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Old 06-23-2011, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Best old BMW 5 series?

What whould be the best old BMW 5 series year/model to buy, in terms of price, reliability, ease of repair by owner?
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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What's yer budget?
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:45 PM   #3
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1986 528i

Lighter than a newer 3 series and nimble as ****. Will accept later powertrain upgrades.

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Old 06-23-2011, 10:07 PM   #4
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My father in law has a 528i sitting in his driveway because it's out of inspection. It's a 1998 I think. Wanna buy it?
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:33 PM   #5
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E39 M5?
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:02 AM   #6
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It's hard not to recommend the old school E28 535i. Not real pretty, but the old M30 I-6 is bulletproof as ****, parts are easy to come by and reasonably priced (even at the dealer), and it's easy to work on. Most of the same should apply to the next-gen E34 built through '96, except they're actually good looking. I got lots of good info and support from the BMWCCA (and the Roundel magazine) when I had my E23 745i daily driver. Kept that SOB running like a champ for 10 years and 150K miles after I got it and rebuilt the head... and it didn't hurt to know a local independent BMW guru.

The key is... maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. And learn to live part-time with stuff like air-conditioning.

E34 M5 might be my favorite Bimmer... maybe...
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:22 AM   #7
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Love my '05 E61 535d but that's too new?

Had a '92-ish E34 525i with M50 I6 engine 192ps. Wonderful car. Last generation where they used really tough paint instead of water based paints nowadays. Will never die.

So, an E34 M5 ?


Or E39, but that is already less hardcore.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:57 PM   #8
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My E34 (M20 engine)

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Old 06-24-2011, 02:06 PM   #9
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It's pretty stupid to buy an older BMW just because you want a BMW but can't afford it.

GL finding a clean one.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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Personally I want an m635csi something FIERCE. Almost the same as old 5's
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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My late father in law (RIP) has a 89 750 full of v12 goodness. I'm sure I could get you a good price on it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemax View Post
My late father in law (RIP) has a 89 750 full of v12 goodness. I'm sure I could get you a good price on it.
While I am not the OP, I am listening.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #13
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Thanks for the input guys.
This has nothing to do with what I can or can't afford. I can not justify spending 30,40,$50,000 on a car that will be driven less than 10,000 km/year.
I have always loved 5 series cars, but have never owned / had much experience with one. I am not out to impress anyone. My vehicles now are the Miata, PT Cruiser GT with turbo badges removed, and a 2011 Grand Caravan. Clearly I am not out to impress! My first new car was a 1995 Taurus SHO when I was 24. All of my friends thought I had brain damage to spend that kind of money on a Taurus. Until I took them for a ride that is.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasty danish View Post
Personally I want an m635csi something FIERCE. Almost the same as old 5's
This is one of the nicer examples I have seen recently
http://bringatrailer.com/2011/06/22/...89-bmw-635csi/
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersoze View Post
This is one of the nicer examples I have seen recently
http://bringatrailer.com/2011/06/22/...89-bmw-635csi/
while nice, I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I didn't get a grey market euro M:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/2400059920.html

That is THE definitive m635. Fahey stroker puts out over 400hp!
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasty danish View Post
while nice, I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I didn't get a grey market euro M:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/2400059920.html

That is THE definitive m635. Fahey stroker puts out over 400hp!
This
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasty danish View Post
while nice, I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I didn't get a grey market euro M:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/2400059920.html

That is THE definitive m635. Fahey stroker puts out over 400hp!
It's very pretty for sure and even in Portland! I am a little skeptical of 400hp even from a 4L M88/S38(Fahey, Dinan, Hamann(?) were all like 4L stroker kits weren't they?)Seems like this would require head work, cams, increased comp ratio and maybe engine managment-maybe he had all that done-32K buys a lot of goodness. I suppose the M1 engine had like 450-470 NA but that was a full race engine with probably a much higher redline and all of the above.

If I could have just one BMW it would probably be an E9-maybe this one
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eshaun/...95311987/show/
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersoze View Post
Seems like this would require head work, cams, increased comp ratio and maybe engine managment
Yes, yes it would. A Fahey engine is a SERIOUS piece of kit. 400whp may be pushing it, but they are definitely over 400BHP. Stock the M635 was already at 286BHP

That E9 is pure sex!
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pusha View Post
It's pretty stupid to buy an older BMW just because you want a BMW but can't afford it.

GL finding a clean one.
Sorry, but wrong. I have an E36 M3 that I bought about a year ago. I cannot afford a new M3, and if I could I would rather spend that money on racing Miatas anyway. The E36 is an awesome daily driver and my example is very clean and low mileage. Great car. I would buy it again.

A 500 series BMW with a Vorschlag LSx swap would be a sweet daily driver IMO.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:26 PM   #20
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^agreed. There are a handful of Bmw's I'd like to own just because they are neat cars. I wouldn't buy a new one even if I had all the money in the world. I just don't find them appealing.
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