Mashed Potatoes

My E60 535D - a tale of loving it, and wanting to torch it

9 posts in this topic

Hi guys,


Well I've never done a project thread before so sorry if this doesn't follow the usual way of doing things! 


I bought the car August 2016 as a cat D write off (oh what a giggle this turned out to be) for £6250 with 120k on it. The car itself looked good. It had some crap pre-LCI headlights in it where the loom had obviously been chopped to make them work, but the panels lined up well, there were no knocks or bangs and a look underneath revealed all new suspension arms etc on the drivers side. We took it out for a test drive and it pulled well, the engine sounded relatively healthy, if not a little tappy. There was a little bit of a whine from the small turbo but I knew they weren't the strongest so didn't worry about that. And the airbag warning light was on so I plugged my scanner in and it was for the drivers side belt tensioner. I haggled the seller down from his £7k asking price and drove it away that night after driving down from near Chester to Birmingham to look at it. I followed my then business partner back in his 635D which it kept up with no problem, there was a judder from the front when the brakes were hot, but that was it. It cruised home up the M6 with nothing noteworthy other than 2 knackered numberplate bulbs and the boot release handle didn't work, but was fine on the key and the button in the car.


I gave it a wash the next day and ordered a new belt tensioner. That got fitted and the light cleared. Woo no more issues!


:lol: No.


Because I was off work ill, I ended up chucking it into a local garage to sort out the brakes. No problem, new calipers on the front along with new discs and new pads. New discs and pads went on the back too. I hoped this would've been the last of the brake problems but oh no! Comes to that later!


About a week later it put the DPF warning light on. A quick check showed it was getting up to temperature no problem so it went on the ramp in work and we saw the intercooler was leaking quite badly on the drivers side. I assume a second hand cooler had been fitted after the smash.


Weill it would be rude not to do a DPF modification whilst in there wouldn't it. Wagner Tuning intercooler and DPF delete pipe ordered.


These were fitted and the car was then mapped to stage 2. I did this for a living at the time and with it being my own car, I stuck on our stage 2 tune that is usually reserved for cars under 100,000 miles due to wear and tear. Boost up to 2.4bar and 1740bar max rail pressure amongst other tweaks. Above 100,000 we usually go for max boost 2.1bar and 1700bar max rail pressure depending on the condition and what the owner tells us. The car rolled 296BHP/413ftlbs with the DPF out, and 404BHP/550ftlbs on the stage 2. The EGR was mapped shut at the same time.






I'd ordered other odds and sods in this time. New side repeaters with LEDs in to get rid of the knackered standard ones that were all faded. New M badges for the wheels and new boot and bonnet emblems in black and white. The suspension also got a full refresh at the time. New shocks and Eibach springs all round. The standard CCC was rough when I got it - it wouldn't respond to the wheel in the middle and started to get worse so a full CIC kit was ordered from Latvia and fitted in. It was nice having working sat nav again!


I lived with it as it was for a couple of months, just doing oil changes every 5k miles and a gearbox fluid change. The rattling was getting much worse, on start up so I was really beginning to suspect the chain tensioner and the small turbo was getting more and more whiney. I left it at a trusted garage I do work for for them to look at and they also suspected chain. No problem I'll get it booked in and sort it out in the next few weeks or so. And look at the brakes again. There was a vibration when the brakes were hot.


On leaving the car park, the brakes failed! The pedal went rock hard and no amount of pressure would stop the car. Luckily I only bumped up a kerb at the back reversing it when they failed. The garage stripped the car down to look at the servo... Which had a MASSIVE dent in the bottom of it. We assume from the drivers wheel hitting it when it was in its smash. Nice to know it was fixed properly. :rolleyes:


A brake servo was ordered and they went through the car with a fine tooth comb for me. This was not the garage that had fitted the front brakes the first time round, and they found one of the bleed screws loose on the passenger side which had dripped fluid down onto the rim and eaten the paint. Unreal. Anyway that got sorted out with the new servo and a 4 wheel alignment. 


Next job was the chain and the turbos. The car was booked in and left with the garage I use. The turbos were removed and both sent away for conversion to hybrid spec. The engine was then stripped down, chain replaced and quite a few ancillary parts were done at the same time such as water pump, swirl flaps removed, new tappets etc. Everything that could be done easily without taking the engine to bits. 3 weeks from start to finish including the turn around time for the turbos. I was delighted to have it back. This is how it looked in the mean time whilst being worked on.




I gave the car a few weeks to bed in the turbos before mapping to stage 3. After that I was onto my contact in the Netherlands that did some of my files for their stage 3 with small hybrids. This took boost up to 2.7bar. The difference was immediate. Despite not gaining as much in BHP as I was hoping, the MASSIVE dollop of extra torque really throws it down the road. It just pulls and pulls and pulls. The rolling road result was 420BHP and 606ftlbs. Somewhat more than what the gearbox was rated for but it seems to be handling it fine. The fuel will be wound up more when I install methanol in the future. Ideally I'd like to change the big turbo again to allow me to run 3.0bar boost in the future and fit the R90 fuel pump that'll allow more fuel through whilst sustaining higher pressures. This combined with methanol injection should result in around 500BHP/630-640ftlbs at the crank. I wouldn't want to go much higher than this without beefing up the gearbox and the bottom end of the engine. As it stands it's still the untouched original bottom end and top end. 




As it stands, the car has run in this configuration for the past 6 months with no issues at all. I have also put on the xHP Stage 3 gearbox flash which has made a massive difference to the car and how it drives. Gear changes are now instant, and sport mode is almost vigorous - it slams into the next gear and just pulls instantly. No delay. It has become apparent however that it needs better brakes. It is VERY easy to get up to naughty speeds in it VERY quickly. Which then means having to stop too. Which is OK for the first few goes but after that the brakes are seriously hot. M5 discs have arrived in preparation for a future upgrade at some point when I find some calipers and get them rebuilt.


More in part 2!


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I've yet to write part 2 but these are two videos another member took. Basically proving it hardly smokes at all - very clean considering no DPF and well north of 400bhp. 





Edited by Mashed Potatoes

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The first parts for the methanol kit arrived today. I was going to chop out the spare wheel holder and plate the floor but it would be a big piece that would need cutting out and I really don't fancy that. Luckily the tank will fit around it - just!


Tank test fit:




Gave everything a good clean and do some masking in preparation for a few coats of satin black to protect the panels and so the tank blends in a bit better:




And finished. I'll leave it 24 hours to dry before putting the boot trims back in. I'll be ordering the rest of the kit soon so the tank won't be bolted to the floor yet because I'd need to take it out to put fittings in it. I'm also going to put in some form of fluid drainage should there be a leak in there, and a vent for the tank so any evaporation doesn't fill up the boot space. Might stick some LED strip in there too linked to the boot light so I can see easier when filling the tank if it's dark. 




I've found a part number from a Porsche forum for some water drains fitted to the back of the old 964s so I'll ring the local Porsche dealer in the morning to order some in. From reading they're only a couple of quid each. I want 2 of them.






MOT time tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Edited by Mashed Potatoes

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Haha thank you. Hopefully soon I'll be able to crack 450BHP and then 500 with a fuel pump swap. I should add that on a recent jaunt to Cornwall and back with just a 1 day stop down there when it was parked up, it averaged 44MPG cruising at motorway speed. Reasonable considering the power level.

GStarrr likes this

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After 3 months nearly from the order date, there's a set of custom headlights on the way to me from America. I won't go into full details, but suffice to say the company have been somewhat unhelpful in trying to trace them for me (they were originally posted 2 months ago, but the tracking code never showed them as collected. Annoying considering the lights and postage came in at nearly 700 quid) but after much harassing, they finally got onto USPS and got them to trace the lights. They were also going to begin building me another set. I believe USPS have found them and they're now on the way, I've never been so happy to see a tracking page show as in transit. I'm gonna wait for them to arrive and then ask to claim the postage back from USPS. I paid for priority postage and then they effectively lost them. Priority postage was £160 on its own!

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