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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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  #1  
Old 01-31-2013, 01:08 PM
Ulver Ulver is offline
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Location: Brazil
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 528i
528i manual with a 530's engine = bad idea?

This is my very first post so: Hi there!
So, I was offered a Frankenbimmer.
The seller says he needs money to get an M5 and therefore needs to sell his present car: a 1996 528i sport with a 530's engine.
He says he is the second owner and the first one was his father-in-law, who had the "great" idea of swapping the original 528's engine for the engine of a totaled 530 (2001 model). The first owner also changed the suspension for a Megan Racing coil over euro street series, a K&N filter (inbox), and a short shifter from b&m.

At first I wanted nothing to do with it but the guy convinced me to do a test-drive and it feels pretty solid.

He is friends with an authorized BMW dealer and does all his maintenance there, so the dealer "vouches" for the car and would offer a 3-month warranty on engine and transmission (even though they are not the ones selling the car).

But I have little experience with BMWs and don't know if I should get it or not.

What do you guys thing about? Great potential for future headaches?

Other than that, the car is a standard 528 with m5 wheels and body parts (bumpers, sides, spoiler, etc), plus adapted 2003 angel eyes headlights.
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2013, 01:26 PM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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Location: Bloomfield, CT
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 528 MT
run away! the prospect of 225 Hp vs 190 is not worth the expected future issues. If you want a 530 buy one, a real one
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2013, 02:46 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530i/5
Since you're in Brazil and 530 manual cars may very well be rare, I don't see a problem. The M54B30 was the pinnacle of performance for the inline E39 cars and the 528 is pretty much the same car as a 530 save for smaller brakes and some cosmetics. If it drives well and does not show sign of thrashification and the price is right I'd seriously consider it.
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Last edited by AnotherGeezer; 02-01-2013 at 06:00 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2013, 03:35 PM
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G-Moussa G-Moussa is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 540i
They made a 528i in 1996? I thought the first year of the e39 was 97.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2013, 03:36 PM
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G-Moussa G-Moussa is offline
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Nvr mind :S
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2013, 05:13 PM
Ulver Ulver is offline
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Location: Brazil
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by jygesq View Post
run away! the prospect of 225 Hp vs 190 is not worth the expected future issues. If you want a 530 buy one, a real one
My first instinct was that.
I am mostly afraid of some kind of problem between the 530's engine with the older 528's transmission (which is manual since the car is a sport version).
Could the different torque and power cause some yet-to-come issues with the transmission?
Although he has been driving it like that for over 5 years...


Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Since you're in Brazil and 530 manual cars may very well be rare, I don't see a problem. The M54B30 was the pinnacle of performance for the inline E39 cars and the 528 is pretty much the same car as a 530 save for smaller brakes and some cosmetics. If it drives well and does not show sign of thrasification and the price is right I'd seriously consider it.
Yeah, that's were I'm leaning now
He is asking about 5% over the price of a standard 1996 528 with average mileage (it has about 102.000 Km).

Other than what I already said, the owner says (haven't confirmed it yet) that the brakes are the ones from a 540 . He says he upgrade them to cope with the extra power.
So, its a 1996 528i sport with 2001 530's engine and "God-knows-from-when" 540's brakes...


Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Moussa View Post
They made a 528i in 1996? I thought the first year of the e39 was 97.
Yeah, it is some kind of naming/production year/model thing.
I guess they started producing the 1997 E39s already from late 1996?
Anyways...


Guess it's kind of a gamble, right?

Last edited by Ulver; 01-31-2013 at 05:15 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2013, 06:07 PM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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Mein Auto: E36 M3
My old 540 was a 1997 with a production date from 96. I believe the E39 was released in 96, but not all countries had it for sale until 97.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2013, 07:45 PM
mhobryan mhobryan is offline
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Location: Metro Detroit
 
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Posts: 205
Mein Auto: 1997 528i 5 speed
IIRC - 1996 is legit first year...they didn't start importing them in the US of A until 1997 because they didn't have all the kinks worked out of the OBDII system. If it's Brazil, it's probably legit.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2013, 09:28 PM
granlund granlund is offline
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Location: Dayton, OH
 
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Mein Auto: -02 530 & -92 325is
The manual transmission is actually the same in the 528 and 530 - a ZF 320, so that should pose no problems.

The 530 has the same size brakes as the 540, so it's a legit upgrade.

If the seller has been driving the car for several years, I would see no problem buying it.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2013, 10:37 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Location: Albany NY
 
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Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
You'll be crazy not to grab it specially in Brazil.
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