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Michael:E39

530i Refurbishment - End of Year Report

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So, this time last year I bought my 530i Sport Individual Saloon in Techno Violet from a BMW specialist dealer in Mid Sussex. The recorded mileage was 56,600, with 2 former owners plus the dealer. The dealer indicated he'd fitted new Brembo brake pads and discs all round and carried out an Inspection 2 service, and the vehicle came with a new clean MOT. I paid a premium price in the expectation I'd not find too much wrong with it, given the mileage .

During 2020 I've had to replace the following with new, using local BMW Independent Garages:

Transmission Electric Gear Selector Switch (limp home mode)

Air Intake Bellows (fuel trim warnings)

Lights Control Module (LCM) (hazard warning system inoperative).

Aux Electric Pusher Fan (whine at low speeds)

Viscous Fan Coupling and Blade (rattling badly)

Air-Bag recall at main BMW dealer.

In addition to this, and doing the work myself, I've also replaced with new:

Radiator Grills

Gear Selector

Bonnet Alarm

Windscreen Washer Pump

Petrol Filler Cap

Four Door Entry Sills

Door Side Moulding

Window Moulding

Cigarette Lighter and Ashtray

Interior Courtesy light

Traffic Module Switch (TM)

I've also had the air con system checked out and re-gassed (which cured the nasty whine at low speeds), carried out detailing to the car interior, and refurbed the seat belts (now work like new).

So, the cost for the year (in addition to the purchase price) has been £3000 approx. I'm now working on a plan of work for 2021, which I'll need to cost and prioritise.

I guess you'll see from the above that an E39 can be an expensive proposition if, like me, you have to use local garages to do major works. The cost for a competent "weekend driveway" mechanic buying their own spares and doing the work themselves would be very much less of course. I've been struck by how many problems are age related, not mileage related (for example Transmission Gear Selector Electric Switch and Lights Control Module (LCM), both expensive items to put right).

I've already started on the refurb programme for 2021. Watch this space for further details and costings.

  

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A real credit to you though, 

A lovely looking example, & rare with the condition, spec & millage 

Enjoy & keep up the good work (even if paying someone else to do it)

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Absolutely stunning car 8) 

 

And yes, these cars can throw up huge bills through items being old and failing unfortunately. It's just how thick and fast they come, or if they're kindly spread apart :lol: 

 

But every credit to you for doing it properly and getting them fixed.

 

The car looks amazing and it's a real credit to you :) 

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That's a beauty!

 

Is the interior leather Individual also?

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Now that is a beautiful example! It's got to be a keeper.

 

I'm also refurbing my E39 530i, although mine is an SE and not the looker that yours is and has some serious work still to be done on it.

 

Interesting that you had the gear selector switch replaced - I was thinking it could be the cause of my limp home mode issue and I found a guide to opening it up and cleaning/repairing it. Unfortunately that wasn't the fix but it was a very easy procedure and cost nothing. I guess my point (if I have one) is that even if you're not a "weekend driveway" mechanic you can generally find a solution and a fix to most issues with your E39 from the forums without having to resort to a garage. That's what makes these cars so great to me, the blood, sweat and tears that we put into them. As they say, it's not a project car if it hasn't got your DNA on it.

 

Now I'm going to print off a picture of your car and hang it in my garage for my poor girl to look at...

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Wow! Thanks for all the compliments and encouragement regarding my refurb project, guys. Most welcome, as I've had my moments of doubt as issues  have arisen. But, the bodywork is sound (no rust or damage), and the techno-violet paintwork outstanding (extra charge option when new). Also, the engine is running smooth and quiet - as is the transmission. And I do love the "old school" experience of driving  the E39 530i  (firm on the ground, no technology distractions, and nicely responsive). So, I'm happy to continue with the refurb, though I'm beginning to accept that I wouldn't  recoup my outgoing if I sold  unless E39 values begin to climb steadily.  

 

In answer to "E39 Mad" , yes the seats are the original black leather Individual Sports Seats. However, the seat base on both front seats are letting everything else down. All the other interior leather is soft, supple and in very good condition; but the foam pads in the front seat bases need replacing and the leather also, as it has become hard and cracked.  This is on my 2021 refurb programme, which I've already embarked on.

 

I'll give details of  my 2021 strategy, progress and costings in my  next refurb project post. Thanks guys. 

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Absolutely stunning E39 Michael!  Your feelings were very much like mine!  Spending so much on what is an old car with big bills, however as you rightly say and I am sure many other E39 owners agree on here too, there is something very special about the E39 that I feel is missing from the newer 5 series / newer BMWs (in my opinion).  And I think the E39 community on here is fantastic on trying to preserve their E39s!

 

Techno Violet is just gorgeous :wub:

 

Look forward to further updates. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Mani59 said:

Absolutely stunning E39 Michael!  Your feelings were very much like mine!  Spending so much on what is an old car with big bills, however as you rightly say and I am sure many other E39 owners agree on here too, there is something very special about the E39 that I feel is missing from the newer 5 series / newer BMWs (in my opinion).  And I think the E39 community on here is fantastic on trying to preserve their E39s!

 

Techno Violet is just gorgeous :wub:

 

Look forward to further updates. 

 

 

Hey thanks for this. Yes, it’s part of my motivation to feel I’m doing a bit to preserve and enjoy a form of motoring that’s lasted for a hundred years so far, but which is surely coming to an end over the next ten years or so. Incidentally, just been looking through your great website, and as a result have added a trip to the BMW museum in Germany to my bucket list. 

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On 23/01/2021 at 12:58, Michael:E39 said:

Hey thanks for this. Yes, it’s part of my motivation to feel I’m doing a bit to preserve and enjoy a form of motoring that’s lasted for a hundred years so far, but which is surely coming to an end over the next ten years or so. Incidentally, just been looking through your great website, and as a result have added a trip to the BMW museum in Germany to my bucket list. 

 

Thanks Michael for your kind words.  Absolutely worth a visit!  It's a great complex.  I last went in 2014 and was supposed to go again in 2019 but could not make it so rescheduled for March 2020 and then Covid-19 cancelled it. So now probably going to go in 2022-2023.

 

I strongly urge you to book yourself in for the fantastic factory tour too which is just across the road from both the Museum (which is brilliant) and the BMW Welt.  You do need to book in advance though for the factory tour.

 

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E39 Refurb 2021

So, refurb project 2020 completed, and refurb project 2021 underway. I’ve had the following done in January (at my local Indy garage):

·       New front anti roll bar D bushes, links, and ball joint covers fitted; New headlight bulb fitted and headlight unit made secure; New front indicator bulbs fitted; BMW major Inspection 2 service (inc brake fluid change, spark plugs etc, etc); New Pirelli P Zero Front Tyres fitted (to replace existing, which were age-related perished); New MOT, and re MOT (clean with no advisories after the above items addressed).

The car is now driving superbly; engine smooth and responsive, and steering precise on the road. But it’s been an expensive month what with cost of above, plus annual car tax (£330), and annual insurance (£294 comp, inc RAC breakdown, legal, keys etc). So, I’ll need to take a break from expenditure, for a good few months hopefully.

Then, next steps planned for later in the year are:  

·       Sorting out the PDC system (I think the problem is a wiring issue, not module or sensors)

·       Completing the refurb of the cooling system with new: water pump, belts, expansion tank and cap, thermostat assembly, hoses (top and bottom), fan temperature sensor / switch, coolant level sensor, radiator, and of course coolant. (electric pusher fan and radiator viscous fan blades and coupling replaced with new in 2020).

·       Refurb the air intake system with new: CCV kit, DISA valve, MAF sensor, throttle body, idle control valve, and breather / vacuum hoses (air intake bellows replaced in 2020).

·       Transmission Oil change, with new filter and gasket.

At that point, the car should be about as good as I can get it – and I'll be able to use it with confidence as a genuine daily-driver. That'll just leave a few items left, like refurbing the front seats and investigating non-working seat belt sensors, and doing detailing of engine and lower boot area. Now, if only I was a competent diy mechanic with driveway / workshop facility this refurb wouldn’t feel so daunting!!!

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Great to hear you have it running fantastic!  This is exactly how I felt once I addressed some of the issues you have done already (suspension and tyre related things).  

 

Sounds like a great plan there Michael for this year and I will follow your updates with keenness.  

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Car looks great and that’s one heck of a refurb schedule especially as you’re paying top rate to get most stuff done but all credit to you. I remember when I bought my E39 back in 2012 and read about all the potential issues......I’ve had them all along the way or proactively replaced/upgraded stuff “just in case”.

 

I don’t use mine every day but it gets driven most weekends and still makes me smile every time :D

 

 

 

 

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You're dead right Barry. Every time you drive the E39 the pleasure makes the effort and outlay worthwhile. Oh, and when you see it in the car park looking great alongside some very plain motors. Cheers. 

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So, next job in my 530i refurb project (transmission flush and fluid change, with new filter and gasket) is scheduled for next month, April 2021. But meanwhile another job arose. Over the winter, the bonnet badge became heavily pitted with road salt  (see photo one), so today fitted new bonnet badge from BMW (photo 2). Looks great, and sets off the new radiator grills a treat. Badge was expensive from BMW, but is the real deal, and fitting was therefore very straightforward. 

BadBage.jpg

NewBaaaaaaadge(2).jpg

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Looking forward to your report next month on the transmission refresh. 

 

Looks fantastic Michael!  You are absolutely right, it does set off the new kidney grills really well!

 

And Techno Violet looking lovely as ever :wub: 

Edited by Mani59

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So, recommenced refurb project this month, with leaking power steering fluid refurb. Fitted new: reservoir (p/n 3241 685 1217), intake hose (3241 109 5526), return hose (3241 109 4306), gasket ring (3241 109 3596), two “O” rings for hose to cooler (1721 174 2636), cable clips (20mm & 16mm), ATF Dexron 111 fluid (1.5 litres).

Sourced the parts (Meyle) from AutoDoc for £100 delivered, though I sourced the “O” rings from my local BMW main dealer for £1.61 (prices for this item on eBay were ridiculously high). Local garage charged 2 hours labour to flush old fluid, fit new parts, and refill with the new fluid and bleed. As ever, a competent weekend diy mechanic could have done this on a Sunday morning (and maybe used cheaper parts).


Next job scheduled was transmission oil change, but meanwhile nasty groaning from air conditioning system now developed (last year I fitted new aux push fan and bearing, and had system re-gassed). So, could this be the air con compressor / pulley?

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Good to see another job ticked off the list Michael!  

 

Did you get the groaning noise sorted?  

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Yes indeed, another one done. Groaning noise very strangely has gone (it occurred in the recent heatwave). Doesn’t add up. I’ll be keeping an eye, and an ear, on it.

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On 01/08/2021 at 11:49, Michael:E39 said:

Yes indeed, another one done. Groaning noise very strangely has gone (it occurred in the recent heatwave). Doesn’t add up. I’ll be keeping an eye, and an ear, on it.

 

Yes that is very odd that it seems weather sensitive.  I think we are expecting another heatwave later in August so hopefully you will be able to track it down.  Good luck! 

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