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Old 08-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Napa, California
Car: 95 540I
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E34 transmission

Hello Bimmer folks,

Last week, I felt a big jolt under my '94 540 while driving up a hill. Did not ran over bumps, it felt like something dropped down from the engine and a "trans program" message appeared on my dashboard. Took my e34 to the BMW dealer and they are asking $10K to replace the transmission (7k for new-rebuilt trans part, $2.3k labor + tax)

I figure I could probably get it repair for 1/2 that price at any other shop. However, I am afraid it won't be worth it. The sad part is that it was just painted, it has brand new tires, and I have maintained it real well replacing all other failing or broken parts from wear and tear.

Right now, I am debating whether I should donate the car to charitty for a tax write-off or selling it with the bad tranny.

1) Do people value the e34 to buy them with tranny problems?
2) What is the fair/going cost for a new tanny for E34 and labor?
3) Which business pays best to sell it for parts?

My gut feeling tells me is time to let go. All feed back is welcome.

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Old 08-24-2012, 02:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Calgary, AB
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An E34 still has value even with a bad tranny. Their are people who buy them for parts or who are willing to fix the transmission issue.

First mistake was taking it to the dealership. They overprice EVERYTHING. You can get a used transmission installed for less then what they were gonna charge you for labour. Usually for $2,000~

You could part it out peice by peice if you wanted as you could make more money in the long run selling it that way versus with a bad tranny. However it takes a lot of work and you have to constantley deal with people on what ever listing service you use. Not to mention removing the parts people want. In the end you are left with a shell of a car. Which you would have to sell to a scrapper.

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply Vader.

Originally, I took my car to my mechanic of many years when my bimmer was vibrating at speeds between 45 an 55 m/h a few months ago. He diagnosed that I would soon need a new tranny and quoted me $4.5K for a new rebuilt one with 1 yr warranty or a used one with no warranty for $3.5K. After the transmission system failure last wekk, I took it to the dealer to make sure that was the actual problem. Dealer charged me $180.00 to confirm that was the issue.
I check other transmission repair places near my neighborhood and found that my mechanic's price was right on it.
If I could get it fix for $2K, as you suggest, I would do it. I would even pay as much as $3k for a new tranny with warranty. But no luck so far.

Is there a special time of year when tranny prices go down?
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