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Jim_C

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About Jim_C

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  1. Like a number of other owners, the hooligan element within me would like a considerably more vocal sound to the exhaust on my car. But when I asked a week known specialist about the cost for a back box delete on my 545i, he quoted me £450+VAT, which is way more than I was expecting. Now, I don't work in the exhaust business, so I'm not going to tell someone who does that they are wrong, but is there a cheaper way to liberate more V8 aural goodness without compromising MOT or management lights?
  2. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    Thanks, dirtydirtydiesel. Please don't think I'm being dismissive of your posts, I'm just out of my depth! If I've understood correctly, I'll need a minimum of 17mm of spacers *on each side* just to negate the different offset of the MV3s. Any additional spacer width (up to 40mm total on each side) would be for style purposes. I appreciate your help and I'll check out the spacers.
  3. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    If I decide to go the spacer route, what should I look for? At the rear: 20mm total track increase or 20mm each side? At the front? Will I need new bolts to ensure I have enough engagement or do the spacers have their own bolts? Is it worth paying for h&r / eibach or will anyone's metal discs made in a shed be ok? So many questions! Also, where can I find data about the MV3s? Offset, etc? Thanks in advance, as ever... Next, the exhaust. The point of a V8 (apart from lots of lovely torque and power) is surely that it sounds like it could eat you whole. Would simply removing the back boxes and welding on some tips create the desired effect (a lot more noise and some burbling) and are there consequences for MOTs and engine management lights, etc? I put a switchable straight pipe on an S-Type 4.0 and that was quite entertaining, but a bit crude to be absolutely fair. I really don't want to spend more than about £250, so all ideas welcome...
  4. Jim_C

    Return to the fold

    Hi Duncan, sorry I missed your reply! No pics until the car is roadworthy. If you imagine a dirty, slightly tatty standard E61 in mid-grey metallic, sitting in a puddle of steering fluid, you won't go too far wrong...
  5. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    Thanks for the tip - I'll take a look. I thought I had it covered!
  6. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    I wasn't planning on running spacers. I fitted the MV3s in the workshop and spun them up to check for snagging and they seemed fine. Are spacers essential then?
  7. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    Hope you find a good one, miniblob! Mine went in for the steering rack replacement on Friday, but sadly is still on the ramps. The garage had to cut off the track rod ends as they had seized and the replacement ones were incorrect, not allowing the rack to be centered. Never mind, it should be ready on Monday. We bought a rather battered set of MV3 wheels with tyres, but have had a bit of a nightmare with the rubber! The current LA 123 wheels are on 245/40's all round, 2 of which have a reasonable amount of tread left. However the new, (staggered) MV3's have good 225/40's on the 8" fronts and knackered 255/35's on the 8.5" rims at the back. So it looks as though we'll end up with the 245's from the original wheels on the back and the 225's at the front. Not what I'd have preferred, but I suppose it'll do for now. On the plus side, I refurbed the fronts last Thursday, spraying them a nice anthracite-y grey and used a satin lacquer. Probably should have gone a bit easier with the 80-grit in places, as I can see a few prep marks, but we only wanted a quick fix, so it's fine for now. Just need to do the rears or it'll look a bit weird! I also cut out the boot liner to accommodate the spare. It's not an ideal fix, having big holes in it, but it does the job. I used a jigsaw, which was a lot quicker than a Stanley! Though watch out for the heat it generates - I found it was welding itself back together behind the cut I was making!
  8. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    That's for a new rack and including labour (plus Vat, so it's actually a little bit more!). The garage said they'd be happy to fit a second hand/recon rack, but since most of the cost is labour, it's not really worth it.
  9. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    I know. Don't get me wrong, I know there will be others! But at least I'll get the chance to enjoy owning the car for a little while!
  10. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    I had the car serviced today. The cleaned up engine bay revealed that most of the oil in the area was power steering fluid, emanating from a knackered steering rack. It's going to cost about £550 for a new one, which is a blow, but not the end of the world. There's a bit of oil also coming from the VCG, but seemingly not enough to get worried about. Knowing it's not an immediate basket case means I can now get on with sourcing a new key and getting the recall done, etc. I've seldom been happier to get a £550 bill.
  11. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    Thanks, I'll take a look under the battery. If there's any damp, I'll think about gaskets, etc.
  12. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    I think my car originally had one of those foam canister/pump things instead of a spare, plus a polystyrene moulded housing for the tow hitch. The moulded plastic carpeted liner for the wheel well seems to have been made to fit this and was flattened off along the rear edge of the boot. Once I removed this, there was enough space to make it fully round and admit the full spare wheel - to my relief. Was also pleased to note that the boot well is entirely dry...
  13. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    Thanks Andrew, JasonH and warnie. The list of potential leak sources is indeed impressive. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that "a misting of oil at the front of the engine" is at the minor, inexpensive end of the scale. As I only have one key, I'm in a bit of a quandary: I'm happy to attempt the DIY battery replacement (despite a lack of experience or finesse in the soldering department), but I'm not keen to do anything that could bork it until I've got a working alternative. Do I just swallow the £160 asked by BMW (as Timpson charge the same, I reckon I'd go main dealer...) I was a bit alarmed to discover that the spare wheel well had a flat edge that prevented me getting my newly aquired space save in place. I understood better once I'd yanked out the carpeted moulding to reveal the emplacement underneath. It also gave me my first glimpse of the various modules, etc. lurking below and the troublesome earth cable. This doesn't seem at all corroded, so hopefully it'll be a minor fix. I've also managed to uncouple the (higly suggestively shaped) factory Westfalia tow hitch that had a key snapped off in the lock. I'm now left with trying to work out what to use to block the tube to prevent dirt getting in, and where to source a blanking panel for the rear bumper. I suppose fitting the bumper cover could kill 2 birds. Is eBay my best bet? Colour doesn't matter, as I can spray it myself.
  14. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    Hmmm, so plenty of oil leak options then! No smoke from the exhaust, so hopefully the valve stem seals are ok. For now.
  15. Jim_C

    A few questions about my new 5...

    Thanks edd_jedi and Andrew. The most important thing for me is an Aux input, leaving me free to attach (almost) any device and play music/radio through Spotify, Sounds, etc. I don't have an iPhone or iPod any more. I'd like DAB+, but learned to live without it in my previous car by streaming radio. Given that my car never had Aux (or USB), I'm hoping that there may be a way to update the idrive and install the hardware in the usual place. Although an Aux closer to the dash would be better, since my phone is usually in the cradle on the windscreen. Early evidence suggests that the cigarette lighter power supply in the front ashtray (smoker's package ahoy) is erratic at best, failing to reliably charge a phone with a hitherto functioning charger. Possibly another good reason to install the Aux/power panel behind the arm rest. I've had the garage check over the car for a first and basic idea of what needs doing. We have already discovered a reasonably significant power steering fluid leak, but not the source. Any informed guesses as to the likely culprit? Pipes, seals or pump? Other than that, nothing is gushing fluids; there is a "misting" of oil, so the garage is going to remove the undertrays and clean things up to get a better idea where it's coming from. It needs a couple of flexible hoses replacing at the rear and one of the alloys is buckled. I'm drawing a blank so far on the key; both Timpsons and the main dealer want £160+ for a new one... Oh, one other thing - the rear wiper seems to be parked facing the nearside and only wipes up to TDC, then goes back. It seems as though it should be parked facing the offside. Could that explain why it only wipes halfway? We're hoping that our "rare" car doesn't go extinct!
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