Need Hp Modifications suggestions for 99 540i! - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-01-2013, 11:07 PM
akillies akillies is offline
99 540i Make Over
Location: Brooklyn NY
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Mein Auto: 99 540i
Need Hp Modifications suggestions for 99 540i!

I have a 99 540i6 with a performance muffler and COSMO CAI. I want to take the next step for more horse power. What would be the best Modification for the money?? I know Dinan software is only recommended if the rest of mods are Dinan. So if a ECU chip is the right move which one should I use??

Also my mechanic say's he has a BMW software program upgrade that adds around 30 hp and costs around 7-800 but first i would have to do the basic ECU update which is the newer factory settings which is another 150-300. He said there is no chip installed with this upgrade as well.

Can anyone point me in the right direction and tell me what my options are???
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 02:09 AM
fullthrottle540's Avatar
fullthrottle540 fullthrottle540 is offline
Location: san diego
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 165
Mein Auto: E39
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 02:21 AM
jbonly21's Avatar
jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: LA
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 662
Mein Auto: 02 525I SPORT
Originally Posted by fullthrottle540 View Post
What he said, or SC, and the is no way just a software is going to give you that much Hp.
02 525I Sterling Gray, 18" M Parallels, M Tech bumper, Magnaflow Highflow cat, Resonator delete, 3" OBX muffler, H&R spring and Bills sport shocks.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 02:35 AM
DennisCooper!'s Avatar
DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: West London / Heathrow UK
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,491
Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring

Have a read up on options such as a re-map, exhaust headers, changing for more aggressive camshafts, etc etc. Give Dinan a call, you don't have to have other Dinan mods in order to use their ECU upgrade, they'll most likely have a file for your year/model car/ECU. Nowadays, there's no 'chipping' that goes on - technology has moved on from requiring ECU's to be opened up and computer chips removed and replaced. It's know known as 'Re-mapping' where the chip in situ, is flashed with modified settings. That said, there may well be 'some' ECU's which need the actual physical chip changed.

If you do an ECU upgrade, you can expect the actual real gain to be around 10-13 HP increase, so look for a specialist who will do a rolling road before and after the remap is done. You will not gain 30HP on your car - the 'marketing' figures for normally aspirated cars is optimistic. Other benefits to normally aspirated cars when re-mapped is smoother torque delivery, removal of dead/flat spots in the rev range and optional raising of the rev limiter by 250-500 rpm. You might notice a marginal better fuel economy reading as well.

Also keep in mind, that if you install bolt on mods, you can't 'add up' the claimed HP figures and say that your car is now producing the added amounts of HP - the rolling road will give you a much better idea of the kind of levels of power being made.

If you are looking to take your 540i from 286 bhp (that's what its rated at - depending on how good condition your car is, it'll be somewhat less than that or quite near) to 400+ then you'll need to look at forced induction. With keeping it normally aspirated, if you were to purchase high quality headers, a full stainless steel exhaust, ECU re-map, induction kit, power pulleys, a more aggressive camshaft, you'd perhaps see 350-370 ish HP on the rolling road - for perhaps an outlay of perhaps $8000-$10000 plus.

Cheers, Dennis!
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 09:23 PM
akillies akillies is offline
99 540i Make Over
Location: Brooklyn NY
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Mein Auto: 99 540i
I am not looking to drop any where near that much cash. I would like to do do some headers and re-maping though and maybe the pulley's, I guess doing some thorough research will be the best way to find the best combination for my 540i.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 09:43 PM
edjack edjack is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 13,444
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Fuggedabout!! These engines are so well optimized, you'll get precious little from anything other than supercharging or nitrous.

Your mechanic is trying to give you a smoke test (look up insufflation (medicine)).

In case you didn't know what a "rolling road" was, it's a chassis dynamometer. Thanks, DennisCooper! I'll add that term to "boot," "bonnet," and "scuttle," not to mention "spanner." Oh, and "rudge nut."

Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

Last edited by edjack; 01-02-2013 at 11:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 05:40 PM
TemporarySanity's Avatar
TemporarySanity TemporarySanity is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Linden,MI
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,561
Mein Auto: 02 530, 02 540, 07 525
Don't forget the term used when working on a BMW is "futzing".

I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be eaten by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 07:47 PM
LalaRay's Avatar
LalaRay LalaRay is offline
Location: Maryland
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 899
Mein Auto: 03 ///M5
You want power? See Signature...
And "wanna go faster" and "No money" never go together.
2003 ///M5. ~ Jet Black/ Le Mans Blue

RK Supercharged @ 501wheel horsepower
Supersprint Headers,
Evolve Alpha N Tune,
CNS lightweight dm flywheel/Spec clutch,
ST coilovers,
Eibach Rear Sway bar/Beast Power Brackets,
Drilled slotted Rotors/Akebono Euro pads,
Magnaflow 14816 Mufflers

Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 09:03 PM
the540wgn's Avatar
the540wgn the540wgn is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA / Littleton, CO
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 810
Mein Auto: '11 335xi/'02 540iT
///M badge = +50hp

ColdWeather + Summer + Sport -- 20/30 Ceramic Tint -- Euro Armrest -- JL 13tw5-3 Subwoofer -- LED AEs
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 12:22 AM
Coochie_Bandit's Avatar
Coochie_Bandit Coochie_Bandit is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bronx NY
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 172
Mein Auto: 540
Not for nothing but these threads do get repetitive...
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.