Ok, car was delivered to me today after several delays due to a flat tire on the transport truck on the way up, but Brandon wanted me to post some pics, so here you go:
A bit of rust on the oil filter housing bracket, but this will be changed out when doing the S62 swap, so no worries:
There was a slight crack in the radiator at some point around the upper inlet neck and it sprayed all over the hood blanket, the wiring near the headlight, the oil filter housing bracket, fan shroud, etc, but it appears to have a new radiator, so all is well. A good cleaning on that while the engine is out will make it look nice and new again. If it gets a M5 fan shroud and radiator, it will be unnecessary anyways.
And the interior. This interior is unbelievably nice. The seats are super supple and clean. I've never felt seats this soft in an e38/e39 before, so it was quite an experience. The instrument cluster has very likely been replaced by BMW at some point, because all pixels work and it being a FL car for it's whole life would have destroyed a regular cluster. I'm pretty sure it's one of the 2004+ clusters that shouldn't ever have pixels fail, but he's putting the M5 one in with the white LEDs and it's a 2004+ anyways, so no loss. The headliner is not perfect, but not bad at all. In a couple spots, you can see where the foam is deteriorating underneath the fabric. It's not bad enough to sag anywhere, but there are a couple places it looks like it was touched or bumped and it didn't come back out evenly. All that will be Alcantara in the future anyways, so no loss there either.
All the Vavona trim is immaculate, though could probably use a polish to get rid of some swirls, but no cracks. The StarTAC phone cable was basically destroyed by the sun, but more than likely I would imagine he'll put a standard cell phone delete cubby there or cut the cable off like I did on mine. It also came with two sets of what look to be OE floor mats. One set is the original and has the BMW embroidered in the driver side floor mat, but the other set appear the same, minus the BMW lettering. The trunk mat looked like it was completely unused and it comes with the factory netting.
The subwoofer speakers are blown and sound pretty awful when you turn up any bass, but the rest of the speakers sound decent. The nav display seems to have all its pixels, but it appears that the polarizer was messed up or something, because you have to look at it at a certain angle to be able to see it, like looking at a negative of it. It's going to be replaced anyways.
The sunroof glass needs to be adjusted as one side rear part is a bit lower than the roof and the other side rear is above the roof and it's the opposite on the front edge. I'll be doing that to hopefully fix the wind noise issues Brandon mentioned to me. Shouldn't be a difficult fix.
Here's the interior pics:
Driver door had a bit of dirt around the handle, possibly from the driver of the transport truck:
In the next few pics, the lighter color over the tan is from the windows in my garage letting light through, not discoloration of the interior:
Exterior. The exterior is surprisingly nice, but there are some very minor flaws. Nothing that can't be easily dealt with, but Brandon wanted full disclosure.
There is a small rock chip that has caused a small dent on the hood about in the middle. There is a small rock chip on the driver side fender. The passenger side grill has broken clips, so it doesn't stay in place well, but the driver side one is perfect. I wish my passenger side grille was in good shape, as I would just swap it over for him. The OE side marker lens gaskets are torn and kind of hanging out around the outer edges of them, but I'm going to put my all clear turn signal lenses on instead. It'll look awesome with the Alpine White and the nearly new looking headlight lenses. Speaking of the headlight lenses, it looks like the passenger side lens was hit by something and has a pretty good size crack in it, but getting a new OE lens will make it match the driver side one perfectly, so no worries there.
The cowl rubber around the bottom of the windshield is all cracked and a bunch of pieces have broken off, so he's going to be replacing that. There is a tiny scratch in the passenger side fender that looks like someone tried to touch it up with some wrong color touch up paint at some point, or it could possibly be some plaster like substance that dripped on the fender. My buddy is going to be detailing the exterior of the car with some paint correction, so we'll see if it's something to worry about or if it goes away easily.
The drip rails are missing the rubber on the rear 'C' pieces and the driver side one has separated from its clips. I could fix the clip problem with some epoxy or 3m adhesive tape like I did, but the missing rubber makes that fix moot. Getting new ones would probably be the best course of action, but it will require repainting the shadowline trim around the windows so it all matches. It's just a bit sun-faded currently.
The trunk struts are pretty much shot, so new ones are in order. Fortunately, they are pretty cheap.
Ok, time for the performance/ride quality/issues part. Me and a couple friends took a drive around to test the ride quality, performance and general maintenance of the car. I had my buddy ride in the back to see how it rode back there and how the seats felt, and he's like, "this is how this car was supposed to be", so good report from there. The A/C worked well enough, but I'm starting to think that it just doesn't work as well as the e39 system, since both my e39s feel way colder, while my e38 feels pretty much the same. The suspension felt perfect for the car. It wasn't too stiff, nor too soft and seemed to handle exactly as a low mileage suspension should, but I understand that Brandon had the car on the lift and noticed that the rubber boots on the control arms were all shot, so I'm guessing those will be replaced in short order preventatively to keep them from failing prematurely. The drivetrain felt perfect, with no slop in the on/off throttle, no weird noises, no play, no shuddering and the transmission shifted perfectly through the gears. We checked it in normal and sport mode and sport mode seemed to be holding the gears pretty long, which I think is pretty normal, but I don't have autos anymore. Normal mode felt perfect for this car.
Performance was quite good, but it felt sluggish at low RPMs for some reason. In checking the codes after I got it back, it has a CPS bank 1 code, so I'm thinking changing that out might restore the lost performance. I also noticed that the accelerator pedal feels like a cable driven one, which is indicative of the early pedals that were improved upon with the e39 pedals in 2002+ or so. It's not necessarily a problem, but having a newer pedal will definitely improve the response feel from the engine. I did it on my e38 and it's much better.
There was a ABS/DSC/Brake trifecta on it, but I cleared the codes and it hadn't come back, though I haven't driven it yet to see if they come back. It did have a code for one of the ABS sensors giving an implausible value, so if that code comes back, I'll swap it with one of mine and see if it fixes it. I haven't been able to clear the DSC code though saying that the Steering Angle Sensor needs to be calibrated. I've tried to calibrate it and make sure it and the DSC module were matched, but it just doesn't want to clear the code in the DSC module, so I'm going to try to swap it with my DSC module and see if that fixes it. I recall having to do this on Redshift's M5T and replacing the module and coding it fixed the problem.
Overall, the car is super amazing, especially at the price he got it for. It's got just enough flaws that he won't feel bad modifying it, but it's nice enough that it's worth doing all these mods with it. Brandon, you're a lucky guy. I'm sure I'm going to get the talk from my neighbor thinking I've really started a used BMW car lot though