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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone, I just recently (yesterday) purchased a 2003 M5 (Jet black with Imola red and black interior) sitting next to the cooperS of my girlfriend. It's super dirty which shows up in the pictures pretty well. The car has some miles and I've picked it up with the express intent to put a lot more on it. My goal is for this to be the nicest possible "not quite daily" driver. The long term plans of the vehicle include a supercharger, but I'm going to spend a year or two bringing it back to "like new" and making sure the car is in as good mechanical shape as I believe it is. Right now the only major modifications are the KWv2s and exhaust (which sounds really nice... It's amazing how quiet it is in the car, and then you open the window and get a raw v8 symphony)

So I've done quite a bit of searching which has highlighted a few things I need to be aware of and I've started my to-do list.
This also leads to having to know what I have on the car in the first place. So for example windshield wipers... Have these been modified?

Will the OEM replacements work? Like these: 61-61-9-070-579-M78

Even though it's a 2003, it looks like I have the bakeable headlights, but they're in decent shape right now so need to replace the lenses yet.

I've seen some threads on replacement components of the shifter mechanism and I have a decent amount of slop in mine so that's a must. Also need to get the dash pixels repaired which it looks like is relatively easy.

I'm also curious about the foglights. Mine look like this: I was hoping to just eliminate them completely and have decent sized brake duct in its place but I haven't found anyone who's made a piece like that. My belief is that foglights are almost entirely useless anyway, but I am concerned about resulting in error codes. Has anyone done this, and if so, is it just an inline resister to eliminate the code? I've seen the combo brake duct+fog light but I'm not particularly interested in keeping the foglights. If there isn't a solution available, I'll probably just go with cheap replacements.

Also, in the right trunk cavity, there is a box that says parking sensor with 3 missing inputs, as well as this strange device completely unplugged (looks like an IR receiver or something?) The rear bumper has the parking sensors in place, but I have more searching to do on this topic.. I haven't even tested whether it's functioning or not at this point.

Still need to read up on the best options for modifying the stereo, specifically whether it's easier to just go with a complete aftermarket Nav/headunit versus dealing with the OEM system. So much to learn!
 

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Just swap out the inserts for the wipers, they look like OEM units to me.

If your car is a 2003 with OEM lights they are not bakeable. There is no way to visually tell if they are bakeable or not without checking the date stamp on the back of the lights.

Slimmbones makes the fog duct pieces you want. The box in your trunk appears to be an aftermarket PDC or similar type unit

Welcome
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Indeed those are OEM wiper blades. They are not easy to find nor are they super cheap to replace.

If you plan on replacing your clutch sometime in the future, that is when you should do the shifter bushings, they are much easier to replace when the transmission is out, or at least the prop shaft. New bushings do make a world of difference.
 

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Congrats and welcome! You can find a nice new set of fogs from BavAuto (I don't work for them) - I say this because I've contemplating a new set of fogs for my car (they are dusty inside and the lens itself fogs!) and they're pretty reasonably priced for a set.
 

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If your car is a 2003 with OEM lights they are not bakeable. There is no way to visually tell if they are bakeable or not without checking the date stamp on the back of the lights.
I'm not entirely sure this is true. It seems they're "almost certainly not bakeable." There area few reported cases of baking on '03s and mine appear to have the squishy black glue instead of the grey epoxy. I haven't pulled mine out yet to check the date or attempt a bake though. My theory is that if you got a late enough production '03 then you potentially could have ended up with older production lights as they were clearing out stock. But like you said, check the date stamp on the back of the light. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate the comments. I thought I had read that their was a visual difference regarding the clear circle on top, but I'll just check the date code. I would prefer to upgrade it with a dual xenon or HID setup at some point.

I know there is a large learning curve with any new car manufacturing (part number system, how to find the right info, reading technical manuals/drawings etc) but for some reason I feel like with BMW it's especially convoluted. And I have plenty of experience working/living with Germans so I'm not sure it's just that.

I think this is the solution I'd prefer for the fog light removal: http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/196899-fog-light-delete.html
I just need to figure out how to deal with eliminating the code. I'd prefer not to keep the housings/lightbulbs and instead just hardwire a resistor or something in place but I'm not sure I've seen any information as to what the ECU is expecting on those I/Os. Perhaps duct these to the air intake and run the sink drain style ducts to the brakes.

The larger issue is at 110K miles, do I replace rod bearings or not. The issue I have is that the motor is currently running very well, and I'm conflicted as to where I draw the line as to preventative maintenance versus "dont fix it if it isn't broken" , but I know this topic has been beat to death. If I decide to to do this, I may try to purchase a used engine, rebuild it on an engine stand, and then do the clutch, shifter, motor swap all at the same time (maybe with the supercharger if the finances allow). My problem with that is A) I don't need a clutch yet B) the engine is running fine and I have a hard time thinking that rod knock wouldn't be noticeable and C) aside from the benefit of reduced downtime, I could do all of these things once i actually run into a problem (clutch/rod knock etc).

Anyway, plenty of time to figure it all out.
 

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congrats and welcome! I had a R56 MCS, and it's not that big of a car - maybe just from that angle it looks bigger than it is. But that said the E39 is rather tidy for a 4-door sedan!
 

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I'd say at 110K you've got a lot more low hanging fruit to deal with as far as bumper to bumper maintenance and refresh mechanically than thinking about rod bearings and lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, let me know what I should be looking at.. I had a ppi done and the only thing that came up is the fog lights, the power steering hose leak (do any not leak?) and a poor exhaust weld. All of the suspension is new within the past year, brand new tires, brakes, and a new complete driveshaft in place. Rear diff is dry, and the engine is running really well, with valve cover gaskets in my future, but not even any weeping at this point.

Guess I'm not sure if I'm missing something or if you're just assuming the car was entirely from the factory at this point.
 

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I wouldnt worry about tearing into the motor if its not having issues. I bought a 2003 last month with 199k miles on it, and just supercharged it. It runs as well as my 01 with 66k miles. Just replace and repair what needs to be.
 

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Well, let me know what I should be looking at.. I had a ppi done and the only thing that came up is the fog lights, the power steering hose leak (do any not leak?) and a poor exhaust weld. All of the suspension is new within the past year, brand new tires, brakes, and a new complete driveshaft in place. Rear diff is dry, and the engine is running really well, with valve cover gaskets in my future, but not even any weeping at this point.
Looks like almost everything I had in mind has already been done, so well bought! Carry on with headlights :)
 

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I was thinking same as Fan, until you added the additional info. I'd check last time Insp. II was done -- plugs, filters inc. fuel, etc.

I like my fogs. But previous owner had carved away the plastic cover to increase air flow to brakes. Overkill for a street car IMHO, but you could do that if you want and keep the lights.

Pics:

Fog Light Bulb Replacement on the E39 M5 - chrisparente.com
 

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I'm not entirely sure this is true. It seems they're "almost certainly not bakeable." There area few reported cases of baking on '03s and mine appear to have the squishy black glue instead of the grey epoxy. I haven't pulled mine out yet to check the date or attempt a bake though. My theory is that if you got a late enough production '03 then you potentially could have ended up with older production lights as they were clearing out stock. But like you said, check the date stamp on the back of the light. :)
I'd imagine any old pre-facelift stock would be used up around the time the lights changed, 7/02, I don't imagine them waiting to use the old inventory until the end of 03 when the change occured only a year earlier.

To my knowledge any lights removed from a 2003 that are bakeable were replaced at a prior time in the car's life. 7/02 production date on onward, for the lights, are not bakeable.
 
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