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Hi Everyone! As introduced under the I'm New thread, my name is Brian and I am from Nairobi, Kenya. I recently bought back my dads 1986 525i which has been sitting under a tree for the past 6 years. I figured i'd join a UK forum as 525i were only made for the European Market plus it would be easier for me to buy parts from the UK and ship them to Kenya as opposed to any other market. So yeah, happy to be here and I know this will be a long and slow project being that I do not have too much money to blow on the car but I look forward to working on it and all the advice I can get from you guys. The car was parked in an upcountry farm in 2012 due to a faulty ignition system.I think the owner just wasn't keen on fixing it up so it was just left there to gather dust and moss. It's not a terribly humid area so luckily there isn't too much rust on the car. However, nature has done its best to grow around it as so there is grass and leaves everywhere, even the fuel tank has some. There are lots of insects and rodents that have made their homes in there and the seats have a lot of stains on them. I expect there to be a lot of electrical damage as the wiring has most likely been eaten up by said animals or deteriorated due to rain and sun. The tires have good tread on them but since they have been in the sun so long, they will most likely blow once inflated. The fan is rusty, the front bumper is damaged, the interior and center console is in bad shape and the right rear tail light is broken. A lot of little stuff like handles, seams, levers etc are also missing. This is my first restoration job and I am not a grease monkey so I will need all the help/advice I can get. My plan is to restore the car to an Alpina look: Mechanical: Tires - just to get it running Engine fix to get it running first Engine rebuild, clean and polish Shocks and Springs Exhaust Aesthetics: Bumpers and Side Skirts Strip down and repaint to Astoril Blue Redo interior to a cream color (How hard is this given that some of the trimming has the green color to match the car?) Alpina Rims and low profile tires Let me know what you think and I will be updating the progress in the coming weeks/(years? haha).
I know the prescribed method for rejuvenating dull plastic headlights is to use 50 different grades of sandpaper, wet and dry paper, cutting compound with a mains-powered machine polisher and 20 different kinds of resin polish, but... ... I couldn't be arsed with all that. As a shortcut, I purchased myself a bottle of Meguiars PlastX clear plastic polish, which promises to bring dull old headlights back to life. I got it from Amazon (link below), no issues. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0000AY3SR This really is the lazy man's headlight restoration - all I did was apply the PlastX using my cheapy 12v Halfords electric polisher, buffed it up by hand with a microfibre cloth, and gave the lights a smear of Collinite 476S wax, in the hope of a longer-lasting shine. I thought I'd do the obligatory "before and after" pictures, to show how it went. Nearside headlight before polishing Offside light before polishing Nearside headlight after polishing Offside light after polishing As you can see, the end result isn't 100% perfection, but I'd say it's about 80%. I think I'd have to go down the sandpaper/cutting compound/mains polisher/faff route for the final 20%. But, given the condition of the rest of the car's front end (yes, that is 156,000 miles worth of stone chips you can see in the pictures), 80% is good enough for me. So, in summary, it's possible to get decent(ish) results with a bottle of PlastX and 30 minutes of time.