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Old 01-17-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
Kal
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I want my e39 540 to be faster then an m5

What do I need to do? Its an e39 M540i 6 speed.

No engine work has been done yet.
The car has less then 130km on it.
Budget is $4000.

Is there a way to do this without a supercharger/turbo? Does anyone have a current setup that blows m5's out the water?
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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not a chance with $4000, even a S/C kit will only get a 540 from 0-60 in 4.9-5 sec, which is still slower than a M5, with $4000 I suggest, software, intake, exhaust, M5 3.15 LSD diff.

it's better off considering buying a E39 M5 instead, that way you'll have the look & the power.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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Getting away from the 540 vs M5 thing for a second, think of it in more general terms.

What you're looking for is to drastically increase your power to weight ratio but if the weight is already really high (so it is on E39's) then you are going to need a LOT of extra power to accomplish this.

My advice is to sell the 540 and get a lighter car more powerful car if you want to beat an M5... or to just buy an M5 but if you go that way then in a few months you'd want to mod your M5 to be faster than other M5's. Got to draw the line somewhere and be happy with what you have IMO.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:39 AM   #4
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FI (forced induction) is the only way to go IMO, without it you will need a LOT of money, but as other people mentioned, even with FI for $4000 you will have hard time keeping up with m5's
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudmojo View Post
Getting away from the 540 vs M5 thing for a second, think of it in more general terms.

What you're looking for is to drastically increase your power to weight ratio but if the weight is already really high (so it is on E39's) then you are going to need a LOT of extra power to accomplish this.

My advice is to sell the 540 and get a lighter car more powerful car if you want to beat an M5... or to just buy an M5 but if you go that way then in a few months you'd want to mod your M5 to be faster than other M5's. Got to draw the line somewhere and be happy with what you have IMO.
+1 There is alot of good advice being given here. Dollar/performance wise, $4k isn't going to get you anywhere near the performance of the M5 if a straight performance comparison is what you're after. So the key question really comes down to what your own objectives are. If track performance is your objective, I can tell you that developing your performance driving techneques can help you narrow that gap and $4k can play a major part it that. I've seen a E39 540 harass two M5s all day long at VIR last summer. The point is, if you have all that power you gotta be able handle it, it you can't you're not going to be any faster with an M5. If your objective is bragging right, it would be cheaper to just put a M5 badge on your car most non E39 people can't tell the difference anyway.

Thanks for letting me share my 2 cents.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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+1 There is alot of good advice being given here. Dollar/performance wise, $4k isn't going to get you anywhere near the performance of the M5 if a straight performance comparison is what you're after. So the key question really comes down to what your own objectives are. If track performance is your objective, I can tell you that developing your performance driving techneques can help you narrow that gap and $4k can play a major part it that. I've seen a E39 540 harass two M5s all day long at VIR last summer. The point is, if you have all that power you gotta be able handle it, it you can't you're not going to be any faster with an M5. If your objective is bragging right, it would be cheaper to just put a M5 badge on your car most non E39 people can't tell the difference anyway.

Thanks for letting me share my 2 cents.

Well said!
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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2 nitrous bottles in the trunk and a "go baby go" button on your shifter

Jay
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure S/C the 540 brings it to 450. With more torque. Should take down an M5 easily.

But that was the dinan kit. Which is $$$.
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Old 01-17-2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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The best you can do with that budget is a Dinan S1(ish) kind of package.
You can get software, CAI, high flow throttle body, exhaust, and suspension... all of which will be good for about 30-40hp and some great handling so you're looking at 310-320hp. You still have another 80hp to go to keep up with the M5's .
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Old 01-17-2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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VF Engineering supercharger for 540 is $6000, gives you 415hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That should be plenty to pass an M5.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:17 PM   #11
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VF Engineering supercharger for 540 is $6000, gives you 415hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That should be plenty to pass an M5.
even their specs shows 0-60 is around 5secs, still slower than M5, same goes with the Dinan kit & ESS kit, no S/C kit I've seen out there would make a 540 beat an M5 without more mods.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #12
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The M5 gearing was probably designed specifically to hit 300kph with no gaps in power delivery. It's long but still had the power/chassis characteristics to get it there if you had enough road and balls.

Why the 540 final gearing is over 12% longer than an M5's is beyond comprehension from a performance perspective so I'd just chalk it up to fuel economy or comfort concessions. This just barks out, chose another platform to go quickly.

From what I've seen in cars, gearing is as important and sometimes MORE important than outright power ... especially if you're FI'ed where one does not usually have a lofty torque plateau that stretches far and wide.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudmojo View Post
The M5 gearing was probably designed specifically to hit 300kph with no gaps in power delivery. It's long but still had the power/chassis characteristics to get it there if you had enough road and balls.

Why the 540 final gearing is over 12% longer than an M5's is beyond comprehension from a performance perspective so I'd just chalk it up to fuel economy or comfort concessions. This just barks out, chose another platform to go quickly.

From what I've seen in cars, gearing is as important and sometimes MORE important than outright power ... especially if you're FI'ed where one does not usually have a lofty torque plateau that stretches far and wide.

that is true, I mentioned in my first post about getting the M5 3.15 LSD diff along with software & other bolt-ons is his best bet with a $4000 budget, it won't beat a M5 but it will bring him 1 step closer.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:20 PM   #14
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Gear ratios would not allow the 540 to keep up with the m5 off the line even if the hp was the same. By the time the 540 was ready to strech it's legs the m5 would be gone.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:12 PM   #15
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Some good advice ... from a few of the members here

4k ..... without a charger (was the original question asked)...

Here is what you "should" do if you are serious about spending 4k on the straight line performance of the 540i ... Take it to RPM (local vendor) have them take a look at all your internals and give you the go ahead if the engines overall condition / compression are up to par. (should not cost you much)

- Cold air intake (you got 4k get the the dinan kit) 299
- HF Throttle body 600
- Change the manifold 1000 (max)
- HF AM Meter (700)
- Software (600)
- possibly change your exhaust system

- Shot of nitrous either 75 - 150 (if this is your first time using nitrous try to keep it at 75). Install is not all that hard but before installing this device remember 1. its illegal big big time so only for track use 2. ask yourself this (what is the difference between a wet system and dry system) if you can't answer this question leave the system out.

Anyways after this work and your hard 4k spent you should be able to easily pass a stock m5 .... But the bigger problem comes up is that .... Most M5's are not stock (hope you dont run into my younger brother).

PS.... If you cant do the install yourself add another minimum 1k for work at a shop ... And if you really really want to pass M5's for a low cost

PPS .... If your only concern is straight line performance you might want to sell that e39 and purchase a used Camaro S. S or WS6 trans am ..... Invest about 2000 bucks and say goodbye to most street cars

Good Luck
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