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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hardly post on here but thought I'd update this to it's own thread ;)

This is the full thread on Pistonheads forum here in the UK: I've done it, again! BMW E39 540i Sport (Japanese Import) - Page 1 - Readers' Cars - PistonHeads UK



Before this I had a Japanese import 2002 E390 530i Sport Touring: 2002 E39 530i Touring - Japanese import - Page 1 - Readers' Cars - PistonHeads UK



With a 2011 F01 730D SE Luxury in between ;)



This is the first V8 I've had; it's currently at my pals motorsports mechanic business having a full suspension arms / drop links overhaul as well as all new ATE brake discs and pads all round with OEM brake lines and a full brake fluid flush/refill

After that I'll get the oil leaks sorted (rocker cover gaskets etc) and then I'll be looking into replacing the shocks & springs...

Thought about sticking with 'OEM Plus' - Sachs sport spec shocks & Eibach pro-kit springs; but the other parts needed (top mounts, all the rubber parts etc) are serious money here in the UK and it all adds up to around £1350!

For c£1400 I can get Bilstein B14 coiloverkit (with OEM top mounts) or for c£900 I can get BC coilovers...

I'm really tempted by the Bilstein B14 kit!

The V8 is a weekend car really; I work from home and don't go anywhere during the week really... So it's mileage will be limited
 

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Bloody outstanding!

55k?
It's a new car!
Did the OP mod it, to look like an '03, or is it an '03 model?
Judging by the front and rear bumper.
Do the door sills have the "M" logo?

Thanks for sharing.
Love the banter between you and your mates on the other forum!

Best,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bloody outstanding!

55k?
It's a new car!
Did the OP mod it, to look like an '03, or is it an '03 model?
Judging by the front and rear bumper.
Do the door sills have the "M" logo?

Thanks for sharing.
Love the banter between you and your mates on the other forum!

Best,
Tom
Cheers Tom

It's a UK spec car basically; Japan and the UK share the same 'spec'd' cars bar a few differences (the Japan BMWs tend not to have PCD fitted and they also only come with the immobiliser fitted, no alarm), all down to their low car related crime rates etc

They're all RHD cars

It's a genuine 2002 E39 Sport model

The sill covers are M logo'd yes and I'll be fitting the M logo exterior door trims once I've got it back from all the work I'm having done next week...

Once that's done it'll be off to my pals bodyshop to have all the door handles resprayed (faded) and I'll be getting rear parking sensors retrofitted also
 

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Looks great and congrats. IIRC other markets had the true M package available most years, here in the U.S. we only got it in 2003.
 
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Dan,

Aye, it's a Stunner, for sure.

Chris, thanks for the info.
I'm keen on the M-Tech spec, and according to Dan's pic, and info, I would say it's a 'Tech.

Well, the good thing about the German's being stingy with the M-Tech in the States, it makes the 03 model a bit pricier.

Dan, from the looks of things, not your first Japanese import.
Do you have eyes over there looking for this kind of thing?
I know Japanese cars are typically VERY low mileage, and there is some crazy law about not having over 40k on an engine...

Anyway, thanks for sharing.
E39, STILL the best looking car BMW has ever produced. (IMHO)

Best,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dan,

Aye, it's a Stunner, for sure.

Chris, thanks for the info.
I'm keen on the M-Tech spec, and according to Dan's pic, and info, I would say it's a 'Tech.

Well, the good thing about the German's being stingy with the M-Tech in the States, it makes the 03 model a bit pricier.

Dan, from the looks of things, not your first Japanese import.
Do you have eyes over there looking for this kind of thing?
I know Japanese cars are typically VERY low mileage, and there is some crazy law about not having over 40k on an engine...

Anyway, thanks for sharing.
E39, STILL the best looking car BMW has ever produced. (IMHO)

Best,
Tom
We've a few well known specialists that import numerous cars from Japan to the UK

This one came by the way of GMS Cars in 2019 and it's been sat, hardly used since (hence why I'm replacing every suspension arms/drip link, brakes & brake lines etc). Shocks/springs to follow...

IIRS there's no set rules in Japan ref mileage, but it's all down to condition of the car and how much is needed to keep it on the roads. That's when they're encouraged to sell on and buy a new car etc

And where we can take advantage and buy cars from a country that doesn't use salt on their roads and cars have little to no corrosion etc...

On the flip side the bodywork takes a hit due to the acid rain they have in Japan, so paintwork can be flat/faded in places (door handles have bore the worst of it on this car, weirdly...). On my previous Touring it was the bonnet and roof that were very flat

And yes; had the Japanese import touring before this; and I've had numerous Japanese import Honda's and Mitsubishi's when I was in my 20s etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pics of the first load of work:

All this:



To:


Up it goes:




Dead parts bin 😂




Freshly refreshed:




So that's every suspension arm, drop links & track rod ends replaced as well as a full brake discs & pad overhaul (ATE Powerdiscs & Ceramic pads), with new OEM (TRW) brake lines all round and Motul DOT5.1 fluid flush & refill. It's had a full tracking & alignment set up too with a fast road geo tweak

It drives & handles superbly now. You forget how good the OEM suspension is!


It's in next Friday for it's autobox service & then in the following Monday, with my pal again, for the full cooling system overhaul (stat & water pump, all hoses & Comma G48 coolant flush/refill) and he'll do the top-end gaskets, seeing as it's leaking like a sieve and then a full oil/oil filter refresh


It'll be like a new car after that ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's a new car!

By top end gaskets, you're referring to the valve covers, correct?
Of course...

Thanks for the update.

T
Yes; valve covers (rocker covers here in Blighty) etc

As with any BMW this age, it's leaking like a sieve 😂

It got washed late last night too; simple snowfoam/Autoglym Polar Wash/hand-washed/rinsed & towel dried; that's all it needed really. I love silver cars; they always look clean even when filthy ;)




 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's been a quiet & uneventful week (for the V8s that is); last week my wife's Racing Jazz had the cat stolen, on the Uni car park where she works, right under the CCTV... Talk about brazen... What boils my piss more is that folk just stand there and watch. No one has any balls about them these days to do anything (bar get their phone out and film it)... :mad:

Anyway...

Front OEM BMW headlight washer piping has landed from Germany; so that's a wheels off/wheel arch liner (off side) out & front bumper off jobby this weekend... Will probably fit the rear 12mm and front 15mm hubcentric spacers too; that should get the wheels sitting nicely under the arches :)

It's into Automatic Transmissions, Preston tomorrow to have the autobox serviced & then I'll load it with all the cooling system and top-end rubber gaskets on Sunday, ready for it to be dropped off at my pals first thing Monday to have all that work done (inc full oil/filter & diff oil changed and a new fuel filter)

So that's new viscous clutch, all cooling system hoses & temp sensor, new Mahle stat, new Meyle water pump, Comma G48 & deionised water for the coolant. New Elring rocker gaskets & Febi rubber washer bolt gaskets etc

Hopefully that'll stop it leaking like a sieve 😂

Also need to remove booth rear door cards and re-do the vapour barrier seals as preventative maintenance and whilst in there, I'll see what's going on with the rear NS window as its clicking, but not going down!

It never ends ;)
 

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Dan,

Sorry to hear about the fuckery commited on your wife's car.
Should be open season on those A-holes.

Looks like the maintenance is coming along nicely.
It is truly becoming a "Time Machine", as it will be like a brand new car.

Thanks again for the updates, and feeding my E39 addiction.

Cheers,
Hb
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dan,

Sorry to hear about the fuckery commited on your wife's car.
Should be open season on those A-holes.

Looks like the maintenance is coming along nicely.
It is truly becoming a "Time Machine", as it will be like a brand new car.

Thanks again for the updates, and feeding my E39 addiction.

Cheers,
Hb
Yup; shysters everywhere unfortunately...

Car was dropped off this morning to get the autobox serviced:





Collected it an hour ago; what a difference. Much smoother box now and it shifts through the gears superbly

The guy said the old oil was disgusting; very black/very burnt etc!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So... Todays jobs :D

Front wheels off / front wheel arch liners off / front bumper off

Replace headlight washer lines from bottle to the headlight washers (2 pipes from BMW Germany required)

Front lower 'pork chops' replaced with copies from the Eastern Bloc - very impressed with their fitment, zero issues bar the rubber side piece is a bit stiff, so I've used some 5mm double sided 3M tape to stick it down for now)

15mm front hubcentric and 12mm rear hubcentric spacers fitted; the wheels sit much better now and zero issues with rubbing etc


































I'm absolutely filthy, red-hot (proper hot here outside) and no skin left on my knees & elbows from crawling around under the car, but they're jobs I needed to do, for it to pass the MOT next month ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thought for sure you have an army of elves helping you out!
Having done all that work, it would take me days anymore.
In awe of car.
A real Specimen.

T
Haha no just me, no patience and my trusty 12lb sledgehammer 😂

TBH it's an easy enough job; only a few bolts and the bumper slides off.

Trying to not damage the very perished/weathered wheel arch liners was the toughest part. On my previous Jap import touring they were exactly the same, as soon as you touch them they start to crack/break up etc... All through the age & intense heat in Japan, it really degrades plastics to a point where they're just brittle to the touch!
 

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Concur.
Easy jobs, some just take longer than other.

The driveway wasn't designed to keep skin on your body, clearly!

Also agree with the fitment of the Czech pork chops.
I have installed a few pairs, and they are no problem with fitment.

Cheers,
T
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Todays jobs (well, this evenings as it's been too bloody hot)...

Nav unit removed from the underneath of the rear parcel shelf and refitted to where the CD changer is, in the cubby on the rear left hand side of the boot space... The nav doesn't work in the UK, but needs to be connected for the head unit to have picture. CD changer was broken and I'll be fitting a Grom Audio BT3 kit soon enough (just plugs into the CD changer wiring), so that tidies up the boot space and also gives you more load space as it's a good 4-5" in height and it's right in the way of the boot opening 👌🏼





Car washed and I've taken better pictures of down the car to show the wheel spacer fitment; looks much better and the wheels are still nicely under the arches; 12mm rear & 15mm front with the Mteconline stud conversion doing a great job 👍🏼












And then all the parts boxed & up and in the boot ready to be dropped off at my pals tomorrow; full cooling system overhaul (bar the rad as it's dated 2017) and the top-end rubber gaskets etc (typical M62 and leaking oil like a sieve). Belts in there also and he'll see if any of the tensioners need replacing and if they do, I'll get them ordered and delivered there etc





So that'll be it away for another week tomorrow... Will give me time to get rid of the oil spots on the drive 😂
 
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