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Old 02-05-2007, 11:04 PM   #1
1bad5
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528i vs 540i

Hey guys, im looking to buy a 1997 - 1999 528i or 540i. Can anyone give me the pros and cons between the 2, major problems they have, and what is a better car overall, specially for maintenance.

thanks
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:17 PM   #2
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same question has been asked quite a few times on here... do a quick search and see what you come up with first!
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:20 AM   #3
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540 is quicker.... 528 is supposed to handle better because the engine is lighter.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:18 PM   #4
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Now days every body is concerned about cost of maintenance, insurance and gas prices, on the other hand we like HP as well, here is some pros and cons

1- Thirsty engine like 4.4 L can limit your movements and put a hole in your pocket vs. Reasonable gas consumption on 528.
2- Insurance on 540i will be higher
3- Your mechanic will love you as long as you own you 540.
4- For the additional gain on HP you have a heavier car.
5- Steering box were installed on 540 due to lack of space where as on 528 you will have rack and pinion set up which is far superior, precise handling and lighter than steering box on 540.
6- With some thoughtful modification such as a good engine and trans. Program management, bigger throttle body, air intake and free flow exhaust you can turn a 528 to 540 killer.

And the rest is up to you!
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:35 PM   #5
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^ gee, anti 540, are we?


for #1, I get 11.5l/100km on my 540. you don't buy a sport sedan for fuel economy. for that, go buy a civic or corolla instead
#2 not by much
#3, its funny, cuz all 5 series share the same electronics and most mechanical components, so aside from the powertrain, problems will be common to all 5ers
#4 the heavier 540 is still MUCH faster than the 528
#5 you're correct on
#6, do the same thing to a 540 and you'll have an almost all cars on the street killer.


you obviously have a 528. you have a great car but stop masking your insecurities

Last edited by europrince; 02-22-2007 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europrince
^ gee, anti 540, are we?


you obviously have a 528. you have a great car but stop masking your insecurities





nice work!
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:07 PM   #7
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even a 6psi S/C'd 528 will not be as fast a stock 540i.

I also get 11.5l/100 kms on 50/50 mixed driving on my 540i. The only benefit to a 528 is the better steering rack, slightly lower weight, and the cost of 2 less spark plugs per maintenance cycle.
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:25 AM   #8
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I have to agree with Europrince for most of the items.

#6 though - That dude Jimmy 540 put up his S/C 540 vs a Turbo 530 with M3 motor, and got smoked!

http://www.europeancarweb.com/featur..._turbocharged/

Go easy on the newb!!
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:42 AM   #9
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^ I did say ALMOST all cars

I left myself an out heehee
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europrince
^ gee, anti 540, are we?


for #1, I get 11.5l/100km on my 540. you don't buy a sport sedan for fuel economy. for that, go buy a civic or corolla instead
#2 not by much
#3, its funny, cuz all 5 series share the same electronics and most mechanical components, so aside from the powertrain, problems will be common to all 5ers
#4 the heavier 540 is still MUCH faster than the 528
#5 you're correct on
#6, do the same thing to a 540 and you'll have an almost all cars on the street killer.


you obviously have a 528. you have a great car but stop masking your insecurities
Right on all points

I consistently get under 12L/100 km's in mixed city/hwy even when it's cold out, and straight hwy, I manage a consistent 8.5L/100km 6th gear FTW!

As for maintenance...will be almost the same, except a liter more oil per change, and 2 extra sparkplugs as 93LE mentioned. Both the 528 and 540 suffer the same cooling system problems. But the 540 does have an advantage in the vanos department, 528 seem to have significantly more vanos issues than the 540's do. (just from my forum observations)

As for number 6
no amount of simple bolt-on's will make the 528 a 540 killer...if you want that you have to go FI.
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:44 PM   #11
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boys...boys....relax...they're practically the same car..well, looks-wise..

i wouldnt complain if i had 530 instead of 540, i could care less which one's faster and which one has a steering box

and with that said, NO i wouldnt trade my 540 for a 530/528
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windwagen
I have to agree with Europrince for most of the items.

#6 though - That dude Jimmy 540 put up his S/C 540 vs a Turbo 530 with M3 motor, and got smoked!

http://www.europeancarweb.com/featur..._turbocharged/

Go easy on the newb!!

Jimmy's 540 is a piece of shit, his car isn't anything special, that 532 you posted has a turbo & over 600+HP so of course Jimmy got smoked, if you want to see a real 540 check out www.540is.com

this is to the original poster, if you want a 5-series that is quick & handles well I would suggest saving up some cash & pick up a 530i Sport, handles much better than the 540 and is very peppy as well.

But if you really want a 540, & want to mod it later in the future, I would recommand a 97-98 540, they are easier to tune for more HP than the 99+ models
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Last edited by Quack; 02-23-2007 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:52 PM   #13
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All you 528 hater take a good look at the pictures below, if you see me on your ass it will be for only a second and all you will see its my carís ass. And if you are really lucky you will see my good side.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Picture 153.jpg (122.1 KB, 168 views)
File Type: jpg Picture 118.jpg (87.4 KB, 455 views)
File Type: jpg Picture 154.jpg (128.1 KB, 169 views)
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:11 PM   #14
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Soooooo - what are you packing

cool site Quack. I saw a thread with that car in a mag or something, but I didn't know there was a site too.

How come no one mentions M5 in this comparison?
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windwagen
How come no one mentions M5 in this comparison?

way out of the price league perhaps?
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