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Old 12-16-2016, 04:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: North Fork
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New to forum and to the BMW group

Hello all I am new to the BMW world but have always liked the E34's so today was my lucky day I picked up a used 1995 E34 525i for the cheap due to overheating issues. My assumption is the head gasket is gone due to a cracked radiator and possibly water pump failure. It does start and run and drive though. Has 144,000 miles on it and it's a automatic. It was originally purchased at Claridges LTD in Fremont CA and was then sold to a used car dealer in 2014 who sold it locally I am the 3 owner it looks like. The car has been taken care of very well with a clean body and interior. It has references to the local Weber BMW dealership in Fresno so it was dealer maintained by the original owner. My plans are to build into a cruiser for trips to the coast and the like since my daily driver is a 84 Toyota 4x4. Looking forward to the build and getting the satisfaction of driving a car that I dreamed about. Any good places to start as far as checklists on what to go through. Trying to post a photo but guess the file size is too large. Thanks
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:35 PM   #2
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Compression test should tell the tale on the headgasket. Make sure you have the head checked at a machine shop while you have it off, especially since you don't know the nature of the failure. Have them check for flatness and cracks. I just slapped a headgasket on a car when I was younger and ended up having to do it twice because the head was warped.

Aside from that, e34's are pretty robust mechanically. The biggest issues are normally front suspension bushings (55 mph shimmy), interior delamination (better on yours since its a '95), and rust at the bottom of the doors (probably non-issue in CA). They will require normal maintenance and care like you would expect from any 20+ year old car, but the M50 is super reliable and e34's are fantastic daily driver/highway cars when in good shape.
- '88 m54 coupe

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Old 12-19-2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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I will second the head checking. When I got my 525iT, the head was cracked. The second head I bought ended up also being cracked, and now that I have the third head on the engine, I'm pretty sure there's still coolant getting into the oil because something isn't flat. These heads in general seem to get pretty twisty when they get hot, so definitely good to watch out for. Otherwise, yes they are very solid engines.

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Old 12-19-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
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Hello welcome!
I bought a 95 e34 525i that had the radiator blow the first week, the head gasket the third week, then the head crack the 7th week (all of the problems were fixed before the next). All I can say is... Good luck! Get a compression check, fix the issue, and enjoy the car, because when they run well, they're great cars

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Old 12-21-2016, 05:40 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Thank you all for the warm welcome. Look forward to the thrill of building it up what I pictured years ago when I first seen thes cars.
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