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Let's us not forget what car was used for the ring taxi though..........
 

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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.
If it were me, I’d go with a built s54. Cams, airbox, exhaust, and tune gets them up pretty close to 400hp as it is. And if you go even further and stroke it to 3.5L or so, then you can make even more power and the torque goes up a fair bit too (though obviously still not as much as the s62). End result would probably feel akin to a modern e34 m5
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I haven't done any research. The only reason I'm considering S52 is the cost and less complexity to do swap. Being relatively closely related to my M52, I see easier work with ECU, same no drive by wire throttle etc...
If I could get it close to 300 HP I'd be happy.
 

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I haven't done any research. The only reason I'm considering S52 is the cost and less complexity to do swap. Being relatively closely related to my M52, I see easier work with ECU, same no drive by wire throttle etc...
If I could get it close to 300 HP I'd be happy.
If you have the M52 non-TU, then yeah, S52 is pretty much a direct swap. For M52TUs and especially M54s, the S54 electronics would be a better match, but it would still by no means be a straight forward swap. There is a thread on bimmerforums where a bunch of us discuss the feasibility and have a theoretical plan of attack, but there's only a couple of not really well documented swaps running around out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
If you have the M52 non-TU, then yeah, S52 is pretty much a direct swap. For M52TUs and especially M54s, the S54 electronics would be a better match, but it would still by no means be a straight forward swap. There is a thread on bimmerforums where a bunch of us discuss the feasibility and have a theoretical plan of attack, but there's only a couple of not really well documented swaps running around out there.
Yes, I have M52 non TU, hence my interest in S52. Obviously, I 'd have to consider diff, driveshaft etc... but if I could find healthy S52 and correct MT, it'd be a good start.
Several Coparts are few hours from me and wrecked E36 M3 would be way to go.
Something like this would work but I wish it was closer:
 

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Or.....just throw coilovers, swaybars, camber plates, and good tires on the M5 and it'll be a vastly different car. I've got PSS9s, Dinan Rear Sway Bar, GC Camber plates in the front, and 18x10 all around with 275 Michelin PSS and it'll practically rip your face off in a high speed corner.
 

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A squared 18x10 setup with top performance tires really makes the M5 handle so much better. Still won’t be as nimble as a lighter e39 but it will be a lot closer to regular e39s nimbleness than a regular e39 is to an M5 in terms of power


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Discussion Starter #29
If I had 2000 with a bunch of miles, I'd try that. But I spent considerable amount of money to bring mine to best condition possible with addition of few expensive upgrades. I feel it's stock enough for me to sell it and recuperate some money if I decide that so no more upgrades other than repairs / maintenance.
528 on the other hand is in extremely good condition but I could never get anything even remote for it in terms of my investment so that is why I'm thinking possible S52 / MT swap.
I'm very emotionally tied to this car (owned it for 16+ years now) and I think BMW gods would look approvingly on this swap.
 

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My good friend has a 2000 528i sport auto that has about 430,000 miles on it! Original transmission and all he ever did was change the filter and top off the fluid. Pulled exhaust at the flange recently and said it was so clean inside on the cat side you could eat off of it. He has a solid one hour one way commute he drove for the past 14 years...

Rust will be the only thing to bring it down and mostly just the body and jack points.


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Discussion Starter #31
My good friend has a 2000 528i sport auto that has about 430,000 miles on it! Original transmission and all he ever did was change the filter and top off the fluid. Pulled exhaust at the flange recently and said it was so clean inside on the cat side you could eat off of it. He has a solid one hour one way commute he drove for the past 14 years...

Rust will be the only thing to bring it down and mostly just the body and jack points.


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Yet many people constantly think high mileage cars are worn by default. Those 430k miles are much better for the engine than 100k miles in short trips and multiple cold starts.
My 97 528i is about to hit 160k miles and uses less oil than X5 or M5 and that is saying something as they barely use any.
M52 is way more bulletproof than M62 or S62 while M52TU seems to be slightly more prone to head gasket failure. Mine is iron block / alloy heads while M52TU is alloy block and heads IIRC. I'm not sure if that is the reason or not.
 

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Hi Folks, new member here, just jumping in for a little comment. I really enjoy driving BMW's and I think half the fun in owning one is doing little things that make them unique or special, even if that unique thing is keeping it all original. I'm new to M5's having picked up one recently and driving it a bit today I notice that it's much beefier than my other BMWs. I have an e36 M3 which is a super fun car and an e9 which consumes an inordinate amount of my life because I'm always f%#(ing with it. I find with the older BMWs things seem to be less trouble when they're close to stock. Anyhow, just wanted to pop into the discussion and throw in my 2 cents I included a few shots of the e9 I hope to get it to the dyno machine this week or next to tune the Megasquirt.
 

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Gorgeous E9! that intake manifold looks BRAND Spanking new!

Regarding my comment above, I am pretty certain that 430K mile 528i is an M52TU
 

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I had an E39 528iT alongside my M5 for a good year. Here's my feedback:

528iT
  • R&P feels so much nicer off center. Feel was great. Had a very good, confidence-inspiring steering feel. I preferred taking this on long highway drives over the M5.
  • Front end feels lighter due to obvious reasons.
  • M52tu is a sweet, smooth motor.
M5
  • I have a Dinan stage 2.5 set up (everything except the front sway) with monoballs. The steering feel is about the same now. Off-center feel is not the same as the 528.
  • Though heavier, the M5 benefits from having beefier hardware. As many of us have experienced, the aluminum rear sway bar brackets are a common failure point, for example. It is definitely set up for more hardcore use.
  • With the same suspension set up's, of course the lighter car will be able to attack a corner better. But any non-M E39 will miss out on an LSD. The advantage goes to an M5 to be able to put power down and dance the car in a big sweeper.
  • With fresh parts, the M5's servo actually helps with the weight. I actually like how light the steering feels and helps with the quicker ratio (I think it can benefit from quicker ratios).
For me, the E39 range goes like this: M5 > 530 > 540/525. The 540 misses out on the sweeter steering and a slow ratio while the 525 feels lighter, more precise but slow so I call it a wash between the two.

If I were to have kept my 528, I would've LOVED to have done an S54 swap. Keep it lighter and keep the rack. But then, I would think, would I rather have an E46 with an S54 instead? Even lighter, tighter, sportier, etc. Philosophically, which cars do I really enjoy and am I really able to enjoy on the types of roads I drive? Whenever I go to an autocross and see these 2300lb Miata's flying all over the place, every other car just seems bloated. I think it's about finding the right compromise of comfort/sport that fits our driving needs.

TBH though, the way my M5 is currently set up (dinan springs, rear sway bar, camber plates, koni's, OEM rear square), it's more than enough for the street to be enjoyed. It's very hard to find the limits unless you have big open roads and large hairpins. Thankfully I found a connecting cloverleaf highway entrance/exit off ramps that I'll.. uh.. exploit every now and then.
 

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I agree with OP.

We all know that small hatchbacks with 150~hp is super fun to drive.
I really do think the heavy V8 and the steering design compromises the M5's cornering ability.

Although, it is more likely for a M5 to be better taken care of compared to an 528 or a 530. (Just my opinion.)
If suspension parts are in better condition in the M5 than the 528i, there is a chance that the M5 can feel a bit better.
 

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Currently own a 2002 530i sport slick top 5spd and 2001 E39 M5. The 530i steering feel is very direct and closer to my E46 M3 than the M5 (rack pinion verse servo). With that said, M5 has way more power with a hunky V8. I think I can unsettle the M5 faster than the 530 due to my limited driving skills, which may give an impression of less handling ability. Place the M5 and 530 in the hands of a professional and I would imagine the M5 will likely shine beyond the 530. Either way, I find it a delight to drive both cars and enjoy every moment.
 

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100% agreed. I had a 530i MT at the same time as my M5 for a while, and the 530i was absolutely the more involving drivers car. 500+ lbs lighter and better steering is nothing to sneeze at. While the M5 is certainly faster, never once did I feel like the 530i was underpowered (though mine came with some NA power mods).

I've long thought my perfect e39 (or maybe perfect daily driver) would be an S54 converted 530i without sunroof.
 

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I have a 6-speed E46 330xi (for another hour or two at least before the buyer takes it away) that's a better handling car than my new to me M5, so no surprise that a lighter RWD 5-series is too. And of course my E46 M3 crushes them both :) Still would rather drive the M5 on regular public roads most of the time.
 

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Umm....no.
 

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Hi Folks, new member here, just jumping in for a little comment. I really enjoy driving BMW's and I think half the fun in owning one is doing little things that make them unique or special, even if that unique thing is keeping it all original. I'm new to M5's having picked up one recently and driving it a bit today I notice that it's much beefier than my other BMWs. I have an e36 M3 which is a super fun car and an e9 which consumes an inordinate amount of my life because I'm always f%#(ing with it. I find with the older BMWs things seem to be less trouble when they're close to stock. Anyhow, just wanted to pop into the discussion and throw in my 2 cents I included a few shots of the e9 I hope to get it to the dyno machine this week or next to tune the Megasquirt.
Amazing E9. Looks like a nut and bolt restoration. Congrats! (former 20+ year in family since new E3 owner here; we didn't have megasquirt in the '80s but triple 45DCOEs coupled with a Schrick 304 cam, porting, high comp pistons, etc, made for an awesome M30 back in the day).

On the topic at hand, the M5 does feel a lot different with some basic mods. For many years of my 15 with the M5, I had springs/Konis/rear sway bar, GC camber plates, 9.5/275 square, monoballs, and Stoptech BBK. The square setup helps immensely on track, especially heavy trailbraking in slower corners which is mandatory to get the beast to rotate on entry; monoballs take a lot of play out of the steering feel (while adding NVH); and the Stoptech BBK massively reduced the squishy feel of the stock brake setup while dumping a good amount of unsprung mass too.

The car was a blast to drive with that setup, but the funny thing is that around 2010 I drove a completely stock ultra-low mileage car and was amazed how "right" BMW nailed the entire package for its intended purpose. I had forgotten over all the years what my car felt like when it was completely stock. I later de-purposed my M5 a bit taking off the monoballs, going back to the skinny fronts, etc, before selling it, as I hadn't been using it as my primary fun vehicle for a good while. Just those two changes resulted in a much more comfortable and quieter experience (monoballs out, stock thrust arms in) and tramlining was gone (stock front wheels/tires).
 
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