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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Will be interesting to see what BMW will think if an owner has transmission problem and they find out you messed with the transmission. How come methinks they might have heartburn and argue that you voided the warranty as relates to the transmission? They put it there for a reason and they'll know if you messed with it.

    I must be odd. The CDV doesn't bother me. I love my '98 540i6. But I didn't buy her to do smokey burnouts or blast away from stopsigns. I enjoy the top end power. Does the CDV have much impact on shifting at higher speeds in 3-4-5-6th gears?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Drilling out the CDV is the preferred technique; a dealer will probably never notice a drilled CDV. A missing one, on the other hand...
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    My belief is that the only tranny problem you would have is burning out the clutch, but if you somehow manage to do that, you probably didn't know how to drive a manual to begin with. BMW puts the CDV in their clutch hydraulics to make it easier for the newbie to drive a manual. For the "seasoned" driver who has driven non-CDV manuals for decades, it is an annoyance. I went with the DRILLED CDV because no one can tell the system was modified, but removing it completely would be a dead give away.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    I think div2 is correct. I don't think that a dealer would ever know that the inside of the CDV is drilled out or even think to look at that part. It is only a $13-15 part from what I have heard. I believe that the reason for the part, and any one correct me if I am wrong, but it slows the engagement of the clutch. I think this would be more noticeable at lower gears and lower speeds as shipo has questioned. The thing I hear that it really does though is take the stress off the drive shaft and half shaft. Shipo, you are correct, I didn't buy my 528i to do burnouts. I do notice though that the engagement on my car is smooth, meaning that when I accelerate hard, I am sure the clutch is slipping a lot more than I would like causing the power to be smoothly applied instead of all at once. This would make the car seem somewhat sluggish to a car that had the CDV drilled out. As for the 540i6, if I had that car, I am not sure I would drill mine out for a couple of reasons. One, that is plenty of power, clutch slipping or not. And secondly, that engine would put some serious strain on every drive componet past the transmission. This could potentionally cause problems later in life, but I am sure it would be long after the warranty is up on the car.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    Interesting theory you have there. Never heard anything like that before, but who knows? I wouldn't have had a chance to try it out even had I heard about it, since I was anal about following breakin precautions and ended my ED experience with fewer than 1200 miles on the clock. Driving on the autobahns/autoroutes, I never got north of 100 mph (well, maybe 105).

    My 530i was built in 6/01, and delivered stateside the last week of August. I'm not aware of any modifications made by the VPC or the delivering (out of state) dealer. It may have felt better in Europe, but then again it developed two defects during the first year of ownership that greatly affected drivetrain feel and function: A bad AT valve body resulting in torque loss under load, and the sticky pedal. Both were fixed under warranty and the car now drives better, but still suffers from problems like the balkiness you document above and I have described previously. I thought the Steptronic might be the culprit, but here you are experiencing the same thing with a stick! I definitely will have my local dealer assess the engine management software.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, interesting. I don’t suppose that the balking started after the transmission fix? Did you have any work done on your car between April 2002 and the first half of October 2002? If you did, I would suspect that the software was upgraded at the time, and that you got the same "Mark II" code that messed up my car. FWIW, my technician at Tully was instantly able to determine that the software had been upgraded since the car left the factory.

    I just called Tully BMW, and while they were not able to give me any kind of code release level, he told me that the date of my service call was 22-Oct-2002, and I specifically remember the technician saying that the dealership "Just got the code in two days before." Given that the 22nd was a Tuesday, I am guessing that the previous Friday (18-Oct) was the actual distribution date. The individual I just spoke with said, "Yeah, all he needs to do is have his dealership drop the latest new code into the DME." At least, I think that he said "DME".

    Interesting side note; to me, DME means "Distance Measuring Equipment", which is used for calculating the "Slant" distance to a marker beacon for a pilot. Said Slant distance, when coupled with current altitude and the current radial to the beacon will yield a fairly precise location fix without triangulation.

    Best Regards,
  • I was stunned. It is a gorgeous blue 2003 awd 911 turbo with a special optional high performance engine and transmission factory package. He let me drive it a couple of times. Oh my god, the power in this car is phenominal, absolutely intoxicating. I didn't get a chance to take it through any twisties but when my friend comes back I will put it through the paces. Here are some pictures.





    Me like, me Want.

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Very, very nice. BUT, is that a slushbox Turbo?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    [Forgive the tardy post, but I just received and read the C&D report.] It's appeared to me recently that their editors' advancing ages are manifesting themselves in ways contrary to the magazine's driving theme, and this report exemplifies the point. Granted, we're talking about luxury sports sedans, so it's not all about the driving. But that should take a priority, and it appears that in this case it hasn't.

    The editors rave about the E320's style and elegance, and I'd have to agree that it's gorgeous, even to the point of making the E39 feel a bit antiquated. But: "The steering effort goes up at times...brake response is braking feedback...throttle response is soggy." The 530i: "...has the kind of trusty, predictable control responses we like." And the Merc wins?
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Now we all know, that normally the trend is the the latest and greatest that has been in the top before wins comparo tests. Obvious contridiction to this claim is the CTS. But look, the G35 won and with comments like "it is obvious that the money went to the right places, engine, transmission and suspension" Well, to bad that rest of the car got left out at such a cheap price. Sure I like the look of the G35 for the most part, not to big on the back end still, but the interior of the car is awefully cheap. I was in line this weekend at a swanky club and a G35 pulled up. The girl in front of me immediately said, that is a beautiful car, but the inside is totally cheap. I was in love at first site. She then went on to tell me why the BMW should have won the comparo test in a car magazine she read but didn't. I was totally taken off guard. I think the same is for the new e series. It is a beautiful car, finally they make it look like all the others. BUT, we all know that mercs are not for sport, but rather luxury. This is not to say they can't improve this, but they choose to make the majority of their cars as autos and they choose to focus to the groups that want luxury over sport. There is nothing wrong with that. I have a friend from Romania, and he told me that MB is the luxury brand, VW is the every day brand, Porche is the pure sport brand and BMW is the mix between MB and Porche at semi practical prices. I guess over there the car isn't nearly as expensive and has way more options.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I never read the comparo but interior in the G35 is plasticky. Buying autos is due to personal taste. Only sports cars are built for enthuaists (see Porsche option list). We pay the cheapest prices on BMWs, Audis and Mercs, but the cars are viewed different here (U.S) than there (Europe). Like some one has said on the board before, we are brand conscience. Every time I go home to England, I see the 4-cyl Audis, Mercs and Bimmers. With the exception of the c230 coupe and sedan, we do not see those 4-cyl models over here. It kind of keeps the brand a little prestigious even though a 3er can hardly be considered prestigious with the recent sales numbers. Auto makers are in the business of making money. If most people that buy Mercs like slushboxes, then Merc will satisfy those buyers. The car lover will just have to find another brand to buy. Take BMW, it will be interesting to see how the SMG (SSG) transmission does in the U.S., this could bite into some manual transmission sales. In the U.S., BMW is a luxury marque, a sporty one but luxury none the less. In Europe, you can option a BMW with cloth seats and no luxury, pure sport sedan.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "It kind of keeps the brand a little prestigious even though a 3er can hardly be considered prestigious with the recent sales numbers."

    I'm not following how sales affects prestige or prestige affects sales.???
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Fortunate to drive '03 Porsche with the Tiptronic, my oh my what a car !! I could never afford one but it does have the most sophisticated auto tranny I have ever driven, the shifts are ever so smooth and quick. Do I dare say that it may be quicker and smoother than any skilled driver can accomplish with a stick? Please , you stick shifters don't drum me out of this message board, please.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Prestige in terms of commonality. The BMW has sold as many 3er as maybe Mitsu has sold Galants (I don't know the trade numbers). But prestige is sometimes associated with rarity. If a Rolls was desirable and sold for $30,000, we would see many Rolls. This would somewhat tarnish the marque or at least the perception that we had of the marque. Ferrari will be deemed as prestigeous based on the idea that it is a dream car that most of us cannot afford. It just like some say that a lease increase the number of people that may be able to drive a particular car. I hope you understand my reasoning on prestige, at least as a concept.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Prestige - from the dictionary:
    1. The level of respect at which one is regarded by others; standing.
    2. A person's high standing among others; honor or esteem.
    3. Widely recognized prominence, distinction, or importance: a position of prestige in diplomatic circles.

    This definition from has little to do with sales numbers. I submit BMW, as in definition 3, has achieved a "widely recognized prominence".

    To wit, a competitor the G35, who has not sold nearly as many, with your definition would be prestigious, but the dictionary definition would not. (Of course, some defenders might say otherwise, however).

    Contrast this definition for a Pinto with the exploding gas tank and you see that it fits definition number 3 nicely. As the Pinto has attained "widely recognized prominence, distinction", but has failed to achieve importance (except in how not to design a car), thus the Pinto cannot be viewed as prestigious. :)

    Mercedes has sold an untold amount of cars, yet they still remain a prestigious brand.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    ...but not nearly as much in Europe, where the three-pointed star is affixed to homely little A-class cars, big trucks, taxis, etc. You're right, the 3 series (and 5, while we're at it) has set class standards. And, in a generic sense, the BMW brand is indeed prestigous. Not as much as an exotic, but certainly more than a Honda. But seivwrig's point is correct as well: In affluent sectors of any big city, a 3-series is widely considered a "working man's Accord." Not to disparage Honda or the 3-series, but abundance indeed dilutes prestige, with all due respect to the dictionary.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Not to pick nits, but that is an opinion as opposed to an application of a definition. I know a few people where they consider a Porsche GTR a poor mans car. So we can take the analogy of the masses and keep moving it up the socioeconomic scale until a few million dollars becomes pocket change and nothing becomes relevant.

    That's why IMO the dictionary is a good place to start when debating these loosy-goosy parts of life.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    kdshapiro... Which dictionary? And are we to use American english or English english? I want to ensure my car has a functional boot and stylish bonnet, but she had better go like hell, know how to make it thru the twisties, and be fun to drive.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    The dictionary is a great source of definition, but sometimes it can be lacking. The reason is that the dictionary is lagging in terms of social definition of words. Not to debate this topic extensively, but the dictionary is almost a living document which over time changes to accept the social uses of speech and words.
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