Old 535i, 540i, 740i, 750i - Are they any good when old, cheap with high miles ?

Hi,
I'm considering looking into getting an old V8 5 or 7 series as a second car/hobby and occasional low miles use.
I don't want to spend any more than 1500 - 2000 for something with > 130K
Miles
Are these cars worth bothering with or is it a bad idea ?
What should I look out for when test driving ? What's the worst that can go wrong with these motors ?
Any suggestions and help much appreciated..
Marc
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7 series depreciate the fastest and are more heavily loaded as standard, and in the past have represented excellent value for money when a few years old.
High mileage does not normally bother big 7's, but unfortunately those fitted with the M60 V8 engine (pre ~1996) suffer the 'nikasil' problem.
The twin vanos straight 6 (M52?) engine allegedly suffer from O ring failure in the high oil pressure valve timing mechanism.
Look back in this group for more info.
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R. Mark Clayton wrote:

"Old" 7 series wouldn't have twin vanos would they?
I paid just over 2k for a '96 4.4 740i but will have spent maybe another 750 on it. It's got parking sensors, rear and side blinds, split a/c, heated seats, SATNAV/TV, triptronic gearbox so a lot for the money.
Parts for 7's aren't as easy or cheap to come by as they are for say a 3 series but I did all the brakes including handbrake for about 100, but then a single stabilising suspension arm was about 50. Exhausts aren't cheap and early V8 cats tend to break up. There is some warning about oil pump bolts going loose.
google or go to www.e38.org to find out more.
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R. Mark Clayton wrote:

"Old" 7 series wouldn't have twin vanos would they?
728 from about 1998 - depends on your view of 'old' in respect to cars I suppose.
I paid just over 2k for a '96 4.4 740i but will have spent maybe another 750 on it. It's got parking sensors, rear and side blinds, split a/c, heated seats, SATNAV/TV, triptronic gearbox so a lot for the money.
Good buy.
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If they don't have service history run away, trust me.
The V8 cooling systems are cheaply made and the gearboxes have "lifetime" fluid (change asap). I've had both and far prefer the M30 3.5 six to the V8s.
Watch for worn bushings and things, not dear in parts.
--
Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :-)
Email: snipped-for-privacy@unixnerd.demon.co.uk, John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
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i picked up an e38 3.5l on a 98-plate for 3k here in UK. before getting this i was always a merc driver, but the 7-series is doing a good job of changing my mind. like another poster has said, the car *must* have a service history. apart from that, use your judgement about the previous owner to decide whether that car has had everything it needs at the right time. the V8 can be comically frugal for such a big motor - but if you boot it around alll the time you will need your own oil well. from what i have heard, the 728i is a good car, especially post-2000.
parts prices vary tremendously. some are very expensive. the e38 suffers from a few model-specific faults, one being that the dashboard display doesn't ... display. 500 plus fitting. the suspension bushings go at the front, leading to alarming 'wobble' at certain speeds and under braking. the bushes are cheap, garage labour is generally not. tyres are expensive.
but they're lovely cars; on a recent trip to the continent, mine cruised happily all day at 100+mph, and returned an average over 3,000 miles of 25mpg.
good luck.
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