The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5


In March of 2016, the roads cleared enough for me to take the car into the shop. The plans had grown though.  Not only was it getting a rebuilt 2002 engine and 2003 differential, but a full driveline, brake, gear linkage, and suspension refresh.  Anything under the car that wasn’t set for at least 100,000 miles was to be rebuilt/replaced.

The engine work had been going on since January.  The heads were sent out to a machine shop to be cleaned, and have new valve seals fitted.  The valve clearances were checked, and they were all like new.  The block was also sent out for cleaning and a polish.  It came back like new too.  Anything that is wearable inside the engine was replaced (minus the piston rings).  Every seal, gasket, tensioner, washer, bolt, nut, etc etc.  Hundreds of parts were replaced while re-constructing this engine.  The VANOS system went to Dr. VANOS for new o-rings, cleaning, testing, and to have the helical gears machined so it’ll be as quiet as possible.

While all of this was going on, the rear end and drive line was worked on.  New parts include:

  • Subframe bushings
  • Differential with PowerFlex differential bushings
  • Porsche nickel-copper alloy brake lines
  • Rear wheel bearings and hubs
  • Rear brake dust shields
  • Rear axles
  • Rear upper and lower control arms
  • Rear integral links
  • Driveshaft guibo
  • Pressure plate, flywheel, clutch disc, throw out bearing
  • Driveshaft CV joint
  • Driveshaft center support bearing
  • E60 545i short shifter, UUC DSSR, all shifter bushings
  • Transmission shaft seal

This totally refreshed my rear suspension, rear subframe, all brakes, shifter-linkage, and driveline.  While the rear subframe was down, I also had the differential mount reinforced with aluminum tig welds.

The engine build took about 4 months start to finish.  When it was done being built, I moved the original plenum to the new engine before installation.  I used the alternator and AC compressor from the 2002 engine (less miles and newer than my original), but replaced the starter motor with a new Bosch unit.  The engine was finally installed in late April, filled with BMW 5w-30 oil (just for break-in), and started for the first time.  The lifters ticked like crazy in the beginning, as expected, but quieted down quickly. No service engine soon light.

I got the car back to my house with pretty much every mechanical component refreshed on May 25th, 2016.  TimmayFest was just a few weeks away, and I needed miles on this engine for break-in asap.  I couldn’t put it on the highway for a few hours until it was properly broken in.  In the course of a few weeks, I put 1,000 city miles on the car, and changed the oil (back to Castrol TWS 10w-60).

I made it to TimmayFest just fine, and enjoyed what was probably the best TimmayFest weekend to date!

January, 2016

Disassembly of 2002 engine.  (122,732 miles)

February, 2017

What a contrast to last year!  I was able to get the car out and put a few miles on in February this year.  I also found a good deal on the 1:18 model on Ebay, to match to the smaller 1:43 model that Kennan gave me years ago.  The blue-print looking graphic is just that.  It’s from BlackArtGraphic, back when they did custom BMW models.  It’s laser-etched on a piece of black aluminum, it’s very cool.

March, 2017

VANOS, block, and heads have returned, and are ready to be assembled.   March, 2017

Time to get the car to the shop!  I had driven it just enough this year so far to achieve 192,000 miles exactly- as I pulled into the shop.  This way, I’ll always know exactly how many miles it has been since the rebuild!

March-May, 2016

Engine assembly, driveline, suspension, brakes, rear end, etc. (Above) Old flywheel and clutch.  The flywheel had 192,000 miles, the clutch had 84,000.(Above 2)  New flywheel and clutch, OE from Amazon for 1/8th the price of the dealer!

May, 2016

Home!  A 0-mile S62 is kind of a cool thing.  I suppose it isn’t really 0 miles, but all of the important parts are brand new.  I just had to drive it carefully, and keep the revs low.

June, 2016

This is the time of year that I live for, and this year was special.  The mechanicals are done for the foreseeable future, so it was time to get a fresh coat of wax on the M5, and then enjoy it in the nice weather.

(Above)  One must let the girlfriend experience the M!  Well done, Megan.  

November, 2016

Time to do something fun!  My friend Geoff had just installed the Euro-dash on his 2001 M5.  After seeing his, I knew I had to do mine.  The European dashboard is different than the one that the United States got.  The lower portion is much thinner, and matches the door panels a lot better.  It also allows for more leg room, no lost glovebox storage space, and a little cubby pocket by the driver’s left knee.  Please excuse the low-quality iPhone night pictures.  

December, 2016

I graduated from college this month.  Due to being so busy with exams, I never made true steps to winterize the M5.  I parked in the garage, full of gas, cleaned it up, plugged it in, and left it.  No plastic tarp this year, not even a cover.  I was able to drive it once or twice in December, but then not again until February of 2017.


I did a 3 part video series on the engine rebuild, starting in late 2015.  I will embed them below.

The following two tabs change content below.
2000 BMW E39 M5, Silverstone Metallic. 2002 BMW E46 330xi, Topaz Blue Metallic. BA Business Management, Kent State University. E39Source Owner.

Latest posts by Ryan Schultz (see all)

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

    • I love driving it on long drives, but I rarely do. The stone chips to the front end cost thousands to repair and one trip to the east coast can cost you a headlight(s), bumper, windshield, and hood re-spray.

      • Do the sport seats & suspension make it better or worse for long drives? Some owners say that they hardly get fatigue driving it long distance. Do your think that’s where the car shines?

        • The sport seats are way more comfortable and supportive than the standard/luxury seats. There’s no comparison there. And the suspension on the highway is perfectly fine, it’s really a fantastic long distance car. It shines in most everything it does!

          • I assume the suspension increases the car’s high speed stability, which even if you do the speed limit for a long drive decreases driver fatigue because its easier to keep an M5 straight at those speeds than a boat like a 7 series.

            • It sounds like that’s what the M5 is about. I used to & many M5 owners think of the M5 as a sports car but its way to heavy to lap a track for it to be a sports car but it seems like a car that you can drive at high speeds without worrying about losing control of the car.

      • Have you ever considered getting a clear bra put on? A lot of people with expensive cars do that so they can minimize rock chips and other damage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *