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white stallion e39

So I've got this e39 540 touring automatic, all of these came as autos in the US, and I've had it now well over a year. Going strong. I didn't want an auto but really wanted an e39 touring in alpineweiss, and after driving a bmw v8, it'll be tough to go back to any of the 90's or 00's 6 cylinders. Bought this, and love it. Months into having it a check engine light popped up and all indications pointed towards a motor tear down essentially. Instead of that I looked into motor swaps. Not having a garage or any tools that made it tough. Bought stripped m5, stored it a buddies, spent $800 at harbor freight, took over a horse barn for a few weeks, and completed 2 full swaps, my m5 swap and a 6 cylinder swap for the TI I drove out here.

The m5 swap wasn't just straight forward, it bolted in but needed some stuff to be modified. Some engine bay stuff sits different, exhaust is different, auto to 6 speed swap so need the clutch, some wiring, etc. Also swapped the limited slip diff, the bigger m5 brakes, and an illuminated and weighted knob from a brand new m5 (have yet to wire it in). BMW is super integrated with their newer electronics which makes swaps a pain and expensive if not impossible. The DME (ecu), ignition key, and EWS (immobilizer) all require matching codes. So swapping any of these parts without the dealer coding, or setting up a computer of your own for coding if you dare take that on, will disable your car. I was able to take all these parts from the m5 so I got around that. Since I don't have the m5 door lock I have to carry 2 keys around though, one to open and one to start the car. The key also holds the information for interior gadgetry. So my memory seat function doesn't work, my auto down windows (up works though??.....), no clock on my radio, steering wheel controls, and I'm sure a few other things.

So this ordeal isn't over yet. The m5 has since been crushed and scrapped due to time restraints and I have since learned that the 540 and m5 do not run on the same fuel pressure or same pump. I need to go from my 43 psi setup to the m5's pressure of 73...not cool. Thinking Walbro 255, m5 fuel filter and regulator. The filter and regulator on these cars are essentially one unit. The regulator is NOT on the fuel rail, weird I know. I was curious about the power of my car, I felt it slowed down a little in the higher rpm's and that would probably explain it. I need to replace a leaky coolant hose, need to swap my door lock to the m5 one, finish coding my car, buy some plastic engine bay m5 stuff, etc etc. Quite a bit more to finish up but nothing stopping me from driving the car.

Last weekend I finally had some time off, and the car being in reasonable condition I decided to go the the 5 series show that was going on. Took best in e39 chassis class, I was surprised and excited naturally. Lots of lookers, lots of talkers, and apparently enough votes. Was a great show with many fantastic cars, so jealous of the e28's. Definitely would love one of those as my next fun car (as I work towards an air cooled 911)... Thoughts of trying to trade the wagon for an early 911 keep going through my head, but I'd prefer to just add to my cars lol. Won't be happening in the near future, but I can't wait until I can get one.

Pics anyone?

I LOVE Mt Hood
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600 miles in a snow storm for a camping trip. BMW traction control is second to none, while the drive was scary at 60 mph sometimes, the car did amazing.
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pushing the motor into my car was almost overwhelming. I was so excited.
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this car has some of the best stock seats I've ever sat in. Supple leather, soft padding, incredible bolstering. BMW is my marque for sure.
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Comments

  • love the shot of you caressing the rear bumper
  • Nice BMW!
  • Fucking sexy!
  • Awesome swap, I love this car. ITB's ftw!!
  • Only thing your missing man is some pink polos
  • Silly wagons
  • edited August 2014
    So I'm mostly moved in to my house, with my own garage again! Yessssss. I'm working on the wagon happily again as well. Much more relaxed having a second vehicle vs working on your only vehicle. I'm in the process of getting my fuel system up to 72.5 psi vs the 45ish the 540 system runs. I'm also installing the m5 door lock so I can use just 1 key! Currently I'm using the 540 key to unlock the car and the m5 key to start it. While doing the key swap I'm tearing into the other doors and am going to lube them all up. I hope that will solve my door locking issue, sometimes the rear doors (either one) won't lock or unlock. Also the windows are slower than the front so I'm going to lube the window regulator.

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    With the fuel system I'm not 100% sure which way I'm going to go. The 540 uses a drop in bosch fuel pressure regulator that attaches to the fuel filter, it's actually built into it. The m5 uses a slightly different design, there is a regulator, same style as the 540, that sits in a housing that threads onto the filter. When you buy the 540 filter it comes with a 3.5 bar regulator, which is fine. But finding an m5 5 bar regulator is impossible if you want it today, and it's an extra $100 for the most part. Plus I don't have the $115 housing, which has to be ordered from Germany it sounds like. It doesn't look like I'll be using the m5 filter/regulator setup for reason of finding that housing and the fuel line routing is different. So I'm going to order all my stuff online as far as the filter/regulator is concerned. Sucks because the car will be sitting for a couple weeks while I'm out of town working.

    Also planning on running a walbro 255 pump. I found a stock of them at a local race shop and had my buddy pick one up. He ended up leaving with a bigger pump ($60 more), adjustable regulator, and pressure gauge for $420......I'll see what the pump looks like but I'm not going to try and run that other race car shit.

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  • Congrats on the new garage!
  • edited August 2014
    got the pump installed. Ended up being a bad ass pump as per internetz, Deatsch werks subie drop in. DW300 or something. Pushes 290 LPH at 70 psi, plenty for my stock motor and even a fairly modified one.

    Need to order m5 fuel pressure regulator to finish the fuel system.

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    looking at how I'm going to do this
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    should work
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    soldered and done. Install wasn't as nice as stock because the outlet is straight up vs 90 degrees on the stock pump. So I'm pretty sure I had to push an aggressive angle on the hose so the sending unit cover could seat properly. Hopefully that doesn't prove to be an issue...
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  • Hopefully that won't put a weird pressure on the pump and make it lay horizontal. You could maybe build support arms coming from the tank cover out of like rod or something
  • It might push it a little bit, but it wouldn't be enough to do more than kink the fuel hose really. My second m5 key came in and I placed an order for the rest of my fuel system parts as well as 2 cam position sensors, hopefully the other 2 don't follow suit because they aren't cheap for these motors.

    Also, I sorta put an unlikely trade for Porsche air cooled 911 the other day. After watching them autocross, seeing them at various car things I just need one. And the longer I wait the more expensive they will get. I test drove a kind of crappy 996 911 a few weeks ago and was beyond unimpressed. But I may try driving a better one and see if a water cooled 911 would do. The 996 is not the best 911 people dream of, but they are the cheapest in general lol. I think a decent one might be ok. Otherwise I'll wait until I can afford and air cooled 911 hot rod of some sort.
  • Haha unimpressed eh? What didn't jive for you? I have never driven one but it's a fancy VW product essentially so I'm curious.
  • The wagon is a lot of fun, and has a lot of torque, the 911 isn't quite as powerful. I think if I would have driven it a little more spirited it would have been different and I would have enjoyed it more. Reviews say the 996 isn't a bad car and handles well. Also it was in general really dirty so off the bat I wasn't excited about this black on black 911.
  • I gotcha. Well maybe look for something older then. Some thing with more soul
  • Just give it an sti swap, that'll make it good.
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