selling out my hassle free, unique combo E46 for a who-knows-what?
 

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I've had six E34's, love them to bits. I'm currently selling a nice white 535i auto and a slightly rough grey 535i manual (if you're interested in either btw...). I also own an E34 M5 =)

You'll find that NO ONE takes care of them. It will be next to impossible to get an E34 that still has everything working, unlike an E46 where it is still vaguely possible. Even my M5 has a sticky door lock and two blown speakers, despite being otherwise immaculate.

Parts are cheap, non-M and the cars are relatively easy to fix depending which model you get.

If you want something AWESOME, but a 535i manual. Only 202 ever sold in Australia and they sound unbelievable. Some idiosyncracies with the engine, but totally bomb proof. You will make an easy half a million kays if you keep it full of coolant and oil.

However, if you come across an M50 powered manual 525i JUMP ON IT. Very hard to find though (it was a special order I believe, to get the manual box). Better fuel economy than any other E34 and also the quickest manual offering (short of M5 and 540iLE). I had a 520i manual and it was a fantastic car.


I can go on about these forever....
 

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I've had six E34's, love them to bits. I'm currently selling a nice white 535i auto and a slightly rough grey 535i manual (if you're interested in either btw...). I also own an E34 M5 =)

You'll find that NO ONE takes care of them. It will be next to impossible to get an E34 that still has everything working, unlike an E46 where it is still vaguely possible. Even my M5 has a sticky door lock and two blown speakers, despite being otherwise immaculate.

Parts are cheap, non-M and the cars are relatively easy to fix depending which model you get.

If you want something AWESOME, but a 535i manual. Only 202 ever sold in Australia and they sound unbelievable. Some idiosyncracies with the engine, but totally bomb proof. You will make an easy half a million kays if you keep it full of coolant and oil.

However, if you come across an M50 powered manual 525i JUMP ON IT. Very hard to find though (it was a special order I believe, to get the manual box). Better fuel economy than any other E34 and also the quickest manual offering (short of M5 and 540iLE). I had a 520i manual and it was a fantastic car.


I can go on about these forever....
And why have I never seen said M5?!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey trive2

I never knew you had so many cars... and E34s! Pics or ban :eeps:

So, talking rough price ranges for manual non-M what should I be thinking? As in, obviously there is an advertised price and then there is the actual sale price...
 

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You'll find that NO ONE takes care of them. It will be next to impossible to get an E34 that still has everything working, unlike an E46 where it is still vaguely possible. Even my M5 has a sticky door lock and two blown speakers, despite being otherwise immaculate.

Parts are cheap, non-M and the cars are relatively easy to fix depending which model you get.
Don't agree here ... I bought my 1993 M50TU in 1998 (120,000km) and had it for 15 years selling it in Feb this year. 395,000k and everything still worked well. A/C, radio, all lights, Cruise, electric windows, sunroof etc etc.

Sold with towbar and BMW wiring harness for just over $3,000 Some people still look after their cars!

Problems were 395K kms, Front shockers gone, low coolant sensor intermittent (even though changed sensor twice) and starting to get rust around sunroof and front passenger A pillar.
Would you believe an 18yo girl bought it!

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Bmw Personal luxury car


Land vehicle Vehicle Car Bmw Sedan


Land vehicle Vehicle Car Engine Auto part


Land vehicle Vehicle Car Steering wheel Luxury vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^ that's awesome! Great price too (for the buyer). What sort of mileage were you getting out of a tank? How's the handling and driving feel? TBH I have yet to drive one and of course I will before making any decision at all.

If all of the basics work and nothing needs immediate attention so much so that it's enough to DD the car then something like a dead speaker is not an issue. Anything that stops that car from running is obviously a deal breaker. That said, I am not afraid of DIY.

Does this model / era have OBD access?
 

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I was getting better than 10Litres/100km and the best I got on a fast trip from Melbourne to Portland was 1000km from the 80 litre tank! I reckon I was driving on fumes for the last km!
Even though the front shockers were gone, you only felt it over corrugations where the steering wheel would shake. Apart from that, extremely quiet and smooth. Great machines!

This model had a computer that displayed outside temp and time, (also gave a 'ding' when temp fell below 4C as a warning for ice) but there was a full replacement unit (on 530/540) that gave MPG etc as well. It uses a 20 pin under bonnet socket for reading codes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've had six E34's, love them to bits. I'm currently selling a nice white 535i auto and a slightly rough grey 535i manual (if you're interested in either btw...). I also own an E34 M5 =)

You'll find that NO ONE takes care of them. It will be next to impossible to get an E34 that still has everything working, unlike an E46 where it is still vaguely possible. Even my M5 has a sticky door lock and two blown speakers, despite being otherwise immaculate.

Parts are cheap, non-M and the cars are relatively easy to fix depending which model you get.

If you want something AWESOME, but a 535i manual. Only 202 ever sold in Australia and they sound unbelievable. Some idiosyncracies with the engine, but totally bomb proof. You will make an easy half a million kays if you keep it full of coolant and oil.

However, if you come across an M50 powered manual 525i JUMP ON IT. Very hard to find though (it was a special order I believe, to get the manual box). Better fuel economy than any other E34 and also the quickest manual offering (short of M5 and 540iLE). I had a 520i manual and it was a fantastic car.


I can go on about these forever....
I'm still waiting for your pics... impatience :D

I feel compelled to drive an E28 M5 after watching Chris Harris' throwback review, oh, and he compares it to the E34.
Yes! I saw that. Loved that he loved the car so much... but the E28 is just a little older than what I want to go. There are a few M-Sport E28s on the market at the moment and if I was looking for a project car this could be a fun and different way to go.

I was getting better than 10Litres/100km and the best I got on a fast trip from Melbourne to Portland was 1000km from the 80 litre tank! I reckon I was driving on fumes for the last km!
Even though the front shockers were gone, you only felt it over corrugations where the steering wheel would shake. Apart from that, extremely quiet and smooth. Great machines!

This model had a computer that displayed outside temp and time, (also gave a 'ding' when temp fell below 4C as a warning for ice) but there was a full replacement unit (on 530/540) that gave MPG etc as well. It uses a 20 pin under bonnet socket for reading codes.
Better than 10s? Pretty good. And auto too, right?

Glad it has OBD port. Any idea if the computer can be retrofit? I would assume so.
 

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Yes, 5 speed Auto so 100kph in top is 2000 RPM. Probably most economical at 130 -140kph.
The computers were available on eBay and I toyed with the idea of installing one but never got around to it.
E34 OBC
 

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@DeclanM3- Only had it for just over a month! I've spent the last two years looking at every single Ad a thousand times over with no intention of handing over hard earned, then a bloke made me an offer my loins couldn't refuse.

@Ballistic- They're all a bit over-priced. I want $4k for mine as the cheapest on Carsales but would take a bit less... they're worth somewhat more than the auto's, which you can pick up as low as a grand in fair condition. My white car is probably a better car but I'm not expecting more than $1,500. I'd definitely pay for better cosmetic condition, mechanical is cheap enough to put right- cosmetic isn't. There's a couple of nice 535i manuals on Carsales for slightly silly money that look good. Offer them all 3k? That said, find a manual M50 2.5 and pay anything for it! :p I've been stalking E34's for a few years now and probably only ever seen one or two. Plenty of M20's, but they're a bit crap
...
I haven't found the diagnostics port to be much use, and it's definitely much less thorough then the newer systems, but still very fancy for the late 80's!
Also, I have a space OBC if you ever need one, very easy to retrofit.

@Forzamilan- I hate that video! I get flashes of an E28 every time I look at my E34! So nice!

Pics it is!
*COUGH*
http://www.carsales.com.au/private/...[Make:BMW,Model:535i,Series:E34]&sort=default
*COUGH*
Cirrusblau 535i

Cirrusblau 535i

Somethingsilver 520i

Delphingrau 535i

Alpineweiss M5

Alpineweiss M5

HAD to include my first!
Burgundrot 735iL
 

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It actually looks REALLY nice in that color, same as my old 520i manual. My interior was nicer though, anniversary edition, not so much grey. I would go that in a heartbeat if you can kick them down to 2k, playing on the mileage. It will have some work to do at those kays.
 

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