2001 530iA Sport Intro
I have been lurking for the past year and a half, but decided it was finally time to introduce myself.
I am an American engineer living in Germany, and decided to bite the bullet and get a car here. As they say, when in Germany, do as the Germans do. I come from the Nissan VQ35DE cars (Nissan Maxima SE 6spd/Infiniti G35), so I decided I needed the M54B30. I briefly considered a 330i, but cultural pressure (i.e. older 3er are driven by the Turkish) forced me into the 5er. Which I am happy about, as I do a number of longer trips each year, for which the 5er is perfect.
Due to a minor* incident in 2007, I am restricted to driving automatic-equipped vehicles in Germany. This probably also contributed to my choice of a BMW and a 3.0L. Not unsurprisingly in a country where the majority of people drive manual-equipped cars, there are few auto 530i's with the M Sport Package, etc. that I was looking for. I ended up driving 650 km (400 mi) to the Munich area to pick up my car from a car-selling repair shop. A little sketchy, and the hosers didn't do any of the stuff they promised to do before I took delivery. So I drove it home with a defective thermostat (stuck open), old oil, occasionally squeaky pulleys, etc.
After reading a bunch on the 'fest, I jumped in and redid the entire cooling system, belts and pulleys, CCV, VANOS rebuild, front wheel bearings and small stuff. As I am not so far from ZF, I took the car there to do a complete service for the transmission (fluid, replace and update parts) and rear differential (fluid). I have also upgraded from MKIII to the much faster MkIV Nav.
I have recently begun to have the dreaded braking shimmy, and occasional banging while coming to a stop on bumpy surfaces. I plan on a complete front-end overhaul and upgrading to Bilstein Sports all around.
I am glad to be on this forum (esp. the E39-forum), as there is so much knowledge and activity.
*it was not minor.