E39 M5: Must Have Mods

Okay, so you’ve already made the best decision of your life: you bought an E39 M5. Now, what minor (or major) modifications will make a great car even greater?

Let me start out by saying that this article is very subjective.  Each M5 owner has his or her own expectations for the car.  Some people are after pure performance, while others are allured by a refined, quiet luxury car that also has balls.  Many of us are somewhere in-between.  I bought my 2000 M5 in 2010.  It was my first car, I was 17 years old. Somehow, I didn’t kill myself.  By 2011, the void of E39 M5 DIY content online had pissed me off enough that I decided to spearhead the lack of online content with E39Source. This has allowed me to connect with hundreds of fellow E39 (M5) owners.  I would never say that I have seen it all, but I have been exposed to a lot of very tasteful (and garish) mods. In this article, in no particular order, I will list and describe several ‘must-have’ modifications, per my taste. Continue reading

BMW E39 Changes Throughout Production

UntitledThe BMW E39 5-series was produced from 09/1995-06/2003 for the 1996-2003 model years. In September of 2000, for the 2001 model year, BMW gave the E39 a facelift.  This means that the E39 chassis was updated, renewed both technologically and aesthetically for a few more years of production.

Even outside of the big 2001 facelift, things with the E39 changed each year.  This article will summarize the changes BMW made to US-spec vehicles throughout production. Continue reading

BMW E39 SIRIUS XM, AUX Input, BM53 Radio Retrofit DIY

IMG_3169Welcome to what is going to be a very long article, and a great wealth of knowledge.  I am going to attempt to break down exactly what you need to do to retrofit a BM53 Radio, Auxiliary Input, and SIRIUS XM Radio into your BMW E39 5-series.  It is important to realize that the BMW E39 uses an infrastructure for technology in the car known as I-Bus, or Information Bus.  Picture it as the platform, and the language of hardware/software that makes everything technology communicate.  I-Bus was first used on the 1989 BMW E31, or 8-series.  It offers an impressive data transfer rate of 9.6KB/s.  I-Bus was used until 2006, on the E46 3-series and E53 X5-series.  This gave BMW a long time to create newer, better, faster, and more functional hardware that operated off of I-Bus.  Note that many BMW models used I-Bus, but the majority of these are not compatible with the products listed in this article due to their age.  The oldest car that I would expect to work with SIRIUS XM, for example, would be a navigation equipped E38 7-series. Continue reading