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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:30 am 
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With the V8 right up against the firewall, there's really no other option. Luckily out of the 3 platforms I've R&R'd dashes in, this is the easiest.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:38 am 
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I would hope so. I'm guessing they'd have taken into account that eventually the blower would have to be replaced and provided "easy" access to it. By easy I mean they didn't weld the dash in place... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 2:06 pm 
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Lol. From what I've seen at a buddy's shop, after this era of BMW, that whole taken into account to service thing gets totally shtcanned. Sure there's a way to do it but.. come on.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:02 am 
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They just lookin' out for no. 1...if the owner can't figure out how or doesn't have the capability to change the blower, a dealer can do it for a nominal fee. :)

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:09 pm 
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A couple more little things.

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This is the battery cover with a broken flap for the negative terminal.
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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:37 am 
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I hate little nuisances like that falling out button. Good work!

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:06 pm 
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Thanks. BMW actually still sells all the buttons as a set on a faux faceplate. I should be set for a while on the button front. It decided to pop out when I did the blower motor.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:20 am 
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I also hate when other stuff is broken or discovered broken in the process of fixing something else. :ripped: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2021 10:31 pm 
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Well, I'm peeling back the onion on an issue I'm having with the center multi-function display in the dash. It started flickering about a week ago and got progressively worse. I tried re-seating the ribbon cables that run to the screen display but it didn't help. If that doesn't work it's either the LCD or the Navigation unit in the trunk that acts as it's main brain box so to speak. Since I already had some missing pixels at the top of the screen I tried that first. With a youtube vid on how to replace the screen, it was very straight forward. Unfortunately, that did not fix the issue.. The dead pixels are fixed but the screen looks the same as it did before I swapped the screen. I'll be trying a new trunk navi unit next.

Flicker before it settled to dim and constantly flickering, the same as the post LCD replacement gif below.
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Top cover of the display unit off, ribbon cables shown going to the screen assembly
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Screen assembly cracked open showing main PCB
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Old screen on top, new on bottom
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And the result (I couldn't get the quality of this gif dialed in but the top of the screen shows the flicker)
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The good new is sound quality isn't impacted and I primarily run an AUX input. So if it completely STB, I'm not in a bad spot.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:33 am 
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Seems like there could be a myriad of things causing that annoyance. Some probably more expensive than others. Those kind of nuisances drive me crazy. They're not catastrophic but I have a hard time living with them.

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 5:14 pm 
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I also have an issue living with little annoyances I know I can fix.

I may pull the screen unit again to look closer for burnt out diodes or mosfets before I shotgun a navigation computer.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:59 pm 
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This is a long one.

Cliffs are:
Installing PPF is harder than it looks
The car got a piggy back ride over a hard to find alternator
I drove coast to coast in 3 days and did Pikes Peak in the process

Back before the Sequoia/Redwoods trip I decided to try and learn how to apply Paint Protection Film on my hood.. (I had my freshly painted front bumper professionally PPF'd already) I've never tried to apply PPF or even vinyl before but after watching some youtube videos I convinced myself to go for it. The primary motivator was knowing I was going to drive over 2k miles on the Sequoia/Redwood trip and then back it up with 3k miles to the East Coast a month later.. I figured worst case, the hood would at least be protected for all those miles. The cost was relatively low as well. I picked up a roll of 3M Scotchguard Pro PPF and way more Xpel 2.0 install gel than I needed for roughly $200 shipped. I didn't expect to knock it out of the park 1st try but given everything mentioned, it would be worth a shot.

Applying PPF to a hood is definitely a 2-3 person job. I tried it with just myself, a rigged hanger made from the tube the PPF was shipped in, and my wife for the initial peel back of the film. Knowing I wasn't going to have a bunch of extra hands at my disposal is one of the reasons I went with install gel vs. a slip and tack install. The gel would give me more time to set the film, which I ended up taking full advantage of. The learning curve was a little steep, mainly with squeegeeing technique and knowing just how much residual install gel left under the film is acceptable. I started from the center and worked my way out but the amount of gel you're moving is deceiving to where you inadvertently end up land locking areas. I probably re-set the entire film 3x and when I was done it honestly looked like a total failure. I didn't want to use a heat gun since I have zero experience with PPF heat tolerance. I knew the gel should evaporate regardless so there was nothing else left to do but wait. I did the install 1 week before I left for the Sequoia/Redwoods road trip and I want to say roughly 80% of the gel bubbles had dissipated by then. The first 2 days of that trip were brutal as far as temps go, 100*F+, with the hood in direct sunlight both days. After 2k miles and 5 days the hood seemed to be better but there were still 3-4 problem areas. These areas improved slightly but progress seemed to stagnate. So I finally poked them with a needle over a month later. This did the trick but it left something comparable to a water mark in those areas. In retrospect, I think that the gel probably boiled it's self to the point of no return those first 2 days of the trip.

Overall though the hood looks good unless you're hovering over it and the film certainly did it's job. I also feel like I would be more successful when/if I give it another shot in the future.

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Pre and post needle poke
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Now on to the 3k mile trip to Philadelphia.. Living in San Diego was never a forever thing for my wife and I. The length of say was always going to be in the 1 year min, 5 year max range. With how things worked out it just ended up being that 1 year min. It sucks to leave so soon but we'll be better of in Philly for now.

Without getting into how expensive renting a truck and trailer is etc., I only considered 2 options for the M5. It was either going to be closed transport or drive it home. Considering it will probably be my only chance to drive across the country without a return trip, it made the drive home option more appealing. I had to do it on somewhat of a time crunch since my wife was flying with our son and needed me home as soon as safely possible. She flew out the Saturday before Labor Day Weekend and I left early in the morning the next day, planning on doing the trip in 4 days. The plan was to do a modified 'middle route' hitting up the Grand Canyon, 4 points monument, maybe Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, work my way through the Colorado Rockies to Pikes Peak then just shoot over I70 to PA. This would involve three 800ish mile days and one 600 mile day.

When I left I plugged in a cigarette lighter voltage gauge and it was showing 11.9 volts. I couldn't remember what it had been on the previous trip I used and but convinced myself that with the headlights, a/c and radio on, maybe that's ok with the voltage drop to the cig lighter. (Yep, you know where this is going) After a bout 20 miles, it went to 11.8, then 11.7. I turned the air off and it went back to 11.8 then a little while later it was back to 11.7.. At about 75 miles in it was down to 11.5 and I knew I was SOL. I decided to get to El Centro, roughly at 100 miles in hopes I could get an alternator in that area. I had 11.1 volts when I got there at 6:30am. In retrospect I guess I could have looked up the voltage on the secret dash menu and stopped living in denial a little sooner. Oh well. I soon found out that getting an alt anywhere around there wasn't happening that day or the next day. So, since I have 100 mile AAA coverage, I decided to get the car flat bedded back to San Diego where I still had access to a driveway, bed, etc.

Once back, I tried all the local parts stores. O'Reilly's and Autozone could only special order it with a month ETA. Pepboys had one in their system.. in Puerto Rico. Napa was closed. Carquest had 1 Bosch unit in their system and could get it to me by 4pm the next day with a deposit. Dealership parts counters were closed. No LKQ in the area had M5s and a used alt at this point wasn't a great idea. There were a few Bosch units in the LA area on Ebay but none of them were willing to do a local pickup, even though 1 had that as an option. I even tried to match up the I6 alt at Autozone to see just how far off it was. Side by side they were close but the mounting would have been off by at least a half a belt tooth. The 540 alt, being liquid cooled as apposed to the M5 air cooled alt was not an option. So, I went with the Carquest option. This made me a little nervous because I've dealt with quantity of 1 really being quantity of zero in the past. I did call the dealership the next morning and they only had 1 in the U.S. that would take a few days to get. Carquest actually came through. I had the alt in my hands at 4:15pm Monday and I was on the road before 6pm with high 13 volts displayed.

I decided to save the Grand Canyon for some future trip to Vegas, especially since it was still going to be dark by the time I got there. Since 4 points monument was on the way regardless, I went to see if I could visit around sunrise before they officially open. Closed didn't just mean bathrooms and services closed, it meant the road to the monument was closed so that got scrapped. Mesa Verde Colorado was a hard maybe since the road leading to the larger cliff dwellings is currently under construction. If I started to get tired I would stop there. I felt good getting into that area of Colorado so I went the full distance to my main point of interest, Pikes Peak. I reached the summit about 17 hours and 1100 miles after I finished swapping out the alternator.

Colorado in general is beautiful and Pikes Peak was awesome. It wasn't crowded and anyone in front of me pulled over, allowing me to pass. I reached the top in about 35 mins, vs. their estimated 55. I was able to drive at a speed that was fun but still very safe. The last thing I needed was an accident at that point. The road and views along the way definitely exceeded my expectations. 14,115 feet is the highest I've even been outside of an airplane and it was very cool to be there with the M5. It also felt great considering the trouble and distance prior to. From the there I finally stopped in Colorado Springs to spend the night. By the time I went to bed I had been awake for 36 hours, not super bad but not super good. I got 11 hours of sleep in that night.

Other than enjoying a couple sun rises and varying landscapes from my car, I didn't do anything else interesting on my way home. I drove 850ish miles to just east of St. Louis then 850ish miles to Philadelphia. I'm sure I missed a lot but any extra time I spent was at the cost of other people's time. I ended up completing the 2800 mile trip in less than 3 days. 9pm EDT Monday to 7pm EDT Thursday.

The car did very well other than the alternator issue. I had probably over 1000lbs in the car including myself. You can see the car tucking rear tire in a few pics. My 100lb dumbells rode shotgun on the floor, most of my tools, 2 ton steel jack, 4 truck jack stands were in the trunk and my back seat was full. I didn't calculate MPG but I was seeing 21.5 indicated at the top of Pikes Peak, 21.7 going into Kansas and 21 by the time I got home. I didn't spend much time with cruise control on in my home state of PA.. Not bad considering the weight, 3.45s, headers and a rough tune. A day and a half after I got back, I checked the oil level, tire pressures and sent it another 120 miles round trip to the beach with my wife and son.

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Wolf Creek Pass Overlook in Colorado. To me this looked like the set of a real life Land Before Time.
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Pikes Peak
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West Kansas
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Missouri
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Bonus pic of my son from the beach trip I took a day and a half after I got back to PA.
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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:34 am 
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Quite a whirlwind road trip! Smart move aborting before you were too far out in AZ or NV somewhere…you might still be there today. Who’da thunk procuring an alternator would be such a PITA? I guess it’s just something those of us who drive old or unique (or both!) cars got goin’ for us.

The Grand Canyon probably isn’t much to look at when it’s dark, so probably a good call to pass on that one. Bummer missing the 4 Corners Monument - there’s something about saying you were once in 4 States at the same time. I understand that the actual monument isn’t quite on the exact point that the four States meet, however, but symbolically it works.

Pikes Peak is on my list of places to drive, along with Route 66, The Dragon’s Tail, Pacific Coast Highway, and the Bonneville Salt Flats. I did the Salt Flats, and when I have time I’ll start working my way out and likely do Pikes Peak next. Not in the foreseeable future, however.

Kansas and Eastern Colorado…I’m not sure there’s much to see in those parts of the country. So just putting the pedal down and zipping through was probably a good choice. No offense to folks who live there, and there’s probably some interesting, albeit obscure, things to see, but traveling the Interstate route in those areas is rather boring.

That cute little dude in the last pic is in kid heaven. Basically sitting in a mud puddle pretending he’s 4-wheelin’ through one of the punch bowls in Moab. I see an off-road adventure in his future!

A bit of a bummer that you weren't in CA long enough to thoroughly explore the West. On the bright side, now that you're back in PA, you can check up on your Bonneville. :poke:

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:28 pm 
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For what it's worth I have seen the Grand Canyon from the air a hand full of times but it would still be cool to see it 30,000 feet closer.

I would really love to take the Duc to Tail of the Dragon and it is much closer now. Had I stayed out on the west coast longer I would have made it to the salt flats.. I've done most of PCH in Oregon and a decent stretch in Cali now. I'm very content with what I've done considering my experiences of people absolutely do not knowing how to drive on it.

Eastern Colorado still rolls a bit and you have a vantage point of flat earth but by Kansas, that's over.

Lol @ my my son 4-wheelin. I do my best to get him outside as often as I can. Whenever we go for walks I'll give him a leaf or something to tout around like a wand while I'm carrying him. It cracks me up.

I'm only a few miles from the Bonneville now. Progress seems to have stalled out but I expected it to with how busy summer gets. My project is the type a shop would loose money on if they work on it while they're busy. I'm sure they can churn out way more money from multiple jobs in the same time. It'll pick back up when the summer rush dies down in the fall. Till then, it's free indoor storage.

I got a few small things knocked out today. The driver's side mirror was starting to fail so that got replaced. And since my M5 will actually see rain now, I figured it would be a good time to ensure the sunroof drains are attached and secure them with strong cable ties. They were all still attached but I secured them with cable ties that have metal tongues. I did the same on my 97' 528 but in that case they were all disconnected.

I still have to pull the dash nav unit back apart and see if I can see any failed components before I shotgun a trunk nav computer to fix the display issue.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:16 am 
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Is that a heated mirror or something? I don't think I've ever seen one do that.

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:48 pm 
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Yep, heated and auto dimming.

The pictures do not do the difference justice.. the old mirror was way worse than I thought after taking it for a spin.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:03 am 
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I dunno, man. The old one looks pretty bad in the side-by-side pics. I can't imagine what it was like if the pic looks better than it really was.

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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:38 pm 
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Lol. Well the dark spot was temperature dependent and the mirrors are always heated. So, the dark spot would somewhat disappear but the mirror still had somewhat of a double vision with a haze that I really had no idea was as bad as it was.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:42 pm 
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A few updates.

First here's an easy solution for a phone holder/wireless charger. I found this one on Amazon and just needed to trim a small amount of material from the base for it to fit properly. It came with a rubber pad on the bottom that was peeled back to cut then it covers the cut edge once put back in place. I just have to run the power wire.

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Some bad news is I damaged the clear on the rear of the front passenger door pressure washing America off my car a month ago.. This is a relatively low power electric pressure washer too.. After some investigating with my paint depth gauge I confirmed that the door had been blended (cleared) into the repainted front fender two owners ago. They unfortunately did not do a good job prepping the door edge and the clear let go. I hit up a buddy and he cut me a killer deal to repair it if I brought him the car in with the door disassembled and handles pulled. Due to the location he had to blend into the rear door but it came out great. I got him to shoot the mirror on that side as well.

While I had the doors apart I figured it was a good time to replace the vapor seals and butyl tape.Butyl tape sucks.
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And one other quick fix.
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_________________
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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 BMW M5
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:44 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 9316
Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
Looks like some fantastic adventures.. I don't envy you being up fro 36 hours, as I've been there, but the road trips that come from that kind of thing are always memorable.

Amazing to see all the little fixes most people would let go. This is how I've been treating all of the cars under my care as well. Especially if it is usually just a question of time and effort. Always feels good to fix little stuff that makes the overall car appear far cleaner... Good hit of dopamine!

Seeing that butyl GIF gives me PTSD. Lol! One of my least favorite substances in cars. Although it does work well when it is fresh.

_________________
-Car Guy Carl
"Penelope" - 2003 SLE - 226k Miles
"Sydney" - 2000 Honda S2000 - 88k miles
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