Friday, April 17, 2020

Beggars Can Be Em Dub? 1992 BMW 525iT Wagon E34

This next car checks the all boxes; manual gearbox, check. Wagon, check. Inline-6, check. Rear-wheel-drive, check.  Headliner...errr...that's missing....and the miles are high, so you will need to do some tidying before you let the wife drive it...but manual transmission rear-drive wagons don't grow on trees. Find this 1992 BMW 525iT offered for $6500 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

From the seller:

1992 BMW 525i wagon
VIN: WBAHJ6311NGD20952
cylinders: 6 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 183000
paint color: white
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: wagon
Up for sale is a well sorted 1992 BMW 525i Touring with 5 speed manual transmission with a 3.46 differential. This vehicle has just over 183,000 miles and the overall mechanical and running condition is excellent with many new parts and updated maintenance. It come with 17” style 5 wheels wrapped in evergreen tires with lots of tread left. It recently passed smog and the registration is current through September 2020.

The exterior condition of the car is good for its age, but has a small dent on the hood, a golf ball sized dent on the driver fender, and a small spot of rust on the roof near the driver side roof rail. The clear coat/white color is peeling on the side mirror covers which can be replaced individually. The rest of the paint is original and shows well.

Interior condition of the car is black and in very good condition with a heated front seats. Headliner has the typical sag that all E34s suffer from due to age of the adhesive, while one of the sunroof panels fabric has come off. The dash does have cracks in the center near the middle vent.

All of the electronics on the car work perfect: door locks, power windows, and power seats, climate control, cruise control, sunroof and tailgate controls with exception of the glass which does not open I have not looked into yet. Instrument cluster and center console do not have any burnt pixels. No check engine or warning lights. This wagon is a beautiful example and needs virtually nothing mechanically. This is now my daily driver and it runs and drives beautifully. It is very comfortable over long distances, the A/C is super cold for the hot days, and the heater is hot for those cold mornings.

The 5 speed manual conversion was performed professionally less than 500 miles ago. During this conversion, it received a new pilot and new throwout bearing, new clutch pivot pin, new shifter bushings, new flex disc, a modified drive shaft with new center support bearing, new flexible clutch line, new gas pedal plastic bushings, new firewall rubber grommets for clutch master cylinder and clutch feed hose and new clutch switch. The wiring was professionally done and the cruise control and reverse lights work perfectly.

• Clean and clear California title in my name
• 183k miles (increasing due to daily use)
• All VIN tags are present and matching on all body panels
• Exterior: Alpine White II
• Comes with 2 keys
• Interior: Black
• This is a great running and well maintained inline 6 that has a lot of life left.
• No cuts, stains, or twists on the leather seats
• Working double sunroof
• Factory working radio/cassette player
• Clean California title
• Adult owned and maintained regularly
• Large folder of maintenance and repairs
• Complete with rear rolling cargo cover, cargo separation nets, and OEM floor mats
• Professionally tinted windows at approximately 178k miles
• Lowered on new H&R springs with Bilstein shocks (deleted self-leveling suspension)
• Manual transmission conversion with upgraded 3.46 differential

New within the last few months
o Rear main seal
o Brake, transmission, and differential fluid flush
o windshield wipers
o alignment
o idler arm
o idle control valve
o check valve
o accessory belt pulley, tensioner, and belts
o tie rods
o air intake hose
o battery
o coolant expansion tank

Replaced at approximately 178k miles
o ECS stainless steel braided brake lines and fluid flush
o suspension refresh
o front control arm bushings replaced with Moosehead spherical bushings
o rear hatch shocks
o exhaust hangers
o fuel filter
o spark plugs
o brake pads
o oil pan gasket
o oil filter housing gasket
o valve cover gasket with new spark plug ring gaskets
o coolant system refresh (thermostat, level sensor, temp switch, radiator mounting, aux fan sensor, fan shroud,
bleeder screw, gaskets, fluid)
o air condition recharge (176k miles)
o power steering pump and fluid flush
o regular oil, oil filter, and cabin filter services performed

Selling price: $6,500 or best offer

Vehicle is located in Anaheim, CA and is available for show by appointment only.

Below is the spec list of the equipment from the factory:
Vehicle information

VIN long WBAHJ6311NGD20952
Type code HJ63
Type 525I (USA)
Dev. Series E34 (2)
Line 5
Body type TOUR
Steering LL
Door count 5
Engine M50
Gearbox AUT
Colour ALPINWEISS 2 (218)
Upholstery SCHWARZ LEDER (0203)
Prod. Date 5/5/1992
Order option

No. Description

See a more comprehensive craigslist advert?


  1. “manual transmission rear-drive wagons don't grow on trees“

    That’s what most people thing because they are so hard to pollinate. I tell you those manual transmission rear-drive wagon trees are a real pain. A big windstorm when the wagons aren’t even ripe yet can really be hazardous. A half-dozen unripe wagons blew off the neighbors tree a few years ago and even though they’re only the size of shopping carts it raised hell with the roof and we had to pull a couple out of the swimming pool. God what a mess it was.

    1. But yeah, that totally explains why there aren’t more mid- and full-size manual wagons. People just don’t think about the trickle-down effects of reinsurance standardization policymaking. When they reduced the coverage maximums for wagonfall damages back in aught-6, that sealed it. Growers axed their rootstock and switched over to all-wheel-drive washing machines. You might still see the occasional basket of bite-size stickwagons at your farmer’s market, but the only place you’re likely to see a “late model” full-sizer is my driveway, which may as well be on Neptune at this point in history.

  2. Alright, I think you folks are all experiencing some major 'shelter in place, cabin fever' but I like it. Time to practice a little social distancing and go for a drive on our emptier than normal roads. :)

  3. Hmm ... just wrapping-up the conversion of a BMW E46 convertible to electric; this could be a potential good candidate for a similar transformation.

  4. Yikes.a 5 speed conversion! No bueno. Selling so soon? On the other hand I have a 5 speed 01 E46 wagon is as it was born.............and the way it ought to be. Wheb something is wrong with my baby....something is wrong with me............

    1. What's the big downside of a 5-speed conversion on this car? BMW didn't sell the E34 wagons in the US with a manual, so it's the only way to get one short of importing something from abroad. They did sell plenty of 5-spd manual 525i sedans, and all the parts should swap right over and bolt on. I haven't personally done it on an E34 but I don't see any reason for it to be a messy or unreliable swap, of course depending on the condition of the trans and competence of the person who did the work.

  5. Looks like a nice conversion including 3.46 diff. appropriate for mostly city driving at that weight of vehicle, 70 mph would be 3k rpm plus being the only thing for long distance hwy consideration. No US 3series wagons in those years until the E46 came along.


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