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I have a 1997 528i and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on some first things to do/first upgrades.
 

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I have the same car. Been looking around here for the same thing. But I did just buy a new steering wheel. Swapping out my old 4 spoke for a 3 spoke M steering wheel.
 

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I have a 1997 528i and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on some first things to do/first upgrades.
Change all the fluids, brakes, cooling, everything, and inspect the spark plugs. Then check the front end components, control arms, etc. Then inspect the cooling system, it's a weak spot on these cars. Don't forget to check the computer for codes.

Jim
 

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change all the fluids, brakes, cooling, everything, and inspect the spark plugs. Then check the front end components, control arms, etc. Then inspect the cooling system, it's a weak spot on these cars. Don't forget to check the computer for codes.

Jim
+1
 

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Change all the fluids, brakes, cooling, everything, and inspect the spark plugs. Then check the front end components, control arms, etc. Then inspect the cooling system, it's a weak spot on these cars. Don't forget to check the computer for codes.

Jim
+2

First get it in tip top shape.

No use wasting money on cool mods if you'll be stranded on the side of the highway.
 

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That was exactly what I did. Fluid change and tune up. All that's left is O2 sensors and front rotors & pads.
 

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Haven't replaced the VANOS seals. After reading up on the procedure, I'm definitely not comfortable doing it myself. Anyone have a rough idea of how much that costs to get done by a mechanic?
 

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I have a 1997 528i and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on some first things to do/first upgrades.
I have the same year car and I love it- owned it since 2001. Here're the upgrades I have done over the years and more to come soon:D I would give vanos seals, suspension upgrade and headlights a priority.

1) Vanos seals with beisan version
2) Steering wheel to smaller diameter sports
3) Complete front and rear suspension overhaul with 530i sport springs and koni sports adjustables struts/shocks. Car drives like new. Note 97 528 had no sports option from factory.
4) 17 inch 540 wheels staggered setup
5) Eonon D5124F stereo navigation head unit and all speaker upgrades. Looks very OEM and it has all-in-one navigation, bluetooth telephony and music, dvd, radio, usb, and micro sd.
6) Mtech sports front bumper
7) Facelift Euro Xenon headlights
8) Facelift rear tail lights (celis)
9) Metal Cup holder

Upgrades in the works (all hardware parts sitting in the garage):
1) Auto dimming rear view mirror
2) Auto leveling hardware for the headlights
3) Rain sensor
4) Auto headlights hardware including the headlights switch
 

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First "upgrade" when buying any used Bimmer is to tackle all maintenance that you don't have records of. No sense in upgrading just to have a cool car that sits in the garage because you prioritized mods over maintenance.
 

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X10^^^

You may find that maintenance has been neglected. (like I found on mine) I did everything myself and spent WAY more than I planned due to negligent prior owners.
 

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Really need to know where the car is at maintenance wise? I know it isn't the "fun" stuff but it'll be money well spent. Again I'll third or fourth the Vanos and the Biesen seals. If not done you'll need it done- Not sure on the labor cost but the seals and parts are about $100 I'd go after any signs of leaks. The rubber gaskets BMW used then gets old and brittle, my 98 Chev truck is dry. Since new- Both my E39s were messy units until I pulled it apart....

Then - SUSPENSION! Where's the car at with that??

After just taking every arm and bushing out and replacing them on my 2000 528 - 105k -and everything was worn if not worthless. it's worth EVERY penny, I put the ST coil overs on as well and it's a smart tight car but rides as a daily driver so nice!
Avin Stereo. With BavSound convert'.
 

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#1 is the cooling system. That can make or break the health of your BMW. Its one of the biggest weak points and failure can cost thousands in repair.
 

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#1 is the cooling system. That can make or break the health of your BMW. Its one of the biggest weak points and failure can cost thousands in repair.
I think we're talking about recommended upgrades on an already healthy car, or did you imply upgrading the cooling system to better than OEM components?
 

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i <3 when a new user comes in and asks what should i upgrade..

The correct answer is your wallet first lol

Get a bently manual...
get a Creator scanner
get a oil filter wrench
replace your cooling system
upgrade your cooling system

set your money aside and prepare you be taken
 
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