The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5


Navigation.  In the 2001 model year, BMW upgraded the E39’s navigation display to a 16:9 widescreen instrument.  The computer also got upgraded, from the MKII to MKIII, which was much faster, and allowed for more capable software.  I took this a step further, and bought a MKIV computer in addition to 16:9 display.  Big upgrade for this car, DVD readability and all!

I spent much of 2013 fixing the larger issues.  They weren’t even large, but they bothered me.  I replaced intake camshaft sensors, installed new floor matts and white fog bulbs, changed transmission and differential oils, replaced control arms and tie rods, added LED license plate lights, had some more minor rust marks removed, changed shifter bushings, added a UUC Evo 3 short shift kit, replaced the FSU and blower motor and replaced my mass air flow sensors.

January, 2013

Ohio got some fog.  I took advantage of this weather phenomenon, and snapped these.


Another fun thing we have in January is snow.  Silverstone Metallic paint and white halo-bulbs looks good with snow, as I found out.

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January, 2013

Detroit Auto Show.  We decided to make the trek to Detroit again this year, but this time we took the M5.  Thanks Alex for your T3i’s photos!  Be sure to watch the 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage video on E39Source!

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February, 2013

Navigation.  MKIV and 16:9 install, mostly plug-and-play, except for that stupid trimble that has to be bypassed!  This is a solid upgrade to the car’s technology and looks, and even a good bit to the functionality.  Be sure to watch the installation how-to video for the systems, and the software-update video on E39Source!


March 24, 2013

Road Trip, Camshaft Position Sensors.  Winter has been awful, time to take a trip!  Colton Frey from E39Source lived outside of Baltimore, MD.  At the time, he had a 2001 540i/6 and was very active here in the community.  Colton and I visited New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C, and Wilmington.  Be sure to watch the road trip video I posted to our channel!  The M5 covered 1,345 miles on this 5 day trip, but didn’t make it out free.  The Peake Research tool pulled 08, B8, and 71.  VANOS position sensors Bank 1 & 2, and intake camshaft position sensor bank 2.  I ordered the parts, had them installed, and the codes didn’t return.  More maintenance to add to my belt!  In addition to failing camshaft position sensors, my hood switch died.  You can read the article, and watch the video here.  Colton and I installed white fog bulbs in the M5 as well, which completed my front light white-out.  A great road trip, in a great car, with a great friend.  Of course, Colton and I had to get some pictures with our cars together.

IMG_6932IMG_6930IMG_6928After such a road trip, it came time for a wash upon my return home.  Finally Ohio’s miserable weather breaks 35, actually all of the way up to a balmy 42.  After a good wash, and some fresh Zaino Z6, I snapped a few more photos.  I also pulled the rubber floor matts for some fresh carpeted M5 matts I had purchased a few months back.  You can read an article detailing the proper products, or watch the video.

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April, 2013

175,000 miles IMG_7347

April, 2013

A pretty spring day, even before the spring Zaino treatment!

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IMG_0134 IMG_0164May, 2013 

Zaino.  Spring is here, it’s time for the Zaino application!  The whole process took me 3 days, and just over 24 hours.  The process sounds like this.  Z7 wash, clay bar, Z7 wash, Z6 spray, Z5 application, Z6 spray, Z2 application, Z6 spray, Z8 spray.  This left with me the most perfect paint I’ve ever seen on this car.  It looks and feels like glass!

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June, 2013 

Wheel Detail, Timmayfest 2013 Preparation.  With Timmayfest 2013 just two days away, I decided to detail my wheels to same extent that I did my paint.  Clay bar, Zaino, and 20 hours.  Wheels look brand new and are baby smooth, still original finish too!


June 8th, 2013 

Timmayfest 2013.  The first few photos show our convoy, then the show in Columbus, and then the remainder of the weekend back at home.  This will be my first time at Timmayfest, in Columbus Ohio.  Consider Timmayfest as the Bimmerfest or MPact of the midwest.  It’s not quite as large, but we did see visitors from California, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Florida, Texas, etc.  I convoyed down in my freshly detailed M5 with Kennan and his 2001 525i/5, Colton and his 2001 540i/6, Chase with his 2003 M5, and Andrew with his 2000 M5.

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July, 2013

LED License Plate Lights.  A few summer photos.  My halogen license plate lights were in horrible shape.  So, I decided to replace them with the newer style LED lights.  When parked next to an F10 or F30 BMW, mine and the new look identical.  I also threw in a few photos from this summer.


July 29, 2013 

Video.  Per popular request from our YouTube channel, I have filmed a full, in-depth tour ‘intro’ style video to my car.  It’s fully exposed in this very long video:

August, 2013

Time for a few small parts, and some maintenance.  Firstly, updated BMW wheel center caps.  BMW changed them in 2003, so I updated mine to this much nicer design.  I installed the BMW oil pouch in the trunk, bought some touch up, and then I began to focus on mechanics.  Inner tie rod, outer tie rods, idler arm, pitman arm, lower control arms, and an oil change.  The car now doesn’t creak if it’s hot outside!  I will include some more summer photos with this update:IMG_3548 IMG_3647 IMG_3655 IMG_3805IMG_3789December, 2013 

I’ve been busy with the car, doing lots of work.  Rear cup holders, power steering fluid flush, lower timing chain tensioner, Valentine 1 Radar detector, rust removal (driver’s rocker, trunk lid), final stage unit, blower motor, UUC Evo 3 short shift kit, shifter bushings, tools for trunk kit, driver’s door sill, and new mass air flow sensors.  I hardwired the V1, finally fixed the noisy blower motor and sporadic FSU, finally removed all of the car’s minor rust spots, got better gas mileage with new MAFs, filled out my tool kit, and made my door sills look new again.  As I said, many small jobs that really do help smooth the car over. IMG_0338 IMG_0339 IMG_0342 IMG_0347 IMG_0351 IMG_0355 IMG_0592 IMG_1850

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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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