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pidgeonpost

Silly idea or too good an opportunity to miss?

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Although I know little about the E39 I've always loved the look. When I was looking for a BMW 3 years ago I was starting from scratch and although an E39 was on my mind I hadn't researched them at all, and when a well cared for E60 came along we bought it. The E39 itch is still there though.

 

For the past few months there's been an immaculate looking X-reg (2000) E39 528i in a car park I use. I had a chat with the owner - guy in his 60's I'd say - and he has owned the car for all but a few months of its life and it seems he'd really cherished it. From what he said it lacked for nothing. Certainly on casual walk-around there wasn't a speck of rust in the usual places.

 

Yesterday, in the spot where it usually sat was a Jaguar. The E39 owner was nearby so I asked him if he'd traded his E39. He hadn't, and it's for sale. He gave me a little bit of history - all the things you normally want to hear, regularly serviced by local indy, every MOT certificate available (they're online anyway now of course), autobox serviced, some suspension work done etc. Car has around 110K on the clock, but annual mileage in the last few years has been very low - not always a good thing, I know. He also says it's not the fly-by-wire throttle on this car which he says was troublesome on some models.

Says that when he first bought it the underpan was removed and every nook and cranny got 2 coats of Waxoyl...etc...etc. There would be lots of further investigation to be done, but it's got me sniffing the bait. He's looking for £2.5k o.n.o. I know there are loads of E39's around for w-a-y below that, but with a car of that age condition is a major factor.

 

Should I swap the E60 (525d LCI - 3.0litre) which is 11 years old, for an 18-year-old E39? The E60 does everything I want in terms of performance, and I think the BHP is about the same as the 528i of that year. It's a very tidy car, well maintained, only just over half the mileage of the E39, and more toys than the 528i. Fuel consumption is exceptionally good. But it would have to go as there's no way I can afford to keep it and run the E39 as a weekender. It would have to be a daily too.

 

I've had a brief look at the buying guides on the forum, but I guess without the registration number and VIN I can't check it out further. What are the 'must haves' for a 528i of this year?

 

So, am I nuts to be even considering this?  :wacko:

 

Edited by pidgeonpost

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2 minutes ago, pidgeonpost said:

Although I know little about the E39 I've always loved the look. When I was looking for a BMW 3 years ago I was starting from scratch and although an E39 was on my mind I hadn't researched them at all, and when a well cared for E60 came along we bought it. The E39 itch is still there though.

For the past few months there's been an immaculate looking X-reg (2000) E39 528i in the car park. I had a chat with the owner - guy in his 60's I'd say - and he has owned the car for all but a few months of its life and it seems he'd really cherished it. From what he said it lacked for nothing. Certainly on casual walk-around there wasn't a speck of rust in the usual places.

 

Yesterday, in the spot where it usually sat was a Jaguar. The E39 owner was nearby so I asked him if he'd traded his E39. He hadn't, and it's for sale. He gave me a little bit of history - all the things you normally want to hear, regularly serviced by local indy, every MOT certificate available (they're online anyway now of course), autobox serviced, some suspension work done etc. Car has around 110K on the clock, but annual mileage in the last few years has been very low - not always a good thing, I know. He also says it's not the fly-by-wire throttle on this car which he says was troublesome on some models.

Says that when he first bought it the underpan was removed and every nook and cranny got 2 coats of Waxoyl...etc...etc. There would be lots of further investigation to be done, but it's got me sniffing the bait. He's looking for £2.5k o.n.o. I know there are loads of E39's around for w-a-y below that, but with a car of that age condition is a major factor.

Should I swap the E60 (525d LCI - 3.0litre) which is 11 years old, for an 18-year-old E39? The E60 does everything I want in terms of performance, and I think the BHP is about the same as the 528i of that year. It's a very tidy car, well maintained, only just over half the mileage of the E39, and more toys than the 528i. Fuel consumption is exceptionally good. But it would have to go as there's no way I can afford to keep it and run the E39 as a weekender. It would have to be a daily too.

I've had a brief look at the buying guides on the forum, but I guess without the registration number and VIN I can't check it out further.

 

So, am I nuts to be even considering this?  :wacko:

 

You can get the vin online, or just PM your reg and i ll get it for you.

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Thanks - I may well take you up on your offer. First I'd like to get an idea of the 'must haves' for the car so I can ask the owner a few questions at once rather than ping him with several individual ones. :)

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I'd certainly be digging deeper as you've suggested, but sounds like overall a very good car

 

I liked the M52 2.8i engine I had in my previous E38; never felt underpowered and loved to be pushed hard! So in an E39, I'd say it'll be more livelier with the lighter body etc

 

I looked at a few 528i E39s before I bought my current 530i; if they'd had been described better (ie. bodywork issues and trim issues) I'd probably have gone with one of them as they'd have been a £1.5k project, but alas they weren't described accurately and the sellers wouldn't shift on their price to make it worthwhile to me etc

 

Drove a few locally and they'd been really well mechanically looked after and drove superbly, just bodywork letting them down (and fusty interiors) :lol: 

 

One thing I'd personally consider is to up-rate the front brakes to the 530i ones (larger caliper, discs and pads etc) - 296mm vs 324mm IIRC

 

Ideally it'll have full working cruise control, climate control etc... But it's all down to personal preference when it comes to toys.

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18 minutes ago, pidgeonpost said:

Thanks - I may well take you up on your offer. First I'd like to get an idea of the 'must haves' for the car so I can ask the owner a few questions at once rather than ping him with several individual ones. :)

Welcome anytime.

iMHO when buying an E39 its best to pay premium for an all sorted car with no rist and with solid service history.

 

-Check for cooling system overhaul, radiators , thermostat, hoses, water pump all give up the ghost quite early on these E39s.

-check for head gasket symptoms

-check if CCV has being replaced.

-oil leaks very common,oil filter housing and rocker cover commonly leak, oil pan do leak and a pig of a job.

-check suspension overhaul.

-rust hidden under plastic trays on sills etc, dont trust owner word for it, pop the jack pads out and have a look.

 

In bought an E39 from an enthusiast owner who spent a fortune on it over the years and trusted him that car was well sorted and made a huge mistake not inspecting it properly as it was heavily raining .

I ended up with so many jobs which i have done myself otherwise the car would be scrap if done by a garage.

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As Dan says the M52 528i is a little under powered compared to M54 530i and if buying now I would wait out for a facelift m54 530i

 

I think the facelifts started 2001

 

Goodluck

 

Jay

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3 minutes ago, j525i said:

As Dan says the M52 528i is a little under powered compared to M54 530i and if buying now I would wait out for a facelift m54 530i

 

I think the facelifts started 2001

 

Goodluck

 

Jay

 

No I didn't... Read my post again :roll: 

 

I'm a fan of the M52 2.8i, it's a great engine and never felt underpowered to me at all. Even in a tank of an E38... In the E39's I drove, it felt bob-on...

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5 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

No I didn't... Read my post again :roll: 

 

sorry I  mis read

 

I thought the M52 528i underpowered compaired to M54 530i

 

Jay

Edited by j525i
correction

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44 minutes ago, j525i said:

 

sorry I  mis read

 

I thought the M52 528i underpowered compaired to M54 530i

 

Jay

 

Lower in power yes, but not underpowered at all IMO

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After a week of soul-searching and going through the pockets of clothes I haven't worn for a while I've decided I've got to pass in this one. We've had a shed load of expense recently with more to come, the E60  is running well, and you can bet a pound to a pinch of s**t that however good the E39 there are a couple of things I'd want to change right away (black wheels for a start).

Oh well. Thanks for the tips fellas - much appreciated.

Edited by pidgeonpost

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