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  1. #1
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    Member No: 14486 Mueller86er is an unknown quantity at this point Mueller86er's Avatar
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    Looking to purchase an E34 M5.... need pointers

    I have found a low mileage (around 50,000) 1991 E34 M5 and I am considering purchasing it as a daily driver (less than 12000/year). I was wondering on what would be some of the things to look for as far as major repairs/concern areas etc.. The car looks like it is in great shape inside and out. It is a third owner car and I would be the fourth.

    I do have one concern; the valves were bent by the second owner by over reving the car when it was cold. They were replaced by the local BMW dealer along with complete tune up including valve adjustment at 31,657. At 34,517 the owner had them replace the head gasket and the timing chain cover gaskets. Also replaced the air intake boot and the vacuum reservoir. In April of '07, after parking it for the winter the owner complained of valve noise and had them adjusted. In July of '07 BMW Dealer found six bent valves so the cylinder head was rebuilt.

    I currently have a perfectly running 1986 E24 635 120,000 miles, that is my weekend car. I bought the E24 from my father who purchased the car from the dealer in 1986. I know the maintenance reputation of a BMW but also wanted to know if the maintenance would be similar to my E24.

    Thank you in advance for your prompt reply. I look forward to everyone’s feedback.


    Mueller86er: 86 635csi,5-Speed
    Spring, Texas

  2. #2
    sunny5
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    Re: Looking to purchase an E34 M5.... need pointers

    It's curious from your explanation that bent valves were replaced on two separate occassions.

    This is a very durable vehicle with moderate care and maintenance. The most important thing, you probably already know....get a pre-purchase inspection from a mechanic intimately familiarwith M cars of this era. If you are thoughtful and detailed upfront, you will know exactly what you are getting into.

    While the low mileage is a good thing, I would be wondering about the car's ownership under the person who over reved the motor when it was cold...what else might he/she have done?

    Again, any problems could be uncovered in the pre-purchase inspection. I use my M5 as a daily driver and love it....the car is very realiable, a blast to drive and reasonable to care for.

  3. #3
    Paul L
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    Re: Looking to purchase an E34 M5.... need pointers

    I think I'd rather have a car with twice the mileage than one that's had the head off three times before reaching 50k miles. Something going on with that. I have a feeling the head was initially warped in addition to the bent valves thus requiring a second head gasket replacement. When the dealer had the head off for the third time it would have been checked for straightness if it was indeed rebuilt. If they just replaced the six valves and did nothing else you're going to be looking at another head gasket replacement again.

    They're a great car but it's certainly a buyers market at the moment. Now's the time to negotiate negotiate negotiate on the price. Lots of them for sale around the country because of the economy and for most of us they're just toys for occasional driving thus not really needed so usually the first things to go when money is a concern. My son has a 93 which is a daily driver and I have a 91 which hasn't had 20 miles on it since I bought it last December.

    Buy the drivetrain because the rest of the car isn't a concern and can be easily maintained. The drivetrain will cost you wads of money to get right if it needs work. Always a good thing if you can do some of the work yourself.

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