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Andyrt200 last won the day on March 6

Andyrt200 had the most liked content!

About Andyrt200

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    Car restoration


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    E39 530i Touring Sport

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  1. Looking nice, they work well in that colour. I was going to say just in time for the snow, but I see the forecast has changed it mind round here at least... Actually I never fitted the winters this year, the kids really want to sledging a few months ago. I caved in as we couldn’t go skiing so very tentatively took them, but it was fine with new summer 275s in the snow!
  2. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    It had just started making an odd screeching noise after I’d tried to adjust the handbrake at the leaver. However before I could look at the handbrake I spotted the air bag had been rubbing: Only very slightly but not too good. There were some big ridges of seam sealer it had been catching on: I trimmed those back. They have changed the rubber on their bags too: So there is enough clearance now: I noticed the rust was starting to take hold: Luckily the previous repairs I’d done were still holding well, ends of both sill we’re looking good (if a little dirty!) So I decided to remove all the rust from the arches properly as the other side was slightly worse & had gone up round onto the side of the car. Their high zinc primer & seam sealer on the back replacing all I’d removed. Then stone chip & top coat: With it coming round the other side it needed a bit more paint: The CH-Rs have a useful lip that makes fixing light scuffs easy: (you can get stainless trims for the lips but they were £50 each last time I looked) I finally got round to looking at the handbrake: The pins had pulled through the backing plate, an M6 bolt & locking nuts worked fine on the bottom but the wheel speed sensor was a bit close on the top so I welded some extra metal & filed it back: Some new 20mm spacers on the front had it finally finished for this round: I did find the tip was an essential journey so got to try the new suspension parts, felt lovely. Looking forward to being able to get out a bit more now!
  3. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    So will lockdown & the 335i allowing the E39 to have a holiday this is what I’ve been up to for the last few months. These front suspension pictures have been on different places before but the next rear end stuff is new. It passed its MOT back in December with just an advisory on a slightly worn front ball joint. So that seemed like a good reason to swap out all the front arms as I’d only changed one track rod end & a drop link on the front since we got it. However I found this mess when removing the undercover: So the parts needed started to build up! The knuckle pinch bolt was totally jammed in with the softer ally having corroded around it, it took enormous amounts of swearing to remove: New bearings both sides. Going from the dates on the front arms three were the 220k miles 20 year old originals, amazed it didn’t feel far worse to drive! On the one that had be replaced they damaged the bush, I found a new one on eBay: Made a new stone deflector, new backing plates & deflectors would have added up to a fair bit. Decided to lower it a bit while it was in bits too. Ended up replacing this lot: I’d noticed it getting a bit damp again: I was worried it was cracked again, but found it was only one of the rubber washers not sealing properly. I left the top engine cover off for a bit to be sure I’d fixed the oil leak but on the first test drive it dropped down to 5 cylinder, then 4 before I could get home. The coil pack / spark plug holes at the rear were full of water! Took ages to dry then out! Took out a coil too, luckily I had some spare. Looking up to see where the water was coming from I noticed it was wet round the washer jets. It had the rear part of the soundproofing cut away before we got it. They clearly didn’t seal to the bonnet properly, I wondered why the rear nut on the engine cover always went rusty! A bit of clear RTV silicon fixed that.
  4. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    Thanks Dan, I was kind of lucky finding an ok used bumper back when we got it but it was always a bit tatty so I didn’t mind doing the work to the original to get it looking perfect, as you know slightly rough paint doesn’t really show in photos but it makes such a difference when you see it for real. As I said it was over a year ago I did it & it’s still looking perfect after a good few thousand miles (less a chip or two now ). An E91 335i would be near perfect, handling & equipment wise they are on a par with E39s but they do lack a little space. I couldn’t live with the looks of an E60, hated them when they came out & haven’t changed my mind! However I just looked on autotrader & noticed there are two 535i F10s for around £7k, granted they are SEs & we’d probably both want a F11 but the potential to find one is there. The N54 in my 335i is lovely, the N55 in the 535i is much the same just with a single turbo instead of my twins (but that’s much better when it comes to replacing stuff!). They can be very easily tuned with just an app on your phone, this their page for the N55 https://mhdtuning.com/products/mhd-super-license-for-n55 360bhp on just the standard engine, then 400bhp with just a different downpipe & intercooler, not too far off the N54s 420bhp. (With more mods people get 500bhp from N54s on the standard turbos, more with different turbos) I found my 335i actually had the 360bhp map already installed when I got it. When I started tuning I left that same map I had been used to it always having & just flashed the gearbox with https://www.xhpflashtool.com/ it made a huge difference. BMW limit the torque to the standard engine output but the gearbox can handle a huge amount so unlocking that makes a massive difference to the response. It can change sport mode into a real sport mode too, that is really fun! Unfortunately it only works on the later 6 & 8 speed boxes not the E39s. The 8 speed box was one of the best bits of our F13 in standard form. The steering however was its worst feature, that would be the main thing putting me off an F11 (along with too much technology) though apparently some F11s are much better than others when it comes to feedback through the wheel, test driving is essential. Thanks Denis, I spent much more time on the E34 install & it sounded better for it. However I don’t spend anything like the time driving the E39 as I did the E34 & usually have the kids on board too now too....
  5. Andyrt200

    E39 M5 touring build

    Great project! I was looking under my touring the other day trying to work out how on earth a proper quad exhaust system could ever fit, I see it needs a different floor then, very interesting.
  6. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    This front end work from a year or so ago is the final post of old photos before I actually catch up to new the stuff I have been doing for the last few months. The replacement bumper did well for many years but a hidden stone resulted in this: Quite a similar hole to the one it came with in the original bumper: That made me think the Sport bumpers were more brittle than others. After some checking I found this on the back if the sport bumper: Showing they are made from a polycarbonate mix, its a lot harder than the normal softer flexible polypropylene mix that SEs, in the picture above & most other car bumpers are made from. Still I wanted to keep the Sports bumpers so decided to fix the original so it could just be quickly swapped onto the car when it was finished. I took the shape of the missing bit from the bumper on the car: My daughter enjoyed helping with that! Then using welding rods of the same PP plastic mix welded up the cracks on the back, with the front held by tape: Taped the fibreglass over the hole So I could fill it with thick welding rods from behind: Sanded the cracks back: So they could be welded from the front too: Plastic filler finished it off ready for paint: The original grill had holes in it: I wanted a different look after all the work so nicked the idea from @DennisCooper thanks! Making my own grill by cutting the front off the original, so keeping the brake cooling ducts (M5s use the holes next to the fog lights) & putting a new front on it. New adjusters 3M polishing kit Then some new fog lights had the front looking good again. I have did a few other bits I didn’t take any pictures of, like fixing that dent on the sill I sprayed the top too, it had got very scratched over the years & was starting to get nasty rusty scabs. Only problem now is it makes the M trim look very tatty! It was looking quite good then & running well so I got distracted for a year or so fixing this 335i It’s running very nicely now & with it tuned upto 420bhp it doesn’t take much persuading my other half to leave the E39 at home! (She never really liked the 200sx & the Cerbera isn’t really an every day car) So with lock down meaning once car is more than enough I’ve had the E39 back in the garage for the last few months again, I’ll post all that work next time.
  7. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    Audio mods this time. Maybe not everyone taste but the standard Business unit doesn’t sound great. I put in one of the eBay special direct from China very early on. About the only things that reliably worked were the aux in, the reverse camera & DVD player. So I swapped it for one of these: https://audiotechdirect.com/pba-bm8753b-android-10-0-after-market-radio-for-bmw-e39-e53/ It’s much better every works properly on it, apart from the FM radio but the DAB is good so that doesn’t really matter. The reversing camera was a pain to fit. There wasn’t one for a Touring so I thought one from a saloon that replaced a number plate light would be easy enough to fit, it wasn’t! The main reason for fitting the different stereo was to have separate outputs for an aftermarket amp. All my other cars have had separate amps. The E34 had the most room for an installation, when you’re in your early 20s you don’t need all the boot! Here a few pictures of that: I had to come pop home to enlist my dad’s help and garage to fit it back then! Of course the whole point of having a touring is the boot space so you don’t want to lose any of that. Luckily the internet & eBay have come along since I did my E34 so I found a ready made sub enclosure that saved a lot of time. So you get this with not too much messing about You do need to move everything out of the way: The bottom of the box needs a bit of light relief to clear the battery isolator too: I just put an old amp under the floor to try it: It sounded ok but there was a massive improvement with a better amp later. The standard cover panel needs a bit of trimming: Then I drilled through the plastic leaving the carpet still on: A bit of foam stops it vibrating. With the cover back on you have no idea it’s there. I have put this amp in now & everything sounds much better. About half the size of the old one & massively more powerful! If you don’t get high powered stereo systems, they are much like bigger engined E39s really, a little 950cc eco box will still get you down the motorway at 70mph but an E39 car does it so much better! The front speakers are detailed here in the link, I’ll put the main pictures below to save bothering opening if it’s not really your thing. Again with the standard door panel back on you have no idea anything is different.
  8. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    Jumping about over the years a bit now with little fixes. Back in 2018 it started making a horrible screeching noise from the gearbox area so I thought I’d try changing the fluid and filter. But when I was at it I noticed the bolt that goes up between the pipes clamping them had rusted completely away. So I purposely left it, finished the fluid change & tried it again. It still had exactly the same horrible noise. New bolt & it was silent again! Same bolt is looking rather rusty again now a few years later: Unusually for them bmwmotormec sent the wrong gasket with the fluid & filter kit, I needed the car back on the road so had to re-used the old one. Hence the damp looking box, I have checked / topped up the fluid level but the different in levels depending on exact temp / car angle make far more difference than the very small amount that has actually leaked out! It was about 40k miles ago now so I may change the fluid & fit a proper gasket at some point. It rusted through here too: That semi bodge has been holding ok for quite a while, will need a new flanges or complete new exhaust next time. The boot has needed quite a bit of work too, Wiring replaced in both sides, other end cut up next to speakers in the roof. N/S I did on a mid summer day wiping sweat out of my eyes & this side middle of winter not being able to feel my fingers! I went with those heat shrink connecters that have low temp melt solder in them already this side, they seem quite good. The cable can’t move at all in there so theres no way they are going to snap with fatigue & they are water tight too. It was soaking wet in there when I took it to bits (middle of winter!) so the joints must be water tight, regular crimp connectors won’t cut it. That all got stripped back & dealt with last summer: Those expensive new trim clips came back out again to replace the wiring a few weeks ago. I had bent the tabs holding them in a bit knowing I’d need to probably take them out again! I fitted new genuine springs to the main boot when we got it but thought I’d save some money with eBay with the glass ones, bad move! They got replaced with genuine ones I’m hoping the boot may actually be ok for a bit now! While swapping out eBay crap I changed the badge: Genuine ones are pricey but come with a two year guarantee. One on the right from eBay was only about six months old.
  9. Andyrt200

    My 2003 E39 530i Sport Champagne Edition II thread

    Looks lovely, my dad had a Diamond black E34 back in the early 90s I used to love detailing that for him, they do come up so well, photos can’t do justice. The colour used to make his standard SE look nice, it works even better on a Sport with those wheels! Amazing fine at that mileage too! Good to see your replacing every that needs it, interesting to see what goes just with just age & not miles...
  10. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    The E39 didn’t take kindly to be pressed back into daily use back in 2018, I mentioned the ABS unit needed reconditioning above as soon as it was back on the road. It had occasionally been having problems starting before I did the rear end, these codes were stored: Just leaving it ages or disconnecting the battery was ok when it was only getting used occasionally but it needed fixing properly. So I got a new EWS, they come programmed from the BMW coding centre with the unique codes for your DME but still need syncing for the first time with INPA. It seemed ok then, till my other half tried to come home from Portsmouth at 4pm to Shropshire, she got back at 5am with the E39 on the back of a car transporter. The new DME needed re-syncing with INPA at random intervals. So the laptop had to live in the car for a very long time. I tried all kinds of things, it seemed the DME needed an update. Then the air bag recall came through so we asked BMW to look at it while it was in, they wouldn’t say what they did & changed £100 but it’s been fine ever since. The DME is still on the original software version! Luckily everything else has be DIY. The alternator gave up, putting the dash light on & no longer charging properly. Maybe the leaves in the cooling port made the electrics over heat... It always had seemed down on lower RPM power compared to my old E34 535i, but it was getting worse & making a lot more induction noise: A new elephants trunk fixed that but got me wondering what I could perk up the engine. The nasty smell from the leaking cam cover gasket seemed like a good excuse to try changing the VANOS seals I had a poke about on my spare (knackered) engine the next day to see how the cam side worked: I got a bit caught up the previous evening when I found the cam cover had a big crack in it after spending a couple of hours scrubbing all the baked on crud off it! That spare M54B25 was in the garage but a mate had been a bit too keen to look inside it & had broken the end tab taking the cam cover off it: It didn’t have any cracks though so I cleaned that one up just to try & get it back on the road for the next day, finishing a 5am! Unsurprisingly that one starting leaking so I got one from the scrap yard. So third time lucky it actually held oil! Still wasn’t right though, the new Delphi sensor just didn’t work So I had to get a genuine one, that made a massive difference, transforming it for normal driving. The low RPM power was massively better, that really helped the auto gearbox work much better, as it was actually intended to. Previous it was changing down every time you tried to just speed up a little. A DISA repair kit got it back to full health making it a far nicer car to drive again, I wished I done that back when we first got it!
  11. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    Good S14 spotting skills, there’s only the odd corner showing! There is a Scooby Impreza STi engine waiting to go in the bug if I ever get round to it, the proper cars tend to take preference probably need to be an electric motor by the time I do get round to looking at it! Quite a few of the pictures have been on various posts on here back when I did it all & the E39 was in PCC magazine (along with all the other cars over the years). I just thought it would be good to put all the E39 pictures in one place, you forget your self what you’ve done. There are lots more to come before I actually catch up to where I am now, back doing a bit more body work on the rear end, it was very useful looking at these pictures again to see where I was up to last time!
  12. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    Nothing had really gone wrong with it till 2016 then the water pump let go, don’t ignore noisy bearings! Luckily I was very close to home so got back ok. Not long after an accumulator burst hitting a pot hole, it was very rusty. I managed to get the old one out but had to cut the pipe to do it, I could see there was no way to get the new one in without removing lots of removing of things so just put the new one under the fixed bit of the floor. The floor can’t be fixed back down so the bit of wood held it up fine for the little use the E39 was getting then. They got mounted properly underneath when I finished the work below. The air bags started leaking very shortly after so they both got replaced & a new accumulator for the O/S fitted in with the N/S one. I spent ages chasing leaks / sagging suspension after that I narrowed do to the valve block, I tried cleaning the valves a few times but they never held for long a new block was needed in the end. It drove ok like that but I could feel the rear end getting much worse almost every time out. The MOT only ever mentioned the rusty rear brake pipes, but it was obvious all the rear suspension needed a good going over before it was going to get pressed back into daily use. So I gave the underneath a good cleaning before starting: Son too busy on Xbox to help! Back in the garage & dried off: That ball joint didn’t look too good to start with Then looked much worse closer up! I wasn’t very impressed with my friend who builds rally cars out of E36 compacts & MOTs occasionally for extra money not spotting this! Rubbers gone on most of the rear ball joints. The front generally looked fine but the knocking noise my MOT friend could hear but not find was immediately obvious: That ARB link was all the front needed at 180,000 miles. So the limited time available was concentrated on the obviously knackered rear. The only thing my MOT friends did keep mentioning was the rusty brake pipes: I had tried to wax them a few times but its very hard to get proper access. I had quickly waxed that subframe mount but it clearly wasn’t going to last like that! Once I started scraping the other subframe mounts they were all rusty under the factory stone chip paint. They all got cleaned up, then painted with Hydrate 80 & Epoxy Mastic on top. BMW thoughtfully put joints in the brake pipes behind the under cover: So connecting up new copper pipes was easy Well, easy once I got the proper tool on the left, one on the right was crap! I forgot to undo the big nuts while it was still on the ground! Everything off apart from the hand brake cables, they didn’t want to budge & I didn’t want to break them as they looked fine, so they stayed there! Bit over due for replacement! Bearings on tool gave up on the other side, I just used some oiled washers instead. A few of the many boxes: The tool for the touring that @jimmy hires out made changing the subframe mounts easy. Back together with all new arms & new bearings both sides. The sills were still holding up ok from the Hydrate 80 & hammerite a few years before: I hadn’t taken the jacking pad off last time so decided to redo it as it was up in the air: Deox gel going on to remove the rust. I was running out of time before it needed to be back in the road, this was the front after 1st go with the gel So hydrate 80 it was as there was still some rust left: Then the expoxy mastic: Then plenty of S50 wax inside the hole before new jacking pads. Quick test fit of BBS wheels from 6 series: I think that was without spacers, too long ago to remember! I thought I’d go with a genuine pipe on the front so I didn’t have one copper pipe on the distribution block: So I was mildly annoyed to find it was a different colour to the originals & still need bending to fit! Very shortly after putting it back on the road I started getting ABS lights on the dash & these errors: So the ABS module in the picture one back needed sending off to get rebuild, think they go dry jointed from memory. Calipers rebuilt. Found one of the fuel pipes leaking so that needed a new one too: The vapour barrier on the rear door had been leaking & got the soundproofing very wet, it rusted out the plug in the floor so it needed a quick patch: You can’t see that now with underseal on it. All the bits replaced: Back together & with the BBS CH-R wheels on properly: The wanted section on here turned up a proper Sport bumper lower section with the removable bit for the detachable towbar. I had been taking the entire original panel off each time I wanted to use it before.
  13. Andyrt200

    E39 Touring catch up

    Not a massive project by the other heroic effects on here but I thought it would be good to at least get all the pictures on one place at least. Sorry about rambling on in this first post it will be nearly all pictures of E39 bits after! My better half & I both started out in E28s, she sold her 518i & had my 520i when I got an E34 535i That picture is from back in about 2001, we both enjoyed that car for many years. She got forced into company cars so had an E90 320d & a 325i E91, then in 2013 when she changed jobs she found a few days before starting the new job she could opt out of the company car scheme so I found the E39 locally for £2k in about 10 minutes on eBay. It took me about 6 months to find my manual 535i in the days before the internet! I didn’t have time to look for a manual E39, so it was our first auto but after getting used to it we both actually preferred it for an every day car. Even though it was 12 years old then with about 120k it felt much nicer to drive than the 2 year old base spec 325i had done. It didn’t really need anything much doing to it so these are the only pictures I have from 2013: It took 7 years to get round to fixing that dent! I did polish up the rear lights: One odd issue of that sloping drive was the boot filling with water: I think it was tiny rust spots where the boot seals against the body letting the water in, it stopped after I fixed those. I’ve spent far too much time welding new metal into other cars so I went looking for rust under it then too. It was just starting to go round the rear ends of the sills, some hydrate 80 & hammerite kept that at bay. The front arch lines & under tray were missing, I made these pictures to try to help me find some used ones. Yes I know it just called a Sport now, I don’t think this fourm was around then! I certainly wasn’t on it then anyway. Of course I couldn’t find any used ones so had to get a new genuine engine under cover & crap eBay wheel arch ones. The front bumper had a big hole in it too, I did manage to find a good used one of those, just had a little crack in the top corner. It was a very good every day car. A year later we decided to cash in on London house prices, so I got a removable Westfalia towbar (OE fitment) & trailer to move my other projects: You get a bit more space for you money up north: That’s just the garage (ex stable) block, you can just make out the E39 parked near in the field. The E39 continued being a very good all round car doing a healthy mileage, up to about 170,000 in 2015 when my other half’s company suddenly decided private cars used for work purposes had to be less than 5 years old. Her car allowance had paid for the E39 many times over by then & she had just been putting than money in the bank, so she took it out & bought this: I hardly used it though, it was horrible to drive with the original 20” wheels & runflat tyres so we got those 19” BBS CH-R wheels for it with non runflats. It was much better but still didn’t feel nice to drive, there just wasn’t any feedback through the steering at all. So the E39 still served as the normal every day car, even though the rear end was starting to feel decided loose it was probably overall nicer to drive than the F13. Here it was being useful in 2017: Note the little dent still there! She changed jobs again a year or so later, they forced her to have a company car so we went with VW having been so disappointed with the F13. The Passat was nice but FWD gets annoying after a while! In 2018 she changed jobs (note a theme!) she gave me a bit of warning this time though, she was again allowed to run anything as her work car. So there was only really one choice, fix the now rather showing its age E39. The proper E39 pictures of that work follow....
  14. Andyrt200

    Rear air bag rubbing

    Just found this old thread I missed the later posts on it, Dan you posted a really good link on there to someone having actually cut open SE & Sports bags to fine the difference, very interesting! I have messaged Aerosus to see what they say about mine not sitting correctly.
  15. Andyrt200

    Rear air bag rubbing

    Ah interesting, thanks Dan. I actually got the Aerosus ones instead of Arnott in the first place because Arnott don’t have different ones for Sports & SEs. I guess I’d have to change both to Arnott if I did. Still not sure about them not having one list for a Sport.... No, luckily it’s not leaking, I just noticed it had been rubbing yesterday after talking the wheels off to look a the handbrake adjustment. I didn’t notice any rubbing last time I had the rear wheels off & as I said they have been on for a good few years now, odd it would start later on. I guess I either missed it or it’s just happened when working on the front end. When you jack the front up under the centre pad & put it back down onto axle stands under the front pads it actually lifts the rear up, the air suspension tries to lower itself but can’t so really drops the pressure. So then when you put the front back on the ground normally the rear sinks right to the ground before you turn the engine on to activate the pump. That happened quite a few times when I was messing about with the front suspension, maybe that caused the rubbing where it sits so close.