I joined here way back in 2010 as I found myself in my early twenties owning a 2001 540i Sport Auto as seen below. The car had a good spec with Xenons, M Parallel Wheels, Nav/TV, Rear Blinds & Comfort Seats and had covered 109k miles. We enjoyed the car over 2.5 years and (according to my PistonHeads Garage which I kept up to date at the time) covered 27k miles, spent ~£8k in fuel, £5k in repairs and not a lot on upgrades (one which most people hated!). We sold the car to save a bit of money and try a few other cars we fancied at the time.
8 years later and a number of cars including an MX5, Zetec Turbo Fiesta, 2x Audi 80's, a 320i, E46 M3, CL500, 850 T5, 190E etc etc I saw another 540i advertised. It was a Facelift SE car in pale green with green leather which I really liked. Annoyingly it seemed to need a load of work but it confirmed I wanted another E39 regardless of engine and thought I would try a 6 cylinder car. I started looking at cheap 'high' mileage 530i SE's as these seemed good value and often in better condition than the Sport cars. I also fancied a comfy ride after the CL500 and 190E!
I saw one 530i advertised by a trader, it was the same colour combination as the 540i (green and green) which was a coincidence. It needed a cam cover gasket and the history was sketchy so I let it pass.
I then stumbled on the below car on eBay as a private sale. The car was reasonably priced, fairly low mileage on 90k (we sold our 540i in 2013 with 136k miles!) and had the all-important (for me) Xenon headlights. The only other options is "Individual sunshade glazing" (and I'd rather not have this) but It was, however, a 525i... The car looked clean enough in the advert, but wanting a bit of love. (Ad pics below)
I viewed the car and instantly knew I wanted it. It was far cleaner than the 540i we sold 8 years previous and everything added up. The history was very good and the ownership was traceable back to the original local owners who even fitted a tracker to the car. I handed over a deposit and collected the car the following week. Not the most exciting colour combo, but it reminded me of our old car and silver is easy to maintain and always looks cleaner for longer.
The first thing I did to the car was to fit a fake M5 lower grille (with un-blanked brake ducts) and get that fitted as I did a similar thing on my old 540i. I then started the hunt for the much-hated (by my friends and wife) Poplar wood trim as I had to have this again. Finding a set with the matching radio flap AND auto shifter was fairly tricky!
I fitted a few of the usual parts like new centre caps, various clips, covers etc which were missing. The car had a good wash and minor detail (including engine bay) which pretty much takes us up to today.
Mechanically I have changed the cam cover gasket, brake discs and pads (on the front, rears still to go on as you will see below) the diff oil and had it serviced (it is due again due to the time passed, I have only covered 3k miles in two years).
The car has been garaged from December-March and I am now going to attempt a minor suspension refresh on the front to try and cure a wobble and also give the arch liners a general refresh. The following before and after is from a simple spray down with G101 APC and jet wash (no brushing yet).
Thanks for getting this far and I plan to keep this thread a bit more up to date with progress on the car. Will I ever find a decent set of M Parallel wheels?!..