Tuner Tuesday: Supercharged 1995 BMW 540i 6-speed

Update 11/15/18: This E34 sold for $7,100.

After selling earlier this year from out Feature Listings, this built and supercharged “540i” is back on eBay with a no reserve auction and some slick new photos. Bidding is currently only at $5,600 with a day and a half to go.

In the early years of the 1990s, the writing was on the wall for the high-strung M88 derivatives. They were excellent motors, no doubt, but power levels were rising to the point where the M5 was no longer top trump. It enjoyed a small power advantage over cars such as the V8 4.2 quattro, true – with 276 horsepower and 295 lb.ft of torque, the Audi had less punch but more pull. But cars like the M119-equipped 500E changed the playing field; 322 horsepower was enough to overcome the S38 in the M5, but the big number was the 354 lb.ft of torque. That was nearly 100 lb.ft more than the S38 and it was more usable, too.

BMW wasn’t to be outdone, launching its own series of V8 for the 1992 model year. in 3.0 and 4.0 form, the modern aluminum motors dubbed the M60 brought new levels of power to the third generation 5. In fact, so potent was the 4.0 version that BMW decided the more expensive M5 was effectively redundant in the marketplace. The M60B40 was rated at 282 horsepower and 295 lb.ft of torque and and good enough to scoot the luxury car from 0-60 in 6.9 seconds even when equipped with a 5-speed automatic.

But there was a 6-speed manual option as well, and of course you could opt for the sport package that would give you better seats, springs and a limited-slip differential. These options turned the two-ton Teuton into an athlete. While this particular E34 started life as a 525i, it’s been given the full 540 treatment and then some, culminating in a Vortech supercharger for some serious punch:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 540i 6-speed on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1992 Volkswagen GTI with Supercharged VR6

It’s hard to say which is more popular – S50/52 swaps into E30s or VR6s into everything Volkswagen. But there’s a reason they’re so popular; they’re relatively cheap and they work. Can you achieve VR-power levels in a 9A 16V? Sure. Will it cost you and be a pretty compromised road motor? Yes, so suddenly the appeal of the ubiquitous VR-swap makes a bunch of sense. The results here turn what was a butch looking but relatively slow 8 valve GTI into a performance machine. That’s helped by a dose of performance parts including a trick Schrick intake, but it’s the supercharger that will really motivate you here. With over 100% more power the ride should be exhilarating!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1995 BMW 840Ci 6-speed Supercharged

For many, the top dog of the E31 lineup for BMW was the 850CSi. Others will contest that aftermarket tuner Alpina got it just right with their modification of the 850CSi, the B12 5.7 Coupe. Let’s be honest though – great condition examples of those cars are hardly affordable for most, and the exotic performance comes with some potentially costly maintenance on the big V12. But I think our reader John may have spotted the perfect alternative to those cars, and it’s a bit unusual. When BMW launched the 840Ci, I remember initially thinking it was a bit of a letdown. After all, the company was seemingly running away from the signature V12 and replacing it with a smaller and less powerful V8. That, in many ways, doesn’t seem like progress. But the M60 produced 9/10s of the power of the M70, yet was less expensive and got better fuel economy. Of course, unfortunately it was also only available in the U.S. with the 5-speed automatic – and it was a lot less powerful than the CSi model. At least most of them are…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 840Ci 6-speed Supercharged on eBay

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1997 Volkswagen Cabrio VR6 Supercharged

Sometimes the most unsuspecting vehicles in the lineup make for the most interesting tuning subjects. The introduction of the VR6 engine in the early 1990s got the enthusiasts’ minds racing, especially when it was dropped under the hood of the Mk3 GTI. Hot hatchbacks would never be the same again. Ever since, the VR6 has found its way into unsuspecting VWs, from Mk1 Golfs to drop top cruisers such as this Mk3 Cabrio for sale from our reader Daniel. Under the hood you’ll find a 2.8 liter VR6 with a shot in the arm by way of a Vortech supercharger and coupled to a limited slip differential.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Volkswagen Cabrio VR6 Supercharged on eBay

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2000 BMW 740iL Supercharged: REVISIT

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Back in May, Evan wrote up this 740iL that is a mean machine in both looks and performance. It’s been relisted for two grand less at just under $15k. Maybe it’s the price, or maybe it’s the mileage, or maybe those that are just can’t reconcile an Audi badge used on a Bimmer. Regardless, there are a lot of watchers on this gangster-lookin’ car so maybe it may be poised to sell.

-NR

The below post originally appeared on our site May 6, 2013:

I’ve always thought that the E38 BMWs can look just tops. From some angles these big bodies still look sleek and modern. This one has some nice touches that make it stand out.

Year: 2000
Model: 740iL Supercharged
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 135,745 miles
Price: $14,980  Buy It Now

2000 BMW 740iL Supercharged on eBay

2000 BMW 740iLSC

 

This penultimate year of the E38 has almost all the refinements made over the seven year run. It has navigation and Xenon lights for instance. While this car isn’t the flagship 750iL model with the 5.4 liter V12, it has the tried and true 4.4 liter M62 engine. A Vortech supercharger bolted on gives the V8 400+ horsepower. While that might not seem huge in the world of German uber sedans now, remember how big a deal it was with this sedans contemporary, the E39 M5, putting out those same figures.

This is the personal car of the owner of the car dealership so you have to believe it was taken care of. If the list of add ons is any indication I think it is safe to say the owner cared about the car. The full list of upgrades is below, but of particular note are the additions that make this 7 series look better to my eye. The M parallel wheels and Eibach lowering springs give it the stance that I really like to see on an E38. The AC Schnitzer and Hamann body kit parts also help. The new coat of paint and black color on this helps give a sleeker look that other E38 models don’t have due to  all, but 2001s having matte black rocker panels and lower air dams. I like the single color scheme much better than the factory two tone.

Widescreen Navigation with MK4 NAV computer $ 1500

VF Engineering Supercharger (with ECU Reprogram $ 8,000

Bavarian Sound Werks Stage 1 Sound system upgrade with iPod Dock $ 1000

New Front & Rear Shocks and Lowered eiBach Springs $ 1500

Brembo Cross Drilled Rotors and Brake Pads $ 1500

Full Tune Up with Complete Engine Flush $ 700

Alcantera Suede Custom Headliner $ 1000

Tioming Belt replacement, Front and Rear Crank Seal, coolant passages seal, water pump $ 2800

New ABS Pump $ 1500

Map Cooling Cam Sensor Replace $ 900

Throttle Body Replaced $ 600

Complete Sapphire Black Metallic Paint Job $ 4000

Sunroof Motor Replaced $ 1200

Full Leather 750il Leather Dash $ 800

Replace Blower Motor $ 800

3M Ceramic Tint $ 400

Angel Eyes Ring Xenon Headlights $ 1000

Compression Test and Full check at BMW Dealer $ 600

BMW Original Wood Steering Wheel $ 700

AC Schnitzer Front Bumper and Valance $ 1200

Rear Spoiler by HAMANN $ 500

Total Upgrades and Service Over $ 32,200 !!!

They are technically complex, but not nearly as much as the next generation. This one miraculously doesn’t appear to suffer from the missing pixels on the instrument cluster or center console.

With over 350,000 produced these are not rare vehicles so currently there are plenty to choose from if this is what you are in the market for. At an ask price of $17,000 and with 136,000 miles this is certainly on the high end of the market. You can find these at half the price with less miles. I bet the seller has a bit of wiggle room in the price. What’s a fair price for this many miles, but also this many mods? Pick this car up and become an instant movie villain.

~Evan

2000 BMW 740iL Supercharged

I’ve always thought that the E38 BMWs can look just tops. From some angles these big bodies still look sleek and modern. This one has some nice touches that make it stand out.

Year: 2000
Model: 740iL Supercharged
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 135,745 miles
Price: $16,980  Buy It Now

2000 BMW 740iL Supercharged on eBay

2000 BMW 740iLSC

 

This penultimate year of the E38 has almost all the refinements made over the seven year run. It has navigation and Xenon lights for instance. While this car isn’t the flagship 750iL model with the 5.4 liter V12, it has the tried and true 4.4 liter M62 engine. A Vortech supercharger bolted on gives the V8 400+ horsepower. While that might not seem huge in the world of German uber sedans now, remember how big a deal it was with this sedans contemporary, the E39 M5, putting out those same figures.

This is the personal car of the owner of the car dealership so you have to believe it was taken care of. If the list of add ons is any indication I think it is safe to say the owner cared about the car. The full list of upgrades is below, but of particular note are the additions that make this 7 series look better to my eye. The M parallel wheels and Eibach lowering springs give it the stance that I really like to see on an E38. The AC Schnitzer and Hamann body kit parts also help. The new coat of paint and black color on this helps give a sleeker look that other E38 models don’t have due to  all, but 2001s having matte black rocker panels and lower air dams. I like the single color scheme much better than the factory two tone.

Widescreen Navigation with MK4 NAV computer $ 1500

VF Engineering Supercharger (with ECU Reprogram $ 8,000

Bavarian Sound Werks Stage 1 Sound system upgrade with iPod Dock $ 1000

New Front & Rear Shocks and Lowered eiBach Springs $ 1500

Brembo Cross Drilled Rotors and Brake Pads $ 1500

Full Tune Up with Complete Engine Flush $ 700

Alcantera Suede Custom Headliner $ 1000

Tioming Belt replacement, Front and Rear Crank Seal, coolant passages seal, water pump $ 2800

New ABS Pump $ 1500

Map Cooling Cam Sensor Replace $ 900

Throttle Body Replaced $ 600

Complete Sapphire Black Metallic Paint Job $ 4000

Sunroof Motor Replaced $ 1200

Full Leather 750il Leather Dash $ 800

Replace Blower Motor $ 800

3M Ceramic Tint $ 400

Angel Eyes Ring Xenon Headlights $ 1000

Compression Test and Full check at BMW Dealer $ 600

BMW Original Wood Steering Wheel $ 700

AC Schnitzer Front Bumper and Valance $ 1200

Rear Spoiler by HAMANN $ 500

Total Upgrades and Service Over $ 32,200 !!!

They are technically complex, but not nearly as much as the next generation. This one miraculously doesn’t appear to suffer from the missing pixels on the instrument cluster or center console.

With over 350,000 produced these are not rare vehicles so currently there are plenty to choose from if this is what you are in the market for. At an ask price of $17,000 and with 136,000 miles this is certainly on the high end of the market. You can find these at half the price with less miles. I bet the seller has a bit of wiggle room in the price. What’s a fair price for this many miles, but also this many mods? Pick this car up and become an instant movie villain.

~Evan

1991 318is w/ supercharged s52

In my eyes the e30 is one of the most beautiful German cars of its generation, and this 1991 318is available in Bradenton, FL embodies everything I love about the e30.

The 318is was first launched in 1989, and touted the new M42 engine. This lightweight, and quick revving 1.8 16v, was a blast to drive, and was reminiscent of the S14 4 cylinder offered in the e30 M3.

Out of the box these were fun, peppy great handling cars, and you might think, how can one improve on that? Here’s how, the s52. S52 swaps are a pretty common transplant in to the e30 in the BMW community, as the e36 donors are plentiful, and the s52 makes nearly 100hp more. This would be enough for most, right?

Not the owner of this stunning 318is, he has taken things a step further, and added a Vortech V1 Supercharger. With the perfect combination of European styling, and raw power, the owner of this car certainly spare no expense in making this car a shining example of what a modified e30 can be…scratch that…should be.

1991 318is w/ supercharged s52 on ebay.com

Up for sale is my 1991 318is Slicktop with an OBD1 s52 swap. I have detailed all of the specifications that I could possibly think of. I would like to point out a few things that someone skimming the ad would miss out on:
Slicktop 318is : Pretty rare form factor for the e30. Lightest chassis available in the NA market. Water/Air intercooler AND oil cooler : I have searched far and wide and have been unable to find another supercharged s52 that has a water/air intercooler setup. Southern car, no rust. Low mileage s52, approximately 88k miles. Pulled the valve cover recently, looks brand freaking new. Professionally reupholstered interior, black leather
In the last 50 miles, I have done: New oil New plugs New woodruff key (old one sheared) Power steering flush Coolant flush
Car: 1991 318is Alpine White Black interior No rust
Under the hood: 1999 M3 s52 with obd1 swap approximately 88k miles Vortech V1 Supercharger (approx 1300 miles on it @ 105,000 odo) All new sensors New Water Pump New tensioner New idlers New woodruff key New valve cover gasket Getrag 260 resealed e36 M3 Clutch New JB lightweight flywheel, 10lb New slave and stainless line 3.73 LSD z3 shifter Euro Raceland headers Remus muffler Custom center section with twin Magnaflow resonators and X-pipe 12″ puller 16″ pusher IE Oil Cooler 804 HFM Forge diverter valve TRM Racing tuned Walbro Fuel Pump Water/Air intercooler with new Bosch pump Vortech v1 Supercharger pushing 6PSI RaceSkids skid plate Bosch #42 Injectors IE oil cooler Air/water intake cooler 2 electric fans, pusher/puller New thermostat New starter A/C converted r134a New rebuilt driveshaft from Driveshafts.com(Portland Driveline) New revshift aluminum flex disk
Brakes: Functioning ABS Massive booster delete Stainless steel brake lines all around Freshly rebuilt calipers front/rear Hawk HPS brake pads ATE Super Blue brake fluid New master cylinder New rotors
Suspension: Treehouse Racing Control Arm Lollipops AKG Motorsports Rear Subframe Mounts H&R Race Springs Bilstien Sport Shocks Powerflex Subframe Bushings RyanG Front Splitter 99 M3 steering rack New control arms New tie-rods e30 m3 sway links 22mm swaybar front 18mm eibach swaybar rear Rear camber/toe correction kit
Interior: Professionally reupholstered seats, front/rear Z3 Short Throw Shifter Custom oil PSI/temp gauges (replaces ashtray) Custom Boost Gauge replaces MPG gauge New odometer gears Chrome ring accents Alpine Speakers/tweeters front Euro analog clock Gray carpet Black rear deck Mint headliner Delrin shift knob Sparco ring steering wheel, 330mm Sirius satellite radio hookup
Exterior: Fresh Alpine respray (approx 1.5 years old) Staggered BBS RS 039/040 16×7.5 up front, 16×8 rear – absolutely no rash Euro elipsoid headlights Euro trim Euro grills Euro plate filler All red tail lights New BMW roundels New shadowline trim New iS lip iS Side Skirts splitter BMWMotorsport door handles
This car is a monster. Although it looks like a cushy daily, this is a very aggressive street setup. It pulls like a train and screams like a fucking demonic banshee.
With that said, there are a few minor issues:
1. I suck at arts and crafts. A chrome trim ring fell off while driving one day, so  I opened the cluster to glue it back on. In doing so, I somehow got superglue everywhere inside the cluster. It was not visible until about 45 minutes later when it started to dry. Honestly, it looks terrible and I would suggest getting a new cluster. Only reason I didn’t replace it was because of the custom boost gauge that replaces the MPG gauge.
2. Driveline shimmy at 20-25 MPH under slow acceleration and slow deceleration. Does not shake at any other speeds. I have had the car up to 145 MPH and it felt extremely planted and tight.
3. It took me almost 2 months of ownership before I realized there is some yellowing on the top of the car. It is barely noticeable, and honestly a prospective buyer would not even be able to see it if I had not pointed it out to them, but I want this to be a 100% transparent sale. I tried photographing it but it did not even come out in photographs. I am not a paint expert, but maybe some buffing would take it out?
4. No stereo installed. Never got around to putting one in, the car just sounds too good. It has all 4 speakers and even a sub mounted in the trunk, all wiring is in tact.
5. In the last 24 hours, the power steering pump has started to moan and groan. It was literally perfect as of, well, 24 hours ago. I think I may have got some ATF on the belt which is causing some slight slippage, I will continue to investigate this issue however.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to steer clear of cars that have been modified. Mods are very taste specific, and like most enthusiasts, i like to put my own stamp on my cars. This car however is so well done, that it will appeal to a broad audience of buyers from German car nuts, to hardcore BMW enthusiasts alike.

Now on to the $15,000 question, is this car really worth this sort of money? When considering the price on a car like this I like to answer the question with a question, Can you build it for that price? In this case I’d say certainly not.  With no reserve, and the $15,000 starting bid this coule be a well bought car, as long as the bid doesn’t go too far north of $16,000.

-Brian