BMW 5-Series Accessories and Modifications

div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
edited April 2014 in BMW
Contact Steve Diamond at: . The BMW changer, install kit, and shipping came to $399 for my E39 5er. Prompt service too.


  • skatzenskatzen Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone added the BMW aftermarket navigation system to a E39 525? Is it full-featured? I'm looking for general review information: what do you like about it, what don't you like, is it worth the price, etc.

  • phxbmwdudephxbmwdude Member Posts: 8
    Has anyone put a trailer hitch for light towing on a 5er sportwagon? For some reason I thought BMW did not allow this, but BMW USA apparently says you can tow 1500#, max tongue wt 200#.
  • 5speed55speed5 Member Posts: 31
    My friend has an E39 528i with a Class 1 receiver hitch. He tows his SeaDoo Jet Ski with it. Never takes the car above 50mph when advice.
  • phxbmwdudephxbmwdude Member Posts: 8
    to: 5speed5

    do you know where your friend got the hitch??
  • 5speed55speed5 Member Posts: 31
    Copy this URL into your browser.

    The Hitch manufacturer is "Dalan"

  • hgutsteinhgutstein Member Posts: 65
    I have a 528 iT with a hitch installed by Master Hitch in Houston. We use it for a bike rack and light towing. These guys are in the phone book and very knowledgeable. they should be able to set you up

  • moose26moose26 Member Posts: 3
    Has anyone done some custom sound upgrade on a 530i or similar. Looking to upgrade from speakers and potentialy add an amp. Looking for any advice or issues people may have had in the past.

  • pop6pop6 Member Posts: 2
    Help want to replace my 98 528i wiper blades dealers are expensive strips of rubber and have to cut the the p-side (shorter of the 2 22''). Any other refills available? help
  • joseph830joseph830 Member Posts: 9
    Think it is a deal if i get the 108,000 miles warranty for....$1,999.00 ? This is under the same term of the original factory warranty. Please let me know!!!
  • joseph830joseph830 Member Posts: 9

    ever heard of or anybody tried to just get the M Steering wheel by itself? I know it comes with the Sport Package, but what if i just want to add that alone?
  • thfrazerthfrazer Member Posts: 20
    Does anyone know where I can see some photos of what the redesigned 5 series will look like next year (2003)? Please post here or e-mail me at [email protected]


  • mkharris01mkharris01 Member Posts: 6

    I can recommend you checking the CEC Wheels website. The company is located in Los Angeles and provides all the accessories you can ever want or afford. They will also order parts and ship as well. Link provided below.


  • mkharris01mkharris01 Member Posts: 6
    I am considering installing the applicable Dinan performance software and the free flow exhaust for my 2000 BMW 528iA. Result will be increased HP and torque and removal of the speed limiter. Long Beach BMW will be the installer and warranties will still be maintained.

    Question: Any experience with the installs mentioned? Any comments appreciated.
  • bimladybimlady Member Posts: 1
    I have same questions as moose26.

    Just got a 2001 525. Frankly, the audio system sounds terrible. My honda accord system sounded 100 times better.

    I don't have the DSP on my business cd/audio.
    Does BMW have anything you can upgrade to, other than just the DSP ? Is getting the DSP worth it?
    What else can you get on 5 series
  • kirkd1kirkd1 Member Posts: 24
    whats the deal? my dealer told me that he wouldnt know if i could use this mod until the car comes in to see if it has a "hole" in the front facia or not. its something out of his control? anybody heard of this? all i wanna do is get ride of the front license frame and mount and replace it with the plain bumper strip.
  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    In case anyone's curious about this, I've successfully added the Sony "plug-and-play" XM satellite receiver to my 530i's (DSP) sound system, and it's great. For details about the install, click here.
  • gillzgillz Member Posts: 15

    I installed the Dinan software upgrade for the engine and transmission. The cost at Long Beach BMW was $754 (incl labor) and $700 at Bullet Performance (they don't charge a labor fee). I highly recommend driving the extra miles to Costa Mesa and have Bullet do the install. (Bullet Performance Engineering (714)556-4269.

    I have sport/prem package with steptronic and was pleasantly surprised with the extra torque and more aggressive shifting after the upgrade.

    Good luck.
  • hgutsteinhgutstein Member Posts: 65
    Have it for the wagon - also put in a K and N filter. You only get 7 or 8 HP. for the 528 I would say the $500 was definitely not worth it. Just use the "sport" mode for the tranny and you will be fine.

  • anfanf Member Posts: 6
    I see people talking about Dinan chips. I assume this is only for automatic transmissions. Correct?

    Are there any easy ways to add more oomph to a 540 6-speed? (Other than trading it in for an M5 :-)

  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    A "cold-air" intake will add 10-15 hp (and a lot of noise), a freer-flowing exhaust might add a similar increase (and more noise), and then you can get into all sorts of upgrades like lighter pistons, cams, valve stems, etc., but I think the price would outweight the benefits there. More involved work (i.e. $5000+) would be adding a supercharger, which can yield another 100 ponies or more (see If I were you, I'd wait for the next 5-series, which will reportedly offer a 3 liter, twin-turbo inline-6 with 380 hp. That would be sweet, assuming the lag is minimal.
  • brenwilbrenwil Member Posts: 1
    I am the new owner of a 89 525i and I am so disappointed with the "get up" of the car. I was told this car is "gut less". It only has 187K on the clock and the engine runs fine. The problem is the car just doesn't have any "ZIP" and I think having to rev. the car from a stationary position burns the fuel more than I would like. Would changing the chip , I think "Dinan" is the word mentioned, have an impact on my car's zip. Would it be compatible on my 89.I am also considering changing the gear box (manual) to a newer used one , say 93/94.Is this possible.
    Any information on how I can improve this will be highly appreciated.

  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Your main problem is the engine; You might try a Conforti chip- . The 91-up cars had the superior M50 engine. I'd suggest that you ditch the thing and find a nice 535i; the "Big Six" makes a world of difference.
  • slane4slane4 Member Posts: 6
    Just bought '97 540i with Nav System. Front screen only. Manual says TV is deactivated there for safety reasons. Someone said I can activate it to get TV up front. Anyone know how to so this?
  • slane4slane4 Member Posts: 6
    Snagiel: Thanks! I have taken a look at this and will give it a shot when I get home. Appreciate the help!
  • slane4slane4 Member Posts: 6
    Hey, it worked!! Very cool....thanks. Any ideas on how to improve reception or number of channels?
  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    Um, no. I don't even have the nav, I just forwarded a thread which I thought would help. How 'bout driving to the tallest mountain in the area? :)
  • slane4slane4 Member Posts: 6
    Unfortunately I must live in a dump called Cincinnati and there are no mountains within 500 miles of this toilet!! Ha, ha. Thank you for your assist. SL
  • jpc14jpc14 Member Posts: 4
    I am considering purchasing a 98 528 that has the sport package and some additional features such as heated seats. I love the car (great milage, etc.), but the only bummer is that I really like the woodgrain Premium trim vs the Sport trim. Has anyone replaced the trim before or know if it can be done? Is it doable without costing a fortune?
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Wish I could trade you, all the wood in my 1997 5er makes me think I'm in a domestic barge sometimes :p
  • john01john01 Member Posts: 246
    I have seen a guy on the roadfly who replaced his wood trim on his 330 during ED. I think it cost him about $450. Also, an M5 owner did the same from the Aluminum trim to wood trim. Definitely possible.
  • jpc14jpc14 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input john01...Div2 made me feel better about it (thanks Div2!), so I'll just see how it goes. Nice to know it can be done though!

  • jpc14jpc14 Member Posts: 4
    A there a great leather seat cleaner (or do you have to buy it from BMW?) that will clean leather seats. I have the sand color on my 528, and unfortunately, I got something (grease?) on it...I think I made it worse trying to clean it....likely didn't use the right stuff. Can these things be re-stained to match the right color if need be? Hope it does not come to that!
  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    A worn-in grease stain might be tough, but the best leather cleaner out there is Lexol pH-balanced cleaner. And, you should follow up with the Lexol conditioner for treating the leather with necessary oils to keep it from cracking and aging prematurely.
  • love2skicarlove2skicar Member Posts: 23
    does anyone know of the best roof mounted rack for the 5 series? my friend got a thule which fits in 4 small slits in roof and it works ok -- just curious if anyone had found a better solution or if bmw offers one. thanks!
  • blkmanwrkinblkmanwrkin Member Posts: 6
    I'm very interested in getting a wood/leather steering wheel for my 5 series. I would still want my radio/cruise control to work from steering. If anyone knows where I could get one please post a link, website, price, picture, just something to where I could find 1. You can also email me [email protected]
  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    "Jimmy540"'s got one on his pre-00 540i (I believe there's some incompatibilities with later wheel designs. Here it is:


    His website is at, and his email is

    [email protected]; He can probably point you in the right direction. Good luck.

  • blkmanwrkinblkmanwrkin Member Posts: 6
    Thanks, I went on his site & posted on his message board as well, another guy emailed me & said he'd seen a wheel with the wood at the top instead of on the sides. He had no pic or website where I could check it out. I wish I could find one like that. The one pictured isn't really what I was looking for.
  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    Not to dissuade you or anything, but are you sure you want a lot of wood on the wheel? I know it looks cool, but it's slippery and rather uncomfortable compared to the leather sport wheel.
  • john01john01 Member Posts: 246
    Not sure about BMW NA, but BMW AG accessory catalog I have show 3 different types of steering wheels with wood trim. They run from 400 to 530 euros.
  • blkmanwrkinblkmanwrkin Member Posts: 6
    I don't like how on my 3 series after some yrs. little leather "balls" would get on my hands, I guess because of wear. So that's 1 of the reasons I want the wood wheel & of course the look!
  • mkharris01mkharris01 Member Posts: 6
    Hey blkmanwrkin:

    Contact Claus Ettenberger Company (located in Los Angeles, CA) at the following website:

    They sell a complete line of Victor steering wheels, including woods. I've had my BMW configured there and so has Keyshawn Johnson (Bucs receiver) on his 745i. Let me know how it goes.


  • awd2003awd2003 Member Posts: 54
    Is there an XM radio available for the 5 series? I have the standard radio that comes on the 530i. Is there an after market CD changer or does one have to use the one from the factory?
  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    Don't you have an '03 5-series? If so, I'm fairly sure it's pre-wired for Sirius. Your dealer can order/install/activate the system for you, which would be the cleanest installation. If not, or you want XM (which I've installed in my '02 530), shoot me an email.
  • awd2003awd2003 Member Posts: 54
    I do have a 2003 530i. Is one service better than the other? Is the unit a stand alone or intergrated into the factory radio?
    Another unrelated question,, Are there chrome exhaust tips available for the 530?
  • snagielsnagiel Member Posts: 750
    Both XM and Sirius offer similar plans. XM is cheaper ($10/mo versus $13), but Sirius is completely commercial-free, whereas XM has some commercials on some of its channels (albeit far less than regular radio's 20 minutes of ads per hour). You can view their channel lineups on their respective websites.

    Technically speaking, their satellite and repeater networks are somewhat different. Sirius' system arguably offers better reception, but that's largely an academic distinction, I think, because in the past year I've experienced very few and rare signal loss with my XM receiver.

    There is a big difference in the two companies' financial strength, though. Both are desparately signing up new customers as fast as possible in a race towards profitability, and both have big automakers partnered and/or invested with them. But XM got a huge head start, and currently has somewhere around 400,000 customers, whereas Sirius has only about a tenth as many. And their respective stock prices reflect those varying finanicials.

    I love my XM system, and use it almost exclusively in my car (CD's are infrequent, and traditional radio is almost never used). However, since Sirius is now offered as a factory option, it offers seemless integration and control through the factory head-unit, so I'd probably go that route if I were you. The unit includes a receiver module tucked away in the trunk, and an antenna mounted somewhere (presumably on the roof or rear windshield). And you can tune into channels through the factory head-unit and (I believe) see artist and track information displayed there.

    As for exhaust tips, the standard tips bend and aim downwards, so I don't think it would be easy to attach aftermarket chrome units. Besides, there's no view because the lower bumper molding would obscure them anyway. Some folks have installed low-restrictive muffler systems and cut M5-esque slots into the bumper moldings and fitted chrome pipes, but that's certainly not a cheap or easy option.
  • 540isport540isport Member Posts: 3
    I have an early 1998 540i Sport-6 Spd. Over time I added Dinan parts including: Stage 2 suspension, front and rear strut braces, cold air intake with KN element, upsized air flow meter housing, free flow exhaust and corresponding soft ware for all that. Also had Momentum - Houston add a short shifter.

    Impressions. A torsionally stiff chassis is now bulletproof. The car is always hunkered down and looks great with a slightly lower and more aggressive stance. Under steer much reduced ( Stage 3 will eliminate it entirely), turn in much sharper (S03 Pole Positions also help). Short shift kit is great. Engine note and exhaust note is much more aggressive without being obnoxious or sounding like a rice burner. Throttle response is crisper. 0-60 is improved some (5.6) but most benefit is mid and upper range. Mid range torque is very very strong. Upper end breathing is really good for extended track work or if you just want to pull hard to the now 6400 rpm limiter. Aint no Lexus gonna keep up. Same for Must GTs or any Jags without superchargers. At the track very good and predictable handling and good performer. Top end is proven at least 165 indicated (160 calibrated real on mine.) Momentum performance mechanic tells me some of the biggest difference is made by installing a lighter weight fly wheel (the 540i stock one is very heavy to give you more of that smooooth turbine feel.) I will probably do that if and when I need clutch work.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    540isport... What did all those upgrades cost?

    I've always wondered why some people spend so much time, effort, and money upgrading rather than just buy the upgraded car to begin with? In this case, why didn't you just buy an M5?
  • 540isport540isport Member Posts: 3
    Dear riez,

    Good question.

    The answer for modifying my 540i are several. First, I bought it because I wanted a sporty car that I could also take clients and other real people around in. In 1998, the choice was easy. Lexus- landyachts, jaguar - performance not even close, reliability aweful, Corvette - 6 spd convertible fun but not a client car and dealers wanted 10k over msrp. NFW.

    M5 and new M3 not made then.

    So, the 540i 6spd was a great fast sedan but I wanted a harder edge out of it. First move was suspension which made a big difference despite the fact that I had the factory's sport suspension. Satisfied with Dinan's product the other changes were made over time. Many if not most were done before M5 came out.

    Cost of changes is less than 10k (if your interested Ill get an exact number.) $53 +10 still quite a bit less than M5. Irrelevant anyway since many of the changes already made.

    Also, many, many M5s get the same treatment. Many people are buying M5's and putting on Dinan suspensions, Dinan dual cold air intakes, Dinan exhausts and Dinan software. So they are spending the money anyway even though they have an M5.

    The 540i is lighter than the M5, breaks just as well, handels just as well with suspension and tire upgrades. Add a Dinan supercharger and it is also faster than an M5.

    Then again, Dinan is developing a supercharger for the M5. It is reportedly tuned for near 600 and made more but driveline components were breaking at 700hp.

    So, how much money do you want to spend. With an M5 you will spend 75 at least for the car and still probably drop 10k more at least.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    I'm a stock purist. Other than maybe changing tires and shocks. I wouldn't even consider buying a used car that had been heavily modified. And I can't imagine spending $10,000 or so in addition to the already high MSRP.

    Nothin' more depressing to me than to see an old classic car saddled with heavy modifications. Nothin' prettier than a stock classic. And they are worth the most.

    Took my '98 540i6 in for new tires (Continental ContiSportContact 2s). There was a near perfect stock '68 Shelby GT500 convertible w/428. Too bad it was automatic. All the exterior and interior trim pieces. Only 42,000 miles. Immaculate. Complete set of papers! Yours for only $75,000.

    Probably just me. To each their own. (I prefer my cars like my women. No enhancements.)
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