1 2 3 4 ... 7
t25torx HalfDork
9/15/14 7:30 a.m.
ssswitch wrote: Maybe I don't have a great idea of the engine bay's geography, but it doesn't seem like anything is close enough to that wiring loom to have chewed through it like that. Nice choice of project, but I'm curious how many parts you'll be able to replace on this thing before it falls out of the price range of who I assume the average used-BMW customer to be. The bodywork (outside of the easy headlight polishing job) seems like it could be brutal... I feel like there's a lot for me to learn here, either to repair my own cars, or to look out for on future cars I'm inspecting.

Yeah I'm note sure how the loom got rubbed through, it does sit right up against the oil filter housing area, but I'm also not 100% sure that it's routed correctly, it could have been moved by the previous mechanic.

As for knowing what tot look for in a BMW of this period, I had a small clue when I first looked at it, but everything I'm finding seems to be common fail points on this car. I do know this, if you get one of these, expect anything rubber that's been exposed to the elements to be perished and need replacing.

t25torx HalfDork
9/15/14 8:07 a.m.

Good morning and welcome back to Wheeler Dealers, the post where I take a modern classic, dress it up, and try and sell it on for profit. I've been working on this 2001 BMW 525i this weekend trying to sort out it's numerous issues and here's the next part of that process.

After I got through getting the air intake pipes refitted and the dodgy steering fluid reservoir replaced, I started cleaning up that tatty engine bay and getting the front end body work sorted out.

I started by removing the cowl plastics to get at all the leaves and debris that had fallen behind it, thanks to this perished rubber seal. In order to get this panel off, you need to remove the wiper arms, and you'll need to use a 3-jaw puller to get them off the motor assembly. Once those are off it's a matter of remove the screw clips and pulling it out. The rubber on this piece is not available separately from BMW and a new cowl is around $65, so we'll hold off on replacing it for now till I figure out if I can find a seal I can use from some other vendor.

These corner seals are perished also, they are about $13 new from BMW

This is what was waiting under that panel.

and here it is halfway vacuumed.

Once that was done I turned my attention to the front end. I removed the drivers side light as I have bought a replacement that matches the passenger side light.

While I was down there doing that, I took a closer look at that fogged up fog light. Turns out it's not full of condensation after all. it's actually over spray from a rather shoddy front bumper respray job. So out it came to get wet sanded.

I started by removing these panel clips in the grill section.

One that is out of the way, you can get to these 7mm bolts, and just twist the unit sideways to remove it out of the hole.

Here's the offending light, removed and ready to be cleaned. I used 1200 grit, the 2000, then 4000, to polish it out.

Ahh much better, still has stone chips but it's 100% better in person.

And back into place.

So that's it for all the work I got done this weekend. There's still shed loads to do on this thing and more parts to order. The drivers side headlight is on the way, and while I'm waiting for that I'll start to tackle some of these interior issues.

OH and I did get to start the car after the new intake boot was put on. And it runs! But since nothing can ever be "that easy" it still has a slight miss, so I hooked the scanner up to it to see what codes I got this time and it was only two.

  • P0313 - Misfire Detected With Low Fuel Level
  • P1343 - Misfire cylinder 1 with fuel cut-off

I didn't have time to troubleshoot any further, but I'm going to swap the coil pack around and see if it follows the pack and work up from there, so stay tuned.

Billy_Bottle_Caps GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/15/14 9:26 a.m.

In reply to t25torx:

Great progress hopefully last 2. Odes are related

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/15/14 9:49 a.m.

Stupid question... Is there gas in the car? Is it newer fresh gas?

t25torx HalfDork
9/15/14 10:42 a.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: Stupid question... Is there gas in the car? Is it newer fresh gas?

Not really stupid. It was low, like "warning light on" low, so I added 5 gallons of 93 to it. Still came back. I nee to swap the coil to a different cylinder and see if it follows it. Didn't have time yesterday.

Harvey Reader
9/15/14 11:09 a.m.

Hm, interesting. Seems like a lot of cosmetic clean up and some minor mechanical overall. This might work out for you at least in terms of part costs, not sure how much labor though.

clutchsmoke Dork
9/15/14 11:55 a.m.

I'm following closely. I'd love to rock one of these in 530I guise.

t25torx HalfDork
9/16/14 4:04 p.m.

MOAR parts headed my way.

  • New Drivers Side OE Hella - $150
  • New OEM front window garnish - $27.14
  • New OEM Shift Knob - $12.26
  • New OEM Hood Release Handle - $4.06
  • New OEM Hood Hinge Seals (both sides)- $8.12
  • 2x New OEM 3 Prong Connector Housings (for clips) - $2.72
  • 2X New Wing Repeaters (clear) - $13.99

So the total for this round was $218.29 . Add that to our current total of $1064.50 we're only at $1282.79 total. I still have some front trim to buy and that pesky drivers seat needs looking after. so wish me luck as I try to source some used parts for this ride to keep the costs down.

Harvey Reader
9/17/14 10:05 a.m.

Hurry up already, this episode is going on forever. Presses Fast Forward

t25torx HalfDork
9/17/14 11:54 a.m.

*Live Filming in Progress *

tjbell Reader
9/17/14 1:49 p.m.

this series of build/restore/profit threads is amazing great job I wish i had the space to do this kind of thing!

t25torx HalfDork
9/17/14 6:59 p.m.

Got to work on the car a little tonight. I wanted to try and hunt down that pesky misfire, and I think the fault has been found.

Cylinder 1's sparkplug was loose and not tightened down properly, but I also found that the plug was covered in soot and was not the correct style for the car. So I had a look at all the plugs and found that two plugs weren't even the same style as the rest. So I'm ordering up a new set of plugs and maybe even a new set of boots as two are in really poor shape.

Also one of the coils wasn't even bolted down properly. This is how I found it.

You can see the blow-by on the coil pad.

After all that was looked over, i decided to move on to some front end body work. You might remember the sorry state this front headlight was in.

After much pounding and pulling and bending, I finally got most of the panel to line up, and got that headlight bolted into place.

The hood isn't fully closed in this picture but it lines up pretty well, I might try and tweak that fender a little more to get the gap more even.

So that's all for now, I'm still waiting on parts at this point and looks like I have more to order.

ssswitch Reader
9/17/14 11:12 p.m.

Man, that might well explain your misfires. It's not like it's hard to reach the plugs on those cars, why would you ever just replace "some" of the plugs?

Curious if the spark plug seals might be a little bad to boot (yay, valve cover gasket job). Also, you really weren't kidding about the hood paint. That is wretched.

Good progress, keep it up. Hope it runs great after this and you can focus on the annoying little details instead of the annoying big details :)

Burrito Enthusiast
Burrito Enthusiast HalfDork
9/18/14 12:57 a.m.

A few months ago I replaced all 6 coils on our e46, even though only one was "bad". I'd like to keep one or two as a spare, but I would gladly send the other two or three your way for the cost of shipping. They are OEM jobs with about 140k on them, if you're interested.

Harvey Reader
9/18/14 8:36 a.m.

Yeah, it's probably taken a front or side hit at some point given how much work it took to fit that light in.

Agreed with ssswitch, what the hell is up with those plugs and boots? That's the easiest thing to do on the car and one of the cheapest, who replaces only two plugs or mixes and matches plugs? You have any oil in the plug holes? Agreed that you might want to check the valve cover gasket for leaks. That shouldn't be a difficult job to do and would save you trouble down the line if it is leaking just to pull it now.

t25torx HalfDork
9/18/14 11:58 a.m.

Yeah I might go ahead and do that valve cover gasket, since I'm right there, as it looks like I do have oil leakage from the plug holes.

I guess the previous owner was trying to run a BMW on a Civic budget. I'm going to Seafoam the engine before I change out the plugs so I don't foul up the new ones. Then dump the rest in the oil before I change it out, because lord knows if they skimped on the plugs, and that PS reservoir, then they skimped on oil and went with conventional instead of synthetic.

So stay tuned!

Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
9/18/14 12:10 p.m.
Harvey wrote: Hurry up already, this episode is going on forever. Presses Fast Forward

Wait until filming wraps then come back and view, err read in one go. Actualy make that two. Read the first half then come back the next day and read the second half remembering to read the previous half dozen posts as the 'last time we were' part.

ssswitch Reader
9/18/14 12:25 p.m.

I'm both excited and afraid to see what the inside of that valve cover looks like.

Sky_Render Dork
9/18/14 1:45 p.m.

You removed all the protective coating on that fog light when you sanded it. Hit it with some clear coat or it will start to yellow.

Also, what kinds of garages do such shoddy repairs to cars?!

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
9/18/14 1:48 p.m.

Be prepared for that one loose coil to be bad and very possibly causing the misfire if the plugs/boots don't cure it.

They aren't real tolerant of being knocked around.

t25torx HalfDork
9/18/14 2:06 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote: You removed all the protective coating on that fog light when you sanded it. Hit it with some clear coat or it will start to yellow. Also, what kinds of garages do such shoddy repairs to cars?!

It's a glass fog light so I won't have to worry about it yellowing. If it was plastic I would definitely shoot some clear on it.

God, I hope it wasn't a shop that did all that "work".

Harvey HalfDork
9/18/14 2:16 p.m.

I want a whole website where they do stuff like this, just Wheeler Dealers all the time. This is mostly why I like reading the GRM project section when they pull something out of the dirt like the yellow Miata.

nderwater PowerDork
9/18/14 2:43 p.m.

I volunteer my E39 for your next episode ;)

t25torx HalfDork
9/19/14 9:35 a.m.
nderwater wrote: I volunteer my E39 for your next episode ;)

Haha. Nah, the point of this is, "If I can do this, then anyone can do this"

But at the same time I do enjoy bringing a car back into tip top shape, so bring it on!

nderwater PowerDork
9/19/14 9:58 a.m.

Where are you sourcing your parts? The prices you've listed are lower than what I would have expected.

1 2 3 4 ... 7
Our Preferred Partners