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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 05-08-2013, 08:22 AM
FutureFuzz 26 FutureFuzz 26 is offline
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Should i buy my first BMW

Hey guys, I am a regular on a lot of car audio forums and I work at a car audio shop. (I am currently building a vehicle in which to compete with)

My boss has a 2000 BMW 528i for sale, it's a bit old but it has been well maintained. It has 200,000 miles, however these are highway miles to and from work 50 miles away each day. It was garage kept and had regular oil changes. The vehicle began running hot and malfunctioning so it has been sitting in the parking lot since October. It did run before winter



Now is where the problems lie, before winter he attempted to put antifreeze in the coolent system (which was rather difficult with a cracked thermostat housing) he went out about two weeks ago to start it and see how it's doing after sitting for 6 months. It will not start and it blows water out of the exhaust.

He told me I can have it for $600 (the paint is near flawless and the interior is In fine condition)
I had a buddy come and look at it, and he said that those cars are well known to have cooling problems and run hot. He believes it is a warped head or maybe a bad gasket. Although I won't know untill I get a chance to take it apart.

Is this a good buy? I mean, I really like the car and am willing to put some money in it to get it on the road again. Could you guys talk me through the repairs? Help troubleshoot problems?

I am looking forward to your replys

P.S. I must add i am planning on doing the work my self (the most invasive thing i have ever done to an engine is change the oil) however a have a few friends that are car guys and are willing to help... but none of them have any experience with a BMW. i have intentions of referring to the forum with questions, and picking up the repair manual online

Last edited by FutureFuzz 26; 05-08-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2013, 08:34 AM
delija_16 delija_16 is offline
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I'm not an expert when it comes to repairs, but as far as I see it it's only $600 go for it. Worst case scenario you can part it out and get that money back.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:39 AM
Dragan Dragan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureFuzz 26 View Post
Now is where the problems lie, before winter he attempted to put antifreeze in the coolent system (which was rather difficult with a cracked thermostat housing)
He tried to put coolant where? When filling with coolant, it's supposed to be poured into the expansion tank beside the radiator.

If there were no leaks that occurred and caused a low coolant level, then I suspect the head gasket was blown. Especially if you mentioned that there's water coming out of the exhaust pipe. Since the head gasket failed allowing coolant into your combustion chamber, there is a slight possibility that the engine may have hydro locked. Hopefully that's not the case.

I would personally not bother with this car but if you decide to, everything you need to know is here on this forum.

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2013, 08:39 AM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is online now
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Hi

For $600 snap it up anyway, even if later you decide or find out it needs a lot of work on it, you can part it out if needs be and make a good bit of money on top of the $600. However, it'd be a shame to waste the car that way and if you do know of good experienced mechanics etc, I think with some money spent on it, it'd be easily fixed to run well again. If you are so inclined, you could perhaps do an engine swap etc and as you work in Car Audio (as do I) you can fit up a fantastic audio setup and use it as a demo car - it's a great colour and some nice wheels and subtle lowering it'd look excellent !

Here's an E39 my installer did a couple years back









Cheers, Dennis!

Last edited by DennisCooper!; 05-08-2013 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:56 AM
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Just the can of Dew alone makes it worth 600 bucks.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:13 AM
FutureFuzz 26 FutureFuzz 26 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisCooper! View Post
Hi

For $600 snap it up anyway, even if later you decide or find out it needs a lot of work on it, you can part it out if needs be and make a good bit of money on top of the $600. However, it'd be a shame to waste the car that way and if you do know of good experienced mechanics etc, I think with some money spent on it, it'd be easily fixed to run well again. If you are so inclined, you could perhaps do an engine swap etc and as you work in Car Audio (as do I) you can fit up a fantastic audio setup and use it as a demo car - it's a great colour and some nice wheels and subtle lowering it'd look excellent !

Here's an E39 my installer did a couple years back









Cheers, Dennis!
My Demo car is the Escalade you can see in the background, 4 15" 2013 Memphis Mojos.

i would do the new Phoenix Gold in the BMW (after the AAMP takeover in 2011, their new products are sweet)

Last edited by FutureFuzz 26; 05-08-2013 at 09:17 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2013, 09:16 AM
FutureFuzz 26 FutureFuzz 26 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragan View Post
He tried to put coolant where? When filling with coolant, it's supposed to be poured into the expansion tank beside the radiator.

If there were no leaks that occurred and caused a low coolant level, then I suspect the head gasket was blown. Especially if you mentioned that there's water coming out of the exhaust pipe. Since the head gasket failed allowing coolant into your combustion chamber, there is a slight possibility that the engine may have hydro locked. Hopefully that's not the case.

I would personally not bother with this car but if you decide to, everything you need to know is here on this forum.

Good luck.
hyodro locked? can you please enlighten me?

i found a complete motor with 80k miles for $1850. so i can do a complete engine swap if needed
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:48 AM
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The wheels alone will bring in $600! I'd say buy it, fix it up and enjoy a great ride! All said and done you will probably come out ahead of what you would pay for a non-private party sale in running condition anyways
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:18 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Hydrolocked is when a cylinder ingests water from a rain storm, or coolant from cylinder head leakage. When that piston tries to compress the water, it can bend the connecting rod.

The trans is another question? How long will it last? 200k is an unusually high mileage, and can fail at any time.

If the PO didn't keep up with repairs (cooling system, suspension parts), this thing could nickel-and-dime you to death.

OTOH, you could fix stuff as it comes up, if you don't mind rather frequent repairs.

I like the statement one sometimes sees in car ads, "Ran when parked."
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Last edited by edjack; 05-08-2013 at 10:26 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2013, 10:18 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Just the can of Dew alone makes it worth 600 bucks.
Plus the cupholders!!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:22 AM
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600 is a steal. Parting it out will bring you 6x what you spend on it. Even if the engine is toast (which has to be assed - might be an OK fix), a rebuild engine can be found for a reasonable price.
I rather buy a car with a bad engine but with an excellent body work, then a rustbucket with an excellent engine. The engine can be replaced. The body not (or it's uberexpensive to achive a good result).
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:42 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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color is amazing and the car has sport package, for that money I would buy it!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:04 AM
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Tis worth more in parts for $600.... It's a win-win situation, BUY IT!

Selling the steeringwheel and wheels alone will cover the purchase price.
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Last edited by Dking078; 05-08-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2013, 11:30 AM
FutureFuzz 26 FutureFuzz 26 is offline
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Originally Posted by jygesq View Post
color is amazing and the car has sport package, for that money I would buy it!!
really? sport package? what makes that any better than the standard?

and red? i am not a fan, i considered painting it if i was to get it running
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:32 AM
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sport package: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=504897

and I believe that is imola red...very rare!
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:42 AM
FutureFuzz 26 FutureFuzz 26 is offline
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sport package: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=504897

and I believe that is imola red...very rare!
does that make it worth $600?

i am pretty much 100% certain i am buying it, my dad is spotting me the money monday when he returns from training
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:44 AM
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Wether you fix it up and drive it or part it out its definitely worth $600! like I posted before, the wheels alone could sell for $600... if you decide to sell it but if you can fix it up I would do that
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:06 PM
FutureFuzz 26 FutureFuzz 26 is offline
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Originally Posted by King 5 View Post
Wether you fix it up and drive it or part it out its definitely worth $600! like I posted before, the wheels alone could sell for $600... if you decide to sell it but if you can fix it up I would do that
first thing that will happen is some black rims, and im selling the stock. their just so ugly.

i was looking at these
http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/MiniW...d=true&sw=1280
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:07 PM
Dragan Dragan is offline
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Originally Posted by FutureFuzz 26 View Post
hyodro locked? can you please enlighten me?

i found a complete motor with 80k miles for $1850. so i can do a complete engine swap if needed
Then by all means go for it.

Edjack already described what a hydro locked engine consists of so I won't bother explaining it again.

But if that's the case, do it up and swap in the new (used) motor and get on your way! The sport package is always a big plus.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureFuzz 26 View Post
really? sport package? what makes that any better than the standard?

and red? i am not a fan, i considered painting it if i was to get it running
SP in a 2000 model year is pretty much (and others can pick this to death for exactly what is and isn't) the M-type steering wheel and some handling improvements from one inch larger wheels, lower/stiffer springs, stiffer shocks/struts and stiffer anti-roll bars.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:23 PM
Dragan Dragan is offline
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Originally Posted by JKRIT View Post
SP in a 2000 model year is pretty much (and others can pick this to death for exactly what is and isn't) the M-type steering wheel and some handling improvements from one inch larger wheels, lower/stiffer springs, stiffer shocks/struts and stiffer anti-roll bars.
And the black trim around the windows vs. the chrome on the non-sport models. For me, that's the easiest way of distinguishing sport from non-sport E39s on the road because a lot of owners swap wheels, steering wheels, and lower their cars. Very rarely do people swap their chrome window trim to the black trim. I think it's called "Shadowline" trim or something along those lines.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dragan View Post
And the black trim around the windows vs. the chrome on the non-sport models. For me, that's the easiest way of distinguishing sport from non-sport E39s on the road because a lot of owners swap wheels, steering wheels, and lower their cars. Very rarely do people swap their chrome window trim to the black trim. I think it's called "Shadowline" trim or something along those lines.
sport seats as well
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:19 PM
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sport seats as well
I thought so too, but the ones in the photo are not sport seats (no movable thigh bolster).
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKRIT View Post
I thought so too, but the ones in the photo are not sport seats (no movable thigh bolster).
Ahh good observation! Maybe the PO didn't like the sport seats and had them swapped for comfort/heated



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Old 05-08-2013, 01:43 PM
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Buy it! let me know if you want to sell those style 5's! PM for my email so you can send me pics ... thx
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