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-   -   530 or 540?...from a E-class... (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666978)

Shin1ichi 12-30-2012 12:11 PM

530 or 540?...from a E-class...
 
Hello everyone. Great forum, i joined recently after reading for a while.
My story; have a 2000 E320.......absolutely boring to drive, after a 2000 323, which i remember fondly. Started looking at CPO 2010 528's, but then it dawned on me, i really always loved the E39's.... and 2010's in great condition will be around for another couple of years. So.......I am thinking to get rid of the Benz, and get an E39. And they are getting harder to find.........

Thinking 2002-03 530 or 540. I plan to put off the 2010 for another year or so, but if i find an E39 to keep it as a weekend car even after getting a newer "go to dinner car'.

My question is vague-ish but still. Go for a 530 (?easier to work on straight six?), lighter front end, (more durable?) and slightly better handling (my goal) or go for a 540 and enjoy the V8. Is the 540 much more mainenance intensive than the 6 cylinder? I've watched one of the vanos videos and think i can pull that off. And for either, i've missed a stick for a long time,.......but,....how durable is that steptronic vs a stick?

Thanks for all the input to this and for all the guys (and gals) who've contributed to these forums.

Best,
Johnny

champaign777 12-30-2012 12:31 PM

go for the better condition ...

Silverlight95 12-30-2012 01:21 PM

In my honest opinion, I say go for the 540 under the right conditions (well maintained, reasonable mileage, etc.) Yes, they do require a good amount of maintenance, but lots of it will be the initial maintenance when you buy the car. If you are a DIYer, it won't cost much more to maintain the 540. And plus, if you enjoy working on your own car, then you will enjoy it even more. Nothing feels better than repairing your own car and enjoying while doing so. But what can i say, this is coming from somebody whose engine is half apart :thumbup:

ill540i 12-30-2012 01:28 PM

540! No questions asked,more power and there actually more relaible

Sent from my MB502 using Bimmer App

Shin1ichi 12-30-2012 02:37 PM

thanks for the replies so far. i guess the biggest debate is in my head. i do wrench a little, and find it enjoyable. I've always thought the e39's were the best 5 series made. I wish i could buy a new 2012 e39!

i guess i'll see what is available in my area and read more info here......

thanks,
johnny

Silverlight95 12-30-2012 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shin1ichi (Post 7279739)
thanks for the replies so far. i guess the biggest debate is in my head. i do wrench a little, and find it enjoyable. I've always thought the e39's were the best 5 series made. I wish i could buy a new 2012 e39!

i guess i'll see what is available in my area and read more info here......

thanks,
johnny

Good luck with whatever choice you make. You won't go wrong with either of them :thumbup:

edwin28 12-30-2012 03:37 PM

Depends on what condition... but i would go 540i....

JimLev 12-30-2012 04:09 PM

540, they are actually easier to work on than the I6, no matter what the I6 guys say. I've worked on both plenty of times, 540 is easier.

golferjohnm 12-30-2012 07:09 PM

540 w/6 speed...but what else would you expect :angel:

manticore33 12-31-2012 06:05 AM

Are you trying to switch from automatic to manual? If you are staying automatic, stay with your E-class (unless it has the corrosion issues) or go to an e430 or an AMG variant. The seats in the e39 are terrible compared to MB (hell, they are terrible compared to my Porsche!)

This review, http://www.kenrockwell.com/mercedes/e430/index.htm, definitely made me consider MB and references the e39 540i M-Sport (which the e430 replaced).

Shin1ichi 01-01-2013 04:30 PM

Really thinking to go manual tranny, if i can find a decent one.
I've driven a few 525/530's (2002-2003) in the last couple of days, all @ 100K miles. All i could find so far are the steptronic, BUT, even in this combination, these cars drive so much more of what i want my car to drive like than my MB. MB has a sleeper motor, with good pull if you floor it, but tip in, initial response, is not as quick as the BMW and the steering and feedback of the MB cannot compare to the BMW..... and this is a prime fator in my looking, that and the styling is so much better.

The straight six with the steptronic is a willing partnership in comparison to my Benz. I hope to find a stick to drive soon as another comparison. Since i am looking at this as a drive almost daily for a year then retiring it to weekend/spirited driving duty, i want one i will be happy with for a long while. The body style and driving dynamics are there, just finding the right one, in the right condition.

One thing i have noticed; while looking at teh newer CPO cars, the tan interiors are really nice (with the black dash top area), but for teh E39, i prefer the black interiors....seem to hold their age better.

So, i'm looking.......and between my busy travel schedule that starts in mid Jan......I hope some options come up ......

Thanks to all (and I mean the entire forum).......it's great reading through here.

Any more comments, feel free to keep'em coming!

:thumbup:

aspensilver540 01-01-2013 04:55 PM

I don't see how you can find the E320 boring and then get a 6 cyl BMW. Get the V8, you'll be glad you did. The Tan interior is hideous in the E39 because they decided not to give it a black dash and black door panel tops. Some members modded their interior to make those areas tan and it looks 10X better. I have the same motor as E320 in CLK320, it is fun but nothing like the 540I. A 6cyl will be boring to you, even though a 530I will drive much better.

BTW, those kenrockwell articles are questionable. Apparently Ken thinks an automatic E430 is as fast as a 540I/6, which it is not. The E430 has surprisingly bad track times. He also calls "E320s castrated E430s with fewer features" except you can order an E320 with same options as E430 wtf. Then his picture shows that his E430 doesn't even have seat heaters, so WTF is he talking about??? Lol.

E36 Phantom 01-01-2013 07:54 PM

You really need to drive them both for a good long test drive, despite being the same chassis they feel very different.

The 530 has plenty of power but isn't super fast. The lighter front end and rack and pinion steering however make it feel very light and tossable.

The 540 feels neither light not tossable. The extra weight combined with the recirc ball steering are certainly numbing in the steering department, but flooring it coming out of a corner in 2nd gear with dsc off will make you giggle like a school girl and forget about any handling complaints you had.

The Steptronic in the 530 is utter crap. It's a good transmission when it works but has a bad design flaw that guarantees you a torque converter replacement. The 540 Step is much more durable. The manuals are better transmissions by far than either, and the tall 6th gear OD on the 540 manual is great for cruising MPGs.

I've owned 540i/6s, 540iAs, and 530iAs (all sport models). For a fun daily commute car, the 530 is probably the better choice. For a weekend toy or fun car, the 540 for sure.

Sent from my LG Revolution 4G using BimmerApp

Dking078 01-01-2013 08:38 PM

The 530i is a nice commuter car. The 540i is just a blast to drive, the ride is butter smooth and takes turns like a beast in the hills. The automatic trans.. well it can be nice and it can be bad, mine went south and cost a pretty penny to fix, but with that I got DINAN trans. software and I like a bit more now.

The only thing I find lacking in the 540iA, is the lack of paddle shifters. I'm waiting for an M3 SMG steering wheel to come up. Once it does, it will be an amazing retrofit.

fullthrottle540 01-02-2013 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E36 Phantom (Post 7283624)
The 540 feels neither light not tossable. The extra weight combined with the recirc ball steering are certainly numbing in the steering department, but flooring it coming out of a corner in 2nd gear with dsc off will make you giggle like a school girl and forget about any handling complaints you had.

great description, agree 100%

bdavid13 01-02-2013 03:21 AM

You'll probably the right conditioned 530, but you're always going to wish you had waited and bought a 540! Ask me how I know! Good luck with your search.

jygesq 01-02-2013 06:36 AM

try and find a MT 530 or 528, Blast to drive , however a 6sp MT 540 would be much more fun,but more to fix as years go on.

540nj 01-02-2013 06:46 AM

Go through thousands of posts, you will see many people wishing they bought 540 instead of 528 or 530, but no one says they wish they would have bought 525/528/530 instead of 540!

If you do go 525/28/30, manual is required to use the power most efficiently.

dave
03 540i6
00 528iA (retired)

Ed Cheung 01-02-2013 06:58 AM

The 540 sure is heavier, but not as bad as it sound, the steering feel is the biggest different. But the weight, you will get use to it in 15 minutes. I bought a set of AP coilover and used it on a 528 for 2-3 weeks, then found a nice 540. Took the coilover out and sold the 528. Now the coilover is on the 540 for a month now, the difference is marginal, used the same spring, didn't even bother to get the stiffer spring that is made for the V8.
Plus the gas milage, I am not gaining much on the 528, as I need to squeeze out the power from the 2.8L engine more often.

fullthrottle540 01-02-2013 10:17 AM

in a 500 mile road trip, i averaged 27 mpg in my 540. It's no Honda, but still better than my 15mpg truck!

DHoang 01-02-2013 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 540nj (Post 7284176)
Go through thousands of posts, you will see many people wishing they bought 540 instead of 528 or 530, but no one says they wish they would have bought 525/528/530 instead of 540!

If you do go 525/28/30, manual is required to use the power most efficiently.

dave
03 540i6
00 528iA (retired)

:rofl::rofl::rofl:
I've owned my 528 for 15 yrs now, and not ONCE did I wish I had bought a 540 instead.
What I do wish for every now and then is that I should have bought mine w/o a moonroof. An extra 1" of headspace, lack of windnoise, and no more broken roof rails is a far better deal.

540nj 01-02-2013 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DHoang (Post 7284604)
:rofl::rofl::rofl:
I've owned my 528 for 15 yrs now, and not ONCE did I wish I had bought a 540 instead.
What I do wish for every now and then is that I should have bought mine w/o a moonroof. An extra 1" of headspace, lack of windnoise, and no more broken roof rails is a far better deal.

many != All

Enjoy your ride!

dave
03 540i6

blingin96 01-02-2013 06:16 PM

+1 540i /6 tons o fun. Nothing like a V8 6speed!!

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Bimmer App

Shin1ichi 01-02-2013 06:46 PM

thanks for all the chiming in.....

i need to drive more of them, that's for sure. stick shift 530's and even stick 540's, if i can find any around here..........
?...for 2003's, were both 530 and 540 5 speed sticks?

i know i would be 'hoping' not to need a new steptranny any time soon, but i've never dropped a tranny for a clutch either,...outside my current realm of skills.....

handling, i guess that is what i am chasing more, in that body/chassis, than pure power.......(i have caught myself eyeing the Mustang Gt witht the Coyote 5.0........) but snap myself out of it.

one day,.......aways off from now, i dream to build a cobra kit with a 427..........

:D

champaign777 01-02-2013 09:09 PM

ya
dont take 530i
piece of sh** ... not like 540i ...


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