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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 02-18-2013, 08:28 PM
sygazelle sygazelle is offline
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My baby's gone, but we're still here!

It's taken a long time to post since my wife and I were in an accident last September. We are okay now, mostly because of a very safe car. The E39 kept us from much more serious injuries.

A young man who claims he fell asleep hit us while we were driving in the slow lane on the freeway. My beautiful E39 lost control, flew off the side of the freeway, down and embankment, into trees and a fence, and finally rolled over and stopped upside down against another tree. We woke up hanging from our seat belts, but alive!

I'm posting this personal experience for a couple of reasons:

First, to praise the crash worthiness of the E39; what a car.

Second, to mention that I learned that placing my hands at the 10 and 2 position on the steering wheel was big mistake (for me at least). While we were flying through the air, I remember having a death grip on the wheel, only to have my hands unceremoniously ripped from the wheel by the airbag when it deployed. The result want a bad concussion, a broken hand, and a broken wrist. I'm just starting to drive again and I am trying hard to retrain myself to put my hands lower at the 9-3 position.

I'm about to start the search for car to replace my precious E39. The 2003 540 M tech is perfection. I really don't know how to replace it except to get another one!
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2013, 08:44 PM
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Eurojay89 Eurojay89 is offline
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wow glad to hear that you and you're wife are ok get another 540i m-sport it'll keep you safe
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2013, 08:53 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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That E39 looks like it went through hell and back. You are one lucky SOB.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:05 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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That'll buff out...

But wow, look how intact the passenger "shell" is.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:25 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Wow! But glad to hear both you and the wife are recovering. This is the reason why I want to pass my 97 to my daughter, it's safe car.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:31 PM
sygazelle sygazelle is offline
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Thank for the well wishes.

I passed my '97 540 on to my son when I bought my now deceased 2003 540. I teased him about buying the '97 back from him. What a great car.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:21 PM
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King 5 King 5 is offline
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So sorry to hear about that accident but as always we're glad no one was hurt! Goes to show you how reliable these cars are in keeping us safe
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sygazelle View Post
.........Second, to mention that I learned that placing my hands at the 10 and 2 position on the steering wheel was big mistake (for me at least). While we were flying through the air, I remember having a death grip on the wheel, only to have my hands unceremoniously ripped from the wheel by the airbag when it deployed. The result want a bad concussion, a broken hand, and a broken wrist. I'm just starting to drive again and I am trying hard to retrain myself to put my hands lower at the 9-3 position...........
Glad to hear you and your wife are safe and alive! The car and seatbelts did their job.

Looks like the car is not a total loss, might be able to keep the wheels and lug nuts!!

A lesson I learned from racing. When an accident is unavoidable, stick your hands in your crotch. It keeps them from flailing about the car, and potentially sticking out the window. This last point is not good when the car is rolling over and over and over........
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2013, 12:09 AM
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NoWayJose NoWayJose is offline
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glad everyone is fine
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2013, 10:44 AM
njcardave njcardave is offline
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Glad you came out alive. Thank's for posting the pictures.
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2013, 11:28 AM
mitek mitek is offline
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Unbelievable. Glad you are ok. I would thank that car till the rest of my life...
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2013, 12:37 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Good you and your family is OK.
Seeing how the e39 protects the driver and passengers from certain death, makes the poorly designed plastc bits forgiveable.......
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:05 PM
sygazelle sygazelle is offline
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The private investigator that went with me to take photos of the car was emotional as he was snapping photos. I asked, "what's wrong." He replied, "I've never seen a car this damaged where anybody survived." So, yes, the E39 did it's job.

The first tree we hit just hit the passenger side headlight. They call this a "small overlap" impact. Unfortunately, the impact stripped the passenger side of the car back to the passenger seat and the front passenger tire had nowhere to go but into the passenger foot well. That was the only penetration into the cabin area. I can't imagine any car being able to hold up better than the E39.
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:15 PM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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The E39 did its best. Glad you both not seriously injured from the look of it. Make me feel better/safer to drive bimmers.
Those pics are scary.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:30 PM
Docta Boom Docta Boom is offline
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Wow, thats insane man. Glad you and your wife are fine... poor e39
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:48 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I just joined "this club".

It was black ice, the brand-new 2013 Mazda CX5, could not stop (55 year-old man was on the phone and talked to his wife when he rear-ended me) and rear-ended my LEFT REAR at 15 mph or so. My car (I was standing still) lurched forward about 6-10 feet.
Still drive straight and true, mostly rear bumper, trunk lid damage, but with the estimate at $4000-$5000, I am afraid the ins co. will total it.
What a waste.

However, I hope they approve the repair (paid for my the Mazda owner ins co.) as I love my E39...Till Death Do US Apart...

If you don't see me again, then farewell. But don't be surprised if I get another E39 LOL.

I will post some photos soon.
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:23 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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WoooooooooooooooW!!! Thats all I can say after looking at those pictures. Its great to see a good ending as money can always get you another E39 but not a leg,hand,foot or your LIFE.
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2013, 05:30 PM
pinstripe22 pinstripe22 is offline
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that's insane.

Glad to hear you all are alright, sorry about the ride though. But those can be replaced. Thanks for sharing.
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:44 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Duplicate deleted

Duplicate deleted.

Last edited by cn90; 02-19-2013 at 06:45 PM.
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2013, 08:38 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I just joined "this club".

It was black ice, the brand-new 2013 Mazda CX5, could not stop (55 year-old man was on the phone and talked to his wife when he rear-ended me) and rear-ended my LEFT REAR at 15 mph or so. My car (I was standing still) lurched forward about 6-10 feet.
Still drive straight and true, mostly rear bumper, trunk lid damage, but with the estimate at $4000-$5000, I am afraid the ins co. will total it.
What a waste.

However, I hope they approve the repair (paid for my the Mazda owner ins co.) as I love my E39...Till Death Do US Apart...

If you don't see me again, then farewell. But don't be surprised if I get another E39 LOL.

I will post some photos soon.
CN90
Told you long time ago , get 2003 530i Sport
no bullshi t best fun car ever
GL
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  #21  
Old 02-20-2013, 09:13 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
CN90
Told you long time ago , get 2003 530i Sport
no bullshi t best fun car ever
GL
after you slap a VF Supercharger into the engine bay
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:29 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Originally Posted by tmvE39/E53/Z32 View Post
after you slap a ESS Supercharger into the engine bay
Fixed
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Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2013, 02:17 PM
MartinV MartinV is offline
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Wow, Glad you guys are still with us.

It's a shame about the 540, but it did its job. It's gut wrenching to see the car like that, since it looks like mine. There are a few for sale in the forums. You can still get a nice replacement.
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2013, 03:15 PM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Inspirational, both for your attitude and the performance of the car's build quality. Glad you're both OK and thanks for sharing.
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  #25  
Old 02-20-2013, 05:45 PM
sygazelle sygazelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinV View Post
Wow, Glad you guys are still with us.

It's a shame about the 540, but it did its job. It's gut wrenching to see the car like that, since it looks like mine. There are a few for sale in the forums. You can still get a nice replacement.


I must admit I have been causally looking for E39 to replace my "broken" one. Your photo brings back fond memories. Thanks. It will be a few months until my wife can drive again. Until then, I'm content driving her Explorer since we don't have a need for two cars.

There were only 1500 or so 2003 540 with m tech option produced. Its nice to know there are a few available for sale. It is such a perfect example of BMW at its best, I think owners take really good care of them. I know I did. Mine had 98,000 miles and it looked like it just came off the show room floor.

Once I am back in the market, I hope the E39 is still on my radar screen. I'm thinking it might just be the best sedan ever, but that's just bias talking, or, just maybe its true!
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