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E39 M5 rust repairs

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I thought there might be a bit of interest in this here. This is copied over from my PistonHeads thread so apologies if some of the formatting is off! 

Cheers :)

Thread here if you want more background: https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=47&t=1695813&i=999999 


Well we now have some decent progress, so it’s time to give you some before-and-after pics! What follows may be distressing, so viewer discretion is advised… ;)

Going back a few weeks, I spent a long time casting around trying to find a local-ish company to me with a decent reputation, who would be able to do the required work and keep me posted as to progress. I really hit a brick wall with this and was feeling pretty despondent about the whole thing, until one afternoon I was browsing through Readers Rides and came across the fantastic thread by M. Kitchski about the rebuild of his father’s BX (it’s worth a read if you haven’t found it!). I’ve enjoyed many of his threads over the years, and he’s undeniably experienced in welding together pieces of crusty old French tin :hehe:

So I pinged him a message to see if he’d be interested in getting his hands on a crusty German instead, and – well, here we are dropping off the car at Southways Automotive a couple of weeks later:


Rich has been busily beavering away and has kept me up to date with details and pics as we go along. We’re still very much mid-way, so let’s have a look at current progress…

First up, what are we starting with? Well, predictably, it’s not pretty…

















Not pretty, I think you’ll agree – 165k miles and 18 winters have certainly taken their toll. That said, Rich sounded remarkably optimistic on the phone and I’m certainly glad this has been caught now and not left to fester any longer! Rich started off by dropping the propshaft and fuel tank (in which I’d thoughtfully left about 50l of V-Power…) and it was out with the grinder (I’ll let you imagine the A Team music)…













We (by which I mean, Rich) hit an interesting discovery here. The internal support for the jacking point had broken its spot welds and come loose – presumably after the sill had flexed in the past when being jacked up incorrectly – and done more damage internally. It later turned out the other side was the same. So, E39 owners – jack up your cars properly! Rich set to rebuilding…
















I’ll save you all the pictures of the other side – suffice to say it was just as much work. But still, I can’t resist a before-and-after :)






That’s the rear pretty much done, and the front is currently in progress. Naturally that was also worse than initially thought, but the chaps at Southways seem completely unphased and are cracking on. I’ll get some more progress up over the next few days with any luck.

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Been following this over on PH myself @benedwards64 and it seems they're doing brilliant work


Looking forward to seeing the progress and final result :) 

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Went through the same process myself a couple of years ago on my M5 and also changed flywheel and clutch at the same time.  It's a big expensive job but worth it, great progress so far here :)

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