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2000 E39 M5 | 2010 E70 X5M | 2010 E93 M3
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone, hello from the new guy. Wanna hear about my M5?

I purchased a 2000 M5 in Carbon Schwarz last week from a roadside dealership in Seattle. I've had an eye out for one of these since I bought my first BMW - an '01 E38 - almost twenty years ago, and finally took the plunge when this one turned up. To give the credit due, it was the second M5 I tried to purchase from the dealership. My Autotrader search for unicorns popped an alert for a low-cost M5 on their lot, I talked it over with them, started all the paperwork, and planned to come inspect and buy the next morning. While all that was afoot someone came onto the lot with cash and bought it from a different salesman. A few days later they called to let me know they felt bad, had a line on a very similar car, and offered it to me for the original price. Now it's mine.

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Overall I'd put the condition at a 7/10. Mechanically it runs like a beast, shifts smooth and confidently, and doesn't make any unwelcome sounds. There's a bit of VANOS ticking at cold start, but I understand that to be common. I have no records on the chain guides being done so I'll put that on the list of things to do and handle belts, pulleys, fan and the other front-engine chores while I'm there. That said, nothing I see tells me there's anything in immediate need of repair.

From what I can see the PO(s) were enthusiasts. It has a Dinan exhaust, which sounds good but not too loud which is my preference. It's been lowered on Bilsteins and the suspension is due for a refresh. My plan is to go back to OEM / Sachs, Lemforder rubber, and likely an Eibach RSB. Advice welcome as suspension isn't my forte, but my goal is factory stance and ride quality. The VIN decodes as a LeMans interior, but what I have is all black extended leather. My guess is that was swapped, and it's about due for a deep clean and refresh. Bolsters are worn, a few clips missing here and there, stuff like that. The sunroof grinds and the shade is lost in the headliner, so that'll be fun. It also had a swap to the 16:9 OBC with a Mk3 nav, but all that is coming out. I'm undecided on how I feel about the tint. It's too dark in there. All cupholders are in perfect working order.

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The goal for this car is to be my OEM+ daily driver, with a focus on reliability. Yeah, I hear it too, but for reference my other cars are an E70 X5M and an E93 M3, so, like, it's relative. It should even get better mileage than those. The weather hasn't been conducive to a lot of work getting done just yet, so I've kept myself busy emptying ECS Tuning's warehouses and chasing obscure parts. The noteworthy things on order so far are:
  • Mechanical: Fluids and filters, a few missing bolts and brackets, an absurdly expensive M badge for the intake, Blackstone kit for oil analysis
  • Interior Refresh: Facelift steering wheel and airbag, new OEM shifter and boot, EU armrest with storage, graphite trim, seat memory switch, so many little clips
  • Infotainment: Xtrons head unit and assorted cabling, rearview camera, i-Bus / Resler connection
  • Exterior: New kidney grills (these are busted), roof moldings, rear windshield gaskets, hood struts, silver corner and side market bulbs
  • Trunk: Since I have to gut it for the infotainment upgrade anyway; new tool tray (and all tools), new styrofoam pans, so many missing clips, so many cleaning supplies.
After that comes the suspension refresh, seat and sunroof repair which I am not setup to do at home, then brakes, facelift head and tail lights, and any other mechanical work I find along the way. At some point I'll even drive it farther than the grocery store and back.

I look forward to asking you all a lot of questions (after I search, of course.) To round things off, and as I work in gaming, here's my garage as represented in Forza Horizon 5.

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Welcome!
 
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Congrats. If you're replacing the shifter due to slop, consider the e60 shorter shift lever, or instead, just refreshing the components related to attaching/seating your existing shift lever. Read about the bluebus if you only need BT connectivity. You might get a new airbag if the Takata airbag recall affects your car.
 

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Welcome! I saw a very similar post over on Reddit, was that you?

Your car looks great! Be prepared for countless mechanicals to come up along the way and assume that black plastics will turn to dust the second you touch them. That being said, with the right amount of TLC these cars can be daily driven.
 

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Congrats. If you're replacing the shifter due to slop, consider the e60 shorter shift lever, or instead, just refreshing the components related to attaching/seating your existing shift lever. Read about the bluebus if you only need BT connectivity. You might get a new airbag if the Takata airbag recall affects your car.
Takata recall only applies to 01-03 cars, and BlueBus is no longer made.
 

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Welcome! There's definitely a few E39 M5 owners in the Seattle area, although I don't know their forum names. I'm in Redmond, WA if you ever need local assistance with any oddball issues.
 

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2000 E39 M5 | 2010 E70 X5M | 2010 E93 M3
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the greetings and advice. I have owned a lot of cars over the years, and participated in a lot of communities. I have always found the BMW groups welcoming, friendly and helpful. I'm glad to see that experience carry forward.

Welcome! I saw a very similar post over on Reddit, was that you?
That was me. A few folks pointed me here, and it turns out that was good advice.


Welcome! There's definitely a few E39 M5 owners in the Seattle area, although I don't know their forum names. I'm in Redmond, WA if you ever need local assistance with any oddball issues.
Thank you - I just moved to Renton from Redmond and am still up there regularly. I appreciate the offer, and am happy to help out in return if you need anything.
 

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Congratulations. Mine came to me with Dinan exhaust and Bilsteins as well. Consider F10 knob. Nice choice of graphite, I did the trim swap a few years ago. You're a better man than me with wiring, good luck on that front. You don't mention miles, but I wouldn't dive into chains unless oil analysis suggests, M5 far better than 540 on that front. Enjoy the process!
 

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Hi,

An excellent introduction and looks like you've found a great base car from which to use daily and enjoy at the same time and having the ability to have some fun in the evenings/weekends too!

Some feedback for your plans you've mentioned

1. I personally find the OEM suspension too soft and wallowy and over here in London, there's plenty of OEM M5's I've been in including low miler weekend used cars etc. To compare, there's a good number of examples with various suspension upgrades which feel much better and their owners were daily drivers, including a few that put on hundreds of miles each week for their respective businesses/professions. Sounds like you do prefer a more 'softer' ride etc, but just putting it out there, perhaps a change to more compliant upgraded suspension ?

2. Shouldn't be too hard to locate and purchase a different trim set - I have a few sets of the much more rare choices, but useless to you as theyre for RHD cars ! I know the Euro storage cubby is in demand and I'd have thought you'd be able to find one in the US else, you can relatively easily find the bits from Europe, being Left hand drive items.

3. Interior/Exterior/trunk freshen up items again shouldn't be difficult to locate and purchase. The later M Sport steering wheel makes a great addition and freshen up too, I know there's places that retrim in the US, so keep that on your list as an ongoing item to do !

4. I wish you good luck with the Chinese replacement head unit ! It does come down to your preference on what you want - how well you like your music reproduced in the car/reliability/ Build and Sound Quality, performance, features. If you do have more discerning tastes/requirements, research carefully before purchasing so that you know all the potential disadvantages.

5. You'll find a wealth of info here on the forum and plenty of fantastic well knowledgable members for tips, recommendations and discussion and it sounds like you do ensure you research before going ahead/purchasing etc. If there's anything over here in the UK you may need and sellers won't post, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do as I send items to the US regularly!

Are those Black face dials for the instrument cluster?! if so, very rare now and the 'original' design BMW thought for the M5! tastes of course vary, but for me, they look much better than the grey ones they changed to!

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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2000 E39 M5 | 2010 E70 X5M | 2010 E93 M3
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The weather cleared up a bit and I had the chance to get outside and take care of some odds and ends. My endless wait for parts continues so today is of limited scope, but still satisfying.

To start, I took off the dealer plate and tidied the area up a bit. Five minutes with some GooGone, a couple LED bulbs and I'm ready for a new plate whenever those come in.

Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Trunk Bumper
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Then in keeping with a dozen car tradition, I went up front to investigate the kidneys. As always, they were chrome and broken. New to the mix was learning the PO had attempted to secure one with black silicone. It didn't hold, but left quite a mess to remove. I replaced them with a fresh black set from eBay, and as tradition, they don't fit right but will do for now. I welcome recommendations on matte-black replacements.

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Then it was time to move inside, where I replaced the hodge-podge of mismatched or dead interior bulbs with fresh LEDs qnd better acquainted myself with upcoming projects - specifically the steering wheel cowl and right-rear door card. Also did a bit of polishing, Chemical Guys leather-scent, sorted out the missing velcro on the driver floor mat and confirmed the Alcantara in this car is perfect. Why the leather scent you ask? First, I like it, and second, the car was musty. I suspect from the door card there has been moisture intrusion.

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I am a little confused on my tint situation. Looking at the side windows I can't find edges indicating it's after market, but it doesn't feel OEM to me. I know M5s are dark, but there's a purple hue coming in from the back window and this is so dark as I need to roll down my windows to properly use the side mirrors at night. Also a bit of separation visible from the exterior. Thoughts?

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Then finally I cleaned off the exhaust tips and slathered the trim in Maguire's Ultimate Black Restorer, and cooed lovingly at it. Maguire's did well on the front and back, marginally on the doors at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
For all of you who've offered thoughts on suspension, I also took a look at that. From what I can see it's an OEM RSB with - surprisingly - intact brackets. Suspension is not an area of expertise, and a few folks have said the OEM is too soft for their taste. As it is today the car sits lower than I'd like - I have to be quite careful with driveways and speed bumps - and is bouncy. Otherwise it drives and handles quite well. Bringing the ride height up a bit and adding new bushings and rubber might be enough to get it where I want, but the best way to do that is rapidly exceeding my knowledge.

Somewhat related, my plan is to replace the Dunlops in front with matching Continentals sooner than later. The Dunlops are fine, but I run ExtremeContacts on all my other cars and find they work well for my driving style and the roads around here.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi,

An excellent introduction and looks like you've found a great base car from which to use daily and enjoy at the same time and having the ability to have some fun in the evenings/weekends too!

Some feedback for your plans you've mentioned

1. I personally find the OEM suspension too soft and wallowy and over here in London, there's plenty of OEM M5's I've been in including low miler weekend used cars etc. To compare, there's a good number of examples with various suspension upgrades which feel much better and their owners were daily drivers, including a few that put on hundreds of miles each week for their respective businesses/professions. Sounds like you do prefer a more 'softer' ride etc, but just putting it out there, perhaps a change to more compliant upgraded suspension ?

2. Shouldn't be too hard to locate and purchase a different trim set - I have a few sets of the much more rare choices, but useless to you as theyre for RHD cars ! I know the Euro storage cubby is in demand and I'd have thought you'd be able to find one in the US else, you can relatively easily find the bits from Europe, being Left hand drive items.

3. Interior/Exterior/trunk freshen up items again shouldn't be difficult to locate and purchase. The later M Sport steering wheel makes a great addition and freshen up too, I know there's places that retrim in the US, so keep that on your list as an ongoing item to do !

4. I wish you good luck with the Chinese replacement head unit ! It does come down to your preference on what you want - how well you like your music reproduced in the car/reliability/ Build and Sound Quality, performance, features. If you do have more discerning tastes/requirements, research carefully before purchasing so that you know all the potential disadvantages.

5. You'll find a wealth of info here on the forum and plenty of fantastic well knowledgable members for tips, recommendations and discussion and it sounds like you do ensure you research before going ahead/purchasing etc. If there's anything over here in the UK you may need and sellers won't post, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do as I send items to the US regularly!

Are those Black face dials for the instrument cluster?! if so, very rare now and the 'original' design BMW thought for the M5! tastes of course vary, but for me, they look much better than the grey ones they changed to!

Cheers, Dennis!
Thank you for the advice and help! I was lucky enough to find most of what I needed for the trunk and interior without a lot of hassle. I'm waiting on some parts to make it over from eastern Europe, but at half the cost of US prices I don't mind the delay. I'll keep everyone posted with progress - or more likely, questions - as I go.

In terms of the head unit, I'm going to out myself as a bit odd - I almost never listen to music in the car. I enjoy a well sorted system, but nine drives out of ten it's silent. What does matter to me is Apple CarPlay - primarily for navigation, messaging, and the ability to use Teams and other work apps in motion. With all three cars running CarPlay it also lets me have a near-universal experience when I swap vehicles. BlueBus looks to be an amazing bit of kit, and I would have given a kidney for it on my E38, but it's ultimately not going to replace CarPlay.

And yes - those are black dials. I was initially disappointed by them because they weren't what I imagined an M5 should be, but the more I drive the car the more I like them. It's a little tricky to find the balance between staying OEM+ and being unique, and these manage to do both well.
 

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And yes - those are black dials. I was initially disappointed by them because they weren't what I imagined an M5 should be, but the more I drive the car the more I like them. It's a little tricky to find the balance between staying OEM+ and being unique, and these manage to do both well.
I believe all prefacelift M5's had black dials. So they are actually quite common, just not in the US where most cars are facelifts. Though, many have swapped facelift style dials in their prefacelift cars.

That being said, for a long time I didn't know about the black dials either. All articles etc. always seems to focus on facelift E39 M5's so the excistance of prefacelift M5 seems to be quite forgotten, and the fact that there were some small M-specific changes to facelift cars to further seperate it from regular 5-series. Seems to me that these small "M-things" like grey dials and oval rear view mirror where invented with the development of E46 M3 and were added to E39 M5 facelift also, which came out around the same time. Now most assume they were there from the start for the M5 too, which isn't the case.

As Dennis said seems that you have a solid base car to build on what you like!

  • Interior Refresh: Facelift steering wheel and airbag, new OEM shifter and boot, EU armrest with storage, graphite trim, seat memory switch, so many little clips
When you shop for the armrest with the storage be informed that there exist leather and soft-touch versions of it. When I shopped for one I thought there are only leather versions and guess what I accidentially bought :rolleyes:
 

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Welcome and congrats on the purchase. Looks like (from your posts) she needs a little TLC. Fortunately, everything you've mentioned is common to either all BMW's in general or to the E39/M5 platform. It sounds like you will be a good caretaker for the car, bringing it back up to par.

That damaged door card is from a leaking vapor barrier. The rears are super common to leak until updated with new butyl tape. There should be threads/sticky's on the topic.

Also, that is 100% aftermarket tint.

Good luck!
 

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Having seen it posted on craigslist, it's interesting to see you pop up on here.
So often, for sale cars disappear from the local area, and one never knows where they went.
Also, there was an ad in the wanted section on the board for a local person who wanted a Carbon Black M5.
Wonder if he got the other?
Congratulations still. Fun times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Welcome and congrats on the purchase. Looks like (from your posts) she needs a little TLC. Fortunately, everything you've mentioned is common to either all BMW's in general or to the E39/M5 platform. It sounds like you will be a good caretaker for the car, bringing it back up to par.

That damaged door card is from a leaking vapor barrier. The rears are super common to leak until updated with new butyl tape. There should be threads/sticky's on the topic.

Also, that is 100% aftermarket tint.

Good luck!
Thank you - that's very helpful. I'd read about the vapor barrier issues but didn't have a lot of context on what failure looked like. The lower part of the card is soft - almost pulpy - and I suspect it'll be a replacement instead of a repair. That doesn't bother me too much, but matching the textured upper-leather insert will be interesting. I've never rebuilt a door card, though I've swapped and fixed plenty.

I figured the tint was aftermarket. Perhaps I was just hoping to be wrong. A novice follow-up question; if I remove it, is the factory tint still there or should I plan on having it redone?

Having seen it posted on craigslist, it's interesting to see you pop up on here.
So often, for sale cars disappear from the local area, and one never knows where they went.
Also, there was an ad in the wanted section on the board for a local person who wanted a Carbon Black M5.
Wonder if he got the other?
Congratulations still. Fun times.
I often wonder about that too. I'll see a rare or interesting car and wonder where it went off to. I suspect the car on CL was the M5 that I tried to buy - also a 2000 Carbon Schwarz with wood trim. From what the dealer told me mine had been at auction and was sold to me without ever being listed. By them, at least.

Regardless, I'm glad to be it's current caretaker and bring it back into the enthusiast fold. I've had about 35 cars in my life, and 2000-2010 BMWs are the ones I keep coming back to.
 
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