E61 V8 Bearding

E61 V8 Bearding

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Discussion

ATM

Original Poster:

13,073 posts

187 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
Nuisance said:
ATM said:
Maybe odd wrong word. Was trying to say unfair maybe. E39 being what I would consider a modern classic. You could probably attend car shows in an e39. Where as the e61 is just a car by comparison. Turn up at a car show in an e61 and you will be politely shown the general car parking area.
I do know what you mean in fairness. I've got a weekend car so it would my daily driver and I do appreciate that that would be harder on an E39 than an E61.
Have you driven an e60?

Nuisance

3,801 posts

143 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
ATM said:
Have you driven an e60?
No. A friend of mine owned an LCI 530i for a while so I've only been a passenger. I've owned a few BMWs though

ATM

Original Poster:

13,073 posts

187 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
Nuisance said:
ATM said:
Have you driven an e60?
No. A friend of mine owned an LCI 530i for a while so I've only been a passenger. I've owned a few BMWs though
Steering still quite feelsome compared to modern cars. Mine has the adjustable assistance so weights up a bit once pressing on. Assume standard on these as mine has no options. Possibly due to being a very early press car.

Auto box quite nice too compared to the older e39.

Come standard with run flats which are unimaginably rubbish unless you bought an LCI brand new with with 19 spiders option as run flat where not available in these sizes back then.

The v8 defines it for me. Little bit of growl if you listen very carefully otherwise boringly quiet. Whole car will rock from side to side as you blip the throttle.

I've had a few people start talking to me at petrol stations when they see the badge and either don't believe its real or want to tell me they have never seen one before. I've only ever see one other.

I'm getting all nostalgic about mine now.

bobiwine

14 posts

7 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
bolidemichael said:
A 550i has popped up for sale on AT, with the owner having lavished it with quite a high degree of attn. Anyone on here?

[url]|https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202103150153697?fromSavedAds=true&advertising-location=at_cars[/thumb]
Is this the grey touring you're talking about?
Looks like this one hasn’t shifted yet. Can see they MOT’d it

Nuisance

3,801 posts

143 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
ATM said:
Steering still quite feelsome compared to modern cars. Mine has the adjustable assistance so weights up a bit once pressing on. Assume standard on these as mine has no options. Possibly due to being a very early press car.

Auto box quite nice too compared to the older e39.

Come standard with run flats which are unimaginably rubbish unless you bought an LCI brand new with with 19 spiders option as run flat where not available in these sizes back then.

The v8 defines it for me. Little bit of growl if you listen very carefully otherwise boringly quiet. Whole car will rock from side to side as you blip the throttle.

I've had a few people start talking to me at petrol stations when they see the badge and either don't believe its real or want to tell me they have never seen one before. I've only ever see one other.

I'm getting all nostalgic about mine now.
That's great, appreciate the info. Sounds like exactly what I'm after. I just wish that example wasn't white, and the patchy history is a little concerning. I think it might look better on the 172 Spiders though.

I did once have a guy at a petrol station tell me that my E90 M3 saloon was a fake. Apparently they only did them in coupe form.

Jules Sunley

1,121 posts

61 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
Nuisance said:
Sorry, absolute brain fart. Completely missed this and ATM's replies.


Jules Sunley said:
Having had a whole new pano roof cassette installed at the end of last year after my old one lunched its mechanism, I can vouch for how expensive they are. Also it seems nobody has bought a whole new one from BMW for a long time as despite there only being one part number for an E61 pano roof it turned out they had made some revisions over the years so it wasn't actually a straight fit and BMW UK had to get involved along with the original suppliers to mix some bits from the old and new carriage mechanism to make it all fit.

It was worth it for me for my B5 being a rare and valuable car and wanting everything to work fully, but for a normal E61 the cost is unlikely to make sense against the car value (huge amount of labour on top of the part due to stripping all roof lining etc) hence the usual 'fix' when they go wrong is to disable the operation having looked at forums at the time.

My car is a keeper so man maths says if the new one lasts 15 years it doesn't hurt as much when considered 'per annum'.

That white E61 would make a great basis for the fastest Ghostbusters 'Ecto 1' tribute car in existence..... smile
Thanks for the info. The idea of the pano roof going wrong does fill me with dread but for a B5 it certainly seems like the right thing to do. In all honesty I'd probably not use it for fear it of breaking.

Funny you mention Ecto 1. Years ago I used to have a white Legacy estate and I had a tiny little Ghost Busters logo in the top corner of the rear window for that very reason. In my defence, I was young and a bit daft hehe


ATM said:
I've had an e39 saloon and also looked at the boot of the e39 estate. Totally different car to the e61 and dare I say an odd comparison. E39 was a great car but they are all old and rusty now. You can find nice ones but you need to really dig otherwise you're buying a bit of a dog and throwing money at it. Also the boot is not even half the size as the e61. I myself think the boot looks ugly on the e39 estate. Nowhere near as well resolved as on the e61. But listen that's just me talking. If you want an e39 then you buy an e39. But you need to be more in the enthusiast camp with the e39 giving it lots of tlc and care as it will be almost 20 years old where as the e61 is a far more utilitarian vehicle you can just treat like a car. That is the difference between buying a usable classic and a car. The 540 e39 estate is a very rare beast but so too is the e61 550i. The e61 550i is probably the most rare between the two. I guess it depends what you want from a car. If you want a classic you have to buy the e39. No one can say the e61 is a classic but the e39 surely is. I think you'd need to wait at least another 5 years before the e61 can get anywhere close to classic status. And obviously the e39 will still be more classic still. I do admire the e60 / e61 and more so the original e65 as being the boldest of the early bangle designs. But my reason for having the e61 is needing a big car for occasional use with a massive boot that still has some charisma. I sold my e39 saloon to get the e61 over 5 years ago and like I say the e39 estate boot looked tiny by comparison. I'm probably going round in circles a bit here. Any BMW enthusiast will always go mushy talking about the e39. I doubt many will when talking about the e60 but that doesn't mean the e60 is not a good car.
About 7 or 8 years ago I had an E39 540i saloon myself and I really enjoyed owning it. I know about how they rust, hence if I did go for one or would very likely need to be an import to be a near-minter, as opposed to the E61 where an import would seem less essential.

I don't really see it as an odd comparison. My wants are RWD, estate, V8. My budget is about £15k, but I don't have to spend that much. There's really only the E500 that's also on my list other than the 2 BMWs, so it's almost a case of grabbing a nice example of whichever appears first, but my preference is probably slightly for either of the BMWs. E61 slightly over E39, for the reasons you've said. I've always been an E39 fan. I currently have a V60 which is smaller than the E61, and the size of the Volvo is about adequate.


Edit: yeah I know of the LHD preference thing. I've owned a few imports but only Japanese domestic brands, so owing a German would be a new thing.
Nothing wrong with the little sign in the legacy, I think that's cool. I mean, 'who you gonna call' biggrin

Jules Sunley

1,121 posts

61 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
bolidemichael said:
How much was the job, Jules? smile

i.e. make me, of liberal mechanical titivation, feel better about my own spend, albeit, for an estate borne of Sindelfingen
I had other stuff done at the same time (service, gearbox service (my request), brake fluid change, MOT etc) and had given the go-ahead before ordering the new cartridge to see if they could take the existing one apart to potentially identify broken plastic bits and remanufacture in metal (which couldn't be done in the end hence cost me more in labour but was worth a try), but essentially the sunroof related part of the bigger bill came to approaching 5k. A lot I know for having a working roof but as mentioned in my original post worth it to me for my B5 due to rarity and car value but I can't see anyone being willing to spend that on a standard car. Man maths was 6 quid a week if this one lasts another 15 years biggrin

bolidemichael

5,609 posts

169 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
Well done Jules. I've spent about £2k on my tailgate smile

Having said that, it's back in the garage for the third/fourth time, to rectify the ceaseless 'popping up' issue. tbf, the owner is determined to nail the issue.

Sorry for the slight OT everyone.

nomis36

319 posts

132 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
Nuisance said:
I did once have a guy at a petrol station tell me that my E90 M3 saloon was a fake. Apparently they only did them in coupe form.
I had a similar thing in a Tesco car park when I had a Boston green e36 4 door M3. I was just getting to my car with my shopping when 3 lads walking past started laughing at the M3 badge on an obviously non M3 because it was green and 4 door laugh

ATM

Original Poster:

13,073 posts

187 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
bolidemichael said:
Well done Jules. I've spent about £2k on my tailgate smile

Having said that, it's back in the garage for the third/fourth time, to rectify the ceaseless 'popping up' issue. tbf, the owner is determined to nail the issue.

Sorry for the slight OT everyone.
Yeah I had that popping up thing start a few years ago. The glass hatch pops open at random right. I managed to work around it. I just tweaked the settings to stop it.

Nuisance

3,801 posts

143 months

Monday 3rd May
quotequote all
nomis36 said:
I had a similar thing in a Tesco car park when I had a Boston green e36 4 door M3. I was just getting to my car with my shopping when 3 lads walking past started laughing at the M3 badge on an obviously non M3 because it was green and 4 door laugh
Boston Green E36 M3 saloon cloud9

I've always really fancied an E36 M3 saloon. Much cooler than the coupe, although I had an Evo coupe myself.


Nuisance

3,801 posts

143 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
Sorry to go banging on about the white eBay car but looking at the mileage, could the gap in it's history between 2012 and 2016 just be one missed stamp? 27k miles between services is a bit worrying if it hasn't had one at all in that time, but could it be feasible that it had one at say 25k in 2014?

I don't know if this is a major worry or not, tbh. I've read that annual oil changes are good for these cars.

23/06/10 @4km delivery inspection
09/05/12 @17,572km (10,914 miles)
09/07/16 @60248km (37421 miles)
10/06/17 @64128km (39831 miles)
22/06/18 @67658km (42023 miles)
04/07/19 @72563km (45070 miles)

ATM

Original Poster:

13,073 posts

187 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
Nuisance said:
Sorry to go banging on about the white eBay car but looking at the mileage, could the gap in it's history between 2012 and 2016 just be one missed stamp? 27k miles between services is a bit worrying if it hasn't had one at all in that time, but could it be feasible that it had one at say 25k in 2014?

I don't know if this is a major worry or not, tbh. I've read that annual oil changes are good for these cars.

23/06/10 @4km delivery inspection
09/05/12 @17,572km (10,914 miles)
09/07/16 @60248km (37421 miles)
10/06/17 @64128km (39831 miles)
22/06/18 @67658km (42023 miles)
04/07/19 @72563km (45070 miles)
Modern oil is very very good. It can still work well after a year or more. Will it be perfect no. Will it work yes. The grey area in between is where different people with differing levels of OCD will tell you what they think. You really need definitive proof from testing which is hard to come by. Don't forget that oil will get contaminated so if the engine runs cleaner it will stay cleaner. Modern engines do run cleaner because they have to meet stricter and stricter environmental rules. So you wont get lots of unburnt fuel washing by the pistons and getting into the oil. This is why a car which runs on LPG has clean oil when you change it. Also dont forget that these cars have about 8 litres in their system. Or is it more?

Longer service intervals are brought on by manufacturers trying to improve their car's environmental credentials as these started to carry over to servicing for the life span of the vehicle. This is when oil change intervals extended. I've read all sorts of waffle in 2nd hand listings of these cars for sale trying to explain that regular servicing improves the lifespan of the valve stem oil seals. Which is obviously complete madness.

I think a car which is ran nice and warm at light load for long trips and is therefore always nice and warm and hardly ever cold started is the ideal purchase but how do you find one of those. This bid daft v8's surely dont get hammered because who can do that on our roads nowadays. I'd guess most die due to other failures but that's just a guess.

Some people also think these modern low viscosity oils are bad for engines and are just an economy play for better mpg due to less drag. Some people therefore buy thicker oil thinking it is better. Others will tell you thicker doesn't get round the system properly and is therefore bad. I've read all sorts of madness about oil and never know what to believe.

bolidemichael

5,609 posts

169 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
ATM said:
bolidemichael said:
Well done Jules. I've spent about £2k on my tailgate smile

Having said that, it's back in the garage for the third/fourth time, to rectify the ceaseless 'popping up' issue. tbf, the owner is determined to nail the issue.

Sorry for the slight OT everyone.
Yeah I had that popping up thing start a few years ago. The glass hatch pops open at random right. I managed to work around it. I just tweaked the settings to stop it.
I've replaced the boot skirt motor (unrelated) though at the same time, renewed the gas struts and hydraulic ram. Most recently the soft close mechanism and now the antenna for the GPS (located in the tailgate) has failed. It still pops up so is back in the garage and I'm braving the weather and feeling the gainz of walking 5 miles to work laugh

Nuisance

3,801 posts

143 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
ATM said:
Modern oil is very very good. It can still work well after a year or more. Will it be perfect no. Will it work yes. The grey area in between is where different people with differing levels of OCD will tell you what they think. You really need definitive proof from testing which is hard to come by. Don't forget that oil will get contaminated so if the engine runs cleaner it will stay cleaner. Modern engines do run cleaner because they have to meet stricter and stricter environmental rules. So you wont get lots of unburnt fuel washing by the pistons and getting into the oil. This is why a car which runs on LPG has clean oil when you change it. Also dont forget that these cars have about 8 litres in their system. Or is it more?

Longer service intervals are brought on by manufacturers trying to improve their car's environmental credentials as these started to carry over to servicing for the life span of the vehicle. This is when oil change intervals extended. I've read all sorts of waffle in 2nd hand listings of these cars for sale trying to explain that regular servicing improves the lifespan of the valve stem oil seals. Which is obviously complete madness.

I think a car which is ran nice and warm at light load for long trips and is therefore always nice and warm and hardly ever cold started is the ideal purchase but how do you find one of those. This bid daft v8's surely dont get hammered because who can do that on our roads nowadays. I'd guess most die due to other failures but that's just a guess.

Some people also think these modern low viscosity oils are bad for engines and are just an economy play for better mpg due to less drag. Some people therefore buy thicker oil thinking it is better. Others will tell you thicker doesn't get round the system properly and is therefore bad. I've read all sorts of madness about oil and never know what to believe.
Interesting post, thanks. So given all that you've said, what would your opinion be of the white eBay car and it's history? Reading between the lines, you wouldn't be put off by it?

I don't know what to think. I'm starting to think I could live with the white, although it would be way down my list of preferred colours. But I intend it to be a long term keeper so do I wait for the perfect example instead - assuming the perfect car even exists, let alone ever appears on the market.

ATM

Original Poster:

13,073 posts

187 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
Very difficult question. Not many cars to choose from so if you want one what do you do?

I see 3 on eBay.

Do you buy one of them or wait?

I waited a few months to buy mine. I bought the first one I could find. I think I paid 8500. I think another popped up but it was quite far away and 550 road tax. Then it sold before I could go see it. Mine popped up and I rushed down there and bought it immediately for full asking. Because I knew I wanted one and there were no others. Is it perfect no. Has it been a good car yes. Its been fairly bullet proof. I've given it no love at all. It's been abused and abused and it just keeps on trucking. Considering 5 years of service if I could sell for 3500 that's £1000 per year. You can't argue at that.

We have only had one horror story on this thread of an owner who had a cracked block. Everyone else has had no major issues. These are just a 5 series with a big daft engine. Everything else is standard 5 series stuff. And the engine itself is well used in places like America in all 5,6,7,x5 and x6 cars. My car had some suspension bits and brakes and the odd service and that's it. Never had spark plugs, never had a battery, not even had any coolant until recently. It did blow its expansion tank which is classed as a break down but hardly major.

My car has a few gremlins but I just ignore them. If you can't do that then you need your car to be right. I'm happy enough with almost right. When I was younger I had cars like a Fiat Uno, a Fiat Panda and a Fiat Cinquecento. Compared to them the 550i is a lot of car. I still fancy a little Fiat though.

What do you like about the white one compared to say this drug dealer black one on ebay?

Also Jap import
2007
£8995


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/284274341099


Nuisance

3,801 posts

143 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all


It's good to know they're generally reliable. I've been dipping in and out of this thread since the beginning so I've been following much of your owners' stories with your cars. I know BMWs take some money to upkeep and they're far from the most reliable cars on the road, but I still like them and there's very little other choice given my requirements. As I say, an E500 is about the only other option and those are seemingly almost as difficult to come by as the E61 550i.

The black one's been messed about with too much for my liking. There's loads of questionable bits on it. I appreciate that some of it is reversible but it just puts me off the car entirely. My Volvo is also black and I fancy another colour this time.

I like the white one as it's a late full LCI (although I know there's not masses of difference over the car's life cycle), it's fairly low mileage (I'd like to keep it a long time so low mileage gives me the chance to put the miles on it myself), and completely standard. I like the pano roof, too, even if it's something of a known issue. All I'd do would probably be Style 172s with some quality tyres and an Android Auto upgrade of some sort.


ATM

Original Poster:

13,073 posts

187 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
I've never had a merc but obviously I find myself looking at the c63 and the e63. Even the c55 is a good car I believe but they still have their known problems.

I agree the black one is a bit on the Barry side but I think it's only really the wheels and the front splitter that needs to go. The exhaust might be a keeper. I think the black one also has a more modern stereo as it has the later buttons for the idrive. Confused why the white one has the older style single big knob instead. Also the black one might be carbon black as the ad says its blue. 20 or 30000 miles means nothing to me. Finally the wheel has paddles on the black one but not on the white.

bolidemichael

5,609 posts

169 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
There have been quite a few for sale Nuisance; keep an eye on the barge thread, as they're always reported. Unless you want the facelift M273 5.5L which are rather rare, save for the overpriced one on Autotrader.

The alternative is the S212 E500 with the same engine which is even rarer.

I think that E61 550i is lovely, very appealing indeed.

Nuisance

3,801 posts

143 months

Wednesday 5th May
quotequote all
ATM said:
I think the black one also has a more modern stereo as it has the later buttons for the idrive. Confused why the white one has the older style single big knob instead. Also the black one might be carbon black as the ad says its blue. 20 or 30000 miles means nothing to me. Finally the wheel has paddles on the black one but not on the white.
I wonder if it's actually an earlier car and sat unregistered for some time? Odd that the white one has the older iDrive controller. The history starts in 2010, so it's a little strange.

I'm not sure of the reason for the difference in paddles but I wouldn't use them anyway.


bolidemichael said:
There have been quite a few for sale Nuisance; keep an eye on the barge thread, as they're always reported. Unless you want the facelift M273 5.5L which are rather rare, save for the overpriced one on Autotrader.

The alternative is the S212 E500 with the same engine which is even rarer.

I think that E61 550i is lovely, very appealing indeed.
Yep, I've followed the 1 - 5 thread for donkeys years. The overpriced example is nice but it seems the owner is willing to sit for months until the right buyer comes along (or doesn't?).

I kinda wish I'd snapped up the brown S212 that was for sale a few months ago. That was a lovely thing, even if it was into proper AMG money.

The white car is nice, agreed.