1987 BMW 535i

Messages
7,550
Location
North Alabama
Right next-door to my office, there is a white 1987 BMW 535i 5-speed for sale. I looked at it quickly a few days ago. I have no idea how many miles the thing has on it, but it looks like it's been taken care of alright. What kind of track-record do these things have? The guy wants $1700 for it. Any opinions??? I'm thinking about buying it & trying to flip it for a $400-500 profit......or maybe keep it for myself & sell the VW.
 

nel

Messages
270
Location
Northern CA
The M30 engine is one of the more desired engines by BMW enthusiasts. High torque, smooth running. It's almost bulletproof, but it does require attention. It requires regular valve lash adjustment (no hydraulic elements). There are banjo bolts in the head for cam lubrication that can be troublesome. And, the e34 platform while robust has some quirks, particularly with regards to front suspension bushings and some electrical issues. Do your research. There are quite a few BMW boards that focus on the e34. I'll pm you with two that I recommend. BTW, that price sounds attractive. If the car is in good shape, it's even a bargain.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,169
Location
New Jersey
nice car... if you can find a good BMW/BMW and MB ONLY mechanic in your area, youve got it made. BMW uses what are essentially sacrificial rubber parts. Be prepared to need to replace all of them at the cost of upwards of $1500. Maybe the clutch is going, thus the reason why they want to unload it. Even still, if there is no rust and no bad history, its a good car at a good price. JMH
 
Messages
98
Location
New York
87 535i is an E28, not an E34. And made in Bavaria, not South Africa. South African cars were for domestic consumption only. I ran a 1983 533i for years as a daily driver. In addition to the good advice above, check all the electrical systems. They are probably in the process of dying - most are just irritating, but a few can be expensive and problematic. Look for rust in the rockers, in the floor pan above the rear subframe bushings, behind the front wheels, and in the trunk. These cars will rust, and you have to know where to look. Much more expensive problem to fix than just about anything else, unless you can weld. Price is OK, but be warned - you'll probably become addicted to the engine and have to keep it. These cars are still spectacular high-speed cruisers.
 

wavinwayne

Thread starter
Messages
7,550
Location
North Alabama
I will make my final decision on the BMW next week. I've already decided against keeping it, because of the potential problems that you guys have listed. If I buy it, I will just try to re-sell it for a profit. There is a big marina just down the street from me. I think if I parked it there for a couple of weeks with a for sale sign in the window, I could get some serious inquiries.
 
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