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BMW 5-Series (1981 - 1988)

Last updated 6 February 2016


Buying Guide


  • Square rigged four door saloons 15' 2" long by 5' 6" wide weighing 1,240kg to 1,430kg.
  • 5-speed manual or 3-speed auto to September 1983.
  • 4-speed auto available from then.
  • Engines: 90bhp 1.8 four (hiked to 105bhp ij Jan 1985); 125bhp 2.0 six; 129bhp 2.7 six '525E'; 150bhp 2.5 six; 184bhp 2.8 six; 218bhp 3.4 six '535i' and 'M535'; 286bhp 3.5 twin chain cam six 'M5', M21 2.4 litre diesel and turbodiesel.


  • All apart from M30 535i and M535i had timing belt engines and the belts only safely last 3-4 years or 30,000 - 40,000 miles.
  • Not many left.
  • Lots were modded up towards the ends of their lives, not always in the best possible taste



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