The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5


Fa t n  eat b lts.  My cluster’s pixels were committing suicide by the day. Turns out, somebody saw one of my videos showing the problem on YouTube.  He sent me a message, telling me how to get BMW of North America to help fix the problem for less than the cost of a whole new cluster.  This guy had a 2003 525iA do the same thing. He is now partly responsible for this website, and one of my closest friends.  Thank you, Bobby O’Hearn.  I now have a face-lift working cluster.

April brought some suspension work.  Four new struts, new springs, sway-bar links, and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 2s all around.  May meant a new Windshield.  Following a truck on Ohio route 8 gave me a nice big chip in my windshield to add to the thousands of other tiny chips.  New OEM glass and seal installed.  June welcomed Face-lift tail lights. I had just graduated high school, and chose to use the cash I got my grad party for tail lights.  I know, I’m nerdy.  From Turner Motorsport, I was able to find a Hella retro-fit kit to give my car the Celis-LED modern look from the rear.  Wiring some ballasts made my car look just like a 2003, with OEM quality parts.  July brought the shine.  I did the full Zaino-wax system on the paint.  Clay bar, the whole bit.  November welcomed real headlights. I got the OEM european Hella headlights installed and wired, with pure white LED angel eyes.  Looks infinitely better than the Depos.  December brought on more body work.  I noticed over the summer in some detailing work that I had a very small bubble in the paint in the crest of my driver’s side fender.  I hoped I could get away with ignoring it, but this would not be the case.  I took the car in to a local body shop, and let him clean out the cancerous area, and repaint it.  Good as new, and protected for another miserable Ohio winter.  In addition to this, I had a small bubble in the passenger-side corner of my trunk lid repaired.  Perfect.

 February, 2012



February, 2012

New facelift cluster.  I was able to get BMW North America to pay for 75% of the labor (Thanks Bobby!)  No more dead pixels.

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April, 2012.

Spring clean up.  A good wash, a good wax.  Beautiful silverstone metallic.

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June, 2012.  Hella facelift tail lights.


September, 2012

Zaino wax renew.  Six hours invested, beautiful paint in return.

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November, 2012

Fall cleanup.

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November, 2012

Hella OEM facelift headlights.  The cheapo depos were just that: cheap.  Adding Hella halos really finishes off the front of the M5.  LED halo bulbs are the final touch, a clean 6,000 kelvin white light to compliment the xenon low beams.

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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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