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Got myself my longtime dream car, a BMW E39

Discussion in 'E39' started by Hams, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. Hams

    Hams New Member

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    Hey guys, great to be back here on BMWClubMalaysia Forums. Been away for so long!!

    So I recently spotted a darn good opportunity and purchased myself an old beat up Year 2002 BMW E39 525i for RM10,000 including a year of road tax and insurance paid for by the old owner.:D

    It doesn't look very bad, but not good either. I'd say 5/10. I have absolutely no intention on using this 525i engine or even fixing it up, heck I didn't even do any oil change after I got the car. Did the name transfer and drove it back to my uncle's workshop and left it there until I get a new engine. There are some issues with the engine though, it's a little rough (I guess it's not maintained well?). Exterior wise, I'll be changing everything from headlamps to tail lamps for new ones so it doesn't matter that they look pretty worn out now. The only good thing is that the car has never been in an accident so the chassis and body panels are 10/10. Paint is 3/10 LOL. Interior will be completely refurbished in the near future to match factory looks. Maybe I'll retrofit NBT as well.

    I am dead set on getting a M54B30 engine paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Due to MCO, I can't really cross states and look for this engine plus I think I need some time to collect more cash so I can do all engine related modifications in one go. Right now, these are the most important things to do first!

    1) M54B30 swap + 5 speed Manual Gearbox
    2) LSD (Quaife brand or any other good brands as long I can drift)
    3) New Mountings etc, proper steering rack, bushes, ball joints etc. (All wear and tear items must be new.)

    Can anyone help me by giving me a ballpark figure of how much this halfcut M54B30 engine would cost? Including the 5-speed manual. Just the cost of the half cut engine alone is good enough. Cost of transplanting the engine is 'belakang cerita' hahaha.. Will be posting some photos here soon on the journey to getting my dream car back on the road with a proper engine and looks just like how I imagined it for years!!
     
  2. Megat Tariq

    Megat Tariq New Member

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    Hey man, what a great find! I got myself an e39 SV about 3 months ago because B48 is too boring! Spent good money on mechanical restoration and now it drives like a dream. Albeit still pending a good paint and interior work.

    I have been shopping for M54B30 too, but unfortunately I'll need a full conversion since mine is an SV. Price ranges between RM12k - RM15k for a full car with automatic transmission (those that I've found and inquired). I'm assuming a manual would cost a lot more. Since it is going to be used, you may also want to rebuild/refurbished the halfcut engine, change all components and hoses to get the full M54B30 experience. I'll put a conservative budget of RM50k, broken down into:

    1) M54B30 conversion (manual) including labour, rebuild, etc - RM25k
    2) LSD - no idea. probably RM5k?
    3) New Mountings etc including Bilstein B8, Eibach, new bushings, H arm, etc - RM10k?

    Plus

    4) Given that you're going the drift route - New brake system + tyres - RM10k
    5) Other surprises (for example, previous owner did funny things to save cost and you'll end up picking up the mess - see picture) - RM5k

    I'll also budget another RM10k for exterior (paint job + change all rubber, mouldings, All lighting) + RM6k for full interior refurbish and leather wrap.

    So, it'll be about RM66k without the car price. I had these tabled in Excel and it hits me hard when I saw the accumulated figure. So this is what I did:

    1) Total mechanical work including wiring, suspension, arm, etc for my M52B25 (including surprises) - RM12k
    2) New tyres + rim - RM6k
    3) Next in line: Total exterior restoration - RM12k (To date, I've spent RM6k for lighting, moulding, bodykits. Remaining RM6k for paintwork)
    4) After exterior restoration - full interior restoration - RM6k

    Total restoration cost - RM36k.

    Whichever option that you end up doing, just go all in. Restoring it back to its prime is the best way to enjoy an e39, and if you ask me, I'd say it is the only rightful way to do so.

    Anyway, I've set in both original and converted manual e46 and felt that the pedals on the converted car was awkwardly aligned to the right. I hope it was just one bad conversion job and would not be the case for others, particularly e39.

    Cheers mate!
     

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  3. Hams

    Hams New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Megat!

    Wow! 66k to restore the E39 back to it's former glory is pretty high but definitely something worth doing.

    I've actually found an "enjin lantai" M54B30 for Rm6.5k but I kinda passed the deal, the seller was acting a bit shady when i asked him for the customs letter. I emphasize the importance on getting this conversion done legally to avoid any problems in the future.

    As of now, I have gotten a set of front and rear seats from a BMW E39 M5 which i bought from eBay. Pretty expensive but I just love those seats. I wonder if it'll fit?? still waiting for the arrival of the items. Some other parts I got as well;
    - Headlamps (new)
    - Tail Lamps (new)
    - 530i/540i? stock rims (the car i bought came with knock-off BBS rims).

    I'm looking to use the 530i rims for a short while until i can get a nice original M5 wheels from US for a good price.
     

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  4. Megat Tariq

    Megat Tariq New Member

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    Its worth it, but it is also about value proposition. I've seen great examples of original 540i and 530i around the price range (or cheaper), which made me reconsider my earlier plan. The only thing missing on these cars is the journey towards perfecting your ride, which is the most exciting part.

    I assume you bought your seats from the UK? i think it will fit. The rim model that you're looking for is an easy catch, and not too expensive.

    Would you consider going for something you hardly see on the road, like Racing Dynamics, Breytons, Hamman etc? It will be a lot more interesting.

    Where are you based at?
     

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