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#1 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 09:44 AM
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hi, noobie here, have had my first bmw for 1 year now, e34 525,am now looking for the one i really wanted, and e39 540, do any of you know if there are any problems with the 98-99-00 range, also someone has got to fill me in on this lifetime fluid business, i previosly owned a 86 merc 420 with 480,000 on it original transmission, no rebuilds. are they trying to tell me that bmws can do that without even changing the fluid?
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 10:23 PM
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common problems are...vacuum leaks, pcv plate, catalytic converters, blower resistors, power steering leaks, these are off the top of my head. As far as the liftime fluid in the trans...whose liftime are they talking about? Yours, the cars, the warranty period? I service the trans in my E39 every 40K. About the 480K on the the original trans...I belive it, the old 126 chassis Benz's were practicaly bullet proof.
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#3 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SNOhprexd@Mar 15 2005, 10:44 AM
hi, noobie here, have had my first bmw for 1 year now, e34 525,am now looking for the one i really wanted, and e39 540, do any of you know if there are any problems with the 98-99-00 range, also someone has got to fill me in on this lifetime fluid business, i previosly owned a 86 merc 420 with 480,000 on it original transmission, no rebuilds. are they trying to tell me that bmws can do that without even changing the fluid?
[snapback]311828[/snapback]
Excellent choice of motorcar, the 540, especially the 6-speed. A good source of info on common issues would be http://www.540i6.com/probsfixes.html. Do your homework and note that the stick weighs significantly less than the automatic.

Make sure you get the "Sport" package. The 6-speed E39 will come with that as standard fare.

I am at 109K miles on original trans and diff fluids on my 1999 540/6 but may soon change out the fluids on those. It seems to me that over time some metallic particles would become suspended in the fluid and that you'd want to get that stuff out of there.

Regarding model years, the E39 540 ran from 1997 thru 2003. I group them as follows:
1997-1998 - Initial years, M62 V8, lowest used market pricing right now
1999-2000 - M62TU V8 (different Bosch control sys, same HP peak but at lower RPM, moer torque), arguably slighly more reliable, multiple small equipment upgrades (DSC, side curtain airbag, etc.)
2001-2002 - Still more monir upgrades, updated lighting (less amber)
2003 - Similar to '01-'02, but since it was the last year it had the most refinement and best reliability, I made it a standalone year. Also had a modest upgrade in HP (8 more I think).

All represent great values in their respective price ranges; it depends on what you can spend. I think the 1999-2000's represent the most compelling value at this point in time, and can be found for under $20K US. With oil skyrocketing TOWARD record prices (it would have to top something like $3.09 per gallon to EQUAL 1980-1981 prices, adjusted for inflation, which is something the biased media pundit naysayers overlook), the 540s are selling at below book in most areas.

As long as you can spin your own wrenches, go for it! Good luck to you!!

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eric S.+Mar 15 2005, 10:14 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Eric S. @ Mar 15 2005, 10:14 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-SNOhprexd@Mar 15 2005, 10:44 AM
hi, noobie here, have had my first bmw for 1 year now, e34 525,am now looking for the one i really wanted, and e39 540, do any of you know if there are any problems with the 98-99-00 range, also someone has got to fill me in on this lifetime fluid business, i previosly owned a 86 merc 420 with 480,000 on it original transmission, no rebuilds. are they trying to tell me that bmws can do that without even changing the fluid?
[snapback]311828[/snapback]
Excellent choice of motorcar, the 540, especially the 6-speed. A good source of info on common issues would be http://www.540i6.com/probsfixes.html. Do your homework and note that the stick weighs significantly less than the automatic.

Make sure you get the "Sport" package. The 6-speed E39 will come with that as standard fare.

I am at 109K miles on original trans and diff fluids on my 1999 540/6 but may soon change out the fluids on those. It seems to me that over time some metallic particles would become suspended in the fluid and that you'd want to get that stuff out of there.

Regarding model years, the E39 540 ran from 1997 thru 2003. I group them as follows:
1997-1998 - Initial years, M62 V8, lowest used market pricing right now
1999-2000 - M62TU V8 (different Bosch control sys, same HP peak but at lower RPM, moer torque), arguably slighly more reliable, multiple small equipment upgrades (DSC, side curtain airbag, etc.)
2001-2002 - Still more monir upgrades, updated lighting (less amber)
2003 - Similar to '01-'02, but since it was the last year it had the most refinement and best reliability, I made it a standalone year. Also had a modest upgrade in HP (8 more I think).

All represent great values in their respective price ranges; it depends on what you can spend. I think the 1999-2000's represent the most compelling value at this point in time, and can be found for under $20K US. With oil skyrocketing TOWARD record prices (it would have to top something like $3.09 per gallon to EQUAL 1980-1981 prices, adjusted for inflation, which is something the biased media pundit naysayers overlook), the 540s are selling at below book in most areas.

As long as you can spin your own wrenches, go for it! Good luck to you!!
[snapback]312405[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]


great write up eric, thanks for doing this to help the newbs!

<img src='http://p7.xanga.com/7b/53/7b530ab1abd802d2525ae503afec7f277910149.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 09:12 AM
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thanks for the great 411. i was wondering also about the e39's 97-03 is that really the same v8 borrowed from the 7's reintroduction in 95 when they switched over from 4.0 to 4.4. thats a long time for an engine to be in production 8 years?
but also back to the trans question. you you guys honestly feel that with regular maintenance, bmw transmisssions can go for 300k-400k? cause there seems to be a lot of poeple in these forums saying they have to get rebuilds, looking for new, or now their trans is slipping. it just seems to me that these fine german automobiles should not be plagued by such trans problems.

thanks again njtech and eric s.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SNOhprexd@Mar 16 2005, 10:12 AM
thanks for the great 411. i was wondering also about the e39's 97-03 is that really the same v8 borrowed from the 7's reintroduction in 95 when they switched over from 4.0 to 4.4. thats a long time for an engine to be in production 8 years?
but also back to the trans question. you you guys honestly feel that with regular maintenance, bmw transmisssions can go for 300k-400k? cause there seems to be a lot of poeple in these forums saying they have to get rebuilds, looking for new, or now their trans is slipping. it just seems to me that these fine german automobiles should not be plagued by such trans problems.

thanks again njtech and eric s.
[snapback]312605[/snapback]
I think that's the same basic V8 that's been around since the early '90's.

Regarding transmission, are you talking about manual or automatic? I've heard that the autos have a finite life span of under 125K miles, but that the manual doesn't have that limitation (altho the clutch will need replacement as a wear item). If you are talking about an automatic, I cannot help you, sorry.

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eric S.+Mar 16 2005, 10:50 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Eric S. @ Mar 16 2005, 10:50 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-SNOhprexd@Mar 16 2005, 10:12 AM
thanks for the great 411. i was wondering also about the e39's 97-03 is that really the same v8 borrowed from the 7's reintroduction in 95 when they switched over from 4.0 to 4.4. thats a long time for an engine to be in production 8 years?
but also back to the trans question. you you guys honestly feel that with regular maintenance, bmw transmisssions can go for 300k-400k? cause there seems to be a lot of poeple in these forums saying they have to get rebuilds, looking for new, or now their trans is slipping. it just seems to me that these fine german automobiles should not be plagued by such trans problems.

thanks again njtech and eric s.
[snapback]312605[/snapback]
I think that's the same basic V8 that's been around since the early '90's.

Regarding transmission, are you talking about manual or automatic? I've heard that the autos have a finite life span of under 125K miles, but that the manual doesn't have that limitation (altho the clutch will need replacement as a wear item). If you are talking about an automatic, I cannot help you, sorry.
[snapback]313195[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]
now why would they have a finite life span on a $50,000+ fine german automobile transmission. thats the whole reson we buy german made bmws for their fine engineering. the whole idea of finite life spans for a transmission would just turn me away altogether. who wants to spend another 6000 dollars after 125000?
thanks for the info. ohh yea do you know why they are not droping the new 4.8 form the 06 750 into the 06 5 series to make a 550i? that would be cool
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eric S.@Mar 16 2005, 10:50 PM
Regarding transmission, are you talking about manual or automatic? I've heard that the autos have a finite life span of under 125K miles, but that the manual doesn't have that limitation (altho the clutch will need replacement as a wear item). If you are talking about an automatic, I cannot help you, sorry.
[snapback]313195[/snapback]
Hmm...that's the first time I've heard of the "finite lifespan" for the auto transmission. My previous E34 540iA was at 120k++, close but not quite 125k when I traded it in, There were no signs or symptoms of a tranny problem at all. And I know at least of a few others who have 150k and 200k+ on the original auto transmission, still going, though I am not sure if they are experiencing any tell tale signs now as I write.

Personally, I think you should be fine, I believe it's how you've been driving and treating the car all those years that determines the transmission's lifespan.



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2008 Ford F150 Foose Edition
2010 VW Touareg

----------------------------------
Gone...2002 Porsche 911 C4S
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Gone...1995 BMW 540i
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SNOhprexd+Mar 17 2005, 12:12 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SNOhprexd @ Mar 17 2005, 12:12 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'>
Quote:
Originally posted by Eric S.@Mar 16 2005, 10:50 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-SNOhprexd
Quote:
@Mar 16 2005, 10:12 AM
thanks for the great 411. i was wondering also about the e39's 97-03 is that really the same v8 borrowed from the 7's reintroduction in 95 when they switched over from 4.0 to 4.4. thats a long time for an engine to be in production 8 years?
but also back to the trans question. you you guys honestly feel that with regular maintenance, bmw transmisssions can go for 300k-400k? cause there seems to be a lot of poeple in these forums saying they have to get rebuilds, looking for new, or now their trans is slipping. it just seems to me that these fine german automobiles should not be plagued by such trans problems.

thanks again njtech and eric s.
[snapback]312605[/snapback]

I think that's the same basic V8 that's been around since the early '90's.

Regarding transmission, are you talking about manual or automatic? I've heard that the autos have a finite life span of under 125K miles, but that the manual doesn't have that limitation (altho the clutch will need replacement as a wear item). If you are talking about an automatic, I cannot help you, sorry.
[snapback]313195[/snapback]
now why would they have a finite life span on a $50,000+ fine german automobile transmission. thats the whole reson we buy german made bmws for their fine engineering. the whole idea of finite life spans for a transmission would just turn me away altogether. who wants to spend another 6000 dollars after 125000?
thanks for the info. ohh yea do you know why they are not droping the new 4.8 form the 06 750 into the 06 5 series to make a 550i? that would be cool
[snapback]313207[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]
Forget transmission - how about door handles? We recently had a drawn-out debate right here on this forum as to the acceptability of the interior door handles breaking on sub-100K cars (my stance was that they should ALL last a heckuva long time). Not everyone has had the problem, but just like the tranny issue (which I'd seen on the roadfly E39 forum), enough cases have occured to at least place it on the radar screen.

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2005, 03:04 AM
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Regarding the door handles...I personally believe they break prematurely due to people opening the door and still grabbing onto the handle to push the door open. Now, if this is a habit, performed so many times daily, they are bound to break! BMW doors are heavy and put alot of stress on the little lock/latch handles!

I make it a point, after reading about their vulnerability, to open the door with the handle, then release the handle and push open the door at some other point, like the arm rest handle grip, or just push on the door panel. I'm sure this will prevent premature breakage.

The cup holders, however, are a different story! They are a joke by German engineering, first they don't work for what they're supposed to, then they don't last to normal use! Saying that Germans don't drink and drive on autobahns is just an excuse for poor cupholder design. Coz' if you decide to put them in a BMW, they better be BMW quality! Otherwise, just do without them.



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2008 Ford F150 Foose Edition
2010 VW Touareg

----------------------------------
Gone...2002 Porsche 911 C4S
Gone...2000 BMW 540i
Gone...1995 BMW 540i
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#11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2005, 10:33 AM
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Cosmosblack:
"The cup holders, however, are a different story! They are a joke by German engineering, first they don't work for what they're supposed to, then they don't last to normal use! Saying that Germans don't drink and drive on autobahns is just an excuse for poor cupholder design. Coz' if you decide to put them in a BMW, they better be BMW quality! Otherwise, just do without them"

[attachmentid=19898]

Stock coffee holders? bad location to begin with; while the above pic makes LITTLE more sense- drinks don't spill over your front panel electronic controls- drinks may spill over door locks control and look like they came out of a custom van plus they limit the space intended for arm resting/shifting and phone. I think the problem here is a classic real estate one: location/location/location. Also good luck trying to fit 2 medium size from Dunkin Donuts n there so A. Small size coffee is highly recommended B. I've thought about using the rear holders but will be risking dislocated right shoulder. Again LOCATION!
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