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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, despite the price or maintenance, and the advice of sensible boring types, I sold my 7 year old Honda Element, and purchased a well cared for 2003 e39 M5 in Titanium Silver Metallic. I have wanted this car since I first heard the sound of the Beast in my buddy's garage.

I absolutely love the car, I've played it safe for 6 years, and like anything safe, it was mind-numbingly boring driving the Honda. The M5 has given me back my soul, apparently my soul takes premium unleaded!

Having previously owned a 1989 535i for it's first 300k miles(bought it from my father who bought it new), I feel like I have some idea what it can cost to maintain a BMW(you get what you pay for I guess). Having done my fair share of reading here and a few other places, I'm left planning for the worst and hoping for the best when it comes to this Car. Rather than relying on hope, i was thinking that if would be smarter to reach out to the group here, and proactively seek your advice on keeping this purchase from biting me in the *** in the near future.

Here are the details of what I bought:

80,000 miles on the odometer.
Previous owner was a Mechanical Engineer and Pilot, so he was quite mechanically inclined and meticulous.
The Car is in perfect working order, no Codes, no bad sensors, new thermostat in the last week, new Stainless Brake lines, the Front End was redone and Upgraded at Dinan, New tires and brakes all around, new floor mats, Dinan Short Shifter, Has the MKIV Nav Unit, and the only thing I can see that needs some TLC are the Pixels on the Dashboard Display, which I've already discovered is covered in the DIY section. The previous owner was nice enough to include all repair records, and the Maintenance Manuals as well. The vehicle appears to be perfect, and I won't say what I paid for it, however I would like to hear what you think it might be worth.

My question is this: How do I make sure that this Car is reliable and goes another 80,000 miles at least?

I am mechanically inclined, however I don't have a good place to do the work, nor do I have all the tools that much of what I've been reading list as necessary for the DIY guides. I also don't have a mechanic friend that's local.

Got any ideas how I can remedy any of those problems in the East Bay Area? Are there resources that I don't know about? What do you recommend for someone like me? Or is a savings account/new credit card and the name of a good mechanic the only way to go?

Again, thanks for any and all help and advice. Totally thrilled to finally have my Car!(pics coming soon!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To make it (and your bank account) last another 80k, make friends with a mechanic. really good friends.
Yikes, I've read here that much of what goes wrong with the e39 beast was fixed by 2003, and that they are relatively solid? Despite the thermostat, control arm bushings, and VANOS issues, what am I to keep an eye out for? I understand that they burn through some oil, however is there Maintenance I can do preventatively to avoid needing a mechanic too often? My vehicle is in awesome shape. I forgot to mention that he also took care of adding an aftermarket fuel pump, and almost all the hoses and spark plugs have been changed as well as belts and normal wear and tear items. The previous owner was not planning on selling the car until I came along.


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I live in Redwood City. I'm more than happy to help a fellow m5 owner. I have had my beast since Feb 2013 and have been through hell and back with issues. I have had pretty much every m5 issue. Only things I haven't done are my rod bearings and timing chain guides. PM me if you have any questions.
 

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^ I was right about to say what he did. Pit Row is great, since I got my beast I go there quite often. Dennis is great, very knowledgeable (used to work for BMW in Germany), and his shop and tools you have access to are amazing.

I just got mine so I'm still learning, but if you ever need a helping hand, I'd be more than happy to help out cause I'm always down to learn something! You seem to have a very nicely sorted out ride, so you probably don't need to do much. Me on the other hand, purposefully bought a beat up specimen so I can bring it back to glory, and learn along the way, and hopefully pass it along to someone who can appreciate it.

Hope to see you around!
 

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I live in Redwood City. I'm more than happy to help a fellow m5 owner. I have had my beast since Feb 2013 and have been through hell and back with issues. I have had pretty much every m5 issue. Only things I haven't done are my rod bearings and timing chain guides. PM me if you have any questions.
You mind if I jump in on that offer? Hahah...as you see in my post above I bought an M5 with plenty of issues, so it's been fun solving them but I'm sure I'll run into a thing or two that I will have no idea how to tackle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
:biggrinbounce: Wow, thanks for all of that! I look forward to having this car for a long time, and would love to meet up and learn as much as I can as well. Right now I'm still enjoying the first few days of ownership. Once things settle down after the holidays, I'll likely be ready to get something scheduled and will reach out. Interestingly enough, the previous owner lived in Redwood City, so you might have seen my car before.
 

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If your car is in good shape, just be ready to take care of the stuff that tends to age out. My list would include - fuel pump eventually, oil separator hoses, power steering pump hose, suspension bushings, O2 sensors and MAFs, and fan clutch. That tends to cover the most common problems as the car ages. Really they do very well once you handle this stuff - congrats.
 

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Welcome to the "Beast" club. I would peruse the maintenance records and then research preventative maintenance items and their suggested replacement intervals. When I bought mine over 5 years ago, I did a lot of preventative replacements just to get a good baseline to start with. (CPS, O2 sensors, MAF's, sparks plugs, fuel filter, yada, yada, yada).

Then when that is complete and you're happy with stock performance, then the fun money in mods starts getting dispensed. Good luck and drive it like you stole it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Welcome to the "Beast" club. I would peruse the maintenance records and then research preventative maintenance items and their suggested replacement intervals. When I bought mine over 5 years ago, I did a lot of preventative replacements just to get a good baseline to start with. (CPS, O2 sensors, MAF's, sparks plugs, fuel filter, yada, yada, yada).

Then when that is complete and you're happy with stock performance, then the fun money in mods starts getting dispensed. Good luck and drive it like you stole it.
CPS and MAF's will probably be the first project, unless the clutch doesn't last. Impressively enough, still on the Original Clutch at 80k, I knew that going into this, and have considered the cost to replace into my purchase. I think that the clutch will be Job I pay for, however it looks like the MAF's and CPS might be a good place to start my DIY, along with a general inspection and fluid change.
 

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CPS and MAF's will probably be the first project, unless the clutch doesn't last. Impressively enough, still on the Original Clutch at 80k, I knew that going into this, and have considered the cost to replace into my purchase. I think that the clutch will be Job I pay for, however it looks like the MAF's and CPS might be a good place to start my DIY, along with a general inspection and fluid change.
This was my maintenance plan for the first six months. Replaced e-Box fan, cooling system flush, differential oil change, transmission fluid change, pre-cat O2 sensors replaced, changed MAF's/Outside Temperature Sensor, changed spark plugs, intake and exhaust CPS's. There were also a couple of mods included within that time frame. :haha:
 

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You mind if I jump in on that offer? Hahah...as you see in my post above I bought an M5 with plenty of issues, so it's been fun solving them but I'm sure I'll run into a thing or two that I will have no idea how to tackle.

Of course! Always down to help fellow e39ers.
 
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Did someone say meet?

I had gathered a list of bay area folks a while back and had a few meets here and there. My buddy EuroCarFan on here (from the E60 section) organizes some nice meets/drives occasionally so I'll be sure to let you guys know when the next upcoming meet is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Did someone say meet?

I had gathered a list of bay area folks a while back and had a few meets here and there. My buddy EuroCarFan on here (from the E60 section) organizes some nice meets/drives occasionally so I'll be sure to let you guys know when the next upcoming meet is.
Anything coming up soon, I'd attend even the most informal of events.


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RUN 10-60 oil!! My e39 went through 5 30 like there was a hole in it...
Get our a v1 and stealth 1
Do your rear sway brackets
Get a code reader-i like my bavarain technic sw & laptop
make sure your rims are straight and be careful with them east bay roads are like the third world

I am in alameda would be happy to look at your new toy and l and lend some advice; ive done most of what a shade tree mech can
do to one of these cars...
 
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