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E60 M5 (2006 - 2010)

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Old 10-01-2018, 06:53 AM
nels2825 nels2825 is offline
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E60 M5 vs 550i vs big turbo 535i

I am interested in getting a project car, and am trying to narrow down my choices. I really wanted a manual 535i for the tuning potential, but I am not having much luck finding one at all. I see a lot more M5's and 550i's. The M5 certainly sounds the best, but I think has the lowest tuning potential. The 550 probably has the greatest power potential, but it sounds like they burn oil so badly I would need to rebuild anything I get and replace the valve seals. Just doing the rod bearings in an M5 would be so much easier. Anyone weigh in on thoughts?
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:45 PM
oldiegoodie oldiegoodie is online now
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Mein Auto: 2007 550i 6MT
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Originally Posted by nels2825 View Post
I am interested in getting a project car, and am trying to narrow down my choices. I really wanted a manual 535i for the tuning potential, but I am not having much luck finding one at all. I see a lot more M5's and 550i's. The M5 certainly sounds the best, but I think has the lowest tuning potential. The 550 probably has the greatest power potential, but it sounds like they burn oil so badly I would need to rebuild anything I get and replace the valve seals. Just doing the rod bearings in an M5 would be so much easier. Anyone weigh in on thoughts?
Hey nels2825;

I currently own a 550i 6MT and I have no burning oil issues. These engines (N62B48) have a tendency to develop oil leaks periodically, every 100-120k miles around the valve covers. If things have not been done already, you'll likely have to do timing cover gaskets, alternator bracket gasket and refresh the cooling system all around the 100k mile mark.

The tuning capability of the 550i is very limited. It's a lively car right out of the box but nowhere near an M5 power. It does have a strong and linear torque curve from 2500 to redline though, with peak torque starting at 3400 rpm. That's impressive from a 360hp 360tq V8.

Other than that, it's relatively good on fuel with Valvetronic and VANOS at around 21 MPG combined and 27-28 MPG on the highway. Paired with a 6 speed manual, it's a very dynamic and lots of fun to drive.

All 550i's are equipped with Sport supension and some have dynamic drive and active steering which, arguably, helps in cornering. My particular 550i has conventional steering and sport settings suspension very similar to the M5. The sway bars are 1.5mm thinner on the 550i compared to the M5.

The 535i is the most tune-able of the three at a fraction of the cost because of the forced induction (turbos). With a simple JB4 tune and some bolt-ons you'll be above 400whp territory in no time, with the ability to do circles around the 550i.

M5, on the other hand, is in a league of it's own when it comes to power. Surprisingly, the suspension feel is almost the same in comparison to the 550i. My 550i is much lighter due to 6 speed manual transmission, lack of dynamic drive and active steering, smaller, 18 inch staggered sport wheels and few other things.

Compared to the M5 which can weigh nearly 4000lbs, my 550i weighs almost 300lbs less. Gives me good advantage in corners as far as weight but with lack of LSD on the 550i, it's lacking extra power punch out of corners. There are upgrades for the 550i on that though.

Anyway, that's enough blabber from me.


-oldiegoodie
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2007 E60 550i Sport 6MT

Last edited by oldiegoodie; 10-22-2018 at 12:07 PM.
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