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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

I mainly post on a UK based 5 series forum and realised I have not got anything posted on the original "holy grail" of M5 forums

heres some details on my beast

JAN 2018:

Hi all,

After years of procrastinating, I decided it was time to get my dream car (as a youth)

The e39 was always a special car to me, the timeless and classic BMW looks and the "wolf in sheep's clothing" character. I had to itch this scratch and tick this off my bucket list! With prices slowly creeping up, the search had to begin!

I decided to start looking for an e39 last year.

I had a specific choice of specification:

Black Facelift

Black leather

Titanium interior trim

As standard as possible

In October, I found one which seemed to tick my boxes in Wales and after confirming a price and arranging a deal, the seller decided he was keeping the car and did not end up selling the car to me. I was heartbroken.

Many M5s have been on the market since but non caught my eye up until a few weeks ago.

I set my eyes on a 2002 M5 which looked like it needed some TLC but ticked my boxes. Black, Facelift and with the interior I wanted.

After seeing the car, it was clear it needed some loving as it has been parked up for some time and neglected however it was now or never and I wanted a car which needed (some) loving. After a test drive, the deal was done and I was the owner of a M5!

Heres the Original Spec:

Tyre Pressure Control

Gradual Tint Windscreen

Electric Steel Sunroof

First Aid Kit and Triangle

Smoker Package

Individual Audio System

Through Load System

Park Distance Control

Rain Sensor and Auto Light Activation

On-Board Monitor with TV Cordless GSM Telephone

BMW 6 Disc CD Changer

Australia version

Ski Bag

Front Sliding Arm Rest

CD Preparation

She has some (subtle) mods - a tubi exhaust, window tints (they will be coming off ASAP!) and the previous owner ripped out most of the OEM sound system!

My plan is to restore her to her former glory!

I have a list of things I want to do!

Feb 10th 2018:

The car was fully serviced (Inspection 2) and inspected with a fine tooth comb.

We discovered the car has developed a growl at 2000rpm onwards and we suspect the big end bearings need replacing ASAP :cry:

The list continues:

There is weeping from the rear diff so that will need a rebuild at some point in the near future and the rear brake lines look perished.

One of the front discs are warped

Rear O/S shock absorber has very slight misting of oil

Headlight adjuster brackets need replacing (the beam is barely legal)

On a positive note, My private plate is finally on the car ^_^


Sat 24th Feb.

The growling noise after 2500rpm was just as we suspected, the rod bearings showed serious signs of wear. With the previous owner changing the VANOS, chain tensioner and valve guides, the rod bearings (the only other major job they didn't carry out) decided to give in 3 weeks into MY ownership!

We were unphased, With the parts costing over £500, an evening late after work, we found why the engine sounded like a bag of spanners! Luckily we prevented further damage to the engine.

The car now sounds as good as new.:)

April 2018

A few shiny bits arrived for the M5 (All Brand new)

OEM Kidney grilles

OEM centre caps, M badges

OEM BMW bonnet badge

Hopefully when the weather clears up, I will have the chance to polish the car and fit some of these bits.

The wheels require a refurb too as I want the original shadow chrome finish. Just deciding where to get them refurbed ... any suggestions?

OEM F86 LED number plates unit fitted.

fitting was almost plug and play as i got the LED units with the connector loom still plugged in and cut from the X6M

just required soldering and coding... they physically fit the E39 too..Unlike after market units these don't light up half of the road behind you making the plate ineligible! Coded out the "cold checking" on the LCM too so no strobe effects on start up.

Headlights replaced with "mint" 2004 items

Interior stripped, carpets cleaned

April 2018

2018 Maps / V32 firmware with 3d (Birds eye) view maps and custom ///M boot screen
Even though I use Waze on my mobile phone, always good to have the latest maps / firmware on the car - the ///M logo adds some bhp i am sure ;)

TrafficMaster unit replaced with OEM Cupholders
The cup holders are flimsy ..but atleast the centre console has some purpose now. Cup holders can hold cans and small coffee cups with ease

Headlight clips replaced
I can finally see the road! managed to work on the lights without the need to remove the lenses ..

Osram CoolBlueBoost headlight bulbs fitted
These light up the road well, looks so much more modern. I was running Xenarc night breakers, however the Osram CoolBlue are amazing. They have the highest Lumens rating for a d2s bulb.

Steering wheel replaced with OEM wheel (slightly thicker) courtesy of Royal Steering Wheels
The car feels brand new now!! I opted for the non perforated wheel to match the OEM finish along with the tricolour stitching

F10 Gearknob fitted with custom tri colour stitching along with matching handbrake boot
with the f10 knob being weighted, the throw feels "connected" more and satisfying. The oem broomstick knob was shockingly bad!

OEM Chrome kidney grilles fitted
Front end looks so much better with the correct grilles, breaks up the lines too..

AirCon regassed (now ice cold!)
With the aircon not working, I was worried one it may have been a painful fix but a simple regas has fixed things

AutoDimming Mirror glass replaced
we got the mirror from "Mirror John" who is well known on the scene for providing replacing glass for the E39 / E46

///M badge refreshed
thanks to a replacement sticker which can be purchased from ebay which can be purchased for around £6

So many more bits to do including refurbishing the alloys in the original shadow chrome, suspension and brake overhual but slowly getting there!

June 2018

Another minor update!

dropped off my car last week to Chapman Detailing I saw his interior a few months ago where he dyed his seats which brought life back to the interior. The previous owner did a poor job of dyeing his seats and I knew Tony was the best man for the job!

His unit is in Surrey, fully secure and Tony has a slight case of OCD so I knew he was going to do a good job!

Seats and door cards were removed, cleaned, treated, dyed and protected...

I was like a kid at christmas when I was collecting the car..

I will let the pictures do the talking!

I went to see Baris / CarPhonics over the weekend.. I went for the stage 2 BM54 and converted my analogue TV tuner to digital.

The stage 2 BM54 is well worth doing! the sound difference is phenomenal!
The freeview reception is spot on! only lost reception a few times during a 45 min drive.

I have started to concentrate on the exterior / chassis

I managed to secure the last remaining stock of the E39 M5 SACHS shock absorbers via EuroCarParts. These are OEM (M5 are silver painted shocks) and unbelievably lightweight! so much so that I had to open the boxes to make sure they had the shocks inside! they are made of aluminium.

Also got ATE front/rear discs (OEM again) and Ferodo DS2500 pads.

I have been wanting a M5 for 15 years or so - i have been planning the restoration in my head for years!!

I know the E39 M5 ring taxi was totally OEM apart from ducting and aftermarket brake pads.

If that setup was good enough for the ring taxi then I am sure it will be fine for me!!

For anyone wondering why I did not go aftermarket (Bilstein Shocks / coilovers), the main reason is because so many E39 M5 owners regret changing from OEM to aftermarket as the car does not handle as good as OEM.

Another point to consider is that the car is 15 years + old... replacing the suspension will be a night / day difference!

I am removing the calipers and sending them away for a refurb (possibly painting them BMW Performance blue) and refurbishing the alloys in the original shadow chrome finish...

A few minor updates:

had a new windscreen fitted as it still had its original screen and there was loads of stone chips which was annoying me!!
replacement was Pilkington and OEM replacement with the climate feature. Cleaned and polished the glass and applied a few layers of Autobrite direct "Hell Shine - Ghost Rider" which repels water very well!


March 2019

A minor update, replaced the custom M5 grille (with brake ducting) and fitted the original OEM M5 one (personal preference!)

Dropped off the M5 today to iRock Performance in Tring for some overdue work including:

Fitting brand new oem suspension
Repair the rotten sills (both jacking points)
Drop the fuel tank to replace brake lines see if there's any other rust that Needs looking at
Replace Power steering pipes

I Met Leo (the owner) and got a quick tour of the workshop. I have been following these guys for a few months now and very impressed with the work and meeting the guys in person as well as the amazing workshop certainly reassured me

Recent updates:

Detailed engine bay:

all 4 power steering pipes were replaced. The OEM items cost close to £300 ! No more leaking power steering fluid!! Had a power steering flush too - steering has vastly improved. feels MUCH lighter in normal mode

This brings us to today!

Work which needs doing

full respray and replacing the door rubbers (with the M5 emblem), window rubbers / seals
Refurbish wheels
rebuild the rear diff

Feedback welcome and apologies, 18 months of work in 1 post may seem a bit messy but i hope you all get the idea....

73 Posts
Beautiful work and a credit to your efforts. Makes me lust after one allover again!

204 Posts
This is a long shot since OP hasn't been on in almost a year. But I have to ask about the shocks for when you did the suspension overhaul. I thought the M5's shocks were only available through BMW only and that the aftermarket Sachs sports shocks were for the 540i's with the older M-Tech 1 suspension?

Sent from Germany with Love.

11 Posts
I really love OP's effort on the build, overall. It might have taken an awful lot of time to accomplish it, but he was able to pull it off.
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