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Thread: The Vault: An E39 Touring Story

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
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    15,335
    Quote Originally Posted by John in VA View Post
    Shipping from UK is ridiculously expensive. Have you checked with https://www.schmiedmann.com/? My '03 E39 sedan is LCI, so came with the white/clear Celis tail lights - don't know if they came on the US touring.
    I have Celis tails, but the turn signals are U.S. spec stupid red turn signals. I would have thought that Depo would sell a standard Red/Clear set aftermarket, but I can't seem to find any, so I'm going to assume it doesn't exist. So, I had to resort to Europe.

    I got the coding done so the turn signals and brake lights are separate (another idiotic U.S. move, having turn signal and brake lights together), so now I just need the clears to complete the package.

    Schmiedmann I think only sells the new stuff. I just checked to be sure and the tails they offer are new ones at about 177EUR per side, which is out of the question unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by brettbimmer View Post
    who will not ship to the USA, I have a friend who owes me about 10 favors for me shipping 'Merican Muscle car parts to him, so let me know.
    Thanks Brett - I'll keep you in mind. I sent Sreten a PM earlier and he mentioned that he's also willing to source me a local set and ship it to me if needed. There are tons of these in Germany, so that is a gold mine option!

    I did find a seller on eBay who just put up a listing for a super awesome price and is actually willing to ship to the U.S., so we'll see if I can score this pair at a super cheap shipped price!
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Picton, ON
    Posts
    6,019
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    Schmiedmann I think only sells the new stuff.
    nope - they sell used stuff too! some great E46 bits there.
    peter

    2009 BMW 335i M Sport 6MT

    2007 BMW X3 3.0si M Sport 6MT

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Posts
    506
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    Well, the repair was a miserable failure. After spending hours trying to get the ribbon cable attached to the LCD panel, I finally got it on, only to have it come loose again while trying to attach the other side. While trying to re-attach it, I broke the part of the LCD that has the pins on it, as well as destroyed the stupid metal clip that holds everything together. I was so pissed...

    I broke down and purchased a rebuilt MID on eBay for a whopping $150. So much money down the drain... ugh. There was no way I was gonna order an LCD and go through that nightmare again, even if I could salvage the metal clip (totally destroyed).
    Damn, that sucks. I just got my cable and going to attempt to repair the MID on E31 soon. I replaced the cable on e39 cluster 2 times successfully so far, I'd imagine MID should be easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by brettbimmer View Post
    Nooooo!!!!!!!!! Oh man that sucks. I'm sorry! It is not an easy surgery on the cluster, and like I said I opted to removing (which thus destroyed) the stepper motors for the tach, speedo, and temp gauge I believe. Hopefully the replacement will work. If you have any trouble, let me know.
    Pixelfix sells a special tool to safely remove needles, I got it the first time I ordered from them but in both cases when I did the repair I ended up drilling the holes to get to the screws that hold LCD in place. I was skeptical about putting the needles back in correct position and potentially get false readings once I remove them.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,335
    Juicy updates! Picking up where I left off...

    After the failed MID repair, a rebuilt MID magically appeared at my doorstep, compliments of eBay (and my money). No more dead pixels!









    With a fully functioning MID, I could finally install the Dension media integration kit. The glorious sound of music I actually care to listen to made this purchase well-worth the price. Every time I turn it on, it just... works. Spoiled already, but this brings a new problem to the table. The more I listen to music I like, the more I realize that the speakers in this thing are just abysmal. "Hi-Fi sound system" my ass, options list... but I digress. That will be for another time.



    A glaring issue kept staring me in the face: those damned red turn signals. Well, I finally decided to do something about it and ordered up a pair of outer tails, used ones, from Schmiedmann. To make it all worth the shipping cost, I threw in a pair of aftermarket aspherical mirrors ('Johns Autotelle' brand, whatever that is) and a passenger-side mirror cover, since mine is so broken, all the wires are exposed.

    The used tails were in very nice shape, I admit. Oh yes, that is an LCM in the middle. I'll explain in a bit. Sitting on top of it, a new tailgate release micro switch. My current one is driving me batshit crazy.





    My goodness the new look is PERFECT. Finally, some non-ambiguous turn signal action, and a little something to give the local enthusiasts a 'cue' that I'm not just a badge wearer.





    The side mirrors. Overall decent quality, but the aspherical part of it starts sooner than the line, more toward the middle of the glass (as seen in pics below). This is something I noticed with the Dubstop mirrors I have on my ZHP as well. The Genuine BMW glass on my E46 M3 mirrors don't do this, and properly distorts starting at the line. I guess that's the difference between an aftermarket glass and an OE BMW one. Small sacrifice, small price to pay for some proper safety. I did notice there's a little bit of an adjustment curve with my eyes using these, but I think that may just be from having driven the touring lately and being used to the US magnified glass.

    The mirrors install very much like the E46 ones do. Adjust them all the way out and down, pry with a screwdriver, and off they pop. The retention mechanism is the same, and the glass interchangeable (one part number for both sides, 51168250438).





    Tiny little wires











    Since purchasing the car, the one of the rear PDC sensors, the extreme left one, didn't work. This would mean a constant loud beeping whenever engaging reverse. I lived with it for a few months but could take no more. eBay to the rescue once more; found a brand new round sensor painted in the correct TiAg color. Unfortunately the little bugger took a month to arrive, but I did eventually get it. It now resides in my rear bumper.





    Sadly, this didn't completely fix my issue. While the beep isn't a constant beep telling me the system is disabled, the beeps it does produce now are completely useless. If I engage reverse with nothing in front of or behind me, it still beeps rapidly as though I'm about to hit something, and completely varies its beeping intensity regardless of what is or isn't near me. It's incredibly useless this way.

    My friend had told me that these sensors are very sensitive and that dirt could affect their operation. Unfortunately, they continue operating erratically even after cleaning. There are no codes that come up after a re-read having cleared the PDC error from the dead sensor previously. I'm baffled as to why it's behaving so terribly. Any ideas? Please don't say it's the harness because I'd rather shoot myself than take off the bumper. lol



    So you must be curious - what's up with the LCM? Is mine broken? Nope, not broken. In fact, mine works perfectly fine. I am, however, an advocate of LED lighting wherever possible, and my existing LCM does not allow me to use LED bulbs anywhere without fast blinking. I tried this a couple of months ago only to discover that my CANBUS LED bulbs from the ZHP (error-free, no fast blink type bulbs) produced a fast blink regardless in the Touring.

    A little research later, I discovered that the E39 had a few different LCM revisions, mainly LCM-IIIA, -IIIB, and IV. Anything LCM-IIIB and later would have sufficed, but I am particular and decided to go for the very latest part number, a LCM-IV P/N 61356961142 out of a 2006 X5. As much as I had hoped it would give me extra features, a quick search found that unfortunately there aren't any real extra features to be had with the later LCM other than the LED bulb capability I sought. I may still discover features, but for now I'm content with what I am now capable of, which is CANBUS LED bulbs that don't fast blink. This little bad boy went in tonight and coded with PA Soft for VIN and mileage.



    Out with the old:





    In with the new:





    The tailgate micro-switch proved to be a bit challenging. I found very little information online about how to swap this out. I'm actually finding very little touring specific information online at all, unfortunately. I guess driving a rare, typically non-enthusiast car has its disadvantages. After a lot of digging, I finally deduced that I have to remove the plastic cover from the micro-switch housing, but to do that I have to remove a screw that unfortunately is completely frozen from rust. Despite numerous PB Blaster applications and good blows with a hammer on the screwdriver, it just won't budge. I don't know how to handle these types of situations, so I have to wait until my friend has time to deal with this...

    Why do I need to replace the switch, you ask? Well, mine will randomly activate the liftgate release while driving. Not only will it activate it and unlock the liftgate, but it will continue doing so in quick succession. All I hear is the darned thing activating at random times, and it drives me crazy. It also stresses me out, because I know eventually that motor will wear out with all these frequent activations. I attempted to find a fuse that would control it, but I didn't want to kill the tailgate release as well, so I ditched that idea. Then I found out that there are a couple of relays that control the tailgate and liftgate releases, so I pulled the liftgate release relay. Hopefully that'll stop it until I can get the switch replaced.




    So, what's next? All lighting...
    * LED brake light bulbs for the rear - 1156 bulb type
    * LED turn signal bulbs for the rear - either 1156 or 1157 bulb type, depending on whether I use euro bulb carrier that came with the euro tails
    * LED reverse light bulbs - 1156 bulb type
    * Front LED turn signal bulbs - 3157 bulb type
    * New sidemarkers, since the lenses from both sides have fallen off
    * Sidemarker LED bulbs, 194 bulb type
    * Undecided: new headlights with bi-Xenon projectors retrofitted ($$$), or rebuild existing headlights with new lenses, new adjusters (mine are broken), and new projectors ($.5, but lots of labor)
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    The Ocean State
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    12,508
    Nice progress Botond
    .........2008 GT Silver 997.1tt.........................2004 TiAg ///M......................2001.5 Audi S4 Avant.........

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
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    16,508
    Love the progress.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
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    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Independence KY
    Posts
    1,987
    That center console unit looks brand new, nice!
    2005 BMW 330i ZHP - BMWP brakes/intake/strut bar/shifter, Coby wraps interior, BBS CHs, Eagle Eye LED tails, GC coilovers, 2x2 CF MTECH2 diffuser, Sprint Booster/sport button mod, 4.5 LCM, Xtrons 9inch HU, BSW stg1, dynamat, M3 sedan dead pedal
    2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Cement Gray - OE blackout badges, Innovativ HIDs, Phillips LED fogs, CanvasBack full rear coverings



  8. #58
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    714
    Clear tails make a such a big difference!
    Love it

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  9. #59
    Love the clear tails, and I'm a fan of E39 wagons in general. Funnily enough, I went from daily driving a 540it to daily driving a 330i/5. I get much better gas mileage (the 540it averaged 15mpg no matter what) and parts are cheaper.

    Let me know if you have any E39 questions, I've owned a dozen E39's over the past few years. Here's what my 540it looked like before I sold it:

    2003 Oxford Green ZSP 5MT 330i - Maintenance Thread

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by dannyzabolotny View Post
    Love the clear tails, and I'm a fan of E39 wagons in general. Funnily enough, I went from daily driving a 540it to daily driving a 330i/5. I get much better gas mileage (the 540it averaged 15mpg no matter what) and parts are cheaper.

    Let me know if you have any E39 questions, I've owned a dozen E39's over the past few years. Here's what my 540it looked like before I sold it:

    M-parallels look so right on e39ís!

    Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk

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