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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 04-22-2010, 07:39 AM
jay300zx jay300zx is offline
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528i and M5 Engine swap

Need advice I have a friend whos 2001 M5 just got total on the rear he is willing to sell me the entire car, I was thinking in exchanging engines and some other good's that the car has in exellent condition, Just wondering if I M5 has all the engine components working I should not have any problems in swapping the engines, please advice. what are the pro and con's
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2010, 08:06 AM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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Yeah if the other car doesn't cost too much and you get the entire car. Why don't you just take your rear clip and fix it. Probably be cheaper.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2010, 08:14 AM
jay300zx jay300zx is offline
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you dont understand the car is F*(^&%^$^$^UP the rear bumper is now part of the rear seat.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:05 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Very big job. The electrical harnesses must also be transplanted, including the DME, and what all else. There most certainly will be drive train damage if the car was smacked that badly.

You'll need to have both cars side-by-side as you begin the work. Do you have the E39 Bentley Service Manual? Note that this manual does not cover the M5, so, for that portion, you'll be flying blind. But, it's better than nothing.

You'll need to swap out the front suspension, steering, and engine carriage, as all those components are different.

Also note that the M5 engine is a thinly-disguised racing engine, and it does burn oil, which is 10W60 synthetic, very expensive, from the dealer.

Sounds like a Frankenstein swap to me.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:14 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay300zx View Post
you dont understand the car is F*(^&%^$^$^UP the rear bumper is now part of the rear seat.
If that's the case, then that means rear suspension damage, plus probably driveshaft and differential, which means this project will cost you more than selling your car and buying a used M5.

Forget it. Buy the wheels though!
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:17 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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possible? yes. Cheap? no. Easy? Certainly not.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:27 AM
cegeste cegeste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Also note that the M5 engine is a thinly-disguised racing engine, and it does burn oil, which is 10W60 synthetic, very expensive, from the dealer.
2001+ E39 M5s use 5W-30 synthetic.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:36 AM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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As I said, take the rear clip and roof panel off your car and fix it. But it will cost you more to swap all that crap over than to just buying an M5.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:44 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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cegeste,

I believe that's old info. Originally, BMW changed the requirement to the lighter oil, but later rescinded it, and spec'ed the heavier stuff, at least according to Mike Miller.

If I had an M5, I'd use 10W60.

I use 20W50 in my engine as it is.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:58 AM
franka franka is offline
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Agreed, too much work.

But you may be able to find a good M5 body but with a trashed M5 motor.
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2010, 10:17 AM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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I use the 10w60 in my car. I was told the same that they went to this weight in all E39 M5's.
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2010, 12:02 PM
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Philboski Philboski is offline
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To swap over the M5 engine, you will need to change the front subframe, all of the electronics will need to be changed, and the steering system will need to be switched over. Anything is possible, but it would probably be just as easy to either swap in a small block chevy, or buy an M5.
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2010, 01:44 PM
cegeste cegeste is offline
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Don't want to get in an oil argument.

Just going by my badge under my hood, owner's manual, and in BMW's TIS status as of 08/2007.

Can anyone point me in the direction of the updated SIB noting the change?
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2010, 01:49 PM
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You should already be using the 10w60 in your M5 anyway. I think the 5w60 was only used in the early production cars such as mine. I asked a few on here, dealer as well, and was told to use the 10w60 in my car.
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2010, 03:00 PM
mrpumpk1n mrpumpk1n is offline
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hey Edjack, how come your using 20w50 on your 97 540i? my car has (also 97 540i) has an oil pressure problem (as the car slows to idle, the oil pressure light blinks and eventually becomes solid). since i currently use 5w40 castrol, should i upgrade to 20w50? sorry for hijacking into another thread.
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  #16  
Old 04-22-2010, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay300zx View Post
Need advice I have a friend whos 2001 M5 just got total on the rear he is willing to sell me the entire car, I was thinking in exchanging engines and some other good's that the car has in exellent condition, Just wondering if I M5 has all the engine components working I should not have any problems in swapping the engines, please advice. what are the pro and con's
ive been thinking to do somthing like that as a project car but i will do the work myself . i say go for it if your doing it yourself then its not going to cost alot .and thats half the fun for me
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  #17  
Old 04-26-2010, 01:10 AM
huttey huttey is offline
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Good luck
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2010, 04:05 AM
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kaputsport kaputsport is offline
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At the price of the swap and other parts, I would say a poorly maintained 175,000 mile M5 would be better and more reliable...
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  #19  
Old 05-03-2010, 01:35 AM
5er2er8er 5er2er8er is offline
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forget about replacing parts on that m5 motor will be expensive.
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  #20  
Old 05-03-2010, 10:33 AM
topgear454 topgear454 is offline
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Trust me, bad idea. I tried a similar swap with an M3 into a 318i when I was working at a German indy shop. The car ran, but was never right, even after thousands of dollars sunk into the labor and diagnosis alone...
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  #21  
Old 05-03-2010, 10:35 AM
topgear454 topgear454 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpumpk1n View Post
hey Edjack, how come your using 20w50 on your 97 540i? my car has (also 97 540i) has an oil pressure problem (as the car slows to idle, the oil pressure light blinks and eventually becomes solid). since i currently use 5w40 castrol, should i upgrade to 20w50? sorry for hijacking into another thread.
Try first running a synthetic 15W-40, used mostly in 18 wheelers. I have had good success bringing up the oil pressure in multiple different vehicles.
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  #22  
Old 05-03-2010, 12:02 PM
mrpumpk1n mrpumpk1n is offline
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im already running a hot 40 weight oil though, and the oil pressure problem is only when the engine is hot, so will 15w40 really help?
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  #23  
Old 05-03-2010, 12:10 PM
topgear454 topgear454 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpumpk1n View Post
im already running a hot 40 weight oil though, and the oil pressure problem is only when the engine is hot, so will 15w40 really help?
It could, just because it is formulated for big diesels with rather loose tolerances compared to our engines. But, I misunderstood. Try a good 5W-50 if the problem is just at operating temp. It is a good idea to keep the oil thinner at start up, especially in a cooler climate. Though I don't think 20W-50 is going to harm the engine except maybe extra wear in the winter on startup.
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  #24  
Old 05-04-2010, 02:23 AM
E39er09 E39er09 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay300zx View Post
Need advice I have a friend whos 2001 M5 just got total on the rear he is willing to sell me the entire car, I was thinking in exchanging engines and some other good's that the car has in exellent condition, Just wondering if I M5 has all the engine components working I should not have any problems in swapping the engines, please advice. what are the pro and con's
If you are asking the forum this, probably not a good idea. I would buy it and part it out and make some money.
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2010, 03:54 AM
rashid rashid is offline
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It might be easier to swap to a 540 but you need references.

Instead, I would advise you to check the selling price for the m5 engine. it might be more beneficial than having it on your 528.
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