Sunday, January 4, 2015

3k: Seller Submission: 1995 BMW 530iT E34 Wagon

 BMW's E34 generation 5-series was not the ride of Rockefellers or rock stars, but it was the sporty choice for doctors, lawyers, middle managers, and well-off folks who wanted a luxury sedan with a touch of speed.  BMW sold a 530i badged version of the US market (1992-1996) that did not use the inline-6 you might expect, but instead was powered by a 3.0 liter M60 V8 that made V6-like power with V8 sounds.  Find this 1995 BMW 530iT E34 Wagon offered here on craigslist for $3,500, located in San Rafael, CA.  Seller submission from Jeremy.

The E34 generation BMW 5-series solidified BMW's reputation as a builder of sport-luxury sedans for the quasi-wealthy.   Today the E34 is cheap enough to be the choice of  window clerks at your local burger barn, but that shouldn't dissuade you from experiencing one of Bavaria's better built bombers.

This E34 is offered for a decent price from a seller who seems to be very upfront about its issues...and there are a few.  The good news is that a bunch of cash has been sunk into the car recently and the remaining issues are mostly cosmetic.  

 Got your own junker to offload?  Send us a submission here:


  1. Is there a manual swap option for this engine/car? Because otherwise this looks desirable at that price.

  2. You could swap it. Google BMW nikasil motor first.

  3. Seller certainly comes across as honest and upfront. The remaining issues don't seem too daunting. The slushy is a bit of a letdown. Alas, my search continues for an east coast, row-your-own longroof sporting a roundel...

  4. The Nikasil motor problems were a function of the sulfur in gasoline at the time and was to some extent confined to those areas where sulfur content was higher than average. BMW did a bunch of M60 motors in Alusil as warranty replacements, but it's not a factor now - sulfur limits in gasoline have been reduced since then and any Nikasil engine that's survived this long will last forever (well, until something else breaks.)

    Biggest problem with these is that the 3.0 V8 had the torque of a B18 Honda. Paired with a typically frustrating slushbox of the era, they just don't move.

    It's a nice enough car to drive while you're collecting parts for the LS3 swap, for which it's a perfect candidate if you like dark colors. Me, I need a blue or white one.

    1. Alternatively, I'm guessing you could drop a M60B40 from an E34 540i or E32 740i, they are physically the same size and all the same crap bolts up, find the half-price Pick-N-Pull weekend, shop carefully and get the ECU too, if you don't roll craps on the engine you pick you've got 40 more HP and a metric trunkload more torque for $250 and the labor to swap.

    2. Why not do the full enchilada...or full Oktoberfest...and drop a M70/M73 V12 + 6spd from an 850Ci. More electrical problems than a used spaceship, but nothing a wookie can't fix. It should fit because the e34 has a big engine bay...

    3. More like 60 more HP, 220ish for the 3.0 vs 280 for the 4.0.

      Huge hassle to do the swap, but if you've got a lift and several friends who like bleeding knuckles, you'll never find a cheaper swap...

    4. Re V12 - it's like the difference between dating a chick with great implants who sits around munching potato chips all night, and one with 32Bs who does triathlons.

      Open the hood with the V12 and everyone's gonna go 'ooh', 'ahh', but the LS3's gonna squash you like a bug three times a week and leave you smiling.

      And if you're just looking for the easy, comfortable option, there's the M60B40. Turn in the 3.0 and you'll even get your core charge back.

    5. Don't get me wrong, the LS3 is a far better motor in every sense of the word, but the noises an uncorked potato chip eater makes are gonna be fantastic. You might only hear them once a week or so, because its in the shop with your credit card the rest of the time. Is there room in the garage for two?

    6. Chick with great implants borrows platinum card and shacks up with guy with greasy nails named Guido.

      Saw E34 with an M70 in it a while back, it *did* look like it belonged there.


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