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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently I bought a 99 540iA in excellent condition with 92000 miles for $11500, which is a good deal. However, now I'm thinking I REALLY should've bought the sport package model because
1) If I put 18"plus wheels, lowering is required unless you want it to look retarded like a
Subaru AWD wagon. That's going to cost me another $1500 (Koni,H&R and labor), I
wasn't expecting this kind of added expense.
2) If I had the factory sport rims, which are decent, I wouldn't have to spend $1500+ for
set of quality aftermarket rims.
3) Speed is limited to only 130 MPH, to change it would mean $500 software download,
Also not as quick off the line as the sport version with lower gears.
4) The blocky, hideous 4-spoke heated steering wheel is getting annoying, to upgrade to
M-sport steering wheel is a $1400 upgrade.

In short, to make it look and perform like a sport model would cost me $3000 - $5000.
I've already spent $2500 on this car for taxes, plates, and some new parts like the instrument cluster, belts, brake pads, rotors, filters, etc. Every 540i that I notice on the road now has sport package, they look so much better, now I think regular 540 is not even worth buying!

My question to you guys is, what should I do?

1)Keep the car and spend the money to make it look and perform awesome? The car's in
excellent condition with strong engine and transmission, interior looks new. Also the
aftermarket suspension would be new and fresh, not old and tired like from used sport
model, new wheels would be even better than the factory ones.

2)Sell the car, and lose thousands of dollars and start over?

3)Don't do any mods and save the money, maybe just new, low-cost 16" rims.
 

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Happy Trails!
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Either:

1) Drive it as it is and enjoy it or
2) Sell it and do your research concerning what you really want in a car

I'd go for my #1 - drive and enjoy
 

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First - 130 MPH??? My 98 540i6 is limited to 155 MPH but where are you going to use that speed?

Second, 92K on the clock - struts/shocks need to be replaced anyway ($1-2K from the dealer, $500 - 1K on your own) - might as well upgrade to fully adjustable.

Yea rims are expensive but understand that large rims = large unsprung mass = poor performance. Since you don't have the factory rims you can look for low weight alternatives that fit your taste.

The wheel sucks no doubt. But the 98 MSport blue booked at $18.5K. Assuming that a 99 MSport is slightly more, how many steering wheels can you buy for $8K?

Boils down to this - Are you a person that likes to work on a car to make it fit there exact expectations or do you want to drive it off the lot and never touch it again? If you are the initial, get to work, the latter - sell it now as you will never be happy.

FYI - the 540is with a 6 speed manual get the MSport suspension and rims for a lot less $$$$ over the MSport.
 

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KTrostel said:
First - 130 MPH??? My 98 540i6 is limited to 155 MPH but where are you going to use that speed?
The non-sport models have a limiter that limits the speed to 130. The sport models don't and it's my understanding that all manuals are technically sport models. Thus, you don't have the limiter but he does. I agree though - I'm not sure why someone would spend $500 to remove the limiter when chances are they'll never need/use that speed. The power is still there.

I say drive the car and enjoy it. It's still a great handling beast compared to most cars on the road. Or at least go test drive a 540 Sport first so you can compare the handling to your car. You may put all that money in and realize it's really not different enough to justify what you've spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1Dreamer said:
The non-sport models have a limiter that limits the speed to 130. The sport models don't and it's my understanding that all manuals are technically sport models. Thus, you don't have the limiter but he does. I agree though - I'm not sure why someone would spend $500 to remove the limiter when chances are they'll never need/use that speed. The power is still there.

I say drive the car and enjoy it. It's still a great handling beast compared to most cars on the road. Or at least go test drive a 540 Sport first so you can compare the handling to your car. You may put all that money in and realize it's really not different enough to justify what you've spent.
True, the non-sport models do have a 130 MPH limiter. I'll probably never drive over 130 mph, but I don't like the feeling of being restricted. Also 540i with close to 100K need new shocks anyway, whether its sport or non-sport, might as well switch to Konis and H&Rs, doesn't cost much more than factory stuff.
 

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Just a Gigolo
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Non-Sport = Luxury sedan with performance (i.e. Comfort seats, smaller wheels, chrome trim, softer suspension)
M-Sport = Performance sedan with luxury (i.e. Sport Seats, larger wheels, shadowline trim,firmer suspension)

What do you want out of your driving experience? I wanted the sport, I walked away from some really bargin priced 540i's cause they are non-sport. I guess you already know you choose wrong. Do you fix it or sell and buy again? I say fix it. You might get better performance above a M-sport. On my sport I already changed out my wheels and now am thinking about a stage 3 suspension from Dinan. Maybe I was better off buying the non-sport and doing upgrades.

I do wish I had comfort seats from time to time, but with the firm suspension. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gh0sT said:
He was an abused child...His mother made him wear briefs untill he was 18 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :bigpimp:
I started wearing bxrs when I was in my twenties after occasionally sleeping at girls homes...briefs just don't look good...neither does lifted 540iA with small wheels...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
roadwarrior687 said:
Non-Sport = Luxury sedan with performance (i.e. Comfort seats, smaller wheels, chrome trim, softer suspension)
M-Sport = Performance sedan with luxury (i.e. Sport Seats, larger wheels, shadowline trim,firmer suspension)

What do you want out of your driving experience? I wanted the sport, I walked away from some really bargin priced 540i's cause they are non-sport. I guess you already know you choose wrong. Do you fix it or sell and buy again? I say fix it. You might get better performance above a M-sport. On my sport I already changed out my wheels and now am thinking about a stage 3 suspension from Dinan. Maybe I was better off buying the non-sport and doing upgrades.

I do wish I had comfort seats from time to time, but with the firm suspension. :D
I want sport. You're right, the non-sport 540iA are much cheaper for a reason - they just don't look or perform as well a sport. You also have a good point - get 540iA at a cheaper price, use the saving to upgrade to new high-performance shocks and springs, and make it better than sport which is probably getting worn out anyway.
 

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You can make it look and perform like a sport for much less than that...probably $3000 or so tops.

Even if the lowering & suspension costs you $1500, you can pick up a nice set of replicas such as the M Parallel 18" wheels for a little over $1000 with tires. Find yourself a good steering wheel on eBay. They're not difficult to come by. (In fact I will have my M Sport steering wheel for sale shortly.) You can find the 2001 M-Tech steering wheels for less than $500, airbag included. Throw in an extra $500 for misc costs, shipping, etc. and you're only at $3500! Finally, leave the speed limiter the way it is. Where the heck are you going to drive 150mph?? You will not notice any major improvement with the software unless you do the cold air intake, free-flow exhaust, engine/transmission software all together!
 

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I dunno what you're talkin about. I hardly see any sport models around here, they are rare. Out of all the E39s and E60s I've seen, less than 1/10th of them are sport. Just enjoy your car as is. There's too many things you need to do to convert it to sport... shadowline trim, shocks, wheels, steering wheel, etc. IMO it's not worth it.

Out of all the choices you posted, I would go w/ choice #3.
 

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I would think of it this way:

If you decide to upgrade the shock, the performance of you car would probably better then a 540i with sport package since your shocks are new. Not to mention you can pick the set that will suit you best. Secondly the speed limiter, I think the Dinan programing will remove the speed limiter or at least raise it to 155mph (I am guessing so don't quote me). Even if you got the sport package you might still want to upgrade the software so the $500 spend might be nulled.

As for the steering wheel........well its ugly.
 

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I take it you got the wagon, otherwise I'd say, use this as an opportunity to upgrade to an M5 suspension. :D

I'd say, just don't go faster than 130mph for a while, and save some money there (both on the chip and in tickets ;) ) Otherwise go with number 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
f155mph said:
I would think of it this way:

If you decide to upgrade the shock, the performance of you car would probably better then a 540i with sport package since your shocks are new. Not to mention you can pick the set that will suit you best. Secondly the speed limiter, I think the Dinan programing will remove the speed limiter or at least raise it to 155mph (I am guessing so don't quote me). Even if you got the sport package you might still want to upgrade the software so the $500 spend might be nulled.

As for the steering wheel........well its ugly.
:) I think that's what I'm going to do - replace the suspension because at 100K miles they're getting old, and warrants replacing anyway- whether it's sport or non-sport. And put Koni sports with Eibachs. I hear too many people complaining of Bilsteins that they don't let the front drop enough, creating an uneven appearance and also that they ride hard. The cool aftermarkets cost same as boring factory parts.
You never hear about people complaining of Konis or switching to Bilsteins, but you hear the other way around.
As for the ugly steering wheel, I guess I'll be forced to keep looking at that ugly thing...people outside can't see it.

540iA sedan by the way...
 

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I have the sport package. I still needed to get coilovers when I upgraded to 18's. So since it needs to be done anyway I'd say you'll be spending less. Besides, at 92K miles it's time to replace those worn suspension components anyway. Then find yourself an used set of wheels in the classifieds.
 

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How to tell???

I dont want to thread-jack, but how can I tell if I'm looking at a sport or non-sport.
Are there any tell-tale signs?

Thanks,

And nice site here.

-ysgi
 
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