• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  • Feedback


Everything posted by DennisCooper

  1. Hi Peter, My response to you from the above; 1. You've forgotten to say 'which' head unit or audio setup you have! Do you have the cassette with the MID panel below it? or do you have the 4:3 monitor and Navigation setup? or the later 16:9 monitor? there's fixes but I don't think anyone bothers with the unloved 4:3 monitor. 2. Contact John at Mirrorjohn - Met him a number of times at events and shows, and is very well known and regarded, tell him I sent you along ! 3. Do you mean the wheel centre caps? if so, then the best quality ones are the OEM items from BMW. They do still fail over time but perhaps will last much longer than the lower quality sets from various ebay sellers. There are some places which use higher quality caps and re-paint them with higher quality paint, but I've not kept up with who's recommended. 4. Any E39 bootlid will do as they didn't change over the production cycle. Plenty of breakers, FAB recycling and Quarry motors 5. As per above, plus there's some threads and posts here from where other's have done this job so might be some more recommendations. Cheers, Dennis!
  2. Hi, Not sure of mounting depths and/or any other physical mounting issues which could present themselves when installing individual locations with after market speakers, but my recommendation to you would be to upgrade the front only first using one of the custom fit and impedance/power/location matched speaker kits from the likes of MTX, Gladen, Hertz, Focal, Rockford Fosgate, MB Quart, Rainbow and Earthquake etc. They're all guaranteed to fit and are custom designed to make the best of the oem amplifier. If you are doing a more traditional audio install and want to use specific types/brands/models of speakers/drivers then you'll need to keep scouring to see if anyone else has done the same and provided fitment details and knowledge, or, you'll need to measure/look at your car and try to find potential speakers from their specifications and try them. Cheers, Dennis!
  3. Hi, Just got my reminder for VED on the car. 12 months amount and it's pushed past £300! Over the next few years, I can see this having larger incremental pricing levels and perhaps by 2020'ish it'll be past £400 I think the initial stages of pushing up running costs for older Diesels is happening and this will encourage owners to scrap cars. The adverts on the radio have also started to be aired 'Scrap your current car and get into a brand new XYZ!!!!' Once the 'ball is rolling' with older Diesels, it'll be the turn to begin ramping up VED for older petrol engined cars too.... Someone needs to develop an electric drivetrain that can be transferred into older cars Cheers, Dennis!
  4. Hi, Already discussed and admired here on this thread I'm almost certain that Alpina B10's were based on 'SE' spec BMW cars and then taken to the Alpina boys to add the Alpina'ness. It's most likely there was boxes for option's ticking and perhaps many original purchasers didn't really care about a black headlining. Some years ago, I went with another B10 V8S Touring owner to the Nurburgring and they are for great long distance with the occasional 'spirited' interlude ! There's only a few of the relative small number of E39 B10 V8 variants I'd buy if I had the cash due to a specific requirement I have ! Still putting the £'s away ready if one comes up! Cheers, Dennis!
  5. Hi, For me, it has to be a custom designed and manufactured complete exhaust system - manifolds, downpipes, middle and rear sections. It'd need to have proven and then independently verified significant power gains over the standard exhaust and be made of Titanium for reducing weight as well. I had a good talk with some of the technical experts from Akropovic on their display stand at SEMA 2010 about exhausts Also had similar discussions with other high end exhaust brands, the engineering level for these is fantastic! Cheers, Dennis!
  6. Hi, Some misinformation and anecdotal experiences above! Unbranded 'Replica' or 'Counterfeit' wheels are the lowest quality wheels you can purchase. They have zero research and development, use the cheapest materials for the wheel and finishing, made in low quality factories using the lowest grade of manufacture - gravity based casting. The objective of these kinds of wheels is to simply 'look like' the original design they're ripping off. There's no identifying features as to which factory makes them, no BMW part numbers etc. 'Some' factories that make these kinds of wheels do make 'better quality' ones but it's impossible to tell those from the lower quality ones. Due to these aspects, then the 'chances' of bending/cracking/buckling are higher with these kinds of wheels. OEM wheels are made using correct grade materials for manufacture and finishing, are tested throughout their manufacturing processes, are made in high quality factories that are fully inspected and tested in every department. Their inherent strength is much better than the low quality unbranded replica's and have been tested and certified to that extent. Chances of bends/cracks/buckled with this level of wheel quality is less. In the read world, some owners will get no cracks with replica's and will then therefore 'recommend' them. Some owners won't get any issues with OEM wheels. Some will get issues with Replica's and some will get issues with OEM wheels. I personally regard wheels as safety related items so a set of counterfeit's would never find their way onto any cars I own. Others' don't mind the risk and will put them on. Oily10 - which exact wheels are those? have a look on the back for a brand name etc. If there's no identifying name or part number etc, then it's likely they're low quality wheels that come from 'some factory, somewhere'. If they're temporary, then I'd suggest finding a set of good quality wheels for longer term use and then just sell these ones on to recoup some money. Cheers, Dennis!
  7. Hi, If you can feel the vibrations coming from that area with the grille under the front seats, then the speaker is working - it's a 'subwoofer' that's located there. Overall, the sound quality from the E60 audio setups isn't so great and the best and easiest ways to upgrade is to get one of the E60 custom fit and compatible speaker kits. They have much better performing subwoofer drivers for under the front seats and much better Midrange drivers and tweeters. They make the 'best' of the oem amplifier and there's a significant increase in sound quality at usual listening levels and you can also turn them up more with less distortion too. Many E60/1 owners who go this route say it's enough of an improvement for them and don't need anything else. When selling the car, you simply take out the upgrade speakers and pop the oem speakers back in. MTX have a kit at around £330 -’s-speakers-beaten-by-mtx-offering-r1911 look around and you'll see a discount on that - so around £300 or so. There's similar kits from the likes of Focal, Gladen, MB Quart, Rockford Fostage, Rainbow etc. You can, later add a small but decent RMS output amplifier to the oem setup which can then power the upgraded speaker kit with more power and thus, efficiency and they'll play even better. Try the upgrade first and see if it's enough for you, if not, you can add an amp and re-listen. If that's not enough, you can add a more powerful sub bass amplifier and a similar performance 8/10/12 inch sub woofer in the boot for some much more powerful sub bass. Cheers, Dennis!
  8. Hi, I'm likely to get a Terraclean done soon too. I need to do some maintenance, bodywork on the car first, then add some modifications and then do the Terraclean. My engine is on around 285,000 miles now and I've got a substantial MPG improvement as it's now a 5 speed manual. I'm hoping there'll be a small but noticeable MPG improvement once cleaned and smoother running and less exit soot from the exhaust would be a bonus! Lots of people are still unsure of such a cleanout, but it's now fairly well known and there's many owners positive responses! Cheers, Dennis!
  9. Hi, It does indeed appear to be the exact same part ! the top number is the 'type' - 6 901 881. Other OEM DSP amps have a slightly different part number and could be/perhaps are incompatible. I'll respond back ! Cheers, Dennis!
  10. Hi, I have this unit - from a April 1999 build date M5, Fully working when removed and it's sat in my E39 goodies storage for around 18 months or so now. Not sure if anyone diagnoses and fixes the problematic DSP amps as most likely the internal components and design means there's no spare parts and/or equivalents to use etc. All the E39 amplifier fixes offered by various companies seem to only do the BM54 unit (non DSP amp) £90 delivered (I've just seen the pricing on ebay for any available! all seem to be £125-180'ish) I'll throw in the 6 CD changer as well, it's no use to me and also just sitting around. I wasn't able to test it to ensure it worked at the time unfortunately, so consider it a spare in case you need to use parts out of it etc Cheers, Dennis!
  11. Hi, It 'could' be a short within one of the modules that's causing the fuse to blow like that. I'd suggest swapping modules first and retrying before calling in an auto electrician. Reason is that they'll charge per hour and test each wire for continuity once identified which potentially could take a 'few' hours. Now I've said that, if you do call one in it'll be found within half an hour! Cheers, Dennis!
  12. Hi, My only 'break' from BMW since around 1994 was 18 months or so with a 2001 Volvo V40 1.9d Sport, it was a nice car overall ! Then the dog grew up more and the car kept popping a metal tube thingy/part and it was around £140 plus fitting costs to replace it, Volvo only part too. After the 4th time it popped in that time, a friend said he wanted a runabout so offloaded it to him with the knowledge of the common issue with these cars and that wretched pipe thingy! I'd still consider a Volvo in the future if I needed a car It'll be interesting to see how much VED goes up for everyone with an older Diesel over the next few years! I'm not complaining for the sakes of it, I know it's just a few tankfuls of fuel. I think when you add the extra potential loadings for Insurance, MOT, Diesel specific parts that the government could 'add on' then it'll be enough for a significant proportion of the non enthusiast community to begin sending good cars in for scrap , as what happened a few years ago now. I think once that is all in full swing, the focus will then turn to older petrol engined cars as well. Cheers, Dennis!
  13. Hi Alex, I'm sure a decent E34 will turn up for you, but some of the asking prices for all cars recently have gone to 'ludicrous' levels - look at this E46 M3 for instance - There's plenty more examples all over the usual car buying sites and various higher end dealers etc, as to their actual selling prices, I suspect many of them are 'significantly' lower ! I do remember seeing that AW E61 M5 last year/summer, the funds are elsewhere - yet more building and extension work on the family home and another particular investment, so couldn't think about purchasing it! Don't let the car sit around for years and years, as you've seen RichardP's M1, drive the car and enjoy it - my personal take is that over the next 2/5/7/10/15+ years, very very few interesting/M cars (Merc AMG's, Audi RS's and other 'hot' versions of normal prestige cars, will appreciate quote to the levels many are currently hoping for. Once you factor in yearly mandatory costs the potential profit might be small/tiny or, might well be an overall loss over the timeframe. There's now more big influences for the automotive industry and the economy that'll most likely have asking prices go down! I could be totally wrong though, if the UK secures some lucrative free trade deals over the next couple years Cheers, Dennis!
  14. Hi Matt, The OEM M5 wheels are great with that deep concave to the face design ! definitely one of the nicer OEM wheels choice from BMW! There's some better priced brand new forged wheels brands out there and I can get you pricing. The set on the white M5 above, I'd estimate would be 'around' the £4-4.5K level (I'd need to check with a supplier US side) and that also would include the shipping, import duty, VAT and clearance fees. Still a big wedge, but about half of the Rotiforms ! Some good used sets for the E60/1 M5 come up quite often on M5board for between perhaps £2500-3500 once all shipping and importation costs are included. Various tuner brand wheels come up and recently a set of 21" Racing Dynamics were up for a bargain $2200 USD I think they were (would have been around £2750'ish landed here) Non forged sets from excellent quality wheel brands are cheaper still. Keep your eyes open for designs you like and if they're US brands, let me know to see what I can do. Cheers, Dennis!
  15. Hi, Later this year the UK get's the M550d X Drive variant! Impressive figures but I don't think these examples will return anywhere the official MPG figures quoted! Re-map anyone ! Cheers, Dennis!
  16. Hi Alex! Welcome back to the forum! You've had a little Hiatus ! Congratulations on the new purchase and welcome to the Touring club A significant number of E34 M5 Touring's were taken out of Germany by US military personnel over the years, federalized and now run around in the US as they didn't get that variant officially. They were taken over perhaps just prior to when age related aspects like rust could be more easily treated and then found homes in the drier/hotter US states. I think finding a 'good' solid E34 will become more difficult here in the UK and the best chance of finding a good European example might be in Spain, Italy. Next best option would be finding the best you can anywhere and then giving it a thorough look over and treat any rust/corrosion etc properly/comprehensively. I almost purchased an E34 M5 in late 1999 but stayed sensible and got a late 1995 E34 525i Sport instead. I've recently got bit of a bug to get another E34, but won't have to be an M5, although I'd like one if a nice one came along! The E61 M5, definitely an awesome purchase for what the car is! I've often thought of getting one too, but for me currently, the running costs for the level I'd like to keep the car at put me off and also, the modifications I'd want are also a big factor too! Also, I'd want one of the 6 or so UK cars in Alpine White! Will the car appreciate in value?, yes/no/possibly/likely/unlikely ! same again for actual selling prices in the future too. I'm sure you've perhaps taken a look at the Pistonheads forum and the various E60/1 M5 posts, do check out some of the exhaust discussions and potentially look for the switchable options Cheers, Dennis!
  17. Hi, The older OEM modules are failing more often now and over the last few years. The setup you have is modular, and given the likelihood of a previous owner (or youself) changing some of the oem modules or adding/modifying them, you need to check and confirm which exact modules you have. For instance, the popular upgrade to the Mk4 DVD based GPS computer many owners do, the unit can 'drive' the monitor directly, and thus, the internal 'controller' as it were could be part of the reason of the issues. As your sound has also gone, it could be an issue with the amplifier module as well. The actual TFT panel itself might've failed and it's co-incidental with the amplifier module going kaput and the Mk4 GPS computer is actually still fully functional. If you have the Mk3 or older units, they had a separate video module I believe and that's another unit you'll need to evaluate. You'll need to then find working modules of the same as you have to 'swap' and test. You'll then be able to determine which module(s) are faulty and evaluate how/if you wish to resolve/repair. If you find it is the monitor itself and the TFT panel is kaput, then replacement panels are around the £90 level and the swap over is quite tedious and fiddly. If you opt for another used working unit, you have to ensure it's from an E39 as the internal viewing angle is specific. On ebay, you'll see monitors listed for the E39/E38/E53 - if you end up with an E38 or E53 unit, the viewing angle will be incorrect and the screen will look funny from the drivers seat. Keeping the OEM modules functional is the most expensive route to go when it comes to the audio for the E39 in comparison to other routes. It's the most popular one for sure as many owners *must* have oem only modules. The recommended repairer is Baris at Carphonics. Whilst your faulty modules are in, you might as well also do the upgrades he offers to improve the modules too - get ready for your wallet to be bashed a bit Good luck with your fault finding - at least it's summertime ! Cheers, Dennis!
  18. Hi Duncan, I do mention things from a broad perspective of what 'most' owners ask for and want! There's always individual owners who'll want XYZ or who don't want XYZ both for the OEM modules and aftermarket, it's not possible to cover 'every' owner in this respect! For instance, I had a recent PM where an owner wanted a 'significant' increase in SQ with an easy to fit solution, in the oem locations with an absolute maximum spend of £100! With a bit more discussion, the BSW solution would be ideal, but of course doesn't want to spend that amount! Other's have a mixture of wants and requirements, some with good and workable budgets, and others where used equipment might be best. By far, the 'most' popular 'want' is the oem 16:9 look coupled with the latest features where possible - Digital TV, Digital Radio, Bluetooth Audio Streaming etc, those who don't have the OEM Monitor and Nav setup, want it along with those features etc. I do remember you want a 'simple' type setup whilst retaining the head unit you currently have and seems you've got yourself a little kit ready to go in I do need the 'one piece' units not the 'split' ones. That said, depending on how evaluations go, I 'might' need some of the split units so will keep in mind you have some. Do you have a MID panel ? Cheers, Dennis!
  19. Hi, Duncan - As we've discussed previously, many E39 owners like yourself do indeed only want the OEM look in their cars, which is fully understandable ! There's not much 'demand' for the radio/cassette OEM look nor the MID Display setup. What is highly 'wanted' is the OEM 16:9 monitor look in the dash area . Also, the units you have, are they the one piece units or the 'split' type ones? I need a single piece unit to dismantle and have the innards looked at so hopefully you have one? DeeGee - Please do post up the specialist who will update the radio/cassette unit, as so far you've been the only member to mention there's someone out there modifying them - do they have a website with what they offer and pricing levels please? For you both and others reading (after search results) - alternatives are; 1. Direct fit and matched speakers - Only BSW do a solution for the E39. They're developed to correctly match the standard OEM audio head unit setups so you simply remove the existing oem speakers and replace with these. They make the 'best' of the OEM head unit's and offer a significant increase in Sound Quality as a result. The downside is that these will come in at around £500+ once landed at your door in the UK. 2. Once DeeGee confirms the specialist able/willing to upgrade the basic Radio/Cassette, MID Display (i.e non monitor/navigation setups) OEM setups and the pricing level, then with much more RMS power (between 25-50W RMS per channel, then that would be sufficient power to drive aftermarket speaker components much more cleanly and correctly. It's possible to get brand new 5.25 inch two way component speakers from around £50+. Better Audio performance is possible with more expensive speakers. The downside to this is that the OEM plastic pods behind the door cards are 'matched' to the oem (not very good) speakers. When you put in aftermarket speakers (non BSW) and run them with more power, then due to the characteristics of that plastic oem pod, the 'midrange' frequencies become over-accentuated and you get a less natural sound. A quick swap to the £20 radioworld MDF baffles resolves this issue and is what I'd recommend is done if this route is chosen. 3. Using a Line output Converter - This solution takes one of the outputs from the oem head unit and converts to RCA/Phono. You can then connect up to a separate amplifier and then the chosen speakers. It's a rudimentary way of doing things though. Balance/fader control disappears (as only one speaker output will be used). Also, as the oem head unit with it's low OEM RMS power output, is easily pushed into distortion. That distortion is 'passed' through the LOC to the amplifier where it's amplified and sent to the speakers. Distortion causes the speaker voice coils to overheat and the number one reason for speaker failure is burnt out voice coils. Those who use this route then will turn down the controls on the amplifier to reduce chances of overheating, but then that reduces the output levels and defeats the purpose somewhat. I'd recommend junking the plastic pods and getting those cheapy MDF baffles, 4. Use a Sound Processor - The efficient and best practice way. The processor takes all the outputs from the OEM head unit, so balance and fader controls remain intact, and cleverly processes the signal. The result is a very clean signal output as no matter how hard the oem amplifier in the head unit is pushed into distortion, the processor will remove as much of it as possible. It'll boost the output voltage as well and also, it removes as much of the oem 'preset equalisation' curve as possible for as best a 'acoustically flat' response. This 'clean' signal is then sent to the chosen amplifier and thus speakers and the resulting audio performance remains 'clean' too and much better to listen to. As per above, the plastic pods should be junked and at least the cheapy MDF baffles used. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages and so it's up to the owner to evaluate which suits them best when wanting to retain the OEM head unit only. Keep in mind, that none of these options address the low end response of music. There'll be a marked increase when using good quality and capable aftermarket speakers of the range from about 60/70 Hz and above, but the bass and sub bass frequencies will be non existent. I'd recommend some sort of subwoofer solution so that the 'full range' of music can be enjoyed Cheers, Dennis!
  20. Hi David, Pretty much every high quality, well reputable and recognized car audio brands head unit's can be controlled via the OEM steering wheel controls via an adaptor/interface and they all have on board amplification with more power than the OEM units as well. The OEM CD changer can't be used with aftermarket head units, but over the last 7-10 years, carrying disks in the car has declined significantly as more car owners use SD cards and/or ipods which also hold vastly more music content as well. In the last few years, iPod use has declined a bit more as more people use their mobile phones for carrying music or, streaming music via online providers. The Parrot Asteroid Smart can be had now for around £325-340 or so and the Alpine at around £425-450 - both brand new prices. Used units are obviously less. With one of these units, another £60-100 gets you brand new 2 way component speakers which will sound significantly better than the OEM speakers (when driven from the OEM head unit). So for around the price of the OEM new part, you'd have a better sounding, modern features and safety aspects covered unit that's controllable from the oem steering controls (interfaces are around £80-100 or so I think, I'm a little vague as I don't use one, I just reach over a few inches to make adjustments!) . My suggestion would be the latter ! The former puts you back to 2001! Cheers, Dennis!
  21. Hi, If you do wish to have the centre bores machined out, then as per above, it's vital you have a good engineering machine shop do this correctly and accurately as this will mean the wheels will run true. Get this aspect wrong or a bit inaccurate, then it's likely you'll get vibration issues that'll drive you up the wall! Are you in Bern, Switzerland? if so, look for any reputable specialists there for this work. I know of a good place but it's over here in the UK in Surrey! Alternatives are you could buy some spacer adaptors which will have 72.56 mm on one side and 74.1mm on the hub side, so direct mount and no machining required. In case you want or have to sell the wheels later, they'll remain 72.56mm CB and thus, you can sell on to owners who may wish to use on their non E39 BMW. The Style 37 wheels do look great on an SE and you are correct, finding 18inch Style 32's in staggered fitment and in decent condition is harder as not many sets are around. The only aspect with Style 32's is that they do have a 'dated' look about them but that's mainly the 17 inch ones. That effect is reduced if you run 18's and a lower ride height and perhaps refinish the wheels in a slightly darker as minimum colour. The 20 inch Style 32's and again refinished well and in a slightly darker silver as a minimum, can look great on the E39, but I know the vast majority of owners wouldn't go to this size! Do post up the results of the direction you go with and final choices etc Cheers, Dennis!
  22. Hi, Welcome to the forum firstly and secondly, there can't be many members here who are the original purchasers of their E39's here ! - You are definitely a rarity in that regard! If you are intent on keeping the car as OEM as possible, I'd say it's not worth spending money fixing the current unit and it'd be easier to just swap to another working unit of the same part/revision number and hoping that one lasts a decent while longer. The reason is as you've already mentioned, plenty of these units will be around 14-17 years old (the facelift and flat Pin versions) so it's anyone's guess as to how long any working units now will actually last into the future. BMW didn't release schematics to aftermarket and 3rd party electronics repair specialists and there's not 'much' demand for overhauling/reconditioning the basic radio cassette, so you might not find either the right/correct internal electronic components required to fix the unit and/or a specialist with the correct knowledge to fix it. Most 'repairs' and upgrades to the OEM BMW audio is for the the higher spec modular Monitor/amplifier/tuner setup. I'd suggest it might be worthwhile upgrading to a modern head unit with the latest features, both for convenience and for road safety/legal aspects. You'd get features like GPS, Bluetooth Audio streaming, Bluetooth mobile phone hands free, Digital music playback off Secure Digital memory cards, ipod control and plenty more. The choice of which way to go is of course yours, and I do understand if you want OEM as possible Cheers, Dennis!
  23. Hi, A used quality amplifier is a good potential route forward, just ensure the item is working etc. Brand new with a warranty/guarantee is still the best route and prices aren't and don't have to be as high as many imagine! £150 buys you this - Cheers, Dennis!
  24. Hi, Spending money on band aid type solutions like a capacitor isn't good practice. The 'most likely' issue is with the low quality internal power supply of the amplifier itself. All those 'cheap' amplifiers you see with more obscure/non recognised brand names use the cheapest quality components internally and that includes the power supply. Putting a capacitor in the power supply to the amplifier will perhaps help as it's the 'current' supply which theoretically should be smoother (but in practice often doesn't solve as much as it could) but it means more expense, more faff to fit with the right connectors and also then finding space for it etc. From a technical view, when the music demands the amplifier pull more current (i.e bass notes) that poor quality internal power supply can't cope and you get the distortion/clipping. With a Capacitor, that 'stores' current within it, ready to discharge when the current demand appears. The issue is, by the time the capacitor can discharge enough current to 'help' that poor quality internal power supply inside the amplifier, very often the current demand has passed (ie the bass note isn't there) and thus there's more current at the poor quality internal PSU, that then becomes 'wasted' energy and is converted to heat. The next current demand comes in and it's a repeat of the above. I have slightly simplified it there, but that's what happens in essence. I'd also say that the amplifier itself is more likely producing far less RMS power output than you think, from the specs listed in that ebay listing, the 4x55W @ 4 ohms is closer to what you'd see on the test bench but could be at higher distortion percentages than claimed!. in 1 channel 4 ohm bridge mode, It's most likely to see somewhere between 300-400W RMS - I never look at 'maximum' ratings from low quality amplifiers, they're wildly inaccurate. Go to a reputable and experienced car audio installer and they'll immediately tell you to buy a much better quality amplifier which will have a much higher quality internal power supply and you'll likely find your issue disappears. This is the advice I'd recommend as well. If you *really* don't want to go that route, I wish you good luck the capacitor route helps. Cheers, Dennis!