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Discussion Starter #1
Hey

I bought an E39 M5 last September and just had the wheels refurbished. They had been powder-coated by the previous owner, resulting in a matte-dark gray color that sparkled. To say the least, it was pretty bad and far from the original shadow-chrome effect I've come to love.

Seeing as how they had been powder-coated, I was certain that the wheels were a lost cause. I had been told by numerous BMW fanatics that getting the wheels repainted or fixed was near-impossible due to the durability of the coat and/or improper use of the material and method. But, a local painter known to the Icelandic BMW society was willing to give it a shot and I would like to share the results with the board:









"Sadly", I don't have proper before pictures, but here are some bad pictures I took of the car when I bought it:











As made evident by these shots, photography isn't my thing.

The results were great and the workmanship excellent. I couldn't be happier and now I'll have to work on getting a set of new tires! I'm looking into buying Toyo Proxes T1R after hearing good things about those. If anybody here has anything to say about the T1R wheels, I'd love to hear it.

Some info about the car, for those interested.

The car is great and it just keeps getting better. It's probably among the first M5s to hit the streets, but it drove out of the factory in January 1999. It has about 164.000 km (roughly 100.000 miles) on the clock, but the car drives like new.

I hope that I'll be able to make some slight appearance modifications to the car come summer, but nothing too extreme. I had hoped to get a set of facelift head- and taillights along with a Hamann front spoiler and a black/carbon rear-diffuser to "finish" the look.

After experimenting with 3M Di-Noc on a piece of plastic on the armrest that had been ruined, I decided to do the entire interior. I love the sleek and subtle look of the material and think it will look great in the car.





I'm not all too excited about applying the material on my current trim, so I figured that I'd buy a used set. Found just what I needed on eBay and had it shipped over to Iceland. Too bad that the seller didn't mention it was made for a RHD car, so now I have an entire trim collecting dust underneath my bed.

When I got the car, the leather was worn and needed some love. I managed to fix it though and it looks great today:

Before:



After:



An Intravee II unit is being pulled through customs as we speak, and I hope to have it up and running by the end of the week. The CD changer was kaput when I bought the car, but I've been keeping myself entertained by the V8 growl by driving with my windows down. Something that is best done on a dry day - which is never over here in the north. :)

Anyways, I'm working on getting pictures of the painting process and would be happy to share them if anybody is interested.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Take care.
 

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Rims look great and nice job on the leather!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input guys!

Rims look great and nice job on the leather!
The leather was surprisingly easy to fix, and cheap.

I used this (or similar) kit from Leather Master (highly ambiguous name, that one):



And a black color kit, similar to this one (I'm pretty sure this is exactly like the bottle I used, but I cannot be certain - I'll confirm it later):



I started with the cleaner, apply and buff out. Then applied the color, using a single piece of cloth for all the leather, and buffed it out. Applied the protection last.

Took me about 45 minutes to do all the leather in the car and only cost me about $70, tops. Repeating this on spots that have gone really bad isn't a bad idea either.

It really transformed the interior, to say the least. My father did the same on his E24 6-series. 25 year old leather became like new after one go.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm in love with my car. The color, the performance and the ride - I'm not sure if I'll ever want to replace it!

I bought a new set of Cooper Zeon 2XS for the wheels I had refurbished. I really like them. The grip is excellent and these are said to last for quite a while.

My friend and I went for a ride last night and decided to take shoot some photographs of our cars. He's driving a beautiful 1996 E39 540iA Fjordgrau Metallic. It's amazing how packed with equipment these cars were, even as far back as '96. It has a telephone, heated seats and steering wheel (you need that in Iceland), air-conditioning, electronic-curtains and seats, auto-fold mirrors, a HiFi stereo system and the list goes on. I'm personally a bigger fan of the M62B44 under the bonnet, but you will be hard-pressed to find a better car when it all comes together.

Here are some photos from last night:











I apologize for the unfortunate location of the graffiti. There is no "deeper meaning" to be had from this photo, apart from an awesome beast.
























I also wanted to use the opportunity to post a video that I shot last night as well:



The sound or video quality is nothing to be proud of. Behind the camera, the sound is a lot more aggressive and deeper.

I also installed an Intravee II (iPod integration) in the car. Guys, if you're still struggling with your CD-Changer, I recommend you look into replacing it with one of these. The ease of installation and use is amazing and it makes your driving experience that much better (I'm amazed that it could get any better).

Here are some photos of the kit:




The Alpine KCA-420i is to the right. Your iPod speaks to the Alpine, which in turn speaks to the Intravee which then speaks to your car.



I was wondering where to put the Alpine box, but we decided to go with a spot behind where the CD-Changer originally resided. You can see the screws that attach to the box.



Everything is set and all that remains is to close the lid. We experimented with the location of the Intravee box, but having it in the location pictured didn't work all too well. It is now stuck to the aluminium box underneath the Navigation system.



And here it sits comfortably, velcro'd. Doesn't budge.



Here's the menu I see while driving. The system is a little bit slow, but it's not bad and only when navigating the menus.​

If you have any questions you would like to ask me personally, I'll do my best to give you a proper answer. Please leave a note here or send me a PM, but if you do the latter, please supply an e-mail address so I can get back to you (as of writing, I can't send PMs).
 

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Nicely done :) It is the fastest colour, so kudos to you.

Nice job on getting the wheels done. I've heard so many bad things on here about wheel refurbishment, I thought I'd get quotes from a few different places. None have even returned my email, yes, they asked for photos which I then supplied and haven't got a bean back. Seems I should go into the wheel refurb business, clearly a big gap there :(

Just waiting on my Intravee, I have the Alpine unit, got it new off eBay for a fair bit less than retail, some mechanical stuff to do first, but the unit has a big following on here, along with a few alternatives. Do you lose any features having the older nav unit? I think I would lose some possible features using a MkIII unit, but looks like you have a MkII?

Carbon trim looks great but not sure I'd mix wood and carbon? We all have our opinions. :)

Some great photos there.
 

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Thanks!

I'm not sure what the difference is between the Mk II and III (unless III came in the facelift models), but I've been able to do everything that I want to do with this setup. :)

On the subject of wood / carbon, I agree wholeheartedly with you. The plastic on the armrest was worn, flaked and ugly. I had some Di-Noc and decided to try it out and observe the results, see if they were anything I wanted to do with the entire interior. Well, the results were great, but I getting my entire interior wrapped has been a tumultuous to say the least. I don't want to ruin the interior that I have now (I'm a big fan of the "Keep it OEM" mindset, so I want the option to revert the changes) so I bought a new set. Too bad that it was from a UK car and the eBay seller failed to mention that. Oh well.

I was getting desperate with my wheels, but found a man here in Iceland that did an amazing job. I'm not sure how to put this, but you could say that the wheels now have many faces. Depending on the lighting and your POV, they never look the same. I love it.

The method he used wasn't all too complicated in theory:

Sand the wheels down (they had been powder-coated by a previous owner, it was terrible and thick)
Prime them
Spray black
Spray with some special silver-shadow-chrome color
Four rounds of clear-coat.

The biggest expense was the silver color. According to the man who refurbished them, he was able to get the liter at 40.000 ISK ($360 / liter)

Anyways, I have to agree with you on "the fastest" color! Have faced two other beasts in the nine months that I've had it and am proud to say that I was able to out-power them both! It was great fun.
 

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Nice one, apologies, I think I missed the part of your post regarding the buying a second set of interior trim, the parts in the pictures do look good. I like :)

I imagine RichardP on here could highlight the differences with the MkII and MkIII, and perhaps MkIV, with regard to the Intravee, but there's every chance it's been talked about here before to great length so I'll have a search and see what comes up. I think there's an option within the Intravee menu to enable 'Advanced Features', but that is for the MkIV, essentially above a certain firmware level which only the MkIV can provide.

My search for someone to do my wheels will continue, heaven knows, one day I might even get a quote...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wish you luck on luck on that! Just make sure that you don't get robbed!
 

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Found it : intraveesupport.html

I was wrong about the support levels, UI6 for software version 3-1/40 or higher on the MkIII (UI5 for software version 3-1/31 or lower), and UI6 for all software versions on the MkIV, 'enhanced features' available with software version 4-1/40 or higher. So a MkIV unit would give you UI6 (UI5 is the highest level on the MkII nav, regardless of firmware) and the advanced features thing. Great to know you're happy with it though, as I had putting off the Intravee until I could afford a MkIV unit at the same time, thinking I would miss out on things through the interface. Might push on with it now :)
 

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Thanks for that link!

You really should, I still haven't found a feature that I miss. It plays my music and lets me browse artists and playlists using the Nav! Can't ask for much more, but a MKIV would be nice! Heard they were plug-and-play swaps, and if that's true it might be a fun project for the future.
 

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Not sure how the MkIV works with the older smaller-screen head (which I think you have looking at the pics), but it's the cost. £400-odd quid is steep, when newer stand-alone nav's are so much less and probably more capable. Many other things to do first anyway. Just checked ebay for the Intravee, and they only ever seem to go on there with the Alpine unit, which I already have. Suppose it makes sense but :(
 

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Oh well, a MKIV probably won't do me any good anyways! I can't use the navigation as is, seeing as how there isn't a map available for Iceland.

But look on the bright sight (regarding the Intravee), at least you won't have to pay customs! I had to pay 25.5% taxes along with 15% customs and additional fees.
 

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:) It's not going to bother you then, I'm guessing...

Yes, just the 20% VAT to pay :( I was also looking forward to the Intravee folding my mirrors but they've started to fail on a reasonably regular basis too. Ah, well.
 

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Thanks for posting, enjoyed the pictures!

The leather refurbish looks good. I'm going to look into that product, I have a Caramel interior which is in about the same state. I'd be very interested to know how it holds up over time.

Great beast!
 

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What a beast! Great car I really mean it and you've got the fluted leather just EPIC. And that sound, that two tonish European V8 song. Lovely car, lovely wheels!
 

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What a beast! Great car I really mean it and you've got the fluted leather just EPIC. And that sound, that two tonish European V8 song. Lovely car, lovely wheels!
Thanks! Didn't most M5s come with this type of leather? I've seen the two-tone version, but not as often as I've seen the version I have.
 
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