Have an account? Register

Forgot your password?

Forgot your username?

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 32

Thread: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

  1. #1
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    I did it again, I bought another BMW. This is my 5th BMW but this time I bought a wagon. It's a 2002 525i automatic touring in Alpine White, with 220,000km, originally from Florida with virtually no rust on it. I was in Chicago back in January and happened to drive by it on a Saturday but I was busy with work and couldn't take a look at it until Sunday, when they happened to be closed. Went back on Monday and put a deposit on it. This is just a few days after I had bought a clean X5 from a friend in Chicago so I couldn't drive it home at the time since I was already driving the X5 home. I was going back to Chicago in February so I didn't pick it up until then.








    The car is pretty basic the only real options on it are electric and heated seats, sunroof, self levelling rear suspension (airbags), and it came from the factory with navigation but one of the previous owners swapped it out for a super cheap and super shitty aftermarket unit. It came with TSW wheels, which I find ugly, and new random brand all season tires, as well as M5 style front and rear bumpers. There was one reported rear end accident on the Carfax but it said the airbags didn't deploy and the frame rails looked perfect when I checked it.

    When I initially saw the car and put the deposit on it there were a few problems, the ABS and traction control wasn't working, one of the rear level sensors wasn't working, the driver's window wasn't working and the secondary air pump was throwing a code. The dealer promised to take care of these things and while they did most of it the ABS module has to be sent to be repaired out since the part they thought was the problem was only part of the problem and they didn't change out the level sensor so they gave me back a few hundred dollars to cover the costs of the repairs. Of course with my luck, the night I picked it up the intake cam position sensor failed and I had to pick up a new one but the dealer was nice enough to let me use their shop and tools to change it out, which took 30 minutes. I also broke one of the breather valves trying to get at the cam position sensor








    No surprise to me but on my way home I encountered a few issues. While I was just outside Janesville, Wisconsin my passenger wiper decided to stop working halfway up the windshield and my driver wiper smashed into that and mangled both blades. Of course the E39 uses a special wiper arm and finding wiper blades is near impossible. I was able to get one straightened out enough to put it on the driver side and keep driving. Made it to Eau Claire and since it wasn't late I figured I'd aim to get to Duluth for the night. With my luck, in Eau Claire there was a little snow so I figured I was ok but as soon as I left there had been a snowstorm just outside the city and I had to drive through it all with no abs, traction control and on crappy all seasons. By the time I got to Duluth there was about a foot of snow on the roads and I almost got stuck a couple times.



    Most of the other issues are pretty much all cosmetic. The headliner is sagging in parts, some of the inside hatch trim is cracked, the front door seals are cracked (common issue), and someone thought it was a good idea to use electrical tape to black out the chrome window trim. The headlight adjusters are broken (another common issue) but I'll be taking the headlights from the 540i. Other than that the body is in pretty good shape, the paint is a little worse for wear but being a Florida car I suppose it's expected to be a bit beat up by the sun. There are quite a few rock chips on the hood and the clear coat on part of roof and part of the passenger doors has come off.










    Only rust I found on the car





    I also have another lovely stereo to deal with. BMWs aren't the best to deal with but whoever put this in completely removed the stock amp and it seems like they just wired up the front speakers the aftermarket head unit. There's also this interesting feature where when you turn on the rear defroster the whole thing just shuts off...




    I have quite a few plans for the car currently. My biggest plan for the car is a V8 manual swap. I'd love to do an M5 swap but that'll have to wait. If I choose to do an M5 swap at a later date I'll just have to find a motor and ecu. I already ordered KW V1 coilovers since the suspension seems to be a bit worn out and the V1s are the only full kit still available for the E39 touring with rear airbags. Everything else is pretty minor.
    • V8 swap
    • manual swap
    • KW V1 coilovers
    • fix ABS
    • rear level sensor
    • black headliner
    • new headunit
    • speakers, amps & subwoofer
    • rear hatch struts
    • new Hatch trim
    • new front door seals
    • paint chrome trim black
    • sell wheels
    • new 3rd brake light
    • swap headlights from 540i
    • possible vinyl wrap blue



    TL;DR
    Bought a BMW wagon, has some slight issues, planning on modding.
    "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

  2. #2
    Moderator Yota's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    912

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    v8 swap! Now you're talking!
    97 LS 240SX LS376/525hp
    97 Supra 863whp 756wtq - 10.22 @ 142.9mph
    90 Castrol Celica Alltrac 600awhp 571awtq (track car)
    92 Toyota Pickup Lexus V8 supercharged 400hp? TBA

  3. #3
    Senior Member RAGE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay
    Posts
    683

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    nice, cant wait to see the progress.
    WhEn LiFe KnOcKs YoU dOwN, cAlMlY gEt Up, SmIlE aNd PoLiTeLy SaY.... "YoU hIt LiKe A bItCh"

  4. #4
    Administrator MarcGSR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, ON
    Posts
    1,803

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Finally! Love that you have a matching wagon to your coupe.

  5. #5
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Yota View Post
    v8 swap! Now you're talking!
    It won't be as nice as your V8 swap but it's a start.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAGE View Post
    nice, cant wait to see the progress.
    Thanks! There's quite a bit to be done to get this to where I want

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcGSR View Post
    Finally! Love that you have a matching wagon to your coupe.
    It'll match even more once I dye the interior red and change the headliner to black. I might even give it a carbon fiber roof!



    I love finding all the small issues with a car when I buy it, it's the fixing part I hate, especially if the parts are stupidly expensive. The trim on the right of the steering wheel is pretty mangled.





    Trying to find out if I can save myself a few hundred dollars by saving the hatch trim. Luckily the tabs weren't broken on 2 of 3 trim pieces so that'll save some money, i just have to change out the clip inserts since they're filled with gunk.




    I'm thinking the 3rd brake light broke when the tint was done




    It definitely doesn't seem like the airbag on the passenger front door has ever gone off but for some reason the tabs on the back side are broken and there's a gap when looking at it from the front.





    Whoever owned this car last smoked in it because it reeks and the headliner is filthy. I was able to get the smoke smell out using a deodorizer from Home Depot and the car smells much better now. The headliner is also sagging in a few areas, so once I get it measured I'll order the material to redo it in black along with the pillars, which aren't in the best shape either.





    The biggest problem as of now is that the rear window on the hatch won't open when the button is pushed and from some quick searching it seems to be a common problem that it either stops working completely or constantly unlocks. I ended up having to drill out the torx screw to try and remove the cover on the switch but that didn't work so now I have to buy a new switch and cover anyway.




    In order to get at the actuator to pop it open you have to get in behind the larger hatch trim piece but it's not supposed to be removable without opening the window. Luckily (not really) mine is broken so I was able to get at it. It's only a $550 piece from BMW and since tourings are a little less common than the sedans it's a hard piece to come by, especially in black.




    At this point I'm trying to figure out if it's the actuator or the switch or maybe the wiring in between but it's hard to tell. It's closed when it's on it's in towards the actuator and it opens when the actuator pushes the arm out. I think I'll short the wires by the switch and see if that works and apply voltage directly to the actuator to see if that's the problem. Since getting it open I also found out the struts to hold up the glass are also in need of replacement





    The one other thing that isn't really an issue but kind of bugs me is the tail lights are starting to form small cracks and there's moisture behind the lens. I've never been a big fan of the full red tail lights so I might splurge and see if I can get a set of the Euro lights shipped here.




    The difference between the NA (all red) and Euro (red and white) tail lights

    Last edited by Nabs; 03-16-2018 at 10:10 PM.
    "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

  6. #6
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Pulled the radio last night and as expected I was not happy with what I found. First off they used jb weld or something along those lines to hold the cover plate to the headunit.




    I quickly found out why the headunit would shut off when the rear window defroster was turned on...




    The part that bugs me the most is that the installer cut out the factory harness connector and it looks like they cut some of the lines super short or removed them all together. Know I'm trying to find out all the cables that should be there and see if I should buy a whole new audio harness or if I can salvage this.




    On the bright side I'll be able to kind of justify a nice new headunit and I was able to find a used trim piece to replace the broken one for $30 shipped from Latvia and I also bought a set of Euro tail lights from Latvia for $150 shipped. I'm currently in the process of ordering material to redo the headliner and after tomorrow I should have a full list of parts I'd like to order.
    "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

  7. #7
    HATER! MiniD1CK5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay
    Posts
    2,595

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Buy a parrot or a pumpkin head unit.
    FUNCTION >FORM

    Randy Probst's take on the BRZ "it's like a BMW and a Lotus had a baby"

    "Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere." -Colin Chapman

    "He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling"

  8. #8
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniD1CK5 View Post
    Buy a parrot or a pumpkin head unit.
    I was thinking of an Avin 3 or a Pioneer headunit, but I might have to look into those.




    Found more things wrong... I hate whoever owned this last. They used these self drilling/tapping metal screws everywhere.





    The bleed valve on for the coolant overflow tank had was messed up along with the shroud and had mighty putty on there so it wouldn't leak. I spent less than $1 to fix it properly. I'm not going to bother replacing the shroud.





    I started taking apart the trunk area. Someone decided to use a bunch of mismatched screws rather than the original, proper countersunk allen head screws...






    The piece to hold down the split fold rear seats is missing.





    A couple small broken pieces where the trunk cover/separator is held in place, just plastic welded those back together. The trim piece on the other hand will be replaced.





    I dropped a tool under the spare tire so I pulled that out and was greeted by everyones best friend... rust...




    It's seems to only be light surface rust so I will be taking care of it right away so it won't spread. I'll probably also cover this area in sound deadening once I'm done cleaning the rust to reduce the noise from the compressor in the black housing.




    The main reason I took everything apart was to get rid of the shitty wiring the previous person ran through the car. Surprisingly though they somehow ran it through the factory loom. I also wanted to check and see if there were any cut wires since there were some missing by the area the plug for the headunit should be.




    The front seat was a bit of a pain to take out since something was stuck on one of the rails and didn't let the seat go forward enough for me to get at the rear bolts. Once I got it out I found the standard dirt but was happy to see no rust where the rails bolt down.




    I took the front seat out because the factory audio harness runs under the front seat and as I mentioned earlier I wanted to get rid of whatever wire the previous person ran and I had ordered 20 feet of 9 conductor speaker wire and wanted to run that next to the factory harness to make it a clean install. You can see it on the left in the first picture





    Finally I pulled the actuator for the rear hatch glass to test it and make sure that wasn't the problem. Just ran some wire connected to a 12V source and touched the wires to the actuator and it worked perfectly. That means the problem is either in the switch or the wiring. I ordered the switch since it needed to be replace anyway, so hopefully that's the problem and the wiring is fine.




    I got pretty sick this past week and I've been in bed the past 4 days so I haven't done much, and I'm still getting over whatever is I came down with. I'm pretty much just waiting on parts at this point.
    "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

  9. #9
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    I think I found the source of the rust




    I'm not exactly sure why it happened, but my theory is that due to the humid Florida air the foam surrounding absorbed a lot of the moisture, and as I'm sure most people know when you compress air the moisture in the air turns to water, so I think the compressor just kept pumping out water and then the rust happened. Of course I'm probably wrong, it's just an idea.


    It turns out when you disconnect the air lines the rear suspension fully drops, I'm kind of surprised there's no check valves in the lines.





    I ordered all the parts I need for safety as well as the new headliner material and I should have them by Friday. The only thing that will delay getting a safety right now is that I have to take off the ABS module to send down to the south to get repaired and that'll probably be a couple weeks by the time it gets there, gets repaired and is then sent back. I also can't drive the car while the ABS module is off because it causes the speedometer to stop working. In the mean time I'll clean up the compressor housing and trunk and probably finish working on my 323i and maybe start on my X5.
    "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

  10. #10
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Last weekend I finally went down to the border to pick up a few parts and send out one critical part, the ABS valve controller. Hopefully it'll be back in the next couple weeks.



    I picked up the new KW V1 coilovers I ordered back in February. I'll probably wait until after the safety to install these.



    I also got the new struts for both the hatch and rear glass. I had to remove one piece of trim to get full access to the pockets, which are not fun to work in. There's no way to access them from inside the car so you have to do a lot of fumbling to get everything properly in place.




    All the new struts and one old one. The big ones are the hatch struts and the small ones are for the glass. I had a pole to prop up the hatch while replacing these but there was a couple times I thought I had the new strut properly in place and just had the hatch fall on my head instead. It's nice to finally have the hatch support it's own weight.



    The air filters were quite overdue for replacement




    I've never really cared for the aftermarket BMW badges and found the original blue and white look the best IMO. I took the ones from the 540 and swapped them over. I think it looks much better, especially on a white car.




    I was able to get around to pulling the driver's door panel off and taking a look at the window regulator, which was supposed to be changed before I got it, but it was obvious it wasn't done since the door panel insulation had never been removed since the car was built. The cable was starting to fray, so it was time for a new one. I just had to swap the motor over which was 5 screws and it worked perfectly.




    I finally got the headliner out after a couple of days of removing all the pillars, lights and handles. It was much easier removing this compared to the sedan but this thing is quite long at right around 7 feet. I also pulled off the old liner but never got around to removing the old foam. Once that's off I have the new black headliner and spray adhesive all ready to go on.

    "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

  11. #11
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Finally got the air compressor out of it's housing. Needs some cleaning and a repaint. The foam surrounding the compressor was absolutely soaked when I pulled it out, when you squeezed it water would drip out.




    Cleaned up the headliner




    All done!




    While I had the headliner out I decided to throw in some sound deadening material. Didn't want to go over board with it, just enough to quiet the cabin down a little bit on the larger areas and provide some dampening for the speakers.




    Since I still had the driver's door apart I threw some in there as well




    I also swapped out the non auto-dimming mirror with the one from the 540i which is auto-dimming




    This vent cover was missing so I took the one from the 540i




    You can some burn type marks on the sunroof cover and it made it's way all the way through the foam backing. You can also see how disgusting and stained it is.



    For the pillars I separated the headliner fabric from the foam backing since the original pillar material didn't have a backing, but with the foam removed it was somewhat see-through with the white pillars behind it so I painted them black so it doesn't show.




    I have all the pillars wrapped now, i just have to get a picture of them and once I reinstall those I'll take one of the headliner reinstalled.
    "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

  12. #12
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Pillars are all wrapped and ready to go, I just have to paint some of the plastic pieces black before I can put them back in. A pillars are already back in the car.




    Full extent of the rust in the trunk. I tried to cover off the rest of the interior to minimize the dust.





    Got the compressor housing cleaned up, now it just needs a coat of paint and then some sound deadening.




    As I was cleaning the rust in the trunk I noticed how bad it was under the compressor mounting rails so I decided to just drill out the spot welds and remove them to clean everything up properly. On the back side I went a little far with one of the holes and water ended up coming out of it...








    I was trying to figure out why the washer fluid jets aren't working and had to remove a fender liner to get at the washer tank and had to jack up the car to get the liner out. While I had it up I took a look underneath and was disappointed by what I found. Th oil pan is leaking and possibly the rear main seal. All the control arm ball joints are shot, all the power steering lines are leaking and the tie rod boots are both torn.







    At this point I'm just going to finish up the trunk and put the interior back together and park the car for a while until I'm ready to do the engine swap. I don't want to spend $400 to $500 on parts just to safety the car when I plan on replacing them shortly after. I'm going to focus on putting the M3 fully back together so that I can enjoy that once the weather gets better.
    "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

  13. #13
    Moderator Yota's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    912

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    "like"
    97 LS 240SX LS376/525hp
    97 Supra 863whp 756wtq - 10.22 @ 142.9mph
    90 Castrol Celica Alltrac 600awhp 571awtq (track car)
    92 Toyota Pickup Lexus V8 supercharged 400hp? TBA

  14. #14
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Yota View Post
    "like"
    "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

  15. #15
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    OP
    Posts
    2,255

    Re: Nabs' E39 Touring Project

    Slowly getting there. Coated the compressor housing in POR15, then covered it all in sound deadening. I was about to put the compressor back in but realized how badly rusted the pressure sensors were and cleaned them up and sprayed a few coats of clear.






    Painted all the grey interior bits black to match the headliner. I forgot to take an after picture of the everything other than the speakers. Oops






    I also cut out the rear glass to replace the frames that were cracked and crumpling.





    The front door seals were also in pretty bad shape so I changed out both of those.





    The storage pockets on the rear door cards separated so I also had to glue those back in place.



    Next up I'll be cleaning up the trunk a bit more and treating it with metal prep then some POR15 and then once that's all done I can weld in the supports for the air compressor and get it all back together.
    Last edited by Nabs; 04-26-2018 at 04:40 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

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

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Nabs' M3
    By exist in forum Member Rides
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 11-23-2012, 05:30 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •