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Old 14th February 2018, 10:29   #1
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Default My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

We have heard of long term reviews, but probably the first time a review after 17 years of ownership!!

Introduction: The E39 5-Series is one of the best, and most successful models BMW has ever produced, here is a quick review of my friends BMW 530i Auto E39 2001 Facelift LCM in his own words. Owned by him after the direct import, Single Import from Germany through Kashyap Motors- the then importer in India.

Review: posting behalf of my friend (his words!):

The Car: Have had my E39 530i car for a long long time! Prior to this was my E36 316i- solid, very underpowered, but amazingly refined and comfortable. In 2001, the E39 made its entry into India directly imported by the then Delhi BMW Dealer Kashyap Motors - the first lot post the LCM with Angel Eyes- it was a special car with Z security double glazed windows and glasses all round which made it not only highly secure, but also whisper quiet. It was a special grey color and the interiors too were grey. I later learnt that this was a rare combination in India. It was top of the line- no extras spared. The list of extras as per the invoice runs to 2 full pages!! Mobile phone (hands free and with its own hand set too), Xenon headlights, sun and moon roof, Celis tail lamps, Multifunction M steering wheel, Electric 20-way adjustable Comfort seats with Memory package, DSP amplifier, 5 radial alloys - those were the days when the cars had a full size spare wheel. And it was only 2001 !!

Living with my car: Coming from the underpowered 316i, this was truly an Ultimate Driving Machine - Really Fast with 0-100 kms in a timed run of 6.7 seconds in 2001, pretty decent fuel consumption figures of 8-10 KMPL , ultra-refined yet outstanding in its handling. Being a rear-wheel-drive with 50:50 weight ratio the car always feels well balanced and precise providing excellent feedback to the driver. Yes, it is big and heavy, but BMW nailed it by its awesome engineering and the dynamics make the 5-Series a driver’s car.

Truly a dream machine if there ever was one that you could use for the daily runs to office, to the mall and the golf course. For about 6 years the car was maintained by Kashyap in New Delhi and then my office shifted to Cochin. I was bringing it with me.

Maintaining the beauty: During the first 6 years, there was minimal maintenance needed and certainly no mechanical issues. Once I brought the car down to Cochin, I had to learn to maintain the car myself.

Joined a few BMW global forums and then did the routine maintenance on my own for about another 4-5 years. The car was in top shape, but I felt it needed a new set of suspension parts, so went about replacing all the parts including Shocks, Struts, Springs, Bushings, tie rods etc. As should be the case, I was also looking at upgrading and went in for top spec B6 Bilstein shocks and struts with all other OE parts. Also replaced the rear sway bar with M5 sway bar to give better rigidity at the rear, though a wee bit bouncier. Replaced the 16” radial alloys with M5 original 17” alloys. Anything over 17 inch would not have been ideal for our Kerala roads.

Meantime, all the rubber parts were getting brittle and literally breaking away, so replaced every single rubber and plastic part, worn or otherwise just to ensure that the car shall live for another 15 years without any trouble. This was expensive- plastic cowls, fan, hoses, window glazings and so on. Since I travel often to the US, sourcing all these OE parts were not difficult for me and it became my sole mission - nay obsession. Over a period of 2 years, I had the car back in showroom condition. I also did the CCV delete using an oil catch can from Mishimoto, replaced the usual suspects in the E39 M54 engine which by then had some known gremlins- which thankfully never affected my car- nevertheless I went about replacing all such parts and with the help of the Bimmerfest Forum was able to source the high spec parts to replace the OE parts as well.

The headlight height adjusters were prone to breakage, so replaced the entire unit with Umnitza LED angel eyes version, got the entire interior package in LED, Brakes were upgraded using Zimmerman cross drilled brake discs with semi ceramic low dust pads, brake lines were replaced with steel braided ones, caliper pins were replaced with brass pins and so on.

On the regular maintenance front, replaced the entire cooling system, radiator, thermostat, heavy duty water pump, all the hoses - which were showing signs of becoming spongy, belts, timing chain tensioner, oil seals of the power steering lines, filter house gasket, valve cover gasket, AC intake hoses, Vanos O rings, and a few more just because they were indeed becoming old. Also, the plastics and the rubbers do not last very well in our high heat and humid conditions.

The interior had retained its charm, but had it cleaned and polished to bring it back to its glory. The headliner was sagging, so had it replaced with specially imported headliner. The A pillar and C pillar covers had lost its inside clasps so had to replace those as well.

One of the things that irked me was the lack of blue tooth and telephony in the car, as the system (and the car) was pre Bluetooth days. Making and receiving calls while driving was a pain. After about a year of research, finally got hold of a Touch Screen Head Unit that was compatible with the DSP system of the car, could play the iPod and DVDs and also sync my phone through Bluetooth and loaded a SatNav system. It was a direct fit and hence no mods were needed, which I was very particular about. Had to retain the originality of the car and not tamper with it otherwise.

Now that the car was completely restored, I wanted to continue doing more. The car was original, quick, reliable, refined and still would turn heads. E39 had the class and driving pleasure that no BMW since could give. The only external mod was a subtle addition of the M5 lip spoiler on the boot. Otherwise the car was entirely stock. It was the perfect balance of road comfort and handling while wrapping itself around you. The size of the car didn’t matter when you drove it. Truly!!

Ye dil maange more! Yet, the bug had bitten me - performance improvements had to be made. Most cars today boast of 250-300 BHP. My stock E39 530i was at 235 BHP with 230 nM torque which was pretty low, giving a poor mid-range pick up - the only possible weakness of this car. I had done all the necessary mods to make it completely reliable and top spec, so decided I had to move up the performance without sacrificing the reliability aspect.

It had to be something I could do on my own as I was not willing to trust it with anyone else; so went about another year of study and research before finally installing the Rotrex Super Charger and the ActiveAutowerke SC kit. With high performance Bosch injectors, Cold air intake, it was not complicated. It just had to aligned right to run a much longer belt through the extra pulleys. My dad oversaw the installation. A simple remap from ActiveAutowerke for our 91 Octane petrol, gave me a bump up of another 100 BHP with 30% increase in Torque. This is exactly what I wanted. It was a higher spec than the B5 Alpina of those times. The drivability had increased beautifully with fantastic mid-range and as of date I have completed over a year since the installation. The car runs beautifully and it’s a daily driver even now !! I do have other performance cars and also luxury cars, but my E39 is the pride of my stable...

For me, the E39 epitomizes what I would want from a car - drivability, speed, reliability, maturity and class. A complete sleeper, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It has been with me a long time and will remain that way- God willing. Thank you!

Here are some of the features from the endless list:
  • Anthracite Grey on Nappa Grey Leather.
  • Complete Manuals, Import documents with spare keys.
  • New Bilstein B6 suspension with new OE springs and Guide supports - Fully new suspension
  • Rough road package
  • M5 sway bar at rear with M5 links
  • M5 Alloys OE imported from Germany on special order with extra alloys as spare -
  • M5 rear spolier
  • Umnitza Xenon Headlights with LED Angel eyes
  • Touch screen head unit with BT, Navigation and hands free
  • Zimmerman Sport- Cross drilled sport disc brakes with low dust semi carbon ceramic brake pads
  • Maserati Headliner

Mods / updates done:
  • Active Autowerke USA Supercharger - with Rotrex SC- developed specially for M54 E39 engine
  • High performance Bosch Injectors
  • Cold air typhoon intake
  • All steel brake hoses with copper caliper bushings for life long service
  • All plastics and Rubber parts replaced as they are prone to brittleness
  • Brand New AC Compressor
  • Completely new cooling system, hoses, thermostat, heavy duty water pump - replaced although in good condition purely because car was aged.

Let the pictures speak for themselves…

My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years-bmwe391.jpeg

My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years-bmwe393.jpeg

My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years-bmwe394.jpeg

My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years-bmwe392.jpeg

My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years-bmwe395.jpeg

My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years-bmwe396.jpeg

My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years-bmwe397.jpeg
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Old 14th February 2018, 11:23   #2
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Default re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Now that's a timeless beauty and happy to see all the mods that have been carefully selected while keeping the car look as original as possible. My regards to your friend for all the hard work done to make the car look awesome!

Please do share images of the engine bay, especially the Supercharger and the interiors as well.
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Old 14th February 2018, 12:45   #3
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Default re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Such an immaculately maintained beauty. Always loved the understated aggression of this genre.

More details
1. Costs of equipment, restoration etc
2. Interior pics/ before- after
3. Engine bay pics

Congratulations to your friend. This also serves as a reminder to love your cars and they will love you back.
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Old 14th February 2018, 15:40   #4
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Man after my own heart . That is such a gorgeous sedan. I loved it in my younger years. There is a neglected 525d (an iconic car back then) in my area and I walk past it frequently. She never ever fails to turn my head, even in this state:


BMW got the E39's styling spot on, as also its M5 version (it was manageable, not insane like the current M5s). In some ways, the F10's proportions remind me of the E39. Congrats to your friend on keeping her so well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyStuff View Post
this was truly an Ultimate Driving Machine - Really Fast with 0-100 kms in a timed run of 6.7 seconds in 2001, pretty decent fuel consumption figures of 8-10 KMPL , ultra-refined yet outstanding in its handling. Being a rear-wheel-drive with 50:50 weight ratio the car always feels well balanced and precise providing excellent feedback to the driver. Yes, it is big and heavy, but BMW nailed it by its awesome engineering and the dynamics make the 5-Series a driver’s car.
Love the writing style. Why is your friend not a BHPian himself? Please ask him to register and drop me a PM with his handle.
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Old 14th February 2018, 16:21   #5
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

WOW! What an iconic beauty she is. I love the clean lines and timelessness attached with BMWs of that time. E46s and E39s attract me more than the modern day G30s. Its really hard for me to digest the headlight and grill integration and the upsizing of kidney grill. E39 is from time when things were less electronic and when steering had less buttons and more mechanical feel and connectivity. No modern car can bring that back. She is a keeper and I envy your friend for owning such a beauty
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Old 14th February 2018, 16:35   #6
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Man after my own heart . That is such a gorgeous sedan. I loved it in my younger years. There is a neglected 525d (an iconic car back then) in my area and I walk past it frequently.
Contrary to the BMW Diesel engines of today, the diesel engines during the E39 period (M57) were a nightmare to work on and very unreliable. However the inline 6 petrol engines were super smooth and trouble free.
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Old 14th February 2018, 17:37   #7
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Man after my own heart . That is such a gorgeous sedan. I loved it in my younger years. There is a neglected 525d (an iconic car back then) in my area and I walk past it frequently. She never ever fails to turn my head, even in this state:

This car caught my eye as well. Especially due to the KA22 Number, Belagavi(Belgaum) where I've trained in Surgery for 3 years. What is a bit worrying is the RTO registration has this as a VW VENTO 1.6 in white colour!
I wonder why it's been abandoned roadside

Last edited by Eddy : 14th February 2018 at 18:33. Reason: Quoting an image hampers readability.
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Old 14th February 2018, 18:37   #8
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Ooo mama! What. A. Design. Sheer class. The saying ‘they don’t make it like this anymore’ fits aptly to this car. I don’t care about the amount of power, torque or 0-60 mph timings of this car. It’s looks is enough to make me drool over this all the time. Your friend is a proper car connoisseur. Pretty sure he has modern, luxury cars..yet holding on to this legend. Speaks volumes about his taste.

Also, can’t help but notice how uncanny the F10 resembles this car. God, they really messed up the new one.

Your friend’s car though, is what BMW was all about. The Ultimate Driving Machine.

Last edited by The Brutailer : 14th February 2018 at 18:44.
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Old 14th February 2018, 19:42   #9
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Love the writing style. Why is your friend not a BHPian himself? Please ask him to register and drop me a PM with his handle.
Thank you! I have asked him to register and will share the details soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post
Now that's a timeless beauty and happy to see all the mods that have been carefully selected while keeping the car look as original as possible. My regards to your friend for all the hard work done to make the car look awesome!

Please do share images of the engine bay, especially the Supercharger and the interiors as well.
Thanks, will share more images soon. Will be taking her for a spin in next few days. He was bit busy these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
Such an immaculately maintained beauty. Always loved the understated aggression of this genre.

More details
1. Costs of equipment, restoration etc
2. Interior pics/ before- after
3. Engine bay pics

Congratulations to your friend. This also serves as a reminder to love your cars and they will love you back.
Will share the details soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Brutailer View Post
Your friend is a proper car connoisseur. Pretty sure he has modern, luxury cars..yet holding on to this legend. Speaks volumes about his taste.
Yeah, he owns a Mini Cooper S-JCW, an E-Class... and a cute E30 Coupe, which is under some serious makeover now!
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Old 14th February 2018, 20:16   #10
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Wow that car is gorgeous and really well maintained! This was one of the best 5-series they made, very elegant and timeless design. The F10 was clear evolution of this design, which is why it also looks timeless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
There is a neglected 525d (an iconic car back then) in my area and I walk past it frequently. She never ever fails to turn my head,
I love this car, and I don't know if this is a popular opinion but those whiteline clear taillights are to die for!
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Old 14th February 2018, 20:34   #11
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Coincidentally was reading the ownership review of GTO's Beast(530D) earlier today and now this! What a day for Beamer fanboy!
E39 series in my opinion were the best looking BMW's ever built, classy and yet an edge of sportiness. Indeed a wolf in sheep's clothing!
Kudos to the owned for maintaining her so immaculately and all the efforts and $$$ poured in keeping that beauty in shape!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
There is a neglected 525d (an iconic car back then) in my area and I walk past it frequently. She never ever fails to turn my head, even in this state:
Feels awful when negligent owners simply dump their rides after replacing them with newer ones!
If only each and everyone who bought these well engineered machines actually cared about it!

Last edited by aah78 : 14th February 2018 at 21:10. Reason: Quote fixed.
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Old 14th February 2018, 21:08   #12
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

First of all it's very rare to see an E39 nowadays. Secondly even if you see one, it's in a pathetic condition - either abandoned or left to junk. Thirdly they would have changed zillion of hands already.

But what do we see here ? A 17 year old single owner E39 and that too in immaculate condition. Hats off to your friend Crazy Stuff for keeping this iconic car. As GTO said, he needs to be part of the forum. Pictures of his other cars also would be much appreciated.

This was the last of the BMW 5 series that I really love - "They don't make them like this anymore". The angel eyes / Corona lights have never looked better on any other BMW as they look on the E39 5 series. In the 90s many of these were imported here and by the end of the decade - a lot of them were already on sale.

Salman Khan used to own a E39 M5

A related thread for your friend : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super-...9-e60-f10.html (BMW M5 Spotted Thread (w/Pics) - E28, E34, E39, E60, F10)
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Old 14th February 2018, 23:23   #13
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

Wonderful! My heart skipped a beat while looking at this lovely beemer. <3
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Old 15th February 2018, 07:40   #14
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

4th generation BMWs are the best! They got it absolutely right and nothing that followed really can match up to these machines design wise.

One of my most favorite design is the E46 M3 CSL. I still recall how it left me after watching Jeremy drive one at Isle of Man for Top Gear! Still got a picture of that one on the wardrobe.

So really happy to see a great car kept so well. Kudos to the lucky owner!

Not sure if its the photo and I am definitely nit picking, but the right side kidney grille looks a bit tilted.

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Why is your friend not a BHPian himself? Please ask him to register and drop me a PM with his handle.
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Old 15th February 2018, 08:42   #15
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Default Re: My friend's Supercharged BMW 530i (E39) - Owner's take after 17 years

What. A. Car. Perfect proportions, simple lines, understated elegance mated with high performance. Truly how cars should look and feel. Hat tip to your friend for his passion for it. Says a lot about the man, we definitely need him on this forum.
P.S: That steering wheel shot, tho!!
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