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E39 M5 (1998-2003)

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2017, 07:05 AM
mps21 mps21 is offline
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High Mileage E39 M5 Purchase Consideration

Good morning,

I wanted to get some feedback from the community regarding purchasing a high mileage 170K+ mileage M5. The car is in pristine cosmetic shape (for the age), and mechanically it looks like the owner took good care of it. I don't have much experience with the M models, but currently, own and have owned 3 BMWs in past so I kind of know what I'm getting into.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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2008 550i Sport
2001 530i Sport(Sold)
1991 535i Sport

Last edited by mps21; 09-14-2017 at 07:08 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2017, 11:49 PM
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thumper600 thumper600 is offline
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Buy it inexpensively, like less then $10 grand inexpensively. I purchased a "meticulously" maintained higher mile model, ('01 with 136K miles), with a notebook of receipts with all work performed by the dealer, but the car will still nickel and dime you. So far I've replaced the brakes all the way around, ($20/piece front rotors, (thank you internet for the closeout special), $45/piece for the rears, Akebono pads front, ($60), Akebono rear pads, ($50), Timing chain tensioner, ($95), Wheel refurb,($500/powdercoated/trued), Michelin Pilot's, ($850), Oil and filter change, (Thank you autozone for $2/quart oil sale and the tip I received from I forget whom but on this forum = $16 plus the Mann oil filter - $11), struts all around, (B8 Bilstein's = $650), alignment = 160, tranny fluid = Castrol = $60, Diff oil change = Amsoil = $22, Spark Plugs = (8)(3) = $24, air filter = (2)(10) = $20, cabin filters = (2)(10) = $20), so what I'm trying to say is thus far I've spent close to $2,600 just to get the car where it kinda needs to be. Then there's the windshield that'll need replacing because of that damn concrete hauling truck, plus plus plus. Having owned BMW previously you do know what you're getting into, just be aware that the parts are a little more expensive. Is it worth it? Just push that Sport button and then you be the judge.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:55 AM
mps21 mps21 is offline
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@ thumper600 Thank you for the detailed response! The one that I'm looking at is a 2002 with 174K. Cosmetically the car looks amazing( for its age), but I'm a little hesitant about the mileage. Granted I don't drive much, an average 2-4K year. Also miles could be deceiving because depending on the type of driving highway/city the wear on the car will be different. The current owner also has books of maintenance so I know the car has been babied.

What is the worst case for a car of that mileage? Let's say the engine or transmission needs to be rebuilt/replaced, what would I be looking at money wise?

Thanks!
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2001 530i Sport(Sold)
1991 535i Sport
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:54 AM
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thumper600 thumper600 is offline
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Hi MPS, the worst case scenario will be if you do not perform the work yourself. There is a website called "Car-part.com" that insurance companies use to procure parts, (the " - " separating the words is important), if you buy a used motor it's a gamble in that you don't know what you're getting, the same with a transmission. If you rebuild there's a guy on youtube.com who had a shop rebuild it, (), so that can give you an idea of how extensive you may wish to go and I believe there's a cost breakdown too. If you go used an engine will cost between $2,100 and $6,500, a used tranny is between $600 and $1,700. Those prices quoted do not include shipping or install. then there's always the incidentals like struts, wheel bearings, brakes, etc. and those I consider normal maintenance items, (but, it did cost me around $2,600 for that piece of mind. And, I do perform all labor myself). If you're wishing to purchase as an investment while motoring then I don't know what to tell you in that the Porsches I bought 30 years ago, (1971 and 1974 911's), have skyrocketed in price, the 1978 320i I keep for nostalgic sake not so much in that it's value can be measured in dog cr*p. If you're wishing to purchase for driving pleasure then get in, push the sport mode button, drive it and if you get that wohoo sensation, then by all means yes, it's worth the price of admission. If not then the e60's M5 can be had for a little more money or if you wish to spend a bunch more the F10 and F12 M5's and M6 Grand Coupe's are always available.

Then there's the 240 - 270k mile examples available. If it's motor longevity that troubles in the decision process then be assured they do go the distance as long as you maintain them. The M and S motors are notorious for the timing rail issue, that's an $800 in parts fix, then there's a Vanos rattle, that's really inexpensive if you do the work in that all you have to do is replace some rubber o rings.

Keep us posted on your decision

Last edited by thumper600; 09-16-2017 at 10:06 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2017, 12:27 PM
mps21 mps21 is offline
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Thanks again! Definitely not planning to buy it as an investment as I have lost more money on changing cars than I wish to admit. You live once and I justify it as a hobby expense Your posts definitely help.

BTW you still have the 1971/74 Porsches? Any plans on ever cashing in?
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:07 PM
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thumper600 thumper600 is offline
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Good luck MPS, and as for the 911's? They don't have enough power to get out of their own way but that's just part of the charm and will I ever sell? Never say never but the way it looks now I would have to say no on selling. (Way to much love and sweat equity invested)
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:39 PM
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thumper600 thumper600 is offline
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replied to the P.M., please let me know if you don't receive it
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:45 PM
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mark_m5 mark_m5 is offline
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I have a 2002 with 149k on the clock, and I keep it in top condition. It has been a great car.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:54 AM
RainBro RainBro is offline
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I just test drove a e39 m5 tonight and the seller is set on 12k. The car has 128k miles but still drives like a dream, it still has some cosmetic scrapes but nothing serious. The title is clean and has only had 1 previous owner. I'm trying to drop the price but I just can't let this car just slip away. Any advice would be very helpful. I currently have a e39 530i that I have restored and just want to get a better driving experience.

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  #10  
Old 10-03-2017, 05:41 PM
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mark_m5 mark_m5 is offline
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I say "Go For It"
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Grammar: The difference between "knowing your sh*t" and "knowing you're sh*t."
"A world that is 'idiot proof' is a world that is only fit for idiots." - Racer X / 6'er
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2017, 05:50 PM
mps21 mps21 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_m5 View Post
I say "Go For It"


I second that! Good luck.


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2001 530i Sport(Sold)
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2017, 06:05 PM
RainBro RainBro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_m5 View Post
I say "Go For It"
Yeah I think so too. I've already contacted the seller to match his price. I'm excited to be a m5 owner

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  #13  
Old 12-25-2017, 10:48 AM
03Z3Coupe 03Z3Coupe is offline
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Find the best and most ethical independent BMW mechanic!
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