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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I want to start with a big thank you to all the members. I have been lurking for 4 months, been a member for a little over a month. When I started lurking I did not know anything about the E39 M5, other than the fact that I always wanted one.

I am still a noob and am learning everyday, LOVE the search function and have used the crap out of it.

I have just put a deposit on a 2002 with under 60K miles.

The prepurchase inspection has noted two main issues:

1- front brake rotors warped ($850 for both front rotors, pads and sensors)

2- "Steering link" needs to be replaced ($1400)

Can anyone explain what the steering link issue is?

The car was already in the shop to replace a thermostat and thrust bushing. The 60K mile Inspection II has already been done. At 20K miles (years ago) both side Vanos selonoids and both Cats were replaced, as well as CPS was also replaced at the same time.

Other than that, I seem to have found a relatively low mileage clean example, only time will tell if it is a Cherry or a "lemon". After ooking for several weeks and almost pulling a trigger on a few cars, I realized that even Service history and PPI only go so far, you have to make the best decision and pick the best car for the money and take your chances which is what I feel I am doing, since the car is out of town.

I hope to pick the car up next week and any pointers or advice you may have for taking delivery would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
 

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Congrats on your purchase!
 

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Welcome !!

Seems like a pretty sorted car, well done !

I would say the steering link mention in your PPI is either/both tie rods 10 or 11, maybe even the centre link 9. It's quite a straightforward job, 2 hours I reckon tops, but 9 is quite expensive. May as well change 6 while doing this stuff.



RealOEM.com BMW E39 M5 STEERING LINKAGE/TIE RODS
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The inspection technician mentioned that it was the center link and once done the repair will require an extensive alignment.

He quoted $1400 for the center link.

The front rotors and pads I should be able to do myself, I have bought brakes from Zachausen before and hope to get a set as soon as I have possession of the car.

Question about center link: The technician "recommended" the link be replaced in near future. Does that mean I should not drive the car at all and replace as soon as possible?
 

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Is it at a BMW dealer or an indy shop?

I would highly recommend investing some time into finding a reputable local shop to take your car to. It can really save a fortune and at a good shop, they do the job better than the dealers

Regarding driving the car - if he said to fix it in the near future, I assume its ok to drive. If he said "stop driving and get it fixed" then he would have meant it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is it at a BMW dealer or an indy shop?

I would highly recommend investing some time into finding a reputable local shop to take your car to. It can really save a fortune and at a good shop, they do the job better than the dealers

Regarding driving the car - if he said to fix it in the near future, I assume its ok to drive. If he said "stop driving and get it fixed" then he would have meant it.
The pre-purchase inspection is being done at an Indy shop.

The rates were Indy rates, I did nto have a chance to call the dealer and compare rates.

I do have 2 Indy's locally that come highly recommended, Shady Tree in Raleigh and M-Powered in Cary, NC.

As far as the link, he did say near future, not urgent but to get it done soon. I hope to get it done by summer time
 

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The center link can't possibly cost that much. Pass on that BUT use that huge estimate as a bargaining tool in price negotiation? You can easily do the center link and the tie rod ends for ($260 + 2 x $67 = $394 in parts) and I wouldn't think the labor would be all that crazy, so the $1400 sounds whacko to me. If you do it here, have either M-power or, better yet, Mark Cooper at Performance Chassis in Cary do the alignment. Mark is very good and will do whatever you want...just make sure to show up with a full tank and weight the car properly. It's been a couple of years since I last was there, but then it was $99 for an alignment I think, so he's probably gone up some since then. He has a Hunter laser alignment rack.

Where out of state is the car? If it is at a dealer, they can probably (in most states) give you a temp tag to drive home on. Did the PPI include a body/paint inspection? Lots of places have paint meters, and it only takes a few minutes to go over a car...an experienced user will know how to interpret the readings.

If you get it in time, we're probably going to a have an E39 M5 gathering at Cars and Coffee a week from Saturday...see tranck's thread.

Good luck,
Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Chuck: I thought that the center link estimate sounded high, the brakes I wasn't too concerned with because its a DIY.

The car is private party sale, it was used sparingly (under 60K miles since late 2001). The Indy is also doing the body inspection on Monday (the deal is based on NO paint work what so ever as claimed)

Since the car is private party I will either drive with the seller's tags and return them later or go to local DMV and buy 30 day tags.

I should have the car by next friday, if everything goes as panned.
 

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Yep, brakes are an easy DIY. I would flush the whole system along with changing all fluids once I got the car. I'm getting ready to start year 8 with the M5, and I still think it is a very special car (I'm at 56k miles now). I'm never going to sell it... Your return trip with the car will be a blast. Make sure that the tires are properly balanced so that the trip won't be marred by shaking. How about the clutch? Has it ever been replaced since new?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
clutch is original.

There is a "shimmy" when applying brakes (according to inspection tech) which he bames the warped rotors for although the owner is swearing up and down that he never even used the brakes that hard.
I am wondering if the shimmy under braking is linked to the Center link, who knows. I knew going in that an 8+ year old car, even with low miles will need a little TLC before its 100%, but thats what I have the whole winter for.

Also the seller claims he spent $1800 on a 60K mile service in May 2010 when all fluids, pugs and wires were replaced
 

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Shimmy might be pad deposits on rotors that a full-on bedding might take care of. If not, new rotors are easy enough. Also, if they are original, suspect the thrust bushings as a possible contributor to the shimmy as at that mileage they are likely ready for a freshening.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Thrust arm bushings also being replaced so hopefuly the shimmy will go away. This is going to be the longest week as I wait till next Thursday to pick the car up
 
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