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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The weekend started so well. I had planned to do the brakes on the M5 today, namely

A - Change discs which were vibrating
B - Rebuilt callipers with fresh seals and pistons
C - Braided lines
D - Fluid

All was going well, nice sunny day and making good progress. Callipers are a little tricky to get together with the new seals but then I worked it out and we are off. Hit a problem where we could not get the old line off the car and I can see that the nut is starting to round. Its not a good fit on an 11mm and I recall someone on here rounding the end and needing new lines because of it so I elect to leave the lines and will get my mechanic to take a look.

Front done fairly quickly so we move to the rear. Jack it up and then it happens



Now, about 9 months ago I took all the trim off the bottom of the car and found the rust was quite bad. There was evidence that the car had been jacked off the jack point near the front and there were lots of small holes and lots of surface rust along both sills. Its a 1999 car thats lived for 5 years in Manchester (where it rains alot) so I stripped it all back, treated it and used Hammerite to ensure it rusted no more. However it appeared I left it too late, or rather, the problem had got too bad before I got the car.

As I see it, I have 3 options

1. Trade the car in
2. Fix the problem
3. Strip the car for parts and scrap it

There are advantages and disadvantages to all 3 options. Mechanically the car is in very good shape but cosmetically it is not. It needs new seat foam on the drivers seat (both pieces) there are rust spots all over it and some very minor scrapes. Both front and rear bumper needs re-doing and to be honest, it needs a total re-spray. Its trade in value (with 140k on it) is very low, somewhere around £3,000-3,500 I would guess.

I have no faith that the other jack points are not almost as bad as this one so if I fix it the cost would be large and I'd still have all the other issues (other rust and paint damage) that need addressing.

I have stripped M5's before and I think I could do quite well on the parts as the car still runs and hence everything works. It has blind, bluetooth, Nav etc and the engine is brilliant and uses no oil (still). However I'm quite attached to it despite its issues and I'm not sure I want to scrap it.

I said to myself that this would be my last M5 (I've had 3) as I cannot justify the £100 a tank anymore with the roads and traffic being so bad in the UK as I get to enjoy it properley so infrequently.

I'm going out for food now and will talk it over with my friend (brake helping man).

Its worth bearing in mind that you are all looking into the future (assuming you don't live in Florida or California) as I have seen this once before on a car in Seattle and all E39's will eventually go this way, once exposed to enough rain. Its not apparent that it will fail until it does as the plastic sheilding protects it very well.

So, off for food, back later...
 

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Cancer. Rust is, in my mind, the automotive equivalent.

You either do radical intervention (and even then it is uncertain) or you make the patient comfortable for their trip into that dark night....

California driver here. Arrived here 25 years ago in a VW bug that was dropping rusted bits across the USA on the trip from NYC and PA..so I did my share of rust in the early days!

Sorry to hear.

I'd trade it if it is extensive and you are not emotionally attached (since it will not be financially justified, IMO)

A
 

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Oh s$it! that definitely sux... how much longer before the mot is due? at least youve got till then to figure out your next step. id be tempted to fix it and in the process undertake a widebody conversion, maybe replace the front seats with buckets and put a half cage in it.. you could do all that and then cruise uk car fests all summer :)
 

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Ouch. Sorry to hear and see this.

I agree that the rational choice is to just trade it in. I have no idea how much it would cost to fully repair all the rust damage and fabricate new parts, then the full respray, etc., but it won't be inexpensive.

Board member AMP has experience repairing rust; you might PM him for an opinion.

GL and let us know what you decide.
 

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Sell it! It will be much less expensive to find another car without the rust. Bummer for sure.
 

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Oh dear. That really is bad news.

I get far too attached to cars, bikes, wives and so on for my own good, and tend to hang on to them and throw time and effort at getting things right when the more sensible thing, economically and everything, would be to take the money and run.

So I'm probably not the best person to advise.

But nothwithstanding that, in this case if you've got the time and patience to go with your undoubted technical ability then stripping it and selling the bits would probably be your best option. I know someone, for example, who would have the entire running gear and loom from you. In fact they'd take the whole car less the cool bits you'd want to sell - navigation, screen, phone etc. I'd certainly want to make you an offer for the phone and wiring as I miss having the fully integrated system on mine.

You could also strip it of all luxuries, fit a cage and race seats, get the bad bits welded up and have a cracking track car. Flogging the baggy bits (door cards, seats, dash trim, comms, nav and audio, angel eyes and so on) would probably pay for it quite easily. Then just trailer it to Brands behind the Landy and have a laugh. I reckon a few of us would even be up for a bit of shared ownership/shared drives...

YG
 

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Scott, I've also got a really good bodywork guy in Streatham (but lives in Orpington) who could have a look at it and *won't* stitch you up...

Give me a shout if you're interested or want to talk stuff through. Zero seven eight zero two thirty-one fifty-five seventy-five.

Cheers,

YG
 

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Scott, really feel for you buddy, now I don't wanna jack my car up! I personally would scrap it, I have the time and space to do it which helps, but it's gotta be worth more like that, and I would definitely make a track weapon out of it, or even weld it up get it sprayed and sell it as a rolling shell for a track car project, you'll be surprised what it will fetch. If you do sell it as bits I may be interested in a few bits too. Good luck however you approach it mate.

Lee
 

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Very bad news.

I think with selling it you will suffer quite a beating on the price because you will be telling the buyer of the issues.

Repair could be quite expensive by the looks of it especially since you mention the other points are similar.

Breaking - it is sad but one has to look at his pocket!
 

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I'd fix the probelm Scott.If you like it,and you know its history etc ,i would think a fix wouldn't be astronomical.If I can help just pm me.
 

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Not good, i'd strip it, have another look at how extensive the rot is then decide wether its worth patching it and having a nice track machine or splitting it for parts.
 

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OK thats not good news at all, i would be gutted if my M5 had that rot. I only use 1 person for welding who is a mate of mine who owns his own garage , its always been fairly cheap for me, had quite a bit of welding done on a 3dr Cossie in the same place as yours & my Golf track car had tons of welding everywhere. I would get it repaired, it doesn't need to look pretty as you will be undersealing it anyway,strip all the trims off & see how bad it is.

Simon.
 

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I'm not sure why everyone is telling you to sell the car. Good luck unloading a car that is rusting away. Even if you repair it the rust will be obvious.

Especially since you say the car is in excellent mechanical condition, I would either part the car out and buy another one or buy a non-running M5 that has a straight, rust-free frame.

I know what you mean about emotional attachment, that's the only thing keeping me from selling my Beast, which I can't really afford anymore. Good luck man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Back from dinner

I've had the trims off already and the rear points are the worst but they all need doing but the whole car needs taking down to the metal and treating then painting.

Without doubt, the logical decision is to strip it for as much money as I can get. It helps that its a running car rather than a written off one and I'm sure someone would be able to turn it into a track toy but its not something that I would want to do.

Its an oppertunity for a fresh start and to get something cheaper to run which I keep thinking about as the petrol price knocks on the door of £1.40 a litre. I feel now I have it just to have it and not because I want it.

But on the other hand I feel bad for basically killing it off, its not as if its been sideswipped by an Arctic truck and is beyond repair, it will just take money and effort.

Still don't know what to do. I've been doing sums on the value of the bits and its reasonable but its hard to determine the value of a rolling shell with engine, gearbox and wiring.
 
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