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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yes, it's a weird title but those here who have 525 / 528 / 530 know what I'm talking about.
Give or take, my 528 is roughly 400 lbs lighter, aluminum subframe vs steel, rack pinion vs recirculating ball and forged (lighter) M Pars vs M5 OEM wheels.
On some days I'll coincidentally drive one after another one and hit the same roads and it's amazing how more nimble 528 is.
Yes, it's lacking 200 HP + and it has 4 speed automatic but is a lot of fun in sport mode.
I love the M5 but getting that itch again to sell it, put some money in bank and do a S52 swap and 5 speed manual in 528.
 

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My wife always says the 525 is faster than the 540. She confuses off line torque with power.
But when she drives the M5 with muffler delete, she just laughs/giggles.
I just smile every time I fire it up.
Chase down an m5 with the 528 and re-evaluate that thought.
Nice looking 528 though.
 

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This is funny. My friend would try to say the same thing, and maybe on one singular corner side by side, entering at the EXACT same speed, the 528i might corner a WEE bit flatter due to the less weight, but that's all you're getting. Once out of that corner, the 528i won't see the M5 in the next one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I agree but I said "outhandles" not "outaccelerate".
My problem with M5 (a lot of guys would probably like to have that problem, lol) is that I have CDL and it's my livelihood.
Some months ago I slightly exceeded speed limit resulting in a considerable citation. Long story short, I got out of it with clean record and surprisingly 0$ spent thanks to a good judge and my spotless driving records.
Simply put, M5 is a great sledge hammer and it seems I'm starting to yearn after a sharp scalpel.
 

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I understand where this is coming from. Brute force vs nimble and lightweight. My other car is so light, when you chuck it into a corner it feels like a go cart on rails. Not just turning and sticking to the road, but an entirely different feeling of how cars drive and handle. Due to the differences in weight, you can brake later in corners, mash the throttle more without fear of torque kicking out the rear....just a lot of different behaviors that lead to a unique feel of driving fast. Like any lighter car with less power, you have to use your momentum to carry you around corners or the track, but it is fun!

Many people ask me why I would sell a supra and keep a fully built, yet "slow" corolla. The answer is always "because the corolla is so light, its way more fun to drive"

But going back to the subframe comment, I would think (but I dont really know) that BMW would have kept the lighter aluminum subframe if they could have. Im guessing that they went with steel for needed strength. Even with that, the steel subframe had issues with strength and there were subframe reinforcement kits made to strengthen them.
 

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It was likely more a money / development cost issue than aluminum not being strong enough. The e39 v8 front subframe is essentially lifted out of the e38, and is not too different from earlier 5ers/7ers. The I6 subframe was an all new development. With the E60, BMW went with a design similar to the e39 6 cylinder for even the V8/V10 models.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It was likely more a money / development cost issue than aluminum not being strong enough. The e39 v8 front subframe is essentially lifted out of the e38, and is not too different from earlier 5ers/7ers. The I6 subframe was an all new development. With the E60, BMW went with a design similar to the e39 6 cylinder for even the V8/V10 models.
I totally agree. I could go on and on but in my experience and I've had 528 for 16 years now, it simply feels better built than my M5 in some minor but noticeable details.
 

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It is probably the reason I bastardized my M5. The few hundred pound diet I put it on makes it more nimble. Not sure if It was the right thing to do or not. Fortunately I did it to a car that did not have much value left in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I understand where this is coming from. Brute force vs nimble and lightweight. My other car is so light, when you chuck it into a corner it feels like a go cart on rails. Not just turning and sticking to the road, but an entirely different feeling of how cars drive and handle. Due to the differences in weight, you can brake later in corners, mash the throttle more without fear of torque kicking out the rear....just a lot of different behaviors that lead to a unique feel of driving fast. Like any lighter car with less power, you have to use your momentum to carry you around corners or the track, but it is fun!

Many people ask me why I would sell a supra and keep a fully built, yet "slow" corolla. The answer is always "because the corolla is so light, its way more fun to drive"

But going back to the subframe comment, I would think (but I dont really know) that BMW would have kept the lighter aluminum subframe if they could have. Im guessing that they went with steel for needed strength. Even with that, the steel subframe had issues with strength and there were subframe reinforcement kits made to strengthen them.
Excellent points. My OP was not meant to be "I hate my porky M5" but an observation from long time owner who's been driving various E39's for almost 20 years. E39 M5 is and will always be special in many ways.
 

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It is probably the reason I bastardized my M5. The few hundred pound diet I put it on makes it more nimble. Not sure if It was the right thing to do or not. Fortunately I did it to a car that did not have much value left in it.
Well if you enjoy the car more it was right, if you don't, it was wrong. I have been following your thread and I'll be putting my 740i on a similar diet.
 

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Yeah, the lighter ones definitely feel more nimble, I went for a ride in my buddy's manual 530i and it was interesting to see that it did feel a bit lighter and I had forgotten how much fun it was to wind up the M54 in my old 330i, such a quick solid engine for it's power. Lightness and quickness aside, I don't think I could ever give up the way the M5 pulls so strong through every digit of the RPM range, especially in the top end. Would rather deal with the other aspects of this car as a daily driver compared to a 528i just cause I might get a chance to open her up on an on or off ramp.

So next question, is the engine and sub-frame the primary weight savings on this car? so If you shoved an S62 and tranny with M5 subframe into a 528i, you're almost dealing the the same car as long as the 528i has the sport package? or would it still be a wee bit lighter?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, the lighter ones definitely feel more nimble, I went for a ride in my buddy's manual 530i and it was interesting to see that it did feel a bit lighter and I had forgotten how much fun it was to wind up the M54 in my old 330i, such a quick solid engine for it's power. Lightness and quickness aside, I don't think I could ever give up the way the M5 pulls so strong through every digit of the RPM range, especially in the top end. Would rather deal with the other aspects of this car as a daily driver compared to a 528i just cause I might get a chance to open her up on an on or off ramp.

So next question, is the engine and sub-frame the primary weight savings on this car? so If you shoved an S62 and tranny with M5 subframe into a 528i, you're almost dealing the the same car as long as the 528i has the sport package? or would it still be a wee bit lighter?
IMO, if you do that than it's almost pointless as you'd have a lot of cost involved and weight would probably be almost similar.
I mentioned S52 for a reason as it'd be probably be much easier and less costly to do that plus the 5 speed manual.
While S52 is only 50 HP more than M52, it's enough to make a nice difference and car would definitely be more nimble vs S62 / steel subframe swap.
 

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Yeah, the lighter ones definitely feel more nimble, I went for a ride in my buddy's manual 530i and it was interesting to see that it did feel a bit lighter and I had forgotten how much fun it was to wind up the M54 in my old 330i, such a quick solid engine for it's power. Lightness and quickness aside, I don't think I could ever give up the way the M5 pulls so strong through every digit of the RPM range, especially in the top end. Would rather deal with the other aspects of this car as a daily driver compared to a 528i just cause I might get a chance to open her up on an on or off ramp.

So next question, is the engine and sub-frame the primary weight savings on this car? so If you shoved an S62 and tranny with M5 subframe into a 528i, you're almost dealing the the same car as long as the 528i has the sport package? or would it still be a wee bit lighter?
The s62 is quite a lump. I think it is 40lbs more than an M62. Not sure how the V8s compare to the I6s though. I also believe that the 5 speed in the 528i is less weight than the 6 speed. Getting rid of the steel subframe and heavy steering box certainly helps also, but I don't think it is the main motivator, my estimates show it saves. about 30lbs. The other thing that should not go unmentioned about the 528i, is that the brakes on it weigh 40lbs less (13/side front, 7/side rear) than e39 M5 brakes, which is a substantial decrease in unsprung weight. Which ought to contribute greatly to how it feels and handles.

I have been thinking for a long time about how to get a steering rack with an S62. The main problem is that it has a front sump oil pan where any BMW with a steering rack has a rear sump.

That said, I'm thinking you could get Z8 oil pan parts and make the s62 fit with the e39 I6 subframe, or maybe if you were real adventurous the e60 front subframe.
 

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The other thing I forgot to mention is the rear diff weight. I'm not sure what the I6 parts weigh, they are probably lighter and smaller than the V8 stuff. However, the E39 M5 diff and axles is 30lbs heavier than the base model e38 740i rear diff and axles.

All that adds up pretty fast. 100-200lbs in engine/trans, 40lbs brakes, 30lbs steering/front subframe, 30lbs rear diff. That's 150-250lbs right there. The rear knuckles are the same, or really close at least, so probably not much there. The front knuckles/control arms are different, but aluminum on both, so the difference is probably negligible. Both had aluminum strut housings. The M5 has beefier sway bars, a few pounds there. My M5 sway bar was 4 lbs heavier than my stock E38 sport sway bar. I can't really think of any other big items in terms of weight difference.
 

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So in a nutshell, it would be nice to shove an S52 into an E39 528i, but I think I'll keep my S62 engined M5 forever as the extra ponies it has far outweighs the weight difference for me.

I agree, it would be nice having both! of course in manual only form....
 

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Yeah, I don't think one wants to do away with all the good M5 bits. It is what makes the car great.
When I am all done with mine I will go have it weighed and post up my weight loss results. It is a slippery slope between keeping it somewhat of a M5 and loosing all luxury and making it lighter.
 

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Yeah, I don't think one wants to do away with all the good M5 bits. It is what makes the car great.
When I am all done with mine I will go have it weighed and post up my weight loss results. It is a slippery slope between keeping it somewhat of a M5 and loosing all luxury and making it lighter.
I searched your posts and did not see a weight loss thread, do you have one created I could follow? Would really be interested to see what you're doing..
 

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I'm not trying to suggest that everyone go put 528i parts on there car or that you should sell your M5 and get a 528i, but rather just trying to shed a little light on where all the extra bratwurst comes from.

But if any of you have z8 oil pan parts laying around, don't be afraid to call me......
 

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It's this one. I have requested that the title be changed. I wish I would have called it somethng else. It is actually a very good car.
My next step is getting a light battery.
 

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I agree. My daily driver is a 2003 530i Sport - it has all new suspension and a rear m5 swaybar. Love the way it handles, especially with the Continental DWS 06 tires.
The 2000 M5 is incrementally being brought to "like new" or better with suspension refresh and I look forward to it being as smooth as the 530i... hopefully.
 
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