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    Thread: e60 535i vs. 550i

    1. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 06:51 PM #1
      What are the differences between the 2 and which would you prefer?
      Easy to find in manual and with m-sport package?
      Reliability?
      Price?
      Maintenance?
      Mods?

      Thinking about getting one of the 2 to replace my b7 a4.
      Also considering
      e90 m3
      135i
      s5
      f30 335i if in price range

      Looking for something around $35k with under 30-40k miles.
      Car will be driven 200-400 miles a month as my weekend warrior
      Opinions?
      Whatever I get will have kw v3's, wheels and I would like it to get into the 12's
      thinking a 535i might be easier to do that than the v8 in the 550i
      Also considered e60 m5 but don't have the money to spend in case of catastrophic failure and 6spd's are hard to find

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      11-09-2012 06:54 PM #2
      535i is a 3.5L 6 cylinder and a 550i is a 5.0L 8 cylinder. Both are rear wheel drive and of course four door. I dont really know much about the two but I am there are plenty of people on here that do.

    3. 11-09-2012 06:56 PM #3
      I would save the few pennies and go 535i.

      I love a damn showroom clean post-refresh e60.

    4. Member Booster's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 06:56 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by CAH8 View Post
      535i is a 3.5L 6 cylinder and a 550i is a 5.0L 8 cylinder. Both are rear wheel drive and of course four door. I dont really know much about the two but I am there are plenty of people on here that do.
      obviously not... it's a 3.0
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    5. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 06:56 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by CAH8 View Post
      535i is a 3.5L 6 cylinder and a 550i is a 5.0L 8 cylinder. Both are rear wheel drive and of course four door. I dont really know much about the two but I am there are plenty of people on here that do.
      yeah thats about all i know too. I want something with an m-sport package and 6spd thats mod friendly and not too big of a pain to maintain. 535i is tt I believe. But don't know much about the tuning and supporting mods to make good power

    6. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 06:58 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Impeccable View Post
      I would save the few pennies and go 535i.

      I love a damn showroom clean post-refresh e60.
      same here! They are good looking cars. I will probably try to find a black one. I lust for lowered black european sedans. I do also love a white/coral red 135i though.
      I really want a car that you don't see very often like an m5 but its just so impractical
      I also do love the rear end of an e90m when they are lowered but my best friend already had an e92 and I feel like I have practically owned one already
      And I'm 21 if that makes any difference in deciding on a car

    7. 11-09-2012 06:59 PM #7
      Driven both, many times. I can't explain it, but the 550i feels like a much more special car. The 535i will be significantly easier to mod, but you don't buy a 550i to try and get it into the 12s.

      Any specific questions about it?

      The known issues on the 550i are gaskets. Timing case and valve cover seals love to leak on all BMW V8s. Look for a car where they've been replaced (or buy a CPO one and make BMW take the whole engine apart looking for oil leaks for you). My father still has his and doing all the seals + both active stabilizer bars (also leaking) would have been almost a $9k bill (at dealer labor rates), all covered under warranty. If you have a good independent shop and can fix the oil leaks every couple of years, they're really solid cars.
      Last edited by devioustrap; 11-09-2012 at 07:04 PM.

    8. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 07:02 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by devioustrap View Post
      Driven both, many times. I can't explain it, but the 550i feels like a much more special car. The 535i will be significantly easier to mod, but you don't buy a 550i and to try and get it into the 12s.

      Any specific questions about it?

      The known issues on the 550i are all sorts of seals. Timing case and valve cover seals love to leak on all BMW V8s. Look for a car where they've been replaced (or buy a CPO one and make BMW take the whole engine apart looking for oil leaks for you). My father still has his and doing all the seals + both active stabilizer bars (also leaking) would have been almost a $9k bill (at dealer labor rates), all covered under warranty. If you have a good independent shop and can fix the oil leaks every couple of years, they're really solid cars.
      Okay cool. That's what I figured. How reliable are the 335i's? Do they have the same engine as 335i's?
      Is it easier to find a 535i with an m-sport package opposed to a 550i?
      How fast are the 550i's quarter mile wise? I raced one in my stage 2 a4 and barely lost and I really want something faster

    9. 11-09-2012 07:06 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by jakellama123 View Post
      Okay cool. That's what I figured. How reliable are the 335i's? Do they have the same engine as 335i's?
      Is it easier to find a 535i with an m-sport package opposed to a 550i?
      How fast are the 550i's quarter mile wise? I raced one in my stage 2 a4 and barely lost and I really want something faster
      Back when they were new I remember hearing of alot of 335i turbo failures.

      M-sport package is definitely sweet but $$$ premium

    10. Member rynodyno312's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 07:13 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Impeccable View Post
      Back when they were new I remember hearing of alot of 335i turbo failures.
      More high-pressure fuel pump failures than turbo failures.

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      11-09-2012 07:15 PM #11
      I'd take the 550i because it's what Rick Ross would choose.

    12. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 07:19 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Impeccable View Post
      Back when they were new I remember hearing of alot of 335i turbo failures.

      M-sport package is definitely sweet but $$$ premium
      Yeah but they handled it well and now everyone who know's about their car always does a few things to avoid problems like that
      Just like PCV/cam follower/ carbon buildup/ coilpacks in my a4
      m-sport is a must for me

      Quote Originally Posted by rynodyno312 View Post
      More high-pressure fuel pump failures than turbo failures.
      I plan on getting a CPO with extended warranty
      Quote Originally Posted by sandiegan View Post
      I'd take the 550i because it's what Rick Ross would choose.
      lol well played

    13. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 07:21 PM #13
      btw thank you for the responses. I knew this would be a good place to ask

    14. 11-09-2012 07:29 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by jakellama123 View Post
      Okay cool. That's what I figured. How reliable are the 335i's? Do they have the same engine as 335i's?
      Is it easier to find a 535i with an m-sport package opposed to a 550i?
      How fast are the 550i's quarter mile wise? I raced one in my stage 2 a4 and barely lost and I really want something faster
      Yes, same engine (I'm assuming you meant to write 535i in there)

      I doubt it, in the later years, almost all 550is came with M-Sport.

      No idea, they're not race cars

      Just judging by your responses, I'd be looking at 335i and 135i instead. The e60 is a big car, there's no denying that. I know this is the car lounge, but I wouldn't even bother buying a 550i with a stick shift. While it's amazing how much you can push an m-sport car in the turns, it's a big car and in day-to-day driving it doesn't try and hide its size. The auto suits it perfectly.

      If you want a car that's more of a toy, go with the mod heavy 335i.

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      11-09-2012 07:38 PM #15
      i think you should get the s5

    16. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 07:44 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by devioustrap View Post
      Yes, same engine (I'm assuming you meant to write 535i in there)

      I doubt it, in the later years, almost all 550is came with M-Sport.

      No idea, they're not race cars

      Just judging by your responses, I'd be looking at 335i and 135i instead. The e60 is a big car, there's no denying that. I know this is the car lounge, but I wouldn't even bother buying a 550i with a stick shift. While it's amazing how much you can push an m-sport car in the turns, it's a big car and in day-to-day driving it doesn't try and hide its size. The auto suits it perfectly.

      If you want a car that's more of a toy, go with the mod heavy 335i.
      I kinda want a big sedan though. I daily a 94 325is that is like a toy and drift car and want something with a little more luxury but still fun for the weekends
      I like the a4 but its just too underpowered
      And I will only drive a 6spd. I just see 135s and 335s everywhere which I dont like
      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      i think you should get the s5
      I like them a lot and interior is beautiful but they are kinda underpowered. My roommate has a b8 s4 and I love that thing and that is what I would get if he didnt have one already. I get to borrow it sometimes

    17. Member jakellama123's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 07:45 PM #17
      Also the interior on all the bmw's are nice but still just ehhh and kinda bland. That's why I like the coral red on 135s

    18. 11-09-2012 08:03 PM #18
      I would get an S5. The styling of the car is nice and the V8 has an amazing exhaust note. I would also look at a B8 S4 because the V6 makes the car less front heavy then the S5.

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      11-09-2012 08:23 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by jakellama123 View Post
      What are the differences between the 2 and which would you prefer? 535i
      Easy to find in manual and with m-sport package? It will require some searching
      Reliability? Typical for a German luxury car- you'll have a few problems, but do not consider them unreliable.
      Price? You didn't specify what year...
      Maintenance? It'll need it, both models
      Mods? 535i. You're not getting anywhere unless you choose that model. JB4 and intake

      Looking for more details? There's been plenty of threads on the E60 in the last month or two.
      Quote Originally Posted by DamienR8 View Post
      in 2038 you will have the ability to think of a car, then your body will actually turn into a car, then you will die in an accident.

    20. Member jrmcm's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 08:38 PM #20
      Ahem






    21. Member sandiegan's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 08:41 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by jrmcm View Post
      Ahem

      What do you average for MPG?

    22. Member jrmcm's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 08:43 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by sandiegan View Post
      What do you average for MPG?
      18

      But I don't drive much, and it's all city driving/short trips.

    23. Member sandiegan's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 08:44 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by jrmcm View Post
      18

      But I don't drive much, and it's all city driving/short trips.
      My want
      Just dwindled
      To zero

    24. Member jrmcm's Avatar
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      11-09-2012 08:50 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by sandiegan View Post
      My want
      Just dwindled
      To zero
      Anytime I've mixed in a reasonable amount of highway driving with light to no traffic, it's gone up closer to 20.

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      11-09-2012 11:17 PM #25
      550 if you want a powerful cruiser with a good V8 note, the 535 if you want to tune it and play. They are a nice car, handle fantastic, look good, and have power. That being said, BOTH will cost you money to keep.

      550 will cost you money in oil leaks (I just did $3900 worth on a 2005 745 yesterday, same basic motor valve covers, timing covers, lower pan, trans pan, vacuum pump, the alternator arm bracket seal is like another $1k) and trans issues are common. We are seeing that some N62 motors are needing valve guide seals. Granted they are not TU's as the 550 has, but its the same motor essentially so we expect them to go too. Small block chevy, easy. BMW not so much. Requires special tools and is an upper 4 figure repair.

      The 535 will cost you money in turbo, carbon, injection issues and probably cats as it accumulates mileage. Also known for trans issues, but not as much. It also has the wonderful POS electric water pump that lasts 30-60K miles. Anything beyond is just waiting for death.

      The box they come in is reliable i.e. windows, sunroof, seats. They will BOTH have quirky electronics though. Suspension bushings usually around 60K miles up front arent too bad. Pick your poison. DO get M Sport. My honest opinion is though unless you make $100k a year, or live at home and have a decent job, not a good idea. If you decide to buy the ticket, extended warranty is a great idea. A GOOD one. I have a nice house, toys, healthy retirement and nice cars paid for by Munich's finest. Some people think I'm in ******* and have no clue and the cars are "reliable and not that bad", but hey what do I know, I have only been working on them for 15 years. PM me if you want and I can run your prospects through BMW database and see what if any warranty is left and whats been done.
      Last edited by mikes96GTI; 11-09-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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      11-10-2012 02:32 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by mikes96GTI View Post
      Also known for trans issues, but not as much. .
      All E60's use the same transmission, the leaky trans seems to happen no matter what the model. I agree with everything in this post though. To me, the E60 is one of the "basic options only" cars. The E60 forum on bimmerfest is very informative.
      Last edited by TangoRed; 11-10-2012 at 02:46 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by DamienR8 View Post
      in 2038 you will have the ability to think of a car, then your body will actually turn into a car, then you will die in an accident.

    27. 11-10-2012 02:42 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by mikes96GTI View Post
      550 if you want a powerful cruiser with a good V8 note, the 535 if you want to tune it and play. They are a nice car, handle fantastic, look good, and have power. That being said, BOTH will cost you money to keep.

      550 will cost you money in oil leaks (I just did $3900 worth on a 2005 745 yesterday, same basic motor valve covers, timing covers, lower pan, trans pan, vacuum pump, the alternator arm bracket seal is like another $1k) and trans issues are common. We are seeing that some N62 motors are needing valve guide seals. Granted they are not TU's as the 550 has, but its the same motor essentially so we expect them to go too. Small block chevy, easy. BMW not so much. Requires special tools and is an upper 4 figure repair.

      The 535 will cost you money in turbo, carbon, injection issues and probably cats as it accumulates mileage. Also known for trans issues, but not as much. It also has the wonderful POS electric water pump that lasts 30-60K miles. Anything beyond is just waiting for death.

      The box they come in is reliable i.e. windows, sunroof, seats. They will BOTH have quirky electronics though. Suspension bushings usually around 60K miles up front arent too bad. Pick your poison. DO get M Sport. My honest opinion is though unless you make $100k a year, or live at home and have a decent job, not a good idea. If you decide to buy the ticket, extended warranty is a great idea. A GOOD one. I have a nice house, toys, healthy retirement and nice cars paid for by Munich's finest. Some people think I'm in ******* and have no clue and the cars are "reliable and not that bad", but hey what do I know, I have only been working on them for 15 years. PM me if you want and I can run your prospects through BMW database and see what if any warranty is left and whats been done.
      Your scaring me as I'm looking to get an early E60 In the next year

    28. Member mikes96GTI's Avatar
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      11-10-2012 12:13 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      All E60's use the same transmission, the leaky trans seems to happen no matter what the model. I agree with everything in this post though. To me, the E60 is one of the "basic options only" cars. The E60 forum on bimmerfest is very informative.
      Yes and no. They are all ZF 6 speeds. The six cylinder cars take the 6HP19, but there are several different part numbers. Whats different? Probably the mechatronics unit. The V8 cars use the same 6HP26 thats in the 7 and 6 series. Again, all with different part numbers. You are right, the leaky trans issues covers all of them. They updated the sealing sleeve a few years ago, but they still leak. They then told us some "seepage" is normal. B.S. a leak is a leak. The pans warp and leak (I have an Alpina aluminum forsale to fix that ) but with higher mileage cars, we have seen leaks in the bell housing from the torque converter seal, bolts, and pump seals. We CAN and have taken the trans apart and reseal it, but I don't recommend it due to the cost, and if the trans has been in a car that long, it needs to be replaced soon anyway most likely. We're talking north of 100K.
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      11-10-2012 12:45 PM #29
      Reading on Bimmer forums, the E60 545 is the one to avoid, there's a lot of engine issues from oil leaks to electronics to block issues. The 550 on the other hand, has most, if not all of those kinks worked out.

      Basically if you never plan on modding, the 550i is the way to go. Plus the factory sport wheels are one of my favorites on ANY car. The 535i responds well to mods, and you can get AWD. They are both fast out of the box.

      Personally, I'll take the 550. It's like a E39 M5 with a few less ponies, in a nicer interior. You can get the 550 to the 380-400 hp range with bolt ons and have a nice little ride.

      If you're going auto, you might as well just get a E55. They're cheaper and TONS faster
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      11-10-2012 01:26 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Internal Combustion View Post

      If you're going auto, you might as well just get a E55. They're cheaper and TONS faster
      cheaper to get, yes
      cheaper to maintain, maybe, however for the price range you are looking at you can get an extremely clean one

      regarding the oil leak issues, due to inferior gasket material?

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      11-10-2012 01:56 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by Internal Combustion View Post
      If you're going auto, you might as well just get a E55. They're cheaper and TONS faster
      another good point

      was going to recommend amg-something or other earlier but saw the 6spd requirement...

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      11-10-2012 02:25 PM #32
      550 is a monster! ive driven some stupid fast 550s, 335s m3s, m5s 6 you name it ive driven it. The 550 is still my favorite.
      Quote Originally Posted by SlammedGolfIII View Post
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      11-10-2012 02:30 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      another good point

      was going to recommend amg-something or other earlier but saw the 6spd requirement...
      I would not want to touch an older AMG with a 20 foot pole unless it still had a MB CPO warranty, but at this point those would all be expired on an E55 anyway.

    34. 11-10-2012 03:05 PM #34
      E55 is so antiseptic though Not to mention for some reason mbs feel like bargain baller once your driving the last gen .

      The E60 chassis still looks new to me

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      11-10-2012 04:43 PM #35
      Wait, reliability concerns are being mentioned and you guys are suggesting AMG alternatives?

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