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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 10-18-2019, 07:26 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is online now
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I bought a replacement for my 540 M-Sport

I won't be ditching my 540 right away, but just bought a 2018 M550i.
Pretty loaded down on options, including adaptive suspension with rear wheel steering, comfort seats with heat/ventilation and massage. Rear HVAC controls, rear heated seats, rear sun shades, heads up, gesture control, blah blah…..I was originally looking for a 540 x-drive but just couldn't get over having not having a V8 and more power.

Really excited about the engine and 456hp, x-drive and 3.9 sec 0-60.
Worried about 20" wheels on a daily driver with the crappy streets in Seattle.

My plan it to keep the 540 through winter...but probably not much longer, as it will have to reside outside, which it has never endured before.
I've owned my 2001 540 M-Sport since 2003, and it now has 305,000 miles, it has been an amazing car, and given me much driving enjoyment and reliable service. It's been pretty hard to beat, but I really feel I deserve a newer car, and one with better performance and comfort. I doubt I will do any performance upgrades to this car, just a few minor cosmetic touches, like oem black grills, and maybe a carbon fiber rear spoiler.
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540 M-Sport package (Canadian market), factory Bluetooth phone integration, factory M-Audio 10" dual voice coil subs, Homelink, Eibach front and rear anti-roll bars, M5 rear traction rods, H&R 15mm wheel spacers, ST X (KW) coilovers, Strong Strut front upper stress bar, BMP strut tower reinforcement kit, Stop Tech ss brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads, Zimmerman rotors, Dinan Stage 1 software, USA Spec Ipod/Iphone integration.

Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 10-18-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:08 PM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Nice! I really like the look of these, but I just don't like all of the technology in these new BMWs (or any new car for that matter). The engines on the other hand are pretty sweet! How does it ride and handle in comparison to your 540?
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1999 BMW 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 225k+ miles
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2000 Volvo V70R B5244T2- Manual swapped, daily
1992 Mazda Miata 1.8 swapped
1993 Volvo 940 B230F/AW71L
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmdubya1198 View Post
Nice! I really like the look of these, but I just don't like all of the technology in these new BMWs (or any new car for that matter). The engines on the other hand are pretty sweet! How does it ride and handle in comparison to your 540?
Won't pick the car up for a week or two, but the ones I test drove were really nice. Steering was better than the recirculating ball on the 540, not as direct as on the 530/528 with rack and pinon. Power was direct and impressive. Tons of grip with x drive and staggered tires 245/275.

I agree the technology could be problematic for someone like me that keeps cars for a long time.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:15 PM
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Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
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Looks great, I really like it in white. I'm not a big fan of new car tech either, but sadly we all have to adjust one way or another. I'm sure 20in wheels will be unpleasant with crap roads. My M5 came with aftermarket 19in wheels along with the sporty bilstein shocks and it's so brutal on the even crappier streets we have down here in Portland. Can't wait to ditch it. Bet it will be really hard to sell the 540i. I say keep it till the wheels fall off. Hopefully the eventual new owner gives it a great home that you did for the past 16 years.

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Old 10-19-2019, 02:11 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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congrats! did they offer a 6 speed manual transmission?

I was asking the sales guy he said he would have to call to find out.. never did call... but said i was the first person to ask for a manual transmission
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:26 AM
Santaclaus4 Santaclaus4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Won't pick the car up for a week or two, but the ones I test drove were really nice. Steering was better than the recirculating ball on the 540, not as direct as on the 530/528 with rack and pinon. Power was direct and impressive. Tons of grip with x drive and staggered tires 245/275.

I agree the technology could be problematic for someone like me that keeps cars for a long time.
Don't they have "electric" steering now?
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:31 AM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
congrats! did they offer a 6 speed manual transmission?

I was asking the sales guy he said he would have to call to find out.. never did call... but said i was the first person to ask for a manual transmission
That's unfortunate, but unsurprising. From the online configurator, I don't think they're available in manual. Which sucks... that would be an awesome car with a 6 speed.
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1999 BMW 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 225k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige

2000 Volvo V70R B5244T2- Manual swapped, daily
1992 Mazda Miata 1.8 swapped
1993 Volvo 940 B230F/AW71L
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Nfs021 View Post
Looks great, I really like it in white. I'm not a big fan of new car tech either, but sadly we all have to adjust one way or another. I'm sure 20in wheels will be unpleasant with crap roads. My M5 came with aftermarket 19in wheels along with the sporty bilstein shocks and it's so brutal on the even crappier streets we have down here in Portland. Can't wait to ditch it. Bet it will be really hard to sell the 540i. I say keep it till the wheels fall off. Hopefully the eventual new owner gives it a great home that you did for the past 16 years.

Sent from Uranus with Love
I actually have three buyers lined up to purchase my 540 when I am ready to sell. It is immaculate with a 10" thick file of all the services over the years. No rust, great paint and perfect trim, wheels refinished, no curb rash.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
congrats! did they offer a 6 speed manual transmission?

I was asking the sales guy he said he would have to call to find out.. never did call... but said i was the first person to ask for a manual transmission
No more manuals on the 5 series.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Santaclaus4 View Post
Don't they have "electric" steering now?
Yes, started with the F10 5 series and carries over the G30 5 series. Supposedly improved over the first gen used in the F10, which was not well received in the press.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmdubya1198 View Post
That's unfortunate, but unsurprising. From the online configurator, I don't think they're available in manual. Which sucks... that would be an awesome car with a 6 speed.
Manuals are going away. That is simply limited consumer demand. Larger sedans currently, but it will eventually trickle down to the 4, 3 and 2 series. We enthusiasts are disappointed, but we are the minority. Ferrari ditched manuals 9 years ago.
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540 M-Sport package (Canadian market), factory Bluetooth phone integration, factory M-Audio 10" dual voice coil subs, Homelink, Eibach front and rear anti-roll bars, M5 rear traction rods, H&R 15mm wheel spacers, ST X (KW) coilovers, Strong Strut front upper stress bar, BMP strut tower reinforcement kit, Stop Tech ss brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads, Zimmerman rotors, Dinan Stage 1 software, USA Spec Ipod/Iphone integration.

Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 10-19-2019 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:56 AM
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id read you speaking of wanting to make the move for a little while now...congrats on the purchase and best of luck with it.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:32 PM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Manuals are going away. That is simply limited consumer demand. Larger sedans currently, but it will eventually trickle down to the 4, 3 and 2 series. We enthusiasts are disappointed, but we are the minority. Ferrari ditched manuals 9 years ago.
Exactly. The problems are peoples' laziness and unwillingness to learn manual because they've heard "it's hard". The more I drive, the more I love manual transmissions.
I love my V70R with a manual. Even for a daily driver, I wouldn't want it with an automatic. I can appreciate a good automatic, but it can never replace a manual. I'm not racing Formula 1, I don't need lightning fast shifts!

Then the sedans. For some reason everybody wants an SUV... I've never understood that. Sure, I like SUVs and they have their place, but why have 30 different sizes of the same ugly blob of a car? That's a trend that NEEDS to die.
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1999 BMW 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 225k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige

2000 Volvo V70R B5244T2- Manual swapped, daily
1992 Mazda Miata 1.8 swapped
1993 Volvo 940 B230F/AW71L
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:37 PM
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It's not so much people are lazy to drive manuals. It's also the fact that manufactures are so stupidly obsessed with 0-60 and lap times nowadays and it's rubbed off on everyone else. Now they think it's all that matters. They could care less about feeling connected to the car. So what if a dual clutch, smg, e-gear or whatever are faster? Does it mean they are better? NO!!!! Yea manuals suck to drive in traffic. But guess what? ALL cars suck to drive in traffic!

It's actually crossovers that everyone is crazy about in my region. Damn things are like cockroaches, they are everywhere.

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Old 10-19-2019, 11:37 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
No more manuals on the 5 series.
MT cannot beat the mechatronics in terms of fuel efficiency in current gen of turbo engines with flat power band.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:17 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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man my work here is done lol


I simply wont own a car that is not 3 peddle... thats all there is to it..

there is no excuse, its not traffic.. its not my leg hurts.. its just me and my wife only drive manuals... We are looking at a new pick up truck... guess whos gonna win? toyota, they are the only people who offer a 5speed manual pick up

everyone goes to a defensive stance... why they dont or cant drive manuals, I dont care about that. IN this house hold.. we only drive manual transmissions.... end of story
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:09 AM
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I didn't replace...just added. Bought the 550 and just couldn't part with the 540/6. I still
love driving it and honestly it's worth a lot more to me than anyone else I'm sure. The money I would get for it has me holding on to it and still enjoying it.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:32 AM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nfs021 View Post
It's not so much people are lazy to drive manuals. It's also the fact that manufactures are so stupidly obsessed with 0-60 and lap times nowadays and it's rubbed off on everyone else. Now they think it's all that matters. They could care less about feeling connected to the car. So what if a dual clutch, smg, e-gear or whatever are faster? Does it mean they are better? NO!!!! Yea manuals suck to drive in traffic. But guess what? ALL cars suck to drive in traffic!

It's actually crossovers that everyone is crazy about in my region. Damn things are like cockroaches, they are everywhere.

Sent from Uranus with Love
Yeah, the crossovers/small SUVs are what piss me off... they're like a disease. But that's just it... in both cases, it's the manufacturers telling the consumer what they want. If you ask them, that would be an automatic, overpowered small SUV that runs sub 5 second 0-60 and goes around the Nurburgring in "record time for an SUV".

I honestly prefer manual in traffic... it keeps me less bored and keeps my legs moving instead of just on/off the brake pedal.

And I definitely need to praise the Tacoma... you can't buy another decently optioned truck with a 6 speed manual anymore. Well, the Frontier still comes in manual but I don't think you can get a reasonably loaded one with the 6 speed.
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1999 BMW 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 225k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige

2000 Volvo V70R B5244T2- Manual swapped, daily
1992 Mazda Miata 1.8 swapped
1993 Volvo 940 B230F/AW71L
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:13 AM
1BlinkGone 1BlinkGone is offline
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Nice acquisition! Congrats! I have heard reports that Valvetronic is a nightmare to work on....but I doubt you'll have to deal with it yourself. Also, Titanium bolts...for example, the thermostat housing bolts. They are one-use items because they stretch. bolts AND housing gets replaced when the job is done.

300k is a great run, and likely you have more than that to go but I hear you. Me, at this time (subject to change, mind you) my plan is to get at least that on our 530i. I'd like to keep it until it just can't be serviced/repaired anymore. YMMV.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:16 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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The 2nd owner of my old E39 let me drive the 5MT recently, [email protected] the clutch is original and no slipping! FYI the two owners so far on that car are lifetime smooth operators and that surely makes a difference.

The I6 N/A M54 3.0L surging power band is very cool, one shift to 2nd and it pushes to [email protected] It does feel fast, but 6.8 seconds these days is not really that fast.

In contrast, my current F30 N26 2.0L turbo engine + ZF 8AT is fast, 0-60 in 5.6 seconds! The mechatronics and 8 speeds play a huge part to get there. That 5.6 seconds of this new gen 2.0L turbo matches closely to 5.8 seconds from 4.4L V8 E39 540i!
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:25 PM
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I'm not a fan of SUV/SAVs either, but I believe manufacturers cater to the market...the average consumer wants an SUV. I had a hell of a time finding a M550 that was close enough to what I wanted spec wise (and price wise). There just isn't that much inventory...but plenty of X3s, X5s, etc. Same with manual transmissions....manufacturers are happy to make what the consumer wants...but for the great majority, an automatic fills the bill. The few manual "die hards" like us, are few and far between these days...I would still prefer it for my "fun car"...but Ferrari stopped making them. Over the last 20 years I have had a 78 308GTS (five speed dog leg first gear), 87 328GTS (5 speed dog leg first gear), 97 F355 spider (6 speed)….. all were great, with that metal gated shifter and clacking noise as you shifted gears. By 2009, Ferrari claimed less than 8 or 9% of customers ordered a manual transmission...just no longer worth bothering with. I think BMW is up against the same market conditions, especially with 5 and 7 series, but even the larger GT coupes. Is it worth making manual transmission cars, if the market is single digits?
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:10 PM
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mattmar1 mattmar1 is online now
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ive only owned 1 mt vehicle in my life, and that way only for a short while.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:15 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Is it worth making manual transmission cars, if the market is single digits?
Other interesting option is Genesis G70 which has MT.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:19 PM
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Bmw traditionally has always offered the 3 pedal... Im still having a hard time believing that the new g30 540 (*which is a god damn revisit on the e39) isnt offered in a manual transmission
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:24 PM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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I was really happy to see a post on Facebook earlier that someone was manual swapping a new Supra. That's one new car that for sure should be offered with a manual (alongside the Z4, of course). Maybe BMW/Toyota will come to their senses... lots of enthusiasts are interested in new cars.
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1999 BMW 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 225k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige

2000 Volvo V70R B5244T2- Manual swapped, daily
1992 Mazda Miata 1.8 swapped
1993 Volvo 940 B230F/AW71L
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