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I’m in the Bay too and I bought a 997tt from out of state, took 3 months to get it titled. You can get the VIN verification done at a 3rd party and if the car has never been titled/registered in CA then they can fully process it as well. It’s only if the car has been previously titled in CA that it has to go direct thru DMV and then you get the mess I ran into.
 

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AAA does out of state but I need either CHP or a private VIN inspector to verify the VIN. I'd rather not go to the CHP because of all the Dinan stuff. Even though it all has CARB stickers, it could create added confusion.
Dinan stuff won't matter if you have all the EO stickers
 

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01 Dinan S2
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Discussion Starter #44
Picked the car up this Saturday in Medford OR and realized I was pretty close to Crater Lake National Park. Figured this would be the perfect first cruise before heading to my hotel in near Mt. Shasta. Here's some pics!

My first impressions are that the car is fast and very linear. There's no big turbo type moment. I'm coming from an Evo(sold), Sti (that I'm now looking to sell), and an E46 M3 and you almost don't realize how fast you're going in this car sometimes. The M3 is more linear than the two turbos, but there's a point at the high end of the rev band where it noticeably screams more. But in this M5, I passed two big rigs and some pickup on a long back stretch and was doing 110+ on the pass without realizing it. The fit and finish of the car is great too. I love the leather dash the most. The ride, which is still on the stock suspension is pretty compliant. This would be a pretty fun car to daily drive. And although the mileage is just ok, it's on par with other cars I've owned and the gas tank is bigger so it kinda feels better haha. I also never thought the stock wheels looked that great in pictures, but in person they look awesome. I love how deep the dish is on the rear wheels.

In my next post I'm gonna pose some questions.

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In between Lake Klamath and Mt. Shasta (which is in the background)

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01 Dinan S2
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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
A few questions though:
1. The car threw a CEL today (never fun when you've only had it a few days). The code was P0128, which I understand is an issue with the thermostat. After I read the code, the CEL went off. I'm taking the car to my preferred shop on 8/20, so just over two weeks away, to have them give it a once over. Since the CEL is off now, should i feel relatively confident driving the car?

2. Under certain conditions that I can't quite figure out, the steering wheel shakes pretty hard under breaking. I'm gonna have the shop look at the brakes but is there any M5 specific reason for this besides worn pads or rotors that might need resurfacing?

3. Is there any way to replace this center piece on the shift knob? I like the wood look so I don't want to change to an F10 knob (which I have on my M3 anyways)
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4. The digital display is missing a number of pixels. How expensive is it to have this installed? BMW Instrument Cluster LCD Display Silver Ribbon Cable DIY
I've seen the videos on how to do it and I don't think it's something I could take on.

5. The bass is pretty lacking. I've done some searching but if there's any latest and greatest method for mounting them in the stock sub area that would be great. The previous owner put in an older alpine HU and an amp. I also have a Pioneer 4500NEX in my STI. I know it won't fit without modification but I'd love to swap it out before i sell the subaru. Will it fit with just heating the airbox without cutting it?

6. There's some bubbling around the gas cap. I saw a thread in 2008 about this. Has this become a pretty common issue? Is there anything to be done about it?
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7. Are there any good general bulletproofing maintenance things? For instance, on E46 M3s, you want to do rod bearings, VANOS, and rear subframe reinforcement. I also put in a bigger radiator and electric fan on it.

8. There's some sort of rattle that's intermittent from the glove box/passenger airbag area.

9. There's also some sort of intermittent ticking issue that does not seem related to engine speed.
 

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Board member blackknight530i runs a business fixing the display called Fixels.

Take a look at the FAQ sticky. There is an immense knowledge base on this forum, but since it was purchased and s/w changed, it's not nearly as usable as in the past, but it's mostly still there. Honestly, as much as you can, ramp up your DIY skills and tools. These cars can eat one alive if using a shop. Years ago there was an attempt to gather many DIY threads, and you might find that useful - the 3rd post down has a ton of links.

If that's the code of plausibility of thermostat (it's been too many years now, so can't recall), it's a very common S62 problem (search, FAQ, etc). The tstat in the S62 is supposed to open at 79C. Use the "secret menu" (have to enable it using the VIN math, see FAQ) to follow the KTEMP (coolant temperature) as the engine warms up and you'll likely see it's opening sooner and then once at steady state (cruising on highway) it's reading some low value like 70C. The code will be more prevalent in cooler ambient temperatures.

Tstat replacement is very common on these engines, and the new one will work great for maybe 10k miles or so, and then if you follow KTEMP on warm-up, you'll see it start to open a bit earlier as time goes by. It's a relatively easy DIY, and much easier if you pull the plenum to get to the three tubes and be able to reinsert them straight. If not DIY, I think some shops charge a small fortune (like most other easy DIY jobs on this car).

The shaking is likely thrust arm bushings, then rotor deposits, then slightly stuck caliper(s), then wheel bearings in that order with the last two least likely. The thrust arms are easy to change as of course are the brakes.
 
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Amazing pick up, car looks great. Gas tank area bubbling, very common. My car is a cali car it's entire life, and that is the only part of the body that has rust. Just a poor design. I plan to have my local body shop sand the area down, treat it with POR15 and paint the area just to protect it from spreading further.

I too have an e46 m3 - very familiar with all the failure modes on that car. The e39 m5 in my opinion is way more reliable lol. General bulletproof things are the upper timing chain tensioner. The upper one that takes about 5 minutes to replace. At your mileage, the timing chain guides themselves are less of a concern, but it is still old plastic and they do deteriorate over time, so that is another general bulletproof item.

Reference pixel fix, I recommend Fixels:


Most of the issues my friends and I have had owning these cars are little, annoying issues. Camshaft sensors, leaky power steering, valve cover gaskets, etc.

Post up a video of the ticking noise. Lifters on these cars can be noisy if the car sits for a while, but a drive will typically cure that.
 

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Great car and trip, thanks for sharing! I agree with the two responses above.

1. TStat is very common and usually fails open
2. Agree w/ CSB - Thrust Arm bushings and/or Rotor deposits
3. Yup, unclip the boot and pull up (hard) on the knob. It will pop off.
4. Two options above are great
5. N/A as I haven't messed with the audio
6. Yup, common. If you watch it and keep the gas cap area dry after washes and rains, it usually won't spread or get any worse.
7. Mostly small stuff, agree with above responses.
8 & 9. Can't tell without hearing

Welcome and enjoy the car!
 

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01 Dinan S2
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Discussion Starter #50
Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll upload some videos of the ticking and rattling soon.

I've also contacted Fixel and will probably send my cluster to them within the next year since it's a lower priority fix.
 

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01 Dinan S2
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Discussion Starter #51
Wow also looking at the cost of replacement bruyere shift knobs makes the F10 one look a lot more tempting lol
 

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Ah Crater Lake, went there last summer and loved it. Hoping to get down there again this year.

As for the ticking, it could be the lifters, can happen if the car doesn't get driven much. Rattle could be the VANOS, also common and annoying, but nothing serious if it's minor.
 

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Hello folks!

....it reminds me of the now defunct M3forum.net in all the best ways. Excited to join the community...

Car has 79k miles on it so I think the only thing I'm planning on doing soon-ish is a suspension refresh, but I'd assume I can wait till I hit 100k? Other than that, it's basically got all the mods on it that I would want so maybe I'd upgrade the sound system. But I'm definitely just going to drive it for a while. Super excited!
M3Forum is defunct! Oh man...... that's where I got my start in the BMW world years ago, by far my favorite forum especially after M5board switched to a slightly improved but mostly less functional layout.

As far as the work the car will need, that depends on what hasn't been done yet. A basic checklist from my experience owning 3 M5s around 90-130k miles:

  • You mentioned your gas fill area is bubbled, this is damn near impossible to avoid unless you wipe it down every time it rains and keep the car garaged all the time. Have this repaired because it could get worse if you're not absolutely meticulous with your car care, regardless new paint and a rust protective coating will prevent the need for you to even think about that issue for the next 10 years. Best to avoid it spreading more.
  • Your glove box rattle is likely a normal E39 rattle/squeak. These cars are known to rattle/squeak in different spots in the interior. Years ago I found a site where someone details the repairs to fix all squeaks and rattles, don't have the link anymore but you may be able to find it (if you do, please share!)
  • Does your e-brake work on any inclined road? Careful, they're a super common point of failure, the e-brake just won't hold the car sometimes. I think people just overlook replacing parking brake shoes. Tightening the cables is a quick fix but not recommended as you're stretching the cables and the issue will be back in a couple thousand miles so just replace parking brake shoes, until then never leave the car off without being in gear. I once had my e-brake stop working on my inclined driveway while filming a video of my exhaust idling. I heard a pop and the car started rolling away from me, fortunately I left the door open so I ran faster than I've ever run in my life and got in the car before I hit anything (whew..)
  • I'm almost willing to bet your headlight adjusters are broken. If they aim too low at night, pop your hood and try to shaking the headlight from the back, the big red cables connecting to the xenon bulb, if it shakes then that confirms the issue. I can't imagine an M5 driven more than 5k miles that doesn't have this issue! Replace with Odometer Gears replacements, available on FCPEuro or other sites. Stronger plastic which won't break over time. If you do need to replace those though, look into having the headlights retrofitted with new projectors while they're open and new lenses if you want that silver Euro reflector look. New projectors are much, much better than the old ones and you'd be very pleased. You can DIY but it's not easy, a retrofit shop would charge somewhere around $500 to retrofit. Also replace bulbs with Osram CBI for pure white or CBB if you want a slightly bluer than pure white color (Osram are expensive but worth it). I went with Evo-XR 2.0 projectors because they're a drop in fit at stock mounting points and I did it myself.
  • Thermostats are common failure points so I'd replace it even though the code went away
  • Check your AUX fan, the front most fan in front of the rad. Turn car on with A/C on, if that fan isn't running it needs to be replaced.
  • When opening your hood, don't use the kidney grilles to pull the hood up, the grille clips end up breaking and the grilles will fall out. Just pull the lever and pull the hood up from the metal
  • I'll second other replies relating your shaking while braking to thrust arm bushings. Don't even worry about that, do a full suspension refresh, everything. That issue will be a distant memory and you'll be even more impressed with the car's performance and feel
  • MAFs always fail, if they haven't been replaced yet set aside the money or have it done as preventative
  • CPS (cam position sensors), like MAFs, always fail so reserve money or replace as preventative
  • IAT relocation mod if it hasn't been done yet. Increases performance when the car is hot
  • Fan Clutches seem to fail often, if yours has failed then consider upgrading to this OEM+ mod: here (link)
  • In addition to suspension refresh replacing your Koni shocks is a good idea if they're older than 50k
  • Replace all filters, cabin, intake, fuel, etc.
  • Do a fresh oil change and send a sample to Blackstone for an analysis, I do this often to ensure my engine's health
  • Power Steering lines like to leak, sometimes it's weather dependent
  • Not sure if the car has good tires but my favorite tires are Michelin PSS, PS3, and PS4. Grips similar to more track focused tries from other brands in the warm. And still unbelievably grippy in the cold! If that's not enough, they're quiet AND last much longer than other performance tires!
  • Get your alignment checked out, if you do the suspension refresh ASAP then wait but if you'll take some time before refreshing the suspension might as well do your alignment first then again after the refresh, I would anyway just to see how the alignment was before compares to after the suspension refresh
  • Don't forget to refresh steering parts as well, tie rods, center track rod, and idler arm. Getting all that old rubber out will make your steering feel much tighter
Those are some of the major things. There are plenty others but these are most common. I'm not an expert by any means, but owning 3 M5s will teach you a lot about these cars!

As far as a sound system upgrade, BavSound makes an OEMish upgrade which replaces the stock door speakers, but doesn't replace the sub. Regardless I'd go for that option first if I were to upgrade speakers. Not sure about the Pioneer amp the P.O. had installed, I know nothing about sound mods unless we're talking about exhaust 😂
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Yeah M3forum died an a lot of knowledge disappeared with it. Along with a ton of people's build threads. The previous owner basically went radio silent and some active members (including Obioban on here) have attempted to rebuild the forum at https://nam3forum.com/. It's a pretty wild story that I have gleaned some stuff about on this thread: What happened to M3Forum

Also, thank you @AVGVSTVS for the huge list of things to check! The e-brake is definitely weak on this car so it's good to know what the cause is.

Also the glove box rattle has since disappeared but here's a video of the ticking sound:

 
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