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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 05-12-2013, 06:13 AM
PrimeSuspect PrimeSuspect is offline
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Location: Wichita
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Mein Auto: Crapcans
New Owner - '01 530i

I picked this up recently, 2001 530i Toledo blue with the cold weather package. 123k miles, interior in very good shape, a few dents and dings on the body, but nothing horrible for a 12 year old car. The original window sticker is still in the glove box. According to the previous owner, brakes, water pump and vanos solenoid were replaced within the last two years. I did the CCV test using a plastic bag over the oil filler cap and it pulled a slight vacuum. No mayo looking crap on the cap or dip stick o-ring.

It has the original suspension and while the struts feel okay, I'm pretty sure the control arm bushings probably need to be replaced. Regardless, my summer project will be to replace these. I got the car up on my lift and it looks clean considering it spent the majority of it's life in PA. I've been a long time Subaru owner and still have one left ('93 Impreza Wagon Chumpcar) which you can see in the background below. This is my first BMW and I'm looking forward to enjoying the car. Oh, if anyone has a set of sport springs let me know. I'd like to mate these to a set of Koni's when I replace the suspension.










Last edited by PrimeSuspect; 05-12-2013 at 06:16 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2013, 09:09 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Nice. Put radiator, expansion tank, thermostat and Vanos seals as maintenance priorities and you should be fine.
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2013, 09:26 AM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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Mein Auto: DINAN 540
What kind if Koni's are you planning on getting?
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Dinan F&R strut tower brace, M5 F&R sway bars, Koni Sports, Eibach springs, Powerflex polyurethane bushings, Dinan stage 2 engine software, Stage 1 trans software, Zionsville cooling kit, resonator delete, Dinan exhaust, Dinan throttle body, AFE cai, 18' style 5's, 235/40/18 275/35/18, Ultimate cup holders, rear cup holder delete/coin holder, Hella taillights, clear sides, Depo AE, M5 lip spoiler,
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:05 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 318i
If you dont know the age of the serpentine belt, change it now ASAP even if it looks good (ask me how I know). You probably still have original ATF, at this point leave it alone and do not replace the fluid. As Fudman said above.. Also check your DISA valve, fan clutch and might as well replace the fan at this age. I bet your power steering hose is leaking at the reservoir. Do what I did and cut off 1 inch of hose from the reservoir then clamp it back in. It stops the leak.
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2003 E39 530iA Titanium Silver w/ Sport Package
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:15 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
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I picked up a 2001 530i a few months ago (121,000 miles), and can say honestly, the things I had to replace were the rear rotors and pads... the windsheild washer nozzle and hoses... the battery, the tires... everything else seems to be perfect,, the engine trans.. looks like someone replaced the expansion tank and maybe the valve cover gasket..... but the suspension is really good... feels like new... muffler looks and sounds like new.. I can't see how or why suspension would need work with only those miles... unless it was driven very hard... Not sure if I would start replacing parts just to make sure,, but if you do be very careful with plastic,, it seems to break very easily on this car.. and you can be sure that any and all small rubber and gasket parts you mess with under the hood will probably need replacing because of the elements effects on plastic and rubber over time... and when you go to move them they will probably crack... so be careful.. for such a well built car,, it has many weak spots like the plastic..
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:15 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 318i
Regarding suspension, I used Sachs OEM Sport suspension along with HR springs. I didn't want Bilstein or Konis as they would be too stiff for me. The ride with my setup is very nice, not too harsh but still stiff. I just took out the struts and shocks not too long ago and both damping are still perfect and no leakage whatsoever.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:18 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredat44 View Post
I picked up a 2001 530i a few months ago (121,000 miles), and can say honestly, the things I had to replace were the rear rotors and pads... the windsheild washer nozzle and hoses... the battery, the tires... everything else seems to be perfect,, the engine trans.. looks like someone replaced the expansion tank and maybe the valve cover gasket..... but the suspension is really good... feels like new... muffler looks and sounds like new.. I can't see how or why suspension would need work with only those miles... unless it was driven very hard... Not sure if I would start replacing parts just to make sure,, but if you do be very careful with plastic,, it seems to break very easily on this car.. and you can be sure that any and all small rubber and gasket parts you mess with under the hood will probably need replacing because of the elements effects on plastic and rubber over time... and when you go to move them they will probably crack... so be careful.. for such a well built car,, it has many weak spots like the plastic..
at 121K miles i can gurantee you that your suspension is blown. The things with E39's is that even when suspension is blown, it wont feel like it. Only when you replace your struts/shocks as well as strut mounts and other bushings, then you can tell a big difference
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2003 E39 530iA Titanium Silver w/ Sport Package
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2013, 07:46 PM
PrimeSuspect PrimeSuspect is offline
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Location: Wichita
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: Crapcans
Thanks for the input and advice. I did quite a bit of reading before buying the car but I know there are things I missed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
If you dont know the age of the serpentine belt, change it now ASAP even if it looks good (ask me how I know). You probably still have original ATF, at this point leave it alone and do not replace the fluid. As Fudman said above.. Also check your DISA valve, fan clutch and might as well replace the fan at this age. I bet your power steering hose is leaking at the reservoir. Do what I did and cut off 1 inch of hose from the reservoir then clamp it back in. It stops the leak.
Yep, PS hose is weeping a bit. I have no doubt the trans fluid is original and didn't plan on messing with it right away. I'll need to read up on the DISA valve and will probably do all the belts and fan clutch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
Regarding suspension, I used Sachs OEM Sport suspension along with HR springs. I didn't want Bilstein or Konis as they would be too stiff for me. The ride with my setup is very nice, not too harsh but still stiff. I just took out the struts and shocks not too long ago and both damping are still perfect and no leakage whatsoever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
at 121K miles i can gurantee you that your suspension is blown. The things with E39's is that even when suspension is blown, it wont feel like it. Only when you replace your struts/shocks as well as strut mounts and other bushings, then you can tell a big difference
I read the thread on this suspension and this is the preferred route but I need to source some springs. I've already decided against the Koni's for the reason you highlighted. I'm sure the control arm bushings are in need of replacement. I planned on dropping a few grand into these repairs and doing the mechanical work. My two post lift will make the job a little less painful for sure.
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2013, 09:57 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 318i
Just see if anyone is selling OEM sport springs.. Then get some OEM Sachs sport struts and call it the day..
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2003 E39 530iA Titanium Silver w/ Sport Package
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2013, 10:40 PM
Biasvoltage Biasvoltage is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
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Posts: 25
Mein Auto: 525i Touring
Other things to obsess over:

Headlight adjusters

Rear door water seals

Disa (check out german auto soutions' kit)

MAF/IACV/TB cleaning
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