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Manual Transmissions Rule
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How to tell if E39 has Sport Package???

I am currently doing research on '99-'01 E39 540s, as I want to buy one for my daily driver in the next month or so.

I've already decided that I want an automatic trans. with the Sport Package. I know that the Sport Package includes 17" wheels, stiffer susp. and 3-spoke M steering wheel, but is there a way to tell from the VIN if the car has the sport package? What's the easiest way to tell if the car has the sport package, I don't want to make a mistake and buy a base model! I don't mind doing a few upgrade mods down the road, but I want to start out with the Sport model.

Thanks!

Sean in Norcal
 

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totally
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The trim around the windows.

Non-sport has chrome trim
Sport has black (shadowline) trim

Sport:


Non-Sport:
 

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aka Turd Ferguson
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Yes what he said...
I have a 2001 540iA sport....SHADOWLINE is the shizzle for hizzle!

 

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seanl said:
I am currently doing research on '99-'01 E39 540s, as I want to buy one for my daily driver in the next month or so.

I've already decided that I want an automatic trans. with the Sport Package. I know that the Sport Package includes 17" wheels, stiffer susp. and 3-spoke M steering wheel, but is there a way to tell from the VIN if the car has the sport package? What's the easiest way to tell if the car has the sport package, I don't want to make a mistake and buy a base model! I don't mind doing a few upgrade mods down the road, but I want to start out with the Sport model.

Thanks!

Sean in Norcal
Much easier way for the years in question: stick and steptronic (+/- next to the shifter) have sports package, normal auto does not. On the telephone you can just ask what transmission it has and then you will know. There are lots of other signs, like window trim (already mentioned), wheels (that are often changed), gaudy "M" badges all over the place (wheels - but see above, steering wheel, door sill plates), and probably some other things I always forget.

This may or may not work outside the US, but Norcal is in the US ... kind of.

BTW, other than the suspension, there is nothing in the sports package that make it any sportier (big wheels detract from performance - they don't add to it) and the suspension can be had for under $2K if you choose to add it later. OK, I admit it, I now have 18" wheels and I like my shadow trim MUCH more than the chrome, but is the car actually sportier? Nah. but it does look awesome.

Bill (in Palo Alto)
 

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BillP said:
Much easier way for the years in question: stick and steptronic (+/- next to the shifter) have sports package, normal auto does not.

Bill (in Palo Alto)
Bill, while you are absolutely correct with your statement, I just want to clarify that the steptronic/non-steptronic issue ONLY exists for the 540i. The 528's and 530's came standard with the steps. I'd hate for any Newbs reading this thread to get the wrong impression :) :angel:
 

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You Lick It, You Own It
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depending what year.
the 97's did not have shadowline trim (the black thingie).
the 97-98's did not have step auto. but if the 98's got the shadowline and auto, it's 95% sport; ppl can change out the trim to shadowline (it's a PITA but it's doable).

depending what year you get, you can tell right away. the best way to get a sport is the 6spd manual; all 6 are sport regardless of year.
 

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Happy Trails!
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Early 99 528 models have non-step automatics too. My Touring has the sport package, but has the older GM transmission.
 

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BillP, just want to add there IS a slight difference in (I think) rear axle ratio on 540ia vs. 540ia sports. The Sports package car has a different performance number than the non-sports. Furthermore, the Sports package gets slapped w/ Gas Guzzler tax as it yields lower MPG and better accelaratiion.

cheers,

beewang :bigpimp:
 

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beewang said:
BillP, just want to add there IS a slight difference in (I think) rear axle ratio on 540ia vs. 540ia sports. The Sports package car has a different performance number than the non-sports. Furthermore, the Sports package gets slapped w/ Gas Guzzler tax as it yields lower MPG and better accelaratiion.

cheers,

beewang :bigpimp:
Good point, Step gets the better rear diff so there is sportier performance there. Thanks for correcting my omission, Bee.

Regarding the 528 and pre-'99 comments, this is a thread about '99-'01 540s but I will strive to be more complete in the future so my statements are not taken out of context.

Perhaps someone can link to the roadfart post which very completely defines all of this stuff for all years and all models.

Bill
 

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BillP said:
Good point, Step gets the better rear diff so there is sportier performance there. Thanks for correcting my omission, Bee.

Regarding the 528 and pre-'99 comments, this is a thread about '99-'01 540s but I will strive to be more complete in the future so my statements are not taken out of context.

Perhaps someone can link to the roadfart post which very completely defines all of this stuff for all years and all models.

Bill
I believe in 2001 they put the 3.15 on the 540ia. Previous to that year, it was the 2.82 with the only model to receive the 3.15 being the 540iat wagon.

-DanB
 

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DanB said:
I believe in 2001 they put the 3.15 on the 540ia. Previous to that year, it was the 2.82 with the only model to receive the 3.15 being the 540iat wagon.

-DanB
Nope. My 2000 540iA/Sports has the 3.15. Not sure if the '99 had it or not.

Bill
 

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Manual Transmissions Rule
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate it.....now all I have to do is find the *right* car, which will be a 50-60K mile Silver 540iA Sport Package.

I also read somewhere that the sport package included highly bolstered seats as well.....

-Sean
 

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Brevity= the soul of wit
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seanl said:
I also read somewhere that the sport package included highly bolstered seats as well.....

-Sean
Sport seats were standard in the Sport package. An option was 16 way 'comfort seats' including lumbar support.
 

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totally
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lol...

Poor guy asked for the EASIEST way to determine if a car has sport package..

You can be 50 feet away from a e39 and tell if it has sport package just by looking at the trim :dunno:


Pretty surefire too.. It is quite an effort to change trim, and expensive.. So it's pretty rare.
 

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How to tell which diffs my car come with?

How to tell if I got standard or sport diffs. Since I got my 97 540iA used. I could't know what my option really is after driving it for almost 1/2 year. With the orginal 235/45/17 tire, I running about 2250rpm at 100 km/h. Can you guys share your figure so that I can compare with... Or my VIN being BW72980, can anyone here help me to get the option list of my car.. thanks!!
 
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