BMW_E60_535i_Forgestar_F14_RaceGold-9

Forgestar F14 19×9.5 DC / 19×10 SDC Race Gold with Toyo T1 255/35-19 / 275/30-19 Tires + H&R 5mm Spacers

The E60 BMW 5-Series is a great platform – it has great lines, but some of the stock features are a bit drab. When you bought a BMW, the last thing you wanted was to disappear into the crowd like a White Toyota Camry in the Disneyland parking lot – so with the price of the E60 platform dropping, there’s no better time to consider customizing your 5er to reflect your style and personality. Show the world who you are. When you roll up to the valet, he doesn’t know how much horsepower you have, but he sure as hell knows how your car looks. Much like the valet, the rest of the world is looking at you. Are you worth being looked at?

In this post we’ll cover a few of the options out there for the E60 BMW 5-series to clean up its exterior and beef up its performance. Here are 8 great ways to mod your BMW E60 5-series.

#1 Clean Up The Details

We’ll start with the small and super easy stuff – BMW E60 exterior accessories. In the USA, the Bimmers we get have amber front reflectors, they really stand out and are generally unpleasant to look at – a set of Painted Front Reflectors for BMW E60 eliminates the nasty amber blob for a cleaner aesthetic.

Besides the amber reflectors, us USA spec cars are burdened with the need to have somewhere to actually mount a front license plate – if you live somewhere that cares about enforcing that anyways.

(E92 shown for illustration purposes, the mount is the same for ALL late model BMWs with a tow hook port)

A No-Holes front plate holder for BMW E60 mounts using the tow-hook mount that’s already a part of the front bumper as factory, without the need to drill into the bumper to mount that ghastly front license plate bracket. God forbid the dealer actually drilled your bumper, it’s not the end of the world either.

(Z3 shown for illustration purposes only)

Painted bumper plugs for BMW E60 cover up the blemishes left behind by the dealer mounting that ridiculous front license plate bracket, and the bumper plugs are paint matched exactly to your factory colors.

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The chrome trimmed OEM kidney grilles somehow look a little too blingy for the rest of the E60’s lines, so most owners choose to eliminate the chrome kidneys in favor of Carbon Fiber or Matte Black Kidney Grilles for BMW E60 5-series, which lends to a clean look by eliminating the extra flash – we even offer a full grille blackout package for E60 M5s.

#2 Lose The Wheelgap with a Drop

BMW E60 550i - Matte Black M310 - agwheels

BMW E60 550i – Matte Black M310 – agwheels


One of the next best things you can do for the aesthetics and performance of your 5er is to give it a healthy drop. Like the E90s, your E60 suspension is likely showing its age, so many owners find it simpler to just get coilovers rather than replace both springs and shocks.

The lifespan of the average shock absorber is approximately 5 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. The seals wear out and the oil inside leaks out or loses its viscosity. Since the shocks are worn out, if you’re thinking about lowering your E60 5-series, Vogtland’s Sport Suspension kit for E60 BMW 5-series is an ideal solution, including both springs and shocks all in one go for $699, a great choice for those who want a lower ride height but want to maintain like-factory ride quality.

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While lowering springs are the simplest way to lower the car, it’s worth saying that it’s the same amount of effort to install coilovers. Literally, the install cost is the same. So, when you factor in that a lowering spring won’t work well with a worn out OEM shock, and will also contribute to the OEM shocks having a shorter lifespan – it’s almost cheaper to just get coilovers anyways.

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BMW E61 535xi on Rohana RC10 Matte Black 20×9 ET35 / 20×9 ET35 245/35-20 Nexen Tires

Lowered on H&R Springs 

Popular choices for lowering springs for the E60 include Eibach Pro-Kit Springs, H&R Sport Springs and Vogtland Lowering Springs.

With the E60 suspension, thanks to the popularity of the E60 M5, has a wealth of coilover options available to you, there’s something to fit your driving style and budget.

If you’re on a tighter budget, Solo-Werks S1 Coilovers for the BMW E60 5-Series are an impossible-to-beat value, offering a high quality shock that’s been spec’d out specifically for the E60 platform by former KW suspension engineers with adjustable ride height all for under 5 benjamins – they’re no frills and the shocks aren’t adjustable, but in all honesty most people never touch their adjustments. Solo-Werks coilovers are designed for the grass-roots racer and are priced to fit that kind of budget, so they’re a more race oriented coilover.

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ST Suspension Coilovers for BMW E60

ST Suspension Coilovers for BMW E60 are another great option featuring galvanized coilover bodies paired with ST Suspension Springs, mated to adjustable perches to allow you to dial in your ride height to get the perfect look.

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Unlike most vehicles, the E60 5-Series Coilovers will be a full set of four threaded shock bodies and perches rather than just a set of two “coilovers” up front with an adjustable spring/performance shock in the rear, meaning the E60 will really benefit from a brand new set of shocks and springs to replace the worn out OEM units – and that’s even before you factor in the added performance benefits of better performing components.

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ST Suspension Coilovers for BMW E60 BMW_E60_ST_COilovers_img005

ST Suspension Coilovers for BMW E60

Also in the budget range but focused on comfort for street driving are Vogtland Coilovers for E60 BMW 5-series, which feature a KW shock body spec’d out to maintain OEM ride quality as much as possible, paired with Vogtland‘s own progressive rate springs if you’re concerned about the comfort of your daily driver. These coilovers are fixed damping, but the tradeoff is that they’ll set you back just $849.99.

 

If you want adjustability and can spare the extra scratch, KW Suspension Coilovers for E60 BMW 5-Series are an outstanding choice, as seen on the E60 528i below.

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KW Coilovers for BMW E61

Other adjustable coilover options for the E60 include H&R Street Performance Coilovers, CKS Suspension Coilovers and BC Racing BR-Series coilovers for E60 BMW 5-Series.

If you want control over how much drop you have, you’ve gotta do coilovers, no way around it. It’s also worth mentioning that after you drop the car with springs or coilovers, you have the car aligned approximately a week later to ensure the car’s tracking straight.

BMW_E60_535i_Forgestar_F14_RaceGold-10

Forgestar F14 19×9.5 DC / 19×10 SDC Race Gold with Toyo T1 255/35-19 / 275/30-19 Tires + H&R 5mm Spacers

#3 Break Necks with The Right Wheels

Believe it or not, just the wheels alone are one of the simplest ways to make a dramatic change in the appearance of your BMW E60 5-Series. The OEM wheels leave a lot to be desired, so we offer a massive array of wheels for E60 BMW 5-Series and have many wheels in stock for E60 fitments.

There are many great wheel options out there for your 5-series, but here are a few of our most popular options:

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E61 BMW 535i on Forgestar F14 19×9.5 ET24 / 19×10 ET32 on Hankook V12 Evo2 Tires

Forgestar F14 Wheels for E60, which are made to order and customizable in terms of concavity, offset and color – they’re made for your exact E60 with all of its quirks.

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Forgestar F14 Textured Gunmetal 19×9.5 SDC / 19×11 SDC on 245/40-19  275/35-19 Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires on KW V3 Coilovers

BMW E60 M5 Blue Forgestar F14 20x95et9 20x11et29 SDC-2

Forgestar F14 Gunmetal 20×9.5 ET9 / 20×11 ET29 Super Deep Concave
Michelin Pilot Super Sport 255/35-20 / 295/30-20

The depth and concavity of the F14 works brilliantly to bring out the curves of the E60.

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E60 BMW M5 on Forgestar F14 20×9.5 / 20×11 with 255/35-20 295/30-20 Michelin Pilot Super Sport on H&R Springs + RDSport Sway Bars

We are able to get a hold of nearly any brand wheels and tires at ModBargains, even if you don’t see the item listed on our site – ask a Mod Expert if you don’t see what you’re looking for – odds are we can get that for you at a great price.

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E60 BMW M5 on Forgestar F14 Silver 20×9 ET18 / 20×10.5 ET25
with 255/30-20 / 285/30-20 Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires

There are some great options available is from VMR Wheels that work well with the E60 – check them out below.

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VMR V710 Gunmetal 20in

The

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VMR Wheels V718 Wheels for BMW E60 pairs beautifully with the lines of the E60 like the one above.

BMW 535i - 20x8.5" / 20x10" Matte Black M310

Avant Garde M310 Matte Black 20×8.5 / 20×10

BMW 535i - 20x8.5" / 20x10" Matte Black M310

Avant Garde M310 Matte Black 20×8.5 / 20×10

Avant Garde M310 Wheels for BMW E60 are also a popular option, shown here in Matte Black finish, and they’re also available in hyper silver or can be powdercoated any color you want (for an added fee).

Avant Garde also has a couple other styles that look great, like the Avant Garde M359.

BMW E60 535i (Grey) - Hyper Silver M359 - agwheels

BMW E60 535i on Avant Garde M359 Hyper Silver

BMW E60 535i (Grey) - Hyper Silver M359 - agwheels

BMW E60 535i on Avant Garde M359 Hyper Silver

BMW E60 535i (Grey) - Hyper Silver M359 - agwheels

BMW E60 535i on Avant Garde M359 Hyper Silver

Lastly, the Avant Garde M510 is another stellar option.

BMW 550i - 19x8.5" / 19x9.5" Satin Silver M510

BMW 550i – 19×8.5″ / 19×9.5″ Satin Silver M510

Avant Garde is just one of many great wheel options for the E60.

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BMW E61 535xi on Rohana RC10 Matte Black 20×9 ET35 / 20×9 ET35 245/35-20 Nexen Tires

Lowered on H&R Springs 

20’s work especially well on the E60, and a bigger set of wheels is a great compliment to any drop – check out the square fitment 20x9ET35 Rohana RC10 Wheels for BMW in matte black on this E61 Touring. As is typical of Rohana Wheels, the RC10s feature a concave face and larger diameter fitments that look great on bigger cars – and the lines and larger size of the RC10 works brilliantly with the longroof design language.

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Not sure what wheel options are the best fit for your style and budget? Ask the Mod Experts – call us at 714-582-3330 for advice or chat live at ModBargains.com

#4 Be Heard & Seen With An Exhaust

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The OEM exhaust is a bit on the quiet side on the 5er, and the single side exit on everything short of the M5 leaves some people feeling a bit cold. While the exhaust for E60 BMW 5-Series is good for SOME power, but it’s mostly for sound.

For the exhaust, you have a few options. If you want a refined, European sound without a lot of drone, look no further than a system from Remus Exhaust. As the OEM exhaust manufacturer for the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes, Remus exhaust systems have a refined european character, no earbleed-inducing drone like you might have with a more aggressive system, and are available for the E60 in several configurations… Check them out below.
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The Remus Single Exit exhaust for E60 525i & 530i looks great on the car, sounds great and doesn’t require cutting your bumper or valance.
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Got a 4.4 or 4.8L BMW 545i or 550i? Make it sound like a V8 with a Remus Single Exit Exhaust for BMW E60 545i and 550i.

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Want a quad exhaust? It’s tricky to do a custom setup on your E60, however Remus offers a few great quad options.
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Feeling aggressive? Check out the Carbon Fiber trimmed Street Race quad tips on the 528i above.
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Straight polished tips are another great choice, offering a classic Euro-tuner kind of look.
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Remus also offers an exhaust system for the E60 BMW M5. The Remus Exhaust for E60 BMW M5 is an axle-back style system that delivers more horsepower and torque with a more authoritative sound, without ruining the usability of the car. Muscle sound without the headache of louder systems.
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Among other options is the Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust for E60 535i, which yields a tidy power gain and a much deeper, cleaner tone.
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Magnaflow’s exhaust for the 535i is a true cat-back system, which is why it’s able to deliver a 10hp / 15tq gain at the wheels.
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Not to mention the large dual tips give the rear end a more aggressive character.
BMW_E60_550i_16559_Magnaflow_Exhaust_img000MagnaFlow Cat-Back Exhaust for 2006-10 BMW 550i [E60] w/Dual 3.5in Tips
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 Magnaflow also offers a system for the V8 545i and 550i. This single exit exhaust system will make your 4.4L or 4.8L V8 actually SOUND like a V8, giving you the burble and rumble you expect from a Magnaflow exhaust.
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This system isn’t without horsepower gains either, yielding a 9whp / 12tq gain as well.
Billy Boat Axle Back Exhaust for 2004-10 BMW 535i img003

Other options include Billy Boat’s Exhaust for E60 535i (pictured above) for a more aggressive tone.

Billy Boat Axle Back Exhaust for 2004-10 BMW 535i img002

Also an Axle-back style exhaust system, the Billy Boat exhaust is one of the more aggressive options.

Offering an outright silly power gain of 15hp and 30tq, the Billy Boat Exhaust for E60 BMW 535i is as potent as it is loud.

Billy Boat Performance Exhaust for 2004-10 530i 545i e60 img003

For the 545i and 530i, the Billy Boat Exhaust for E60 545i & 530i also offers significant power gains along with a much more aggressive, deep growl.

BMW_E60_M5_Forgestar_F14_Valli_Khan (12)If you want your M5 to have that authoritative, head-turner exhaust note, look no further than the Eisenmann Exhaust for E60 BMW M5.

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With its bold quad 120mmx77mm Oval Tips, this system looks as good as it sounds. Have a listen to the sound clip below.


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#5 Get A Facelift with a New Set of Bumpers

The majority of E60’s out there weren’t M5’s or M-Sport/M-Tech models, which means the OEM bumpers are present, and they’re not exactly the sharpest thing out there.

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Converting to an M5 Style Front Bumper for BMW E60 5-Series is a popular option, changing the look of your 5er with a simple direct fit OEM type front end.

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Forgestar F14 Textured Gunmetal 19×9.5 SDC / 19×11 SDC on 245/40-19  275/35-19 Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires onKW V3 Coilovers

Should you want to do more, the M5 Style Side Skirts for BMW E60 5-Series are also available – and of course, an E60 M5 Style Rear Bumper for non M 5-Series to match.

If you don’t want to rock the quad exhaust, an M-Sport Style Rear Bumper for E60 BMW 5-Series is a great way to change up your look and also gives you the ability to change out the rear diffuser.

There aren’t as many options for the 5er, so you can either replace it with an OEM Style Carbon Fiber E60 MSport Diffuser, or a 3D Style Carbon Fiber E60 MSport Diffuser for Quad Exhaust is also available for those running duals or quads that want that more aggressive look without an M5 rear bumper.


You can also spice up the look of your 5 with a Carbon Fiber Front Lip for E60 MSport, like the one pictured above to give your E60 more visual flair.

#6 Shut Em Down With Beefed Up Performance


The powerplants available for the E60 are radically different from one another – but one thing’s for sure, you CAN get more power out of any 5-series. Whether you’ve got an N/A 525i, 528i or 530i, Twin Turbo 535i, V8 545i/550i or the mighty V10 powered M5, an intake, tune and cooling mods (Oil Coolers, BIG Intercooler for 535i’s) we’ve got plenty of options available. An Air Intake for BMW E60 will allow your engine to breathe more freely, giving you improved throttle response and enhanced horsepower and torque, and a E60 Performance tune will really wake up the performance of any turbocharged 5er.
Check out our guide to BMW 535i E60 Performance mods here.

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The Injen Intake for BMW E60 535i yields a rather impressive gain of +11whp / +14wtq, not to mention you can hear the turbos of your N54 Twin Turbo Six sing.

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dinan high flow air mass meter and intake assemblies

If you’ve got an M5, we’ve got a great way you can beautify your engine bay while adding some serious power – Dinan High Flow Mass Air Meter Assemblies for BMW M5 [E60] yield a 21hp gain and significantly improved throttle response, not to mention the gorgeous carbon fiber accents.

Another great way you can pick up power is with a set of Power Pulleys for E60 BMW M5. These pulleys result in a staggering 30 horsepower gain and 24lb/ft of torque.

Check out the dyno graph – that’s some serious power.

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Take your throttle response to the next level with a set of ported Dinan High Flow Throttle Bodies for E60 BMW M5. The E60 M5 features an independent throttle body type intake setup (whereas most cars have just one or two throttles, this is a throttle for each cylinder.) that delivers crazy fast throttle response, but everything can always be improved, and such is the case here.

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Good for a conservative 7hp gain and 5tq improvement across the rev band, these ported throttle bodies are the last word in throttle response.

Want even MORE power out of your M5?

While we covered getting power out of the E60 535i in the Best Power Mods for E60 535i, what if you’ve got a 523i, 525i, 528i or 530i?

Pick up power on your N51, N52 or N53 inline six with a BMS Power Box for BMW 523i/525i/528i/530i [E60] for a higher rev limit, better throttle response and an 8-10whp/8-10wtq gain on a stock car, this is the option for you.

Sprint Booster for 2001-2015+ E60, F07, F10, F11 BMW 5series, M5 [SBBM0011S]

One more great goodie for more go when you press the pedal is the Sprint Booster Module for all BMW E60 models.

Sprint Booster for 2001-2015+ E60, F07, F10, F11 BMW 5series, M5 [SBBM0011S]

This simple module interfaces with your accelerator pedal to override the computer that might be limiting throttle response and converts your accelerator pedal to a 1-to-1 conversion of throttle to pedal pressure. What that means is when you floor it, the throttle opens 100%, as the good lord intended.

With added go-power, of course, you need the stopping power to match… which brings us to.

#7 Stop The Freight Train with Beefy Brakes

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The 5-Series isn’t exactly the lightest thing on the block. It’s a big boy, and it weighs a lot. When you get a lot of weight moving, it takes a lot of effort to STOP that weight. That’s why when a freight train gets going 60mph, it can take MILES to stop. But you don’t have miles. You might just have a few car lengths.

Brakes are a wear and tear item, like oil changes – you’re going to have to buy brakes and spend that money no matter what you do, and spend the labor/time installing them, so as long as you’re at it, why not put something better in, since you have to anyway?

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StopTech Stage 2 brake package is a simple and surprisingly affordable way to enhance your stopping power for a whole lot less than of the cost of a Big Brake Kit. No matter how you look at it, superior stopping power is going to be an improvement your car – stopping faster means a greater margin of safety, and better brakes means you can brake later on the track to make that overtaking pass.

#8 Light Em Up with Upgraded Exterior Lighting

BMW OEM E60 LCI Tail Lights Lit

Early production E60 models featured incandescent bulb lit tail light and headlight assemblies, which have a yellowy light output, slow response time and are almost always dimmer than more modern technologies like HID (high intensity discharge) and LED. We’ve discussed HIDs and how they work at length before, but they’re still a great upgrade for an BMW E60 lighting – a Diode Dynamics HID kit for BMW E60 is a great way to enhance your night time visibility.

OEM BMW LCI LED Tail Lights for BMW E60 5-series are a great way to modernize the rear end aesthetics of your 5-series, and a set of Projector Fog Lamps can dress up your front end if you weren’t equipped with factory fog lights.

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The E60 is also equipped with factory “halos” or “Angel Eyes” around the headlight that work based on the principles of fiber optics – a light element shines the light into the halo rings from elsewhere – upgrading that light element will give you the crisp white or blueish white halo rings you’ve been looking for.

Compare the left side of the E60 above to the right hand side, which have been upgraded with GP Thunder H8 CREE LEDs – there are quite a few other options, like LUX H8 Color Adjustable LED Angel Eyes, which feature adjustable color temperature so you can have all of your lighting the exact shade you want.

LUX H8 V5 Color Adjustable Angel Eyes for BMWHere’s a photo of the LUX setup fitted to an E90.

Other upgrades for your lighting include LED Courtesy Lamps, LED License Plate Lamps, LED Luggage Compartment Lamps and clear or smoked LED E60 5-Series Sidemarkers.
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So that wraps up our roundup of the 8 best mods for the BMW E60 5-series platform – it’s worth noting though that this is a general guideline, for specific recommendations for your exact 5er, give us a call at 714-582-3330 and speak with our Modification Experts who can assist you with advice and suggestions for what might be the best fit for your needs.

SideSMWe hope you enjoyed this feature and found the information helpful! Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time.

Story by Nicholas Gregson
Select Photos Nicholas Gregson

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