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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 07-22-2004, 06:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So I am in the process of starting to work on my '90 (made before 8/90) 525i that i just got recently and i would like some tips from you who already may have done any of this in the past. It would be soooo helpful!! THanks!!

I am looking at working on these following areas:

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sport suspension (any tips where i could buy it and what kind is good, and also within a decent price range.?. i am not LOADED, otherwise i would have bought an M5!! )
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replacing the stereo - i heard its really hard to do, since there are no straight-up adaptors for this car... is it just a guessing-playwiththewires-till-i-get-it-right game??
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Engine - now this is a big decision for me.. Some friends recomment to rebuild it, and others are saying to swap it.. Its the M20 with 211k miles!!! It still runs ok, but it needs help.. I am positive that it lost a LOT of compression over the miles and years.. I thought about swapping it for an M50, but was not recommended to do so by an import car shop.. Since I would have to replace everything else thats hooked up to it, and it may not fit correctly.. What to do???
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These are my main concerns right now..I have already done some work as far as bushings go and some other things.. So ANY comments or tips would be VERY HELPFUL!!! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH AHEAD OF TIME!!
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For your suspension, buy some lowering springs and lowering shocks (this should be anywhere from 600 to 1000 depending on what you pick). as well as some M5 sway bars.

The engine fill fit. Heck, people fit 5L engines from 750il's.

Now, what I want to know is where you got those nice clear sidemarkers?
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Old 07-22-2004, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great looking car!!!

IMO it isnt even worth the trouble to swap out the m20 for the m50...
The m20 has lower compression which means it can have a turbo or supercharger and itll be a lot less strain on the engine... Also the m20 likes to be rev'd... to me, its a lot more fun than the m50 engine...

Besides... the m50 engine only has 20 more hp, so for less $$ than it would cost to swap, just do about 6psi of boost via. turbo!



Suspension - Bilstein sport shocks are a great start if you dont mind a somewhat harsher ride.

Stereo - extremely easy to me, however i have a bit of experience in that catergory, but for someone with basic electronic knowledge, it's now where near as hard as the way some people make it sound.

good luck with the car and enjoy!
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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btw: if you do swap the engine, get an s38 or a m30 in there
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Old 07-23-2004, 09:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Will both of these engines fit direclty without having to modify engine mounts, etc.???
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Old 07-25-2004, 12:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Im not sure about the m30, but the s38 will need custom mounts....
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