Build: 1999 (E39)
Engine: 2494 cc Petrol
Power: 125 kW (170 PK)
0-100 km/h: 9-10sec
Dirk owns (at the time of writing) a BMW 5 series touring, model E39 from 1999. The e39 chassis cars are arguably some of the coolest-looking BMWs of all time. I myself am not such a fan of BMWs, Especially the newer ones. But driving them makes you forget how they look. BMWs are known to be fun and engaging cars (with some exceptions). Dirk bought the car with more than +-290k kilometers on the odometer. That proves that natural inline 6 engines from BMW can take quite a beating. The 523i runs great next to some small vibrations and sounds, but that's to be expected for a car that's 20+ years old. Dirk paid around 1500 euros for the BMW, and with some rust spots on known places, it's most definitely worth the price he paid.
It wasn't all smooth sailing for Dirk and his BMW though...
Dirk's car had some small issues, with one major one.
A small issue dirk had was with the dust covers. But replacing them costs around 10 euros apiece. I consider it part of the maintenance. Rubber doesn't last forever. especially on older cars.
Whenever I have my car on the bridge I use silicone spray to rehydrate all the rubber underneath the car. This isn't useful for newer cars. But with older cars, I noticed it at least prevents some of the "dried out rubber noises". But like always, your mileage may vary.
I don't remember if this was the air compressor for the rear air suspension or the airconditioner compressor... Either way, not a cheap repair. Luckily old cars can be found on the junkyard. (i will come back to this later after asking Dirk again...)
Edit: Dirk just told me it was the blower motor for the hot/warm air, luckily that's cheaper than the others I thought.
Edit2: Nope turned out to be the air compressor for the airconditioner system. And Dirk paidd a full 400 euros for the repair... At the dealer... God save him
The coolant radiator started leaking, I first noticed something was wrong when I sat next to Dirk. He started driving backwards full throttle for 15-20 meters and the radiator started smoking. White smoke, coolant. When I glanced at his temperature gauge I noticed it closing into the red area... He told me that that happens sometimes, so I started laughing like the good friend I am. Later the leak became worse and he had to replace the radiator. Luckily junkyards have plenty, so no need to weld the old one.
Dirk doesn't use 90% of his fuel tank. He drives on the reserve tank all the time. And by that, he singlehandedly proved the myth that the bottom of the fuel tank has "goo" that ruins your fuel pump. Just kidding.
The first symptoms started when his AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION car would stall. To me at the time that sounded like either; air, fuel, or ignition (timing) is failing. Dirk drove it to the garage to let them figure out the problem. Smart. The garage told him to use premium gas (98), which didn't make a difference. Only when the fuel pump really "let the ghost go" was when it permanently didn't start anymore. Dirk was the first one from our friend group who had to get his car towed.
We were at the carwash when Dirk was cleaning his BMW. That's when he accidentally hit his mirror a bit too hard with the brush, which came flying off. Like the great friend I am, I started laughing uncontrollably. He went to the junkyard with his dad and got a new mirror. and as a bonus, he replaced his Airco control panel with one from the junkyard. Because the print on the buttons started fading.
German cars attract German cars... it's never fun to write about an accident, especially one that I caused... It luckily wasn't Dirk's fault. More about the snow crash on the S350 Mercedes-Benz page here.
Accident was caught on camera:
I guess that's karma for laughing at Dirk's car all the time...
After my ultimate "bruh moment" I had to make sure to patch up Dirk's car. So Luca and I started looking for an e39 bumper in the same color. We found one that was quite cheap and heavily used. I bought it immediately, not knowing that Dirk had an aftermarket tow bar. this was hard bolted to the frame and one of the welds broke. My metal welds look horrific to a professional welder, imagine if I had to weld that aluminum frame piece.
So after some issues, we finally removed the rear bumper. That's when we noticed that the original gas struts were replaced with metal bars. This is for the aftermarket tow bar. Otherwise, it would rip off.
So the next day I went back to the junkyard to get the inside bumper frame. I was nice enough to take the time to gracefully disconnect the parking sensors for someone else to use from the junk car. Instead of cutting the wires.
I was smart enough to take all the plastic clickers from the junk car.
Then at Dirk's place, I attached the frame to the bumper and placed it back on his car. Like nothing ever happened!
I did buy a pack of touch-up paint for the scratches in the bumper. To this day he still has the junkyard sticker on the bumper. Probably to mock me...
--- 04/02/2022 ---
Dirk had to get his car through the APK (vehicle testing regulations), but that wasn't all easy and cheap, which is normal for an old BMW ;).
The first issue where the rear tires. They started dry-rotting & one already leaked, so they were replaced.
The second issue was with the front shock absorbers. They were shot, started squeaking, bouncing and the front of the car seemed to be lower to the ground. (Dirk's opinion)
Then a small issue with a mounting bracket related to the braking system? Don't know what the issue was exactly.
And don't forget an old BMW's signature; Rust and leakages!
Modifications & fun:
Modifying cars is always fun. So dirk started by spraypainting his rims black, which made them stand out more.
I'm always honest and although I think they look cool, I still think that the original metallic color looked better. If the BMW was black then all black on black would look the best indeed.
Man o man. The most controversial topic about a car, the exhaust. Some people want it obnoxious and loud while others are happy with a slight growl. I myself only love loud exhausts on big engines. Or small engines with huge turbos.
What I mean about that is that straight piping your Ford Ka isn't the same as straight piping a Mercedes S600. (unless if you drive your Ford Ka with open headers ;)
So Dirk came up with the idea to remove the rear silencer (the second one behind the cats). Of course, Dirk wasn't going to lay on the ground and cut it himself, so I had to get under the car...
And the result was quite nice, a deep but not obnoxious growl:
But Dirk was not yet satisfied enough. He was hungry for more! So I went back under the car and removed the other silencer.
And now the car growls like a monster, and it even drops an occasional pop and bang!
To be honest, it's not that obnoxious. Let me edit a video on my phone with the loudest moments and some fly-bys.
Why did you buy a BMW 523i E39?
So I asked Dirk, Why did you buy a 523i;
waiting for a response... (he forgor)
More pictures will be added soon.
Video's Dirk's car starred in:
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