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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 06-23-2012, 09:18 AM
cbruce2012 cbruce2012 is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 540i/6
Suspension, wheels, and tires

Hey, so I was thinking about starting a thread about what setup you have on your car. Preferabaly what you have or have used and your opinion on it. What tires have you used? Size? Brand? Suspension manufacture and components? Wheels? I think this will be a good place to start looking for what works and what doesn't. I'll start off with the kind of format that we might use. We can change it if something works out better...


1999 540i/6

Suspension:
Stock sport. The only thing I have tried so far and I like it. A little more body roll than I want, but overall very sporty and very well handling. I'm thinking of going with some eibach sway bars to counter the excess roll while still maintaining ride comfort.

http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/s...9&autoModClar=


Wheels:
I have the M-Parallel rims with 18x8 front and 18x9 rear. To me these are great looking wheels and I do not plan on changing them any time soon. I will be getting seperate winter rims and tires though I was looking at these for my winter rims...

http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/Wheel...All&sort=Price


Tires:
Currently have Michelin Pilot Super Sports on 3 corners and the front drivers side has a Nitto NT555 (previous owner got a flat and decided to replace with a non-matching tire...). I do plan on replacing them all soon seeing as my rears are almost like DOT comps. lol. Anyways, in the front I'm running 245/40/18 with the rears being 275/35/18. The car corners like it's on rails and stops amazing. Tire spin on launch isn't too bad with just a small squeak on the 1-2 shift. I do need to do a rear lip roll though to keep the rear passenger tire from rubbing. I haven't rubbed it yet, but the previous owner did, but only by about 1/32 of an inch, so hopefully a lip roll will clear... I will also be getting different winter tires, I was looking at these...

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....wtpackage=true



Sorry about the poor quality pictures, our nicer camera got sand in it and broke...
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2012, 01:26 PM
cbruce2012 cbruce2012 is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 540i/6
So...over 100 people have viewed this and no one wants to list theirs? Is there just no interest to do this or am I missing something...?
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:07 PM
beemteam10 beemteam10 is offline
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Location: Fort Collins Colroado
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: E39 BMW 540i
I like what your running on your car. As far as what i run on my 97 540i, I am not too happy. I have style 65s 245/40 all around. Its not that i dont like the wheels, its just the spacing between the tire and backside of bumper that looks kind of off. I have an m5 bumper which could be the reason why, So when it comes to advice i would say dont run 40's on the front unless maybe its lowered. The tire ratio to the space around the tire is just too empty and just doesnt look right. So solution for me will be buying maybe size 245 50s in front and upgrading to 265 some how in the back. Hope this information can come helpful to someone some day,
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:40 PM
cbruce2012 cbruce2012 is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 540i/6
I also have the m5 front bumper and it looks good. I believe the sport suspension is about an inch lower. Post some pics of your setup.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2012, 02:55 AM
DennisCooper!'s Avatar
DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Location: West London / Heathrow UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,648
Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring
Hi Cbruce,

You are missing something I'm afraid!

With thousands of individual owners just on this forum perhaps, listing out suspension mods, which wheels and tyres used would potentially create a massive thread. Practically, for the first few pages, it'd be useful, and then it'd become tedious to look through. There's also thousands of other posts and threads covering pretty much each component already - so plenty on using B&G springs for instance, plenty on using Good Year tyres and plenty on running BMW oem wheels or aftermarket.

The post above from beemteam is an example where a little more research is required. Running 50 profile tyres on the E39 with 18inch wheels is incorrect - the rolling radius will be way off and the speedo will be inaccurate. I believe also, the transmission may go into limp mode as it'll detect these inconsistencies. He's also answered his concerns in the form of saying to lower the car in order to reduce the tyre gap to the wheel arch!

There's thousands of pictures in the various threads as well, so I'd say grab a big cup of tea and some biscuits and have a read through all the topics covering these topics/areas and learning from those.

Here's my setup though;




I only run a minimum of 19 inch wheels on my car. The actual set of wheels in the pictures above are 8.5x19 all round. On this set, I run 235/35/19 front and 265/30/19 rear. I have another set of genuine Hartge Nova 5's;



This set is 9.5x19 all round and tyre sizes are 245/35/19 fronts and 275/30/19 rear. This tyre size setup is the recommended one for the E39 on 19 inch wheels. The sizing above you can use as the rolling radius is only marginally different and also allows for a wider choice of tyre choices as some have a more rounded shoulder which can be useful if you lower the car.

I run Federal SS595 tyres as I've found their wear properties to be absolutely fantastic. I've covered in excess of 30K miles and I still have 5mm of tread left. The tyres on the 8.5x19 set are Avon ZZ3 fronts and Michelin Pilot Sport's on the rear - these were part worn tyres so I can't be accurate on their wear, but so far I'm very happy.

I'm lowered on H&R springs over my oem shocks (they're not Sport ones) you can use the normal shocks with lowering springs up to around 30mm. Any lower and then you'd have to get Sport shocks which are shorter in length etc.

I will soon be going to 20's, just trying to save up at the moment as I have a shortlist of about 4 designs

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2012, 03:59 AM
WDRAcing WDRAcing is offline
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Location: Dover DE
 
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Posts: 151
Mein Auto: 99 540iA
That's a sweet looking Touring Dennis. 20s aye? Are switching out wheels because you're tired of the current setup? I think it sits perfect as is.

My 99 540iA Sport is riding on factory everything. My only plans for upgrade consist of bigger sways.

All stock.

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  #7  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:09 AM
cbruce2012 cbruce2012 is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 540i/6
@Dennis

How's the ride quality with lowered springs and 19" wheels? I personally do not want to go any lower/bigger wheels because Wisconsin roads suck!
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:28 AM
DennisCooper!'s Avatar
DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Location: West London / Heathrow UK
 
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Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring
Hi

WDRAcing - I will keep one set of 19's for my winter wheels setup and the 20's for summer use. Not that we in the UK actually have much distinction between the two ! weather here has been utterly terrible recently! I've seen a few sets of 20's I really like and with a tiny bit lower, my car will look even better

cbruce - The ride quality for me is absolutely fine. I think I've mentioned it previously in this forum, but if you can put your wife/mum/kids/friends etc in the car and they don't complain about 'harsh' rides etc then you know you've got a good setup! more scientifically, by using high quality suspension components, ensuring your suspension parts are in good order and replacing anything that's worn, there's no reason not to run 19 or 20's on the E39 chassis. OF course, with the lower sidewall on the tyres, you'll feel it's harsher than if you are used to 16's on 55 profile sidewalls but not overly so. 90% of my driving is on good quality roads, not perfect by any means but good quality. I'm sure Wisconsin has some 'good quality' roads too! Of course, if you regularly drive on absolutely terrible quality roads riddled with potholes and massive undulations, then perhaps don't lower and go with bigger wheels. In short, if you research well, choose high quality items, look at your driving style and roads you use most frequently, you can evaluate on going larger or staying on small wheels.

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2012, 11:46 AM
milkman78 milkman78 is offline
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Location: Ft Drum, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 bmw 325i
Hello. I got E46 325i. I just got Prado 18" wheel and General G Maxx 225/40/18. I am thinkning about lowering the car. I not sure how much to do. The spring packages come with different front and rear measurements. I dont know what to get. Any suggestions?
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