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AlexGSi2000

Buying an e39 M5.

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Morning,

I'm currently in a position where I am very tempted to purchase an e39 M5 - could so with some advice from people who have been here before!

I have had the same reoccurring thought over and over for the past 2 years, I feel if I don't buy one I may miss my chance due to the increase in value.

 

Do I keep my current e39 530d which has had some engine work, fit an LSD and suppress the M5 cravings?

 

I guess my budget would be around the 10k area, prepared to spend a little more for the right example, but would also be happy purchasing a slightly shabbier example.

In terms of work that may need doing - I have the use of a 2-poster and usually carry out all my own mechanical work.

It won't be the daily and will only be used occasionally, I guess I'm looking for a longer term project - something I can potentially add value to.

 

My head says that I should, but conscience is getting the better of me!

On one hand I'm thinking that it would be a solid investment whilst having the pleasure of owning / driving it.

Help!

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In the same boat. Owned two before, an 00 and an 02. 02 was better in most ways. Regretted selling the 02 plate. Price hasn't moved on them since I sold it 4 years ago, but there are not as many nice ones around. I would like another, as it's the best sounding, most 'together' car I've owned, and softly sprung relative to modern cars so can be used everyday, and handles predictably making it fun to steer on throttle from time to time. I will be back in the market for one soon, but will be very fussy and therefore either not find one or end up paying £15k+/

 

I follow the thread with interest, cheers.

 

131702435_Imola25.thumb.jpg.166c4418e08776b319766d950c720428.jpgDSC_0212.thumb.jpg.96cc9ffc2f0bdd566bd0bf5cdcf74768.jpg

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As far as an investment goes, I would say the general upkeep including keeping up a documented service history will give a break-even in the short to medium term. Who knows what might happen in the future? I suspect there are better investments if you just want a return at some point. Having a ramp and DIY abilities make the car easy to live with. I do most non-routine service work myself and find it a simple car to work on. Having an old laptop with diagnostics is a great help. I take it to a trusted M car specialist each year for the routine service so that a future buyer will be confident they are getting a pampered example.

 

So buy one to enjoy it! They are one of those cars that get better with familiarity and a bit of bravery. You don't have to go very fast in one to have a lot of fun. They have enough controllable torque to make a nice twisty hill climb a blast at low speed without daft risks. That's something I find rather lacking in more modern or track-focused cars that need to be at 9.9/10 before they even wake up. I find their throttle response and bottomless torque spread is deeply satisfying.

 

With luck you could have a fun car that does everything really well, some things brilliantly, and with zero depreciation it will be almost *free* motoring.

 

*some man-maths may be applicable.

 

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I've got a 530d and an M5 and I find the combo covers most driving contingencies - the diesel for everyday/long distance work, and the M5 for fun and trips to the continent but only during the summer. This 'division of labour' works well for me.

 

Sounds like you do a lot of your own mechanical work on your 530d so you will be familiar with the E39 suspension and brakes. There are detail differences between the 530d and M5 of course but they come from the same mechanical gene pool and require the same amount of attention. If your 530d is an auto then you'll find the manual box fitted to the M5 less of a worry in terms of longevity, though a clutch change may be required  which  is no biggie in the grand scheme of things.

 

The S62 engine is robust but can throw big bills, occasionally very B I G bills if you run into rod bearing/chain guide/VANOS issues. Thermostat, sensors, fuel pumps etc are all simple DIYs and real money-savers. Contrary to what the internet says most S62 engines don't lunch themselves unless they've been neglected and/or thrashed relentlessly from cold. If any of the previous owners have 'lived on the red line' then the engine will suffer sooner than later, probably. Potential M5 ownership is a bit like contemplating a relationship with a hot Miami pole dancer. You know you want to but you've got to remember she's probably been banged by others who may have infected her with some God-awful STD that you'll only find out about once you dipped your wick sans condom.

 

The bodies corrode so buy the best example you can afford. Extensive rust eradication/bodywork work can run into ££££ in a bad example. But you probably already know this.

 

If you do buy make sure you see several examples and be prepared to travel to view. There will be some dogs out there at unrealistic prices so choose carefully. Finally, beware the cars advertised with 'full BMW service history' but no other evidence of mechanical work. A fat folder of receipts for suspension work etc, etc. builds a lot of confidence.  A BMW main dealer service is basically just a fluids and filters change and very little else.

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22 hours ago, AlexGSi2000 said:

Morning,

I'm currently in a position where I am very tempted to purchase an e39 M5 - could so with some advice from people who have been here before!

I have had the same reoccurring thought over and over for the past 2 years, I feel if I don't buy one I may miss my chance due to the increase in value.

 

Do I keep my current e39 530d which has had some engine work, fit an LSD and suppress the M5 cravings?

 

I guess my budget would be around the 10k area, prepared to spend a little more for the right example, but would also be happy purchasing a slightly shabbier example.

In terms of work that may need doing - I have the use of a 2-poster and usually carry out all my own mechanical work.

It won't be the daily and will only be used occasionally, I guess I'm looking for a longer term project - something I can potentially add value to.

 

My head says that I should, but conscience is getting the better of me!

On one hand I'm thinking that it would be a solid investment whilst having the pleasure of owning / driving it.

Help!

 

Hi pal

 

This one is for sale local to me: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2000-BMW-M5-LOVELY-EXAMPLE-OF-A-FUTURE-CLASSIC/232943322671?hash=item363c81062f:g:WHgAAOSwQ3tbrNpX

 

Went to have a look at it with a friend and he fell in love with it, but got called away before he could settle a deal (he’s in the forces) and when he came back, he ended up buying an E60 M5 instead!

 

Its in very good condition for its age, clearly been looked after, but I didn’t get chance to see all the paperwork. But the guy selling it seemed very genuine and he knew what he was talking about... 

 

Worth looking at IMO, more so as it’s not too far from you :) 

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4 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

Hi pal

 

This one is for sale local to me: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2000-BMW-M5-LOVELY-EXAMPLE-OF-A-FUTURE-CLASSIC/232943322671?hash=item363c81062f:g:WHgAAOSwQ3tbrNpX

 

Went to have a look at it with a friend and he fell in love with it, but got called away before he could settle a deal (he’s in the forces) and when he came back, he ended up buying an E60 M5 instead!

 

Its in very good condition for its age, clearly been looked after, but I didn’t get chance to see all the paperwork. But the guy selling it seemed very genuine and he knew what he was talking about... 

 

Worth looking at IMO, more so as it’s not too far from you :) 

 

Buy it Dan, it won't depreciate like your 7.

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Don't discount a high mileage one that's been looked after, I'm on my second (which is now at 170k miles), the first went to 213k miles no probs.

 

You'll need to budget for lots of suspension bits and bodywork at this age so unlikely to add value/see an ROI. 

 

Buy the best you can, drive it, maintain it and enjoy it for as long as you can.

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2 hours ago, Steve van hool said:

 

Buy it Dan, it won't depreciate like your 7.

 

Nah not for me. Not sure I could cope with a manual as a daily driver unfortunately.

 

My 7s gone as low as it'll go for now I'd say

Edited by d_a_n1979

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20 hours ago, Lennox said:

Simple, do it!!!!

We come this way but once!!!

Sent from my SM-N9600 using Tapatalk
 

 

Yep, sometimes you just have to go for it, not brilliant in stop/start or commuter traffic, but given an open road there is nothing like an e39 M5. It's motoring nirvana.

 

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Some sound advice above, thanks to those who have contributed.

 

DepthHoar - Love the analogy!

Dan - thanks for the link, I may well organize a visit up to Preston. I feel like I may be going to view a few.

 

Being a petrol head and running around in diesels over the past few years has given me serious cravings for something quick again.

 

Edited by AlexGSi2000

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13 hours ago, AlexGSi2000 said:

Some sound advice above, thanks to those who have contributed.

 

DepthHoar - Love the analogy!

Dan - thanks for the link, I may well organize a visit up to Preston. I feel like I may be going to view a few.

 

Being a petrol head and running around in diesels over the past few years has given me serious cravings for something quick again.

 

 

You have to go and view a good few of them pal, makes a lot of sense, more so at this money level!

 

Let me know if/when you come up this way, I’d be happy to tag along if you want another opinion or someone to drag you away :lol: 

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Might be worth putting a wanted ad on here too - if I was buying one again I’d look for enthusiast owned with a project thread/blog to support the history 

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Having owned 2 over the last 15 years and using them daily they are certainly cars for most occasions. 

 

Generally they are pretty robust, albeit the standard tin worm issues are a problem ... 

 

You need to drive a few and not just for 5 minutes, if you can you need to get some good time in the driving seat to get a feel for the car.

 

Personally I'd advocate setting a budget and see what crops up within budget. Anything up to 200k miles should be fine depending on price and also how long you want to keep it.

 

Look for service records and work done, usual things to get replaced are sensors of one form or another (commonly O2, CPS and MAFs) and also the water pump which seems to be a part that will fail at some point.  Clutch will need replacing at some point but is very much down to driving style. I think my current car is still on it's original clutch at 179k miles (can't see any evidence in the service history of it being done) whereas my first one needed replacing at 96k miles.

 

In all honesty they are pretty robust but as mentioned can throw a wobbly every now and then leaving you with a bit of a sore wallet. 

 

Between the two I've had I've now done over 260k miles driving an E39 M5 and I'd do it all again. 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Steve van hool said:

260k in an e39 M5, fair play to you.

 

Hes done that between 2 of them, still bloody good going though...!

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I have had my M5 for 10 years and she is now on 155k so around 50k miles since I purchased her. I still love it to bit and I just dont see me ever selling.

Edited by M5 Russ

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 As an ex E39 M5 owner I have nothing useful to add as any advice I would give has already been given, as said above; 

 

 DO IT!!

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Had mine for over 4 years now, still puts a smile on my face.  Nice to have it as a weekend car now to keep of the winter roads and do some leisurely work to.  Recently did water pump (bearing failure + leak) and the vanos solenoids w/ rocker cover gaskets.  They're satisfying jobs when you can take your time.

 

I got those wings you sold me on and painted! Was a while ago now, I'm Jon and was in the carbon black M5 and met you at your workshop a couple of years ago :) My old crusty ones went in the bin and I epoxy sealed behind these ones, looks much better now.

 

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I recently sold our E39 M5 after 5 years of ownership in which time we covered about 90,000 miles. A proper analogue car - manual, N/A, RWD teamed up with a proper LSD. Definitely one of the last of its breed, and I miss it greatly....hopefully only until I'm ready to replace it. However, it's biggest drawback is also it's greatest accolade - it does everything so well it never really got under my skin. That said I'm not sure any other saloon out there oversteers as quite as sweetly, yet trundles around on the supermarket run so amiably. The previous poster's comment regarding stop start traffic may have been aimed at the E61 because the E39 M5 is a pussycat. Ultimately it had to go because I couldn't justify the short term costs with a house renovation on the go, plus I can't be arsed with the prospect chasing tin worm around which goes hand in hand with old E39's. The cost bit is easy to justify in the medium to long term because running and maintenance WILL be covered by appreciation. I am without doubt that these cars will command a minimum of £25k in 10 years.

My summary would be that if you're after a 'practical' car that is superb to drive buy an E39 M5, but buy it well. Ours was still running just about perfectly after 167,000 miles and made the new owner very happy (still does, I hope!). However, if you don't need 5 seats save an extra couple of grand and buy a 996 911 ;)

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3 hours ago, Steve van hool said:

^^^^ What makes you so sure that they will be worth 25k in ten years time, vehicle appreciation is not an exact science.

I saw it in my crystal ball ;) But it's a safe bet given how much people are prepared to pay for 1990's RS Cosworths these days, or the hallowed E30 M3. 

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Again - thanks for everyone's input on this.

It's very useful to hear of peoples experiences with this great car.

 

I went to go and view one yesterday afternoon, priced at the lower end of the market. I had pretty much judged the car before I had even seen it - but it was fairly close, so worth a shot.

 

The car in question is this; https://www.motor-class.co.uk/used-bmw-m5-bolton-lancashire-1929794

 

When I arrived, the showroom was full of newer, much cleaner cars - no M5 in sight. The car was being stored "round the back" in outside the garage in a fairly run-down looking state, I was told it was awaiting preparation, yet the photos on the site look like it was already prepared.

It was odd - the add states that a few areas of the body work had been addressed, however the tin worm had started working away in all the usual places, nothing catastrophic but it was there, as expected really for a 20 year old daily driven M5.

In a nutshell, the interior had been lightly played with (silly bling parts - chrome lock pins.etc) and an Alpine double-din unit. Aside from the areas of rust, the front bumper wasn't sitting right, inner front arch liners were in pieces, window rubbers were peeling - it needed some TLC.

It did come with a folder full of invoices for work, no test drive as it didn't really meet my expectations when it came to general condition.

 

The only way this would be feasible for me is if I offered them a trade sale, take the car away as is and do all the work myself over time, for that - the figure in my head would be £6k tops.

I wonder if they would take the money and run, the car would certainly stick out like a sore thumb amongst all those newer cars in the showroom!

 

I'm not in a rush to buy, so need to go and see a few that are higher priced for comparison.

 

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