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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • jlapcatjlapcat Posts: 7
    What does E39 and E60 stand for? Are these abbreviations for the 528 and 530???

    Another, more important question: I test drove today, and am seriously considering buying a 530i sport/premium in Southern California. The car comes with Bridgestone Potenza run-flat tires. These tires seem to make the ride feel very rough---every nook and cranny in the road is transferred to the passengers, my teeth were almost chattering. I don't want to give up a smooth ride, and I really want the handling and suspension that the sport model offers.

    I currently drive a Jaguar XJR with 370 hp and very good handling, fun to drive (no fun at service center--teeth chatter from fear there). It has Potenza S-03 255/40/18 tires and has a much smoother ride.

    Will replacing the run/flat tires seriously improve the ride of the car? Or does part of the roughness of the ride also have something to do with the suspension? The dealership will only sell the car with these run/flat tires. Salesman was unhelpful/unknowledgeable.
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    I know the feeling. My 1986 325eS with a mere 229000 miles on it just blew out the water pump. And the head gasket; leaking like a colander. And don't get me started on the clutch. Actually had to replace the original after only 140000 miles.

    Truth is, for about $3K in repairs, it could easily make it to 300K but enough is enough. Just ordered a 2005 545I six speed. Hope I get have the same good luck
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263

    New cars with run flat tires do not have a spare tire. The dealer cannot change to normal tires till you buy the car to keep from being sued.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,652
    E39.. 5-series from '97-'03
    E60.. 5-series from '03-

    E46.. Current model 3-series
    E90.. 3-series starting in '06

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  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    The run-flat tires are almost certainly the cause of the rough(er) ride that you've noticed. Run-flat tires have extremely stiff sidewalls so that the tire can still support the weight of the car when flat. Standard tires (even fairly low-profile, sport tires) have much more flex in the sidewalls which absorb shocks and contribute to a smoother ride.

    The 5 series is widely recognised as having one of the best, possibly the best, handling/ride combinations available.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    E39.. 5-series from '97-'03
    E60.. 5-series from '04- (I know that kyfdx knows that, probably just a typo) ;-)

    Rough riding 530i SP: Hmmm, having never driven with Run Flats, my suggestion is that maybe the dealership forgot to remove the extra pressure in the tires (cars are shipped with lots of extra pressure in the tires to inhibit bouncing while in transit). My first BMW was delivered to me with something like 50+ pounds in the tires. Not only was it rough riding, the handling was so squirrelly that I was barely able to control it on a bumpy road.

    FWIW, I have an E39 530i SP, and the ride is quite wonderful, so much so that even the couple of elderly folks that I've had in it have commented on how smooth it was.

    Best Regards,
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,652
    Thanks!! I always need back-up...

    Run flat tires suck.. (did I say that out loud?). Getting the pressure checked is a good idea, but really... run flat tires s...

    Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to get used to it.. it looks like all BMWs will have them soon.


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  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    jlapcat-I have an '04 545 with SP and it also has run-flats (Dunlop). The ride is tight, but no where near "teeth chattering". As others have already mentioned run-flats are always stiffer, and the sport suspension also has a rougher ride than non-sport.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    So I'm driving out of Chicago last night when these two guys in a '04 M3 pull up along side wanting to race. I could tell they thought the M3 was going to kick my 545's butt. I admit to thinking they might be right! So we starting going at it and I was really surprised that the M3 couldn't keep up. I know it's slightly faster off the line, but we were already at highway speeds and I jumped right in front of him, and he just couldn't keep up (believe me, he was trying real hard judging by the sound of his engine). I don't claim to be any expert on what makes one car faster than another, but I assume it's that my car gets to it's max HP faster (the M3 only has 8 HP more but needs to practically redline to get to it), and the good deal more torque that the 545 has (330 ft/lbs vs 262 ft/lbs. for the M3) which it also gets at faster. I thought that the weight difference (M3 is about 400 lbs lighter) and the fact that I had 3 passengers while he only had 1 would give him the edge but it didn't. I don't know what speed the M3 is limited to, but I'm sure it's more than the 125 mph we hit at some points. Note-definitely not a good idea to go that fast on 290 in Chicago! I supposed that he could have just been a bad driver, but we were really just accelerating in a straight line. I'll tell you what though, given how fast the 545 is I would love to drive the M5 when it comes out. 507 HP. That car is simply going to fly!
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I should also mention that I turned off the traction control and switched to sport shifting mode.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    E39: MY97-03. CY 96-03.
    E60: MY04- . CY 03-

    (Sometimes the cars come out at different times in USA and Europe, with them often getting things first. Sometimes they get models, e.g., 520i, we don't get.)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,652
    True... but, in this case... Shipo was correct.. it was a typo.. but I thought of this excuse.. LOL

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  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    On my way home from a client meeting today and was in no rush so I took a scenic route - some little used country roads. Perfect day so I opened the sunroof, turned off the stereo and let the car have its legs for a while.

    I don't often get to appreciate just what a wonderful machine the 530 really is. Beautiful balance, precision, adequate power and just a joy to drive quickly. I count myself fortunate to be able to drive one.
  • sapparosapparo Posts: 68
    Your comparing a 94'Legend to a BMW?? Shame on you! How could that german built car go 300k when that $40K Acura is purring along at only 190K miles? Maybe I should find a 88' Accord or even better a Legend with 320K miles and now were even..
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    Hey karmikan, don't be posting things like this while I'm cooped up in my office with nothing in front of me but a commute home on traffic-choked freeways. You're making me feel bad here.

    Truth is, you just summmed up the glory of owning a BMW in a few words, very well; a nice break from the otherwise prosaic writing the rest of us usually contribute to this forum.

  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Sounds like a certain type of envy. I won't say which kind it is of course...
  • sapparosapparo Posts: 68
    There was a bit of sarcasm in the post. Japanese cars doing 300K is no biggy. Just meant that the 94 was too new just add another 7-8 years and it'll be there also.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I owned a 528i and now a 530i. And extensively drove a loaner 525i (all E39s).

    I have to say that that even the 528 is much more desirable than a 525 in terms of responsiveness. BTW - all automatics. You can feel the diff and in stepping through all of them. The 530i is the best of the sixes. More power could easily be handled in this nimble config. But if all one can afford is a 525i, the dynamics of an E39 are without compare (with the right tires)!
  • mattjbmattjb Posts: 1
    Hi, I just bought a used 520i wonder where I can confirm if the engine is a E34 or something else. Or can some kind soul out there confirm it.
    Engine # 206KA25434790
    Chasis # WBAHB22060BB76917
    Good day.
  • I don't understand the question. E34 is a 5 series body style (the current 5 series is the E60 & the previous is E39).

    BMW engine codes start with an "M" (most 6 & 8 cyl engines), an "N" (a few 8 & 12 cyl engines) or an "S" (if the car is an M5 or M3).

    If you want to find out lots of neat stuff about your car find the build sheet, it should be under your rear seat. Alternatively, you could ask your local dealer to get you a copy using your VIN number.
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