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alexrowe2000

BMW 535i V8 - my new steer

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Hi all,

 

Well, I'm a proud owner of another E39 - my fourth - and I've gone for the slightly left-field option of the 535i. I know these are considered somewhat the black sheep of the higher-powered E39s but I figured just had bad can a 3.5 V8 be?? It's had the same lady owner since 1998 and it's in very good condition with an unbelievably comprehensive service history; largely main dealer and with a local specialist over the last 2 years. I've driven a fair few E39s and this one feels very sound with the engine, gearbox, handling and transmission all feeling very tight. 

 

It's got a handful of minor niggles that I'll be putting right in the near future. It's not my daily driver and I intend to keep it in a very good condition for the weekend runabouts I'll be enjoying.

 

Firstly, the cruise control doesn't work. It's a 97MY and has one of the old school cruise control functions with a separate button on the dashboard where on later models the Tire Pressure Control button is. The cruise control lights comes up on the dashboard but seems to take a while to register when pressing the steering wheel buttons and then deactivates once the brake pedal is pressed. I suspect it's a sensor somewhere as it seems to be functioning just not in the correct way.

 

Secondly, I think it is running quite cool. Around town the temperature gauge seems to hold at the 12 o'clock position. However, when cruising for even a relatively short time the temperature drops to around the one-third mark on the gauge. The cooling system and head gasket are very sound but I guess the thermostat probably needs replacing. There are no misfires and the MPG on the cruise back home (around 200 miles) was around 29mpg so it doesn't even appear to be running too richly but I'd like to get it sorted for peace of mind.

 

Finally, and probably the only slightly odd one. There is a minor high frequency vibration at very low speeds. It is speed dependent (rather than RPM) and it disappears over 20mph and there are no other symptoms from the gearbox, suspension or engine. My gut feel is pointing towards engine mounts or something suspension related such as drop links.

 

If anyone has experienced anything similar to these minor niggles I'd appreciate any feedback.

 

Finally, I've got to say the drive and cabin of a good E39 is still a fabulous thing. This particular example is 21 years old and just feels so solid, comfortable and relaxing. 

 

Thanks

Alex

 

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 I had a 535i for three years, the longest I've ever owned a car. As you say, the 3.5 seems to get a bad press (probably from those who've never driven one!) but they're not bad, the 3.5 doesn't feel as torquey as the 4.4 but it's no slower in everyday driving in my experience, they're also cheaper to buy and cheaper to insure I've found. 

 

P.S. Where's the pictures?

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3 minutes ago, Yokozuna said:

I miss mine....

:( 

I can sympathise. Every time I've got rid of an E39 I've got another one within a year. I'm very conscious that can't go on indefinitely though so I plan on keeping this in VGC as it's so sound already and a comparatively rare version

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1 minute ago, NWJW said:

 I had a 535i for three years, the longest I've ever owned a car. As you say, the 3.5 seems to get a bad press (probably from those who've never driven one!) but they're not bad, the 3.5 doesn't feel as torquey as the 4.4 but it's no slower in everyday driving in my experience, they're also cheaper to buy and cheaper to insure I've found. 

 

P.S. Where's the pictures?

 

I'll get some up soon once I've given it a good clean and got the grime of the A1M off.

 

I found it a very relaxing drive. Unsurprisingly it felt most similar to my 530i rather than my 523i or B10 but with more torque lower down it was even more enjoyable.

 

Agree on the VFM. It was incredible value for money compared to some of the 530i/540i models currently advertised...

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Is yours auto or the proper type? 

Mine was indeed a proper one, I found it could of done with a 6th gear although it went past 155mph as it's top speed was only 154( on paper) so no limiter....

it took a while to get past 150 but it still went past! ;) 

 

God damn it I'm going to look on eBay now....

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20 hours ago, Yokozuna said:

Is yours auto or the proper type? 

Mine was indeed a proper one, I found it could of done with a 6th gear although it went past 155mph as it's top speed was only 154( on paper) so no limiter....

it took a while to get past 150 but it still went past! ;) 

 

God damn it I'm going to look on eBay now....

 

Ha, mine is an auto. Did BMW do the 535i as a manual (thought it was only the 540i that was available as a manual)?

 

Good luck with the eBay search. Unless you're lucky decent ones seem to be getting rarer and pricier by the hour

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4 minutes ago, alexrowe2000 said:

 

Ha, mine is an auto. Did BMW do the 535i as a manual (thought it was only the 540i that was available as a manual)?

 

Good luck with the eBay search. Unless you're lucky decent ones seem to be getting rarer and pricier by the hour

Yes sir, rare as hen's teeth apparently but like i say only a 5sp box...

 

I had a quick look last night but in all honesty I think if we get another car or change ours then it'll "probably" be the 335d e91 but you never know ;) 

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So I've just recently joined the E39 club having been forcefully removed from the E46 club at the end of November (my 323ci got rear ended and was a financial write off) :(

 

I always loved the look of the E39's and I managed to get myself a black 2003 535i M Sport Auto which seems well put together and feels great to drive which i was very happy with. But less than 2 weeks after buying it i saw a black 2002 535i M Sport Manual (rare) with sunroof (rare) on eBay seemingly going cheap, thinking that this would eventually get sold for a silly price i put a low bid in. i'm not sure how but i ended up winning it.

 

So i'm now in the position of owning 2 Black E39 535i's, which is kind of bonkers. I always wanted 2 cars but always imagined having a wider choice when choosing which car to drive :lol:

 

 

Edited by Curby

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On 1/11/2018 at 2:04 PM, Curby said:

So I've just recently joined the E39 club having been forcefully removed from the E46 club at the end of November (my 323ci got rear ended and was a financial write off) :(

 

I always loved the look of the E39's and I managed to get myself a black 2003 535i M Sport Auto which seems well put together and feels great to drive which i was very happy with. But less than 2 weeks after buying it i saw a black 2002 535i M Sport Manual (rare) with sunroof (rare) on eBay seemingly going cheap, thinking that this would eventually get sold for a silly price i put a low bid in. i'm not sure how but i ended up winning it.

 

So i'm now in the position of owning 2 Black E39 535i's, which is kind of bonkers. I always wanted 2 cars but always imagined having a wider choice when choosing which car to drive :lol:

 

 

  

 ^^^That is exactly how I ended up with my current (and fourth!) e39, I had decided I was done with e39's after my last one but then I happened to be browsing ebay one afternoon and thought; 'That's cheap, I'll have to stick a bid on but definitely won't win it for that price'...........

 

........Bloody ebay!:D 

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On 11/01/2018 at 2:04 PM, Curby said:

I managed to get myself a black 2003 535i M Sport Auto which seems well put together and feels great to drive which i was very happy with. But less than 2 weeks after buying it i saw a black 2002 535i M Sport Manual 

 

Hi Curby.

Firstly welcome to the forum. 

Secondly,  your E39's are Sports,  not M Sports, there is no such thing as an E39 M Sport in the UK. The M Sport models started with the E60/61.

Sorry to be pedantic but it's a pet hate of mine. 

ps, I hope you get to see this post before it mysteriously disappears. 

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On 1/11/2018 at 2:04 PM, Curby said:

So I've just recently joined the E39 club having been forcefully removed from the E46 club at the end of November (my 323ci got rear ended and was a financial write off) :(

 

I always loved the look of the E39's and I managed to get myself a black 2003 535i M Sport Auto which seems well put together and feels great to drive which i was very happy with. But less than 2 weeks after buying it i saw a black 2002 535i M Sport Manual (rare) with sunroof (rare) on eBay seemingly going cheap, thinking that this would eventually get sold for a silly price i put a low bid in. i'm not sure how but i ended up winning it.

 

So i'm now in the position of owning 2 Black E39 535i's, which is kind of bonkers. I always wanted 2 cars but always imagined having a wider choice when choosing which car to drive :lol:

 

 

 

Manuals are very rare by all accounts. Which do you prefer to drive? I assume the manual feels a fair bit perkier? I've always thought the relaxed and refined nature of the E39 suited an auto but the V8 with a manual does sound very interesting

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3 hours ago, NWJW said:

  

 ^^^That is exactly how I ended up with my current (and fourth!) e39, I had decided I was done with e39's after my last one but then I happened to be browsing ebay one afternoon and thought; 'That's cheap, I'll have to stick a bid on but definitely won't win it for that price'...........

 

........Bloody ebay!:D 

 

eBay has a lot to answer for. I spotted my latest E39 on there and thought I'd keep an eye out. I got a reminder just before the auction was due to end and thought I'd put a cheeky 'Best Offer' in. After a bit of haggling back and forth here we are! They're such a lot of car for the money and if you can get a well maintained, looked after example they're fantastic value.

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On 12/01/2018 at 5:59 PM, NWJW said:

  

 ^^^That is exactly how I ended up with my current (and fourth!) e39, I had decided I was done with e39's after my last one but then I happened to be browsing ebay one afternoon and thought; 'That's cheap, I'll have to stick a bid on but definitely won't win it for that price'...........

 

........Bloody ebay!:D 

 

Haha, yup, i'm happy with the result but will be a bit less cavalier (not a Vauxhall reference ;)) with eBay in the future  

 

On 12/01/2018 at 8:28 PM, Paddy O'Furniture said:

 

Hi Curby.

Firstly welcome to the forum. 

Secondly,  your E39's are Sports,  not M Sports, there is no such thing as an E39 M Sport in the UK. The M Sport models started with the E60/61.

Sorry to be pedantic but it's a pet hate of mine. 

ps, I hope you get to see this post before it mysteriously disappears. 

 

Thanks for the update, i blame e39source for the error as i found this article Link that suggests that the M Sport package started around 1999, that being said it doesn't say if this was a global change or only for a few select countries. Personally i've found BMW5.co.uk more useful that e39source.com so i'll stick with your suggestion.

 

 

On 12/01/2018 at 9:36 PM, alexrowe2000 said:

 

Manuals are very rare by all accounts. Which do you prefer to drive? I assume the manual feels a fair bit perkier? I've always thought the relaxed and refined nature of the E39 suited an auto but the V8 with a manual does sound very interesting

 

Having driven both I definitely think that the e39 was made to be Auto (M5 being the exception), the auto glides down the road in absolute comfort and without a care in the world. That being said the clutch & flywheel need to be replaced on the Manual so this could be affecting my judgement. Personally i had my auto 3 series for 13 years and as good as it was i desperately missed having a Manual for all that time, so my preference at the moment is all Manual, it's nice to have that feel and control over the gearbox again :D

 

How are you finding yours are you working your way through the niggles and enjoying the car?

 

On 13/01/2018 at 11:21 PM, bmwmike said:

Mentions of black e39s and no pics? Need pics!! Cosmos black v8 e39 touring ideally manual is my watch list and I'd be very tempted! 

 

Will definitely be posting some pics of both of them, currently both are dirty and one has a mixed cloudy/clear headlight combo as i've only got round to polishing the single lenses. Once their both cleaned up i'll post some pretty pics

 

 

Edited by Curby

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On 1/16/2018 at 2:34 PM, Curby said:

 

Having driven both I definitely think that the e39 was made to be Auto (M5 being the exception), the auto glides down the road in absolute comfort and without a care in the world. That being said the clutch & flywheel need to be replaced on the Manual so this could be affecting my judgement. Personally i had my auto 3 series for 13 years and as good as it was i desperately missed having a Manual for all that time, so my preference at the moment is all Manual, it's nice to have that feel and control over the gearbox again :D

 

How are you finding yours are you working your way through the niggles and enjoying the car?

 

 

 

Yes, really enjoying it. She's a lovely old girl and doesn't really need too much doing to her to get her tip top. The bit I'm not looking forward to is sorting the sills. They're not too bad at all on inspection but with the weather being so grim I haven't had the covers off yet to see how bad things are and I know the covers can hide a whole new world of pain. I've got my fingers crossed that it's as superficial as it appears. She's got enough mod-cons so doesn't feel sparse but it's interesting once you've been out driving for a while how you don't really miss all the extras we have on modern cars. 

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