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Thread: Road trip story & Project thread: 2001 Titanium Silver e39 M5

  1. #21
    did you mention anywhere how much you picked it up for?

    also whats your story? are you traveling over seas? military? private contractor? permanently moved to Europe but used to live here in the states?
    2003 ZHP 332i | S54 6 speed

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
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    493
    Don't know how I missed your post.

    I picked it up for about $18k which was a really good deal, in Germany for similar miles and facelift model, I would've paid twice as much and then some.
    Though I am already $5-6k in it and I'm not slowing down.

    Actually, neither. I'm European, born and raised in Serbia, Belgrade. I spent about 3 and a half years living and working in Santa Barbara, CA aka paradise for me. I honestly can't wait to move back to the States. For now I'm here becuase of my girlfriend, but I'm hoping to move back to CA. I'm an IT guy by profession so there are always opportunities wherever I go.

    Few wet pictures. It was so filthy that I just had to quickly wash off the dirt.





    Last edited by Sreten; 04-16-2018 at 12:35 PM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    9,036
    Awesome background! It's fortunate that you have an IT background. Like you say, there will always be a demand for that pretty much anywhere you go.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Posts
    493
    Thanks, Will! I had a job that I loved very much back in California, but not the case here.

    Germany has been good to me and I landed on my feet fairly quick, I'm just not very happy with my current work situation. So we'll what happens in the future.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Posts
    493
    I tackled something that pretty much every E38/E39/E53 suffers from. Dead pixels.



    My problem was intermittent, when the cabin was cold display would be barely readable, when warmed up all of the pixels were present as you can see from my previous pictures.

    I ordered new ribbon cable and needle removal tool from PixelFix.

    Cluster ready for surgery.



    The cluster was sealed and never opened before, which really makes me wonder how did this insect manage to get itself trapped inside.







    Front cover taken off and removed 8 screws that hold the back cover.





    Back cover removed. These are the tabs on the connectors that need to be pressed in, in order to release the back cover.





    Now comes the part where the LCD needs to be removed. There are 4 screws that hold it to the board located behind the face of the cluster.
    Two ways to get to them, either remove the needles and the front panel or drill 4 holes through the white panel.

    My initial approach was to remove the needles since I bought the needle removal tool, but after some thinking and researching I decide not to do that and went for drilling.
    I was afraid that once I remove the needles I won't be able to put them back in their exact spot and end up with false readings. There's some tension to them and I wasn't confident that I can calibrate them like the factory did.

    So drilled the 4 holes and removed the LCD from the board. Drilling is done under the grey surface which separates from the white panel and therefore cannot be seen once everything is put back together.
    Once you see where the screws come out on the back, it's tough to drill in the wrong place.







    Removed the old ribbon cable and cleaned the LCD and board with q tips and acetone.









    Next is to cut the little pieces of the postcard and put them under the 3 red silicone strips so that there is enough pressure on the ribbon cable.



    New ribbon cable lined up carefully and held in place with scotch tape.



    I made sure that the ribbon cable was lined up perfectly and mounted back the LCD. Installed the back cover and 8 torx screws that hold it.



    Cleaned up everything with a microfibre cloth to my satisfaction and assembled the cluster.



    Now the moment of truth.



    Job well done.

    I might've made it look easy with the remove/reinstall pictures and few comments, but I can totally understand why some people don't want to touch this.
    It's a very time consuming and sensitive task.
    Luckily, there are plenty of DIY threads and you get detailed instructions and videos with the ribbon cable. Now that I've done it for the first time, next time it would be much easier and faster.

    Upcoming weekend project.



    Cheers for now!

    Last edited by Sreten; 04-16-2018 at 12:37 PM.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    9,036
    Nice! I did not realize dead pixels in the E39 were due to the ribbon cable and not the display itself.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
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  8. #28
    wonderful work, i love doing things like this. its therapeutic and gives you something to do with your hands.
    2003 ZHP 332i | S54 6 speed

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Posts
    493
    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCurves View Post
    Nice! I did not realize dead pixels in the E39 were due to the ribbon cable and not the display itself.
    Thanks! Yeah, it's always the ribbon cable. Many BMW's from this era have this problem. The glue or whatever it is that holds the ribbon cable dries up and you get missing pixels due to bad contact. My e39 530i actually had the cluster replaced under warranty.

    Fortunately, e46 never had this stupid problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by danewilson77 View Post


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Danke, Dane.

    Quote Originally Posted by nextelbuddy View Post
    wonderful work, i love doing things like this. its therapeutic and gives you something to do with your hands.
    Thanks, Shawn! Couldn't agree more. I'm not expert when it comes to electronics, but I'm fond of doing things like this that require precision and patience.

    I followed your work on retrofitting e46 M3 power folding mirrors, rear sunshade, heated seats... and that's some impressive stuff. You probably need nerves of steal for that.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    1,161
    This is some master level work - great job!! My E46 cluster has a missing segment or 2 in the LCD on a very cold day...but it fixes itself as the car warms up.
    anandoc

    2004 330i auto | ZPP, ZCW | Schwarz 2 (668) | schwarz (N6SW)

    aFe Stage-1 Pro DRY S intake | Morimoto FX-R 3.0 retrofit | ///M3 Seats (power, heat, bolster adj.) | ///M3 Strut Brace | ///M3 SMG Steering Wheel retrofit | OEM Alarm retrofit | GROM USB | Khoalty angel eyes


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