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Old 01-04-2004, 04:23 PM   #1
theblue
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E34 vs. E39 540i 6spd differences??

hello, my question is what are the differences between the motor / tranny and other mechanics of a 95' 540i 6spd and the next generation?? are they similar enough that the same mods will fit both?

any 5 experts on here???

I'm looking at a VERY good deal on a 95 540i spd with 126K miles on it and want to to know if down the road a little a rebuild and supercharger from the newer one will fit... I've always like the E34 the best! (ronin style!)
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Old 01-04-2004, 10:05 PM   #2
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Re: E34 vs. E39 540i 6spd differences??

Quote:
Originally posted by theblue
hello, my question is what are the differences between the motor / tranny and other mechanics of a 95' 540i 6spd and the next generation?? are they similar enough that the same mods will fit both?

any 5 experts on here???

I'm looking at a VERY good deal on a 95 540i spd with 126K miles on it and want to to know if down the road a little a rebuild and supercharger from the newer one will fit... I've always like the E34 the best! (ronin style!)
Is the E34 better than an E39? Yes. but im prejudice.

Are they similar? no. The only parts that are interchangeable are the rims. If you want to use E39 wheels (hub center = 74mm) you will need hubcentric rings (parts# A670 from tirerack @$4.00 ea).
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Old 01-04-2004, 10:48 PM   #3
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Becareful with the M60 engines found in E34 540i's and 530's, they have a nikalsil problem.

I would go for a 6 spd E39. Save up.
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gamite
Becareful with the M60 engines found in E34 540i's and 530's, they have a nikalsil problem.

I would go for a 6 spd E39. Save up.
All of them have nikalsil?? I remeber reading about staying away from the nikasil engines.
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:46 AM   #5
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not all have the same problem, but its a chance I would personally not take.
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Old 01-05-2004, 02:00 AM   #6
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Wait, I'm lookin at getting the E34 540i, and I would want it in manual of course, so you guys are saying to stay away? There not reliable or something? Or is this just for the M540i's.....?? Sorry, my knowledge of the E34's are limited.... could someone explain? Also, what is this nikasil??
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Old 01-05-2004, 02:21 AM   #7
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Julian, I read somewhere that Nikasil problem no longer a problem. New gas does affect those blocks in anyway.
So if previous owner used premium gas for the rest of the engine life, it is not a problem at all
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Old 01-05-2004, 03:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by SickFinga
Julian, I read somewhere that Nikasil problem no longer a problem. New gas does affect those blocks in anyway.
So if previous owner used premium gas for the rest of the engine life, it is not a problem at all
Thats why you really are taking a chance,you never know what the previous owner put in the fuel tank.I remeber i always wanted an E34 540i/6spd but i remeber after reading an article on the nikasil problem i got worried and went with a E36 instead.
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:04 PM   #9
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I read on unofficialbmw.com somewhere that the Nikasil lining problem only affected the north american market untill something like 1993?
Anyone know of any truth to this?
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:24 PM   #10
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:09 PM   #11
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from my research I think that I should be OK because the car would have shown the problem before 126K miles. I prefer a higher mileage car in this case.

back to my main question (which was not reliability)

what are the motor codes of each 540i and what are the design difference etc???
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:45 PM   #12
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I say get an E34 swap an E36 m3 motor into in and boost the focker.

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Old 01-05-2004, 05:16 PM   #13
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I think I'll be plenty happy with just a supercharger and ONLY 420HP
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Old 01-05-2004, 05:28 PM   #14
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No it's not that easy. Some cars don't show problems for a long time.

The problem comes from BMW making the cylinder walls out of nikasil which is eaten away by the high sulfur fuel that we have here. This is true for all E34 540's. BMW extended the warranty to 100k but in a lot of cases that's too early. And they have a hell of a time getting BMW to do warranty service beyond that (even at 105 or 110). Do some research on the web on the block numbers. DO NOT TAKE THE SELLER'S WORD FOR IT!!! This can prove way too expensive. There is a certain serial number range for the nikasil and alusil blocks. Do not buy a car with nikasil. If you are hellbent on it, then take it to a shop and have them do a compression and leak down tests. This is the first sign of a dying nikasil block (you won't really be able to feel anything while driving). But you'll see uneven compression.

As far as e34 vs e39, the e39 is a bit heavier I think but it is quite a bit stiffer and the engine has more torque (4.0 vs 4.4). I love my 535 but if I was choosing a 540 from e34 to e39, they're both equally a pain in the ass to service but the e39 is a newer and hence nicer car.

Quote:
Originally posted by theblue
from my research I think that I should be OK because the car would have shown the problem before 126K miles. I prefer a higher mileage car in this case.

back to my main question (which was not reliability)

what are the motor codes of each 540i and what are the design difference etc???
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Old 01-05-2004, 05:33 PM   #15
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thanks, BigD that's more like what I was looking to find out... I already have the serial numbers and plan to check the block... I talked with the sales person a while back and explained that I would require a leakdown test before they see any money. at $9000 US it's a great deal and already has most of the mods I would want: lowered / short shifter / drop in intake.
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