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ttrw2's 2001 Le Mans Blue M5

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Picked up a alcantara covered parcel shelf a few weeks back, got the chance to fit it today:


Old vs. new. Old had gone blue with the sun:




And a pic of the space it goes into...




No pic of it installed - it was going dark!

Edited by ttrw2

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Over the bank holiday weekend I gave a few bits of the car a machine polish where there were a couple of marks left from winter - namely some light etching from bird's dropping and some light scratches on the rear 3/4 from a branch that blew down. Without much effort she came up spotless again!




I was also having problems with the sat nav crashing occassionally that I eventually traced to a mark on the maps disc. One new 2014 maps DVD from Rich_D later and all is spot on again! Cheers mate!

Edited by ttrw2

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It's been a great year with the car back. Not much to report, collected a few bits that I'll be replacing/updating when the car next see's the ramps, but for the mo I have to make do with a gravel driveway....


Today rear undercarriage scrub out, brake/suspension checkover and bled through fresh fluid.




About to tick over 150k miles. Watch this space  8)

Edited by ttrw2

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So, after spending some time in each wheelarch this weekend, decided it was time for a refresh of the mechanicals.


First bits arrived today - BC Racing coilovers with 7kg/mm front and 5kg/mm rear springs, plus the 25cm extenders. Ordered them at 11am yesterday morning from Larkspeed, arrived at 8.30am this morning - superb service.






I did my research on which direction to go, immediately ruling out OEM/Sachs as I did that on my Touring and with all the nuts, bolts, spring platforms, top mounts, etc etc it was well over £1300 - the M5 shocks are even dearer as dealer only!  


Really wanted adjustable damping - the height adjustment of coilovers a bonus as it'll give me something to play with.  The thing I like about the BC Racing parts is they always seem to be evolving the kits. If you see the earlier kits they've changed the top mount bearing, the coating has progressed and the springs now come with rubber protectors bonded around the upper and lower coils. All evidence of development, rather than just a cheap copycat kit being punted out ad infinitum. My car is my everyday car that I do 12-15k miles per year in come rain or snow, so I also wanted something that'd last - decent shock boots and a good finish was important.


Also ordered all new links from eurocarparts (mixture of Lemforder and TRW) plus new rear discs and pads from BMW.


Merry xmas M5!


Edited by ttrw2

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Well intrigued to see how you get on with these, especially in terms of ride quality. They certainly look well made. Did you look at any other kits before you bought these? I find it difficult to judge where the middle ground lies with dampers, they seem to be either Bilstein or eBay, with nothing in between...


Do these need welding to the hub as with the E34?

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

Edited by TomGC

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Cheers Keith, much appreciated. Keeping them clean this time of year is nigh on impossible, as you'll see...


Went back to the Parental's over the bank holiday weekend to use the ramps and get the new suspension bits fitted. Before this I'd had a rather comical few days at work with new bits seemingly arriving everyday as I ordered everything I could think I'd need ahead of being guts-deep in deepest darkest lincolnshire and finding out I was missing a crucial part...


First a new pair of rear discs from Kev @ Cotswold BMW. Great service as ever:




Then a pile of Lemforder/TRW suspension links, tie-rods, etc etc to make sure I could refresh all the running gear. Oh and a new set of Pagid pads for the back:




Then to work! Started with the front, replacing all associated suspension bits:




Stripped the arch down leaving the hub resting on a transmission jack (tie rod still attached at this point). Seriously filthy arches despite being jetwashed out a fortnight ago!




This is the Franklin T331 balljoint splitter that's getting referred to a lot recently on here when people ask what splitter to use. It does the job, but do not underestimate the level of force required to break a 10+ year old e39 balljoint. I've augmented the splitter with a small brass tophat I turned up on the lathe to keep the bridge level so each end is not operating at an angle. I've had this one six years or so - since I've had e39s - and probably cracked 30-40 e39 balljoints with it. Quite often I'll tighten it up and if the balljoint doesn't go bang straight away I'll put some heat on the steel insert in the upright with a small blowtorch.




Some new vs. old bits laid out on the deck for posterity:




It took a solid 9hr day - even on the ramps - to get the front all done. The amount of time it takes unbolting things, breaking balljoints, compressing springs, etc etc I grossly underestimated (thinking I'd have the whole lot done in one day!). So taking photos got dropped in favour of cracking on with getting the job done.


The next day, after a quick test drive to confirm the front is A-OK, turn the car around and start on the rear!  Did I mention it was one of the wettest/dampest weekends in five years? Hence why I drove 150 miles to use the ramps rather than on on my back on my gravel driveway...




Again, another all day slog so little chance to take pics.  Last one before a cleaned arch liner goes back in, with discs and pads still to go. Liners will come back out in the summer for a good scrub behind and a dose of rustbuster everywhere.




Then lots of measuring of ride heights, adjusting, measuring of toe, adjusting, so on, so forth.


If anyone's interested, I've started on the following setup WITH ME sat in the car, 1/2 tank of fuel and 30kg in the boot:


Front left 645mm

Front right 646mm

Rear left 635mm

Rear right 635mm


(Measured from ground to top of wheelarch - standard tyre size, 36psi front, 32 psi rear).


Toe set to straight ahead and camber at initial setting on top mount - will get it aligned properly this week.



And so by the time I was all done and dusted I returned home at 10pm on Sunday night in time for work on Monday. The car feels sublime now... Will add a bit more once I've settled on a damper setup I like and driven on a dry road! 150k miles this week...



Edited by ttrw2

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So, two weeks and around 800 miles later...


Really impressed with the BC Racing coilovers. I've had coilovers before (not on e39s) so expected a big compromise in comfort and noise from the solid topmounts - but these really are not a huuuuge deal worse than OE.


The only time you really notice the big rubber topmount missing is on a very sudden bump -i.e. pothole or severe m'way expansion joint. Well, we all steer clear of potholes right?


Yes they are generally noisier than the OE, there's a bit more of a din from the tyre rumble. But is it noticeable? I don't think so as my acid test was the Girlf driving the car (she frequently does) and upon me asking if she noticed anything different she said No. So if Radio 4 can drown out any additional noise, then there can't be that more, right?


And what you get in reward in terms of handling is sublime. The turn-in is so much sharper even though the springs (7/5kg/mm) aren't a great deal stiffer than standard. I suppose changing all the links/bushes helped here too.


I haven't done anymore ride height adjustments, but I have settled (for the moment) on 15 clicks front and 5 rear (from soft) on the dampers. The car's just come back from having new tyres and tracking on a Hunter, went for book figures for toe (straight ahead) and camber (-0.5deg front) so will work from there.


Will post a pic up of how she sits soon.



awesome work Rob as usual. You should be setting yourself up as an E39 specialist in that garage...... :mrgreen:


Not there's a thought Greig - I do like working on them...

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Whoops sorry mate missed this. Pics below for you from tonight.


Gave her a wash, oil change and jet washed out the front arches tonight all in prep for the MOT at the weekend.  154k miles, but loving driving her at the mo with summer being here!






Edited by ttrw2

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Had a few days off work so took a trip to see the long-forgotten Parental Units up in Lincolnshire last week - a good excuse to get the car on the ramps and change a few bits I've been meaning to do for a couple of months:




Some new rear arms, discs + pads:




BC-Racing coilovers still doing well after 8 months/9k miles. Really pleased with them:




Then finished with replacing the brake fluid. I put Motul RBF600 in as I'd bought a few bottles a while back and they were sat on the shelf. Also used this pressure bleeder - top bit of kit for £40 - made the job a doddle:




EDIT. And a good excuse to give the wheels/tyres a good scrub off the car!




Will get the tracking redone this week then some small bits of bodywork are next on the list.

Edited by ttrw2

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Hi. Great work as per usual snd a nice update.

Just a little warning regarding the pressure bleeder. I have one of these too, but unfortunately the big plastic clamping ring on the pump split, so it leaked pressure. On dismantling it I was very surprised/dissapointed/shocked to find small bits of metal at the bottom of the pump and amidst the associated seals and bits.

On mine, the pump shaft is plated. In use, this plating has been scraped off, most just came off the outside but some found its way past the 'piston' seal and further.

Had this got into the fluid and further into the car's reservoir,  it could end up in the master cylinder chomping away at the seals there, or even the calipers, after all it's used to flush the fluid through the system.


I've changed mine to have a valve on it and have a compressor connected to it when I need to use it, not half as portable but I don't need to pump the bloody thing!

I think I've been lucky. I always have a good look at the flushed fluid, and thus far not found anything in it.

I also drained the reservoir, again inspecting, no particles there either. I've since flushed the car's fluid again, just to be safe,  all clear. Flushed the unit's pipe and the main tank. Had a little bit come from there, not much at all thankfully. I think most of the bits were caught in and around the non return valve at the bottom of the pump.


Please do inspect yours. I spoke to Sealey with regards to getting a replacement, hadn't opened it at the time; there have been revisions so your pump handle might not be plated, if so, no worries :)


If it is plated, I'd be inclined to replace it with something else, stainless maybe, or at least file the plating off the steel shaft and grease it up.

I understand why they plated it, so it wouldn't rust. Better plating or a different material should have been used really.


All the best with it. Keep the updates coming. 


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Another 'project' being very well done :) 


Looks a lovely motor; gonna be like new when you're finished :D 

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Thanks Ger for the tips on the bleeder, will give it a good once over :)


Not much new to report on here. Trip over to the Brecons for a wander round and camping a few weekends ago:




She was loaded up with full boot and back seats brimmed, still the prefer to do it in this car than any other.




She swallows up my bike quite easily with the wheels taken off, allowing me to get to places for a bit of a jaunt around on the push-iron.




And of course now we're in to Autumn she regularly looks like this...




But a 20 min wash soon has her looking better! B)





Edited by ttrw2

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Quick update - had a couple of hours to myself weekend before last to get her up in the air to give the undercarriage a thorough clean/check-over ahead of the winter.  I run this car all year round come rain or snow so like to do this every 6 months or so to be sure she'll stay reliable.






Really impressed with the BC-Racing kit. After nothing more than a jet-wash they come up lovely and clean; no corrosion or anything like that:




This weekend she's due an oil change and as we head towards Xmas I'll start collecting bits in prep for a day on the ramps at the parents when I'm back seeing them over the break.


Onwards and upwards into the 160k miles!

Edited by ttrw2

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On 11/23/2016 at 7:36 PM, duncan-uk said:

Impressive stuff. Liking the shedemoji106.pngare they darians?



Davrians. Three in total in there!


It's definitely that time of year chaps....





Edited by ttrw2

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Thanks. You live in a beautiful part of the world, wish I could visit there more often!


Because of the hours I work this time of year, I rarely see the car in daylight so occasionally take the the opportunity to look her over on a tea break. More often than not she's pretty brown:




The car's usually like that by Tuesday or Wednesday, get's washed most weekends:




Xmas 2016 trip back to the parents in Lincolnshire brings with it an opportunity to get on the ramps and get some stuff done! I usually save any jobs up in the last half of the year for the ramps as it's so much easier to get stuff done. This time it was just a thorough service - oils, filters, belts, etc. Also took the opportunity to take the undertrays off to check over underneath and give them a scrub.








And my brother was back in his F10 M5 so with beautiful weather on Boxing Day we went for a blast. Check out the visual size difference of F10 vs e39...







Edited by ttrw2

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Busy few months with work so not been on here that much. M5's still going well, 161k miles I think and doing sterling work as the daily.


Took this snap at 7am on a Sunday morning a month or so ago up in the Cotswolds...



Edited by ttrw2

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