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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 02-19-2013, 05:46 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Another Black Hawk Down...

It was black ice, a brand-new 2013 Mazda CX5 could not stop and rear-ended my LEFT REAR at 15 mph or so. The 55 year-old man was on the phone and talked to his wife when he rear-ended me.

My car (I was standing still) lurched forward about 6-10 feet.

You can call this the "project car" as it was used in so many DIYs, if I recall correctly, then it was used for some 30-40 DIYs (CCV, Cooling Overhaul, Front Rear Susp Overhauls, Front Rear wheel bearings, seat belt etc. etc. etc.). I spent almost $6000 over the last 6 years of ownership. What a waste.

It still drives straight and true, subframe is fine, no alignment issues at all. Mostly rear bumper, trunk lid damage, but with the repair estimate at $4000-$5000, I am afraid the Ins co. will total it.

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...

It looks like I have 3 options:

1. Get the check from Ins Co., and walk away.....but this is a waste!

2. Get the check but buy the car back and send it to another place for some "minimal repair" for let's say $1000 so the trunk lid can close and accept it the way it is.

3. Sell the car to someone here for 1/2 price so that person can fix the cosmetic damage himself.

PS: I might get another E39. But if you don't see me again, then farewell boys and girls.....






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Last edited by cn90; 02-20-2013 at 07:09 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:02 PM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Glad you are ok man. Hope you stick around though :/
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:02 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Sorry to hear this. I know some in here find it easy to move from one E39 to another but to me, it would be hard to find another one to replace it.

I wish you luck in whatever path you choose to take.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:06 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Well that's a big bummer. Even in my short time as an E39 owner, I've come to appreciate and recognize your posts as informative.
If you merely collect the check and walk away, then the money and time you've invested in the car will be a waste. There are certainly a lot of good parts on that car. I really hope you'll be able to get the insurance company to repair it, or at a minimum, buy the car back and get it fixed. As long as the structure isn't compromised, there's no reason not to rebuild it.

If it's just bumper and trunk lid, do you really think it's in the $4-5k range to repair? Is the quarter panel crumpled?
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:07 PM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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That is a shame. I am sorry for your loss.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:09 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I think the repair shop wanted to do a "perfect job", cut this, cut that, weld this, weld that, another trunk lid, so it all adds up to some $5000 repair estimate bill.

But I will have to get the check and bring it to another repair shop owned by the Mexicans (no pun intended) for a "ghetto estimate"...LOL.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:14 PM
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:19 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Bummer, Cam! Glad you are OK as I have "been there, done that" in my previous e39. I would recommend you think long and hard about another e39 or repairing your current one. Your e39 knowledge and experience will lower the cost and aggravation of ownership of another e39. I could not walk away from the e39 driving experience after I totaled my previous one. It was an emotional, rather than rationale decision and I have no regrets. My current car drives much better and cheaper than my previous one although it looks way worse. And that's how I would rather have it.

If this is it, adios, amigo. Your DIYs have saved me a buttload of $$ and I appreciate your efforts in educating all of us. You have put much more in than you have withdrawn. Please know it is greatly appreciated! Best of luck whatever your decision.
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:23 PM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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Well I have been on these forums for about 3 months only now, and have found all your posts extremely informative. You have made a huge impact here and it will be sad to see you go... Hope everything works out for you and you stick around. I'm sure there is another e39 out there that could use some of the restoration you put into this one.
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2013, 06:27 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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This will be a much different (downgraded) board without you here. Hope you decide to stay with your E39. Mine was totaled about 3 years ago if you remember and have not regretted for on minute buying it back and having it fixed.
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2013, 07:20 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Hopefully you will stick around with another E39, your DIY threads have been beyond useful. If you get another E39, will you stick with the M52 setup?
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2013, 08:34 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Cam
get 2003 530i Sport dude
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2013, 09:13 PM
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damn sorry for your loss..... go get a 540i m-sport



P.S. pics or it didn't happen
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2013, 05:53 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is online now
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I vote for option 2.

Get your estimates at the larger, well known body shops in your area. They should all be similar in cost as most use the same "book" to do their estimate. Then dig out your phone book, if you have one, and call some of the lesser known shops. I have found a guy that works in one of the better known body shops in my area. He has a garage of his own and works on the side in the evenings and on weekends. Works out great if you don't need your car back right now. Try to find this type of person/shop. You have much more control on the scope of the repair and how much effort he has to put into it to satisfy you.

I had an older jeep wrangler several years ago that I bought with some minor, or at least what I thought was minor, fender damage. The estimates were running from $1000 to $1200. After asking around I found my body shop guy that did the work for me for under $500. I was totally satisfied.

Start asking around if you want to keep.

Also, IMO you can't go wrong with a low mileage 2002-2003 530i with sport suspension.
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Last edited by crazy4trains; 02-20-2013 at 05:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:54 AM
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Glad it wasn't too bad, cn90. With the value of an E39 going down nowadays, a little fender-bender can make an E39 totalled by insurance. I hope you stay with another E39 since you contributed so much to the community.
Whichever path you choose, best of luck!
I think other drivers are aiming for E39s now. Many accident stories lately make me wonder WTH is going on.
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:07 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
Cam
get 2003 530i Sport dude
Champaign,


I understand the 530i is a slightly bigger engine but when you compare:
1998 528i 5sp vs 2003 530i 5sp, is the difference that BIG?
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:19 AM
jygesq jygesq is online now
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If car is totaled I would buy it back and fix it right. You know how good the condition the car is in . I think 4-5 k estimate is outrageous if no structural damage. Good e39s are keepers. Difference between 530 & 528 193 hp vs 225 would be not be so great with MT 5 speed car. Body shops around here are hurting you can probably find a good one and get a deal.
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:29 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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If indeed there is only cosmetical damage 4-5k is way too much. Get few quotes from different shops. Would be shame to see this one go..
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:39 AM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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Quote:
I understand the 530i is a slightly bigger engine but when you compare:
1998 528i 5sp vs 2003 530i 5sp, is the difference that BIG?
Good question...
I'd say the biggest difference won't be motor /performance, but rather
all the options that got packed into the last yr 530. It's been BMW's SOP to charge for options at the beginning of the product cycle, but towards the end of the cycle, rather than lower its price, BMW throws in the options for free, and adjusts upwards its price accordingly.
IMO an '03 530 will come packed full of techno gadgets, (some good , some not so good) whereas a 528 won't.

Still the 530 does have 30-35 more ponies, and more torque. But since we're talking manual trans e39s, a 528 manual won't be a slow dog off the line. zero-60 times for both cars w/ manual trans shows a 1 sec difference, depending on where you get your info from. The gap gets bigger however when you compare the two cars w/ auto trans.

The biggest question I'd have to pose is whether cn90 can find (0r anyone here for that matter) a used e39 that could even come close to the maintenance level his car had gone through over the yrs. Any used bimmer out there that's priced to sell will come laden w/ another $3k-5k worth of parts replacements requirements right after a purchase. Don't matter if the car has low miles. We all know by now what sort of parts these cars like to chew up, and how frequent they need to be replaced.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:43 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is online now
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^Well said, DHoang.
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  #21  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:48 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Now that you posted the pictures, the damage does not appear that bad. The car is driveable and the damage is primarily cosmetic. I believe it can be fixed and continue to be driven. It might not look as good as it did, but it would probably drive the same. A little compound and elbow grease and it should buff out fine!
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:52 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Thanks DHoang for your thoughtful comments, most E39 out there are probably beaten to death, sort of. But if I look hard enough, I may find some good ones. But it is a PITA to bring it back to factory condition:
- Front Susp Overhaul is $1200 in parts, one day of labor
- Rear Susp Overhaul is $1000 in parts, another day of labor
etc. etc.


I am just too tired to fix an old car LOL.

Off topic, but interesting article and video to watch:

BMW teaches evasive driving techniques at Cold War air base

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/01/27/v...-cold-war-air/

Last edited by cn90; 02-20-2013 at 08:59 AM.
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:54 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHoang View Post
The biggest question I'd have to pose is whether cn90 can find (0r anyone here for that matter) a used e39 that could even come close to the maintenance level his car had gone through over the yrs. Any used bimmer out there that's priced to sell will come laden w/ another $3k-5k worth of parts replacements requirements right after a purchase. Don't matter if the car has low miles. We all know by now what sort of parts these cars like to chew up, and how frequent they need to be replaced.
This is exactly why buying another e39 (if this one needs to be replaced) may be best decision in the long run. In some respects, your comments apply to any used car, some more than others. While the frequency of maintenance may vary by brand and model, on an e39, you have very good milestones for maintenance based on this forum and your personal experience. And you can handle 95% of the work yourself. It would be hard to find another car with these characteristics. The devil you know...
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2013, 09:08 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Bummer to hear about your mishap Cam. At least you're all alright. The car does not "look" too bad, but God knows if the subframe is still OK. Pending on the repair bills or whatever the insurance decides, if they decide to total the car, I am with Igor.
Get a 530. I know these cars are getting old, but there are a few points that still tip the balance in favor of a i6 e39:
They are lifesavers in case of a crash
You know how to repair these cars (which is a huge plus).
I agree that getting another old car might put you at square one for maintenance, but it's the known devil vs the unknown one.
I would compare the 528 with the 525 in terms of power/torque. The 530 is net superior, no questions asked.
In terms of DIY, the 530 might be a tad worse than the 528, but on par with the 525.
Your call. Keep it and repair it, get another e39, or jump wagon on a different forum with a different car. If it's the latter, you will be missed.

Good luck with your endeavor.
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  #25  
Old 02-20-2013, 09:21 AM
jeepguy88 jeepguy88 is offline
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Having to deal a lot with insurance companies in the past, they will probably offer you half of what current market is. Never take the first offer! The insurance companies are going to try and do what ever costs them the least, and you accepting half price is good for them. Stick to your guns what ever you choose. If choose to accept a loss on the vehicle keep hounding them until you get what you think is a fair price you could have sold it for before getting an ouchie. The other insurance would should pay for a repair at a high end shop not a getto shop if you choose that direction. Its tough to get the other guys insurance to do anything, just hold firm.

Personally I would go with option #2. Take the money and laugh all the way to the bank! hahahah. Instead of taking to a getto shop. You could do a DIY write up on body work! You'll have your love back and a fatty bank account. Its a win win.
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