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Thread: E30 325i touring or e34 M5?

  1. #1
    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    E30 325i touring or e34 M5?

    What's the better bet long term?

    I have a e30 325i touring wagon which I daily drive, and have spent some time and money on it getting it reliable and nice to drive. It's auto which as I am an old fart (42) I find it good for the school run, wife can drive it, and the wagon part of it is handy.

    I might have an opportunity to swap it for a 1992 e34 M5 that had come up on Craigslist. Local BC Canadian car, 260k km. I haven't seen it yet, but the owner and I have been chatting, and he thinks my wagon is worth close to 10k, and he wants 10k or offers for his M5.

    I already have an e39 M5 so it doesn't make sense in a usability way, but I have always liked the e34 and the engine is very similar to my s14, just 2 extra cylinders. With that comes cost to maintain.

    What would be a better financial option? The e30 touring is hugely popular here and rare, it was never sold in North America. It was my first car I bought here when I moved, and I have put some ellbow grease into it. Do I pass on the M5 or just be stupid and have 2 M5s and an s14 e30.

    1st world problem I know.

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    It's not really a question, is it?

    A trio of M engines wins every time.
    Last edited by Roy928tt; 18-03-18 at 05:07 PM.
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    Registered User I'm DJ!'s Avatar
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    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/van/...492337375.html

    1991 BMW M5, 5 speed manual, Black with Black leather interior, 263000km. Overall very fair condition, runs well. Always been a very fun car to drive, I dont have the time to enjoy the car anymore, which is the reason for sale.

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    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    The owner had it up for $10500, but took price off as even though it has a clean title he found out that it had been in an accident in 1992.

    It has been for sale for a while, it seems these e34 m5s are the unloved classic m cars. I remember back in Sydney I could have paid less than 10k for one, but it was really tired.

    It's a 91 not a 92 like I stated earlier. If I can get my wagon in a presentatable state (it's filthy) I might drive over with it and see if he wants to swap. Then if I did do this, I would probably store it and get my e39 insured for the summer.... Or just store that wagon... Fuck I really don't know if I should do this.

  6. #6
    Registered User BreaksMyWallet's Avatar
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    Unless the E34 is your dream car, I'd stick with the E30. It means a greater variety of toys in your garage, and is the devil you know.

    Edit: oops, forgot about your M3. Hmm. I guess it depends how different you consider the two E30s.
    Last edited by BreaksMyWallet; 19-03-18 at 07:15 AM.

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    Little engine that could. itsnotagsr's Avatar
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    Aren't these manual M5s pretty rare? Seems to be a bit of interest in the prior version now, so this can't be too far behind.
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    PF's #1 soft roader advocate Captiva Fan's Avatar
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    I don't think they made E34 M5's in auto?
    Ah, the days when people were less dumber ...
    They probably ARE rare, though, because it seems cylinder-block failure wasn't super uncommon. Someone on aus.cars had spent a squizzionty-billion dollars on a new engine because the car wasn't that old so was still worth it, but it was well out of warranty ... and my recollection is that he'd found it wasn't that uncommon a problem. What I don't recall though is whether the 3.8 had the same problem (they only imported the 3.6 here, whereas in Canadaland it may be the 250kW 3.8 version of basically the same engine).
    I'm assuming that at 35-ish years of age any block weakness would've sidelined a car decades ago ... ?
    Last edited by Captiva Fan; 19-03-18 at 08:30 AM.
    Soft roaders represent an excellent compromise between the needs of the hardcore 4x4 user and the convenience of a city hatchback. Its clear to see why they have become so popular in todays society.

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    Registered User gmx's Avatar
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    Last handbuilt M car.
    Manual only, forgot what year split got the 3.8L
    S38 is probably the best BMW I6 imo.

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    PF's #1 soft roader advocate Captiva Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmx View Post
    Last handbuilt M car.
    Manual only, forgot what year split got the 3.8L
    S38 is probably the best BMW I6 imo.
    Wikipedia says 3.8 builds started mid-late 1991, but that North America didn't get the 3.8 (same as here).
    Soft roaders represent an excellent compromise between the needs of the hardcore 4x4 user and the convenience of a city hatchback. Its clear to see why they have become so popular in todays society.

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    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    It's a 91, so 3.6. the 3.8 was later. Like 93-95?

    The 3.8 had coil over plugs so valve cover looks different, and no distributor.

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    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsnotagsr View Post
    Aren't these manual M5s pretty rare? Seems to be a bit of interest in the prior version now, so this can't be too far behind.
    Huge price rise in the first evolution of the M5, the e28 which was built in small numbers around 1987-88?
    Chris Harris has one and does a good YouTube video on his e28.

    Maybe the e34 might be dragged up like the rest of them? E28s are 20k+ if you can find one. Basically a bit bigger than an e30, not much heavier, same trailing arm rear suspension so tail happy drift Wagen. The e34 was much more advanced in the chassis and is a nice place to be interior wise. That part appeals to me as my e30 wagon is very 1980s and primitive in comparison. Ok for a weekend warrior but daily driving... Maybe I'm getting old. I do remember the e34 M5 clutch can be heavy, my e39 is heavy but I know it is in need of replacement.

    Someone on the local forum thinks the paint is shot so that's a turn off.

  13. #13
    Spending money on cars Neeek's Avatar
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    E34 M5 every fucking day of the week.

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    Registered User vlsv88's Avatar
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    Had the pleasure of driving an E34 M5 - do it. Not the quickest, doesn't handle the best but it just felt like class to drive. It would never be my first option of M car to buy but if you have a staple of them in the garage the E34 needs to be in there. Was an appreciative drive I haven't forgotten.

  15. #15
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ burn is weird's Avatar
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    I vote for touring.

    You already have an E39 which is best m5. I'd go something different.

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    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    Ha thanks for the confusion guys! I agree doubling up on M5s makes no sense, but from the price I paid for the touring to then step into an M car... If no money changed hands.. it's a good deal.

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    Registered User Fraud's Avatar
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    I'd probably keep the wagon, but I'm weird.
    Quote Originally Posted by myshortyboomba View Post
    I've had many gauges in cars. I always found the conrods react faster than a gauge.

    you can always hear them when they break and they stop the engine immediately so you can't do any more damage.

  18. #18
    Non Compos Mentos Gammaboy's Avatar
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    I'd put an M motor in the wagon. Job done.
    "Where can we get hold of a Vincent Black Shadow?" "Whats that?" "A fantastic bike," I said. "The new model is something like two thousand cubic inches, developing two hundred brake-horsepower at four thousand revolutions per minute on a magnesium frame with two styrofoam seats and a total curb weight of exactly two hundred pounds."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy928tt View Post
    It's not really a question, is it?

    A trio of M engines wins every time.
    This man knows. E34 M5 100%

  20. #20
    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    Haha, thanks for the confusion guys, I am now more less decisive than I was

    Here's the coon on gas German variant as it sits tonight, s14 e30 in the garage behind it getting a new exhaust.
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  21. #21
    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    And my e39 M5 gathering dust
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  22. #22
    Registered User Euronymous's Avatar
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    Keep wagon, buy m5, throw motor in wagon with an auto and any other useable m5 bits. Everyones happy... Except your wallet.
    Or get m5. Then buy e34 touring make m5 wagon, be the envy of the internet.

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    I think the sure fire way to financial ruin here is the e34 m5?? I'm not sure the e30 is even in the same universe as a m5?

    I agree the e34 m5 market is weird but I think its due there being no market for semi-beater (cars that car brought up to standard) because everyone only wants a perfect example. E28 m5 prices had done nothing for years until they finally became desirable, the e34 is likely not as special as a e28 but I think they will be begin to rise in the next couple of years.

    I know if I could chop my e24 in for a e34 m5 I don't think I would need to think about it for very long.

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    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euronymous View Post
    Keep wagon, buy m5, throw motor in wagon with an auto and any other useable m5 bits. Everyones happy... Except your wallet.
    Or get m5. Then buy e34 touring make m5 wagon, be the envy of the internet.
    Yeah wife would be real happy with keeping wagon AND buying M5... I'm at wifi limit as it is

  25. #25
    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James W View Post
    I think the sure fire way to financial ruin here is the e34 m5?? I'm not sure the e30 is even in the same universe as a m5?

    I agree the e34 m5 market is weird but I think its due there being no market for semi-beater (cars that car brought up to standard) because everyone only wants a perfect example. E28 m5 prices had done nothing for years until they finally became desirable, the e34 is likely not as special as a e28 but I think they will be begin to rise in the next couple of years.

    I know if I could chop my e24 in for a e34 m5 I don't think I would need to think about it for very long.
    Yes an e34 M5 in runner condition is a fucking money pit for sure. My e30 most of the shitty 30yr plus maintenance work has been done, like suspension, brakes, oil leaks, a/c, timing belt, cooling system, fuel hoses, injectors etc... Still haven't adjusted tappets haha, it sounds like the sewing machine it is... Can't be fucked. Not hurting anything by not doing them, but I will get to it eventually. Like the rest of the work a 30 yr old BMW needs. Never ends.

  26. #26
    Registered User Euronymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forg Convertible View Post
    Yeah wife would be real happy with keeping wagon AND buying M5... I'm at wifi limit as it is
    Mmm to true, building the e34 m5 touring is the best option, haha

  27. #27
    Half Shafted. Madhatr's Avatar
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    Seen the price of tourings in places like aus yeah? Id be keeping the touring, especially as its not a bargain basement 318i, it'll keep appreciating even in countries they were sold/easy enough to find. Fuck the E34 M5 when you have an E39. It shits all over the E34 from a monumental height and the S38 isn't THAT impressive to want to own one in what is a pretty boring car.
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  28. #28
    Registered User gmx's Avatar
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    I don't care what you do but that trio of M engines is correct. Precursor to the fitting fourth S85. I4, I6, V8, V10 M motors? Fuck yeah.

  29. #29
    Registered User Fraud's Avatar
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    just from reading this thread it sounds like driving around in the E34 you'll be swamped by badge snobs telling you "nice car, its a shame these older M5s are so undesirable though", or the tweed jacket wearing types criticising you because the wheel caps aren't on perfectly/you didn't reuse the factory fitted air filter...

    Or driving around in the wagon, you'll get swamped by people enthusiastically celebrating your E30, or enthusiastically celebrating your wagon, or having their minds blown at the very existence of something that is both an E30 AND a wagon, or flatbrim E30 enthusiasts asking you when you're going to stance it/do an S14 swap

    Its still a pretty awesome problem to have though!
    Quote Originally Posted by myshortyboomba View Post
    I've had many gauges in cars. I always found the conrods react faster than a gauge.

    you can always hear them when they break and they stop the engine immediately so you can't do any more damage.

  30. #30
    Registered User Forg Convertible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhatr View Post
    Seen the price of tourings in places like aus yeah? Id be keeping the touring, especially as its not a bargain basement 318i, it'll keep appreciating even in countries they were sold/easy enough to find. Fuck the E34 M5 when you have an E39. It shits all over the E34 from a monumental height and the S38 isn't THAT impressive to want to own one in what is a pretty boring car.
    Convincing argument. Might get the thing repainted in the summer.

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