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Mani59

My 2003 E39 530i Sport Champagne Edition II

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Hi all,

 

Many years ago, I had a couple of E39's which I loved (a 525d Avus Blue Edition and then a 530d).  Anyway, fast forward several years and I have had several other BMWs but none for me have ever felt as special as an E39 (I include my former E90 M3 in that!). 

My other car is a E46 330i Individual (strictly spring/summer car!) and that does come pretty close to the E39.

 

So after deciding that I wanted to get back into a E39, I purchased this 2003 E39 530i Sport Champagne Edition II yesterday from a independent dealer .  It was a lovely drive and the mileage is super low at 37,000 miles (verified by BMW service history, MOT history and Vcheck/HPI).  Its in pretty good condition for a car that is nearly 20 years old too with no rust and just proves once again the top build quality.  The reason for the low mileage is because it had been stored from 2014 until 2019.  

 

I do have a to-do list and I hope you guys can help me with a couple of bits.

 

1.  Its booked in with my independent BMW specialist for a inspection 2, brake fluid and coolant change later this week.  Although the car had a clean MOT from a couple of days ago, I will be interested to see if the BMW specialist pick anything additional up.

 

2. There is quite a bit of vibration from the steering wheel upon braking.  I'll ask the specialist to take a look at this later this week. I do not think its a sticky caliper as there is no heat coming from it.

 

3. Instrument cluster dead pixels.  Very common I guess on the E39s.  Whilst this is something that the supplying dealer will pay for to be repaired, do you guys have any recommendations of who can carry out this work (preferably in the Leicestershire / Midlands area) please. 

I do not have time or the patience to remove the instrument cluster and post it so I would prefer to sit and wait whilst the work is done.  I do have a price from Carphonics in London but ideally, it would be great to get someone a little closer.

 

4. The navigation screen does not work.  Again, the supplying dealer will pay to get this rectified.  Any ideas what this could be please?  There is power to it, the radio works but the screen does not.  

 

Longer term, I need to refresh the cooling system, get some decent tyres fitted (not so keen on the Hankooks) and get it detailed.

 

Some pics below.

 

Thanks guys, Mani

 

 

nav.jpg

Image1.jpg

cockpit pixels.jpg

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Looks a lovely car; unbelievably low mileage 8) 

 

Re the cooling system; get it changed sooner rather than later; with age they turn chocolate like and tend to crumble/crack. It's not expensive to replace the stat, water pump and top/bottom hoses, as well as a coolant flush & refill. Unless the rad is leaking/bowed; it should be fine (but worth a good once over) :) 

 

Re the screen; have you checked the fuses (56/57/58 IIRC) in the boot to make sure they're all ok? If they're ok; it could be a failing nav/tv module or the screens simply had it. Baris at Carphonics can sort this for you readily enough; could be worth while getting the BM54 amp upgraded by him too; plenty of info on his website

 

Re the vibrations; could be a caliper sticking (sliders are gummed up/pistons corroded); but not sticking enough to seize on etc; but more than likely the main thrust arms/bushes have failed and need to be replaced (Meyle, Moog or Lemforder); but get the tie mrods/inner CV joints and other arms/drop links checked as well; they only need a little bit of play and they can cause vibrations/wobbles and a tell-tale 50/60mph shimmy

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Thanks Dan.  Like yours, I was looking at Japanese imports too as they are in outstanding condition (like yours).  But then when I saw this come up and it being a champagne edition, it was the one for me.  I remember Anil had a E39 530i Champagne Edition and I've always loved that colour combination.

 

The cooling system is definitely at the top of the list to do.  Once the specialist I am using on Friday have had a look at it, I’ll get them to price up the bits you mention and take a look at the radiator condition too.  The sticker on the side of the radiator clearly shows it is the original one from 2003.

 

Thanks for the tip regarding the fuses.  I’ll take a look tomorrow during the day.  I have emailed Baris asking if he has any ideas what it could be too and if he could take a look at the same time as the pixel repair if I can manage to get to London.

 

And thanks again for the tips regarding the vibrations.  Agree that it could be any one of those things you mention so hopefully the guys will be able to identify the issue easily on Friday. 

 

I shall report back then.

 

Thanks, Mani

 

 

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Hi Mani, 

 

Congrats on the pickup of the car! 

 

It looks like it could do with some TLC and to resolve the current issues and any more than turn up over the course of your ownership!  Pretty much all aspects for maintaining an E39 nowadays has been covered and discussed with a wealth of info on this forum (and others !) 

 

The OEM audio setup does have various common issues and due to the modular configuration, each module has various points of failure. I'm guessing with such low mileage you'd be looking to keep the car as OEM as possible ? if so, you'll need to keep on top of the audio system module failures/issues as they crop up and Baris is the best in the UK for these repairs and upgrades. If you do want the 'best' module upgrade for Bluetooth, then it's the Bluebus unit from an owner/enthusiast in the USA who's developed it and it's the best solution on the market. 

 

Once all the current issues are done, I'm sure the car will feel awesome and it's then a question of keeping on top of things as they happen! 

 

If you do decide/need to send the cluster away, then I'd highly recommend AK Speedo over in Fife, Scotland - fantastic service and knowledge from Keith there.

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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14 minutes ago, Mani59 said:

Thanks Dan.  Like yours, I was looking at Japanese imports too as they are in outstanding condition (like yours).  But then when I saw this come up and it being a champagne edition, it was the one for me.  I remember Anil had a E39 530i Champagne Edition and I've always loved that colour combination.

 

The cooling system is definitely at the top of the list to do.  Once the specialist I am using on Friday have had a look at it, I’ll get them to price up the bits you mention and take a look at the radiator condition too.  The sticker on the side of the radiator clearly shows it is the original one from 2003.

 

Thanks for the tip regarding the fuses.  I’ll take a look tomorrow during the day.  I have emailed Baris asking if he has any ideas what it could be too and if he could take a look at the same time as the pixel repair if I can manage to get to London.

 

And thanks again for the tips regarding the vibrations.  Agree that it could be any one of those things you mention so hopefully the guys will be able to identify the issue easily on Friday. 

 

I shall report back then.

 

Thanks, Mani

 

 


No worries; yours sounds a superb car. It’s not even run in ;)

 

Re cooling system; this is what’s needed, no need to spend more £££ on other parts. These are excellent quality & bmwmotormec are a trusted reseller

 

Water pump: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-3-5-7-E39-E36-E46-E38-M52-M54-Water-Pump-MEYLE-11517527799-11517509985/273689160520?fits=Car+Make%3ABMW&epid=249249773&hash=item3fb9252b48:g:YYkAAOSwwDJcWv5s

 

Stat: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E46-3-Series-320i-323i-325i-328i-330i-Thermostat-WAHLER-11531437040/273373387540?fits=Car+Make%3ABMW&hash=item3fa652db14:g:UmkAAOSwlv9aZm9F

 

Top hose: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E39-520i-523i-525i-530i-E38-728i-Top-Radiator-Hose-09-1998-on-11531705223/372777205999?fits=Car+Make%3ABMW&hash=item56cb40c0ef:g:drsAAOSwI35dhK 

 

Bottom hose: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E39-520i-530i-5-Series-Radiator-Hose-FEBI-Manufactured-11531705224/392212844183?fits=Car+Make%3ABMW&epid=1011057446&hash=item5b51b50e97:g:LWYAAOSwk1haEq-R

 

Use Comma G48 coolant via Halfords or off Amazon (you need 10l all in)

 

If you need a rad, go for Nissens or Behr only; c£100-£120 on eBay also :) 

Edited by d_a_n1979

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1 hour ago, DennisCooper said:

Hi Mani, 

 

Congrats on the pickup of the car! 

 

It looks like it could do with some TLC and to resolve the current issues and any more than turn up over the course of your ownership!  Pretty much all aspects for maintaining an E39 nowadays has been covered and discussed with a wealth of info on this forum (and others !) 

 

The OEM audio setup does have various common issues and due to the modular configuration, each module has various points of failure. I'm guessing with such low mileage you'd be looking to keep the car as OEM as possible ? if so, you'll need to keep on top of the audio system module failures/issues as they crop up and Baris is the best in the UK for these repairs and upgrades. If you do want the 'best' module upgrade for Bluetooth, then it's the Bluebus unit from an owner/enthusiast in the USA who's developed it and it's the best solution on the market. 

 

Once all the current issues are done, I'm sure the car will feel awesome and it's then a question of keeping on top of things as they happen! 

 

If you do decide/need to send the cluster away, then I'd highly recommend AK Speedo over in Fife, Scotland - fantastic service and knowledge from Keith there.

 

Cheers, Dennis!

 

Thanks Dennis!  This forum is indeed an excellent reference point for all things 5 series!

 

You are absolutely correct in that I want to keep everything on the car as OEM as possible (I’m not really into the modifications scene).  Thanks for the tip about Baris too, I will be sure to take a look.  Having said that, I do not really use Bluetooth in my cars for music or calls so this may not be a big thing for me.

 

Thanks for the tip for AK Speedo!  I do not really have the patience to remove the instrument cluster so ideally looking for someone to do it all whilst I wait (Baris can do this). 

 

Thanks!

 

 

1 hour ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

Thanks Dan!  That is absolutely brilliant!  I have asked the specialist to price up replacing the cooling system as per the bits you mention (plus the expansion tank) so I’ll see what price they come back with.

 

Thanks!    

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Hi Mani, 

 

Some excellent knowledge and information here to reference for these cars !

 

I'm the opposite to you! I love to modify and change things up! Fully understand about wanting to keep a car as close to OEM as possible as well. If you aren't so fussed about the BT, then just to keep the option, Baris can sort it out with his solutions - just in case you do find you need it. 

 

Turnaround is fast from AK Speedo, but yes, not as fast as a while you wait service !  At least you'll have a decent drive down to North London and back !

 

Get a thread up in the project section if you wish, would be great to see improvements as you go along with the car !

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Go for the Grom Audio BT3 kit Mani for full Bluetooth hands-free and music playback; it works superbly and took me 30mins to fit. It connects to the CD changer loom, so you do lose that (if you still use CDs etc)

 

However, with the saloon; it's bit more of a faff to feed the mic wiring into the cabin

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That's a lovely car Mani - congratulations.

 

In addition to the other vibration checks with such a low mileage it's worth also looking at the discs for warping or corrosion.

 

Vibration plagued my first E39 many moons ago and it was the discs that were the ultimate culprit - mileage at the time was only about 50000.

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She's a beauty, good find. Given mileage, condition, and a dealer willing to pay for defects you've highlighted, I'm guessing not cheap either ;)

 

As for the vibration, I've gone through three E39s in the last 10 years, and every one of them had vibration / shimmy when braking from high speed, and also whilst cruising at around just under 70MPH. Below around 65 and above 70 (not that I would ever knowingly drive above the speed limit cough cough), nice and smooth, just that 66-69MPH band. After having brakes and arms done on my first E39 to no avail, I just got used to it... 

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14 hours ago, DennisCooper said:

Hi Mani, 

 

Some excellent knowledge and information here to reference for these cars !

 

I'm the opposite to you! I love to modify and change things up! Fully understand about wanting to keep a car as close to OEM as possible as well. If you aren't so fussed about the BT, then just to keep the option, Baris can sort it out with his solutions - just in case you do find you need it. 

 

Turnaround is fast from AK Speedo, but yes, not as fast as a while you wait service !  At least you'll have a decent drive down to North London and back !

 

Get a thread up in the project section if you wish, would be great to see improvements as you go along with the car !

 

Cheers, Dennis!

 

Thanks Dennis. Great idea!  I will get a new thread created in the projects section as it would be great to document and share the progress made on it. Thanks!

 

4 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

Go for the Grom Audio BT3 kit Mani for full Bluetooth hands-free and music playback; it works superbly and took me 30mins to fit. It connects to the CD changer loom, so you do lose that (if you still use CDs etc)

 

However, with the saloon; it's bit more of a faff to feed the mic wiring into the cabin

 

Thanks Dan, I will definitely bear this in mind for the future.

 

 

3 hours ago, E39mad said:

That's a lovely car Mani - congratulations.

 

In addition to the other vibration checks with such a low mileage it's worth also looking at the discs for warping or corrosion.

 

Vibration plagued my first E39 many moons ago and it was the discs that were the ultimate culprit - mileage at the time was only about 50000.

 

Thanks!  It's booked in for a inspection 2 tomorrow (plus brake/coolant change) and I have asked them to go through the whole car highlighting any issues / check all of the major components.

 

 

30 minutes ago, Pzero said:

She's a beauty, good find. Given mileage, condition, and a dealer willing to pay for defects you've highlighted, I'm guessing not cheap either ;)

 

As for the vibration, I've gone through three E39s in the last 10 years, and every one of them had vibration / shimmy when braking from high speed, and also whilst cruising at around just under 70MPH. Below around 65 and above 70 (not that I would ever knowingly drive above the speed limit cough cough), nice and smooth, just that 66-69MPH band. After having brakes and arms done on my first E39 to no avail, I just got used to it... 

 

Thanks!  I would say that yes I did pay a premium for this E39 but for me, it just felt right.  The low mileage was justified by the various checks I did and matches the long term in door storage time the car has had.  

 

Sure it has a few issues which the supplying dealer will pay for but its almost 20 years old and I have no issue with spending money on it over the next few months to get it in the best position possible as it will be my daily.  

 

Thanks for the insight regarding the vibrations you have experienced on yours.  I hope that the guys do get to the bottom of mine tomorrow as I do not think I could get used to it! 

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In terms of the nav screen - does yours have trafficmaster. When I got my E39 the screen didn't work. I found a forum that suggested bypassing the trafficmaster module in the boot (LHS next to the radio module) which is daisy-chained into the video feed. I did that the the screen sprang into life and hasn't cause any issues since. 

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3 hours ago, wingman said:

In terms of the nav screen - does yours have trafficmaster. When I got my E39 the screen didn't work. I found a forum that suggested bypassing the trafficmaster module in the boot (LHS next to the radio module) which is daisy-chained into the video feed. I did that the the screen sprang into life and hasn't cause any issues since. 

 

Thanks for this.  Yes it does have the traffic master fitted and I have just read up on the bypassing method.  I will be sure to take a look (or more likely, pass the information onto a trusted technician!).

 

I will though try the fuse method first as suggested earlier on and report back. 

 

Thanks.

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Hi all,

 

Just thought I would update following the visit with the specialist last week (car is still with them).  

 

Regarding the vibration, they have said both front control arms need replacing as well as advise replacing the front brakes and discs since whey they get warm, they are also contributing to the vibration.

 

Additionally, there was a small leak on the PAS tank and a small split in the intake manifold which they advise is a common problem on the M54s.

 

So I have asked the guys to get it all done so I should get it back in a few days hopefully.  The inspection 2 is done too so I am hoping when I get it back, it should be in even greater condition!  

 

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Hi all,

 

So I got the car back today and all seems well when braking from about 70MPH and no vibration.

 

However there is still a vibration from the wheel when driving at around 70MPH.  When I went to collect the car today, I did not get a chance to have a full discussion with the technician as I was between meetings but they did say that a 4 wheel alignment is required but were unable to do it since the front tie rods & ends need replacing (they were unable to remove them as they were seized or something along those lines anyway).  I know this is a question for the specialist which I will ask them but by replacing the front tie rods & ends, would that resolve the vibration issue when driving at around 70MPH?  

 

I will check the tyre pressures tomorrow although they should be correct having just had the inspection 2.

 

Thanks.

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70mph vibration? I had this with a car after I bought some other rims with tyres; had them balanced and checked three times but could not get rid of the vibration, only reduce by increasing the pressures by about 5psi. I put it down to the tyres being underinflated and static on another car for some time and the tyres being ever so slightly deformed. 

 

I researched the hell out of it and it was proven true when I bought new tyres and had no vibration since.

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4 hours ago, Mani59 said:

Hi all,

 

So I got the car back today and all seems well when braking from about 70MPH and no vibration.

 

However there is still a vibration from the wheel when driving at around 70MPH.  When I went to collect the car today, I did not get a chance to have a full discussion with the technician as I was between meetings but they did say that a 4 wheel alignment is required but were unable to do it since the front tie rods & ends need replacing (they were unable to remove them as they were seized or something along those lines anyway).  I know this is a question for the specialist which I will ask them but by replacing the front tie rods & ends, would that resolve the vibration issue when driving at around 70MPH?  

 

I will check the tyre pressures tomorrow although they should be correct having just had the inspection 2.

 

Thanks.


Could do

 

If you look in my project you’ll see I’ve recently replaced mine also, having had a slight vibration at speed

 

Its all absolutely smooth now; both tie rods had gone & weren’t helping at all

 

Get them swapped out, get a full alignment (my recommendation would be by a Hunter system) & hopefully after all that, it’ll be sorted :) 

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Are all rims 100% straight? Small flat spots will cause slight vibration. And you won't notice them just by looking at rim, really need to get it spinning to notice them, wheel balancing machine will be good for that.  Usually they are on inside wall. 

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Thanks all for the input.

 

I'm a bit disappointed in that the specialist never got back to me today so I will have to call them on Monday to get their thoughts.  But reading the above posts, it does seem that it could do with a wheel alignment (so this also means replacing front tie rods and ends).  They do use the Hunter system too.

 

After that, I think its probably worth getting the wheels balanced.  I do want to swap out the tyres for some decent brands (currently a mix of Hankook on the fronts and Toyo's on the rear) but that will have to wait until next year.

 

I shall report back when I have an update!

 

Thanks all

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Hi Mani congrats on the purchase.

 

With regards to the vibration at 70mph it could be a wheel balancing issue, buckled wheel or possible flat spot on the tyre.

 

As you have replaced the front control arms by the specialist you will need a 4wa alignment as it will be out of spec. The issue you have which specialist has mentioned is adjusting the tie rod to set the right values. If they are siezed, they ideally need replacing as you cant carry out an alignment. Although your car is low mileage, parts on the car can also degrade through age.

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20 hours ago, DJ Syxx said:

Hi Mani congrats on the purchase.

 

With regards to the vibration at 70mph it could be a wheel balancing issue, buckled wheel or possible flat spot on the tyre.

 

As you have replaced the front control arms by the specialist you will need a 4wa alignment as it will be out of spec. The issue you have which specialist has mentioned is adjusting the tie rod to set the right values. If they are siezed, they ideally need replacing as you cant carry out an alignment. Although your car is low mileage, parts on the car can also degrade through age.

 

 

Thanks.  Spot on, that is what the specialist have said too so it's booked in for this Friday to have the tie rod ends replaced and Hunter 4 wheel alignment done.  Just in time too since all of the tyres are being replaced on it this Wednesday!

 

Thanks. 

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On 09/12/2020 at 21:33, AnilS said:

Great advice on this thread :-D

 

Lovely car Mani. :wub:

 

 

Thanks Anil!  As I mentioned it above, it was your lovely Champagne Edition that made me always want to go for this so thank you for the inspiration over the last few years!

 

I have created a new thread in the Projects section which you can see here:  

 

 

Thanks! 

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