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About sinner

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  • Birthday 12/12/1985

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  • Interests
    Cycling, cars and science
  • Occupation
    Science and stuff


  • Garage
    E39 530d Touring

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  1. sinner

    Restart E39 530d Sport Touring

    Sorry for the big gap between updates, the joys of working abroad. Good news and bad news this time. I got it back from the body shop on Monday. It is now completely rust free, with a fresh bumper, and M5 grill. I am really happy with the way it looks. I fixed the wobble in the left mirror, but broke the lens in the process. Electrochromic mirrors are not removed like normal mirrors. There is a small tab under the centre of the glass that needs pushing to one side to release it. I will put up pictures when the new lens arrives... With only a leaking mirror, it passed the MOT with no advisories on Wednesday. Now the bad news, and reason for so few pictures. I wanted to get the gearbox serviced before anything else (and there is a lot else), so took it up to Martin Hind's on Friday. He is a top bloke, honest, with a well-kept workshop, pleasure to deal with. Alas, the box was not so happy:. This is after 130k. Martin suspected the un-mapped gt2260v had not help, but was not surprised. As Martin didn't have a box to swap out and I needed to get home, I risked it. Survived the M40, but lost all drive just off the motorway. Extremely luckily, about 10 min from a friend's house; he towed it back with his 330d. Do like a diesel. Manual conversion suddenly got very high on the list. This forum has provided all the information: http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/116450-auto-to-manual-conversion/ , now to source the parts...
  2. sinner

    Restart E39 530d Sport Touring

    Just a short update. I've been out of the country with work the last month, so didn't get a whole lot done. Made use of the sunshine over the weekend to get the basics sorted. Fresh oil & filters all round. It's pretty clean in the engine bay, bar every other bolt and fitting is missing. Luckily I have a donor car to pull these off of. Rocker cover gasket is leaking and the manifold and head need cleaning badly. I have a Febi gasket to go on, but want to wait for a few more parts, to save going in there twice. Seems the previous owner fitted a gt2260v, which was a nice surprise among the missing bolts an other butchery. After nearly getting concussed by the rear glass, I decided swapping out the struts was a high priority. That Job took a few quiet moments and cups of tea. So satisfying to have the boot lid hold itself up now! Few tips for anyone considering this: cut a small section of 4 mm ply to protect the roof when you're levering against it; get a 36'' pry bar; vacuum out the debris before inserting the new struts, no sense getting grit in the nice clean pivot grease. Not wanting to chase down any electrical gremlins, I fitted the largest battery I could: Bosch S5 393 mm. It will go in provided most of the surrounding trim is removed, and the earth cable. It's worth getting the breather hose in the right place beforehand, as taking it out is a faff. The rest of the weekend was spent preparing for the body shop. The new bumper arrived form Germany. I found a dent-free and slightly less-rusty bonnet at a breaker's, along with a full under-tray and replacement mirror (with auto light sensor!). With those parts fitted I delivered it to the body shop, where it will be for the next month or so.
  3. sinner

    Restart E39 530d Sport Touring

    Thank you. I am really pleased with the way they turned out The offset is about perfect now. I tried 15 mm at the rear, but that was too much. There is no rubbing up front. The rear does just touch on g-outs (fast compressions, etc.). As the body shop are doing the arches anyway, I'll get them to trim the lip back for more clearance. Yes, I used 74.1 to 72.6 spacers. If I was doing it again, I would get the rims bored out. The spacers fit fine on the front, but at the rear you'll have to take a little off the hub as the spacer sits proud by ~ 5 mm. I was not comfortable doing this, but whoever replaced the bearings chewed the flanges to pretty badly in the process, so this was a reasonable way to square the edges off. I have to change the rear hubs for an M5 brake conversion soon, when that happens I'll figure out a better method of spacing the rims.
  4. sinner

    Restart E39 530d Sport Touring

    Christmas did not go so well this year, ran out of skill in the snow with a heavily laden car. One of those annoying slow motion spills where you get to watch your hard work come to pieces. The damage wasn't actually so bad; engine was untouched, fan spins freely. The sweet irony being the snowplow clearing by all of a minute later. If it weren't for the rust I'd have started rebuilding, but there is rust, hence I've spent the last month looking for 530d with low miles and a relatively clean body to transfer parts into. Turns out almost all E39s have some rust somewhere, so it became a game of finding the easiest to redeem. This came up locally a couple of days ago: It's not the cleanest, but it has promise and the price was fair at 2k. 130k miles, gear box oil changed, vortex breather, turbo reconditioned (as precaution), vacuum lines, engine mounts, rear wheel bearings, rear suspension arms and bags, new windscreen. Folder full of receipts, and reasonable MOT history. There are some bad bits: A replacement bumper has already been ordered. The Style 66s have had a nasty rattle-can respray, and the tyres are not legal. Under trays are missing, replacements already ordered. Traction control light came on after about 10 min on the dual carriage way, which I am hoping is the worn tyres, will be cleaning sensors as a precaution. Something is rubbing on the drive train, an annoying tick like a skipping CD, will getting under it today to investigate. Headlight adjusters were dead, but I had a spare set which have already gone in. The clips for the trim around the rear window have broken, and the trim is rattling, a lot. Auto dim on the mirror is permanently on. The left side mirror glass is loose, and vibrating above about 50 mph. The bonnet is full of stone chips and small dents. While irritating, these problems are easily fixable. It helps to have a donor car. Step one has been to solve the anemic wheel problem, and get some decent rubber on there: I had a set of E38 staggered style 32s refurbished for the last car, so these went straight on, with 10 mm spacers at the rear and 15 mm up front. I'll get the 66s refurbished, and a good set of snow tyres... It's off to the body shop next week to get the bonnet and some peeling lacquer resprayed, and to have sills and arches done. There's just a little little rust showing, which I want to get ahead of. I'll try to document all this. Once the bodywork is sorted, the mechanical fun can begin, with a manual conversion very high on the list.
  5. sinner

    Gearbox noise in neutral

    Not yet. It is on the list; I brought a bottle, just need a free weekend to get under it. Is this common with low, or old, oil? Wouldn't it also cause noise in other gears?
  6. sinner

    Gearbox noise in neutral

    The car is a bit rattly when idling, but it’s a diesel, and all the other diesels I’ve owned have been much noisier. I had replaced the prop bearing, prop coupling, diff, diff mounts, engine mounts and gearbox mounts; so I thought nothing of the rattle. Until a few days ago. I was waiting at the entrance to an underground car park, with the windows down enjoying diesel fumes and the reassuring diesel rattle. Then I pressed the clutch and all went quiet, just the pleasant straight six noise (and the fumes). It was amazing, and a bit concerning. I know there is some noise form gearboxes in neutral, but this seems like a lot. The gearbox is working fine, it’s just really loud in neutral. Is this normal, or a sign of something expensive about to happen? Cheers
  7. sinner

    What winter wheel/tyre combo

    I was using the same as Dan, Alpin 4s on turbines. They look a little anaemic, but they do a great job in the snow and ice, used them all of last winter in French and Swiss Alps. Now changing to a square set of 66s (to accommodate larger brakes), probably with Michelin again. I am a little concerned the extra width is going to reduce the grip in the snow, but I won’t be pushing the limits.
  8. Pull the leather surround up from around the lever, there is a switch at the base. Part 3 here: http://bmminiparts.com/GetGraphic.aspx?id=61665&type=Z
  9. sinner

    Fitting E38 wheels

    Thanks for the conformation Dan. OEM it is! I do a lot of miles, ball park 20k. A big chunk of that is in the Alps and the Jura, in all kinds of weather. Had near misses on cheap tyres, and personally see it as false, and potentially dangerous, economy. Although, you’re right, like most industries, there is probably a lot of selling on name rather than performance. I’ve been on Conti for a while and have not been disappointed, just fancied a change. I’ll look into the Vredesteins.
  10. sinner

    Fitting E38 wheels

    Last week I picked up a set of staggered e38 style 32s. They were fitted to a friend’s touring and, despite the curbing, looked great. He machined a set of hubcentric spacers to maintain the correct offset, which I will be using. The rims are currently being refurbished in a smoked chrome, and I am sorting a new set of tyres. I’ll get some pictures up once they are done. Tyre size is the confusing part, I’ve seen a whole plethora of sizes suggests. General consensus seems to be as Dan mentioned: 235/40 front, 265/40 rear. However, they currently have 215/40 front, 265/35 rear. 215 seems narrow to me, but does not look out of place on the wheel. What is the argument for or against 215 or 235? Also, does anyone have anything bad to say about Michelin Pilot Sport 4s?
  11. sinner

    530d droplinks

    I got a set from Jason at All German Parts, price was comparable with the bay and he's a nice guy to deal with. They were either Meyle or Lemförde, changed so much lately I lose track...
  12. sinner

    LSD conversion for E39 540iT6

    I have first hand experience with the Quaife and Birds; both deserve their reputations. No wearing parts and automatic torque biasing swayed me to the Quaife. To save repetition, have a read through here: http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/127276-lsd-conversion/#comment-1367730
  13. Front bumper and fogs from an SE saloon you were breaking