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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 04-06-2013, 04:50 PM
540iman's Avatar
540iman 540iman is offline
resident, old fart
Location: N.W. Indiana
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,503
Mein Auto: 2002 540i sport
Rust on these cars is unusual and often indicative of an improper repair. BMW has both inner and outer body panels almost everywhere and rust is hard to get without an accident of some sort. Trust me as I know that anything less that a rusted panel replacement is a waste of time. I had to find a good, donor panel and order it bigger so I could cut out ALL the rust and then cut the new, donor panel to fit exactly. I mean, so exact it would fit the hole and stay put by its own pressure. I welded it in place 100% around and using a lot of self-etching primer, I made the repair such that very, very little bondo even needed to be used. I used bondo very sparingly just to smooth the panel for primer and paint. Mine was a lousy repair in the rear driver door and from that corner to the wheel wheel. I sold the car so have no way of knowing if it ever came back, but had it don't cheaply 3 times before that and it never lasted longer that 3 mos. Of ALL the defects you want to avoid, rust very seldom is mentioned, but tops the list as like cancer, you are never sure you got it all. Sorry to tell you this, but rust is really bad news and will eat the car fast if not repaired promptly and correctly. If your buddy was the origibal owner, ask him what he did that started the whole rust deal from the beginning.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:50 PM
mcartler mcartler is offline
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Location: Indiana
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Hi 540iman - the car was in an accident and the rear panel was replaced and repainted...I think that the bodyshop didn't do as good a job as they could have...thus the rust. The accident happened 6 years ago but the rust is now getting obvious. I will look to get it all taken care of this summer.

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