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OjaiM5
OjaiM5 New Reader
5/17/19 2:19 p.m.

Oh boy! Huge pile of performance suspension parts for the MMMMM! Awesome

 

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
5/17/19 2:27 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

The Bilstein B8's should be a mild upgrade from stock in terms of body control. The rest of those parts are pretty much just maintenance items to get the car back to stock performance, but I'll be more than happy with that.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 New Reader
5/17/19 4:24 p.m.

Here, you can borrow my signature  wink

 

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
5/18/19 1:18 p.m.

Super short update since today was yard work day.

With the weather and other things going on I hadn't uncovered the 2002 since winter. Finally got around to it, hooked up the battery, gave it a few pumps and it started right up!

Definitely renewed my passion for the car a little bit, since I had been considering selling it. I need to get the registration done and it's in desperate need of new tires. Hopefully, I can get enough done to sign up for some track/ auto-x time this year

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
5/21/19 11:33 a.m.

Decided that if I don't make progress with the 2002 soon, I won't have much chance to drive it this year. Decided to buy the parts it desperately needed. 

The most glaring issue are the tires...they're old enough to have their own license! 

I've decided to go with the BFG Sport Comp-2's, since I've heard good things and anything more aggressive would be major overkill for the car at the moment.

Some new strut bushings for the front were also necessary, since they are completely perished. Last time I drove the car there was an annoying squeak from the alternator at idle, so I've ordered some poly bushings and a Tii style bracket from Ireland Engineering. 

Another thing I need to address is the leaky fuel tank. It's made contact with something hard at some point and was repaired with some kind of appoxy. I actually bought a tank last year, but it turned out to be the wrong one, for an earlier car. I'm thinking I'll drain the tank and see if I can't have the local radiator shop patch it up. Otherwise I might remove the previous repair and give it a shot with some JB tank weld, as a temporary solution.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
5/22/19 11:20 a.m.

Less than 24 hours later an the tires showed up on my doorstep. One of the perks of living within 150 miles of TireRack.

Looking forward to getting them mounted up soon.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
6/2/19 7:36 p.m.

Another free Friday, but I wasn't exactly as productive as I was hopi​​​​​​ng. Dropped off the 2002 wheels with the new Sport Comp 2's at the local tire shop. Ran some errands while they mounted and balanced them.

Got the wheels back on and the car on the ground, but other to-do's needed to be done so I moved on. Next on the list will be replacing the destroyed strut mounts and mounting the alternator up with the new hardware. I'm also planning on pulling the front bumper and addressing the dent in the nose panel in the near future.

Yardwork is a sisyphean task at this time of year, but the bare minimum must be attended to, so after I got that out of the way I moved on to the M5. 

HOLY E36 M3, the passenger side front wheel was torqued more than anything I've ever felt with before. Had to use a breaker bar with a three foot cheater for the three of the five lugs on that side. Since I'm tackling the front and rear suspension I loosened all the other wheels with comparatively little drama.

M5 assuming the position.

I'll need to raise the rear another notch on the jack stands to level the car out for the transmission and diff fluid change.

Decided to take a look at the wheel that was giving me so much grief. 

Everything looks normal here, if a bit dirty. Rotors and pads seem to be in good shape with plenty of life on them. Got the tie rod loose and the front control arm disconnected before losing all energy and will power to continue. A few hours later I found the cause as I was hit with a lovely bought of the stomach flu. My daughter and wife had just gotten over it, so naturally it was my turn. Obviously ended progress for the weekend.

I'm planning on tackling as much as I can during the week, since weekends have been such a failure lately. Luckily, I have the E34 as a backup and I could take the 2002 if I was really desperate. Hopefully more productive progress to come!

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 New Reader
6/2/19 7:50 p.m.

I"m pretty jealous of that 2002. I need to pick one up someday.

Interesting that the AC Schnitzer wheels run a hub adaptor. I wonder what the hub bore is for?  Hope you feel better and can get back to all of those parts waiting. 

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
6/2/19 7:55 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

I was also surprised to see the hub spacer. Research is in order! I assure you that the 2002 isn't nearly as clean as it presents in pictures. It's actually wrapped in vinyl from the PO. Without that the paint underneath is likely destroyed. Definitely want to make some real progress soon.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
6/2/19 10:59 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

I think I figured out the need for a hub spacer. It seems that AC Schnitzer made the odd decision to go with the standard E39 74mm hub bore, which is only used on the E39, E70/E71. What I didn't know is that the E39 M5 uses the ubiquitous 72.5mm bore like most other BMW's. Definitely a TIL moment there! So even though these are E39 fitment wheels they don't fit the E39 M5 without a hub centric ring! I run a similar ring on my E34 to bit my E39 (74mm) bore BBS Style 5's and haven't had any ill effects over 5 years. But it does make me question whether I should get the original style 65's refinished to see if it removes some of the front end shimmy I've been experiencing.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
6/10/19 11:27 p.m.

So as usual plans were delayed a bit. Ended up taking the E34 into a shop to have real flanges welded onto the new headers, since the slip connectors were not doing the job. There was enough exhaust gas escaping to cause the idle to bounce between 500 and 1500 RPM's, and it was LOUD. Not in a good way either. Not sure if it was due to the lack of back pressure or the pre-cat O2, but with the new repairs it's running right and not noticeably louder than the original cast setup. Until that was sorted I didn't want to crack into the M5 too much in case I needed to slap it back together in a pinch.

But I did start getting into the suspension a bit and immediately ran into an issue. The rear upper control arms are a ball joint style at the knuckle and they were berkeleying stuck. 

I ordered this lovely tool and it made very quick work of the offending joints tonight.

 

Suspicions about the state of the rear suspension were confirmed immediately after taking the wheel off.  This is the control arm to the rear of the car. TOASTY

And here is the other one.

Fair to say they had given up the ghost. It's very likely these are the original components from the factory. I'm definitely glad I decided to really load up on parts because it's looking like everything I've bought is absolutely ready for replacement.

I also managed to get the sway bar end link off on this side, but in the process managed to smash the ever living hell out of my thumb. Multiple times. There is just not much clearance to remove the nut on the axle side of the K-member.  That was also toast. This kind of just happened with out much effort.

I'll be moving to the other side of the car to do it all over again before I tackle the lower ball joints and the integral links. I'll need to rent a tool to get those ball joints out, so those will probably wait until Friday. The front suspension is similarly full of ball joints, so the splitter will be a welcome addition in getting all of that apart. I want to get the thrust arms out before Friday, so I can have the old bushings pressed out and the new ones pressed in.

On another note, I couldn't resist the temptation to drive the 2002 last weekend. I really need to rebuild the shifter mechanism, but I think I have officially decided not to make it into a full on track car. As a friend put it, "you'll ruin it for the street and it'll be a E36 M3 race car". I'd rather have the car be fun street car at this point in my life, and I really don't foresee having the time to do any racing for at least 3 years at this point. It's just nice to have a car that is fun to drive even below the speed limit and really gives you the sensation of lightness. It does mean I need to start considering putting together some semblance of an interior for the car. Dash is cracked, there are no door cards, and the center consul is erm, spartan, to say the least.

I'm not the biggest fan of the Sparco wheel. It's a little too small for my taste. But the seats, cloth Recaro LS, are great for a street car. Need to think more on what exactly I want to do, but I think I'll be happier overall with that direction for the car.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
6/12/19 10:45 p.m.

Back out in the garage tonight. I was actually out there last night, but didn't end up making too much progress after getting the new control arms and end links. Decided to try and tackle the front end and immediately hit a brick wall. I can't seem to get the old strut out of the knuckle even with multiple blasts with penetrating fluid. Going to need to find the biggest pry bar available to get it apart. 

I decided to try and be a little more productive with the limited time I had tonight. In order to replace the rear struts on an E39, you need to disassemble a good amount of the rear interior. You need to remove the lower seat, seat back, child seat anchors, c-pillar trim, parcel tray, and rear speakers. After all that is removed you end up with something like this.

 

Taking apart this car really does illuminate why the E39 has such a reputation for refinement. Most of what you see in the picture above is sound deadening, the c-pillar trim is backed with some what dense foam, and the same goes for the parcel shelf. It's really no surprise that the M5 is dangerously close to 4000 wet with a svelt-ish driver. 

In order to get the strut out you also need to remove the inner fender cover. This is also made of, a heavier duty, pliable rubber.  

These have almost certainly never been out of the car and are filthy. I'll be scrubbing them down with some soapy water.

It's recommended that you move the fuel filler neck out of the way of the strut during replacement. It does seem precariously close once you get under that fender cover. You can also see how BMW made use of the space once it's covered up an out of sight.

I'll probably manage to get the drivers side rear to the same spot as the passenger tomorrow. If I move quickly enough, I'll probably try to get the new rear Bilstiens installed since they are pretty straight forward. That will leave the integral links and rear ball joints to do on that end. The front has me a little worried ,since every nut and bolt has been fighting me so far. There's actually much less work to do on the front, but it seems like the effort has been exponentially higher. I'll be able to devote a solid amount of hours this Friday so hopefully I'll get the vast majority of the work done.

That still leaves the transmission and diff fluid changes, which I should probably start on Friday as well. If I got all of that done in a day I'd be pretty psyched with myself. 

rustybuckets
rustybuckets Reader
6/13/19 6:25 a.m.

I have one of those ball joint remover tools and it is absolutely lovely. One use was worth the purchase price! 

Also, I really like the 2002's center console. I think just adding door cards and a dash will make it look magnificent!

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
6/13/19 7:52 a.m.

The ball joint separator is absolutely worth it.

I do like the simplicity of the center consul, but I might want to add a stereo and rearrange the gauge placement at some point. If it's going to be a street car it should be able to travel reasonable distances in comfort. Good driving roads are pretty scant around here, so I could see taking some road trips in order to find some truly good back roads. 

Door cards will go a long way in making the thing feel like a real car again. I'm not sure if I want to just replace the factory dash, or just fill the cracks and try to flock it.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
7/26/19 7:07 p.m.

So it's been a while. As much as I hate to admit it, I've failed at meeting my goals on the M5. I got stuck at both ends of the car and spent multiple 6 hours sessions working on the car to no avail.

Had to swallow my pride and do a very un-GRM thing today.

Called AAA and had the car towed to the indy mechanic I trust. Definitely not looking forward to the bill, but I really want to get the car back on the road.

On the positive side, the E34 has been a champ. It's been great using it as my daily driver again.f I think the front brakes are in need of replacement, so I'll probably be doing those once the M5 is back in business.

 

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 New Reader
7/27/19 6:33 p.m.

Well, it will nice to have it all done. I stopped counting receipts on my M. I keep telling my self that it doesn't matter and that it is my dream car.

Please post up a review when you get it back on how it rides.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
7/27/19 7:14 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

I'll have to remember how it drove before at this point! I've got a lovely spreadsheet to remind me how uneconomical my choice of "daily driver" has been.

I'm expecting the car to feel much more composed with the B8's and control arms that aren't completely shot. I also ended up getting Powerflex bushings for the lower rear control arms seeing as no one seems to stock the original bushings and the genuine BMW part is ~$800 per side. I'll definitely give my feedback once I have it back on the road.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
8/1/19 4:29 p.m.

Well as things seem to go with this car, another delay in getting it back on the road.

Turns out the rear knuckle on the passenger side is damaged at the ball joint matting surface. Not sure if that was my doing or some karmic force punishing me for liking and defending old BMW's. Either way this sent me on a search for a new knuckle where I was immediately confronted with a choice. $1000 for a new knuckle, sans hub and wheel bearing, or $150 shipped for a complete assembly from a wrecker. 

A pretty easy choice to make honestly. Luckily, that's the only hiccup the shop has run into, so once that's buttoned up the car will be done. For real this time. Still disappointed as I was actually looking forward to taking the M5 to a local car show. Might have to rinse off the 2002 and take that instead.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
8/3/19 6:16 a.m.

Since I'm taking the 2002 out this weekend I decided to try and get the leaky fuel tank sorted. 

It's a little hard to see, but the tank has taken a few impacts in the past. Someone had already attempted patching the tank with what looks like generic JB weld.

The old repair was failing, so I got some JB tank weld to see if I couldn't string this tank along for a little bit longer. I actually have another tank from a '72 tii, but BMW changed tank shapes between '72 and '76 so it doesn't fit my car. There were a good 6-8 small holes in the tank. I'm kinda amazed the tank held any gas at all!

I prepped the tank with a wire brush wheel on my cordless drill, some 180 grit sandpaper, and rubbing alcohol to remove the residue. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the process, but you follow the basic instructions included in the kit. Mix the two compounds, apply to the affected area, lay the fiberglass on top, then cover the fiberglass with the remaining resin. It cures pretty quickly, about 30 minutes, but I left it for about an hour before painting the tank with some rust converting paint.

The repair seems to be working, but I filled the tank to the brim and it seems I have a pretty serious leak at the seam. For now I'll probably keep the car below 3/4 full, and I'll need to try and source another one. Overall, a bit of a bummer, but I would recommend the tank weld kit for anyone else who might run into some small leaks.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
8/9/19 8:23 p.m.

Small update today. The M5 is finishing up week number two at the indy. Seems like the car is living up to it's reputation of making simple repairs a little more difficult than they should be. Apparently the axel didn't want to release from the damaged rear knuckle, so the disassembly took longer than expected. Definitely not looking forward to the bill.

The E34 and the 2002 got an oil change today. Castrol Edge 5w-40 for the E34 and Valvoline VR1 20w-50 for the 2002. Finally a project that went according to plan, even if it is the simplest of maintenance. 

Looks like the E34 has blown one of the front Koni Sport inserts, which is a bit disappointing seeing as they have less than 30,000 miles on them. Anyone else have issues with Koni's wearing out too quickly? It also looks like front brakes are in need of a replacement so I'll probably be picking up new rotors and some Hawk HPS to match the rear set I put in during my rear brake upgrade. My while you're in there syndrome is acting up, so I'll probably do the front hub/wheel bearings at the same time. What I'd really like to do is get the front calipers off of an F30 335i and upgrade to the 340x30 rotors at the same time. But the M5 debacle will probably dictate the more mild option for now.

On the 2002 side of the garage, I think I'll be pulling the front bumper and keeping it off. I'd like to use the holes in that location to mount some fog lights. I'll probably try my hand at straightening the dents in the nose, and remounting the Ireland Engineering front spoiler with rivets as well. And door cards are priority number one for the interior. I'd like to get those projects done before winter rolls around.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
8/11/19 6:27 p.m.

Got about an hour in the garage today, so I decided to try and tackle a small project. 

The first step in trying to address the front end damage on the 2002. Admittedly, this will probably be more of a band-aid repair, because a proper repair likely requires a brand new nose panel.

Pulled off the bumper with relative ease. I intend on leaving it of and using the bumper mounts for some future fog light placement. I've also got an Ireland Engineering front air damn to mount up in the process.

I'll need to take some more pictures to really show the damage, and I imagine I'll be using a good amount of filler on this panel. I was thinking about trying my hand at hammer and dolly work, but I'm a little tentative about making it worse rather than better.

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
8/14/19 9:52 p.m.

So the M5 is back in my possession. All tolled, the suspension refresh and driveshaft replacement cost me just over $6k. Definitely a bit painful, but I still have one of the best super sedans of all time, so I don't feel I've come out too badly on the deal.

No pictures since the car is filthy with dust from sitting so long. The car drives beautifully, as it should. The Bilstein B8's have certainly firmed things up and made the car feel a bit flatter though transitions. Adds a bit of confidence when you really start to use the power band in this car .

I'm pressing on with the 2002 project.

Need to pick up some more primer and some real masking paper before I do anything serious, but I wanted to get a feel for how bad things ready are underneath.

Looks like a good amount of Bondo and a little bit of rust. I'm going to try my hand at hammering out some of the worst of the damage. Any pointers on that end would be appreciated. Not expecting to make it pretty but definitely looking for an improvement.

Decided to test fit the Ireland Engineering front air damn. I think I'll be really pleased when I get some fogs installed. This project has been a lot more fun than the last one already, so much less stress inducing.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 New Reader
8/15/19 7:35 a.m.

Air dam looks great! Have you thought about running two hella lights in the front?

Gald the M is back home. Hopefully there will not be anyomre bills like that anytine soon!

 

 

MTechnically
MTechnically Reader
8/15/19 8:09 a.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

Definitely planning on Hella fogs at this point. Something like this is what I envision, maybe with some yellow lenses/covers for a bit more contrast.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/15/19 8:18 a.m.

In reply to MTechnically :

the problem with E39's is that they're so friggin' good, when they're good, that we go to great length$ to make them good.  

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