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Old 04-19-2012, 10:54 AM   #1
OnMy2ndE30
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1997 540i....

Hey all. As most of you know, I own a 87 325i vert. The dealership I work at took in a 97 540i on trade. I like the car, and am considering buying it (less than $3K). It has 140k on the clock and my questions are these: what do I look for on these cars? It has the 4.4l V-8 and seems to run pretty smooth, but it has some issues. The driver side seat is inop and the display on the cluster has pixels missing, so it is impossible to read. How hard are these things to fix? The car is clean and straight, but I know E30s, not E39s. Any help would be great.

Preston
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Is it a manual? I believe those engines tend to leak a lot of oil. That's all I really know.
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Wish you the best and hope you don't remember anything after 10pm.
1992 Mauritiusblau Vert
1991 Brillantrot Vert

2002 540i/6 Black/Black
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
OnMy2ndE30
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Nope, auto. Still checking the car out and going to do a CarFax as well..
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:43 PM   #4
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auto is meh... I'd say worth $3k if it is in pretty dang good shape.

What to look for: repainted bumpers (people are always ripping them off), coolant and oil leaks out of mystery areas in the engine, make sure the interior isn't coming apart, and all the obvious stuff that you would look for in any car.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #5
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^+1. You're not getting an amazing deal. It's a good deal, but do not overlook any flaws because of the price.
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Wish you the best and hope you don't remember anything after 10pm.
1992 Mauritiusblau Vert
1991 Brillantrot Vert

2002 540i/6 Black/Black
2003 GSX-R 750
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #6
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I have had three e39/540s there great cars. But very different than an E30. I have never had any oil leaks. Pix are common. not cheap to fix. seats are easy to find if its tan leather. Gray and black are harder. $3000 if a good price if you want a bigger car.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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Pixels are dead, found a website for that. New ribbon cable. Seat switch coming apart, rigged it so it will work for now until I buy. Valve covers leaking, A/C is frigid cold. Good power and the trans shifts good. New tires and brakes. Speedo inop, was told by PO it is a sensor that needs to be replaced. Radiator has been recently replaced froom what I can tell as well as the trans mount. All of the maintenance records are in the glove box, but I have yet to go through them to see what has been done.

Interior super clean, some minor wear on the driver seat. CD changer works well. Everything seems to be in order on the car. I mainly like it because it is a bigger car and a V8. I am still keeping my e30...never going to get rid of that. It is too much fun.

I haven't checked the color code, but it is metallic green, I think bostongrun metallic, tan leather interior.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:29 PM   #8
OnMy2ndE30
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Well, I just went through the maintenance records.....This car has been meticulously maintained by the original owner at a BMW dealership in North Carolina. Everything from the guibo to the trans mount to the control arms and valve cover gaskets. He must have sold it around 115k because that is when the BMW maintenance ends. There are other records by the guy who owned it after him that traded the car in to our dealership. I am definitely going to buy this thing....
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:35 PM   #9
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Well, I drove the car on a short road trip today to check it out and make sure that I want it. Drove it through the country and went on some somewhat twisty roads. Handled great and had tons of power (as compared to my e30). It was very comfortable and had no issues really whatsoever. A/C froze the wife out.... Does need the tires balanced. Definitely need window tint. I think we drove around 150 miles and it only used a 1/4 tank of fuel. Seemed to get good fuel economy, considering it is a v8. I really like this car and think it has great potential. I am probably going to sell my 84 stepside Silverado to buy this car. I hardly use the truck and it sits in the driveway collecting dust. One more short trip tomorrow and we will see....
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #10
Vivek
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Yeah, buy it.
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Wish you the best and hope you don't remember anything after 10pm.
1992 Mauritiusblau Vert
1991 Brillantrot Vert

2002 540i/6 Black/Black
2003 GSX-R 750
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:45 PM   #11
OnMy2ndE30
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Yeah, bought it. Too good a deal to pass up. $3400 out the door with TT&L.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:23 PM   #12
Vivek
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Now post pics.
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Originally Posted by Cabriolet View Post
Wish you the best and hope you don't remember anything after 10pm.
1992 Mauritiusblau Vert
1991 Brillantrot Vert

2002 540i/6 Black/Black
2003 GSX-R 750
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:04 PM   #13
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They have crap cooling systems, valve cover gaskets leak, cam sensors, maf, dead pixels on on board display, thrust arm bushes. Tons of other stuff that i'm forgetting.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:36 PM   #14
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I have a 98 and it great!
Made me wonder how I ever daily drove my m3...
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:59 AM   #15
OnMy2ndE30
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I have a 98 and it great!
Made me wonder how I ever daily drove my m3...
Because the E30 M3 is sex on wheels.....
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