In Reply to: Checking out a 91 M5 -- buying advice posted by bostonM3 on September 04, 2001 at 18:56:12:
As one of the editors of that FAQ, let me assure you that skipping the compression test on the S38 would be a mistake. The leakdown you can leave out unless you find the compression amiss.
The M5 is a higher maintenance car than the M3 and less people really know what to do with them, particularly when it comes to the engine. I'm just rebuilding mine and when I see the amount of care required to get it done right and put it back to stock (or better) I doubt any but the best techs could do it right.
This is not just a matter of using a torque wrench, you have to think through a lot of stuff, most of which is pretty complex. Despite having two degrees in ME and working in the field and access to some of the best techs in the field, I do not have an explanation for why my crank jumped two teeth and bent valves.
In other words, if you like both cars nearly the same, get the E36 M3.
I've viewed, but not driven yet. Here's what I know so far... 91 texas car with 87k miles, clean carfax, all service updates, new 18" M5 look alike rims with kuhmos, new clutch, updated suspension work, but pretty stock otherwise. 2nd owner has all records. The only drawback I see at this point is that the car has been repainted -- apparently too much TX sun made the paint fade. Asking price is $17,500.
I'm taking it for a drive tomorrow AM, and to my mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. I've searched through the board archives, and found a good FAQ (http://bmwe34m5.com/faqs/) which pointed to some things to look out for. I'd love some more advice before I make the leap. My goal is a good daily driver that will also serve me well for driving schools (4-6x/yr.). I passed on an E28 M5, because I questioned the reliability on that higher (127K) mileage car, plus early rust. I'm hoping this car is reliable and fun.
What should I look out for?
What can I expect for operating costs?
Normally my mechanic does nto do a compression and leak down test in the pre-purchase inspection -- is this going to be a big mistake?
Opinion on value?
Thanks and looking forward to joining the board!