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  1. #1
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    Member No: 65655 rabidm3 is an unknown quantity at this point rabidm3's Avatar
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    E39 M5 purchase questions..

    I am trying to see if I want to get into an E39 M5 for my E39 540iWagon.

    After owning a wagon for more than a year, I realized that I dont necessarily need a wagon if I have a sedan with fold-down rear seats.

    The 540 I have also is an automatic and I miss the shifting in my previous M3.

    Since I need a bigger car than the M3, I am looking in to the M5.

    Here are some questions that I think you guys should be able to answer easily:

    - Does the M5 have the same cooling system issues as the 540?
    - Were split-folding rear seats standard or an option? If this was an option, how common was this?
    - How does the car do in snow with snow tires? I live in Chicago, so the snow thing is key for about half a dozen days in a year.
    - What size wheels will fit for the snow tires?
    - Any significant model year changes? I am looking to spend around $30k for this, so I am looking at a 2000-2002 car. Is there anything that I will be missing in the later years that might be worth the extra money. Obviously, I am looking for a car out of warranty, so that is not in play here.

    Any other advice will be helpful. I have owned numerous BMWs in the past including a couple of E36 M3s, a E34 Wagon, a E38 and a slew of E36s. I have two kids right now, so a "family-size" car is what I am looking for.

    Thanks all

    Vijay
    00 740iL
    99 540iT

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    Member No: 12904 pmiranda is just really nice pmiranda is just really nice pmiranda is just really nice pmiranda is just really nice pmiranda's Avatar
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    Re: E39 M5 purchase questions..

    - Does the M5 have the same cooling system issues as the 540?

    Pretty much, yeah.

    - Were split-folding rear seats standard or an option? If this was an option, how common was this?

    Option. I'd guess less than 50% got them since they transmit a little more noise and squeak than the fixed seats.

    - How does the car do in snow with snow tires? I live in Chicago, so the snow thing is key for about half a dozen days in a year.

    Same as a 540 if you are sensible.

    - What size wheels will fit for the snow tires?

    Good question. I think you need at least 17's to clear the larger front brakes. Tirerack should know for sure.

    - Any significant model year changes? I am looking to spend around $30k for this, so I am looking at a 2000-2002 car. Is there anything that I will be missing in the later years that might be worth the extra money. Obviously, I am looking for a car out of warranty, so that is not in play here.

    I think M-audio was a new option for MY 2002. It's larger woofers cut into the vertical trunk space by at least 4". Because of them my E36 can hold more than my E39.
    The nav screen went from 4x3 to 16x9 in 2001 I believe.
    I think the late 2003 models can use the factory bluetooth kits but the earlier ones can only use aftermarket.
    The early ones had VANOS oil pressure accumulator issues that should have been fixed under warranty. All of them burn oil to some extent, especially if you use the 5w30 that later models recommend.
    Other changes were less significant.

    There should be a FAQ for this...
    <img src="http://members.roadfly.org/pmiranda/TMCM_anim.gif">
    <img src="http://members.roadfly.org/pmiranda/My5UV_logo.jpg">
    02 LeMansBlue/Silverstone M5
    98 EstorilBlue/Grey M3
    Blue Spec Racer Ford

  3. #3
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    Re: E39 M5 purchase questions..

    My5UV has answered most of your questions so I'll just add a bit.

    As far as snow tires, I decided to go with dedicated rims to keep the OEM's as nice as possible and to allow me to swap sets on and off myself without taking it to a tire store. According to Tirerack and to BMW (I checked with the dealer and BMW's regional tech group), you should use the same size tire on all 4 corners. I went with 245/40/18 (fronts) Dunlop Winter Sport M3's. These tires do fit the 9.5" rears but look a little funny because they have to stretch a bit. Since the seal is made at the bead, it's not a problem. If snow stays on the road in your area a significant part of the winter, go with full snow tires like Blizzaks. If much of the winter has the streets clear after it snows, go with the Winter sports. The WS's have less squirm and better handling, but are not as good in the snow and ice.

    The attached link will cover several of the questions you asked and provide info on some things you didn't ask.


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    Bgreen
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    I think you will have a hard time in that $ range

    Unless you want a very high milage car which exposes you to a lot of potential $$$ to keep the car in form.

    That is why I bought a 540i (but one with 3 pedals).

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    Re: E39 M5 purchase questions..

    Cooling system in the E39 540 and M5 are the same, most E39 cooling system are good until they reach 80K and up. I own a 2002 M5 I have not had any problems with the car, it was a good choice.
    Odog

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    hey Vijay.. I am in chicago as well

    and I am also looking for an e39 m5. What is the cooling issue exactly. Maybe we ought to get together and go over our notes and try to go to one dealer for a better bargain ? :)

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    NGS_M5
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    I love my fold down seats since MAudio takes space


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    Re: E39 M5 purchase questions..

    I have a 01 Lemans Blue with 70K miles. All options including suede headliner. I have done many upgrades recently including 4 new tires at 62K. The check engine light is on due to the much publicised carbon issue, but the car runs perfect. I am a motivated seller due to a new baby & would let it go for $25K. Let me know if you are interested & I will send pictures.

    For info on the carbon issue & how to fix it click here. http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=84422

    Mike H.
    Milwaukee, WI
    414-916-8497

    PS. Red rocket referes to my supercharged 2000 Z3 which may also be for sale. Inquire if interested. Thanks

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