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BSS

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BSS last won the day on July 28

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About BSS

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    West sussex
  • Occupation
    Director/Senior tech @ BMR performance

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  1. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    With the dead line to get the car on the road in time for the E39 M5 meet there were a few a few things that I left to address later that wouldn't stop me using the car but needed sorting. To get the engine up and running I used the donor M5's EWS immobiliser module, ignition barrel and key to work with the M5 DME (engine ECU) which allowed it to fire up straight away. Obviously this isn't ideal having two different keys and using the M5 EWS with its VIN and VO (Vehicle order, list of options fitted to the car) stored when its a 540i..... more on that in future. Using the excellent binary modification tool from www.ecuworx.co.uk meant I could switch off the EWS input on the M5's DME so I could switch back to the 540i's EWS, ignition barrel meaning all working off the original 540i key. While using the tool I also removed the 155mph speed limiter, switched off the post cat O2 sensors for now (as mine has no cats) and switched off the Secondary Air Pump meaning quieter cold starts. [/url] The modified BIN file being flashed onto the DME using MSS flasher. All working off one key now, no post cat O2 sensor faults and hopefully less annoyed neighbours when setting off for early Sunday morning hoons.
  2. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    Thanks! Your ground work helped massively with the project. Many people have asked if I would sell it and as I say to everyone, it would take a silly offer for me to move it on as what it has cost to build, you could buy a nice E39 M5 saloon.
  3. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    Starting to work through the snag list and quite an important one with the weather we are having at the moment is the AC or lack of. When it was in use and before the 540i was pulled apart the AC was working fine so despite my usual modus operandi of replacing everything with new, the condenser was left to be reused but a new receiver drier was fitted after the system was exposed to atmosphere during the conversion. The moment the AC machine was attached to the car it was apparent there was a leak from the condenser so new one was ordered up last week and it became apparent when the old one was removed that it was clearly past its best! With that fitted up the system gassed up its now blowing ice cold as it should be. A lucky forum find was a pair of genuine BMW accessory E39 touring specific roof rails. Another lucky find on ebay was a set of four genuine BMW accessory bike racks which were attached to a pair of E39/E46 saloon roof rails which I swapped over to the touring rails. All in aid of pressing the wagon into family use!
  4. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    5.45am V power fill up before heading round the M25....... .... before meeting up with a load of E39 M5 owners at Beaconsfield services...... ..... to head up the M40 to the meet at C&M. An enjoyable morning out with some nice M5s including plenty in some rare individual colours. So impressions... it goes and stops just like an M5, it handles pretty much like an M5 with the Eibach rear ARB helping to keep the body roll with the extra weight in check. Ride is nice and compliant compared to my M4 despite the Bilstein B8 shock absorbers and with every bush, ball joint, mount, suspension arm and steering rod being new its a tight as can be. Only down side is 3rd gear syncro has had it so a quick change up or down into 3rd will mean a crunch. Annoying as it means a box rebuild and I had no way of knowing this as i couldn't drive the crash damaged M5. Very happy with how it has turned out so far and despite there being a snag list plus a few other changes i would like to make, I am looking forward to doing those as and when.
  5. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    Time was very limited for covering absolutely everything to "finish" the car so to stand a chance of making the meet I had to prioritise what to do so it could be driven and so it looked complete. Pressing on last week after hours at work and all the way up to 11.30PM on Saturday I just managed to achieve this. Keeping the self levelling rear air suspension meant some rerouting of the pneumatic lines, wiring and removal of the compressor from its "tortoise shell" housing that locates it in under the spare wheel and putting it in the forward compartment of the M5's battery tray that normally houses a tyre inflation kit. One of the plastic trims (left one which covers the BM54 radio unit) was already cracked and the ones on the right needed some cutting to allow routing of the some wiring so this is an area that requires some finessing so another set of plastic covers will be sourced and adapted to tidy this area up. More of that gold plated plastic fitted up, the centre under tray specific to the sport front bumper is often missing or damaged from speed bumps etc and in my case, it still has an SE one fitted along with ebay copies of the "pork chop" side pieces. I was initially told the centre piece was on back order with no delivery date (so no stock in the UK or Germany) but then one turned up a couple of days later. Happy days I thought but on closer inspection it had clearly been knocking about in a warehouse for some time as it was covered in dust and had (as can been seen in the pics) lots of scratches to the underside. Annoying but I wasn't going to be too choosy on something I would have to wait a long time for another if they even make another batch! The M5/M3 Oval interior mirror suffering from the usual bleeding of its auto dimming glass plus mine was missing its "clown nose" alarm LED lens so it was an order from cutters forum sponsor www.mirrorjohn.co.uk for a replacement glass and lens. Fitted up and working. I ordered a set of covers for the back of the mirror and rain sensor but they don't seem to fit so thats on the snag list to look into whats going on if there are different size rain sensors. When I bought the 540i the previous owner had fitted a set of birch anthracite interior trims which was quite sought after and I do like them but I wanted the interior to have as much M5 feel as possible so I swapped the birch for a very good set of M5 specific titan shadow trim set. Another couple of options already retro fitted to the touring were the built in child booster seats and rear door blinds. Having owned several E39's over the years I always wanted the booster seats in them for my kids to use but now they are old enough not to need them any more. typical! M5 rear outer head rests added to match the fronts. Switch panel with the M5's specific sport button to adjust throttle map and steering assistance. Another retro fit carried over from the touring is the wide screen MK4 nav (very antiquated now) and DSP audio system which although not great, its a step up from the very poor base spec audio most E39's have to put up with. The donor M5 still had its original early black face instrument cluster so that was swapped over but as you can see its suffering from the usual dead pixels in the display. What isn't noticeable in the pics are some other issues with it such as the fuel gauge incorrectly reading and the warm up lights on occasion doing an impression of a crappy disco. I have tried another cluster to confirm its my cluster at fault and not a dodgy sender or wiring issue so I need to send mine away and see if it can be repaired. During the week I had driven the car to and from work a couple of times to give it a short shake down so with no issues it was time for a longer run and at speed so a 40 mile round trip up the M23 then one junction of the M25 and back with no issues I was confident it would be ok for the 250 mile round trip on Sunday. A fresh set of side mouldings with M5 badges plus clear side repeaters to replace the body colour painted ones and ambers. Continuing with the amber to clear theme a set of mint condition facelift rear outer lamps with clear indicators and new facelift inner lamps to replace the faded ones fitted plus a pair of new outer bumper mouldings. And to finish off the clear indicator theme (all UK M5's had clear indicators) the amber shod halogens that had a cheap HID kit and broken adjusters were replaced with a set of OEM facelift xenon headlights that had been refurbished with all new adjusters, polished lenses and new bulbs. Also in the pic you can see the M sport front bumper T bar in the centre grill has been swapped out for the M5 mesh grill and the standard mirror have been replaced with the M5 specific ones. A new motor and glass was required the drivers mirror as they had been damaged when the donor M5 was crashed. The engine bay received a bit of a wipe down, new headlight gaskets and some of the bolts that hold on the headlights, rad supports and front panel were replaced with new to get rid of some rusty old ones to help tidy it up a bit. Quick wash the evening before the meet then the last piece to go on at 11.30 pm was the M5 rear badge.
  6. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    Moving back to the engine bay meant plumbing in the oil filter housing and PAS reservoir. These are located differently to the 540i and have their own bolt on mounting bracket compared to the (by now cut off and painted inner wing) welded on bracket the 540i uses. [/url] Both plastic fill in panels from the 540i were replaced to allow for the M5 twin air intakes, both of these were damaged on the M5 donor so were bought new along with.... .....some of the most expensive bits of plastic known to mankind! Due to the front end damage of the M5 donor car a lot of the front end parts were scrap. In the end a new fan blade, fan clutch, radiator, fan cowling, expansion tank and not pictured but replaced with new, both belt tensioners, belts and top coolant hose. Luckily the 540i shares the same front panel, PAS cooler. electric fan and AC condenser as an M5 so they could be reused. What you see here is pretty much all the hardware required to mount an M5 exhaust which was all scrap on the M5 donor car. That pile there was about £500. That hurt! Rear silencer mounting studs all wound in after running a thread cleaner through the holes. Rear silencer heat shields fitted up with all rear silencer six rubber mounts. Another pair of parts that seem like a minor thing but were both missing from the donor M5 and had to be bought new at great expense for what they are. Quad pipes on a wagon!!! All the complication of grafting in the M5 boot floor, relocating the battery, the expense of all the new M5 exhaust mounting hardware just be able to have four pipes like an M5 saloon when I could have just used an alternative method with a lot less work an expenditure but it would have been a massive compromise for me. The donor M5 had been de catted and had a rear silencer delete all done quite poorly. I bought a pair of used rear silencers from ebay so refitted those but a pair of used M5 cats a quite expensive now at circa £1200-1500 and ideally i wanted a complete uncut system from the down pipes to tail pipes so this unsightly exhaust is a temporary solution till a suitable system comes up. Engine bay now built up with the intakes, fluids filled, petrol added to the tank, EWS, key barrel from the M5 fitted (for the time being) and it pretty much fired straight up! Back onto the interior refit, as I had a deadline to meet (July the 4th E39 M5 meet at Caffeine & Machine) It was full steam ahead with every spare bit of time so a lack of pics during this stage im afriad. The M5 front seats were sent to a mate at the polishing company east anglia to re colour the blue centres to black and these were back in time to refit. A set of Michelin PS4's fitted up then Hunter wheel alignment to M5 specs. After running up the engine up to temp, checking for leaks (and rectifying a minor coolant leak) it was time to take it for its initial test drive.
  7. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    I built one 4 years ago and sold it six months later. I still had the standard body though but everything else was M3.
  8. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    Using every bit of spare time available (without the wife divorcing me!) I have been pressing on to meet a deadline. New parking brake hardware, new rear wheel bearings with the M5 hub flanges (note the two grub screw bolt holes non M5 E39's don't have), new discs pads and rebuilt callipers. Saloon and tourings differ in where their parking cables pass through the knuckle, 12'o clock on the saloon and 9'o clock on the touring. This presents a minor problem in that the M5 uses bigger rear discs and there for bigger back plates so there a two options to address this issue, either weld in the centre of a touring back plate to an M5 outer or cut down the touring back plate to clear the M5 disc. The latter is the route I chose as its easier and welding thin bits of steel and they have a shape critical to the operation of the parking brake. Another saloon/touring difference that needed to be overcome was the rear brake hoses. On a saloon the hose come out of the calliper horizontally then attaches to the rigid pipe in a vertical position. On the touring the hose comes out at an approximately 45 degree angle then turns rearward to a horizontal join of the rigid pipe. The reason for this is to clear the shock absorber as again there is a difference in mounting points, the saloon being vertical in to the top of the inner wheel arch and the touring at about 30 degrees to the rear subframe (as can been seen in previous pictures). To overcome this custom made HEL braided brake hoses were fitted to the rear with matching non custom fronts. Bilstein B8 shock absorbers coupled with the existing Eibach pro kit front springs, new top mounts, all four arms new with the brake reaction (upper) arm bushes replaced with Powerflex, new M5 (like the rears two grub screw holes plus two locating pins) wheel bearings plus as per the rear new pads, discs and rebuilt callipers. Front end coming together. Along with the new fuel lines was fitment of the M5 specific fuel filter and pressure regulator set up. And now on to one of the areas I enjoy with a build......... The M5 body loom laid out. As mentioned at the beginning of the thread, an E39 M5 touring build has been done several times before and having trawled the web to see others approaches I found that people have taken one of two ways when it comes to the wiring alterations required. Now I suspect their chose boils down to the base touring they chose to convert as to the approach they have taken, the two choices being alter the existing touring loom to suit or use the M5 body loom and alter it for the touring specific parts such as tailgate, self levelling rear suspension (if retained) with the latter involving a lot more work. Other differences to throw into the mix is if the touring as ASC or DSC (all M5's have DSC), wether the touring is a Diesel or petrol and even more importantly if the touring was built before 09/98. This is particularly important as the E39 had a major technical update from this build date (and all M5's were post 09/98) which also including a lot of the electrical components and wiring.. There are also differences between V8 and six cylinder cars and even after the 09/98 technical update there are a few slight differences. The upshot of this is that the easiest touring to convert is a post 09/98 540i manual that is a similar build date to the M5 donor car. Never the less...... ..... using a 03/99 built 540i auto touring and an 09/99 M5 meant minimal wiring alterations to the touring loom but still plenty of wires to be harvested from the M5 body loom to integrate the Sport button (for different throttle map and steering), manual transmission and S65 vs M62 differences. As with my E46 M3 touring project, all wiring alterations were done without cutting and soldering so all terminal numbers and wires colours are as per factory wiring diagrams.
  9. As per the title, a complete set needed.
  10. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    A large pile of parts accumulated while the car was away at the bodyshop so it was time to get cracking with it. New OEM brake and M5 fuel lines fitted up along with new accumulators for the self levelling rear air suspension. Rear axle built up using the modified rear subframe, rebuilt M5 LSD, refurbished lower arms and hubs, new bushes throughout, all new upper arms, new wheel bearings, new top mounts, new drop links, new nuts and bolts, Bilstein B6 shocks, Eibach ARB, Arnott air springs, refurbished drive shafts plus other bits and bobs. Blasted and painted subframe built up using an M5 ARB, M5 steering box, new centre drag link, all new bushes, all new M5 PAS pipes. Original rod bearings replaced with the engine @ circa 125k miles Rear axle bolted up and in along with the fuel tank using new tank straps Engine and box mated along with the recently replaced clutch and flywheel, bolted onto the built up front subframe using new engine mounts ready for its "marriage" to the body All bolted up in to the engine bay and back on all four wheels with the rear air suspension inflated. The result of 27 hours over the bank holiday weekend. Lots more to do!
  11. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    A couple of small panels were bought for the rear of the sills the rest made from scratch.
  12. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    Last weekend saw the return of the rolling shell after a longer spell than was anticipated. Before work started on the cutting and welding, the underside of the car including all four wheel arches was cleaned of years of built up mud and road grime to reveal a reasonably clean underside with only the jacking points and a few small patches that had suffered from corrosion. The M5 boot floor with all the excess metal not required now cut off. Unfortunately the donor M5 was not as clean as the touring shell which meant there was only one way to go with this..... All of the relevant panels needed to be split apart to repair or clean up the corrosion. This added quite a bit of time to the process and a new boot floor panel (now NLA from BMW) would have saved a lot of time (money!) in doing this but when you can't buy new you have to work with what you have. No turning back!!! The boot floor conversion progressing The E39 bodies Achilles heel, jacking points and the sills in general are usually the first area for them to start to corrode and a collapsed rear jacking point is often the death knell for an old lowly spec/engine E39. The end result is now a rust free E39 "M5 touring" shell ready to start putting back together. After all of the fabrication was completed and primed, 3M sprayable sealer was used then a combination of beige paints to match the factory sealer and E- coat then a dusting of Oxford green base coat to replicate the factory look of overspray from when the shell is painted at the factory then application of Tectyl ML cavity wax to all of the box sections and a few key locations. Both rear quarters, both sills a new M5 rear diffuser and the pair of genuine M5 mirrors all painted at the same time. Now the fun begins........!
  13. I'll have these. PM on its way.
  14. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    Easter weekend allowing for some spare time to prep for the bodyshop and as I had sold the M62B44 engine it was time to get that out. A before shot of the underside. The last time its going to look like a non M5 V8 E39! Underside stripped down (rear air springs and accumulators aside) to reveal a relatively corrosion free underside. When the bodyshop it will be fully cleaned before any repairs. The usual jacking points at the rear of the sill corrosion common to E39's has started to take a hold. Not the worst as E39s go but once the rot is cut out the hole will be a lot bigger.
  15. BSS

    E39 M5 touring build

    The rear eibach ARB came with polly bushes and I have ordered some polly front ARB bushes for the 27mm M5 front ARB. OEM BMW air spring list a choice of M sport and non M sport. I have fitted loads of Arnott air springs to X5s, E39s and E61s and they are good quality but I have seen Bilstein list a rear air sporing for the E39.
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