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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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Old 05-14-2012, 08:38 PM
bowtierebel bowtierebel is offline
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Location: North Carolina
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 1998 528i
Smile New to forum with E39 wheel question

Hello everyone. I'm new in NC. Just bought a '98 528i. I have certainty found much information posted concerning wheel options for the E39, limited as they are. I have found a set of rims and tires off an '07 530i and from what I have read the only difference is the center bore. I found a guy here that can bore them out for $25 each, but I would have to remove the already balanced tires and I found a local rim repair shop that says that he can do it without me removing the tires, but he charges $40 each rim. About the same cost after I pay for removal and remount/balancing. My question is does the wheel need to be bored just a certain depth? I think I read that they only need to be bored 10mm to allow for the hub to clear. I just want to be sure that he only bores deep enough for the hub clearance. Also was wondering if the center piece will still fit properly after the wheel is bored since it is being enlarged or will it be too loose and I have to use something else. I feel dumb asking that one cause it seems pretty self explanatory. I also read that someone had problems with the wheel hitting the shock mount. My '98 has the factory 15"x7" BBS wheels and the '07 wheels are 17"x7.5". Not sure if the style number though. I think I've found that the only difference is the rim diameter and overall tire diameter that can be compensated for using the proper sized tire to keep the overall diameter within approximately .28". The offset are both medium which I believe is 20mm on both. But I wonder about backspacing. So if I'm going to a slightly wider wheel then will I have enough clearance to the shock mounts? The front seems to be much closer tolerance than the back does, judging by eye and feel. I can tell that there are a lot of good people on here and I'm hoping I can find out this info soon. The wheels are a steal, IF they will work, lol. Also the car has 178,000 on it. Any things I should be concerned about right away as far as engine, transmission, ect? Thank you folks in advance for your help and I look forward to being a part of this forum.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:33 PM
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530iman 530iman is offline
03 540i now
Location: Atlanta,Ga
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 524
Mein Auto: 2003 bmw 540i E39
If one shop says you have to remove the tire before boring then they are most likely using a precision lathe machine, as far as enlarging the bore with tires installed he may be using a cordless drill, go with the tire removal. If the offset is et20 and the wheel is 17.7x5 it will fit no problem. The center bore on the wheels you want to purchase are 72.5 and the center bore for the e39 is 74.1, so they are enlarging the circle by a couple millimeters, they are not making the hub bore deeper. The center caps that come with the wheels you buy will work after boring because the depth does not change, only the circumference. You wont hit the shock at all with these wheels. If the wheels are not bored properly you may have vibration so go with the tire removal and have them bored to e39 specs thats 74.1. Take your spare wheel with you for the measure twice cut once method, have them measure the spare wheel inner hub to get a precise cut. I went through this same problem and went the hub adaptor/spacer route. Hope all this helps you.
2003 540i M-Sport custom magnaflow exhaust so far....
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:14 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,825
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Going +2" on your rims will reduce ride quality, acceleration and gas mileage due to smaller sidewalls and increased wheel/tire weight. You will get slight improvements in handling and appearance due to the smaller tire sidewalls. However, with 178K on the clock, I would be FAR MORE concerned about things that really matter with respect to vehicle reliability and/or performance than with appearance. Great wheels will make little difference to ride or handling if your suspension is shot. Failure to update your cooling system could leave you stranded. There are numerous other subsystems that may need attention at that mileage. I'd focus on updating these two critical systems before spending money on bling. Especially if you are not sure regarding the fitment. Too much risk for very little reward.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:53 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Seattle --> Atlanta
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,033
Mein Auto: Dinan //M5, Dinan 4.8iS,
Buy wheels that are made for E39 and save the headache. And I 2nd Fudman's opinion.

2000 Dinan S1 //M5 (my DD), 06 DINAN E53 4.8iS (wife's DD), 90 Straman Z32TT (my pride & joy ride)
Gone, but not forgotten: 01 E53 3.0i, 01 525i Sport, 03 DINAN 540i MSport, 01 //M5 and 91 Z32TT
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:14 PM
bowtierebel bowtierebel is offline
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Location: North Carolina
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 1998 528i
Thanks guys. I got the wheels and practically new continentals for $200. Even with the centerbore cost I'm way less than even new stock tires cost and they are due. I am searching the forums right now for what's needed to renew the cooling system BEFORE it becomes a problem since these cars are prone to problems there. As far as the suspension, it seems fine. I am not really sure how to tell if it needs attention, but the old lady that had it certainly wasn't hard on the car. Any input regarding these two areas would be helpful, like how do I know if the suspension or cooling system needs anything. Thanks.
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