The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5


I focused on cosmetics this year.  I created DIYs for the shift knobparking brake handlecenter console trimcup-holders, and I replaced a failed rear park distance control sensor.  Mechanically, I replaced the front brake rotors and pads, fixed a squeaky window, and had my parking brake shoes and pads replaced.  I also replaced the front bumper, fog lights, grills, and had the hood and front bumper repainted.  In December, I bought a Peake R5/FCX-3 code reader.  This kept me busy, and poor, for a long while.  I found that 11 codes had been reported to the computer.  I let Dave Walter BMW do some diagnosing, and then I spent a month with the car in and out of service getting work done.  Thermostat, water pump, spark plugs, O2 sensors and several different sensors were all replaced. This removed all but 1 code, code AA.  Secondary Air.  This is the one that you don’t want, I’ll have a whole post about this later.  I let BMW try some solution through the engine to remove the carbon build-up in the system, and it still didn’t totally fix the problem.  According to my full service history on the car, the engine had been pulled in 2008, and the carbon channels had been drilled out.

2011 Summary:

  • Oil change
  • PDC sensor
  • Front cup holders
  • Brake pads
  • Front bumper and foglamps
  • Kidney grilles
  • Hood re-spray
  • New radiator
  • Parking brake refresh
  • Rear pads and rotors
  • DSC pre-charge pump
  • Leather shift knob
  • Michelin Pilot Sport AS/2 Tires
  • Auxiliary power adapter
  • Rear-view mirror seal replacement
  • Front rotors
  • Parking brake handle
  • Center console handle
  • Headlight aiming module
  • Peake code reader
  • Glovebox latch handle
  • DMTL pump, spark plugs, O2 sensors, temp sensor

 May, 2011

New front bumper, grills, fog lights, and re-painted hood.

IMG_0351IMG_0353 IMG_0354 IMG_0357

 December, 2011

Interior finishing replacements.  Huge difference on interior!  Shift knob, center console, and parking brake handle done at this point.


 December, 2011

Decarbonized exhaust.  Some WD40, a dremel, lots of paper towels and elbow grease, and some beautiful M quad tips!



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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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