In Reply to: WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR $2,000??? posted by James on January 31, 2001 at 20:06:54:
Due to the age of any 535i, 13 to 16 model years, let's assume it's not mechancially perfect. Given that, I would first be concerned about the condition of existing components prior to spending anything on upgrades.
I'd check/replace all front end parts: tie rods, center link, idler arm, lower control and thrust (upper control) arms, sway bar links and sway bar bushings (available as a kit on Ebay starting bids @ $340) . Would upgrade to 750il thrust arm bushings (~$25/ea).
Would replace motor mounts (~$25/ea) and transmission mounts (~$20/ea), differential mount (~$75), rear sway bar bushings and links, and rear subframe mounts.
Replace rubber brake lines and maybe upgrade to stainless steel lines (SS avail. ~$100/set).
Under the hood, replace all heater/cooling hoses, belts and maybe replace/upgrade alternator bushings while in there. Replace all rubber fuel lines w/OEM material. Check/replace rubber intake ducts, and vacuum lines. Replace all fluids and filters.
The above listed items are things that first come to mind that will help preserve or restore the original performance, safety and reliability of the car, IMHO.
Next I'd target the tires & wheels. I'd locate OEM style takeoffs from a later BMW in 16 or maybe 17-inch size, can be found for $500-$1,000 w/tires depending on size, style, tires, etc.
Any cash leftover I would put towards an upgraded spring/shock system, (~$600+ depending on what you want). I think that all these things can be done for $2,000, or less, if you shop around for parts and do your own labor. I know because I've done it to my 535i (except the brakelines, that's next, maybe in conjunction w/a big brake upgrade.....)