BMW e39 540i what to look for?
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  1. #1
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    Talking BMW e39 540i what to look for?

    Ok so after having the e36 328i coupe for nearly two years and kept it maintained very well I've decided I want a v8 monster
    I know the usual things to look for buttttttt
    Is there any common issues or anything I need to look for on this model ?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated as I'm looking to buy within The next couple of months
    Thank you
    Tjp8

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    Sorry I can't offer you any personal experience to help with the purchase but I'm sure someone will be along shortly to offer their advice

    however a quick google found this ..E39 Buying Guide - E39 1996-2004 - BMW 5 Series Owners Board and pics are compulsory

  3. #3
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    Thank you

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    I bought one about 5 weeks ago. I found a 1998 (non vanos) 540i M Sport with the shadowline trim, m sport steering wheel, m sport suspension and the side skirts with spoiler etc. It had a little knock on the front so the headlight lens is scraped, bumper cracked and a small dent in the bonnet. The rest of the bodywork is is in very good condition. On the plus side it has a BMW history to 110k miles and has covered 125k in total. It is a great car and is fantastic to drive in sport or manual. The main things are coolant system, suspension, rocker cover gaskets leak 30 part and make sure if it's an auto the gearbox is changing smoothly, in sport mode it will change down through the gears as the car slows down providing engine braking etc. I was quite paranoid about the timing chain so listen to the drivers side of the engine while it's running, make sure there are no rattling noises, you may be able to hear the chain whirring away but it should not rattle. Mine has developed what can only be described as a small tinkle when hot, I bought a new tensioner for 50 and will fit it shortly when I get the barsteward running again!! Mine won't crank, think it's the starter motor but waiting to confirm. I have already done oil/filter, spark plugs and air filter. To be honest there is not much to go wrong with the M62 engine, barring timing chain guides failing due to chain getting slack (caused by tensioner getting old and not tensioning) also check the viscous fan, wait till the car is hot then try and stop the engine fan with a rolled up newspaper, if you can stop it then it will need replacing Mahle one is 65. I would budget probably 500-700 for the 1st few months of ownership as things will go wrong no matter what!
    Great car, handles lovely, goes like sting in 'sport' mode,stops well and drinks fuel!! I average 15 MPG just on short local trips, will do mid 20's on a run!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thad1 View Post
    I bought one about 5 weeks ago. I found a 1998 (non vanos) 540i M Sport with the shadowline trim, m sport steering wheel, m sport suspension and the side skirts with spoiler etc. It had a little knock on the front so the headlight lens is scraped, bumper cracked and a small dent in the bonnet. The rest of the bodywork is is in very good condition. On the plus side it has a BMW history to 110k miles and has covered 125k in total. It is a great car and is fantastic to drive in sport or manual. The main things are coolant system, suspension, rocker cover gaskets leak 30 part and make sure if it's an auto the gearbox is changing smoothly, in sport mode it will change down through the gears as the car slows down providing engine braking etc. I was quite paranoid about the timing chain so listen to the drivers side of the engine while it's running, make sure there are no rattling noises, you may be able to hear the chain whirring away but it should not rattle. Mine has developed what can only be described as a small tinkle when hot, I bought a new tensioner for 50 and will fit it shortly when I get the barsteward running again!! Mine won't crank, think it's the starter motor but waiting to confirm. I have already done oil/filter, spark plugs and air filter. To be honest there is not much to go wrong with the M62 engine, barring timing chain guides failing due to chain getting slack (caused by tensioner getting old and not tensioning) also check the viscous fan, wait till the car is hot then try and stop the engine fan with a rolled up newspaper, if you can stop it then it will need replacing Mahle one is 65. I would budget probably 500-700 for the 1st few months of ownership as things will go wrong no matter what!
    Great car, handles lovely, goes like sting in 'sport' mode,stops well and drinks fuel!! I average 15 MPG just on short local trips, will do mid 20's on a run!
    thanks mate im still looking at getting one hopefully after x mass when funds allow

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjp8 View Post
    anything I need to look for on this model ?
    Water leaking out of the hole in the V above the water pump to tell you the seals on the end of the pipe have gone so it's a strip down or an expensive work around
    No warranty of any kind implied or given and no liability for any loss, damage or injury, no matter how incurred accepted.

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    Some things listed here as well. BMW 5 Series E39 1996 - Car Review | Honest John
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    This is pretty common as well they say mate Valley Pan Repair | BMW 740 | Magnum1.com

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by watty View Post
    This is pretty common as well they say mate Valley Pan Repair | BMW 740 | Magnum1.com
    Thanks mate, im still in two minds atm weather to get a 540i or a mk2 golf two very different cars but I have love for them both, just guna have to see whats out there after christmas I suppose

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