Jump to content

Paj's E60 525d SE Project

Recommended Posts


Well I thought I'd bore you to death with my E60 project.

I've had a few Mini's and BMW's over the years which have all been great cars and I probably sold them too soon. I was looking for a 6 cylinder E60, ideally as new as possible but on my tight budget of £3-3.5k. Unfortunately the newer cars were either rough or had something wrong with them and then in early November 2018 I found this......



It is a much loved and well spec'd 06/06 525d SE manual pre LCI. It had a new MOT and 108k on the clock. It also had full BMW history up to 99k including new front brakes and the seller then threw in an oil change service and 6 months Platinum warranty. Main spec upgrades are full electric heated leather seats, elec steering wheel, Dynamic Xenon's and voice controlled Pro Nav. All this for £3.6k. I had to wait a week before I could pick it up from near Crawley. That was the longest week ever!!!!! The drive home was so smooth and I was already starting to plan what I would do to her. I've just got to remember I'm on a tight budget.....

I've decided to keep things subtle and any changes will be bolt on, bolt off. This is so I can take any mods onto the next E60.

So what have I been doing over the winter months? Mainly getting her mechanically sound and buying the parts ready to add, so here goes.

Week 1 was lighting, I would say a nice and easy start but changing angle eye lamps is a right palaver. I also added silver indicators lamps to the rear and side repeaters. I've got new front fogs but still haven't fitted them.



As Christmas Eve was a pleasant day (and our Turkey was cooking in the oven) I decided to give mine and my son's car a wash. This is when I discovered my scuttle drains were slightly blocked but worse than that, the tiny drain holes in the rear door were totally blocked. This caused water to run from behind the door card and into the rear foot well. I now check the tiny holes in all the doors!!!


I've also found water in the boot, This was due to the boot vent rubber curling up and allowing spray through. This has been cured by warming the rubber flap and "ironing" it flat.


In the New Year I found these MV2's for sale in Wells, Somerset. I met a top bloke called Darren and bought them sharpish. They are in great condition and 1 alloy is almost new with decent tyres too.


Darren now has 19" Spiders adorning his gorgeous 525d MSport. Here are some before and after pic's, as you can see the back axle is crying out for some spacers.....more of that later.


Once the wheels were fitted I had a 4 wheel alignment. I decided this as I had a slight wobble at 70mph and the steering wheel was off centre. She now drives straight and smooth, below is the final print out. It was almost all red before they started adjusting. A massive thanks to Autotechnic's Blandford for the mechanical support!!!!


I've always been a fan of car audio. I even competed in the IASCA Sound Off's during the late 90's. My Cavalier and I did quite well and travelled the UK (from Belfast to Brighton) taking on some awesome installs in the Point Of Reference category. I finally made the UK finals at Wembley. Here are some old photos.



Anyway, my E60 needed some improved sounds and by chance I saw an ad on this Forum. "Lildonut" (AKA Stu) was selling a new pair of Earthquake SWS-8's. Also he was kind enough to met me halfway and we had a great chat about all things 5, during which I said "I'm after spacers for the back axle." well I couldn't believe it but Stu had 3 12mm spacers that I could have. So I fitted the spacers as soon as possible and here are some before and afters.



When I lowered the jacks the suspension looked a bit high but it has now settled to the correct height.

With the improving weather I've been able to get on with my ICE install this weekend.

Once the battery was disconnected and seats removed I was able to get on with running cables and install the under seat subs. The sound from these earthquakes is amazing and they will only get better as they "bed in" and I set up the sound stage.



As I have the Pro Nav CCC iDrive I decided to take the sound from the old sub speaker cables. I then fed this high level signal into a Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty Line Driver. This then converts it to a line level RCA output but with lots of oomph. I have located it under the passenger seat so the high level inputs are as short as possible.


 The Rocky Fosgate then sends a lovely clean signal to my DLS 4 channel amplifier. The DLS is a very adjustable, flexible and powerful amp. (For info - I have piggybacked the remote power line to fuse 66 in the boot. This turns the ICE equipment off about 30-40 minutes after turning the car off. The amp location and wiring termination is temporary until I finalise my system design)


The amp drives the Earthquarke Subs and a set of 10cm Vibe Components. These were easy to fit once I'd modified the (Ebay supplied) adaptor plates. I needed to machine the 3 holes slightly and cut a lug so they fitted flush.




End of Part 1

Edited by Paj
Delete a line of text

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 2

I've installed a set of the latest Vibe (Slick4 V7) Components These went in really easily once the adaptors were modified. The crossovers are velcro'd inside the door cards.


The Tweeters are fitted into the standard location and went in within a minute!


I have installed high quality speaker cables throughout the car (cable quality shouldn't be neglected when upgrading audio systems) I therefore had to run speaker wires into the front doors. This was achieved by a trick I used during my Mini ownership. The door umbilical cable connector has a plastic tab at the top which I've cut off. To access this socket you have to undo an 8mm bolt holding the rubber surround onto the A pillar. By cutting off this tab, it allows a cable to run from the front foot well through the rubber conduit and into the door. Here are some before and after pictures....



It hasn't always been a bed of roses though. Just before going on a holiday break I found this in my tyre....


I like the fact it has a washer fitted. It probably helped keep it air tight.....

It gave me an excuse to lose the budget "Triangle" tyres and buy some Bridgestone's. Big thanks to National Tyres in Dorchester for fitting me in at short notice and price matching Tyreshopper!!!!

I hope to update you soon with the finished ICE install, the first Detail Clean and replacing the 2 troublesome thermostats as the engine is only reaching 60DegC at the moment.

Thanks for reading.

Edited by Paj
Missed a picture out

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pidgeonpost said:

That's quite a list of achievements! It's as much as I can do to keep on top of maintenance and keeping it clean. :D I must check those rear door drain holes - are they pretty obvious? 



The drain holes are quite small. They are located at either end of the door. Below are a couple of pictures of the drain holes my back door (Ooh ere missus)

I used the tail of a zip tie to poke about and clear the muck. I think it was parked under a tree with the previous owner.

RgdS Paj20190401_114325.thumb.jpg.10a4f6853866cf4387f285a76e0483e2.jpg20190401_114357.thumb.jpg.d8661dffea5bbd291898d1e46d5d4b19.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that - I'll have a poke around. A while back I bought a length of cycle brake cable inner for poking out sunroof drains and similar. Seemed to work OK, though no obvious sign of any blockage. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I finally had the "troublesome" thermostats changed. I'd only been able to achieve 60degC on the hidden menu, but on the 5 minute drive home from the garage I achieved 85degC. I'll do a confirmation check on my longer commute to work Monday. Parts supplied by Marshall BMW in Bournemouth and fitted by Autotechnics. I would have fitted them myself but they are really difficult to access. The old parts are the originals from late 05, lets hope the new ones last as long.....

Nothing planned on the car for a bit as the car fund is empty. As elbow grease is free, I hope to start detailing when the weather improves. She is desperate for clay!!

RgdS Paj



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got round to fitting some new fog lights. Mine were looking sad and had internal moisture and corrosion......80434992_2019-04-1215_12_45.thumb.jpg.8ed54574b332b3ff593ed31938a017d3.jpg


They are simple to replace, first I took the wheel off to get easy access to the wheel arch liner fixings. I then removed the small under tray. The trim around the light pulled off with some jiggling.



Then it was just a matter of fitting the new unit...



and then refitting the under tray and all the little screws.....




.....a bit of plastic cleaning and Bob's your uncle.

Might consider some LED lamps for winter.

RgdS Paj

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Took advantage of the amazing Easter weather and completed an external detail on my car. Started with taking the wheels off and cleaning them and the arches.





Whilst waiting for them to dry I gave the engine and clean with AG Engine & Machine cleaner then some AG Rubber & Vinyl cleaner




 After snow foam, tar removal, de-ironing, a good claying and several washes she was taped up (Ooh Err) ready for machine polishing (DA polisher for Easter instead of chocolate eggs)




and now she has an amazing deep wet look shine.....2 of my neighbours thought my car was Black. She is actually Monaco Blue!




How long will it last.....

RgdS Paj

Edited by Paj
forgot picture

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I mainly be fitting Poly bushes, front and rear. Really easy to fit and have removed some suspension noise & firmed up the cornering a bit.

Mine were supplied by PSBushing.com having used them on my Mini. 

Pictures  below show a comparison of 13 year old versus 13 day old..... 




RgdS Paj

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Exuptoy said:

I assume the blue tape is so you can keep clear of the edges with the machine polisher?

The blue tape is for masking areas (like trim, badges, lights etc) not to be cut/polished when using my DA polisher. Edges of panels have different paint thickness so I protect them too. Also stops polish going into gaps and leaving residue.

Hope that helps. Lots of detailing info online from the experts.

RgdS Paj. 

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