Jump to content
e39_nurburg

Do e39's rust underneath? Any pointers for rust prevention maintenance?

Recommended Posts

I havent had chance to spend time under my 2003 530d.

 

I had a 2002 Z3 2.2 sport last year and when I finally got underneath to see whats what, I had the shock of my life.  My 1973 beetle was in considerably better nick than this.

 

It was if it had spend 5 years at the bottom of the ocean.  The diff case was falling apart, the rust was coming off in 3mm thick flakes.

The fuel tanks were about to drop off as the metal straps were almost corroded through.  My fault for buying a motor on eBay, and not checking it out 1st!

 

I know the diffrence between surface rust, good metal, and sitting-in-the-ocean-metal.

 

Do E39's suffer from much rust?  I can see my diff looks dry and not rusty.  Are there any particular areas that require rust prevention mainenance?

 

Old z3:  Click on the pictures to enlage!

post-45754-0-75866900-1364383019_thumb.j

 

post-45754-0-74638300-1364383072_thumb.j

 

post-45754-0-65753000-1364383151_thumb.j

 

post-45754-0-52312500-1364383227_thumb.j

 

post-45754-0-49830300-1364383298_thumb.j

 

post-45754-0-58708300-1364383355_thumb.j

Edited by e39_nurburg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing quite that extreme on the E39 - brake lines up the driver's side sill can get quite scabby, and there's a few pressing joins underneath that can start to lift, but again, nothing quite like that.

 

A couple of reports of jacking point corrosion too, but not seen that myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeesus, that Z3 is terrible! Are you sure the previous owner hadn't regularly backed it into the sea to launch a boat or jetski? If it's any reassurance my 16 year old E39 doesn't really have any visible rust anywhere underneath, apart from the expected surface corrosion on the ally suspension components and I've been under it on a lift a number of times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year I removed the sill covers to find extensive rust to the rear jacking points, which was not visible with the covers on.  If the car had been raised using the jacking point, I am sure the jack would have gone straight through.  I had this fixed by a local welder.

 

I would reccomend regularly removing the sill covers to clean out any build up of dirt which could hold moisture and to check for rust.

 

To do this the rear arch liners also had to be removed, which was fairly straight forward.  Before putting the liners back in, I cleaned up the inside of the arches, and put some waxoyl on there, to hopefully slow down the rust what was there and prevent any further rust.  I also sprayed the arch liner with trim protector, to give a silicone coating to hopefuly repel any dirt etc which could accellerate the rust.

 

I have also had some rust form on the brake lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, I had rusty rear brake pipes on an E39 528i saloon, the repair was actually pretty easy.

 

I also got an advisory for rust around the rear jacking points on my Touring last MoT.  (Seems to affect Tourings more?).

 

When I investigated the corrosion, it was worse than expected.

 

I got them repaired & massively uprated, then flooded the inside of the sills with Bilthammer Rust proofer.  

(It comes in BIG cans with an extension probe for spraying cavities that actually works).

 

There is a US member on here (whose name escapes me) who has a fabulous 540i painted in a Lambo Grey.  

His thread on the repairs he had to do to his front jacking points was pretty alarming!

 

Kinda weird, as his car was otherwise in very good condition, 'cept for the front jacking points!

 

Other than that, any rust on an E39 is easy to find because you will be able to see it!

(For example, tailgates on Tourings, boots on saloon & the panel below sometimes have scabs).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had to have both of my rear jacking points re-built for the MOT this year on my 99 touring.

 

From what I have seen the earlier cars can suffer quite badly whereas the later ones appear to be a little more resistant to the tin worm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I have seen many a E39 with plates welded on the underside of the rear sills

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have some corrsion on sills (mainly stone damage) as above, but the only problem I am aware of under the car was two fuel lines were found badly corroded back end of last year .

currently 174k miles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My  e39 has a huge scam on one of the sills near the rear jacking point.  The paint must have got damaged at some point by a monkey, and then just left to rot. 

There is also a little bit arount the rear boot lock, but apart from that its good. 122k 2003.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have one area on the whole underside of my 1999 E39 which look's to be someone either used a trolly jack or placed a 2 post ramp foot just catching the cill, look's like it had been bent then someone pulled it back to shape but never treated the broken paint/under-seal... apart from that mine is pretty much spot-less, brake pipes will need doing maybe next year? (i'll find out better tomorrow.. MOT time)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seen and heard of a good few sill horror stories so everybody should have a good inspection. Mine seems remarkably rust free underneath and in most of the usual places. I just have some bubbling on the inner edge of the rear arches I need to nip in the bud and some in the fuel filler cubby hole thanks to the stupid design that stores a pool of water in there.

Never seen them in the UK (but maybe just cos I've never looked) but over here in Norway they have all these rust centres. They will have your car for couple of days, pull off all the plastic underneath then treat and protect the underside and inside the sills, doors, boot, bonnet then redo the underseal. I'll be sending mine in soon when I've sorted the rear arch.

Edited by Liam79

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 98 touring and i have small amount of rust on the tail gate and where some one has damaged the passenger sill with

a trolley  jack and was left to rot. this is some of the things i have to do along with some painting to the car when the weather improves.

under the car seems in be in good shape from what i can see.

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

×