In Reply to: Any 2nd/3rd/4th 540i owners? Please Read posted by Dan on August 30, 2001 at 18:54:28:
You definitely need to know the condition of that engine, and if the owner doesn't understand your concern and why, then he's just not your seller.
Remember, there are a lot of original nikasil engines out there that have passed leakdown tests and are doing just fine. These cars will trade at a discount to ones with an alusil replacement. For me, that was just fine. I built in what I thought was a reasonable discount that I thought it would take if I had to replace the short block. If I had to change the block, my cost would be just about comparable to where an alusil would trade---and my nikasil is fine and strong.
The real problem is the car that is out of warranty and will fail the test. Those are the ones where an owner may not want you to have it "looked over."
Had a 94 530 5 speed from new and it ran like a champ---never a problem. Now have a 94 540 with nikasil and it is a rocket. Decide if you have to have that alusil engine or can live with a good nikasil---at a significant discount.