BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. A few months ago I picked up my first M5 and have been enjoying it so far.

Being new to the forum, I figured I would give a summary of my past and current cars. They're not for everyone but hopefully some of you might find the history interesting. I've owned and modified 4 door cars for over 15 years so from the natural progression of things, it's no surprise I ended up with an E39 M5. My list includes a couple 95 Pontiac Bonnevilles, a 98 Infiniti i30, a 97 528i and an 07 Infiniti G35s.

The Bonnevilles have the longest history stretching back from 2002 till present. I molded in E39 headlights to both Bonnevilles. Both had cam/heads/headers and I still own the second one. I built the headers, exhaust, suspension for the second car as well as made it a 6 speed manual. As odd as it may sound, I learned a lot from these cars because I had to either make or adapt other things to mod them.




The i30 was a buddy's car that I helped 3.5l and 5 speed swap. I picked it up of from him and modded it a bit more while daily driving it for 7-8 years. I actually re-swapped it with a newer 3.5. The 3.5 swaps were done using the 3.0 static mechanical timing equipment and 3.0 ecu plus a piggyback. On the second swap I interpolated cam timing maps to choose and set (drill) my own timing. The car ended up trapping 106 mph and getting 30 mpg highway. I only managed a 13.3 1/4 but that was with a high 2.0 60' and failing clutch. I parted that car out last year because of 225k of rust belt action.



I picked up a G35s (6MT, STS, LSD) a couple years ago to replace the i30. While it's much nicer and right wheel drive, it just doesn't get up and go like my i30 did.



My first E39, the 528i, I got for free. It had been sitting for a couple years but ran and wasn't rusted out. The plan was to make it a relatively reliable winter beater and second car. Due to the initial price, it left a lot in the budget to get it in decent shape. I did valve cover, oil, trans and other gaskets, wheel bearings, ball joints, as well as other mechanical body and electrical repairs. Virtually everything I did to the car was easy and methodical. Everything came apart and went back easy. This basically showed me that if I decided to pick up an M5, any body or suspension repairs should be pretty easy. The car ended up going back to the family member it came from over the summer but with the intention of my wife and I borrowing it when we need to.



Early this year I started looking all over the US for M5s, just toying with the idea. Then I started to realize I could get into something with 100k miles for a reasonable price, especially if it's not a clean title. I really wanted to get something that's a little rough but mechanically sound to do a touring swap down the road.

Right before a work trip out to San Diego I noticed a ridiculously clean 109k mile Imola 03 in the LA area. It had a rebuilt title but good service records and a reasonable asking price. The seller had pictures of the damage that totaled the car and it wasn't much more than a bumper, fender with some other bits. The car matched the description and drove great so I picked it up a few days after taking a look at it. How clean it is kills the touring swap idea, but there's worse issues to have. The convenient part of buying the car on the west coast for me is I'll be moving to San Diego next year and I have a place to store it.

Between multiple trips out to San Diego already and a trip up to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree, I've put about 1k miles on it so far. I've also got some general maintenance and repairs in, all of which have gone smoothly.








Maintenance hit list from last weekend:
Spark plugs
MAFs
Cabin filters
Headlight level sensor and LCA linkage
Passenger rear license plate light
High concentration washer fluid pump
Regular washer fluid tank level sensor
Windshield trim
And I added some WeatherTech floor mats










The only other near-term items I'll be replacing are the fogs (one is cracked), R/L outer coverings for the bottom of the windshield, and trunk struts. I would like to do some mods down the line but for now it's just maintaining and enjoying it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.

@umichchris I think I know the Imola car you're talking about. It probably wasn't this one since it's spent most of it's time in my buddy's backyard in San Diego since August or so.. Unless my buddy isn't telling me something.. lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,168 Posts
Im pretty positive, I see the same dent in the roof around the sunroof. I also brought out two car jacks and some shop lights to check out underneath. Add to that, I’ve been searching online on all platforms nationwide for Imola, Sterling and Lemans cars. The only Imola in LA County the past 60 days was this one and one down near San Diego with 150k miles on the clock.

Check your Carfax, if this one was salvage title and was out in the north east a year ago before the rebuild, it's the same one.

Could be a different car, but def looks like the one i checked out. I'm not saying its a bad car...just triple check the full car history and make sure the title registers w/o issue. happy motoring man!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
It definitely sounds like another car. Your timeline doesn't make it possible. The title has been in my name since Mid-July. I did run a carfax prior to purchase and it's been registered in Cali it's whole life. The rebuild title was issued in '14.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,168 Posts
oh man, thats awesome to hear then! the one i saw was rough and the guys story was sketchy AF. he didnt even have the title, just a certificate of sale and application for rebuilt title. it was a damn mess. so im happy you didnt buy it....but i thought it was the same one from your photos. you dodged a bullet then! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Looks good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys.

The car clipped 111111 miles today. To celebrate it got a check engine light.

Codes, according to my Foxwell scan tool, which more or less matches up with (Table 18)
A3 - DME Reset ("Control unit self-test, master resets")
9E - DME Reset ("Control unit self-test, communication slave")
B3 - Catalytic Converter conversion, bank 2 ("Catalyst system efficiency, Cyl #5-8")
B9 - DME Function, exhaust VANOS, bank 1: control (Exhaust camshaft VANOS position control, Cyl #1-4")

I read that A3 and 9E are basically DME hiccups most of the time and can be ignored.
I'm not convinced there's any issues with the O2s since all 4 were replaced 6k ago. I'll see if that one comes back.

I reset and drove about 50 miles and only the B9 code came back on at the next key-on cycle.

So, time to replace the 111k mile cam position sensors and hope it's not a VANOS issue?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
"So, time to replace the 111k mile cam position sensors and hope it's not a VANOS issue? "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
I'd say d that and if doesn't help, then clean vanos solenoids/do the usual vanos boards fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Got ya.

I replaced all 4 cam position sensors today with BMW sensors (ECS got them to Cali in 2 days) but the code came back after a short drive.

As suggested, I'll follow the DIY link from this board next:

I know replacing the cam position sensors has been covered ad nauseam but here's some info and pics for anyone that comes across this thread. I decided to go from the top. Obviously the cabin air boxes and snorkels come out.

Bank 2 CPS was by far the easiest and the only one I could use the 3/8" driver and 3/8" 5mm allen socket for. As described in many other threads, there's a bracket attached to the engine harness that blocks the intake senors on both sides. Two 10mm bolts hold it to the head. Once these are removed the bracket can be pried back enough for a 1/4" hex driver and 5mm bit to fit in and remove the intake CPS bolts. Bank 2 sucks with the heater core connections in the way but it just takes a little more patience.

Using a 1/4" hex bit driver was completely essential for me, especially for the intakes and bank 2's exhaust. The Mulwark one pictured below broke on me allowing the bit to slide out of the back. Luckily the local auto parts place had a better driver.

Tools from left to right:
3/8" extension and deep socket - used as an extension for the hex driver for bank 2 exhaust sensor bolt
Better of the 2 1/4" hex drivers (Titan 11205) with 5mm bit not included with the driver
Broken hex driver
Flat head - For light prying
Standard 1/4" driver, extension and 10mm sockets - the varying lengths helped get around the heater hoses
Telescoping magnet - I actually used this to get the allen bolts back in place on the intake sensors
3/8" extension, sockets, hex bit and driver - I probably could have just substituted the 1/4" tools for these
Headlamp - This was a big help bank 2


Old vs. New BMW exhaust and intake sensors. The exhaust sensors came with new o-rings but the intakes didn't.



Some blurry call pics of the sensors on bank 1. The first shows the exhaust and the second shows how the aforementioned bracket on the left that shrouds the intake sensor and allen bolt. You can see the round bolt to the right of the sensor plug.




Hopefully that helps someone else down the line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I tested the solenoid boards as they came out of the car with a 2 amp 4.5v power supply. All solenoids worked testing at the solenoid, main board and the connector. I also checked the resistances at all the points. All were within spec, consistent and didn't change when the solenoids or wiring harness were moved around. The solenoids were all pretty dirty and none of the filters were intact. The filters were removed with all the old o-rings. The solenoids were cleaned with multiple rounds of brake clean and compressed air all while activating them. After cleaning the boards up I bridged the solenoid mini-board connections for good measure. Everything was re-checked and all the solenoids sounded consistent at the end.


After putting the boards back in, I let the car warm up and there was no CEL after a couple key-off/on cycles. But, after two short drives, the car got a CEL and it was the same B9 code..

So, I decided to swap boards to see if the problem followed. What's weird is, now there's no code at all. Before swapping the boards between banks, the CEL would come on after a short drive. I drove about 20 miles and keyed on-off multiple times but the code hasn't come back yet. It's weird that there hasn't been a smoking gun when trying to diagnose this but I’ll take it. Hopefully the issue is fixed.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,980 Posts
You likely have a leaking solenoid. When you switch banks the solenoids jobs all change. The car can tolerate a leaking noid if is an outlet noid but will not tolerate an intact noid leaking. If the intake leaks pressure keeps building and the vanos can move. If the outlet leaks then the piston loses pressure but since the spring plate has it all clamped down nothing happens. The only time a leaking outlet plays nasty is when it is leaking so bad that the pressure will not come up to take the spring pressure off.
You might want to pull the boards again and use a magnifying glass and see if maybe you have this going on.
934126

No matter how much air went through this little fibre would not come out
If there is nothing like that then the pintle is just not seating anymore the the noid has to be replaced. I think Clemster might still have some individual ones. Hard part is figuring out which one it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Do you mean magnifying glass trying to see in when the pintle is open?

When I was cleaning, I blew through both sides of the solenoid and I also filled the top with brake clean to make sure it didn't leak before I opened the solenoid to test it for flow down. I know gravity vs. 100 bar is totally different but I also wouldn't have missed anything in the opening that's visible like that. I spent hours between a few days messing with these things. However, there's a lot of space internally I can't see or access where crud could hide.

I thought B2's intake cam inlet/outet were now B1's exhaust cam inlet/outlet solenoids? Inlet for inlet and outlet for outlet but opposite cams on the different banks.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,497 Posts
Congrats on the purchase! Looks like you know how to handle doing the work yourself, which is a must on these cars especially as they age. You're on the right track with the cam sensors as PM and cleaning the boards. I would also suggest pulling them one more time, clean again just to be sure and take a close look as Sailor mentioned.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top