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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 11-19-2012, 08:10 AM
hupps hupps is offline
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Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 238
Mein Auto: '99 540i
Help with pricing please

It's time to sell my e39 540 and I have no idea how much to ask for it. I want to sell everything together and am not interested in parting out. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Here's what I've got:
1999 540 auto (9/98 manufacture date)
155,000 miles

VF Engineering Super Charger (335rwhp) Custom tuned by RDP Motorsport
RDP Motorsport Custom CAI
Custom dual exhaust - Magnaflow high flow cats, resonators and muffler (sounds awesome!!)
Zionsville HD radiator kit w/ dual speed electric fan
Ksport Kontrol Pro coilovers
Eibach anti-roll kit
Cosmo Racing strut tower brace
Cosmo Racing Adjustable Front Sway Bar Links
Dinan automatic transmission software
Vorsteiner Hood
M-Tech M5 front and rear bumpers
DEPO Predator39 6000K Xenon projector head lights with Angel Eyes
Clear sides and tails
Color matching shadow front kidney grills
Flat black door and bumper trim

3 sets of wheels
Dynamic Performance Engineering (DPE) 19" LS-5 rims - 8" front, 10" rear
-Toyo Proxes (front new, rear worn)
Hamman HM2
-Bridgestone Potenza (all worn)
Stock 32s
-Cooper (front worn, rear medium)

Interior Mods:
Alpine 9813, 2 Rockford amps driving 2 sets of Infinity Kappa Perfect 5.1, 1 Alpine mono amp driving 2 Infinity Kappa Perfect 10" subs
Rear cup holder delete

Maintenance history:
Engine Oil changed every 3000 miles with Mobile 1
Just replaced fuel filter
Just replaced cabin air filters
Just replaced A/C Compressor

Also included:
The original hood stored in the box the Vorsteiner came in and a set of Bilstein struts and shocks with Eibach springs.

Cardomain page:

The car has only been driven about 5000 miles in the last 3 years and has oil leaks due to drying of gaskets.

Last edited by hupps; 11-19-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:36 AM
edjack edjack is online now
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Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 13,459
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Unless you find a real car nut, most people will not pay extra for all the mods. In fact, for most people, the mods are a deduction from a "normal" price. Even then, E39 buyers tend to prefer a clean, straight car.

Find out what a straight car is worth in your market, and add onto it as you see fit, but be prepared to discount the price. You'll never get out of the mods that you spent on them.

Bear in mind that this car will be perceived as having a lot of hard miles on it, with all the go-fast goodies.

You might try posting in the classified section of the BMW CCA web site.

Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:40 AM
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the540wgn the540wgn is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA / Littleton, CO
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 810
Mein Auto: '11 335xi/'02 540iT
Wow, you have some $$ mods so I wouldn't really know where to start. Maybe like $12k+?

Good luck with sale!

ColdWeather + Summer + Sport -- 20/30 Ceramic Tint -- Euro Armrest -- JL 13tw5-3 Subwoofer -- LED AEs
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:24 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Location: NH
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Posts: 1,054
Mein Auto: 00 528i 3 pedals
Whats the service history like? Those are nice mods but most won't care about them. Most people will want to know how well it's been maintained.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:03 AM
hupps hupps is offline
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Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 238
Mein Auto: '99 540i
Good thoughts

Thanks for the things to think about guys. I added some basic maintenance info. I realize that many people will not want a modified car and that there is an almost total loss of value of those mods.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:14 AM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is online now
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Location: West London / Heathrow UK
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,489
Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring
Hi Hupps,

As per above and especially on this forum, potential buyers are very limited due to the modified condition of the car. In those kinds of potential buyers minds, the car is 'automatically' messed with and therefore worth thousands less. It really comes down to you and your view on how and when to sell. You can wait for someone (like me!!) to purchase and that could happen next week or in 14 months time. However I think the best way is actually to take the modifications off and put back in oem bits and then look at similar age and condition cars with similar levels of history and price yours midway in the price ranges? Then you can sell off your modifications to re-coup some of the money back on those. The Supercharger will probably get snatched up pretty quick provided it's priced nicely enough compared to a new one for instance and those wheels should sell as well. The hood will sell easily but things like the angel eyes and transmission software you may as well leave on the car. It's only if you leave the mods on the car and try to sell, that they'll be looked upon with very little value from most potential buyers, but selling separate always gets you back much more money than leaving them on.

I know there's a few BMW enthusiasts in and around Cincy - I met a few the last time I was there for instance, so have a go selling locally etc and if no one bites, try nationally as well as the de-mod and sell method as well.

Good luck - If I had the cash I'd have considered purchasing and bringing it over here to the UK!!

Cheers, Dennis!
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:22 AM
NinerFan NinerFan is offline
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 540I Sedan AT
I would fix the leaks and put $10k asking price and probably take $8 if you can get it. Not sure your market, but here in AZ you can get nice 01-02 with 90-100k miles for 10k.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:00 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 631
Mein Auto: 2002 525it
I concur with what others have said. Buyers want a well-maintained car. Modifications don't enhance value and, unless you can find the right buyer, will actually hurt value.

I sold my Mazdaspeed Miata over the summer. It had some nice modifications with all parts (except the rollbar) from Flyin Miata, a well-know tuner company based in Colorado. Parts from them are made to fit the Miata, not universal fit or adapted from something else. They fit as if they are factory parts.

I ended up getting about what I would've expected to get for an unmodified car, but I had to wait for the right buyer to come along. It took a little over a month. I documented everything very clearly, put up a photo album with high-quality, captioned photographs, and answered emails promptly, completely, and honestly. I had several inquiries from people out of state. I didn't want them investing in a plane ticket to come buy a car that wasn't what they expected. The buyer drove down from NYC to Virginia to inspect and buy the car. We met at his bank branch, his friend test drove the car (the buyer was inexperienced driving a manual transmission) after they both inspected it, and then we went inside the bank to withdraw the money for which I handed him the title and keys. I was about ready to start de-modding the car and returning it to stock condition to sell the flyin miata parts separately when the guy who ended up buying it contacted me.

I like knowing my car went to an enthusiast who appreciates all the work I invested.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:07 PM
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aa240sx aa240sx is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 530I
For those that have modded these cars, we're all in the same boat here. Sounds to me though like you have extra wheels, parts, etc. If you're truly trying to get the most out of this stuff, I would just try to sell the car by itself and the parts separately.

Definitely don't expect to get even 20% of the original value of your custom modded parts on the sale of your BMW though. Consider those items vanity purchases. It made you feel good driving with those parts right, so that should be worth something to you (just not worth money, unfortunately).
- 2008 R350 Mercedes Wagon
- 2003 M3 Coupe - Alpine SMG
- 2001 530i - 5 speed, Anthracite Metallic, Sport Package
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