Jump to content

AlexGSi2000 - e39 M5

Recommended Posts

Welcome to my project thread!


After 3 years of fantastic ownership of an e39 530d, I decided - after much thought, to buy one of my dream cars.

I had thought on and off over the period of two years about purchasing an M5, it was a reoccurring monthly ponder.

Around a month ago I decided enough was enough and started looking seriously.


I viewed a few cars, the market was difficult to gauge, as there were sellers wanting top money for below-par cars, cars that had been extensively modified.etc

I had a budget in mind for a purchase, also baring in mind I would more than likely need to spend a few quid in the first few months of ownership to rectify any issues.


I went to view an M5 in the south last week, on paper the car sounded good, the seller seemed genuine - listing all faults with the car.etc

This ended up being the car I purchased, it was in the spec I wanted = facelift, relatively original and clean.


The car at the moment is in pretty much standard condition, with the exception of different exhaust backboxes (no idea on brand at the moment) a paddle clutch and BC coilovers.


Cosmetically the car has had the usual areas of corrosion addressed in the past to a good standard, jacking points are all solid. There is some further correction work to be done, but this can wait until next year.


I have owned the car a week and driven around 300 miles, all of which have been flawless. I have the luxury of another car for the daily commute to work so I can minimize the fuel bills!


The car is currently on 145,000 miles, for the price I paid, I think I was pretty much dead on the money for today's market.


My plan for the car is to address the current issues and keep the car maintained to a good standard - I plan long term ownership of the car and don't plan any modifications as of yet.




Diving straight in are the headlight adjusters :rolleyes: - I did this job a few years ago, so should be fairly au fait with the job.


Next weekend, the awful paddle clutch will be coming out and replaced with a standard LUK item, along with Redline gearbox oil & Millers diff oil.

I have a load of replacement bushes for the gearbox linkages which I will be changing at the same time - I am quite keen on the e60 short-shift kit but will hold off until the immediate bits are done.



A few quick photos to begin with - I will upload some better shots once I have the headlights back in.







Edited by AlexGSi2000

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alex, don't get so bogged down in mods that you don't have time to enjoy driving it, if ever a car was made to be driven. I also like to keep mine relatively OE, as such one of the first changes I did was to swap the back boxes for OE items, I  got them off a bmw5 member, they are very well made the M5 ones, and much quieter, helps to make the car a real sleeper.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am now at 1000 miles into ownership and was able to give the car a good shakedown yesterday after I had addressed the crucial bits.


Work carried out so far;

  • Paddle clutch replaced for standard
  • Brake pads replaced (OEM Bosch & ATE Typ200 fluid)
  • Front snapped suspension spring replaced
  • Gearbox & Diff oils changed
  • Engine oil replaced
  • Headlight adjusters repaired
  • Replacement exhaust gaskets - old exhaust studs removed.
  • Tint film over the clear parts of rear lights - may not be to everyone's taste.


I have also swapped a few parts over from my old 530d to help tidy the car up; door seals, phone cradle removed, working cup-holders.etc


The verdict so far is that the car has some way to go until it gets to a level where I deem it to be good, the beauty of it is that its a working car and can be driven - I bought the car as a long term purchase, I will be forming a list of work over the next week or so and will tackle it over the next few years.


From working on the car its obvious that the car has suffered the ill fate of rogue mechanics at some-point, examples being;

  • Self tapping screws used to secure the O2/Lambda sensor covers - right through the floor pan into the interior.
  • Rubber mounts had broken on the oil filter housing - again, secured by a self tapping screw - this had caused the oil & power steering pipework to chafe.

The engine appears strong, although ever so slightly noisy - supposedly the VANOS had been rebuilt and timing chain guides replaced in the past - I will more than likely do the rod bearings in the next 12-months.


The car seems to push on well, not best suited to the tight roads - feels like the ratios could be a little shorter in that respect, but for the more open B roads the car is well suited.


When the car is warm I get a constant smell of gearbox oil, I did notice when I pulled the box off that the input shaft seal could do with replacing - it also appears to be weeping slightly from where the bell-housing meets the gearbox casing.

Shifts have become better with the Redline MTL gearbox oil, but still not as quick as I would like them to be - so in the coming months I will take the box off again, replace the seals and replace the shift pin / detents - potentially go for a short-shift kit too.


Sills will need addressing within the next 24-months, they are OK at the moment, still solid - along with the jacking points, however they are definitely on the way out - unfortunately bodywork isn't something I have done before so will leave this to the professionals.


Verdict so far - I'm on the fence B) - I did buy from the cheaper end of the market with the anticipation of doing some work, however when somethings not perfect it grinds away at me! - I need to learn to take my time with this one.

Its a great car and the V8 is lovely. Once the car is sorted I'm sure it will pay dividends.







Edited by AlexGSi2000

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a cracking motor @AlexGSi2000 - hell of a project you're undertaking too. However, like you said, it's a long term plan and keep at it, the car will only pay you back in dividends, you'll do nothing but retain value in it and increase it too. They're becoming more & more sought after now!


1k miles since ownership; how the hell do you manage that? That's 1/3 my annual coverage :lol: 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

July 2019 update.


The cars been with me for just over 4 months now, as I'm getting used to the car and its quirks, I'm enjoying it a lot more.

Still cant believe I own one of my dream cars, every time I walk past it or start the engine I need to pinch myself :D.


Not a huge amount of work has been done since my last update, a few smaller bits here and there;


  • Swapped the tatty gear knob with the later 6-speed, courtesy of Darren. Makes such a difference. (Original parts safely stored!)
  • Wiper arms aligned - don't think they were set correctly after a previous windscreen replacement.
  • Spark plugs replaced.
  • Both MAF sensors replaced.
  • Polish & Wax
  • Interior leather cleaned with LRC - Back to a nice matt finish.

The MAF sensor replacement was a funny one which left me scratching my head for a few days. When I replaced the spark plugs, I cleared adaptations with INPA - figured that after time it may benefit if the engine calibrated (if thats the right word) again.

After doing this reset, I lost a shedload of power - felt like 150bhp at best. No obvious signs, misfires.etc.

After reading values with INPA the left lambda reading was too high - hitting maximum enrichment values. I did initially question the MAFs, but as the car has a shared intake, I thought it would affect both sides, so would expect to see both lambda sensors showing similar figures.

I ended up replacing both MAFs which cured the issue and seemed to release more power from the engine - may have been placebo, but dont think the engine would have been showing its true potential with the older worn MAFs in place.


Still a couple of bits to do over the next few months; not really had the time due to other projects on at the moment, but don't use the M5 on a daily basis, so happy to sit on the parts for a while;


  • New flywheel - courtesy of a forum member who sold to me for a song.
  • Gearbox input shaft seals, bell-housing to re-seal.
  • Replace the rest of the gearbox linkage bushings


For the time being - a few recent photos;













Edited by AlexGSi2000

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant work here Alex, the car looks great all polished up.  Will have to have a mini meet as mentioned above B)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now