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wsn03

E39 530i Sport - Champagne Run Out - resurrection

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At the suggestion of Huff I'm creating a thread on its own - my BMW 530i Sport is being rescued from the dead.

 

The Car

It's a 530i sport petrol automatic, one of the "Champagne" run out editions - I believe the first series because it still has all the electrics on the seats. It has a few "M" things on it (e.g. steering wheel, wheels), and is officially listed as a "M-Sport" - that said I have no interest in the argument that ignites from the "M" letter, I didn't want an M, I would have bought one if I did - tried one and it wasn't for me. What I actually wanted was an exec style again (is it SE?) but there weren't any for sale in black, and I just wanted another black BMW.

 

 

History and Purchase

This car was a one owner from new - apparently a local Vietnamese "business man". He was good at keeping it fully serviced (full dealer records verified by a helpful BMW dealership), and bad at parking / kerbing the alloys all the times he pulled up to see his roadside "clients" - the front skirting was a replacement missing lots of bits.

 

The year was 2009, I had just written off my nice big 530 exec model (SE?) - it was lovely, but the clutch was a bit cumbersome. I switched my daily drive habits to knocking about in a Fiat Sciecento, keeping the posh car just for business meetings (sick of it getting scratched and dented parked at railway stations and in town). So when I wrote off the car I needed a stop gap - money was short following a marriage break up 2 years earlier, and the credit crunch was still making life a bit risky. I set my budget low.

 

A garage in London had this black 530i Sport - and as luck would have it it was the week before Christmas and they were about to go bust. After some intense acting I managed to grab the car for 4k cash 2 days before Christmas, I now had something presentable for business for a couple of years until things got better for me.

 

 

 

The next 7 years

Life returned to normal over time, and I eventually reached a point where I could start finding a more permanent car. What followed was a lot of test drives of lots of different cars, none of them came close to being the whole all round deal, plus you're looking at some 12 - 18k to get anything in that league even as a  5or 6 yr old car. My clients thought my BMW was a bid baddass / cool,  it was turning out to be a cheap bit of window dressing.

 

Had an interesting journey with a Manager from JLR - he said my car drove better than anything they made (modern car regs stopping cars being that good / heavy etc), then told me how his cousin in Sweden bought a new BMW every 3 years, but having bought one of these she kept it indefinitely for summer use, while still buying and selling the other BMWs every 3 years - she just liked it.

Eventually I decided there was no point wasting money on anything that wasn't as good, so booked it into my garage for a gasket change to stop the recent oil leak.

 

 

The Long Storage

The worst thing you can do in life is give a vehicle needing more than a few hours work to someone who is disorganised. The second worst thing you can do is say "no rush". If he's your mate too you're properly screwed.

Car had done 130k miles. My mate said rather than change one gasket, lets do the lot, every seal, gasket etc so its good for a few more years with no issues, because he didn't want to be lifting the engine out every time a gasket or seal needed changing. All made sense, I was keeping the car for a good 5 more years.

Because I was now married again I was using the car a lot more - the wife didn't like running around in a battered old Seicento.

 

I dropped the car off early 2016 just after I secured an immaculate bonnet and boot lid from a breakers (mine had the usual rot setting in), also picket up a toolkit and an immaculate boot floor.

Then everything started changing.

 

2016 - local contract ended, suddenly I'm having to do a 220 mile round trip each day on the new project - BMW 530i too thirsty. Did the first weekend away with the baby - I'm going to need a bigger boot! Before I knew it a Passat Estate was my daily drive - brilliant piece of kit to be fair, and will be kept for a million years more.

2017 -  finally got a 10 yr old XKR Jaguar - my dream sports car. With this and the Passat the BMW now totally surplus to requirements. 

2019 - finally we found a house that fitted what is now 6 of us (now 2 kids plus the step kid, plus the Mother-in-law!) - with it comes a big driveway. The XKR  was never going to do more than the drive to Le Mans each year, and be looked at. It didn't replace the 530i like I expected it to.

2020 - I decide the BMW needs to be finished - it will make a great back up car, and on paper its not the most irresponsible way to spend money considering I keep cars for years anyway buying them after all the depreciation is gone, and these things seem to be nudging slightly up in price - classics?!? I find my mechanic, guy I've known a long time setting up on his own in 2021 - I can wait.

 

2021 - the car has left the garage that did no work on it (5 years, ridiculous), and its been brought home. 

 

The Scope

The scope is to bring this car back up to mint standard so I can use it for business or pleasure, and I shall just keep it.

 

1. Engine: So right now we have an engine out on a stand. First job assess parts bought previously, order everything we are going to need. Mechanic is stripping the engine and I'm cleaning all the parts with him (I'm the labourer, great job, normally I'm doing the restoration, but on this car I'll leave it to the expert).

 

2. Body: I've recently got involved with a body shop, so they're going to make it look a million dollars like they did with the XKR -  once we've had the car on test for a few weeks

 

3. Interior: needs nothing more than a good clean. The champagne leather is Italian fine I believe that doesn't wear well without a lot of tlc, so I've bought some stuff to do it, plus dye for scratches - however I've now learned there are 3 shades so I'll have to do some research

 

Pictures to follow as we progress

 

Edited by wsn03

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Wow; hell of a way to start a project thread :) 

 

Will be keeping a keen eye on this; although wondering if it'd be better off in the Projects section rather than in here; or both ;) 

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Just now, d_a_n1979 said:

Wow; hell of a way to start a project thread :) 

 

Will be keeping a keen eye on this; although wondering if it'd be better off in the Projects section rather than in here; or both ;) 

Oops, didn't realise there was a project thread - MODS apologies if I put it in the wrong place. That said, I never go in project threads, I tend to stick in my model specific threads, so I hope it doesn't move. :)

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Good work!

 

I just sold a perfect bootlid, albeit in the wrong colour. You will need to replace yours as the rot around the lock is too severe to repair. Look for a pre 2000 lid as earlier ones are far less prone to rust. 

Have a good look at the rear inner sills and jacking points, and be ruthless with the grinder and big ugly screwdriver. Forget treating rusty metal, cut it out and replace. 

 

An excellent car to restore and preserve though. 

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1 hour ago, Sir Anthony Regents-Park said:

Good work!

 

I just sold a perfect bootlid, albeit in the wrong colour. You will need to replace yours as the rot around the lock is too severe to repair. Look for a pre 2000 lid as earlier ones are far less prone to rust. 

Have a good look at the rear inner sills and jacking points, and be ruthless with the grinder and big ugly screwdriver. Forget treating rusty metal, cut it out and replace. 

 

An excellent car to restore and preserve though. 

Thank you - I have a perfect boot lid in the wrong colour - it is absolutely immaculate and bright blue! Interesting your comment about pre-2000; I think my blue one is. I jet washed my original, and now there is a big hole - it is that bad!! Must have switched to some cheap outsourcing when they made mine.

The bonnet was useless - I put a screwdriver through it in 2015. The new bonnet is a solid replacement too with a very bad paint job.

 

I'm extremely lucky that I can get the paint done very cheaply having now got involved in an existing paint shop business, especially as I just can't do bodywork. The guys doing it will do a 5 star job on it plus ceramic coating at the end, having just seen the result on my old XKR I can say it will look like new glass - probably over the top but what a car to do it to. They want it for our promo material website etc - good car for it really, all those hard edges / defined shapes - modern cars do look a bit bland by comparison.

 

They're going to be hard on the sills etc. with the welder out, then I'll get the car in for one of those corrosion prevention work overs where they drill all the box sections and fill with Waxoyl etc - I've seen people swear by it. There's a place in Birmingham (or Wolverhampton - need to check) that does it for about 300 quid - seem to have some very good reviews

 

Appreciate the advice, thanks for taking the time. And yes I agree, I think its an excellent car to restore and preserve, maybe as they get older more people will start to see them in the same light - who knows? I do think the e39 in any configuration is a fabulous car, the likes of which we haven't seen since.

20210308_172035.jpg

Edited by wsn03

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@wsn03 - Cracking story - looking forward to more of this as it moves forward. Thanks for taking the time to write this up for the rest of us & if it inspires anyone else who happens across it - even better.

 

NB my bootlid keylock looks not far short of that; it is the one thing wrong with the car, and I really must attend to it...

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8 minutes ago, Huff said:

@wsn03 - Cracking story - looking forward to more of this as it moves forward. Thanks for taking the time to write this up for the rest of us & if it inspires anyone else who happens across it - even better.

 

NB my bootlid keylock looks not far short of that; it is the one thing wrong with the car, and I really must attend to it...

You're very welcome. Having seen one parked in a house round the corner suddenly disappear after being parked up for all the time since I've been passing that house, I hope this inspires someone not to get rid. Plus I now have the mechanic, with the gear, who will know how to sort out the same for anyone else if they are able to get it to the West Midlands.

 

Incidentally I've already convinced him to just take the plunge and get himself a unit instead of working mobile, and as luck would have it I'm off to look at one with him on Thursday morning - right next door to our paint shop! Life won't get any better than this. I'm looking forward to putting up pictures as it all starts taking shape. He's here next on Thursday and Friday.

Edited by wsn03

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30 minutes ago, wsn03 said:

Thank you - I have a perfect boot lid in the wrong colour - it is absolutely immaculate and bright blue! Interesting your comment about pre-2000; I think my blue one is. I jet washed my original, and now there is a big hole - it is that bad!! Must have switched to some cheap outsourcing when they made mine.

The bonnet was useless - I put a screwdriver through it in 2015. The new bonnet is a solid replacement too with a very bad paint job.

 

I'm extremely lucky that I can get the paint done very cheaply having now got involved in an existing paint shop business, especially as I just can't do bodywork. The guys doing it will do a 5 star job on it plus ceramic coating at the end, having just seen the result on my old XKR I can say it will look like new glass - probably over the top but what a car to do it to. They want it for our promo material website etc - good car for it really, all those hard edges / defined shapes - modern cars do look a bit bland by comparison.

 

They're going to be hard on the sills etc. with the welder out, then I'll get the car in for one of those corrosion prevention work overs where they drill all the box sections and fill with Waxoyl etc - I've seen people swear by it. There's a place in Birmingham (or Wolverhampton - need to check) that does it for about 300 quid - seem to have some very good reviews

 

Appreciate the advice, thanks for taking the time. And yes I agree, I think its an excellent car to restore and preserve, maybe as they get older more people will start to see them in the same light - who knows? I do think the e39 in any configuration is a fabulous car, the likes of which we haven't seen since.

20210308_172035.jpg

 

Almost everyone will agree that the E39 was the pinnacle of the 5er; some say the E34, but after those it's struggled...

 

Re paintwork; when I was asking advice re mine when I had the front end 'refreshed', everyone said to avoid any kind of after-treatment and to leave the paint be for a good while until it's settled on its own accord

 

Read into that what you will; but all I've done is wash & water-based wax mine since; but appreciate black can be a swine to keep looking clean etc 

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3 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

Almost everyone will agree that the E39 was the pinnacle of the 5er; some say the E34, but after those it's struggled...

 

Re paintwork; when I was asking advice re mine when I had the front end 'refreshed', everyone said to avoid any kind of after-treatment and to leave the paint be for a good while until it's settled on its own accord

 

Read into that what you will; but all I've done is wash & water-based wax mine since; but appreciate black can be a swine to keep looking clean etc 

I appreciate the advice, thank you. The ceramic won't actually cost me anything - to be fair I'd rather just wax it. However the guys want it for promo material - now that I'm part of their set up I can get anything done without any hassle. If I wasn't part of it I'd follow the advice you were given. I don't even wash my cars, so having something gleaming like this will do my head in.

 

Its interesting, I've been educated about all the detailing stuff. When I washed the XKR after its paint job I used the dregs from the bottom of the bucket to soap the Passat - I can't believe it, it looks like a new car, and its still shining 2 weeks later - looks amazing, just from a better shampoo?? Haven't even waxed it yet (and when I do it will be amazing because I bought this British stuff - Go Go Juice I think its called - all the detailers say I'll be wowed by it)

Edited by wsn03

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23 minutes ago, wsn03 said:

I appreciate the advice, thank you. The ceramic won't actually cost me anything - to be fair I'd rather just wax it. However the guys want it for promo material - now that I'm part of their set up I can get anything done without any hassle. If I wasn't part of it I'd follow the advice you were given. I don't even wash my cars, so having something gleaming like this will do my head in.

 

Its interesting, I've been educated about all the detailing stuff. When I washed the XKR after its paint job I used the dregs from the bottom of the bucket to soap the Passat - I can't believe it, it looks like a new car, and its still shining 2 weeks later - looks amazing, just from a better shampoo?? Haven't even waxed it yet (and when I do it will be amazing because I bought this British stuff - Go Go Juice I think its called - all the detailers say I'll be wowed by it)

 

Do you mean Dodo Juice?

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4 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

Do you mean Dodo Juice?

Ha - Yes thats the stuff! Thanks

Edited by wsn03

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On 11/03/2021 at 14:35, starbuck88 said:

Well what a thread this is going to be! I can't wait for more updates! well done for bringing one back from the brink!

Thank you, I shall keep you updated. Glad its of interest 

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On 11/03/2021 at 17:15, Pimpollo said:

Well done for saving this beautiful e39, what a great thread this is going to be, can't wait for more updates :D

Thank you for the encouragement, look forward to updating you

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Just now, wsn03 said:

Thank you for the encouragement, look forward to updating you

Thanks, looking forward to this. Hopefully in 3 weeks I'll have my own e39 as well :mellow:

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1 hour ago, Pimpollo said:

Is that the vanos in the bottom photo?? 

On the left of the photo apparently 

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Thought so, don't know if you subscribe to M539 restorations on YouTube, for me it's the best bmw channel on there, he did a Vanos rebuild on a recent upload, it was excellent. 

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