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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:19 AM
MGN54 MGN54 is offline
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Location: Central Texas
 
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Mein Auto: MX-5, F150
E39 w/blown engine...what's it worth?

Hi all,

I'm new here so be gentle! Have got the fever BAD and looking for a father/son project. Have spotted a 99, I think, 528i sitting at the back end of the indy I use for my F150 and wife's accord. I enquired about it from one of the owners of the shop. Find out the car was owned by a good friend of theirs. Wife over heated the car and blew head gasket. Car was repaired at shop. Car later sold to daughter of a friend of the original owner. Car over heated again and she ran it till engine locked up. Car has been sitting a while as tires are very low now. I'm wondering what I might pick this car up for? It looks to be in excellent condition . Not a door ding anywhere. Interior is very good as well.

See that I can purchase a used engine for 1500-1800. Never done an engine swap before but willing to give it a shot. I'm 58 and have spun a few wrenches. Once took the engine and tranny out of my Porsche 914 to replace clutch and oil cooler. Figure we could handle it and learn a lot in the process.

So, if one were inclined to do this project, what would be a good offer for this car. I'm not sure how many miles are on it if that matters at this point. And I realize there will be other things to address. Maybe not a good idea but I'm a glutton for saving cars/motorcycles I guess.

TIA,

Mark
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:30 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
(Kelly Blue Book Value of car x 70%) - ("new" engine cost) - (labor to install engine) = price you should pay.

Let's say Blue book says $6000 for a 1999 528i with 120K miles that runs fine.

($6000 x 0.70) - ($1800 for engine) - ($60/h x 10h = $600 labor) = $1800 is the price you can argue for.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:40 AM
bimmerteck bimmerteck is offline
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Location: Nashville, TN
 
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Mein Auto: e30 M50ish
^This is a good guide if you trust the shop and the suspension/brakes ect. are in good order.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:24 AM
540i/msport/ 540i/msport/ is offline
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Location: Dallas
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 e39 v-8 6 speed
I bought a1999 540i m sport6 speed with blown gasket but still running for 1900 the car was in very good condition im in the processes of rebuilding the engine look at my post and get in idea o what you should expect even thought the one your looking at is a 6cyl
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:27 AM
MGN54 MGN54 is offline
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Location: Central Texas
 
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Thanks for the reply, guys. So, cn90.....I would get the car for $1800. THEN have to add the cost of engine on top of that. Am I reading you right? If, so, then I'd be into the car for around $3600, depending on what I could score and engine for.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:38 AM
MGN54 MGN54 is offline
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Location: Central Texas
 
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Mein Auto: MX-5, F150
540i/msport,

Great looking car and project. Do you mind sharing what it is running you to get heads done? I've seen a couple of 528i with head gasket issues that I bet could be picked up pretty reasonably. I guess if one were running you would know that the engine wasn't locked up.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:04 PM
Joe@Bavarian Joe@Bavarian is offline
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Location: Folsom
 
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Mein Auto: Me - E39 5spd, Wife - E36
1,500 - 2,000 at the most. Also look for a engine that is sold with Compression and leak down tests. Mileage is not an indication of how good an engine is...
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:23 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
($60/h x 10h = $600 labor)
Out here, the labor rate is something around 150 to 200 an hour so ... if you can get labor for only 60 ... go for it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MGN54 View Post
depending on what I could score and engine for.
I'd doublecheck those labor figures. They seem mighty low for an engine replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe@Bavarian View Post
look for a engine that is sold with Compression and leak down tests
Good advice.

In addition, the OP may wish to avail themselves of these bestlinks:


- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) & how to test an engine for blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & why the E39 engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & a one-paragraph summary for the next owner with a blown engine (1) & what questions to ask when severe heating-related damage is initially suspected (1) & welding the crack between cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side (1) & what E39 engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & real-world results from people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32) (33).
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2011, 01:19 PM
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blackandcoke blackandcoke is offline
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Location: Queens
 
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Posts: 237
Mein Auto: 528IA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe@Bavarian View Post
1,500 - 2,000 at the most. Also look for a engine that is sold with Compression and leak down tests. Mileage is not an indication of how good an engine is...
Agreed with this price
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2011, 08:52 PM
1BadE39 1BadE39 is offline
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Location: Jersey Shore
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 540i
Drop a LS1 in it
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2011, 05:55 AM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530i
I can pick up these cars in the Atlanta area from 750 to 1500 all day long. I once bought a 2001 540i with 165k sport package that needed a valleypan gasket for 2200. I wouldnt pay over 1500.
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