The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5


Things will get crazy this year.  I have decided to make this car as nice as I can afford to. That means every screw, every clip, every bracket, every everything has to be present, and in good working condition.  They also need to look good.  I ordered over 400 new parts for this car in this year.  It got new OEM style 65 wheels, new tires, chassis braces, instrument cluster bezel, switches, knobs, fan clutch, engine fan, door sills, M-audio subs, front bumper, trim, fog lights, rear bumper, trim, diffuser, facelift steering wheel, a total over-haul in electronics (see below photos), all exterior door trim, coolant expansion tank, new filters, parking brake rebuild, rear brake overhaul, M3 oil cap, oil return hoses, and all mounting and installation hardware associated with these things.  That huge list represents less than 1/4 of the parts replaced.  I want this car to look amazing, it deserves to.  It was a 7/10 to begin with, but by selling all of the old parts still worth using, I can afford a 9.5/10.  I also installed the Shark Injector software to remove the AA code, and make the car a bit more fun.

January, 2014  

This month, I have added a brand new OEM BMW M5 post-facelift steering wheel, the M Audio subs, the correct face-lift leather hand-brake handle, and a ton of various miscellaneous parts that my car has been missing since I’ve owned it.  The M audio subs make quite the difference over the DSP system, much sharper, punchier bass. And, this new post-facelift steering wheel makes driving the car feel quite a bit better.  I’ll let some photos speak for themselves, I’ve made a lot of progress inside and around this car this month.IMG_2503 IMG_1848 IMG_2970 IMG_2976 IMG_2978

February, 2014 

Tech Updates.  My M5 is a 02/2000 production, so in order to get SIRIUS XM radio and AUX input, I had to change my radio.  I adapted to the latest I-BUS hardware this month, including the BM53 radio, auxiliary input, and SIRIUS satellite radio.  Everything is OEM BMW, and installed to factory spec.  A great way to get 2014 features in a 2000 car!  Check out the video and article written about this retrofit.IMG_3183

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Spring, Summer, 2014

I went nuts this spring and summer.  As mentioned far above, I replaced both bumpers, all the exterior trim, all mounting hardware, anything with rust on it underneath, many pieces of interior trim, basically anything that showed any wear.  Any missing clips or small pieces of hardware have been replaced.  Fresh fuel filter and feed line into the engine.  New interior door handles (kept the pre-facelift titan line).  Fresh coolant expansion tank.  New door sills, all filters, all fluids, rear brakes, parking brake, headlight level sensors and mounting hardware, chassis braces and hardware, OEM style 65 wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3s, stickers on keys, front wheel bearings, M3 oil cap, and oil return hoses.  I’ll include some photos of the parts order, and then the finished products after a month or two of labor.

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July, 2014

Another Car.  In July, I actually bought another car.  After the outlandish work that I had done to the M5 over summer 2014, I couldn’t stand the thought of driving it through another Ohio winter.  This past winter had caused about $1,500 worth of body damage in the way of rust that has since been repaired, and now with fresh bumpers, grilles, trim, and parts underneath, I just couldn’t do it.  For not much money, I was able to pick up a nice 2002 E46 330xi.  It has miles on it though: 215,000.  But, it’s clean, and has no check lights on, or big needs.  I won’t detail too much on that car here, but it’s a perfect winter car.  Four-wheel drive, manual transmission, new Continental snow tires, 3.0 M54 I6, heated leather seats, bi-xenons, SIRIUS XM, aux input, sport package seats, M3 steering wheel, all for pretty cheap.  This will certainly take the worst load off of my M5!  I will include a few photos of my 330xi below.

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Winter, 2014

On November 7th, I filled the M5 up with gas, drove it home, and parked it on a plastic mat in the garage.  The odometer read 188,026.  I put in a whole bottle of fuel stabilizer, immaculately detailed the car, closed the interior air vents, and covered the car.  I made a winter storage video during this process.  Within two weeks, I made the decision to buy a battery charger, so I hardwired that to the battery in the trunk.  I went with the CTek, that can intelligently monitor the battery health, and can charge in smart cycles.  The car sat, mostly untouched and covered until February 1st.  I prevent anything negative happening to the engine due to sitting for so long, I did give it a start on the 1st, and filmed this video. It started like it had run the day before, no problems what-so-ever.  This winter has been the coldest on record in Ohio.  We suffered several weeks with daily highs below 10 degrees, wind-chills going as low as -35 degrees.  This winter has also had an unthinkable effect on the roads as well.  My 330xi has suffered one bent wheel, one cracked wheel, and two blown new snow tires.  Around $600 in damage.  With the 35 inches of snow we had in our front yard at one time, and with the 5 inches of solid ice on the driveways, I can say with strong certainty that I would have lost the M5 this year. It would have definitely been totaled or severely damaged by the roads or weather this year.  During the time it has spent in the garage, I’ve gotten busy with ordering parts.  I bought the new side mirrors, new front OEM brake rotors, Hawk HPS pads, stainless steel brake lines, a new thermostat, all the hardware, performance aluminum pedals, and plenty of additional miscellaneous hardware and trim to clean the car up further.  I originally hoped to start driving the M5 again sometime in March, but with the condition of the roads and the current weather, I’m projecting that it’ll be well into April, or even May, before it leaves the garage.  I’ll post a few photos from the fall, then storage time, a start, and then some minor plenum work below.IMG_3759 IMG_3767 IMG_0417 IMG_0419 IMG_1016 IMG_5913 IMG_6013 IMG_6173 IMG_6175 IMG_6176

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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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