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Old 04-01-2014, 12:02 AM   #1
Rittmeister
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Default Unveiling: M5

I haven't been too active around here for a while. Some of you know I sold my M3 last fall. I was ready to move on, and had gotten it in my head that I needed a 4-door toy. Ah, rationalization...

Anyway, had I bought a 4-door E36 M3 in the first place I'd probably still have it. I really wanted a coupe at that time though, so c'est la vie. After running around in the M3 last summer and getting my daughter in and out of the back all the time I was tired of it. It was a great car and I miss it, but selling it gave me the opportunity to move on to another of my dream cars.

I bought the M5 in mid-November from a seller in Indianapolis. Since then, between the weather and the fixes/changes/upgrades, I've barely driven it. Most of my projects have involved gradual changes, but this time around it's wound up being a situation where I'm doing lots up front (I know pretty much what I want to do) and then driving the car and maintaining it.

Today I finally got it back together and into a drivable state. I'm quite pleased, and looking forward to enjoying it on the coming months.

It's a 2003 with 90k miles, Jet Black on Black sport interior, excellent maintenance w/records. It's got the options I wanted (sunshades, M audio, folding rear seats) and not the ones I could do without - namely full leather. It's super-clean. It came with some mods but I've converted it back nearly to stock, so I can have a clean slate to work with.

When I bought it:







As of today:





Changes I've made since purchase:

-Remove ridiculous tint
-Remove muffler delete and replace with stock mufflers
-Remove Dinan intakes and replace with stock airboxes
-Remove aftermarket LM rep wheels and replace with square stock setup. Wheels were refinished, and tires are Sumitomo HTRZ3
-Added 75mm wheel studs and matching lug nuts; no broken feet here, thanks
-Remove H&R leveling springs and replace with stock
-Added factory AUX-in kit
-Replaced the SAP with one that doesn't sound like a steroidal shop-vac
-Repainted hood and front bumper to eliminate rock chips
-Replaced headlight adjusters (common E39 problem)
-Repaired factory-standard broken driver's seat
-Added OEM front brake ducts and modified grille to match
-Added Khoalty blacked-out kidney grilles

Future plans include Ground Control coilovers that are already on order and should be here this week. I need to pull off the goofy carbon roof wing the PO added. I may add headers/intake and a tune (it's got Dinan on it but the Evolve setup appeals to me) and possibly big brakes. Should be a fun time.

Thanks go out to Brian at MWorks, Gordon (HotDoggin), and my buddy Chris for helping me bring the car home and for hooking me up with the painter.

Comments welcome!
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:43 AM   #2
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oh wow
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:58 AM   #3
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Looks great Kent, finally no snow!!!
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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Those cars are bargains nowadays
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:24 PM   #5
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nice find! I was on the track with a few of them this past weekend, damn they do look good in motion!
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:09 PM   #6
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looks soooo much better without that awful tint. it looks very clean as well, ill own me one someday.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:57 PM   #7
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Very impressive list of accomplishments on this. This car is obviously in very good hands!
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:55 PM   #8
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Let me know if you have any mod questions. I have been on m5board for a few years so I could provide feedback on stuff you are thinking about

Ground control and evolve headers? You are gonna have to empty your wallet lol

I have the evolve tune and am satisfied with it
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:27 PM   #9
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Thanks for the offer!

The Ground Controls weren't any more expensive than they were for my M3. Less than $2k in fact. Quite a bit less expensive than AST, Ohlins etc. I've used GC on several cars now and I really like their products.

As for headers, it's only a thought at this point. The install scares me more than the purchase - I can always save up
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:51 PM   #10
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So, the thing to do when you've got your car together is to take it apart again, right?

Teaser:



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Old 04-07-2014, 11:07 PM   #11
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Nice
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But why do we bother doing anything that's pointless. What would Leonardo Da Vinci have done if a management consultant forced him to run a P&L on the Mona Lisa? He'd stab the son of a bitch in the eye with a charcoal pencil. Then he'd go invent the helicopter.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:30 AM   #12
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Looks great! My only question is was the intake the previous owner had on it a cold air intake?

As for the ground control setup.... have it on my car and love it. Just wish I would have gotten more of a stock ride comfort. Long drives in my car can be brutal now.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:19 PM   #13
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The intake was a Dinan carbon fiber CAI. The filters were in the front of each fender; I had to remove the bumper to get the intake off the car. As with many intakes, actual gains are hard to measure so I doubt I lost anything. I feel no difference going from the Dinan setup to stock. I may pick up an AFE intake in the future but that would be for increased flow, not cold air; the stock snorkels go into the front of the bumper and I doubt any "colder" air is available. Frankly I'll likely leave the intake stock; if I do any engine mods it'll be an Evolve or Jailbreak tune, and/or headers, etc. More power to be had there than with any intake.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #14
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Always glad to see a plan worked out. I like to think you driving my old man's car was part of the ground work.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:19 AM   #15
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Nice find, and nice work cleaning it back up. I've always liked the OEM+ look as opposed to "highly modified". Maybe this question was already answered in the thread and I missed it, but; do you still have the LM reps, and if so, would you part with them?
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #16
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Jack - no doubt, though I've wanted one of these since I was in college (when they were new).

Jmart - the reps sold a while back. Sorry I can't help you there, though I am debating whether to keep or sell the four front OEM wheels I have.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:55 PM   #17
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At last, Phase I (or more?) is complete. Wheels re-refinished to a slightly darker, metallic silver; Ground Controls installed and height is set; brake calipers all blacked out (from the red of the PO); roof wing removed.

And also at last, for the first time since buying the car last fall, I managed to wash and wax today





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Old 05-26-2014, 08:39 AM   #18
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Better pic of the black calipers? Curious how that turned out
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:23 AM   #19
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Well, it's been a busy time. Over a year since updating this thread. In my defense, I had one of the busiest school years of my career so far, in addition to moving to a new house and having my second child :O

I did find some time to work on the car though. Mostly in the last six months, here are the upgrades:

-New left rear axle (boot was torn)
-New flexdisk
-New power steering lines and reservoir, with McMaster reservoir mounts
-New starter to replace the zingy one that was in there
-Passenger door lock actuator
-Right rear window motor
-All new Centric brake rotors and Hawk HPS pads

And, I've refinished the wheels. Again. This is the third go-round, but while it's still not the Chrome Shadow it's a color I think I'm pretty happy with. The first color was just a generic matte silver, which got cooked yellow in a misadjusted emergency brake incident; the second color was Space Gray, sort of a metallic medium gray, but one of the wheels had some lousy curb repairs and that wheel again wasn't coated quite right.

This time I went with Kingsport Gray, a much darker color with some flake in it. It looks sweet in the sun I must say (though my pics don't show that very well I fear). I replaced the dinged wheel with another good one. The dinged one will get a used tire and become a spare.

I've been most appreciative of the input and instruction I've found on this forum, and look forward to continuing to expand my knowledge of the car. Upcoming plans include some kind of shifter bushing, solid (custom-made) shifter, strut bar, and then who knows?







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Old 06-30-2015, 06:57 AM   #20
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Looks fantastic, keep up the good work
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