91 BMW 535i - Any known defects/Common points of failure????????

I am looking at possibly buying a 91 BMW 535i with 131,000 miles.
Have there been any special concerns with this make and model?
Thanks in advance.
- Ben
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Ben Martin wrote:

It auto-tranny - when was it last replaced. They're good for about 130k miles if not abused.
Check the condition of the camshaft lobes (open the oil fill cap and LOOK) - there are bolts holding an oil-spray rail down that liked to back out and cause a loss of oil-spray. BMW replaced these on late model M30 engines with loctite'd ones.. which have a circular groove cut into the head (also visible through the oil cap..)
Other than that - suspension - check it for wobbles at 60-80MPH. If it does - it needs work (bushings primarily). If on original struts and shocks they are very tired by now. Check drivers door for cracking where the door-check (thing that keeps door from opening too wide) goes into the door - they all do it - there are repair kits for it, hopefully the repair has been done. Make sure HVAC all works - this car used R12 so if it doesn't - it's expensive to fix (requires an R134 conversion, new compressor, all that good stuff..)
That's about it. Nice comfortable powerful car. Especially nice if a 5-speed (which were rare..)
Generally - look for things that would be wrong on any 16 year old car.. not that there are that many US ones that old still running around.
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wrote:

Ben,
Check out this website:
http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main.htm
It should offer some advice for you...
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My 1990 535i auto has done 180k miles, the last 20k being on LPG. The only major thing I have had to do is replace the exhaust valve guides due to wear. It was not burning oil but started suffering backfires on LPG. In its life I have changed the radiator once, the discs (rotors) once, all four shock absorbers, water pump and rear sub frame bushes. It still has the original complete exhaust system.
I have always run it on fully synthetic oil and changed it at twice the normal interval.
The best car I have owned - it doesn't owe me a penny! I now use it as a runabout as it saves putting mileage on my Landcruiser!
John
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