Things will get crazy this year. I have decided to make this car as nice as I can afford to. That means every screw, every clip, every bracket, every everything has to be present, and in good working condition. They also need to look good. I ordered over 400 new parts for this car in this year. It got new OEM style 65 wheels, new tires, chassis braces, instrument cluster bezel, switches, knobs, fan clutch, engine fan, door sills, M-audio subs, front bumper, trim, fog lights, rear bumper, trim, diffuser, facelift steering wheel, a total over-haul in electronics (see below photos), all exterior door trim, coolant expansion tank, new filters, parking brake rebuild, rear brake overhaul, M3 oil cap, oil return hoses, and all mounting and installation hardware associated with these things. That huge list represents less than 1/4 of the parts replaced. I want this car to look amazing, it deserves to. It was a 7/10 to begin with, but by selling all of the old parts still worth using, I can afford a 9.5/10. I also installed the Shark Injector software to remove the AA code, and make the car a bit more fun.
This month, I have added a brand new OEM BMW M5 post-facelift steering wheel, the M Audio subs, the correct face-lift leather hand-brake handle, and a ton of various miscellaneous parts that my car has been missing since I’ve owned it. The M audio subs make quite the difference over the DSP system, much sharper, punchier bass. And, this new post-facelift steering wheel makes driving the car feel quite a bit better. I’ll let some photos speak for themselves, I’ve made a lot of progress inside and around this car this month.
Tech Updates. My M5 is a 02/2000 production, so in order to get SIRIUS XM radio and AUX input, I had to change my radio. I adapted to the latest I-BUS hardware this month, including the BM53 radio, auxiliary input, and SIRIUS satellite radio. Everything is OEM BMW, and installed to factory spec. A great way to get 2014 features in a 2000 car! Check out the video and article written about this retrofit.
Spring, Summer, 2014
I went nuts this spring and summer. As mentioned far above, I replaced both bumpers, all the exterior trim, all mounting hardware, anything with rust on it underneath, many pieces of interior trim, basically anything that showed any wear. Any missing clips or small pieces of hardware have been replaced. Fresh fuel filter and feed line into the engine. New interior door handles (kept the pre-facelift titan line). Fresh coolant expansion tank. New door sills, all filters, all fluids, rear brakes, parking brake, headlight level sensors and mounting hardware, chassis braces and hardware, OEM style 65 wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3s, stickers on keys, front wheel bearings, M3 oil cap, and oil return hoses. I’ll include some photos of the parts order, and then the finished products after a month or two of labor.
Another Car. In July, I actually bought another car. After the outlandish work that I had done to the M5 over summer 2014, I couldn’t stand the thought of driving it through another Ohio winter. This past winter had caused about $1,500 worth of body damage in the way of rust that has since been repaired, and now with fresh bumpers, grilles, trim, and parts underneath, I just couldn’t do it. For not much money, I was able to pick up a nice 2002 E46 330xi. It has miles on it though: 215,000. But, it’s clean, and has no check lights on, or big needs. I won’t detail too much on that car here, but it’s a perfect winter car. Four-wheel drive, manual transmission, new Continental snow tires, 3.0 M54 I6, heated leather seats, bi-xenons, SIRIUS XM, aux input, sport package seats, M3 steering wheel, all for pretty cheap. This will certainly take the worst load off of my M5! I will include a few photos of my 330xi below.
On November 7th, I filled the M5 up with gas, drove it home, and parked it on a plastic mat in the garage. The odometer read 188,026. I put in a whole bottle of fuel stabilizer, immaculately detailed the car, closed the interior air vents, and covered the car. I made a winter storage video during this process. Within two weeks, I made the decision to buy a battery charger, so I hardwired that to the battery in the trunk. I went with the CTek, that can intelligently monitor the battery health, and can charge in smart cycles. The car sat, mostly untouched and covered until February 1st. I prevent anything negative happening to the engine due to sitting for so long, I did give it a start on the 1st, and filmed this video. It started like it had run the day before, no problems what-so-ever. This winter has been the coldest on record in Ohio. We suffered several weeks with daily highs below 10 degrees, wind-chills going as low as -35 degrees. This winter has also had an unthinkable effect on the roads as well. My 330xi has suffered one bent wheel, one cracked wheel, and two blown new snow tires. Around $600 in damage. With the 35 inches of snow we had in our front yard at one time, and with the 5 inches of solid ice on the driveways, I can say with strong certainty that I would have lost the M5 this year. It would have definitely been totaled or severely damaged by the roads or weather this year. During the time it has spent in the garage, I’ve gotten busy with ordering parts. I bought the new side mirrors, new front OEM brake rotors, Hawk HPS pads, stainless steel brake lines, a new thermostat, all the hardware, performance aluminum pedals, and plenty of additional miscellaneous hardware and trim to clean the car up further. I originally hoped to start driving the M5 again sometime in March, but with the condition of the roads and the current weather, I’m projecting that it’ll be well into April, or even May, before it leaves the garage. I’ll post a few photos from the fall, then storage time, a start, and then some minor plenum work below.