Attempt at e39 m5 touring project by aw/ir02smg

By stevegolf
( 2 )

110 minute(s) of a 202 minute read


Attempt at e39 m5 touring project

Compliments of aw/ir02smg @


hello all. 

after 180 (yes, one hundred and eighty days) i believe i can call it a wrap. there are a few very minor wrap up details to be sewn up (by the doc, of course).

very briefly, on 2/1/2006, i first posted (on the m5board) my then **hypothetical attempt** to end up with an e39 m5 touring, or something very close to it. i started with an 03 m-sport 540it. 6 months, almost 600 posts, and $$$$$ later, here we are.  

over the course of the next few weeks i'll be giving a blow-by-blow (or shld i say "mod-by-mod") review. the format will be as follows:

1. mod

2. bmw part numbers (main ones)

3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out )

4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)

5. review/ complaints!!!

6. as a mod, was it worth it?

7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck?

8. would i do it again?

there are at least half-an-inch worth of associated receipts associated with this bit of financial carnage, so some days i'll burp out a few items, and some days just 1. 

btw, even the lemons, or cancelled options will be revisited. just with me simply going through the beginning has been enlightening. 

this part of my project is like the credits rolling at the end of the movie. a few surprises are in store. kind of like my daughter and i sitting through the entire credits roll of 'cars' when everyone left. 

the mother thread link is here...

once again, just wanted to thank you all for the interest, support and often helpful feedback along the way.



and now, the reviews begin...

1 minor change- i'm OFFICIALLY stopping the day counts. DONE! :checkeredflag: 

however, we now have EPISODES!!! (didnt know what else to call them, but in view of the soap that this has become, why not episodes???) 

so now we start what is tantamount to the rolling credits at the end of a movie 

episode 1: and this is how it all began...sniff...

it was january 22, 2006, a nice sunday afternoon like any other. i had been looking for an 03 e39 touring with the m-sport package. most important preferences were color: alpine white was top, and titanium silver (or sterling) was second.

leather: beige was #1, gray was #2. NO black.

options: preferably loaded with everything, with nav, dsp and cwp as requirements. 

mileage: had to be 30k or less.

in 2 weeks, only 2 cars had shown up across the country - a florida silver with 45k miles asking 45k, and a new york alpine white with almost 50k miles for $42k. i dont like buying sight unseen, except for brand new cars.

that fateful afternoon, around 2pm, i refreshed my bookmarked online searches, and...

i dont even know why i bookmarked and saved the screen shot, but i'm glad i did now. understand, at this point, there were NO thoughts of mods or anything. 

after 5 cel phone calls, i take my 2 daughters with me and head down to corona del mar. cant believe it's that close to me. 

my first shot of the car. 

although it didnt have the dsp, it was pretty much love at first sight. lovelove :15: we settled on a price of $37k. left that night without even leaving a check, but a simple gentlemen's handshake and word of honor.


Originally Posted by the jack report 

1. mod - the CAR purchase. 

2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - how about vin #GN92355
2003 540i Touring
Titanium Silver with Gray Montana Leather, PDC, Navigation, CWP, Premium Pkg, M-Sport Pkg,
Euro Delivered, First Aid Kit

3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $37000, private party

4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)

5. review - 1st impression - it was a gorgeous car. seeing it in person vs online pics was something else. there were a few minor blemishes - dent behind the driver's side rear taillight, a few scratches on the black trims on the bumpers, but as he said - i was buying a used car with 26,500 miles.

on the plus side, because it was euro delivered, it came with the first-aid kit! $FREE MOD$

complaints - it felt a little slower than this. 

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - well, i think in the last few months a few other guys - like brian (redshift) and another guy on the b'fest board have gotten better deals than i had. for what i was willing to spend ($105k for an e60 m5 hiha ) and all things considered, i am happy.

7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - yes. especially BEFORE i started this project. hiha as i recall, the ONLY mod was sawpping my acs type 2 from my e46 m3 to this car. and that was IT! famous last words.

8. would i do it again? yes. maybe with a few, just a few changes.

9. p.s. as will happen quite a few more times, beyond the car purchase, i met a gem of a gentleman and his wife. we have since met up a few more times, as he has now purchased an interlagos e60 m5. :M5thumbs: aanother visit in early sept is probably in the works. we may go hang out at the crystal cove sat am event soon. the acquaintances and friendships that have come to pass between pple on the m5board and b'fest forum are by far the most rewarding part of this ordeal.  

golly. i sure hope the following episodes are NOT this long!!! but this is like the season opener, and any self-respecting tv series starts up with a TWO-HOUR rehash!!!

enough for today. :byebye: 1145a 

episode 2: "taking delivery..."

on jan 24, 2006, this was the last shot of my e46 m3 as it was driven away.  

the prev owner of the touring (let's just call him 'mr ol bat' since you all see the plate anyways) and i made arrangements to meet up the next day, 1/25/06, 930a.

he drove up in the 540it to pick me up at my house. we then headed to the credit union to do all the dmv paperwork. by the time i dropped him off at his home, it was about 1230p. we had a great time in the car, got to know mr ol bat a little better. he asked a bit about what i thought of different bmw models...and from those questions we certainly had an entertaining time for a few hrs. before i drove away from his home, he reminded me that he did not intend for his comment about "keeping in touch" to be one of those cliched meaningless ones, but for us to actually do so. for someone twice my age to extend such an invitation was an honor to me. (it was funny how he told me his wife had been out with their friends, and the topic of conversation was my 2 daughters. forgot to mention that the first night i drove out to check the car, my 2 girls were with me. while we were out driving and talking, his wife was being chattered about non-stop by my girls, esp the 7 yr old one.)

on the way to grabbing a quick lunch, i actually parked by the south coast plaza parking garage and effectively did the VERY FIRST OFFICIAL mod...


Originally Posted by the jack report 

1. mod - front license plate and holder delete!!!
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - who knows?
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $FREE$, and i did a good job. i was smart enough to find the screw driver in the tool kit (after 5 minutes of wondering).
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)

5. review/complaints - well, there are 4 holes on the bumper. grrrrrrr oh well. but from about 10 feet, as bad as my eyesight is, it looks a lot better without the front plate.  
6. as a mod, was it worth it? - yes. it is one of the simplest things to do to enhance the front fascia of any car, especially one with the presence of an m-sport front bumper. 
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - YES.
8. would i do it again? - yes...even my beater corolla has no front license plate, although it has 2 very BIG holes!

the second official mod was done the same pm, but i'll do it for the next installment (too long.)


Originally Posted by station manager 

************* NEWS FLASH*******************
:reporter: we interrupt this mindless program with some exciting news. maybe.

1. the squealing reported yesterday has apparently been resolved. i took chris' suggestion, and spent half an hour yesterday afternoon pounding the brakes on an open stretch. i braked hard from 40 mph, all the way up to xxx mph. boy does it stop. :M5thumbs:

2. now THIS one is exciting...i emailed someone who probably did the 1st dinan s/c'd touring. to my surprise, he responded, and that made my day. really nice guy, more details to follow!!! 

3. i had mentioned that i was planning to join that norcal dinan hq meet. as it stands today, there won't be any other socal guys heading up. as far as time, i am available (i just need to get permission from my boss, who i happen to know rather well. ) BUT i will be calling dinan for some specific "issues" - if it works out, i will make that drive. if not, i'll stay home this time.

************* END OF NEWS FLASH ***************

:reporter: we now return to regular programming. :hihi: hmmm 

the 3rd mod was done that evening...


Originally Posted by the jack report 

1. mod - removing the invisibra (more like tug-o-war!!!)
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - n/a
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $FREE$ 
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)
:hihi: don't have one!
5. review/complaints - cost me a lot of sticky junk on my fingers and over an hour of hard labor! the areas affected were the lower part of the hood, the front part of both fenders, the flat sides of the side view mirrors, most of the front bumper, even the t-bar inside the grille, the foglights. (i missed the headlights, and did not realize that until they were taken off to be sold.) i used some diluted goo gone.

i've never been a fan of the invisibra or similar products, or even the car bras. i understand the protective part of it, but it just detracts so much from the look of the car. it's either i get the requisite stone chips all over the place, or have this 2-colored panel over time. even with the m3, i opted for the badge of honor - the sandblasted fascia. 

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - yes. i like it clean.
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - YES, free is always good.
8. would i do it again? - YES.

 until next time.... 1245p sunday 

Episode 3: the 'HAND ME DOWNS..."

as had been briefly alluded to in episode 2, this actually happened 1/25/06, between ditching the license plate and coming home. When mr ol bat came by to pick me up, I also loaded my 2 rear acs type 2s from the m3. 

when I was told the fronts would not fit, and how much they were, I forced myself to consider other designs  could've had several styles for the same money!!! Hartge classic, bbs ch, volk le-37. in the end, I just couldn't peel myself off the acs type 2s. after a lot of soul-searching, I bit the bullet and bought 2 new fronts, as the m's wouldn't fit without some horrendous machine work. At least the tires were useable. 


now for a featurette...

the tires were a little story by themselves. i had **felt** that visually, the rubber was a bit thin on the 19s on this e39, a bigger car than the m3. i was probably more a mental thing as my 19-in rims were just fatally attracted to the lowlife potholes that would beguilingly wink at it. grrrrrrr 

the fronts were 245/35, and the rears 275/30. i considered upsizing the sidewall - to 245/40 and 275/35. mike at bms thought they'd clear. btw, those sizes are available in the mich ps2. in the end, i decided not too, and just stuck with the reco'd sizes.

it's a 'technicality' mod, bec the rears were worn out.


Originally Posted by the jack report 

1. mod - bridgestone so3, 275/30/19, x2
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - n/a
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $294/ tire, Total Cost $674 (thanks to Eric at Supreme Power)
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3) - complete with the yellow dot still 

5. review/complaints - see 6 & 7. also - having now looked at the mich ps2 in person, and the s03, i have to admit the tread pattern on the so3 is much nicer/prettier than the ps2. :hihi: yes. just nitpicking. :7: 

satisfaction factor: (   out of 5, slight hit for the road noise)

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - well, i did NOT have a choice!
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - so-so, only because i had been planning to switch to the mich ps2, which were rated better by quite a few folks, and not to mention 4 lbs lighter than the so3. unfortunately, the fronts were still pretty beefy on the treads, and i had no pressing reason to ditch them.
8. would i do it again? - no, unless the rears run out and the fronts are still full of tread life!
9. OVERALL RATING (1-lowest, 5-highest):     (4.5)


please see next post - truncated bec of exceeding limits of something. back to the main story... :reporter:

ever since i first saw these acs type 2s, something inexplicably drew me to them. i've always adored bold and clean 5-spoked rims - strated with the old amg ones - both the older and mono-bloc ones. not a fan of the newer two-prong per spoke design. never wanted rivets, nor chromed, but painted. plain old silver, please. and a lip. no fwd-looking rims for me. (i've even gone so far as to play with the acs website wheel program, and stuck these type 2s on the e60 body. still looks good, imho.) yep - pretty boring by some quarters - but then again, those who know me know i look the same almost everyday, no matter what the occasion just about - white golf polo shirt, khaki slacks, and some pair of cole-haans. 

so here we go.


Originally Posted by the jack report 

1. mod - AC Schnitzer Type II, 19 x 8.5 fr, 19 x 9.5 rr
(new fronts, rears 'handed down' from the m3. and speaking of hande me downs, so were the tires 
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - n/a
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - fronts: $989/rim, Total Cost $2232 (thanks to Eric at Supreme Power)

oh, ouch, there's more...
acs Hub Rings (lost and replaced) $12/piece, Total Cost $38 ($14 shipping :sad2: )

and the rear rims were refinished and repaired for pothole improprieties!!! cant find the reciept, but i remember it had to be $100/piece, so $200.

4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3) - it took everything for me NOT to post 799 of these.  

5. review/complaints -well, for me, they are the most beautiful rims i've ever seen, at least for the cars i've owned. 

i love the ...
1. classic 5 spoke design
2. different, but still retaining that oem-feel to it
3. dont see too many at all
4. easy to clean
5. has a lip
6. made by a german bmw tuner, so semi-oem in that regard.

the ONLY complaints are that it is NOT super light, but for a 19 in rim it is not bad - with the so3, it is about 48 lbs front, 52 lbs rear.

satisfaction factor: (    out of 5, honestly speaking)

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - YES!!!!! if i was only allowed ONE mod, this would have been it. THAT worth it.
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? -probably not. wheels are like shoes for the ladies. and as much as we may give them grief over the marc jacobs and jimmy chus, those are no match for just ONE set of rims we might decide to splurge on. a cheap set will run $500 a rim, and that's BEFORE tires!!! 

1. couldve bought a different set for about what just 2 of them cost;
2. now have 2 vestiges hanging around in my office. understand - had i decided to go with another wheel, i had a buyer of the rims for at least $1k, before the repair and refinish, as is!!! so...

(  out of 5, honestly speaking)

8. would i do it again? - YES!!! isnt THAT the definition of insanity???

9. OVERALL RATING (1-lowest, 5-highest):      4.9
(despite the dismal 2 star financial rating, the final score was intentionally skewed to reflect a 95% weight rating to the satisfaction factor. after all, i make the rules, and i cant make myself look too stupid for too long. :hihi: 


fyi, since i've just added that 'overall rating' grade, here are my grades for the previously-covered mods:

1. stock e39 540it -     (4.5)

2. license plate delete - (5.0)

3. invisibra removal - (5.0)

10a. later!!! 

episode 4: patient meets "doctor" 

the date: feb 16, 2006

( obviously no update for yesterday. way too busy working!!! to make up for my negligence, check out some exciting updates at the end of the episode )


the very first set of 'official' mods, as in something new, specifically to my car. here we go...


Originally Posted by the jack report 

1. mod - aftermarket audio upgrade
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - n/a, all aftermarket
a. rears: infiniti kappa 52.7i, 5 1/4 " two-way, peak power 165 watts 
b. fronts: infiniti kappa 60.7cs, 6 1/2 " 2 way component system, peak power 270 watts 
c. directed a404 amp.
d. mtx audio thunder 5500 8" subwoofer, enclosed in a compact box, gray colored.

3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $750 parts, $500 labor
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)

5. review/complaints - 
where do i start??? grrrrrrr 
i went with this guy from an honest referral. i had no reason to doubt the referrer - who is still a friend. had no reason to doubt the referral - since the referrer's car was a dsp 540 sedan, and his car sounded unbelievable. it was MY fault for not checking a little bit more. now i would not hesitate to post questions about any outfit BEFORE i hand over anything - my car or money.

in hindsight, this shld have alerted me to the 'beginning of the end...'

anyone who hacks up anything shld at the very least inform the owner that he's about to do so. in the back of my head, i always wanted the oem look. i was NOT warned that he was about to hack up the speaker housing. when i saw the 1dt one, i had this sinking feeling in my stomach, but he reassured me that it'll be just fine. 

this next observation shld have sent me packing for the hills. remember - i had a NON-dsp car. shld've been a piece of cake, relative to dsp car aft mkt installs. he had repeatedly told me he's done 'a few' 540s, even maseratis. after 9hrs the 1st day, and 6 1/2 hrs the next day, things were NOT working up to snuff. 

he promised that he'd make it good. 3 months later, and 20+ phone calls, all left with a very nice and understanding message, were never returned.  

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - NO. be forewarned - make sure you choose a reputable dealer. although money was not an issue for the project (within certain limits) - to be honest, when the project started, i was still in semi-cheap mode, and steeped in ignorance. unfortunately, i got what i paid for.
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - not this one. no redeeming value. IN FACT, IF ANY OF YOU CAN USE THE ABOVE MENTIONED PARTS, esp the kappas which all have their original boxes and parts, make me an offer, and it's yours.  still have the 'koala' too. (8" woofer) pm me if interested. 

here is 1 never-before-published pic from my archives!! here's the guilty one working on the trunk with the directive amp in place.

let me stress that this was really the one pock mark on this whole project. it was irritating only to the extent that i didnt know what to do, and throwing away the money was no fun either. a great learning experience for sure. i also chose to swallow my pride and not exact vengeance by blasting his name and deed across a few forums. in the bigger scheme of things, it was a non-event. :hihi: 

8. would i do it again? - NO. did i say NO????
9. OVERALL RATING (1-lowest, 5-highest): (-5. NEGATIVE 5) (i like the rating system. )

so in case you're all wondering, my car met the quack doctor in this episode. :hihi: 



1. here are some pics of the brakes - the rotors in particular...they're still squealing on low speed stopping. i noticed this...

front driver side

front passenger side

rear driver side

and now pay attention to the rear passenger side patterns on the rotor...could this be the squealing culprit? i hope to get my girls to do the listening test to see which corner is the piggy.

what do you all think? hope to find som etime to get over to bms to get that fixed.


2. finally had a chance to take some 'official' pics with the stoptechs. saving them for the bbk review. 


3. got another bit of very interesting correspondence from the guy who built the royal red s/c'd touring. again, for a future installment.


4. best for last. some of you know i sent a letter to steve dinan. it was emailed to his secretary, robin. never got there. she told me yesterday she remembers our conversation, but now tells me i missed a '.' in the email address. it has been re-sent. i won't yet let the cat out of the bag, but let's just say that i'm now in touch with thomas - one of dinan's main tech guys. i made 3 'requests/inquiries,' and he has promised to take them up with steve himself. :M5thumbs: if **it** happens, it will take this project up one very nice notch. :M5launch: if not, oh well, i'll spill the beans in some later episode. 

9a. back to work.

let's make this episode 5...

(intraday update on the squeals) long and not a cheerful one

for me to post a second on any day either means i've got nothing better to do, or i'm really  . it's not the first choice. i've chosen sarcasm over invectives at this point to vent my frustration. 

presenting my bbks - the STOPSQUEAKS. or stopsqueals. STOPYECHs??? who said they were BBKs? how about BBQs? pork squeals!!!

to everyone who has responded: thank you  - so a few comments from me...

1. as to whether or not the brakes were properly bedded, i think i can say they were. if i had ventured to do it, then perhaps all kinds of undesired side-effects might be due to error. willing to bet herm did an awesome job bedding that thing.

2. if i paid a few hundred bucks for a set off ebay, i wont complain. when i shell out almost 6k for the stopsqueals, i expect it to be worth the 6k in function and form. 

3. i've been told that a squeak here and there is the price you pay for hi-perf brakes. you've got to be kidding. havent heard an amg e55 squeal beside me. or a porsche tt. and i don't have a squeak. i have the equivalent of a hog being slaughtered without anesthetics.

for your listening's only 9 seconds long. (757 kb small!!) please turn UP your volume to fully take in the sloptech experience.

possible bystander comments...

1. nice car. need some money for the brakes running metal to metal?

2. nice brakes. how much for the slotted option? - FREE 

how much for the silver FREE

how much for the 300 decibel squeal? 6k, with labor  

4. Quote:

Originally Posted by dave z 

Squealing is a function of the type of pads used (the problem, i think, in this case.) and whether or not the brakes were bedded properly (well, i left it to the pros - they bedded it correctly i'd say.). There's nothing about the  of a 4-piston, fixed caliper that causes brakes to squeal. unfortunately, my REARS are not that. it's the 2-piston 13.6 rotor with the smaller caliper.

5. about the interesting pattern, herm says all the rotors are hand-finished, so that one might have been just finished a little deeper.

got there about 145p today. 

as herm made the car squeal, i was able to pinpoint the sound was coming from the rear brakes.

so we go out for a drive, herm at the wheel, and that's how i recorded the wonderful soundtrack above. you think i-tunes would want it? hey - if herm starts cussing and saying it's *&^%$#, you know i wasn't over-reacting.

herm throws the car on the rack - and proceeds to inspect everything. he decides to take out the pads - axxis.

he thought filing/sanding off the edges of the pads might do the trick. he did say that the glue they normally use to stop the vibrations (which cause the squealing) did NOT work in my case. 

slaps the wheels back on - and the test drive confirms it's still there. on the way back, chris met us outside.

chris had **thought** maybe i was being a little sensitive to some little sounds. (i confess i HATE any sounds emanating from the car.) as we drove up, chris was about to give me a little lecture when herm stopped him and told him - "hey - it IS THAT bad."

then chris has a spin. comes back - same cheerful review. this is @#$%^&. (on the positive side, as chris nailed the car driving off, it sounds amazing - not loud, but still awesome.)

the there's problem #2: check this out.

you guys see that gold chain around the inner part of the rotor? that's also a no-cost option. (needs a rolls-royce emblem - to stand for 'rusty ring'.) chris made the observation that the way the rear pad was NOT running all the way to the center was probably causing the squealing. and also responsible for the 'gold chain.' 

(bystander comment #c: (in whispered hushed tones to his buddy) wow-look at that. special gold edition floptechs. those are rare, man.  


i'm driving home mulling these options over.   

i decide to look up steve ruiz's phone and call him myself. (chris didnt have time to call him today either - although i venture as ticked off as i am i **might** be a little nicer than chris when he calls stopyech.) slopyech?

i consider myself demanding, but reasonable. i'm also very patient. but sometimes, i do run out of it.

got steve on his cel, and regurgitated the lurid details. he did say that noise was always an issue, that the rears dont get heated up enough, etc.

bottom line: he would (and did, despite it being 335p and in the middle of a meeting) overnight some organic pads that though slight less aggressive, would suit me well. 

we'll see.

now let me think through chris' suggestions:

(he had no chance to do them today, as he's swamped.)


Originally Posted by [email protected] 

1. replace the pads.
-that's simple enough - hope it works...
2. get some custom pads made up to go all the way to the center.
-you've got to be kidding. enough of that. 
3. file down (forgot the proper word) the rusty part so the brake pad doesnt barely grind against it to squeal. 
-i am not very happy with this either. i didnt buy a piece of junk that needed to be pounded a few times to fit. or did i???

(seriously - driving this thing with the brakes is like just buying a brand new s65, at full price after waiting for 4 months, with a big dent on the hood from the factory. it is irritating.)

i also took dave z's reco to call matt weiss. got him at about 450p. for everybody's info, they say they dont have the time or are equipped to inspect or replace anything. (understandable i guess.) he did suggest a plated rotor...

what got to me was when i asked about the stupid golden ring of rust. he was well aware of that. (i dont remember who made this comment, but either steve or matt..) - 

"very few people really buy the 4-wheel bbk. there just insnt enough that is done for the rears..."  

bottom line: 

fixing the squeal is one thing, but that stupid rust ring is unacceptable by my standards. how about an unpainted rusty strip under your door for an accent piece? or your new e60 m5 with 1 door unfinished???

matt has offered to do research into the compatibility of the rear 14" 4-piston with the front 14" inch. i've pretty much had it, and the rusty rears have to go!!! 

if that doesnt work, i'll take my money back and slap on some oem rears. 

620p thanks for allowing the volcano to spew out some lava.

episode 6... 

another detour today to a temporary venue. this is more like episode 5 going into the 2nd hour...

dave, (and to any of you who have misconstrued my intentions...)

i respectfully ask you to re-read my post. while i was not happy, please check my opening line, 


Originally Posted by jack 

for me to post a second novel on any day either means i've got nothing better to do, or i'm really  . it's not the first choice. i've chosen sarcasm over invectives at this point to vent my frustration. 

i do use the smilies deliberately and intentionally. i wasnt a happy camper, but i had some fun expressing myself. now allow me to answer your points - obviously not looking to start a online fencing point for point match, but you raise some valid and important points.  


Originally Posted by DZeckhausen 

I have the same brakes (4-piston front & 2-piston rear) on my own car and nary a squeal since the day I put them on. 

dont know when you put yours on - but were your rears the ones that brembo made? afaik, stoptech only recently came out with their own 13.6 rears - that's the one i have.

Some of the off-the-wall suggestions by BMS have convinced me you really should go over to Lomita BLVD and see Matt to get to the root cause of this.

love to, but if matt made it clear that they're not equipped to do so, or was unwilling to, any suggestions?? 

StopTech is a company that will bend over backwards to fix a problem without having to hold their feet to the fire. 

i did mention and THANK steve for being quick to suggest and ship out a second set of different pads. i dont doubt that. see later what i've put up with, and still decided not to dump them.

That being said, to fly into a rage on the forum before you've even given them a chance to look at your brakes, 

i've already answered the fly into a rage issue. at this point, i am unhappy. from someone (me) who used to have a very VERY bad temper, there is quite a difference between UNHAPPY and RAGE. up til about 10 yrs ago, i was a godzilla almost everyday. i have been gratefully reduced to puff the magic dragon a few times a year. UNHAPPY would make me poke fun verbally at this whole issue as i did, and smiling as i whipped this thing out. RAGE would be to drive over to stoptech, yell at steve, or the first guy i can get a hold off, eyes bulging, spit flying, both middle fingers swaying to the rhythm of the percussion of my obscenities, losing all sense of control and decency. in my fit of rage, i would never be this lucid or articulate. my intellect and my sorry sense of humor have to fully function to write as i did.  i like being mad and yet to have all my wits about me to poke funat it. 

calling them "FlopTechs" and "SlopTechs" 

perhaps we might disagree here, but AFTER i pay for something, i can call them anything i want. when someone pays for an e60 m5 that is in the shop every week, i assure you he wouldnt refer to it as the "ultimate driving machine with the 500 hp and lightning fast smg shifter." this same forum will attest to the fact that those cars have been christened with 4-letter names. i have NOT called them by those hallowed terms. i wont. i admittedly had fun thinking of the various silly names i've slapped on them. and until the rears perform, will remain designated as such.  and i'll keep you all posted if i think of any more. 

and i'll go ahead and apologize for this one. couldnt help it now that you got me going. it does look like a rotor too.

and making a bunch of other negative remarks 

let's clarify something here. there are generally TWO kinds of negative comments. we have factual observations that can be negative, such as the FACT or OBSERVATION that those SQUEALTECHs are doing so, and then there are those statements that are absolute fabrications of things which could not be observed or at least logically inferred. i have NOT included any negative remarks that were not direct observations of the problem confounding me. if i've stated something factually and happens to be negative, that's the way it goes. and thanks to my ignorance, all i can do is post pictures of what i observe, and statements of what i hear and observe. even if they're negative remarks - they are TRUE.

is not the most effective way to motivate someone to help you. 

, i understand that very well, having noticed in my earlier years that direct confrontation with maximum aggression does not usually work. let's get this straight - the one thing i appreciate about unfortunate things like this is that i usually get to deal with someone in a higher position. in this case, it has been great to have direct contact with steve ruiz. even ran into him (and met him) for the first time at the irwindale speedway a few weeks back. you can ask him, if despite my disappointment, if i've EVER been verbally caustic or abusive or said anything not suitable for print. i got my dissatisfaction out in the most cordial and respectful way - getting across what was wrong, but with the attotude that i appreciate very much his willingness to go to bat for me.

This is their "baby" and to go after it the way you did is discouraging and demotivating. 

their 'baby'? i did lavish praise upon the fronts - silent, gorgeous, brutally effective, and not sullied by that gross looking ring of rust. i think the FRONTs are their pride and joy. the rears are not their baby - as he himself has admitted that less work has been done on the rears, due to lesser demand and more technical and engineering difficulties involved. and yes, for now, i'm going after the rears with this like a vengeance... 

I strongly suggest you go over there and work with them as a partner to solve the problem, rather than setting up an adversarial relationship from the start.

now allow me to lay out more details about my SLOOOOOWTECH ordeal.  

the brakes were ordered 3/29/2006. i understand it takes 3-4 weeks. no problem - after all, i was prepared to wait out my dinan s/c and diff which were not showing up for more than 2 months at least. 

mishap 1: it does NOT show up 1 month later because for some unexplained reason even though they swore the kit was assembled, it did NOT get on the shipment in time.

mishap 2: 3 weeks later it does show up, in the WRONG color - black, instead of the silver.

mishap 3: now with the internal changes stoptech is going through, bms is getting called and told 'it'll be there monday" every few weeks with no success. no one knows when it's showing up. middle of july i get a hold of steve, and he promises an eta of end of july through mid august.

there is NO adversarial tone on my end. from the start? this did NOT start a week ago. it has dragged on for four full months, 145 days from order to install, and now it happily continues on, the way a soap opera shld. (sorry dave - inside joke.  my touring thread has been branded as such, and i'll do my best to live up to that 'lofty' ideal.)

definitely working with them as partners. it is a partnership, a medical one. they're the physician with a new cure, and i'm the guinea PIG. 'SQUEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAALLL."

kidding aside, while i did throw the brembo thoughts a few weeks ago around BEFORE they finally showed up, i have NOT even considered them once in these last weeks with the brakes, neither to the bms guys, nor to steve ruiz.

so - that takes care of the squeal part of the problem. 

NEXT: i'll be 42 in a few weeks. midlife crisis shld be around the corner. no intentions of donning the unbuttoned shirt with a big nasty-looking 200 karat gold chain around my neck.  why shld my $2500 rear rotors look like that? 

would anyone like to defend the intricately-laced bronzed circular accent round with a hint of tangerine specks? (better known as the stupid ring of rust???)

thank you, all.   

 alright, time for me to go to work.

324p....worked the whole day, and i think this is same-day update worthy !!!

********* BRAKING, err, i mean BREAKING NEWS**********

(please be forewarned - as usual, this is half serious and half  relief. it is for me.)

update 1:

there's another guy who had his bbks installed, exactly like mine, except they're black, also on a 540 touring. the first thing tyrone heard when he drove up was THE squeal.

(by the way, in case some of you who visited this post didnt check it out, here's the link again. please listen to it BEFORE you comment  you usee, there is a 'squeak', there's even a 'squeal,' then there is 'THE SQUEALLLL!!!!!'.

presenting..."THE SQUEAL" Rated nc-17, for strong and violent sounds not suitable for little ears. 9 seconds of pure auditory terror! bring a friend!!!

and he's already related a few instances along the lines of my silly bystander comment vignettes. 

anyway, he's got the same thing going. herm was quick to even tell me - hey - it only means there's something up with both your kits somewhere, or they're both my fault. i respect guys like that.  


update 2:

just spoke with herm, and i shld be at the shop sometime tomorrow. i'm supposed to bring my wife and girls to this open with all kinds of there's some juggling to do.

anyhow, herm mentioned that matt (appreciate the contact there, dave :M%thumbs will even be there when my car gets there. matt still thinks it has to do with the bedding, although he is NOT 100% sure, nor is he being dogmatic.

as far as the ring of rust, herm suggested a solution in his typical deadpan fashion:


Originally Posted by [email protected] 

hey jack, i know just the thing to remedy that. all we have to do is PAINT that area silver or black! whatever the pad doesnt scratch stays painted. that shld work. (expletives deleted, of course. ) 

i guess i can live with that. we'll see.


update 3: 

this is NOT my original idea. it's my friend's. so i had to run out this pm. 

at costco...

at the gas station...

the nice gentleman driving the s430 in front of me turned around with a look on his face as i drove up with THE SQUEAL. made me feel special driving my eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee39. (to the tune of my, well, you know.)

here's what the sign on my window said...


gone for a family photo shoot. LAUGHTER is the best medicine. i realize there's not much i can do, so i've learned to catch myself - b4 i mope or get all riled up, i try to look for the stupid and silly.  

good day! later.

episode 7: the third installment... 

of "The StopTech Trilogy," concluding the smashing and controversial 3-part mini-series!!!


i'm sitting in traffic at 915a, and i call chris to let him know i am on my way.


Originally Posted by chris 

dont worry jack. i have nothing planned this am except to make sure we have a solution for your car. 

here's the herm driving the patient in.

what's puzzling is that the dreaded rusty ornament is also on the inside. at that point i burst into tears.  no - i'm just kidding. who cares what it looks like from behind? well, for $6000, i think i would. for that kind of money, they better be works of art!!!

who ever thought a car on a lift could be an artsy moment??? (alright, my fingers were idle.)

herm takes this...

and gives the rotors a little minor resurfacing...

and more 'custom' job from 'the herm'. even on the back side that he claims 'nobody gives a %$#@!.'

the new pads to be tried on were hawk hps pads. again, a big THANK YOU to steve ruiz for the quick response and overnight. :applause: 

a coat of nutella...

lovingly spread on...(just kidding. it's some anti-squeal glue whatever.)

new pads going in...

the 4 suspect axxis pads being hauled away by their executioner, in the hawk box to brake hell, where the 'eternal squealing is never squelched.'

another round of custom work. remember the ring? i had wanted silver paint, but since there was no silver hi-temp paint on hand, and the black one was more hardy accdg to herm, we (well, he) decided it would be best. some beautiful masking on exhibit.

the car is started, gentle gassing, and round and round go the rotors while herm just stays in one spot, tagging, well, painting my rotors.

a few gentle runs to scuff off the paint where it shldnt be.

the result...almost ready for the bedding process. 

how about a vid of herm doing the honors?? he actually went on 2 rounds of the bedding. when my wife and girls did not arrive yet, he went out for another round. even from the get go, no SQUEAL, nor even a 'squeal.' later this afternoon, there was a 'squeak.' more like 'squeak.' i can live with 'squeaks.'

THE vid.  

and unfortunately, i wasnt able to record the squeal, because there was NOT one anymore. :woowoo: apparently chris' first off-the-wall suggestion was dead on the money. chris has basically fired the axxis pads. of course, i quickly called my buddy thaichi808 with the good news, as he's my squeal-buddy.

btw, matt (stoptech guy) wasnt there. i can say this: on more than a dozen occasions, matt has called chris when there are issues, and it seems that chris' suggestions have helped them. 

this is how it looked when all was said and done... :M5launch: once again, the guys at bms did not disappoint. i'm glad and grateful i got a bunch of guys like that to counter my absolute lack of car know-how. 

end of a LOOOONG day. nite everyone. quite a bit more transpired between the brake job - on different topics. fill you all in over the weekend. 1021pmzzzzz 

before we do episode 8.... 


Originally Posted by assang 

Jack, congrats.

thanks, assang! no kidding - i was there when chris was cursing at your car to exorcise the demons it had.  glad it's running again, and well too!


Originally Posted by grcygtr 

which in turn i have to thank touringdude for making this friendship between Jack and me..

thanks, grcygtr. as i've stated many times - the cars are wonderful, but pale in comparison to the friendships and relationships made. and i know i'll see you around 


let's wrap up episode 7: 'look ma, no more squealing!'

 now i feel like there's this constant ringing in my ears. tinnitus, anyone???

but just wanted to thank everyone for hanging in with me on that ear-splitting issue.  


well, before we go into episode 8, let's might as well do the review for the, what else, the bbk!!!


Originally Posted by the jack report 

1. mod - stoptech big brake kit: slotted rotors, silver calipers, 14" front with 4 pistons, 13.6 rear with 2 pistons
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - n/a
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $5888, taxes and labor included.
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)

rears...(this one was the axxis suealer with the rusty ring...)

and a world premiere, the FIRST shot of the full side of the car with the bbk. have to admit i love this shot, taken just b4 sundown...

5. review/complaints - hmmm , enough said, right? (check last 3 full episodes for the fabulous facts!)
6. as a mod, was it worth it? - i wont get into the difficulties here. functionally speaking, the oem rotors were not THAT wimpy. after the new quieter hawk pads, herm was happy with the lack of squeal, but did remind me that it wasn't up to full braking gforce yet. i'll say that i gave it a go a few times yesterday and today. perhaps a fraction short of the super squealing axxis, but adequate, nonetheless. so YES. visually, the fronts are drop dead gorgeous, while the rears remind me of cinderella's step sisters.

7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? -the overall consensus might split hairs over the percentage of functionality of the front vs the rears...some say 80% front to 20% rear as far as actual work. hence many board members, a few who have become great forum friends, dont even sport rear bbks. i would give the fronts an easy      

the rears, are a different story. HAD i rims that were NOT that open, i probably wouldn't even have spent the same amt for them. in my OPINION the rears are 20% function, and 80% BLING. taking into consideration the very open design of my preferred main wheels, the acs 19s, and even the fairly open bbs rc design for my spares, i was 'advised' to blow the $ on the rears. the other reason for my expenditure on this item was the reality that i had spared no expense in building this little monster. it'd be like ordering an ///m5 with leatherette.  :hihi: (and dont get me wrong - i do like the bmw leatherette!) add to that my decision to go with the smaller 13.6 rear rotor for the unforeseen spare requirement - BEFORE i made the decision to sell off the oem 17s and run a set of 18s for spares that would have cleared the full 14 in the rear - it is visually not the stunner the fronts are, especially when it's a bling purchase. so the rears get ...  

8. would i do it again? - not so much YES. but HAVE TO if i'm running a nice amt of power. 
9. overall rating: -     


cut short due to posting limits. please continue to next post for episode 8!!! 

and now, a brand new topic! (my daughter reads this series of stories where the titles alliterate, so i've given myself the stupid challenge of doing the same.)

episode 8: the 'woofer woes...

it's actually not a sad story. the grrrrrrr part of it was handled in episode 4 with the 'quack doctor.' :hihi: i'm still intrigued by the thought of adding a subwoofer of some substance. the dsp one is, actually fine. i also promised jgentle this bit of info, as i had the opportunity to take some nice shots of a fellow touring owner's setup. we had a mini-meet today at the carbon canyon regional park. 

a few miles from the location, i got the dreaded, but welcomed, tire failure message. probably from the last time at the 1/8 mile strip where i let a little air out the rear, refilled, and didnt reset...

got there at 8a. i was the 1st one - as i had to leave early.

very quickly, socale39 (mr organizer) - driving the black 540i6, and thaichi808, with his black 540it loaded with the goodies showed up.

here's his new mod...

and these very nice carbon fiber pieces to sport up his black interior - 

and these newly-powder-coated 19 inch radenergies. 


10-inch wide rears, whole car dropped on full dinan stage 3 suspension.

and, not to forget, my fellow squealer - (park attendant suggested he check his brakes - true story!!! :hihi: )

and now to the main feature, his awesome custom rear audio set-up. wait - a better title...

"Wonderful Woofers!"

step 1: approach the trunk.

step 2: lift the gate. notice how NOTHING is hanging out? no koalas, boxes, or loss of usable space. in fact, he came with his bike, lawn chairs, bbq stuff, duffel bag, and God knows what else he yanked out of that trunk. almost forgot - i believe he has TWO subwoofers!!!  

step 3: comparison of left side compartment. (jgentle - we HAVE a problem. i'll start by saying his car does NOT have dsp, does NOT have the 6-cd trunk changer, does NOT have navigation.)

here's HIS very neatly done left side. that ENTIRE cover piece was custom fabricated.  the woofer takes up all that space.

now here's my left compartment shots (and yours too)


and inside we have...stuff.

step 4: comparison of right panel

his...with another woofer.

mine covered...

inside is the woofer box that house the cute little dsp 5.5 inch (yes, microscopic!) woofer.

step 5: the trunk panel...

his (all his...)

lifted to show the two jl audio amps...

a close up, of the amps, that are sitting on a board that is easily removable. (he should have had the spare wheel detailed too!!! :hihi: )

detail of cutout of left corner...

right corner.

and to demonstrate how to remove (or MOVE) the amps out of the way in case you need your spare, thaichi808 has graciously modelled that important function.  

and the board with the 2 amps out of the way with minimal effort.

there you go. btw, his best 'guess' of the WHOLE job (he had a cd changer under the front glove compartment, and a new radio installed, etc) came to around $6000.


AND...he also had his car detailed last night. how shiny? how about this reflection test?

926p end of a long, but fun day. left the park about 10a, and ran into another fleet of bimmers coming in.

so much more stuff to cover and bring up. will try tomorrow!!! 

episode 9...woo! woo! i mean... wood! wood! 

episode 9. 

(btw, thanks to all the pple's pics that i've linked to, whether i know you or not.)

my car came with the wood trim. the primarily grey interior with black contrast pieces was fine. the brown just didnt do it for me. i'm old, but it made the interior TOO old. felt like it lost a few hp looking at it.


1. the aluminum interior trim was a favorite visually. the physician however, advised against it, since it was painted plastic, prone to easy chipping. (esp with my 3 girls who are allowed to do anything and bring anything in the car. )

2. i loved this light poplar trim in our x5, but decided against it.

3. then i had the outrageous idea of the blue birch!!!

ashok was very helpful (and lightning fast at that) to have provided some pics. it is a lot bluer than i was willing to go with.

4. birch anthracite:

i had seen this in another car - a beautiful highly-retrofitted e46 touring. the owner, terry, was even kind enough to correspond with me, as this is a very hard grain and color to capture on film. now that i have it - i understand why. in low light, it is balck. in strong light, you can see the grain of the grey and brownish hues, and a very subtle tint of bluish grey.



Originally Posted by the jack review 

1. mod - bmw individual birch anthracite wood trim kit (complete)
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 
Birch Anthracite Wood Trim Kit 51-41-2-423-308 $670
(this includes all the door trim and dashboard pieces)
Wlk-Napp Handle 25-16-2-243-318 $154
(the gear shift knob)
Center Console Kit 51-16-2-423-314 $225
(the big piece along the middle of the car)
Handbrake Ring Piece 34-41-8-009-942 $75
(the handbrake handle piece)
Handbrake Lever 34-41-7-894-571 $57
(unfortunately, the ENTIRE handbrake lever had to be replaced to do this, because the leather oem one is NOT removable.)

3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $1273, plus doc's labor.

4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)
some b4 and afters...
center console piece...


one of the doors...


the grain (exaggerated shot to show it)

5. review/complaints - this mod involved a little few mishaps. i was warned by the doc that it would take a while, as it was a bmw individual piece. apparently, this whole kit had NOT been ordered, so it took some time for the bmw ordering system to register it, then took another month for it to be shipped out from germany. when it got here, the 2 pieces right by the steering wheel on the dash were WRONG. 

the piece WITH the hole shldn't have had one, and the piece without shld have HAD one. it was for the tire pressure monitor. i told tyrone just put the tire pressure monitor switch on the wrong side, and cut through the foam on that side of the dash to squish the switch assembly in. it would have worked, but doc tyrone said... you guys have no idea how thorough and uncompromising he is. so i drove around another month or so with multi-colored wood grain!

few weeks later, tyrone tells me for some reason nothing happened. so it was re-ordered a third time. finally got here!!!

and for you diy'ers, be warned. most of the pieces were trivial. the center console was ok, but the work required to replace the handbrake lever itself was NOT trivial. of course, i couldve left the leather-wrapped handbrake alone, but tyrone happened to mention that it was available, too. 

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - YES. it is drop dead gorgeous. i love it. it just gives the interior such a step up in feel and elegance, without giving up any sportiness. i've gotten nothing but compliments on it (not that it influenced my decision.)      

7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? -honestly, almost $1300 for some pieces of wood - 10 pieces and a handbrake lever - makes it rather dubious, esp for a NON-hp gain mod. so i have to award it TWO THUMBS (once again, used too many smilies/images. grrrr) (NOT cheap)

8. would i do it again? - YES. of the non-hp interior mods, thisis probably the one change that gives the cabin a most unique look and feel.
9. overall rating: -     and a HALF!!!

4p alright folks. 

episode 10 - the cute cubbyhole 

let's consider another non-hp mod. 


Originally Posted by the jack review 

1. mod - Montana Leather Sliding Armrest
(went for the full leather as it wasn't too much more from the non-montana one.
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 
Armrest 51-16-8-190-200 $279
Sliding Unit 51-16-8-196-965 $96
Tray 51-16-8-196-967 $16

3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $391 + tax, and doc's labor
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)
before: oem - 

after: closed...

after: opened...

5. review/complaints - the oem armrest was a rather useless piece, in my humble opinion. what little you could put in it would fly off under the gentlest of spirited driving. 

the **only** complaint is that it's still kind of small, measuring about 6 3/4 in by 5 1/2 in at the top of the container opening, 2 inches deep, but the are at the bottom measures 3 1/2 in by 4 in.

and it slides back and forth too!!! whooppeee!!  

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - YES - i have stuff in it.
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - - not horribly expensive, but not cheap.    
8. would i do it again? - YES!!
9. overall rating: -     

630p. shortest one i've done so far?? 

episode 11 - it's a no-go.... 

technically speaking, it's not a mod, but where money is being dispensed, it is to me. 

recap: 2 or so posts back, there's the link about me having the opportunity to have my car hand-tuned by dinan.

here's the conclusion, in the now-familiar format.


Originally Posted by the jack review 

1. mod - custom fine-tuning by dinan
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - n/a
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) -
20 hrs of labor, around $2500 (more on cams, headers, etc in the review section.)
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3) - just a fleeting vision in my feeble mind at this point.  
5. review/complaints - 
i was advised that chris chandler would be out til today (tuesday). i left a message for him early this pm. he calls me back. between 2 conversations, he spends more than 1 hr with on the phone. (he's the vp and big cheese of engineering.)

my comments will be makred by the :reporter:.

on the hand tuning: 
Originally Posted by [email protected] 
we normally hand tune cars that are throwing codes. let me give you a little background on how we tune the cars. say we have the first 1 or 2 cars. we take the measurements. then we apply them to the next 8 cars, or so, so now we then hand tune each car, and use that as our fleet average. granted there are differences from car to car, but we're very meticulous on this, so it'll be very close.

to be honest, even though we'd love to hand tune your car, knowing who did it, and if they did it well, then your money would not be wisely spent. i wouldnt do it if i were you. you are not going to see any meaningful gain in power.

(:reporter: once in a while, i get a dose of my own medicine - i'm reminded of how good it feels to talk a client out of a piece of (high commission but worthless) junk he wants me to sell him. while the tuning was not junk of course, it carries a lot of weight with me for him to say it's not necessary. 

on the camshafts:
Originally Posted by [email protected] 
this is a very invasive operation. the guesstimated gain for a more radical camshaft is not as much as pple would like to think. probably 10 hp. but what will get you is the 50 - 60 hours of labor, at the minimum, to take out the head, fit softer springs, fabrication...(:reporter: a lot of other detail that whooshed over my head.) really, the cams in the 540, though smaller, are not so inefficient.

btw, that's part of the reason why unless it's worth doing, we try to stay away from the one-off projects, because we cannot amortize our r&d and engineering time.

on the air fuel ratio: 
(:reporter: i told him of my 3 dynos where i was getting the 'richer' mid to high 10s.)
Originally Posted by [email protected] 
the cars have been tuned to 11.0 to 10.9. further optimization that is safe would only yield performance gains that are minimal. your car has been tuned for max dyno from our factory. if you've seen pics of our dyno room, i'll be the first to say that there is no way that can be replicated, primarily, direction of the air. so when we drive the car in the real world, we need to retune to dyno numbers. so even with what is perceived to be a little rich on the dyno, on the street, it actually comes out to about 11...

but even a high 11 to low 12 ratio can cause the engine to begin to detonate. the knock sensors will want to protect the engine, so it will throw extra fuel to slow the engine even more. the way we tune the cars is that they never have to worry about being awkward under any normal conditions. 

about the headers:
Originally Posted by [email protected] 
assuming it fits, the m5 headers will render your car not smog legal anymore. 

what most car mfrs do is they make a large portion of their fleet very clean, so few cars be dirty (as in emission). the 3er and 5er, (big volume sellers) are very clean, so **a few** (like the v12, ///m3 &///m5 can be a bit dirtier). the govt sees 95% of their production super clean, and **allows** 5% to be dirtier. 

on the standard 5, the catalytic converter is very close to the motor - it gets hot fast, so exhaust emissions get eaten up inside. if you put the headers, then it wouldnt pass smog initially, esp when cold. (besides flunking the emissions test, it would fail the visual, too) 

the potential gain: about 15 -20 hp at the crank, max. but there's a need for fabrication, not to mention the $3-4k in testing fees just to have it pass, which we will not do just for one car. in other words, no carb cert. 

(:reporter: hey chris (at bms) - looks like he hit it right on the head as far as the potential headers gains. not a whole lot for the money to be spent.)

:reporter: we ended the conversation with me asking about one of herm's wild ideas. shoving the z8 alpina engine and drivetrain into the touring, and then adding all the s3 s/c goodies. doable, but bec their carb certs were not tested on THAT particular engine, NOT street legal.

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - i'll never know!!!
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - - if it went through, probably really bad.  (1 out of 5, at best)
8. would i do it again? -  but it would have been nice to have a 500 hp touring!!!
9. overall rating: -      , and that's for chris chandler.

he actually mentioned how he's trying to talk his wife into getting an e39 touring, but she has no intentions of doing so for now. :hihi: 

i was going to drive up to dinan this thursday and probably be there a few days. so in light of this turn of events, i will NOT be going. (actually, i had pretty much decided not to go, because that'll take a good 2 or 3 days away from home, and my baby (well, 17 yr old baby) is going off to college. the car can wait, by a long shot.

441p :kaffe: (just had a very nice homemade strawberry shortcake as i was typing this.) 

whoa - no pictures!!!

episode 12: really short review, and a long featurette  

straight to business here...


Originally Posted by the jack review 

1. mod - ///M Door Sill Strip 
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 51-13-2-695-681/2 (one left, and 1 right)
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $32 each
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)
the doc removing the old piece (plain black)

and new one on...

up close...

5. review/complaints - it was a really easy removal and install. for a bit of trivia, this was the FIRST mod that doctor tyrone did on the car. the date, mar 5, 2006, about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. FIRST time i meet him, too. more on him in his OWN episode. mini-series?? or more like a full season!!!

a lot of thought went into the ///m badge/emblem related retrofits. fortunately, having owned a real ///m car (e46 m3), i pretty much knew what was perfectly acceptable, what was taboo, what might be ludicrous, and what would be outrightly deserving of permanent censure.

since the car came as a factory m-sport vehicle, i did not see any controversy in swapping out the plain black ones for these euro pieces sporting the ///mblem. (of course, i make that distinction between the //m and the ///m5 badge.)

despite the bright colors up close, because of its size, as you can see from the above pic, it is a rather subtle addition. it doesnt call attention to itself - but the sharp and knowledgeable eye would pick it up. 

6. as a mod, was it worth it? - yes, love the very understated announcement.      
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - absolutely. one of the few truly inexpensive mods!      
8. would i do it again? - YES.
9. overall rating: -      


and now, for our featurette. for once, i won't say much. i'll let the pictures relate what happened this morning.


alright. i have to say something. 

1. i immediately noticed all the road noise, just a very slight shimmy/vibration/tramlining going over ugly patches of freeway.

2. putting the bbs rc away, i could feel its lightness, especially against the acs rears.

3. it was a royal pain to clean the rc.

4. i have discovered a new unfortunate propensity. i've previously confessed to wiping down my wheels once every 2 days. now with the stupid bbks installed, i also like keeping them rather shiny and spotless. 

5. with the rc, it was almost impossible to get even my little fingers to wipe them down. worse, i couldnt even get to the inside of the wheels to clean them once every few weeks.

6. #5 was a piece of cake with the acs.

7. additionally, i found out my cute little fingers can reach the bright yellow front dinan (koni) struts. witness this flashed pic to show the shiny yellow!! hiha 

i'm not obsessive about it - but just the fact that i do it, even though it takes but a few seconds, is sad!!!  iirc, brian (redshift) and i had posted some silly (but very telling and very true to life) comments about forums having some sort of internet 'modaholics anonymous.' 

who said i'm in denial? i know when to stop. see? i'm not doing anything anymore!!! (because dinan won't let me!!! waaahhhhhhhhh!) j/k 

i'll have some pics when i have time to take some proper shots of the new partners in crime - stoptech, meet type 2. :M5thumbs:

it's SO nice to have those heavy, over-priced, antiquated, harsher riding, noisier, 19-inch pothole poking, but magnificently gorgeous acs type 2s on again! 

637p signing off for dinner 

episode 13: mobile mobility! 

first, a letter from one of our faithful readers...

(God forbid, you think i shld have a 'dear awwy' column? 'awwy' of course, since yours truly is stuck on the aw/ir handle. )

apparently, my 4 picture collage did not quite convey the message i had intended, thanks to me forgetting a crucial picture...that off the bbs rc neatly bagged and stacked in my office.


Originally Posted by touring dude 

I'm intently following your Soap (Mod?) Opera like my wife does her's on TV, but I'm confused about today's episode......
Did you get new tires or something for the Type 2's? I see that you are in a shop of some sort. Are you dumping the 18's (Do the 19's really ride that much worse? I love my 18's (ceptinfer the color) but have my eye on a set of 19's that I REALLY like) Or you just switching back (for ease of cleaning, etc) and keping the 18's for your SF set?
Can't make the Cove this Sat, we'll have to do it again in a couple of weeks......

Sport Wagonly yours.

Oh and I think I figgered out the turn signal/ Euro lens thing.....But I'll keep you in suspense until I make it happen!

dear touring dude,

1. i did get new tires for the rear type 2s a month or 2 ago, as the rears were worn out, and one had a real big screw screwed into it.

2. no, not dumping the 18s. they are my spares.

3. the 19s do ride much worse, now that i got used to the 18s with the mich ps2. prior to the mch ps2, b/w my e46 m3, x5 on 20s, and 19s on the wagon, i never knew any better. the 18s on the ps2 was really, REALLY cushy and quiet.

4. i switched back since i wasnt going up north to the dinan hq. they'll be my sf rims, you're right. 

5. switched back for lots of reasons, the main one? i REALLY love the type 2s. for me, it just makes the car.

and please let me in on the turn signal secret!!!


jenner, earl,

i got an answer you may both find interesting. later tonight or tom.


and now, back to regular programming.


Originally Posted by the jack review 

1. mod - ///M Mobility Kit 
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 82-11-0-134-558 
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) -$136 + tax
(labor was figuring out WHERE to put the poor thing.)
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)
nice and snug under the main wagon rear trunk panel.

contents - the exploded view...this is such a beautifully crafted piece. where the goo goes, i'm planning on hiding a small bottle of water!!! it even has a little pouch with a piece of napkin and a plastic glove.

the artsy shot 

the 'unloved' part of it...the goo.

5. review/complaints - this is an absolute must for any of you who run 19s with rubber bands. it has saved my life at least 5 -6 times now, working in conjunction with the retrofitted ///m5 tire pressure monitor. i realized i could have bought the much cheaper costco alternative, for 1/3 the price, but 10x BIGGER. but this looks way cooler, has an ///m embossed on it, and packs such a big punch for being a mini-compressor. 

so easy to check the tire pressures, and even inflates my daughter's bicycle tires.

of course, even back from the m3 days, i remembered pple just hating the ///m goo that comes with it, so i never plan to use that. any of you need it, pm me!!! hahahahaha.

i love this little gadget.
6. as a mod, was it worth it? - YES!      
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - not only was it not very expensive, but from the cost of what it has allowed me to avoid, i can say it has saved me even more in $ and time & aggravation.      
8. would i do it again? - YES!!! (in fact, when we travel in the x5, i bring it with us.)
9. overall rating: -      



little side blurb: i have decided to control myself, and NOT use my paddles or even the sport mode, just to see exactly what kind of mpg i'm getting. although good gas mileage never was a goal or thought of the project, having heard pple rave about increased mpg with a s/c, i find it interesting that i do NOT see that in my case.

my guess is what the s/c gave, the lower-geared diff has taken away...

:read1: from the american medical association's secret files...

my fingers are suffering from 'hypopaddlelitis.' half tank gone. my physician has also pointed out it is more than a physical situation, but also a severe mental malady. can only be cured by 2 rather toxic substances: some lead (foot) and highly flammable fluids, available without any prescription from the nearest gas station. also lookup 'speed deprivation,' a condition far worse than sleep deprivation, which is curable.

5p hiha :flag: out with the 4 girls of my life. or 5...including frau touring?

episode 14: a trunk liner fit for a.... 


the dinan 'D' is actually attractive...

although when i first googled for an image, i got this!

sounds like a city in france...

it crossed my mind, but that's going to take some the end, (or for now) i'm on the same track as jenner...

Originally Posted by Jenner 
naa he should keep it the way it is.

If he someday decided to drop a S62 and 6 speed manual gear box into it I'd say go nuts with the ///M5 and/or Dinan badges. But right now the lack of //M5 and Dinan badges and the subtle, ///M badges are a perfect fit for this awesome supercharged 540i Touring/Estate.

btw, the silberfrau says 'thank you' for your compliment. and even **if** an s62 mit 6 speed finds its way into it, the MORE the ///m5 badges won't go on, as much as i like them. it's good enough that it's got an ///m attitude!

on to business...

"a trunk liner fit for a...150 lb golden retriever!"

Originally Posted by the jack review 
1. mod - Euro Heavy-Duty Trunk Liner
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 82 26 9 408 290
(interestingly, someone has copied that item number down, and tried to order it with bmwna with no luck!!)
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $FREE$, came with the car! story is car was euro-delivered. the first owner inquired (since he has a big dog) and was shown it. he promptly purchased it in germany.

4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)

5. review/complaints - pros: when i pick up kids and their wheeled backpacks have mud stuck on them, it's not an issue. when we go to the oriental market and buy stuff that drips (as in dead animal fluids...hiha ), no worries; if i had to transport our other beast - a little 4 lb miniature lop-earred bunny - piece of cake. 
cons: short of an anvil weighing 500 lbs, everything slips and slides all the time; if i need to get to the ///m mobility kit, it's a pain.
6. as a mod, was it worth it? - i got it for free, so it gets...
7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - why, YES!      

8. would i do it again? - actually, i tried. tyrone ordered what he thought were the flatter rubberized trunk liners, and we ended up with these, which were summarily returned!

i had wanted some kind of a rubberized trunk tray, similar to the black rubber floor mats inside the car. i guess we're fine for now.

9. overall rating:     
(4 out of 5, for the stuff that sloshes around.)

p.s. speaking of dogs, check out the e60 m5 setup for our furry friends...

321p :byebye:

p.s.#2: spoke with [email protected] today. 'something' arrived. even better...
Originally Posted by [email protected] 
jack, would you like me to request a XXXXXXX for your car? oh, and btw, mike is ???????? your car right now!

to which i said.."absolutely! didnt know i could do that!!!" stay tuned. this little trinket will get ON the car. :woowoo: as to what mike is up to, even i have to wait and see.

episode 15: missed dinan, but went dinin' 
at the risk of sounding self-serving, i like this has nothing to do with the mod review, so we'll save it for the end.

can only do a short one today, as new york is calling, and i still have a BIG pile of paperwork  (had originally hoped to make it down to crystal cove with a few other touring guys...but simply cant)

Originally Posted by the jack review 
1. mod - TEC Cup Holder 
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 51-16-0-394-760
(i couldnt believe THIS had a bmw part number, at least through crevier.)
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) -$72, and I PUT IT IN. granted, tyrone could've done it in 2 minutes blindfolded AND handcuffed to the exhaust - it took me 30 minutes sweating in the garage! 
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)
hiding inside the really small enclosure.

cover retracted...

the mechanism is engaged by pressing against the base part of the cupholder.

finally out!

this underlit shot shows the fine bmw letters that give it that oem look.

and for those of you who want to see how a $72 cupholder works...a world premiere let's 'tec' it away!!

7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - little pricey, relative to the other one (forgot the name) that slings over the side. but it does look the part.

8. would i do it again? - not sure, actually...i wouldnt get rid of it, but may not do it again.
9. overall rating: -    

(now that i'm evaluating these mods one by one, i canNOT believe how much i've done, especially once they're numbered!!!)

about the title...

back in episode 11, 'it's a no-go' - i ended up not going up to morgan hill - primarily due to not really needing the hand tune. part of me wished i made it up there to meet up with the guys from this (m5board) forum to check on the progress of a couple of full-monty s3. 

ended up going to lunch with a thaichi808, who graciously invited me. i was pretty sure we were the only 2 asians in the persian restaurant - awesome food.

sharing a mutual enthusiasm for tourings is great, but building a friendship runs circles around that. thanks thaichi808. 

the one detrimental possibility - the ever-present danger of a fellow nut popping up his trunk and saying - 'lemme show you something...' did happen.

i was too enamored to even take a shot of the whole thing. this is all i have for oem piece to boot!

as we speak, he's got it on his touring. he's finally done, at least that he says.  i've appointed myself his official paparazzo, so waiting for the next opportunity to meet up.

************* NEWS FLASH *************

big enuf? for you touring owners...we're planning WAGONFEST II! please check in at the main thread over at bimmerfest.

317p thanks  jack

episode 16: mired in mirrors miswired!! 
I'll admit I've been skating on the easier to review items. Lets do something pricey and nice

Originally Posted by the jack review 
1. mod - OEM ///M5 Factory Pre-painted Retracting Side View Mirrors 
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 
Mirror Housing 51-16-0-002-681/2 $529/per side
Aspheric Glass Euro 51-16-2-694-895/6 $234/per side
Switch Unit 61-31-6-909-903 $145
Door Module 61-35-6-904-243 $150

3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - (see above) total came to: $1962 with tax (no labor)
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)
the pre-painted housing

the aspheric lens

door module

5. review/complaints - on mar 14, the first bits came  the aspheric glass, switch unit and door module. Tyrone had **warned** me that since I was the FIRST one to ever order it pre-painted from the factory, to expect a delay, barring any additional barriers. to commemorate this momentous occasion, even the package had its picture taken!

The mirror housing finally showed up may 3rd. it was an exciting afternoon, as this was going in. while not difficult, it was laborious in that the door panels and all the corresponding switches etc had to come off and on. It was to be fairly clockwork UNTIL every thing was in, and given the first test run reminds me of the thai or egyptian dances where your hands swivel in opposite rotations! nothing beats a video for this!

thinking it through logically, it shldn't have mattered.

Tyrone of course never ceased to amaze me, as he calls just 2 days later with a surprise for me. he analyzed the wiring diagrams and caught the reversed white and blue wires, straight from the factory.

[:reporter: just this past Friday afternoon, thaichi808 called me with the same symptom, which the guys at bms were admittedly stumped. I felt useful as I emailed the guys the above pic and gave chris a 2-minute explanation. I knew my insanity wasnt in vain!!!]

heres the finished install. That beautiful contour, framing the aspheric lenses

a before frontal shot (didnt realize how LITTLE I took of this profile pre-mods.)


6. as a mod, was it worth it? - this is probably the one outside mod that made the most difference. It has totally changed the character of the car. I actually had a practical reason for doing it our home is a little hamlet with a traditionally tight 2 car garage. The retracted side mirrors allowed a bit more space between the cars. It looks unbelievable  and my kids were enthralled (at least for the first few days) with the peculiar retracting mirrors.


7. from a money spent perspective, was it a good bang for the buck? - 
once again, this is admittedly not a money-wise option. I could have saved perhaps even $150 a side had I ordered the unpainted one, but after factoring in my time to shuttle around the housings to the paint shop, and go back, and worry about paint matching, etc, it was worth it to me to just get it done from the factory.
3  out of 5.

8. would i do it again? - in a heartbeat!!!
9. overall rating: -     

epilogue on june 9th, while tyrone was fiddling around with my amp over at m5boys home, he made the comment about seeing how **strangely** my side view mirrors were angled. Then he remembered the whole right hand drive thing  my lenses were made to be angled in reverse this is what he was referring tothe weird angle is most accentuated on the drivers side, as I have gotten used to pushing it out to the maximum for best peripheral visibility. 

Drivers mirror

Passengers mirror

further, tyrone actually thinks the housings themselves are NOT mirror images (pun intended) of each other, due to the amount of swivelling on each side. 

230p sun.

episode 17: booted the red for the clear in the rear... 
since this mini-series (the summary part of it) is being broadcasted simultaneously on 2 channels (b'fest forum is the other), the doc chimed in on the other side about the side view mirrors...

Originally Posted by tyrone 
Actually it was M5Boy who first noticed that, but that's how they're supposed to be. The mirror opposite the driver is supposed to be angled more inward. It's just backward in your case due to the RHD parts 

so on to today's installment of..."as the wheel turns, and as the cash burns" hiha 

Originally Posted by the jack review 
1. mod - Euro Clear Tail Light lenses
2. bmw part numbers (main ones) - 63-21-6-902-531/2 
3. price and labor (if it's easily figured out ) - $107 per side + tax
4. the obligatory pic (or 2 or 3)

5. review/complaints - i did not know this was available. it was this pic that started it all...see what google can do to your money?

it doesnt help that tyrone confirms the existence of this part. on 3/13, i was given the good news this showed up. 

the bad news is it was the ONLY side that came. its partner doesnt show up for another 2 weeks. 


halfway done ...