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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 12-10-2012, 12:46 AM
pockomoth pockomoth is offline
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Location: California
 
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Mein Auto: 635csi
How close?

I'm in the market for a 2003 540i with the M-sport package: I drove one and it was a superb ride suspension wise, except for the owner, who claimed he just gave the car a level 2 inspection himself, he's an excellent mechanic, just didn't have the reset tool, no receipts though, yet the car had no bars and when I gave it half throttle in sixth gear at 1500 rpm, the engine started misfiring and it set the SES light on (I remarked on it, he claimed I set it off by driving the car like that: in my world, the SES light shouldn't come on just cause you're driving in sixth at half throttle, right?). So I passed. I saw this car on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-...orcev4exp=true

Would anyone give me your two cents on how close this car might drive like that 2003 with the M suspension?
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:48 AM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Location: Mechanicsville, VA
 
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Posts: 519
Mein Auto: 2002 525it
My issue with that car is it looks like someone took a trip through the parts store and bought one of everything. My experience has been that most people don't do very good work when adding things to their car. It might look nice, but as you peel back the layers, you'll find lots of things that need attention. For that reason, I'd rather buy a car that's completely unmodified, even if it's a little neglected.
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:08 AM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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Location: Austin, Texas
 
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Mein Auto: '98 528i, '82 323i
^^^ good advice.
thats how i feel as well, but i can see the allure of this car by someone of a younger age.
those add ons do look really nice.
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2012, 07:14 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Mein Auto: 03 540, 06 E53 4.8, Z32TT
Quote:
Originally Posted by pockomoth View Post
I'm in the market for a 2003 540i with the M-sport package: I drove one and it was a superb ride suspension wise, except for the owner, who claimed he just gave the car a level 2 inspection himself, he's an excellent mechanic, just didn't have the reset tool, no receipts though, yet the car had no bars and when I gave it half throttle in sixth gear at 1500 rpm, the engine started misfiring and it set the SES light on (I remarked on it, he claimed I set it off by driving the car like that: in my world, the SES light shouldn't come on just cause you're driving in sixth at half throttle, right?). So I passed. I saw this car on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-...orcev4exp=true

Would anyone give me your two cents on how close this car might drive like that 2003 with the M suspension?
How do you know that he is an excellent mechanic? The inspection bar can be re-set using the instrument cluster, IIRC.

The ride between the 2 cars should be very close given the same mileages and suspension components' condition.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:49 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 530i 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by pockomoth View Post
...
gave it half throttle in sixth gear at 1500 rpm, the engine started misfiring and it set the SES light on (I remarked on it, he claimed I set it off by driving the car like that: in my world, the SES light shouldn't come on just cause you're driving in sixth at half throttle, right?). So I passed.
...
Good move taking a hike. The seller is either
A) an incompetent mechanic - no-one competent would say that an SES would illuminate without an engine fault of some sort
B) a good mechanic who is truth challenged - knows there is a fault but thinks he can pull the wool over your eyes.

In either case, you wouldn't want to take over his problems while paying for the privilege.
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Last edited by rdl; 12-10-2012 at 09:59 AM. Reason: grammar or typo, depending on who is doing the grading
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:38 AM
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manticore33 manticore33 is offline
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Mein Auto: '86 Porsche 951, '01 530i
I'd say if you want the 2003 Factory M-Tech M-Sport, wait and get that car. Early cars are not bad, but are not as valuable as a true factory M-Tech car.

If you do go this route, the car seems fine with the typical forum folk "add-ons." I would like to inspect it to see how well the paint was done. BMW never offered color matched trim for the M-Tech bumpers. So, you will want to check the finish to see if they sanded it or painted it rough. It has aftermarket wheels which are not as nice as factory wheels. Also, watch the aftermarket exhausts because they can drone which may or may not be problematic. If you are close by, go take a look at it and evaluate it.
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