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Old 03-13-2011, 08:40 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
This response to that question is a great start in providing details as to what engine upgrades are feasible in a typical E39 'blown-engine' scenario:

Originally Posted by Jimmys 530i View Post
I have installed a 3.0 into a 525i. I used the existing intake manifold, exhaust manifold, etc and it worked just fine. If you want to use the 3.0 accessories, you will have to buy a lot of extra parts like airbox, maf, engine computer, and align the DME to the key so it will start.
Here is a list of what can be done without a problem to the e39

1999-2000 323i e46 to 2001-2003 525i
2001-2005 325i e46 to 2001-2003 525i
1998-2001 Z3 2.3i e36/7 to 2001-2003 525i
2004-2005 525i to 2001-2003 525i

1999-2000 328i e46 to 1999-2000 528i

1996-1998 328i e36 to 1997-1998 528i

2001-2005 330i e46 to 2001-2003 530i
1999-2006 X5 e53 3.0i to 2001-2003 530i
2001-2002 Z3 e36/7 3.0i to 2001-2003 530i
2004-2005 530i e60 to 2001-2003 530i

2000-2003 X5 e53 4.4i to 1999-2003 540i
1999-2001 740i e38 to 1999-2003 540i

You can upgrade your engine, but you cannot easily go from single VANOS to dual VANOS, you have to stay with what you have. If you have a 2001 525i, you can upgrade to a 3.0, but you have to use all of your existing 2.5 accessories if you do not want to go with the hassle of getting your DME aligned to your key.

If you have a 528i, you cannot really upgrade unless you swap over the wiring, engine computer, transmission, transmission computer, and get the electronics aligned to your car. It is doable, but not really worth it.
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