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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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Old 01-22-2015, 08:02 AM
eparayno's Avatar
eparayno eparayno is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Vista, CA
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 886
Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Been MIA, still here but busy with new RWD toy

So in my catch can thread I mentioned that I have "retired" my E39 of sorts. My obsession for modifying/experimenting etc. has ceased I raised the ride height to an inch below stock sport level and threw a baby seat in the back and I put the mechanical fan back on. After stopping all the leaks and getting it to a reliable state it has been just that. A VERY reliable car over the 40,000 miles I have driven her! Which is awesome since I haul my 17 month old daughter and my 14 month old nephew in the E39.

Here is the source for my new obsession. Still rear wheel drive, Swedish not German and a classic IMO. It is a 1977 Volvo 242. No AC, mechanical fuel injection, manual windows. It has power steering though and a decent 3 speed auto.

This has been a fun car. The k-jet fuel injection system has been reliable after fixing a couple vacuum leaks, k-jet HATES vacuum leaks. It is a 49 state car with EGR, a cat but no O2/Lamda. Just a week ago it passed CA smog with flying colors. I failed 4 times(thank you free retests!) and was about to give up after doing all the basic maintenance and cleaning the EGR, or I thought I cleaned out the EGR. The inlet in the intake manifold where the EGR connects to was very plugged up with gunk. I didnt think to look in there when I cleaned the not so cruddy looking pipes. I also manually applied vacuum to the EGR solenoid which did nothing to the idle and the pipes not becoming burning hot should have all been clues that the EGR was still not functioning.

Long story short - I cleaned out the intake manifold port and NOx dropped from around the 2200's to low 500's! I am changing out the water pump and timing belt soon and after that I will drive her til the engine dies. Which I doubt will be anytime soon. Volvo over engineered their engines back then.

So far though it has been reliable, it is leaking at the front crankshaft seal which will be changed when I do the timing belt. I chopped the springs for now while I convert the front struts into coilovers and the same for the rear. I did use 15x7 style 5's from an E34 just to keep her BMWesque Any way onto the pics! If or when the engine dies I am either swapping for a B230FT engine from newer turbo RWD Volvos or any of the turbo lineups that use EFI OR go all out and swap in a 8.8 Ford rear and drop in an American V8.

For what it is though I love the simplicity of having no electronics, no OBD. Just an AM/FM radio and two speakers and the hum of the fuel pumps.
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