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So after buying my m5 from a local member on here (flaury23), I decided to tackle a few projects on the 2001 carbon black/caramel beauty.

I wanted to upgrade the oem radio to hualingan, clean up rest of interior and redye the leather and steam clean the carpets (infamous rear door vapor barrier leak onto rear carpets).

The front drivers seat was shot, peeling, discolored, you name it, just not ripped. The armrest was pretty bad as well (door handle and center console). All of the other leather parts had tiny scratches/peelings. I

'll post pictures here as I go along. Unfortunately I don't have before and after of all the parts, but you can get an idea of how nicely it can come out after putting some effort into it.

I used liquidleather from UK for my dye. I've tried leatherique dye 3 times (twice on my cinnamon m3, custom matched, and once on this m5) and their dye in my opinion is terrible for trying to match oem bmw. It feels like silicone, shines too much, feels a little tacky to the touch, etc. No matter how much prep work I did with leatherique, I could never get their dye to work. Perhaps that product is suited to other brand cars, not the somewhat matte finish of bmw leather it would work weather. The liquidleather came out very close to oem in look and feel. Leatherique's other products, however are great (rejuvenator and prestine clean). Most of the parts were colored with a brush using 3-4 coats, so it took some time. I'd say i spend probably 3-4 hours per part in total in small 1 hour intervals during week nights. I have two other bmw's so I was not in a rush to get it done.

Some pictures attached. Let me know what you think. This car has >140k miles.
 

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I think I'll be looking you up if/when my caramel deteriorates.

Care to share:
1. which specific liquidleather product and procedure you followed
2. whether you DID or HAD to redo the entire seat/panel, for fear of poor blending

Thanks.
 

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I think I'll be looking you up if/when my caramel deteriorates.

Care to share:
1. which specific liquidleather product and procedure you followed
2. whether you DID or HAD to redo the entire seat/panel, for fear of poor blending

Thanks.

I just followed the instructions they sent. I had zero blending issues. Some parts I just touched up in little spots and you cant tell that a penny sized circle in the middle of the leather was touched up. I didn't even send them a sample of my leather as they had just created a batch for another caramel bmw leather. I didn't use sandpaper this time as I did when doing leatherique because the caramel leather seemed so frail that I could take a good amount of it off with a brush included in the kit. I took off enough to show the leather underneath so that the dye would stick but not enough to create suede. I used a little of the leatherique prepping agent to get more of the old dye off as well. Key was doing alot of thin coats. On the last coat I mixed the liuqidleather dye with some gloss enhancer product (I think leatherique is already built in, hence its hard to match the glossiness). When dying I used 4 units of dye and 1 unit of water. For final coat I used 4 units of dye, 1 unit of water, 1 unit of gloss enhancer. I picked up some syringes from CVS to measure and some artists brushes from Michaels arts and crafts store. Key is just to take your time and not rush it.

I tried not to redye parts where the leather was in good shape, since I think oem is best. Probably half the door panels were not redyed below the armrest part, but you can't really tell unless you grabbed a magnifying glass. You can tell it was redyed if you look at the threads, as its hard to do anything about that.

I purchased the following

Leather Recolouring

500 ml kit for L63 (about 100 usd)

It took maybe 2-3 weeks to get here. Their cleaner is great but not enough for more than 2 seats & 2 door panels (250ml). I found Gliptone cleaner and leather conditioner is made in usa (long islany ny) and ordered a gallon of each to have for my other cars. The cleaner does seem to work a little harder than prestine clean from leatherique. I plan to strip the leatherique from my cinnamon m3 drivers seat and redo it with this dye.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is where I got the additional cleaner/conditioner from. The cleaner seems to be better than leatheriques prestine clean, but it is harsher and if you rub too hard it will take off some color. I wouldnt use it normally except gently. It seemed perfect for a redye job though since taking some color off is exactly what you'd want.

Leather Care
 

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Very nice and EXCELLENT info for us caramel seat owners. The caramel color seems to be much more fragile than the black (or at least more fragile than black sport seats). I was over at Mike S's house a while back and his black leather sport seats have considetably less wear than my caramel seats even though my car has less miles. When I bought my car last year the dealer had their "leather guy" touch up the seats and door panels (I saw before/after pics). He did a nice job, but a year later the dye has worn off almost entirely in the bolster area and I'm seeing wear in a few other "often touched" areas too. Given that I don't think the dealership's leather guys even remove the seats, I can't imagine they do anywhere near as thorough a job...after all, it only needs to look good long enough for them to sell!
 

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Very nice and EXCELLENT info for us caramel seat owners. The caramel color seems to be much more fragile than the black (or at least more fragile than black sport seats). I was over at Mike S's house a while back and his black leather sport seats have considetably less wear than my caramel seats even though my car has less miles. When I bought my car last year the dealer had their "leather guy" touch up the seats and door panels (I saw before/after pics). He did a nice job, but a year later the dye has worn off almost entirely in the bolster area and I'm seeing wear in a few other "often touched" areas too. Given that I don't think the dealership's leather guys even remove the seats, I can't imagine they do anywhere near as thorough a job...after all, it only needs to look good long enough for them to sell!


Right. I've had the same experience when buying cars with crappy temporary leahter redyes that probably took 30 minutes to do. They tend to crack and fade into a darker color than the rest of the leather after awhile for some reason (probably unsealed or something that traps the dirt more). Time will tell whether this will hold up but I'll update this thread in the future. I'm certainly very happy that the feel of the leather is close to natural/oem than the plasticky feel you get from some other dyes.
 

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Thanks for this. You seem to have had more luck than I did. I too have caramel interior, which I cleaned with GT12 cleaner and then conditioned with GT11 conditioner. The seats do look a lot better, but several weeks later they are still sticky and are picking up lint from clothing. How do you prevent the stickiness? Have I applied too much conditioner?
 

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-Useful post...thanks.My drivers seat needs some serious attention as its cracked etc.
 

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Thanks for this. You seem to have had more luck than I did. I too have caramel interior, which I cleaned with GT12 cleaner and then conditioned with GT11 conditioner. The seats do look a lot better, but several weeks later they are still sticky and are picking up lint from clothing. How do you prevent the stickiness? Have I applied too much conditioner?


I used the cleaner, then conditioner, then cleaner again.

Also when redying there is some other chemical that removes all grease/contaminants from the surface and smells pretty bad (gasoline-ish). Some sort of solvent. I'll try to look it up when i get home. I dont think you would need this if you were just treating your seats though. I dont have too much experience with the gt11 conditioner though. It's primarily for this projected and i'd just leatherique rejuvenator instead otherwise.
 

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GREAT post, much appreciated!

Timing couldn't be better, my Caramel interior probably needs a re-dye as well, but I'm having trouble finding a shop/person in my area who I trust to do a good lasting job for a reasonable price instead of a worthless ripoff.

Your post gives me confidence to tackle this myself.

Thanks! :applause:
 

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skeelo - did you just tell them the make, model and interior color OR did you send them a swatch of leather? If the latter, where did you cut it from?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
GREAT post, much appreciated!

Timing couldn't be better, my Caramel interior probably needs a re-dye as well, but I'm having trouble finding a shop/person in my area who I trust to do a good lasting job for a reasonable price instead of a worthless ripoff.

Your post gives me confidence to tackle this myself.

Thanks! :applause:
It is not hard to do at all, you just need a little patience and take your time. I didn't have to take the seats out of the car but I wanted to get every little spot that I may have missed otherwise and I was cleaning my carpets anyway. If you do remove your seats, make sure to disconnect your battery or you will trigger airbag light. You can speed up the process by using a hairdryer between coats. The dye dries really fast, maybe 30 mins tops and cures in 24hrs or so. After 30 minutes you can apply another coat. So 4 coats on one front seat would probably take you around 3-4 hours to do your first time. I did the front seats in pairs so when I did the second seat, the first seat was already dry for another coat. It's a lot of time but cheaper than spending a few grand on new leather and somewhat enjoyable if you like this sort of thing. If you are afraid of doing it, I suggest trying a small part of your car first, ie handrest or something. You'll see how easy it is. I used to think this was something sophisticated but it's pretty trivial. Certainly not on the level of trying to sand, prime and paint your own bumper well.

One thing I will suggest is try to do it somehwere with somewhat low dust or flying particles. Make sure you vacuum really well in the seams because that will just come up later when you try to paint and get stuck in the brush otherwise. When you apply the dye, it should feel somewhat dry and not greasy. If it's greasy when you apply, the finish will likely last not as long and peel.
 

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skeelo - did you just tell them the make, model and interior color OR did you send them a swatch of leather? If the latter, where did you cut it from?

I was going to send them a swatch (probably from underneath rear seat) but when I emailed them they said they just received a swatch from someone else, so I took a chance and told them just to send me the same thing. When I did the leatherique dye, I sent swatches twice and each time the color was off and there was too much shine to it / felt like silicone.

The color code on my car was "WALK NAPPA/CARAMEL (M1CR)" if you need it.
 

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I was going to send them a swatch (probably from underneath rear seat) but when I emailed them they said they just received a swatch from someone else, so I took a chance and told them just to send me the same thing. When I did the leatherique dye, I sent swatches twice and each time the color was off and there was too much shine to it / felt like silicone.

The color code on my car was "WALK NAPPA/CARAMEL (M1CR)" if you need it.
How long ago did you order it (i.e. last few weeks) - if so I might just place an order now since they probably still have the swatch, etc.
 

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How long ago did you order it (i.e. last few weeks) - if so I might just place an order now since they probably still have the swatch, etc.

1/24/11. i'm sure they keep the sample on file for a long time.


this was the comment they sent me that day:
"we have a copy BMW "caramel" off a sample from a company that trims used BMWs, it is unlikely to be an exact copy, so if you can post a sample, we can mix to your car, the bigger the sample the better the copy, or you can risk the copy"

i took a chance and it matched.
 

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My black interior would need some refreshment. Is it the same process for black colored leather?
 
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