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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 07-01-2013, 08:45 PM
bblooz bblooz is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i, 98 BMW 528i
Question 540i Trouble spots?

I am looking at a '99 540i M sport package. The car is beautiful, clean as a pin inside and out, but has 211K on the ticker. I know these cars are meant to last and this baby has my heart pumping! Before I pull the trigger, I just would feel better if I knew what to look for as trouble spots or potential issues. The only issue I know with the car at this point is that the gas gauge is intermittent. I have set up another look at the car tomorrow, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Last edited by bblooz; 07-02-2013 at 04:00 PM. Reason: sp
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2013, 09:06 PM
Adamo99 Adamo99 is online now
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Location: GTA
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 60
Mein Auto: e39 530i, e93 335i
Re: 540i Trouble spots?

If you don't know what to look for, take it in for a thorough PPI by a dealer or a mechanic you trust. You''ll be way better off knowing exactly what the car needs, and approximate cost.

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  #3  
Old 07-02-2013, 12:38 AM
blingin96 blingin96 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 540i , E36 328i
540i Trouble spots?

Check for dry crack bushings in the front and rear suspension.


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  #4  
Old 07-02-2013, 10:41 AM
bblooz bblooz is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i, 98 BMW 528i
Talking Pulled the Trigger!

Well, after a thorough inspection and exhilarating test-drive, I negotiated a fair price on the car and am having the wife drop me off on the way in to work tomorrow, and will be driving it home! Thanks to forum members for their advice and encouragement.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:43 PM
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golferjohnm golferjohnm is offline
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Location: Bellingham, Washington
 
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Mein Auto: '01 540i 6sp '01 X5 4.4
are you fortunate enough to have the 6-speed?
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'01 540i 6-speed, blk/blk, upgraded stereo w/sub, passport, Dice Mediabridge and some cool M-stuff
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:56 PM
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dtadrian dtadrian is offline
BMW's are like women. $$$
Location: miami
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 428
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i T Wagon
540i Trouble spots?

Ask for maintenance records. Find out if valley pan, CCV, cooling system, timing chain and guides, and transmission fluid has been performed.


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  #7  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:58 PM
bblooz bblooz is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i, 98 BMW 528i
New arrival - 540i

Yes, this is the 540i w/6 speed MTX and M sport package. It's going to keep me up at nights for a while just reading up on all the bells and whistles that are on this thing. The important stuff is that powerful V-8 and a manual trans, awesome!
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:00 PM
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dtadrian dtadrian is offline
BMW's are like women. $$$
Location: miami
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 428
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i T Wagon
540i Trouble spots?

Ask for full maintenance records. Verify if valley pan, ccv, vanos, chain guides, transmission fluid services has been performed.


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  #9  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:27 PM
bblooz bblooz is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
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Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i, 98 BMW 528i
Question Maintenance

All maintenance up to date, control arm bushings in good shape, and everything else in top condition. The previous owner(s) babied this car. I would like to keep it that way. I found a Bentley 2 Volume Service Repair Manual online that says it covers BMW E39 525i 528i 530i 540i Wagon M5. Is this a good manual to have for the car, and does it cover the M sport package upgrades?
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:36 PM
Adamo99 Adamo99 is online now
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Mein Auto: e39 530i, e93 335i
Re: 540i Trouble spots?

Just to be clear, I highly doubt your car is an M-Sport. I believe they were only available in the US for the 2003 MY.

What you most likely have is a sport package equipped car.

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  #11  
Old 07-03-2013, 04:34 AM
bblooz bblooz is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
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Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i, 98 BMW 528i
Question Fuel Recommendations?

What octane is best for these beasts?
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2013, 07:41 AM
juststeve juststeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamo99 View Post
Just to be clear, I highly doubt your car is an M-Sport. I believe they were only available in the US for the 2003 MY.

What you most likely have is a sport package equipped car.

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M package may be more common than think. Noticed a sweet looking Civic in the mall parking lot dressed to the nines with M badging... and it looked real fast too.
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2013, 07:54 AM
mio_e46 mio_e46 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530i
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by juststeve View Post
M package may be more common than think. Noticed a sweet looking Civic in the mall parking lot dressed to the nines with M badging... and it looked real fast too.
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2003 530iA Sterling Grey on Black - SP, PP, Auto

2003 530iA Alpine White on Tan - SP, PP, Auto - SOLD
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2013, 07:57 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,511
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
Evidently only te guys with the 03's have m sport m tech... They are going to tell u it's fake . It's been crashed and replaced bla bla bla

Cooling system
Sport pin ( brakes )
Suspension ( poly flex)

Other wise just do it

Ignore the guys who throw parts at cars
Pic would be nice
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2013, 11:02 AM
bblooz bblooz is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
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Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i, 98 BMW 528i
Pix of the car

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  #16  
Old 07-03-2013, 01:48 PM
Adamo99 Adamo99 is online now
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Mein Auto: e39 530i, e93 335i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Evidently only te guys with the 03's have m sport m tech... They are going to tell u it's fake . It's been crashed and replaced bla bla bla
Bla bla bla nothing. Look at the pics. The car is clearly not an M-Sport.
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  #17  
Old 07-03-2013, 04:07 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Location: MA
 
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
Back then if it was a 6 speed it was called the sport model and had some small M badges on it. Mine has them on the wheels and the steering wheel.
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2000 540/6 Slightly tweeked...everywhere
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  #18  
Old 07-03-2013, 05:43 PM
wpg.Lawson wpg.Lawson is offline
Lawson
Location: Winnipeg
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 2001 540i-m
The M package was only put on to select 01-03 american models it includes front and rear fenders, suspension, steering wheel and M inner frame panels, this is just an '99 540i, still a very beautiful car just without the muscle the M pakage gives you, I prefer my 01 540i-M rather than a genuine M5, its more classy than the M5 with similar feel body without the double dose of maintenance

Last edited by wpg.Lawson; 07-03-2013 at 05:44 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-03-2013, 06:20 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Location: MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,687
Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
Quote:
Originally Posted by wpg.Lawson View Post
The M package was only put on to select 01-03 american models it includes front and rear fenders, suspension
Front and rear fenders?? We all got those from 96 on. Just bust'in ya chops, you must mean bumpers?
Pretty sure our neighbors to the north also got the M package too.
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  #20  
Old 07-03-2013, 06:25 PM
wpg.Lawson wpg.Lawson is offline
Lawson
Location: Winnipeg
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 2001 540i-m
Yea me, in Winnipeg
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  #21  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:31 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,511
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
Just like mine, But mine came with the m front and greyed trim .. nice car... your rims are much clearner then mine(same ones)

Ive got 182k on it... Rolling perfect

Good luck with it..

fan clutch
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Specializing In BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz ,Volkswagen, Volvo

"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"
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