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I know. I haven’t seen or heard about the car since He got the title. I am assuming it’s well. I was hoping that I would hear how it drives in comparison to the others he owns. I was told it wa sorted but have nothing to compare to. A guy with 4-5 others would be a good judge of that. I do miss it.

I’m not even sure he has really driven it! He will get to it eventually, and he will be a great judge. The car looked very good to me, when I stopped by last month on a roadtrip.

Drove the car today, in fact Idling seems to stabilize around 950 rpm, so I guess it is normal.


However I checked the resonance valve and, well it is trying to move but it barely does... So I need to fix that!
What should I look into? Vaccum hoses or the valve itself? Is it something I can clean and repair or should I change it straight away?

Unsurprising!

I would check all of the above - there is at least one good thread on this board about this, as well. The part is NLA now, which is why my company is soon releasing a replacement part. The OEM units will wear out eventually, to the point that they are no longer rebuildable.

If you post your findings, diagnosis, and any questions here, we can help!
 

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Start with vacuum system, it will have some sort of leak somewhere I guarantee.



Whether that fixes the valve/flap we will see, but it will fix a lot of other things.


Good to hear we may have an option for replacement!
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Last week, some friend was visiting me so I took the opportunity to do a small stress-test on the M5 by driving along in the mountains around Hakone. Another a friend also just bought à 911 Type G and wanted to test it, so we all together.So I gave the M3 for the day to my friend and took the M5!





Funny to see how big is the M5 compared to the E36, while in today world it is barely the size of a modern 3 series :)

So around Hakone, you have a lot of lovely private roads such as the famous Turnpike or Ashinoko Skyline : roads are great, scenery is nice and law loosely enforced, so it makes a great week-end drive, especially because this day there was very few people on the road.



So I went hard on the M5, as anyway if something is about to break I prefer it to break now so at least I know it :D

The car is behaving really great on small roads, the suspension is very rigorous, with a nice but firm dampening which is not causing any undesirable movement of the car. Of course the car is swaying a bit like a typical car from this era, but in a tame and very predictable manner, so you can use this body roll to go around easily around the corners. It is however a bit heavy, you can especially feel it downhill when attacking narrow corners : there is some weight pushing you down for sure.
However the car brakes really well, I did not have any issue stopping in any situation. The travel of the brake pedal is however a bit too short for my taste, and I was unable to heel and toe properly...

Once we arrived on the top of the Turnpike I noticed a lot of smoke from below the car with a burning smell... I was quite worried but when I looked below the car I noticed the previous owner wrapped the catalytic converter in some kind of (supposedly) heat resisting fabric and this is consuming itself! I will need to remove that crap ASAP.

Fortunately no big deal as it was actually very cold and snowing outside so no further drama...



We took a coffee and kept driving around. The chassis definitely needs to be revised, as it feel nowhere near as sharp as it should be: all suspension arms, links and bushes need to be changed, as usual on those cars.
The engine is definitely lacking any power below 4500rpm, after however it pulls quite well, even next the the M3 so I guess the issue is really coming from this resonance valve.



We then had fun driving another hour, before having a quick lunch and go back to the highway for home.







The M5 is really much more comfortable than the M3 and easier to live in, I really can't wait to have some long road trip with her!

So that was a good drive, which allowed me to check-up more on the car and I can now plan my maintenance, knowing that there is no emergency as the car is all-in-all running fine:
- All fluids change + filters + spark plugs
- suspensions arms, bushes and links in the front
- Bushes and links in the rear
- Clutch
- Drive shaft U-joint
- And all those vacuum hoses in the engine

This week, the M3 is getting prepared for winter as I don't trust the M5 quite enough yet to serve for long family trips, so I will bring her to my mechanic next week end to kick-off the maintenance loop.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
So I went out with the M5 2 weeks ago, barely did 300km with it since I bought it... However I did not have time yet so far to do a proper inspection so I bought it to my mechanic.

So we put the car on the lift and, well, no bad surprises but no good ones either.
The chassis is very clean and totally rust free, as usual in Japan.
However it is a bit wet under the engine and the gearbox, and both rear dampers (SLS) are also leaking, nothing too dramatic yet since power steering fluid doesn't look like being very drained but it will need to be addressed at some point too. So we proceeded with all oils changes (engine, gearbox, and diff): it was very much needed, especially for the gearbox as the oil bolt collected a lot of metal particles, I don't know when was the last time this oil was changed but it was a long while ago... And the owner probably cracked a few gears along the way.
Brakes are also all worn out, pad and rotors need both a change shortly.
Tires are Michelin PS3 from 2016 and still pretty new so those at least won't need to be changed too shortly.

We took the opportunity to have the car lifted to remove the heat fabric around the catalytic converter: it was soaked with oils and that's why it was almost catching fire during my spirited drive in Hakone... Fortunately it was not hiding anything and the whole exhaust line is very clean, except the muffler that shows a bit of rust.

As expected, all suspensions elements and silent-blocs are very well dead and need a change. I used to own an E32 10 years ago and had to change everything also so I am pretty familiar with the pain in the a** that this operation is, so I will collect the parts and bring everything to my mechanic :)

For the moment, the car feels much smoother after all the oil changes, that was really needed and I am glad it is done.

I already started to collect the breaking parts since those are the most important in order to be able to drive : 4 Dixcel PD rotors (OEM +5%, it says...), Dixcel Extra Speed pads, which are a good compromise for a street+ usage, and Goodridge stainless hoses... I hope to put all this in the car within April since I first have to do some spring maintenance on my M3.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Finally got some time to take care of the M5 lately...
First and foremost, after my little outing in Hakone above, my brake pads were worn to their limit, and the rotors were growing very thin so I changed everything with some new Dixcel parts. At the same time I also changes the brake hoses with stainless hoses from Goodridge.


That being done, I wanted to clean the electricity by removing the aftermarket radio and the radar detector, that were fitted by a previous owner. Both of them were obsolete and incredibly loud, (Japanese like talking devices), in addition the electric connections were very messy and I don't like that. So we removed everything and I chose to put a new Pioneer deck designed to work with a smartphone: https://jpn.pioneer/ja/carrozzeria/car_av/av_mainunit/mvh-7500sc/
Honestly I believe this is a very good deck for our old cars: it gives all the connectivity they are lacking, with a very tame design and amber matching illumination, I am super happy with this product! :smile It is also available in EU or in the USA (Pioneer SPH-10BT).


While the car was on the lift, we confirmed that all bushes at the front need replacing as they are worn to a point of non-existence... That is next on the list.
In addition we found out that one of the big hoses connecting the air pump has just corroded and disappeared, need to change that too.
My idling is also a bit high, 1000~1100rpm, and the throttle response a bit sluggish so I am wondering if I don't have other air leaks somewhere, the car runs fine but this needs to be checked too...



Then I went for a thorough cleaning in and out! I am using Ammo NYC product since a few years now and I am really happy with the results, so I spent a day on the M5 as it was needed, especially in the interior.
It is now super clean, however I suspect one of the previous owner to have carried some dog as the leather is scratched pretty well everywhere. Fortunately, nothing unrecoverable, this is going the be the next step. I plan to go through a full leather restoration now, with Colourlock products. The kit is already home and I started to work on the centre console, the result is amazing (I will take pictures when it will be finished)!


I will however need a upholstery shop to have a look at my front door panels since they are delaminating and it will need real work to recover that. Not too high on the priority list right now, but I like to have sorted interiors so will look at it sooner or later.


By the way, the deep cleaning of my floor mats revealed that they are quite worn out, does someone know where I can get a nice quality set?
 

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The car wheel liven up noticeably with fresh bushings up front. I am a big fan of spherical upper (Moosehead) and lower (E31) arms.

Do you have to retain the air pump for legal reasons/inspections etc? Otherwise, now would be a good time to remove it and lose a bit of weight and complication underhood.

We have a kit for that!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks!
I read about E31 arms, they are pricey but that should definitely worth it...

Moosehead bearings seem a bit overkill, do you really feel a difference or is it for the sake of durability only?


I don't know yet what I will do: I want the car properly driveable asap so I am tempted to take some shortcuts with aftermarket parts for the whole front arms and bushes for now and come back to it later when I have a proper garage where I can work myself on the car (hopefully next year).


About air pump delete, the government inspection of the car every 2 years is pretty thorough, so I would not risk it. On the other hand I am not expecting to be still in Japan in 2 years from now... So I will think about it :)
 

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The lower E31 arms made a more noticeable difference, for sure. But for a sporting driver, the Mooseheads are also worth it. Durability is key in the upper control arm bushing, because any play gives you a nasty shimmy around 55mph or on brake. Mooseheads are serviceable and they hold true longer than any other substitute.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The lower E31 arms made a more noticeable difference, for sure. But for a sporting driver, the Mooseheads are also worth it. Durability is key in the upper control arm bushing, because any play gives you a nasty shimmy around 55mph or on brake. Mooseheads are serviceable and they hold true longer than any other substitute.

Thanks!
Probably going to get some E31 lower arms as they are the most urgent now, then will plan Mooseheads for the upper ones. Better doing it right at first time I guess...
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thanks!
I planned many things but I think the next will need to be the rear shocks since the car is sitting in a growing puddle of fluid...
By the way, I am considering to buy some fluid in case I need to level it, do you know what is it called and where to find it?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I worked on the leather, with very good results, and I am quite happy about it.


However today I wanted to take the car, it started normally but idling got rough, then super rough, and when I tried to drive the car, the engine barely rev, and was running super lumpy, shaking the whole car. If I press the accel pedal, it seems the engine is choking, and it is sometimes stalling, sometimes reving after a few seconds... Obviously no power at all, the car is barely moving.


It was working perfectly 2 weeks ago, so I guess something died in between... Maybe some ignition issue or fuel supply... Any similar experience here?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Quick update: after my adventure above, I tried to drive the car again and... It ended on a trailer toward my local mechanic :)

930922


So we changed some parts:
  • Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Regulator
  • Distributor and Cap
  • Spark Plugs
All of the above was pretty much dead...
Now engine seems to run perfectly and the throttle seems much more reactive too.

We also changed the hoses and joints around the air pump so no leak anymore.

I unfortunately cannot drive it yet since I took the opportunity to have the car immobilized to send the leaky rear shocks to Nagengast as I was tired of having my car bathing in its own fluids on the parking.

930923


One thing leading to another, I also purchased a full set of front arms, links, and bushes, as well as rear bushes and "dogs bones". I still need to buy new hoses for the SLS and shock boots and spring seats because they have been eaten by Pentosin.

930924


930925


930926


So I am expecting to pick up the shocks beginning of October, so the car can be put back together before November and I can finally enjoy it properly!

The issue is now that I am most probably moving to the US next year in March, to California... So I need to find a way to bring the car with me otherwise I can only enjoy it 4 months... :(
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Ahaha finally I am not moving to California... But to Michigan lol :D Well at least I don't have to care with state emissions regulations.
But in the meantime, still a lot of work:

The car is back to life!

[video=youtube]

I got back my SLS shocks from Nagengast, superb job done, they are like new! So we assembled them:


I also ordered new hoses, I did not change the accumulators because they seemed to have no issue before.


Now the front axle...


There was some slight surface rust on the beams


So, sanding


and paint!


More paint!


And back on the car, very satisfying!


Air pump hoses are now new and everything is properly air tight.


And now rear axle, in order to change the main silentblocs...


I am supposed the get the car at the end of the week, can't wait :)
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I am supposed the get the car at the end of the week, can't wait :)
Well, 1 month later and the car is still not with me...:confused:

Things did not go as expected, first some things needed to be finalized...

The rear member:


Cleaning, paint and new SB:


Paint of the brackets too:


Everything back together with new "dog bones":


Super clean:


On the list of "while we are here" : for some unknown reason, the bushes supporting the exhaust were missing and being replaced by some steel wires... Stupidty... So I brought all new parts.


Everything back together:


Then my mechanics called me and told me everything was fine, so I was already jubilating to get my hands back on the car!

However I got a second call later... Indeed, it runs fine but one turned off, the engine does not restart while hot... Back to cold condition it starts immediately but once hot no way...
Not very convenient to say the least, and not really insipring confidence.

So since then, investigation is on going... The battery has been in the open for 6 months so it's dead, it seems the starter is also weak, we also found some ground cables that were corroded, Vacuum hoses are dead, notably the one connecting to the fuel pressure regulator... So we will change that at first. Then go to ingnition coil and cables, then crankshaft position sensor...

The problem is that this is taking ages to identify and I don't have such time for troubleshooting anymore so I have to throw everything at it and I am really pissed off... Hopefully we can solve this before Christmas.
 

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When it doesn't start, do they hear the starter going? Ignition coils could be the issue. Have you gotten a valve adjustment? If it's too tight then it may have compression problems when the car's warmed up.
 

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Thanks for updating the thread! love those drive pictures. I wld love to take a drive up and down Hakone
 

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Discussion Starter #38
When it doesn't start, do they hear the starter going? Ignition coils could be the issue. Have you gotten a valve adjustment? If it's too tight then it may have compression problems when the car's warmed up.
The starter is moving but seems slow. We are changing it.
Coil is next on the list.

But my mechanic did some searches and it seems the ignition switch my be the culprit, when we turn the key, the voltage in the car drops to 5 or 6V... But not every time...
 

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Discussion Starter #40
And the M5 is back, just in time for Christmas! It was a bit too big to put under the tree so I took it to travel to some friends for Christmas :)

So finally we changed:
But we eventually had to track down some electric issue around the steering column, one earth was corroded, so were also some connections. So my mechanic cleaned everything and changed the earth cable. Now everything is running fine, the car starts perfectly hot or cold!

A quick test drive showed a totally transformed car : it drives straight, without any hiccups or transmission knocks, the rear axle feels properly driven, the whole car is much nicer to drive. The engine also is much more responsive and the car feels faster overall. The lower rpms are still a bit sluggish to my taste but that seems to be a normal S38 behaviour...

However the free play in the steering is still very important and the rear of the car is sitting too high, so back on the lift for some settings:
  • We gave 1/8 turn in the steering box at the front.
  • Since the SLS does not leak anymore, pressure in the system seemed to go way higher so the nominal level needs to be adjusted. It is quite simple, you need to adjust the small rod linking the hydraulic system to the stabilizer (on the left side of the differential, when looking a the car from the rear).


So totally, we changed:
  • fuel pump
  • fuel filter
  • fuel pressure regulator
  • ignition rotor and distributor cap
  • spark plugs
  • the whole engine vacuum system
  • intake boot + air filter
  • air pump hose + anti-return valve
  • The whole front arms set + stabilizer links and steering elements, with sandblasting and painting for the remaining surrounding parts
  • Rear subframe silent-blocs, with sandblasting and paint of the frame and surrounding brackets
  • Rear stabilizer link + pitman arms (dog bones)
  • Rear shocks (rebuild by Nagengast) + mounts and spring seats
  • Exhaust fixations
  • Battery
  • Starter motor
+ some electricity troubleshooting and connections cleaning....

Fortunately we are in Japan and my mechanic is handling a lot of me and me friends business so totally I paid about 1200 USD for the whole lot (excluding parts, including consumables).

Then I had to drive the back home quickly because it was december 23rd and I had to finish buying some stuff for Christmas!
Then on 24th I could finally carry my family on 200km with the M5 to go spend Christmas at some friends place. It is much nicer and more comfortable than the M3, my wife and daughter made a clear point about it :)
Actually there is still way to much free play in the direction, I need to tighten to box more (and check the nut in the steering column too) because 1/8 turn was cleary far from enough.
The electricity of the car is still messing around a bit because my windshield wipers don't work anymore (but washer is), on the other hand when I use my power seat switch it makes the wipers move a bit! I need to check the General Module and the relays below the back seats, we will see...

Other than that, it is a however a very comfortable and pleasing car to drive, it pulls strongly, even if you need to be in the proper gear to really get some speed and it is funny to be in such an unnoticeable car and still surprising a lot some road users with a proper acceleration. I just feel the exhaust is a bit shy, the S38 makes a wonderful noise but is a bit smothered by the OEM exhaust, I will need to think about some alternative (I really like the Supersprint on my M3).

Since I am moving to Michigan in March, I will finish some more work in the car in Japan by then (clutch, tires, front suspension), so I can properly use it as a daily there, until winter for which I will buy another car.

 
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