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General BMW Model Discussion
All non E46 BMW model questions in here. Look below for E36, E90 and F30 specific forum. For additional model specific forums check out bimmerfest.com!

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Old 10-12-2012, 01:52 AM   #21
choxor
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It'll probably come down to the test drive and personal preference more than anything else.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:20 AM   #22
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^I knew that posting the thread, but I'm hoping someone will have something profound to say to sway me... lol. I've always been a 3-series guy through and through so I'm wondering how soon I'd regret selling my ZHP... then again, I can always buy another one later
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:26 AM   #23
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Sell zhp to dmax. Old man needs an upgrade
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:26 AM   #24
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Own both?
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:40 AM   #25
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^I knew that posting the thread, but I'm hoping someone will have something profound to say to sway me... lol. I've always been a 3-series guy through and through so I'm wondering how soon I'd regret selling my ZHP... then again, I can always buy another one later
Sounds like you're just looking for people to egg you on to buy the E39. If you want it, just buy it dude
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:46 AM   #26
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What's wrong with keeping the ZHP as your daily?
Sure, you're gonna make a little profit selling the ZHP but, that money is gonna go right back into the 530 for maintenance. It's gonna feel like starting all over again since the maintenance is very similar due to the shared drivetrain.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:55 AM   #27
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E39 is a nice car. Mine is quite sporty, has a manual transmission and the Sport package, but it costs slight more than what you are looking at! I get about 23 MPG on the highway, however, I have steeper rear gears and a slight larger engine than you are considering. It has a special badge on the trunk lid with only one number.

I like my E39 far more than the E46, really nice road cruiser.

If you could afford to keep both, this may be a good way to go so you can have a spare and work on the other as needed.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:18 AM   #28
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Just for another example of someone who knows someone else with an E39 528i M52. His car has been nothing but 10 times better than my E46 thus far. I know he has been neglecting the suspension parts, but he's been gathering them piece by piece and will eventually do an entire overhaul. Here's why I hate his car:

* M52 on his car (and his wife's E46) leaks or burns NO oil. I really really really hate this aspect about the M52.
* we've had several highway stomp on it and go races, and they are always close, even though his M52 is auto and my M54 is manual, however I was rolling on 18's that were heavy and definitely cost me some acceleration, but the quickness of the M52 is not to be denied.
* I've had to replace things in my 160K miles that he hasn't even had to touch in his 255,000 miles! That's right, he has over a quarter million miles, never did wheel bearings, never did CCV replacement, car runs and drives great, never changed his oil in either the tranny or diff, it's just fuucking amazing what that car does.

hence, I hate it. So don't buy one.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:10 AM   #29
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I will have to say that overall the E39 should be more reliable and less a PITA than the E46. Part of it may be the type of previous owners and how the cars are driven as well?

The E39 is really the E46 big brother. Many things are very similar, some are a bit more robust and refined.

The E39 does have lower control arm bushing issues, but they do not show up until about 75k miles and usually it is very simple to just replace the entire arm for with balljoint for about $125 each. Only a few bolts to do the job.

The subframe should be a not issue.

Overall I think the cooling system may be a bit better, more airflow and more room under the hood may help, but the components are very similar.

Expect to have the same issues with the fuel pump, DISA, rear doors leaking, FSU, leaking power steering hoses and so forth, however, the window regulators, sun roof, door lock and GM5 type module all appear to be a bit less of an issue on the E39.

If you purchase an E39, I would just replace the fuel pump and filter, just because, possibly replace the DISA, camshaft position sensors lower control arms and determine what shape the CCV and cooling system are in and just drive it.

You will probably find they are very nice cars for very little money if you can shop it around.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:08 AM   #30
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Yup! ^

In addition to that, the E39's wheel bearings are bolt on, albeit a tad more expensive than bearings for the E46, but do not have to be pressed in with special tools. And get this, which is something some of you may not know.. the calipers on the E39's are made from ALUMINUM. No rust, clean as can be, forever. Weird that they did that for some reason and then went back to cast calipers there after. The suspension setup is definitely a bit different all around. Find a nice used one with Style 5's and you'll be golden!
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #31
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In comparison to most of the cars I see on the road, I definitely consider the e39 a nice upgrade. However in comparison with a ZHP, it definitely comes in second (unless we're talking an e39 M5 but that's not practical for this situation). Don't get me wrong, the e39 is a pleasure to drive and has a ton of space, but I think given your circumstances, it makes more sense to keep the ZHP unless you just completely fall in love during a test drive of an e39. As others have said, the profits you'll net will end up right back in the e39 for maintenance. Overall I like e39s, however if I were to consider a 5 series again it would either be an e34 or another e28 (I've previously owned 2).

The only real advantage I see to owning an e39 is how the trunk can supposedly fit 3 sets of golf clubs.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #32
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The trunk is still really small IMO.

I've got a buddy with a 97 528i. It's got about 150k miles, but he beats the hell out of it and doesn't replace anything unless it breaks completely. I've seen him start it up in freezing cold weather and rev it to redline carelessly. Still drives it daily and rarely does something go wrong. He gives me crap for doing so much preventative maintenance, and I have to remind him I don't have the same luck.

I believe the e39 is a solid reliable car(minus the v8s), but I would take a ZHP over a clean 530i any day.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:46 AM   #33
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If I could afford to own both, this wouldn't be a thread for sure. As things are right now though, with my hobbies and long commute I barely have enough money for the preventive maintenance that I want to do, this will change after I move to the new house since my mortgage will be cheaper than the rent I'm paying now and I intend on having a roommate which means it will be even cheaper

The main thing is that I really want another E36, and to me it makes more sense to own something uber comfy like an E39 to DD and have the fun weekend car be an E36 rather than having essentially the same car, though a bit more refined, as a DD like my ZHP. I don't know, I know more than likely I'll keep my ZHP, I just wanted to see if I'm nuts for considering a 530i over it, general consciences seems to be that I am... lol.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #34
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Well, why get an e39 and an e36 when you already have the inbetween car?
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:58 AM   #35
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Because I miss my E36's... I said that already
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:13 PM   #36
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Because I miss my E36's... I said that already
I'm contemplating selling my e46 for either an e30 or e36 sedan. Preferably e36, but I can never find one in decent shape with a manual.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #37
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I'm contemplating selling my e46 for either an e30 or e36 sedan. Preferably e36, but I can never find one in decent shape with a manual.
They're always for sale up here, I'm tempted daily... lol
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:26 PM   #38
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They're always for sale up here, I'm tempted daily... lol
A friend of mine just picked up a '98 M3 Sedan. Not exactly in perfect shape but every time I sit in it, I wish I had an e36. I like how the e46 interior is more refined, but the rugged functionality and utility of the e36 interior, coupled with the more chiseled exterior lines really make the car attractive to me.

The issue is that in my area, every e36 I find is either auto, salvaged, abused, or has a disgusting tan interior. Or some combination of all 4 of those.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:32 PM   #39
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As much as I love our E46s. I think the E39 is the best looking vehicle ever made.

Pure SEX on wheels.

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:42 PM   #40
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I think the E39 is the best looking vehicle ever made.
I beg to differ:

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