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I used bon ami oven glass cleaner to take the glue off of the rear window from removing tint, on a 2000 540i. I found that a steam gun was better than a heat gun for melting the glue when removing tint - so my situation wasn't that bad.
Thanks for the tip! Not sure if I can find the same stuff in Germany, but at least I can get something similar.

great thread and congrats on your purchase
Thank you! :)

Fantastic post and congratulations! I'm glad this M5 fell into your hands and is being brought back to tip-top shape.
Thank you! I'm sure the M5 would say thanks too if it could. :grin

Couple weeks back it had an unusual way of saying thanks by giving me a check engine light for pre-cat o2 sensors and another small diy job.

100 euros later and that was sorted out easily and quickly.
I used OEM Bosch sensor. Very easy job, I didn't even have to remove any undercarriage protection.







Last Saturday I completed the fiddly task of replacing the thermostat.

The winters in Germany are relatively cold and whenever I found myself on the open road, the needle for the temperature would take a big drop.
We all know that it's not good for the engine to work constantly cold and I wanted to remedy that asap.

Let's dig in.



Everything moved out of the way and ready to pull the thermostat housing.



It was a royal pain to get it out. The pipes were really stuck on there and only after I sprayed a dab of WD-40 on the O-rings I was able to pull it out from the engine.





Old tstat removed, surface cleaned and installed the new one. I went with good old Behr.



I replaced all of the while in there items, O-rings on the connecting pipes, temp sensor, aux fan switch, upper radiator hose, radiator drain plug, vanos crush washers...
The water pump has date stamp from 10.07.08 which matches the records that it was replaced in 2008.

I also wanted to replace the lower radiator hose as well, but for the life of me I couldn't disconnect it from the radiator, so I left it alone for now.
I'm coming back for that sucker later with some bigass plumber pliers.





Now the trickiest part to assemble everything correctly.
I really didn't want to do this job again so I got everything clean and then lubed up the O-rings and seating positions with technische vaseline.
I also put a dab of gasket maker on the mating surface of the tstat and water pump to be extra safe and gingerly assembled everything.



Green coolant was present in the system, so I flushed the radiator and the block few times, and refilled with proper blue BMW coolant.



I must say I love the self-bleeding system. Just followed the TIS procedure, turn on the ignition, set the temp to max and blower to low setting. Start filling up and that's it.

I let everything settle down and went to the Christmas market for some Bratwurst and Glühwein.



It was nice chilly 3 °C degrees so perfect time for a late night test drive.

Went to the Autobahn and got some nice readings. The temp needle stayed right in the middle and there are no apparent leaks. Success!



I've put about 200 miles since and everything is great. Temperature is stable and no leaks.

This pretty much brings us up to date with everything I've done so far.

I scored a nice set of Technical Graphite trim awhile back that I plan to install, just need to acquire a leather handbrake lever.
I'm really not a fan of Bruyere club trim in black interior and can't wait to get rid of it.

On the side note, I'm really thinking to pull a trigger on Eisenmann Sport exhaust.
I'm all about keeping the car stock and original, but I think that stock exhaust is just too quiet.
I had a guy coming up to me after I parked and asked me if it is 520i?! :laugh
Not that I care, I just want to hear more of that magnificent V8 sound.

Considering all of the German rules and laws, I basically have 2 options when it comes to exhaust, Eisenmann Sport or Supersprint performance/magnum.
Everything else is too loud and doesn't have TÜV approvals. If you put something without proper certificates, means the car will fail inspections and serious troubles with Polizei if they hear me barreling down the road.

I had a chance to hear Supersprint magnum mufflers in person and they seemed somewhat quieter than expected and not that much louder than the stock mufflers.
So I would go with Eisenmann Sport mufflers for sure and if I place an order now, I can take the delivery in mid-January. Decisions, decisions...
 

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Good job. Don't forget you can access KTEMP in #7 of the secret menu and watch the tstat behavior on warm-up and normal operating temperatures.
 

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Nice work on the thermostat. Technical Vaseline, eh? Who knew?
Thanks! Hah, yes. Went to the hardware store and asked for vaseline. Guy chuckled and showed me this. Did the trick!



Good job. Don't forget you can access KTEMP in #7 of the secret menu and watch the tstat behavior on warm-up and normal operating temperatures.
Thank you. :) I've been meaning to do that. Good way to follow tstat behavior.

I had a nice road trip to Cologne a few days ago. I just love every second I spend behind the wheel of this beast.

4 people, small luggage and we were comfortably cruising 120-150 mph most of the time. None of my passengers are fans of driving fast, and at no point was I told to slow down.
Just compliments that they traveled comfortable and that the car feels sturdy and safe at the higher speeds. They even loved the sound of the engine.

It truly is the perfect machine to fly down the Autobahn fast and comfortable.

After the trip, I had to wash off the dirt and I used that opportunity to take few pictures.









 

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Wow, great thread! I've been busy lately and just saw it but I'm all caught up! Glad it's working out for you and now I remember when you mentioned your plans on going to Italy for it.

No matter how many times I've seen it, it's really fun seeing others go through the same typical repairs/preventative maintenance items. It's like a right of passage. :)

The previous owner must've really let things go because 45k miles is nothing, but happy to see it in your capable hands. Also your paint looks fantastic; have you polished and waxed it recently or just a simple wash?

Looking forward to more updates!
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
Thanks, Kiznarsh! There were few bumps, but everything worked out in the end.

Yeah, doesn't matter how many miles are on the clock, previous maintenance and age is what counts.
PO just kept it in the garage and didn't drive it. He's not a car guy and in his eyes this car was come nuova.
I could've left some things alone, but I like when the car is in a certain way and tip-top shape.

I've done nothing to the paint haha. This wasn't even a proper hand wash, just a quick blast with a pressure washer. Like with every self-serve car wash, hand washing with a bucket is forbidden. I usually ignore that and break out the bucket and microfiber mitt anyway, but the worker was there so I couldn't do that this time.

I know some people are not a fan of TiAg, but it's one of my favorite colors. Easy to keep clean and it will always look good.
The paint is in good condition, but come nicer weather I plan to detail the exterior.
 

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This pic brings back memories of the Christkindlesmarkt in Nürnberg. What a great time. Enjoy!
That's awesome! We are actually planning to go to Nuremberg sometime soon. December is a very nice month in Germany with Christmas markets going on all over the place. :smile

I tackled something that pretty much every E38/E39/E53 suffers from. Dead pixels.



My problem was intermittent, when the cabin was cold display would be barely readable, when warmed up all of the pixels were present as you can see from my previous pictures.

I ordered new ribbon cable and needle removal tool from PixelFix.

Cluster ready for surgery.



The cluster was sealed and never opened before, which really makes me wonder how did this insect manage to get itself trapped inside.







Front cover taken off and removed 8 screws that hold the back cover.





Back cover removed. These are the tabs on the connectors that need to be pressed in, in order to release the back cover.





Now comes the part where the LCD needs to be removed. There are 4 screws that hold it to the board located behind the face of the cluster.
Two ways to get to them, either remove the needles and the front panel or drill 4 holes through the white panel.

My initial approach was to remove the needles since I bought the needle removal tool, but after some thinking and researching I decide not to do that and went for drilling.
I was afraid that once I remove the needles I won't be able to put them back in their exact spot and end up with false readings. There's some tension to them and I wasn't confident that I can calibrate them like the factory did.

So drilled the 4 holes and removed the LCD from the board. There's an excellent DIY for this whole task that helped a lot. Once you see where the screws come out on the back, it's tough to drill in the wrong place.







Removed the old ribbon cable and cleaned the LCD and board with q tips and acetone.









Next is to cut the little pieces of the postcard and put them under the 3 red silicone strips so that there is enough pressure on the ribbon cable.



New ribbon cable lined up carefully and held in place with scotch tape.



I made sure that the ribbon cable was lined up perfectly and mounted back the LCD. Installed the back cover and 8 torx screws that hold it.



Cleaned up everything with a microfibre cloth to my satisfaction and assembled the cluster.



Now the moment of truth.



Job well done. :smile

I might've made it look easy with the remove/reinstall pictures and few comments, but I can totally understand why some people don't want to touch this. It's a very time consuming and sensitive task.
Luckily, there's a great DIY thread on here for this and you get detailed instructions and videos with the ribbon cable. Now that I've done it for the first time, next time it would be much easier and faster.

Upcoming weekend project.



Cheers for now!

 

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Awesome! This post read like how one of the senior technicians at work talks: "all'z ya gotta do is take the cluster out, swap the ribbon, and then put it back together again. I mean how hard can it be?!" :)
 

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Awesome! This post read like how one of the senior technicians at work talks: "all'z ya gotta do is take the cluster out, swap the ribbon, and then put it back together again. I mean how hard can it be?!" :)
Haha, I did make it look easy with the pictures. :laugh

Im gonna follow this thread! Thumps up
Thanks for reading!

I refreshed belts and pulleys over the weekend.

Searched the forum and found the corresponding pulleys to be suitable.
I went with Ruville parts which had INA engraved on them.

Water Pump / Alternator / Power Steering Belt - 11281710045 x2
AC Compressor Belt - 531076010 x1
And Continental belts.

Fairly easy and quick job to do. Drove the car onto the ramps, removed the fan clutch and underbody panel and that gives you enough space to work with.





All 3 pulleys were shot and spinning freely, but surprisingly didn't make that much noise.
AC belt was replaced at some point and was still good, while the serpentine had cracks.



Glad to have done this. The parts are not expensive and it's good maintenance.

And now the upcoming major update.

I decided to replace the clutch. When I test drove the car in Italy it wasn't that bad and felt like an old original clutch.
Now that I've been driving it more, I can feel that it's showing symptoms of a failing clutch.

For example, the clutch pedal is very stiff and catches I would say kinda high.
If I'm not careful with the gear changes and my foot isn't entirely off the clutch, it will slip. If it's leaned just a bit on top of the clutch pedal, it will start to slip.
When I push it hard and just go through the gears, it will never slip and I can probably get a lot more miles out of this clutch, but it's not very enjoyable to drive and since this is probably the original clutch it makes sense to change it before it gets worse and I burn the flywheel completely. Hopefully, I can get away without replacing the flywheel this time, but I won't know that until the transmission is out.

So I made a pretty decent parts list for this job which I will post later down the road. There is a lot of useful information on the board regarding this topic which helped a lot.

Unfortunately, this isn't something I can do myself on the floor of my garage and I found what appears to be a very good shop that will do the work for me.
They are not far from me and they specialize in M models from this era. I paid them a visit last week and had a nice chat with them. They are also BMW enthusiast who daily drive E36 M3, E46 M3 and X5 M. I was told that they do everything by the book and won't rush the job which is important to me.

They were actually working on another E39 M5 that day. '02 Le Mans blue M5 with 100k miles that was getting around $7.000 worth of work. New guides, vanos, bearings... Kinda scary to hear and see this. His opinion is that this example was seriously neglected and was just nasty when they opened it up.



My M5 should go under the knife on Wednesday so stay tuned.
 

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What an awesome introductory thread! Definitely subscribing for future updates. I am actually in the process of performing similar maintenance on my recently acquired '03 M5. It has been a fun process, but I wish I had the time and discipline to document everything like many users on this board are doing. Keep up the good work!
 

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Thank you, sir! Wish you good luck with your beast. :)

The good work indeed continues. I left the car at the shop this morning and I was getting updates all day.

Good thing about a car from Italy is that the undercarriage is rust free and things were going smoothly according to him.

The exhaust really is gigantic.





I had a diff leak at the input shaft seal so they knocked out that as well. The rest of the diff is dry. Had the same leak on my old M5 from there.







Cracked driveshaft center bearing.







Guibo was still good, but replaced with a new one anyway following the good old logic of while in there.



And my suspicions about the clutch were correct. Clutch disc and pressure plate are toast.









The previous owner was a proper douchebag in the whole buying process and now I know he shouldn't be allowed to operate a kick scooter let alone a clutch in a car with 400 PS. Though, granted it's not mission impossible to burn the clutch in this car quickly.

According to the shop the flywheel is still good which is a relief to hear.

I should pick up the car tomorrow. Very excited!
 

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Thanks! Everything turned out great. Yes, OEM clutch kit. Didn't want to experiment too much there.

They finished it this morning so I picked it up after work and we are back in business!

What a refreshment this is compared to the old clutch. The clutch pedal is buttery smooth and gear shifts are clean and crisp.

To recap, this is the parts list that I used. I didn't want to go too wild with while in there parts and I got what I thought was essential.

OEM LUK clutch kit - 21217515146







This is the original M5 pivot pin made of plastic.



I went with a steel one from 850CSi - 21511223281



Transmission mounts x2 - 22316771221
Guibo/Flex disc - 26112228781
(Even though original parts were still good)



Pressure plate bolts x6 - 07119906045
Clutch fork - 21511223302
Spring clip - 21517570284
Drive shaft center bearing - 26122228917
Exhaust pipe gasket x2 - 18301728734 (not in the picture)
Rear main seal gasket - 11141736521
Differential cover gasket - 33108305033 (wasn't necessary, it had no leaks there)
Differential input shaft seal - 33121213949
Differential drain plug gasket - 07119963355
Drive flange washer - 33121205138



Brake fluid - ATE Typ 200 (they said that the old brake fluid was nasty)
Transmission fluid - Liqui Moly 75W-80 (this too came out nasty)
Differential fluid - Liqui Moly 75W-140 (this wasn't that bad)



I believe I have everything accounted for.

Shop also did a courtesy check of the car. They run a vanos test and the results were great!
They checked for leaks around the engine and everything is dry. Brakes, controls, bushings... all good and tight!

They only advised that there might be little play in the front strut mounts. These are known to develop cracks in the rubber over the time so I will be replacing that in the near future. These are cheap and can be replaced without taking the sturt off the car. I also have Meyle HD sway bar links coming in so that will be refreshed as well.

Now I just have to take it easy over the next 600 km or so and break in the clutch properly. BMW break-in procedure that I found here states that I shouldn't go in high rpm or do high power shifts and that I should shoot for 800-1000 gear shifts. I lost count at 3.

Shop charged me 550€/$650 for the labor which I think is fair given the amount of work.
My bank account sure has suffered but now I'm one happy M5 driver!

Bis später! hiha
 

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So, ever since my Le Mans blue M5, I've been eager to do something with the exhaust and get more sound out of that lovely V8.

Since I live in Germany, my options are pretty limited and simple stuff like muffler delete is out of the question. That would never fly around here, it means immediate fail on inspections and trouble with Polizei. When they pull you over, they actually snoop around your engine bay and under the car to see what is your setup and even bang on the rear cans to see if they are empty. If I don't have a TUV certificate for my aftermarket exhaust they can impound my car and slap me with a big fat ticket.

There are only two exhausts that I know of that have TUV approval. Eisenmann Sport and Supersprint Performance/Magnum, impossible to find used and stupid money if you buy them new.

Searching used car parts today, I stumbled upon something interesting. An original rear muffler that, if I understood him correctly, has electronic flaps before the silencers.
You can remotely control the flaps and when they are closed, it sounds just like a normal stock muffler, but when open it bypasses the rear the muffler and basically acts like a muffler delete. Having best of the both worlds if you will.







This of course is not legal either, but at least it would give me some flexibility and it's not that obvious.

This is how it sounds.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X3T58148G4q0ivgsNcrvSJtjolCiv4g7/view?usp=sharing

To be honest, I got in touch with Eisenmann a while back and they gave me a very nice discount on a new Sport exhaust through the local M club here. But seeing this one got me thinking. The guy wants around $550 with the install and I keep my original exhaust which is much cheaper than the Eisenmann. On the other hand, I don't want to put just whatever on the car and potentially hurt its value. I love keeping things original, but stock setup is simply quiet.

What do you fellas think?
 

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To be honest, I got in touch with Eisenmann a while back and they gave me a very nice discount on a new Sport exhaust through the local M club here. But seeing this one got me thinking. The guy wants around $550 with the install and I keep my original exhaust which is much cheaper than the Eisenmann. On the other hand, I don't want to put just whatever on the car and potentially hurt its value. I love keeping things original, but stock setup is simply quiet.

What do you fellas think?
550.00USD doesn't seem that bad for a set of muffler installed. The only thing that holds up the mufflers are 6 bolts, the hard part is cutting the exhaust while it's still mounted.

For Supersprint have your checked the pricing from Schmiedmann? They're having a sale on SS products.

I don't think either Eisenmann or Supersprint would hurt the resale value, especially if you have the OE mufflers to go with it. On the other hand splicing in the exhaust bypass can raise eyebrows. I would be more skeptical of how they did the wiring vs. a quick cut with a metal saw.
 

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Great thread!
Thank you!

550.00USD doesn't seem that bad for a set of muffler installed. The only thing that holds up the mufflers are 6 bolts, the hard part is cutting the exhaust while it's still mounted.

For Supersprint have your checked the pricing from Schmiedmann? They're having a sale on SS products.

I don't think either Eisenmann or Supersprint would hurt the resale value, especially if you have the OE mufflers to go with it. On the other hand splicing in the exhaust bypass can raise eyebrows. I would be more skeptical of how they did the wiring vs. a quick cut with a metal saw.


I slept on it and I'm definitely not doing this. You are totally right, it might raise eyebrows and at the end of the day, it's just not what I want to do. I have my mind set on Eisenmann.

I checked Schmiedmann and there is a sale on SS products. SS magnum/performance is around $1.000, but only if the delivery address is outside EU, if it's Germany there's no discount and they have to add 19% VAT and the price is $1.460. I heard SS magnum in person and while I liked it, it didn't seem like a big improvement over the stock mufflers to justify spending that kind of money. If you pair it with an X-pipe it would be a different story, but that's also illegal here. For little less than that I can get Eisenmann Sport which is what I will most likely do.

Finally gave the M5 a proper hand wash and followed up with Meguiar's Carnauba wax. Planning to detail it completely in spring, but I'm very happy with the condition of the paint.
Could just sit back and stare at it for hours, looks beautiful from every angle. I love it!













 

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Great thread! I think quite a few of us have had those same piles of new parts for our M's. I had hoped that mine would be stealthy enough that people would think it was a plain ole 5 series. Not so... I lucked out when I found mine and got the Carbon Black. My E46 M3 is silver so I was wanting something different. I love the beast on the open highway. I used to have to drive from Boise to Cedar City on a fairly regular basis and the M5 was always my choice. Freinds are shocked and amazed when they realize how fast and comfortable it is at "speed". :eek

Another thing I love about older M cars is that they only came with manual transmissions. My daughter wouldn't drive either because she doesn't like having to shift... And most of the guys she dated over the years couldn't drive on either.
 
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