The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5


My dad and the previous owner agreed to meet at our bank in town the following Tuesday to exchange a cashier’s check for a set of keys, extra front style 65 wheels, and a thick folder of service history.  8:00AM was our meeting time, which is the middle of the night for a teenager on summer break.  I told my best friend, Kennan, of the news.  He was nearly as excited as I was to come with us to pick it up!  After the finances were taken care of, we walked out to the car to bring it home.  I remember electing to ride in the back seat, and let Kennan take the passenger seat.  My ride home was very comfortable, the car felt so tight and solid in comparison to anything I had ever ridden in before.

Once the car was at home, Kennan and I set to giving it a good wash.  We removed the license plate, and found tons of grime.  This was not acceptable.  The rest of the car wasn’t at all filthy, but being as anal as I am, it had to be cleaned by me.  Washing the M5 gave me the opportunity to look over the entire car, and learn more about it.  I remember how Kennan and I couldn’t figure out how to open the fuel filler door to dry the water out from behind it.  On any other car I had washed, there was a button to release the door from inside the car.  This was not the case with the M5.  We later found out that with the doors unlocked, all you have to do is push the door in.  A few hours later, the car met my stringent cleaning standards.  My dad got in and tried to start it to move it back over to the far side of the garage.  Click, click, click.  Shit.  Day 1, the battery is dead.  We didn’t even have the radio on while we washed the car.  My dad jumped it from his car, and put a charger on it for the night.  We decided a few days later just to replace the battery, and get a fresh start with that part of the car under our ownership.

Now that I had a car, I had motivation to get my license, and to learn how to drive a manual transmission.  I knew that I wanted a 3-pedal car, due to the more enhanced and connected driving experience.  I always dreamed of this being an E36 325/238, so this M5 exceeded even my wildest of dreams.

In all of my feverish research on the car, I noticed that mine looked different.  The sticker on the inside of the driver’s door said mine was 02/00 production model, dating it as pre-facelift.  My headlights, tail lights, and interior trim was slightly different.  Slightly… not as nice.  My first bad decision was with the headlights, I bought the infamous cheapo-Depo lights from Ebay.  They looked vastly better, but were nothing compared to the real OEM Hella lights.  I now had halos, but with 5 very-noticible LEDs in each ring.  Regardless, it was an improvement.  The front plate came off, it got some nice wax, and my driving with 3 pedals was coming along very smoothly.

2010 Summary:

    • Acquired M5
    • BMW valve stem caps
    • License plate frames
    • Cabin air filters
    • Learned to drive manual
    • Depo Halo headlights
    • BMW winter floor matts

July 27th, 2010

Home.  In my garage, all cleaned up.  Gracefully sleeping with a Rossa Corsa Ferrari.

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 July, 2010

First Documented Mileage.  Only miles since we got it had been driving it home, and to the pool once.  147,478.

Back Camera August, 2010

 Photo-shoot before any real work was done with the car, just a new battery and a good wash at this point in time.

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  October, 2010

New headlights.  ‘Upgraded’ from OEM pre-facelift Hella lights Cheapo Depo Halos.

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2000 BMW E39 M5, Silverstone Metallic. 2002 BMW E46 330xi, Topaz Blue Metallic. BA Business Management, Kent State University. E39Source Owner.

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114 thoughts on “The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5

  1. Looking better than ever! I remember when you first got the car– I didn’t really understand what it was but years later I finally have a decent idea lol. I want to make some high-resolution recordings of the engine, exhaust note and other sounds from your E39 one of these days. I’ll make it into ringtones and we can upload them here. I use the unlock sound from my old 540 as my MacBook Pro system sound and it’s loads of fun.

    • Hey Michael! We should definitely do that, that would be a pretty cool sound kit to offer. It’s still in Ohio for now but will make it’s way to San Diego before long. You’re more than welcome to come to either place any time. 🙂

  2. Hey Ryan, so I have 99 540i and I have had to replace all the window regulators on every door multiple times. And I just bought an 01 M5, but I’m just so paranoid of using the windows and the sun roof on that car because I don’t want to replace the regulators anymore. I have seen in many of you’re videos that you just roll down your windows and sun roof like you’ve never had this problem before. I know this is quiet a common problem but are you using some kit that reinforces the regulators? Any help is appreciated.

    • Hi Dillon, firstly congratulations on the M5!

      Window regulators can be hit and miss. My M5 has all original regulators, now 17.5 years old with 196,700 miles of road experience. They all work perfectly fine. Some of the OEM ones do fail though. The problem is, owners or cheap shops put in very cheap aftermarket regulators, that are even worse. Then the vehicle owner has to keep replacing those cheap ones. It’s best to have an experienced installer replace any broken stock ones with new Genuine BMW parts.

      But definitely don’t be afraid to use the windows. It’s a $75,000 german luxury car, the winders had better work.


  3. Hello Ryan! I love your car! I always dream about the e39 M5, the best sedan sport car ever and when I saw your and your dedication, that’s push me to find my car. But you made me nervous about your AA code comment! I have the same code. Could you please explain to me how dangerous this code is? Should I stop the car until I solve this problem? Please let me know!

  4. i just added sirius to my 2000 e39 m5. Strange problem, sirius module is activated and i can see the channels on the screen but im not getting any sound. AM/FM both have sound. Any thoughts?

    • I would try two things here:

      You need to program the BM53 radio into USA area in order for certain features to work. To do this, make sure that everything is connected correctly first. Go to the driver’s seat. You must put the BM53 radio into program mode to select the proper area. Within less than a second of hitting the power button, press and continue to hold the SELECT button on the 16:9 display. Within about 5 seconds, you’ll be in the menu looking at the serial number of the radio. Use the CD track skip buttons ( < and > ) to cycle through the different options. When you get to ‘area’ or ‘location’, press numbers 1 or 2 on the left of the 16:9 display until USA is displayed. Once it is, press the radio power button (volume knob) to save these settings and turn off the radio. Note that the GAL option in the service mode is speed-variable volume on a scale of 1-6. If you want this system to be aggressive, select a higher number using the preset buttons 1-6.

      Additionally, the two cables (B and C) that plug into this connector on the BM53 radio can be switched in several ways. Do your best to try all the possible different ways until audio works for everything.

      Good luck!

      • Hey buddy I WS watching one of your videos and I was wondering why didn’t you install a front sway bar as well I seen a set of front and rear eibach sway bar kit is there a reason not to use the front ? Ps I have a 01 530i sport 5 speed new owner here and look foward to become a member thanks Mike

        • I considered the front sway bar, and did some research on it. The general consensus was that the front bar is important when you do a square wheel/tire setup, bringing 275 width tires up front as well. I have no desire to do that (cost, road dirt/dust on car), so I decided to keep the stock front sway bar.

          A 5-speed 530i is hard to find, enjoy that!

          • Bro I feel like I’m talking to a celebrity as you are so cool and I’m not sure if there rare but I’ll take your word for it 100% I would love to send you some pics of it but not sure where to send them I am supposed to be paying for it tomorrow! I did notice on a cold start up a little clicking noise that lasted a half of second and went away the car does have a 179k miles 1 owner with a stack of receipts from the last two years worth over $10k so the ran great I’m 42 years old and I never felt a car ride like that with so many miles and I’m a bimmer fan I might ad amd thanks for getting back to me so quickly yours truly Mike. D

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