View Full Version : an E39 or E34 ???

09-30-2008, 01:41 AM
ok i need a 4dr car.. and i was wondering if i should go with the 535i E34 or the E39... to be honest i don't really know anything about the E39 which model should i buy and not to buy. ???:confused: autotragic ?? manual???

09-30-2008, 08:26 PM
Hope it helps:

10-01-2008, 01:04 AM

10-03-2008, 08:22 AM
My E34 opinion...

The good:

simpler, less electronics, less cheap plastic interior bits, better road feel, easy to work on for the home DIYer, parts are cheap and plentiful

The Bad

older, harder to find a well cared for vehicle, 525 autotragic (GM) tranny, prone to rust at bottom of door skins, water pump failure leading to head gasket failure leading to warped head for both M30 and M50. Older M20's (89, 90 525's) have the standard timing belt maintenace and are underpowered. M60 B30 (530i) are weak V8's that suck gas. Both 530's and 540's need gasket overhauls @ 150K - 200K . Both may exhibit nikasil failures (see recall program)

Best buys: 535 manual, 525 (M50) manual, 540 manual. autos are fine other than the 525 (M50, post 91) Tourings are prized but unfortunately mainly 525 M50 autotragics.

As for the E39 my preference would be a later 528i manual or a 540isport. Electronic, electric issues seem to be the issue with E39's as well as some interior rattle and plastic issues. I personally like the style and the rack and pinion steering in some models. (E34 uses a steering box)

10-03-2008, 09:34 AM
I don't know much about the E34, but I can tell you about the 530 E39

The Good:
Decent power 225 HP
Decent fuel economy: I average 26-28 mpg
Rack and pinion steering
The interior is about 2 cubic feet larger than E34
ASC can be turned off
Angel Eyes

The bad:
Every 160,000 KM: New rad, waterpump, thermostat
Lower control arm bushing every 2-3 years (BMW call it the tension strut)
Crap stereo (at a minimum, as sub will need to be added)
2001-2002 door seals wear out quickly. New ones are improved
CCV (crankcase vent) can fail in cold weather and you will suck oil from the oil pan to the intake. Worst case you can hydro-lock your engine. Replace with "cold-climate CCV"
Shift throws are l-o-n-g. Fixed by using modified M3 shifter from understeer.com
Vanos seals will need to be replaced. $70 DIY. Restores power under 3500
The rear seat space is smallish if you have kids.

Overall, don't expect Japanese reliability in the E39. But you can expect a smooth, powerful, and fuel efficient ride.

10-03-2008, 09:37 AM
never had problems with my E39, i would E39 all the way!

10-03-2008, 10:03 AM
Having both, this is my opinion:

Bottom line is E34 is much more simple, there are hardly any devices to go wrong, this is a car built and designed in the late 80's. It still has good features, the same features on the OBC as the E39.

E39 is more luxurious than the E34, but not by much. Both cars have power seats, but the E39 has memory and power sterring wheel, and on the 540, you get a heated steering wheel.

Engine wise, the 535 is one of the most bulletproof motors ever built by BMW, very thick walls cast iron block. M60's in the E34 530/540's are known to have nikalsil problems. M62's in the E39 540's are updated and have fixed the nikalsil problem. from what I've heard, I haven't heard any major things go wrong on that motor. Most BMW engines suffer from the plastic rad neck that will crack over time.

The other thing is, it's hard to find a clean E34 these days, there are hardly any of them left. E39's are much more common

10-08-2008, 11:40 AM
Pardon my perceived arrogance, but I don't see the need for much of a debate. You get an e39 with sport package, preferrably a 6sp and you're good to go.

10-08-2008, 12:01 PM
My suggestion is e39 540i/6 you cant go wrong.
I'm getting 31-34mpg on highway and 22-24 city.

10-18-2008, 04:32 PM
you are comparing two very different cars and price points

e34s have a nice style but seem really dated

e39s are so damn smooth, interior is sick, still look 'made'

get a manual though if you like to drive, the autos suck

10-20-2008, 12:23 AM
i am still torn between both lol. i might get a 540 autotragic E39.

Dado 540
10-20-2008, 06:04 PM
E39 Sport all the way. Auto trany is fine but make sure its sport.



10-20-2008, 07:40 PM
LOLZ. man i get looks from everone even with the e30.