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  1. #1
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    Member No: 183685 JesuOne is an unknown quantity at this point JesuOne's Avatar
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    I need a bimmer again

    About 9 years ago I hung around the e30 forum and found a lot of help and a great 88 325iC to buy from a forum member. I eventually moved to Manhattan and lived without a car for like 6 years. I was hoping I was "over cars" and I would just buy a Honda or a Camry and not give a sh*t what I drove if I ever needed a car again.

    Well, I am not in NYC anymore and I've got a kid on the way, so of course I am scouring the forums and CL ads for a E39 540iT.

    Anyways, thanks in advance for the help and for supporting a fellow bmw addict.

    Few questions:
    Should $12-14k buy me a good one?
    I am never going to find a wagon with a manual transmission am I?
    I know there's no way to know if these things are reliable on a car by car basis, but a ten years old bimmer with 90k on the clock is something I should feel ok about my wife driving around in right?
    What's the general thought on the 528i vs the 540i in long term maintenance costs?


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    Member No: 4328 jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev's Avatar
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    No manual tranny 540iT's here (m)

    A 90K any bimmer could need lots on things replaced, you should get a repair history on any car you buy, especially one with 90K on it. $12-24K should get you a a pretty good E39, possibly one with a lot less miles than 90K. I bet you could find a nice 530i 5-speed for $14K.
    Generally a 528i or even an 530i will be cheaper to maintain than a 540i.
    Good luck in your search.
    Congrats on the baby.

  3. #3
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    Member No: 56726 lezonebay is an unknown quantity at this point lezonebay's Avatar
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    528iT only manual. having bought the 528iT

    I probably should have gone to the 540 route. Fuel economy is largely the same and reliability too. Prices are too.
    The 6 is gutless but oke for an everyday driving. The 540 should be much more fun although I purposely wanted to limit myself. Cops are getting on every corner and they are collecting to their funds via speed traps.
    So I need to keep it legal and safe. Just today 3 speed trap and luckily avoided all 3 with the 528IT

    If I were to spend 14K I agree that a 530i (sedan only) would be my choice. The 530i is much faster and better on fuel economy !

    The best would be a 2003 540iT sport which came with a M5 look. Hard to find it, only a handful were built/sold. And if you do find it it will either have 100k+ mileage or will be out of your price range. I found one and the guy wanted 19k usd and eventually settled for 18k. Too much for me !


    1997 BMW 840CiA
    1990 BMW Z1
    1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile)
    2002 Astro Van AWD
    2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package
    1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale)
    1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior)
    1977 BMW 320i (project racecar)
    2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile)
    1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze

    1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)

  4. #4
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    Inner Circle ©155 since: Jul 21, 2003 edjack will become famous soon enough edjack's Avatar
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    Re: No manual tranny 540iT's here (m)

    If you insist on a 6 speed 540iT, contact Brett Anderson, and Koala Motorsports. He does conversions.
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

  5. #5
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    Inner Circle ©155 since: Jul 21, 2003 edjack will become famous soon enough edjack's Avatar
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    Well, he may have withdrawn that product.


    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

  6. #6
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    Re: 528iT only manual. having bought the 528iT

    wow, I hadn't noticed how great those '03 sport wagons look, I could stretch the budget to 20k for the "right" car.

    I could never live with an auto in a sedan or a coupe, some it matters less in a wagon I suppose.
    From what I've found the V8's don't cost that much more than the 6's

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