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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I just tested my 530i on a dyno for the first time. It only had 204hp (and 202 torque) in the best of 3 runs, which is lower than I had expected. :dunno:

I do realize this is an old car and that with time it is normal to lose some power. I am not racing it or doing anything drastic at the moment, but just curious what I can do to boost the horsepower in the future. Overhauling the engine? Supercharging? Shedding weight? I am open to all your feedback.

Thanks!
 

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Remember, because of drive train loss, your wheel horsepower is going to be 20 per cent (or possibly more) lower than the factory-rated crank horsepower. What's the factory rating for your car?
 

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Remember, because of drive train loss, your wheel horsepower is going to be 20 per cent (or possibly more) lower than the factory-rated crank horsepower. What's the factory rating for your car?
hmmm, interesting point. The M54B30 engine is supposed to have:

170 kW (228 bhp) @ 5900 rpm
300 Nm (220 ft·lbf) @ 3500 rpm
 

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How much horsepower does the Dinan Stage 1 claim to add, and what RPM did you take it to on the dyne?
 

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When is the last time it had a tune up or vanos seals done? You could see some power return with routine maintenance.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Bimmerfest mobile app
 

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Looks like your engine's output is pretty close to where it ought to be. More horsepower will cost lots of money. Removing weight by taking out things that make the car more comfortable will produce a poorer driving experience over the road--a dubious trade-off, I think.,
 

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For just some added perspective, that's not that bad. The early 2k modular ford 4.6L V8 in the mustang GTs are putting down mid 250s

There are some people videos of people with FI setups on their m54s putting down mid 400s with turbo applications and proper tuning
 

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For just some added perspective, that's not that bad. The early 2k modular ford 4.6L V8 in the mustang GTs are putting down mid 250s

There are some videos of tuners with FI setups on their m54s putting down mid 400s with turbo applications and proper ECU tunes
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When is the last time it had a tune up or vanos seals done? You could see some power return with routine maintenance.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Bimmerfest mobile app
VANOS seals done relatively recently but not the piston rings or anything falling into major rebuild-ish territory.

Looks like your engine's output is pretty close to where it ought to be. More horsepower will cost lots of money. Removing weight by taking out things that make the car more comfortable will produce a poorer driving experience over the road--a dubious trade-off, I think.,
That makes sense - thank you.

Normal. that's exactly what my Z4 track car did with a 3 year old m54b30 and no cats on it's last dyno pull.
Oh, interesting. That's good perspective to bear in mind.

and? that is rear wheel HP I'm guessing. Sounds about right. Were you running 93 octane gas?
Yes, exactly.

For just some added perspective, that's not that bad. The early 2k modular ford 4.6L V8 in the mustang GTs are putting down mid 250s

There are some videos of tuners with FI setups on their m54s putting down mid 400s with turbo applications and proper ECU tunes
So, basically, without spending thousands on turbos, FI, or supercharging, I can't do much to increase the HP?

I hear converting to a cold air intake will result in negligible hp gains, so probably not worth the cost, right?

What about a full-exhaust upgrade like Dinan (aka Carbahn)? Is that worth it?
 

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If you want a high horse power high torque engine/car, this aint the one to start with my man.... Maintain it, keep it running well, and enjoy....
 

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So, basically, without spending thousands on turbos, FI, or supercharging, I can't do much to increase the HP?

I hear converting to a cold air intake will result in negligible hp gains, so probably not worth the cost, right?

What about a full-exhaust upgrade like Dinan (aka Carbahn)? Is that worth it?
Most naturally aspirated BMWs are pretty maxed out from the factory. Short of forced air induction, there is not much that can be done to increase HP significantly.

These are not like Japanese tuner cars where you can bolt things on cheaply.

Save your money and spend the money saved on maintenance and normal upkeep instead.

Want more HP in an E39 package, get a M5. Since by the time you spend all that money on upgrades to get a few more HP, you'll be closer to that M5 price sooner or later.
 

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If you want a high horse power high torque engine/car, this aint the one to start with my man.... Maintain it, keep it running well, and enjoy....
You're right. I am enjoying it, so will try to deal with what I have. :)

Most naturally aspirated BMWs are pretty maxed out from the factory. Short of forced air induction, there is not much that can be done to increase HP significantly.

These are not like Japanese tuner cars where you can bolt things on cheaply.

Save your money and spend the money saved on maintenance and normal upkeep instead.

Want more HP in an E39 package, get a M5. Since by the time you spend all that money on upgrades to get a few more HP, you'll be closer to that M5 price sooner or later.
that's logical. Yeah, I might need to get an M5 in the future (if there are any clean ones left at that point).:D I hear E39 M5 are more expensive to maintain, though...
 

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You're right. I am enjoying it, so will try to deal with what I have. :)



that's logical. Yeah, I might need to get an M5 in the future (if there are any clean ones left at that point).:D I hear E39 M5 are more expensive to maintain, though...

I dunno my 99 540i Sport 6 speed runs pretty good. I only paid $4700 for it.
 

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Where does everyone find these outstanding deals??? When I was looking for mine, I saw all the 540's that were nice, between $6500-13,000.... I didnt have that kind of budget so I had to settle on a 528. Super nice car with no big issues, but still....
 

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Where does everyone find these outstanding deals??? When I was looking for mine, I saw all the 540's that were nice, between $6500-13,000.... I didnt have that kind of budget so I had to settle on a 528. Super nice car with no big issues, but still....
How long did you look? Took me 6 months to find the car I wanted.
 

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Where does everyone find these outstanding deals??? When I was looking for mine, I saw all the 540's that were nice, between $6500-13,000.... I didnt have that kind of budget so I had to settle on a 528. Super nice car with no big issues, but still....
you can find nice E39's all day around here for 3-6k. My last 540i I picked up for $2800. it did have 230,000 miles on it. this one had 200,000 but everything had been replaced. I've had it a year and have 213 on it now. The paint on the hood is a tad faded but it's silver so it doesn't show as much.
 

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