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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > M Series > E39 M5 (1998-2003)

E39 M5 (1998-2003)

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2011, 06:50 PM
alfonso12 alfonso12 is offline
El Macho
Location: Okanagan, Canada
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 203
Mein Auto: 1999 540i 6 speed sport
Looking for an M5--But where to start?

Hi,

I'm the proud owner of a 99 6 speed 540i sport. It's not in the same class as the E39 M5 but am beginning to consider moving up to the M5. What should I be looking for when testing the M5? The 54oi is notorious for cooling system breakdowns etc etc. What are the things I should be asking and looking at right off the bat?

Thanks
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E39 99 540i 6 speed Oxford Green
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2011, 03:35 PM
mark_m5's Avatar
mark_m5 mark_m5 is offline
Overly Intellectual
Location: Where the money is.
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,605
Mein Auto: 2002 M5, 1999 M Roadster
I had the car you have now before the M5. So "been there, done that" fits here

They are almost the same car, really. The M5 has 100 extra HP and you'll really notice that in a test drive; and the clutch is (or should be) heavier. The M5 is reported to have cooling system issues too, same as any other E39, and MAF sensor issues (x2 since you have 2 of them), and maybe double-VANOS related issues. My mechanic says that M-cars almost always have the Check Engine light on for no apparent reason...

...But I've had none of those in my M5 and I'm at over 105K miles now.

I miss the gas mileage if the 540i Sport. 95% of the time, I drive the M5 like I did the 540i. Mellow, playing the "how high can I make CONS1 go?" game. That other 5% is the reason I need a new set of rubber now and I'm in the market for R-compound because regular tires just can't seem to put everything to the pavement when this beast screams at full force.
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2011, 06:15 AM
GWL4 GWL4 is offline
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Location: Tampa, FL
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 02 Bluewater M5
Alfonso,

I'm in the process of purchasing an 02 M5 from Enthusiast Auto Group. I am in FL and they are in OH, but I've spent so much time on the phone with the owner, Eric, that I'm comfortable purchasing the car and shipping it. I think if you are in the market for an M5 he would be a good person to talk to. Good luck!

GWL
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2011, 11:01 PM
EasyE EasyE is offline
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Location: Grover Beach, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 48
Mein Auto: '02 M5, '84 R80 G/S PD
Quote:
Originally Posted by alfonso12 View Post
What are the things I should be asking and looking at right off the bat?Thanks
Maintenance records...carfax

Look for gaps in information.....accidents.

Maintenance is key, a poorly maintained car "lower" miles may be a poor choice when compared to a "higher" mileage car that's been properly maintained.

Things that will cost you...and should be done
Fuel filter 50-100k
Clutch ~60k....but I've seen them last much longer when adeptly driven (flywheel is only good for 2 clutches before probably needing replacement)
Suspension...various bits wear faster than others....but probably need to be fully gone through by ~100k
Brakes are pricey...check rotor life.
An independent inspection from a knowledgeable BMW shop can be well worth the couple hundred in advance.
The list goes on....so if you know what's been done....it's a helpful go-by...on what might need to be done....sooner than later.

Take your time searching....get the best one you can....you'll be much happier in the end.

Cheers,
E
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Simple Harmonic Movement Described

clutch stop - interior LEDs - Ultimate Cup Holders - ZHP Knob - trunk storage - Euro HELLA - Umnitza Predator Ice V2 & 6K Fogs - black kidney grill outer rim - 30% tint - Euro ducts - mufflers deleted- E60 545i SSK - BeastPower brackets - OE 9.5" rears in front - Dinan rear swaybar - Strong-Strut- AA CAI
soon: GC Camber Plates - Koni yellows - B&G springs - Monoballs
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2011, 02:34 PM
"S62"'s Avatar
"S62" "S62" is offline
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Location: SF Bay Area, California
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 144
Mein Auto: 2000 Imola Red E39 M5
Take a look at M5board.com they have tons of great info
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2011, 03:10 PM
EasyE EasyE is offline
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Location: Grover Beach, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 48
Mein Auto: '02 M5, '84 R80 G/S PD
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Originally Posted by "s62" View Post
take a look at m5board.com they have tons of great info
+1
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Simple Harmonic Movement Described

clutch stop - interior LEDs - Ultimate Cup Holders - ZHP Knob - trunk storage - Euro HELLA - Umnitza Predator Ice V2 & 6K Fogs - black kidney grill outer rim - 30% tint - Euro ducts - mufflers deleted- E60 545i SSK - BeastPower brackets - OE 9.5" rears in front - Dinan rear swaybar - Strong-Strut- AA CAI
soon: GC Camber Plates - Koni yellows - B&G springs - Monoballs
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2011, 04:35 PM
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"S62" "S62" is offline
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Location: SF Bay Area, California
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 144
Mein Auto: 2000 Imola Red E39 M5
Vanos, rod bearings, cooling system, pixels on the dash disappear, burns oil/gas, tires, Cam position sensor, clutch, throttle actuator/motor, and ya thats all I can think of, o and the T stat, and thats about it lol, hit me up if you have any more Q's.
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