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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 01-08-2013, 10:14 PM
Ben Dover Ben Dover is offline
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Broken leg on e39 540

So basically today I almost cried. I got my license 2 weeks ago. Went on a week vacation then came back. This was the first day it was not raining. In California (where I live) you have to hold a permit before your license for 6 months and your parents have to go everywhere with you. Finally without the backseat driving I could enjoy my dads old 2000 540ia. (Btw he got a 2013 550 msport). I was coming home from school and there is a road with a big steep sweeping chicane (left then right it's kinda like a mirror of the corkscrew at Laguna seca). It's a great corner. I've enjoyed it many times in the passenger seat of my dads old 1987 Porsche 944s. But I figured I've never been around it quickly. Today that changed. I put it in second. Came around about 45 50ish with a little bit of tire squeal. I was about to hit the straight right after it when I see a deer! A freaking deer darts right out in front of me. Instinctively I slam the wheel to the right. The back steps out to the left. Then with a curb right next to me I throw the wheel back to the left to correct it. I way over do it and it swings violently back to the right. I'm now going backwards at full right hand lock. I know there is a curb there. I slam on the brakes. And I hit the curb sideways about 10 15 mph. Facing the wrong way. Just curious what parts need replacing and then how much labor will be. I know obviously a shop will do it but my dad doesnt get home for a couple days and he wants to take it himself. I just want to know what I have to pay. I accept responsibility for it. I should not have been going double the speed limit with the traction control off around a blind corner. I now have a lot more respect for cars and for the uNexpected. Also any tips on getting back in the saddle? I'm not going to lie it terrified me. Anyways sorry this was a whole sob story. All I need it guesses on prices and hours. I know for sure I need 2 new wheels. (Style 66) and probably new control arms.
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2013, 04:44 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Well THAT was certainly a teaching moment! It's one thing to think you are Mario Andretti, it's a whole 'nother thing to actually drive like him. Glad you are OK and have learned an expensive lesson. Fortunately, this is what insurance is for. Unfortunately, your rates will now go sky high unless your Dad claims he was driving the car (we won't discuss the moral issues associated with that).

There is no way anyone on this forum can assess what damage has been done or project what needs to be replaced. Your picture shows what looks to be a bumper laying in the road. It sounds like the visible damage is to both wheels and I presume you were able to drive home? If the car was towed, then the damage is more severe. You don't give model year or mileage either. If work has not been done before and the car has 100K+, you may opt to replace an entire axel's components. Control arms run about $125 each and struts go about $125-$250, depending on brand. Most importantly is if any damage occurred to the suspension anchor points (bushing mounts) on the car. If those are bent or damaged, expect to pay a LOT more to fix the car. Suspension damage is one of those things where you may never be able to get the ride and handling back to new. Only an expert mechanic can tell you what you need.
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2013, 05:09 AM
BertStevens BertStevens is offline
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Having walked away from a roll over in my teens, I completely understand the terror felt of getting behind the wheel.

My first piece of advice is don't rush it. Give your brain time to emotionally recover.

Then begin with short trips. Drive to a neighbor's house that's within walking distance.

And finally, when you feel ready, drive that road again with dad riding shot gun.

Sorry you had to learn the hard lesson. My rollover was my first introduction to black ice. 30 years later and the stuff still scares me.

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  #4  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:40 AM
Ben Dover Ben Dover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Well THAT was certainly a teaching moment! It's one thing to think you are Mario Andretti, it's a whole 'nother thing to actually drive like him. Glad you are OK and have learned an expensive lesson. Fortunately, this is what insurance is for. Unfortunately, your rates will now go sky high unless your Dad claims he was driving the car (we won't discuss the moral issues associated with that).

There is no way anyone on this forum can assess what damage has been done or project what needs to be replaced. Your picture shows what looks to be a bumper laying in the road. It sounds like the visible damage is to both wheels and I presume you were able to drive home? If the car was towed, then the damage is more severe. You don't give model year or mileage either. If work has not been done before and the car has 100K+, you may opt to replace an entire axel's components. Control arms run about $125 each and struts go about $125-$250, depending on brand. Most importantly is if any damage occurred to the suspension anchor points (bushing mounts) on the car. If those are bent or damaged, expect to pay a LOT more to fix the car. Suspension damage is one of those things where you may never be able to get the ride and handling back to new. Only an expert mechanic can tell you what you need.
It's a 2000 540 automatic sport with 121k miles on the clock. About 5k ago the whole front suspension was replaced. I probably could have driven the 2 miles home but my mother had aaa tow it. They aaa guy drove it up on the flatbed and it was still solid. It wasn't like the whole wheel was uselessly flopping around. Also there is no scratches or chips in the paint. I got lucky. The skirts were about 1 in from the curb. The tires still had air but there were chunks missing from both rims
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:53 AM
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doru doru is offline
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You could be lucky and needing only the 2 wheels. But, the suspension needs to be evaluated - they are not meant to take sideways impact, hence even a light shock from the "wrong" direction could damage them. I would place the car as is on an alignment bench and test it. If the specs are OK and similar with your last alignment (assuming you have the papers from the last alignment), then you might consider yourself lucky. If it's out, the sheet will tell if only the front, the rear or both are out of spec. At this moment the bill will start raking up.
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2013, 08:32 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Judging from the pic, a rear control arm is a good place to start replacing.
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:21 AM
5series92 5series92 is offline
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When I hit a curb during an accident just like you did in my 540i. I had to replace the rear subframe so I just bought one with the diff, control arms and everything else attached for an easier swap
Here's how my wheel was bent:
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:26 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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LOL!! I didn't even think to turn your picture 90 degrees! I thought you took a picture of debris on the roadside!

The damage does not look as bad as described but the only way to tell is, as Doru says, to have it checked on an alignment machine. It may require new wheels if they were severely damaged. For the front, you only need to repair the side that was hit. For the rear, you may want to do both sides. Which end hit first (the initial impact is usually greater)? If the rear, the bigger concern would be damage to the driveline half shaft and possibly differential. Again, only a pro can tell you how bad.

Do you know how to wrench? Replacing a control arm is pretty easy. A thrust arm is a bit trickier. Tie rod replacement is fairly straightforward too. Replacing the struts is a bit more work. Can't really speak about the rears as I haven't done them yet. Bottom line, parts are relatively cheap. It's the labor that costs a lot.

As to getting back in the saddle, $hit happens. We have all hit things. The only thing to remember is to drive under control at reasonable speeds. Reasonable is determined by the your abilities, the car and road conditions. 36 years ago, I spun my Kharman Ghia (darn that rear engine oversteer!) on the highway doing 55 on a straight highway under snowy conditions. Turns out reasonable was 45 mph, not 55 mph. You live and learn. The fact that you have accepted full responsibilioty for your actions displays a maturity you don't often see among younger drivers, especially on these forums. Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:06 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Don't bother with insurance. Your out-of-pocket repair costs will be much less than the increased insurance premiums you'll be paying for several years, if you're lucky they don't drop you.

Try to remember that, next time, you may kill yourself, or someone else.

A 540i is one of the LAST cars I would EVER entrust to a new teen-age driver!

If you want to drive the Hell out of this car, sign up for the BMW CCA driving school.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:18 AM
Ben Dover Ben Dover is offline
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Front hit first but I was still spinning. Front rim is destroyed for sure. It didn't hit that hard though. The back hit pretty hard and that wheel is destroyed. As mechanically inclined as I consider myself I'm not tackling this. Worst case ya the whole rear subframe right? Deductible is 1000 so I can't see this all be more than 1500 right?
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:23 AM
Ben Dover Ben Dover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post

A 540i is one of the LAST cars I would EVER entrust to a new teen-age driver!

If you want to drive the Hell out of this car, sign up for the BMW CCA driving school.
It scares me a bit everyday. Still though the only reason it isn't an m5 is because he bought it in February of 2000. ///m came out in may right? He really wanted one.
I defiantly want to go to a driving school or something that would help with car control. Probably will autocross later. It looks like fun and it will help me learn limits. Any good suggestions?
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:31 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Certainly not less and possibly a whole lot more. The wheels alone will cost over $300 each (new). If the tires were damaged, add another $300 or so. The add the expensive suspension stuff plus the labor to install them. Depending on what is broken or bent, you could easily be over $2K. But we are just speculating. Let the pros tell you what needs to be replaced.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:00 AM
540nj 540nj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Dover View Post
It scares me a bit everyday. Still though the only reason it isn't an m5 is because he bought it in February of 2000. ///m came out in may right? He really wanted one.
I defiantly want to go to a driving school or something that would help with car control. Probably will autocross later. It looks like fun and it will help me learn limits. Any good suggestions?
Speed kills, you got too much car for a new driver. Check out the other young guy, destroyed his engine in a pot hole in the winter, you got to drive defensive! Best of luck, hope your dad is understanding.

A few years ago, a kid posted about his (daddie's) new M5 (e60 I think), and asked how to turn off all the electronic nannies to go as fast as possible, took it on an airplane runway in Florida, and slammed into a tree at the end of the runway, killed himself and a couple friends...

dave
03 540i6
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2013, 11:06 AM
540nj 540nj is offline
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http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e60...ts-m-mode.html

http://jalopnik.com/350252/bmw-m5-crash-details-emerge

reminder to some of the youngsters on this board...
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2013, 12:57 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Originally Posted by Ben Dover View Post
Just curious what parts need replacing
The driver.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:30 PM
guysimmons89 guysimmons89 is offline
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^^^+1

Last edited by guysimmons89; 01-09-2013 at 11:31 PM.
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