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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 10-20-2013, 09:25 PM
SIM117 SIM117 is offline
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530i TS2 vs M5

Fellow enthusiasts, I am currently in the market for a 2002-03 E39. I have always been in love with the M5 and now no longer need the AWD capability of my old 330xi (sold). My 330 had a Dinan S1 package and stage III suspension. I loved how the car handled and responded to my steering inputs. With aggressive use of the search function I am starting to wonder if the M5's lack of rack and pinion steering or a 50/50 weight distribution is a deal breaker (I think its like 53/47?.. just hear they are very front heavy). Regardless of which E39 I end up picking, a square tire setup, tune, suspension upgrade, and Dinan exhaust are a given. Can anyone here give me some insight on which way you would go? I'd get an M5 over a 540i so it is not really on my radar.

Option 1: 530i/5-speed with an ESS TS2 and 3.38 LSD (this should yield the best "umph" while still getting to 60 mph without having to shift to 3rd). I was thinking of a CF hood and lightweight battery to offset the weight of the SC and maintain the car's 50/50 weight distribution.

Option 2: M5.

Again, a square set up, new suspension, tune, and exhaust will be installed no matter what. In the end I want something to use as my daily driver, has enough torque and speed to keep me smiling (the 330 quickly felt slow to me after a few months as well as being a little too small), and is solid/responsive in the twisties. Tracking will be a rare occurrence and I don't really care about top end speed or the ability to "walk" another car in the triple digits. I will only be taking this car above the speed limit to pass someone... but that doesn't mean I can't get to the speed limit in a spirited fashion.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2013, 09:36 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is offline
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Buy the M5.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2013, 09:43 PM
SIM117 SIM117 is offline
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Any reason why?
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2013, 09:46 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is offline
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There are a lot of threads on 530I or 540I supercharged vs. an M5. Look them up the member consensus is usually to just buy the M5, the reason being (although you have some suspension upgrades) that the M5 is more than just the power. I think people enjoy the real quad exhaust, aesthetics of the exterior, full leather interior and custom interior options which can cost thousands to retrofit later.

If you aren't interested in the unique interior or the exterior and like the 'built vs. bought' then maybe the 530I is the option for you, but it will take considerably more time and effort to boot
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2013, 10:10 PM
SIM117 SIM117 is offline
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Any cosmetic items aren't on my radar. If I bought the 530, bumpers, headlights, and interior trim would likely be swapped. Full leather isn't important. A nav system can always be installed. From what I understand, a TS2 530i with a proper LSD is fairly comparable to an M5 (stock) for get up and go factor (sub 5 second 0-60 times, torque trough out the power band, etc). Of course I'd rather get all that stock than add forced induction to a smaller engine that wasn't necessarily designed for it, all things being equal. However, the steering, weight, and weight distribution/handling are realities that aren't equal. I can mod a 530 (along with purchasing it) for a similar total price to an M5 (with far less mods, mainly just suspension).
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2013, 11:53 PM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
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Re: 530i TS2 vs M5

Why not a 540i? You still get V8 power and surprisingly good fuel economy if your not goosing it. Plus you can get an 03 model with the M-sport package and with a few mods have an even better car. Plus with the 540i, your wallet won't get as badly as raped by replacement cost as the M5 will because the M parts are always twice what normal E39 parts are...or at least from what I've heard from M owners. As much as I would love an M5, It's the price parts, and unknown history of the previous owners that pushes me away from buying one. Even if they had every single service record of the car from oil changes to vanos repair/replacement, that doesn't mean that they drove it lile an 85 year old man. It's one of the reasons why I also stayed away from the E46 M3's. Fantastic cars, but it seems like most of the owners just thrash and abuse the f*** out of them. And then try and sell them for rediculose amounts of money. Same thing goes for the M5. If you want low miles, then good luck. Your either gonna get a wrecked model or pay up the ass for a great low mileage model...just like dating lol. But that's just my honest opinion. It's your choice and either ways what ever E39 model you choose, it doesn't matter because you'll still have one of the best if not the best looking BMW's ever made. Good luck.

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  #7  
Old 10-21-2013, 04:40 AM
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Hi

SIM117 - As per above, I'd suggest doing plenty more reading on those posts where others have modified a 530i and supercharged them etc. Then compare to the posts where 540i's have had the same sort's of modifications and then of course M5's. You can then evaluate the best choice for you given only you know really what you'd ultimately like to have. There'll be many opinions from others telling you to get the 530 or 540 or M5 of course! This forum perhaps isn't the best as the preference from the vast majority of posters is to remain oem/stock or have light levels of modifications. Check the forced induction section here and on other BMW forums.

Nfs021 - I know there's plenty of car enthusiasts out there who want another car that's perhaps never been past the 3K RPM range and driven by a pensioner at very modest and sedate speeds in the belief that somehow they'll be a much better car overall. To an 'extent' this is somewhat true, but as you say, you'll never ever know for sure! My point is the M cars have been built to be pushed harder, more often, to provide the performance they're capable of. The 'essential' element is making sure the car has had regular and good maintenence and been looked after. There's plenty of fantastic examples of the E46 M3 and E39 M5 which are driven as they're meant to be and yet are extremely well maintained. I'd much prefer a car that's been owned this way rather than an M car (or any other sought after type car) that's been used for plodding along here and there.

Cheers, Dennis!
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2013, 05:54 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Lol is this a joke ? Or did I not get the memo ?
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2013, 06:25 AM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Lol is this a joke ? Or did I not get the memo ?
after owning m's I hesistate to buy another like the OP. It did get old having to park way out there away from everyone else

insurance cost is another big factor
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2013, 06:56 AM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIM117 View Post
Option 1: 530i/5-speed with an ESS TS2 and 3.38 LSD (this should yield the best "umph" while still getting to 60 mph without having to shift to 3rd). I was thinking of a CF hood and lightweight battery to offset the weight of the SC and maintain the car's 50/50 weight distribution.

Thanks.
While lower weight is great for performance, I don't understand how a lightweight battery (located in the trunk) will help maintain weight distribution. You're adding weight up front (SC), and reducing weight in the rear.

53/47 is not outrageous weight distribution for a V8 car. Maybe you're thinking of 1960's - 1970's American muscle cars that had 60% or more of their weight on the front end?
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2013, 07:16 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Guess you guys never saw that eppisode of top gear...

" when you have a car that you park in the back of the parken lot...cause your afraid.... you cant afford that car"


sigh.....
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2013, 08:32 AM
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Jose3081 Jose3081 is offline
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530i TS2 vs M5

You should probably go wih the m5. It seems like money isn't an issue for you so maintenance/repairs shouldn't be a problem. I have a 540i and love it but I will upgrade to an m5 soon.


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  #13  
Old 10-21-2013, 11:03 AM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Guess you guys never saw that eppisode of top gear...

" when you have a car that you park in the back of the parken lot...cause your afraid.... you cant afford that car"


sigh.....
1 week that's how long it took my truck to get a door ding that took off paint in our parking lot

I refuse to park a car like an m5 with the rest of the shmucks doing so is stupid IMO
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2013, 01:43 PM
ozzM3 ozzM3 is offline
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I am on my 4th E39 and M5 is just what doctor's ordered, test drive 530/540/M5 and you'll
understand the difference.

M is a way to go!
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2013, 02:20 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is offline
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Have you driven an E39 M5 yet? I'd say that is the first order of business. R&P is great, but the Recirculating Ball is still good too, and is MUCH better than the electronic steering in all the new BMWs. I don't think you'll miss r&p as much as you might think.
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  #16  
Old 10-21-2013, 03:41 PM
SIM117 SIM117 is offline
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I have searched and searched and found little with regards to what a TS2 paired with a lower geared LSD would do for a 530. As for the battery removal, that was a brainfart on my end, never touched the battery in my e46 so I just assumed it was in the front (disregard). Obviously the 53/47 split is good for a V8, I also understand that the steering ratios are very close between the 530 and M5 but the feedback/feel are very different. I can get any car to go fast in a straight line, I want the BMW for its driving experience and quality. I've driven a 530 but there are zero M5s to test drive within the area and considering the suspension will be replaced anyways, there is no way to measure the umph of the TS2 or the handling of the M5 (modded) vs the 530 (modded) from where I stand.

If this was a contest of stock vehicles, the choice would be a no-brainer. But as a long term investment I plan to keep and mod, the waters get much murkier.
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  #17  
Old 10-21-2013, 03:55 PM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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nice thing about a ts is it's worth quite a bit when you take it off the car odds of it being damaged are low

I prefer to take stuff off and sell separate rather than a package, and unfortunately m5's are still dropping in value
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2013, 01:46 PM
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A modified car always come with compromises over a well sorted factory tuned car. If you need power, go with an M5. However, if you are content to drive a good car, any e39 is a good choice. The benefit of having so many different engine options is that you are able to select what works best for you as a driver.

///Options.
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  #19  
Old 10-23-2013, 06:56 AM
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You'll have to drive some cars to make this determination for yourself. Seems to me from an investment perspective, it's M5 all the way. You'll end up spending more tweaking the 530 to be all you want it to be.

Also, though an M5 is far from a no maintenance ride, it's probably more reliable than a supercharged car. I assume you know exactly how to service, whether yourself or trusted indie.

Good luck with your decision.
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  #20  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:16 PM
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it all depends of car condition and your wallet
a low miles excellent condition M5 will cost you a fortune where the same E39 530i / 540i will cost you 3 times less
if you can tweak an excellent E39 530i/540i you will enjoy it much more than some 'sans nom' 120k miles M5
But if you can afford a low miles excellent condition M5 then it will be a winner
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  #21  
Old 10-25-2013, 10:40 AM
SIM117 SIM117 is offline
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M5 it is, thanks for the input!
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  #22  
Old 10-25-2013, 11:38 AM
ozzM3 ozzM3 is offline
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M5 it is, thanks for the input!
Now you are talking! Good luck with your search!
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  #23  
Old 10-25-2013, 11:46 AM
SIM117 SIM117 is offline
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I've been searching, pulled the trigger today. '03 sterling gray on black sport interior with titanium trim, 70k miles, and all the options (dinan tune as well). First things to do on my mind are as follows:

Dinan exhaust
Dinan stage III suspension
Dinan SSK
Clutch stop
Weighted M shift knob
Stealth turn signals
Projector39 Bi-xenon euro headlights with Orion V4 angel eyes
Rogue engineering control arm bushings (as I understand it, just as responsive as the Dinan monoballs but much smoother feedback)

And maybe a Dinan 3.45 LSD very far down the road when I want just a little more umph.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, thanks guys! This will be my DD.
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  #24  
Old 10-25-2013, 11:59 AM
ozzM3 ozzM3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIM117 View Post
I've been searching, pulled the trigger today. '03 sterling gray on black sport interior with titanium trim, 70k miles, and all the options (dinan tune as well). First things to do on my mind are as follows:

Dinan exhaust
Dinan stage III suspension
Dinan SSK
Clutch stop
Weighted M shift knob
Stealth turn signals
Projector39 Bi-xenon euro headlights with Orion V4 angel eyes
Rogue engineering control arm bushings (as I understand it, just as responsive as the Dinan monoballs but much smoother feedback)

And maybe a Dinan 3.45 LSD very far down the road when I want just a little more umph.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, thanks guys! This will be my DD.
Join M5board and post all questions there too.
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  #25  
Old 10-25-2013, 01:33 PM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Wow -- four days after asking the question, you find the right M5? Did you already have it lined up, and/or buy from EAG?

Whatever the case, congrats. Let's see some pics! Like ozz says, see you on M5Board.
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