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Thread: Nabs' E39 540i Daily Driver

  1. #241
    Premium Member test Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: Nabs' E39 540i Daily Driver

    This car is really starting to piss me off. I changed out the cable running from the firewall to the alternator & starter but I'm still having the intermittent issue where it's not charging the battery. After a bit of driving last night I noticed the system would stop or start charging after hitting bumps or it would turn off while going around long sweeping turns. I was also able to get it to start charging again sometimes if I were to quickly turn the steering left to right or vice versa while moving, leading me to believe that one of the connections are loose, most likely the one at the firewall but it's impossible to get a replacement for that specific part.

    I'm also still having issues with the front right wheel speed sensor. I had broken one of the bolts holding it in back when I was changing the wheel speed sensor and I haven't been able to get it out. I tried welding a nut on there and it just broke whatever was left of the bolt that was sticking out. I tried drilling and the bit broke off inside the bolt and now it wears out other bits in seconds. I have no idea how I'm supposed to get it out now but it's still drivable, I just don't have traction control or ABS.

    On the good side of things the exhaust clamp is holding up. I'll be measuring some stuff this week so I can finally order all the pieces I need to get the muffler and new tips welded in.



    I was putting on an oil pan heater and while I was only going to clean up one part of the pan I took a second look at how rusty and shitty the pan was looking so I decided to clean the whole thing off and throw on some POR15. I forgot to take a fished picture of it.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Jacked up the front of the car and started it to test the alternator cable, everything checked out, then I had a eureka moment. I went to the trunk and checked the voltage at the battery but I hooked up the multimeter to the backside of the positive terminal and found 13.5V there but only 11.5V at the battery itself. While wiggling the cable the light on the dash would go on and off. Checked for continuity and sure enough there wasn't any.






    This is what it looked like under the little plastic cover. That's the problem right there...






    It's an easy enough fix and took me 2 minutes, just had to shove the two end back together with a pair of vice grips. I also found the reason that the connectors came loose in the first place is that while I had the proper battery tray I didn't have the battery properly secured, you can see the rub marks on the tray. It must have been all the hits up against the snowbanks on the lake that accelerated the issue. I have the clamp for it but because there wasn't a nut on the bottom end of the tray when I got it I never put the clamp on. I'll be welding on a nut on the bottom and I'll weld the tray to the car itself so I don't run into another problem like this.




    I'm kind of mad at myself since it was such an easy fix and I went through the trouble of changing the alternator and the cable, but it wasn't entirely useless since the alternator was the original from 20 years ago and wasn't charging properly and the cable was damaged.
    Last edited by Nabs; 11-25-2017 at 04:23 AM.
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

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  2. #242
    Premium Member test Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: Nabs' E39 540i Daily Driver

    I needed an excuse to do some more welding so I cut some holes in my car. The areas where the holes were is from the old spot welds of the old missing battery tray and I couldn't weld the new one to those areas so I cut them out, as well as the area on the top left since it was extremely thin and I broke through it with a wire wheel.

    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

    How to: edit posts | post pictures w/ browser | post pictures w/ tapatalk

  3. #243
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    Re: Nabs' E39 540i Daily Driver

    About a couple days from getting this back on the road. Finished welding the pieces for the battery tray, now I have to treat whatever rust is left, seam seal the edge, paint it and then weld the battery tray in.



    Found some more rot in the spare tire well so I cut that out. It was a massive pain getting all the curves to match up, it took probably an hour and a half just to fab that small piece.




    Definitely not the prettiest welds but they works.




    I know I said I didn't care to spend any more money on this car but I caved and bought a few goodies during black Friday. I got a bunch of 409 stainless pipe for the exhaust and one section of Supersprint piping since that was 50% off and will save me a bunch of time. I'm hoping to pick up everything by next Friday and hopefully install everything by the end of that weekend, but knowing my luck it'll take a full week at minimum.
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

    How to: edit posts | post pictures w/ browser | post pictures w/ tapatalk

  4. #244
    Premium Member test Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: Nabs' E39 540i Daily Driver

    It's been an interesting few days. Set the car on fire on Saturday, got lucky the whole thing didn't go up and I was able to put it out pretty quick. Mainly did damage to the trunk lining and some of the plastics. It did scorch some wiring, the worst of which was the tail light plug but luckily I was already planning on replacing the contacts in the plug so I can easily splice those in. I ordered a couple replacement pieces for the plastic pieces that saw the most damage, I'm not going to bother with the linings for now.








    The lining covering the factory subs was probably the most damaged lining and I was thinking of replacing it but then I remembered the sub box isn't hooked up, so I ended up removing it. I wanted to remove it a long time ago but I just kind of forgot about it. Now that it's out there's plenty of room to put the aftermarket sub enclosure right up against the rear seat and make a lot more room in the trunk.






    Models with DSP (Digital Signal Processing) have this enclosure with two 5.5 inch "subs" mounted in the trunk on the rear shelf. I guess Nokia use be in audio back in the day.






    I ended up pulling out the rear shelf since I thought it was bolted in from the top from the DIYs I read but it turned out that it's completely removable from inside the trunk. The rear shelf has seen better days, so I'm going to dye it back to black.






    While I have the rear shelf odd as well I thought I'd take a peak at the rear shock mounts and maybe adjust them. I have no idea why but it seems as though the rubber in the mount is getting torn up. I was kind if surprised to see the passenger side mount was rusting, and I found a frayed wire for the speaker there as well (bottom left corner)






    Since I had to remove the C-pillars to take the rear shelf out I figured I might as well take the A-pillars out and glue those since the fabric has been lifting since I got the car.






    And since I took out the A-pillars I figured I might as well take out the headliner to finally redo that in black. I haven't really decided if I'm going to dye it or just pull the fabric and redo it. I already have fabric, I just have to see how well it'll match with the visors and the pillars, and I have to find out how much it'll cost to dye, although I will have to buy some dye for the rear shelf and the b-pillars anyway.
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

    How to: edit posts | post pictures w/ browser | post pictures w/ tapatalk

  5. #245
    Premium Member test Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: Nabs' E39 540i Daily Driver

    Ripped the headliner fabric off, and of course most of the foam stayed on. I tried taking it off by pulling a razor perpendicular to the headliner and it worked pretty good but took a long time. A quick search showed that the best way to remove the old foam is with a stiff plastic or wire brush, that made life a whole lot easier.








    I went and grabbed the headliner fabric I had ordered 2 years ago and found that I didn't order enough, the colour was slightly off and the foam backing was too thick. I tried using the Dupli-Color vinyl and fabric dye I bought to see if I could get the colour to be a little better of a match but it didn't work, and I found when I used it on the B-pillar it made the fabric feel a bit crunchy. I just ended up ordering a new, bigger, thinner roll of fabric. The pillars use a fabric with now foam backing so I may, or may not re-wrap the A and C pillars but the B pillar definitely has to be done now.






    I also dyed the rear shelf with the vinyl and fabric dye and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, it's a pretty close match to the covered, non-faded areas. I originally was hoping to use SEM color coat but I couldn't find the flat black one at Auto Home Paints.
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

    How to: edit posts | post pictures w/ browser | post pictures w/ tapatalk

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