E39 Discussion Anything and everything to do with the E39 (1997 - 2003) 5 series!

Looking to join the E39 club

Old 01-10-2015, 04:13 PM
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Question Looking to join the E39 club

First of all, hi! I'm new here.

I'm looking to buy a used E39 sometime this year. I love the way they look, and I love that you can get them used for a bargain. I just had a few questions before I take the plunge.

1. What's a reasonable budget to set? I definitely don't want to finance anymore, so something that I can buy with cash would be great. I see E39's going for like $5,000-$6,000 on Craigslist and eBay. Is that a reasonable price, or is buying one for that cheap going to give me a lot of headaches? I'm fine with doing some of my own repairs and maintenance, but I do want something that runs at least most of the time.

2. What kind of mileage should I be looking for? On average, it seems like most E39's out there have anywhere from 120,000-160,000 miles on them. If I buy one with that many miles, how many more can I get out of it before it totally starts falling apart?

3. How easy are they to modify? I'm mostly interested in functional/internal mods, like swapping the head unit for a modern touchscreen style one, adding Bluetooth/phone connectivity, upgrading the speakers, etc.

4. How much can I repair on my own in an E39 vs. taking it to somebody else? I'm into fixing things myself, so it would be great if I could do most repairs without paying the ridiculous hourly prices that most mechanics charge. Is it fairly easy to change the oil, spark plugs, battery, brakes, fluids?

Thanks in advance, I'm really looking forward to diving into the world of BMW.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:08 PM
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Honestly dude BMW are $$ pits at times and buying an older one with miles puts a strain on your wallet. You'll definitely be doing maintenance and worry about cooling system overhauls + brakes and the works. Get an Acura or something
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:32 PM
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First you you have to ask yourself what you want. 525i, 528i, 530i, 540i, M5. Then what year? 97-00 or 01-03. Then go from there. Each version has there own issues.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:44 PM
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Hey Danny! I'll bet that some of the folks that you work with in tech have BMW's. Am I right? If so, ask them what they pay in maintenance and upkeep. Bimmers are money pits as they are, but an E39 is likely to have more issues for you simply because of age. If you really, really want a BMW, then just be aware that the cost to play is higher.

I too preferred the E39 look. When mine was totaled by a falling tree, I was hesitant to move up to the E60. That "Bangle Bump" didn't do much for me at all. But having a newer, more modern car has been a dream. I'm glad I moved forward.

Older E60's can be had for $6,000 - $8,000 now, not much more than what you were looking at. The tech is better and there are more creature comforts. And you'll have a car that doesn't look much different than the current F10's out there.
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