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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just joined the forum today......the story so far.....
A lady I know got a new car, and parked up her BMW in the yard, locked it and walked away. The car stood there week after week for 18 months, through rain and snow as the seasons passed going green and growing moss. One day, a couple of months ago, she told me she was moving away. Seeing an opportunity, I asked what she was going to do with the old car. A week later, I had the keys, log book, manual, and a BMW!!!
It's an E39 520i Touring. I put the jump leads on and gave the key a turn.....she started in an instant, RESULT! I tried to move the gear shift, but the shifter lock wouldn't disengage. It took a few minutes to figure it out, and unlock it manually. I slipped it into Drive and gently pressed the accelerator. There was a loud bang, followed by a hissing sound. Offside front flat! Out came the jack, but the wheel wouldn't come off. I eventually realised that the coil spring was snapped and theaded into the back of the tyre. I locked it up and went home.
I managed to get a local mechanic to change the springs and front pads (took him a few weeks to get around to it), but I found that one of the rear SLS airbags had a leak. This was the point where I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into......:cry:
I knew I had to get the car MOT'd to make sure that there were no more major problems before I started throwing any more money at it.
New battery fitted, it was time to drive it. The ride was awful with no rear suspension, but I got it to my local testing station without drama.
The test was a fail as I expected, but the work needed was minimal. I'm pleased to say it passed today, having had new brake lines and fresh oil.

Costs so far stand at:
Car: FREE!!!!!
Front springs, brake pads and labour £170
Insurance to drive to the testers £15
New battery £60
Initial test £30
Suspension airbag £84 posted (EBay)

I will update this when I get the bill for the brake lines, airbag fitting and oil change.
So far it's looking better, and hasn't cost too much. I didn't take any "before" pics, as it would probably make you die hard BM fans sick, but wish me luck, and I'll get some pics up when I get the car back.
 

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Be sure to flush the brake system, at very least, to get rid of accumulated moisture. Replace the coolant. If the car has more than 80k miles, replace the trans fluid. This will require 3 drain/fill cycles, with some driving between drains, to remove most of the old fluid. Change the filter after the second drain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice. All fluids and filters will be changed over the next few weeks. Oil and filter changed today, and the brake fluid was done with the new lines last week. Trans and diff is still to be checked over and fluids changed. Plenty still to be done, including tax, insurance and cosmetic bits and bobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got the bill now from the garage for the things that had to be done to get the MOT passed. Not as bad as I expected.
Brake lines (all 4)
Fitting for suspension airbag
Oil and filter change
coolant drain and re-fill
Shifter lock freed off
£240

Looks like the next job will be to get the windscreen re-fitted as I think the seal is not good, but after that it's just the cosmetic stuff. It's now taxed and insured, and I got chance for my first drive today. It's so smooth and comfortable, and it goes really well. Very impressed, and very pleased. I even let the wife have a go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There are 141,000 on the car, but the engine was replaced about 2 months before it was parked up, with one that had just 35,000 on it, so less than 40k. The previous owner paid over £1K, and about £600 for fitting. She gave me all the receipts for the work she'd had done. She'd spent a small fortune on it. I took it out for a few miles tonight (to show it off to a friend).......LOVE sport mode!!!! I can't get over how comfortable it is too.:):):):)
 
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