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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 03-01-2017, 05:14 AM
Billy Beamer Billy Beamer is offline
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Where is the final drive ratio no. located?

Kinda curious what the final gear ratio in the rear is, but for whatever reason the vin lookup only mentions RWD. Is it stamped on the rear housing somewhere?

Also, what ratios were offered on the E39? Did the manual cars get steeper gearing or did the autos?
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:40 AM
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Click link to diagram/part nbr database below...the gear ratio is listed for item #1...and the supplemental columns gives clues as to which you have. Refer back to your decoded VIN for option code numbers.

Hint: 2.81 or 3.15

540i/6 (manual tranny) or 540i (auto tranny): http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E3..._drive_output/

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Last edited by QSilver7; 03-01-2017 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:22 AM
Billy Beamer Billy Beamer is offline
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So a 2.81 or 3.15 was only options for a 98' 540i? Would think a 3.55 or 3.73 would be a perfect final on these with auto trans.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:41 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Early North American 540s were equipped with 2.81 diffs only, manual or auto; later ones, too.
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Last edited by edjack; 03-01-2017 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:50 AM
Billy Beamer Billy Beamer is offline
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Are aftermarket ring and pinion sets the only upgrade options then? Or is their a more performance-oriented gear (not 3.55 and up) offered in something else that'll fit?
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