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Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/1/18 7:31 p.m.

This will be a weak first post, with only one picture. But ive been meaning to start a thread for a week now, and just haven't.  

Traded the drivabeater 3.0 miata for a 1999 bmw 528i wagon to justjim from Alabama.  The miata was causing migraines now that my neck and back are in different shapes from the elky accident. We did the deal 2 weeks ago.

Tradex fir this: 

 

Its got some gremlins to sort, first of which was the drivers seat. Its fixed-ish for now while i hunt for the replacement of a burned out circuit board. 

The Germans sure know how to complicate things.  However, seat is all but fixed!

I want to know how discussions in the engineering department go. Maybe something like "hans, this doesnt have nearly enough moving parts, electrical complexity, sharp edges, and mass. Add more of all!!!"

But they, 20 years ago, have made one of the best interiors ive ever spent time in. So its working for them.

 

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/1/18 7:57 p.m.

And the little time you've spent behind the wheel, how are your back/noggin adjusting to the new 'digs'???  

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/1/18 8:00 p.m.

Pretty well, actually.  Looking forward to seeing how it feels with a properlyfunctioning seat.

It took longer than planned, but ive been playing with the duster instead.....

adam525i
adam525i Reader
8/1/18 9:06 p.m.

That's a sharp car, hope it treats you well.

Adam

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
8/2/18 3:30 a.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

The Germans sure know how to complicate things.  However, seat is all but fixed!

I want to know how discussions in the engineering department go. Maybe something like "hans, this doesnt have nearly enough moving parts, electrical complexity, sharp edges, and mass. Add more of all!!!"

 

Junior engineer:  "Herr engineer, I have dezigned ze perfect cooling syztem.! it is made from durable materials that are eazily repaired through common repair practices around the world."

Senior Engineer: "Mein got!!!!  Vat have you done???  Throw zat away and make das engine cooling system out of plaztic!!!!  Shieze, ve must now appease das bavarian auto-gods.  Here, here, make das syztem uze unique connections that vill break whenever you LOOK at them!"

 

(the junior engineer scuttles off frantically to do as he's told while the senior engineer sits down at his desk, obviously shaken.  The bottle of Jager in the bottom drawer will calm his nerves as he waits for a sign from the gods that signifies their approval.  It's a long three hours, but when he returns home he sees it.  An unexpected box of brand new lederhosen is waiting for him on his doorstep.  A warm smile spreads across his face, he now knows the E39 will be a true Bavarian masterpiece.)

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 8:35 a.m.

I have the best friends. Their solution to the 02 gremlins is to find a 5.3 and 4l80e and Cummings turbo. 

 

I replied not yet......

Justjim75
Justjim75 Reader
8/2/18 9:26 a.m.

I'm pretty sure German cars are so awesome but with maddeningly complex and difficult to repair systems here and there is revenge for whooping the Nazis

They lure you in with outstanding comfort, ride, handling and power, then once you're hooked you find out stuff like the door locks are all actuated by air (MB) or the hub assy bolts are one time use only (BMW)

​​

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 9:32 a.m.

I agree. Just like mazda oil filter locations are proof that they are still pissed off about Hiroshima.

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
8/2/18 9:42 a.m.

Does that have the X drive with the magic transfer case?   If it does you will need a scan tool that will re-set the transfer case, if you ever have to do anything to it......

tedroach
tedroach Reader
8/2/18 9:56 a.m.

I had a 1999 320D when I lived in France. It ran very well and only needed a few minor repairs. I was impressed by the interior and ride for a car from the 90's. I hope you enjoy it!

Now, tell us more about the car and show us pictures! 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
8/2/18 10:00 a.m.

Silly americans. The Germans never surrendered. They have been at war since 1938. Their cars are proof that they are winning in destroying the american spirit and will to live!

Justjim75
Justjim75 Reader
8/2/18 11:02 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

It would be different if the cars weren't so damn good

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 11:18 a.m.

I give you my word that I will do my best to have a proper introductory project post and pictures and plan by the close of business tomorrow. Suffice it to say with it being a driver beater that lowering tint stereo upgrades and fixing what's broke is the main gist of it

phaze1todd
phaze1todd Dork
8/2/18 11:37 a.m.

I like it. Overengineer'd but once you fix a problem in a Bimmer it usually stays fixed.

At least yours was engineered AND built in Germany...

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
8/2/18 12:47 p.m.
Justjim75 said:

In reply to bobzilla :

It would be different if the cars weren't so damn good

I'm fairly certain you mispelled "over hyped and stupid expensive". 

Justjim75
Justjim75 Reader
8/2/18 1:00 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

I disagree.  They're only stupid expensive if you take them to the wrong people for repairs.  Stock replacement parts are usually on par with any other brand, although upgrades parts prices are effing ridiculous.  It's the knowledge base to know what to fix and how that makes them a pain.  Both of my 2 recent German cars (03 E class and 99 E39) were so good I found them boring.  Like the comparison I experienced first hand between a 79 MGB and a C6 Vette, the MG was more fun at 55 that the Corvette at 155, the German cars are fast as heck around corners but the comfort and sound deadening insulates you so well that there's no "feel" IMO.  From what I hear the 3 series cars are different.  I personally am not a big heavy ultra comfortable autobahn cruiser kind of guy, but I have discovered that the Answer is the answer for me, as long as I have another car big enough for taking the family to church on Sunday!

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 2:18 p.m.

Since this is a drivabeater thread, I'm going to do a budget. Just like the rest of them....

 

purchase price: traded 2000 miata for car (2900 invest in miata at time of sale)

purchased 6 plugs: 15.00

window regulator, ebay: 25.99

TIS manual, ebay: 9.95

v1.4 scanner (purchase was refunded due to shipping damage) free

shadowline trim tape, FLAPS: 3.99

weatherstripping, console trim, and airbox, pullapart: 58.99

 

current total: 3013.92

 

as a primer for those of you just joining my personal blend of crazy, ill give you some light reading of past projects. Some are drivabeaters, some GRM challenge cars, some restorations. Little bit of everything.

 

First, the car that became this BMW:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/project-drivabeater-30-the-grand-touring-car/127381/page1/

 

next, drivabeater 2.0: pro-touring 1964 el camino:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/project-drivabeater-20-64-el-camino-this-time/60101/page1/

 

the original drivabeater s10

http://www.pro-touring.com/threads/43374-project-drivabeater

 

the stepside:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/the-stopgap-gmt400-a-drivabeater-thread/136993/page1/

 

the duster: (thread continues to current over at GRM)

http://www.pro-touring.com/threads/71755-70-duster-updating-and-a-no-dough-pro-touring-makeover

 

AMC spirit challenge car: (9th at 2017 GRM challenge)

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/so-i-accidently-bought-a-car-and-started-a-challenge-team-last-night-have-questions/118042/page1/

 

current challenge car:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/may-be-little-ridiculous-2018-challenge-oddessey/134260/page1/

 

theres other builds, but y'all get the point. If anyone goes through every post, every page of every thread, and actually reads them all from beginning to end, ill buy the coffee at waffle house.

 

Anyway, enough with justifying my street cred. This is a thread about a 1999 bmw 528i touring. My first german car other than a passat TDI I owned for a month and traded for a miata, and my air cooled superbeetle. Neither of which I really did anything with mechanically, as they didnt stay long. Ive done american, japanese, and british quite a lot, so I feel its time to try something European.

 

This came about from the el camino. Back in January, I was t-boned HARD in the drivers door. Screwed me up physically pretty good. Im finally back up to full speed after quite a bit of treatment (well, as full speed as im gonna get), but my neck and back are permanently reconfigured. I discovered this after getting back into the miata, and discovering that after 20 minutes or so, I would start a raging migraine. Usually drives ended up with my puking my guts out on the side of the road. This wouldnt do.

 

So I traded for this: (pictures of the day I got it, at a rest stop in south carolina)

exterior, attention paid to all flaws I could find. But its got Alpina badges!

 

20180722_163451 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180722_163443 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180722_163458 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180722_163516 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180723_092857 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180723_092626 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

dirty engine bay (by my standards. No major oil leaks, and its been kept after, but it still has 173k on the clock). Cleaning this will make everything else better.

 

20180723_092626 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

20180723_092428 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

interior. Clean, but showing some age. Headliner needs redone, seats could use some work, etc.

20180723_092442 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180723_092613 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180723_092512 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180723_092603 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180723_092815 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180723_092558 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

car included a sub, 4 channel amp, spare oxygen sensors and MAF to TB elbow, couple of computers, etc. really a fantastic experience trading. I know going into this there would be a few kinks to sort out. He really gave it all he could prior to our appointment, but in the end it almost won. He changed all 4 o2 sensors, fixed the CCV and a bunch of other vacuum leaks, brand new tires, seat switches, changed a bet wheel, had the car detailed, etc. really, more than I could expect for the deal we worked out. My hats off to him for being a good man, and I will let him identify himself if he so chooses.

 

Anyway, driving home was a MUCH better experience than the trip out. Quiet, comfortable (ish. Seat adjustments were not working properly, and I had difficulty getting comfortable), plenty of balls, onboard computer showing mid 20's economy. Cruise engagement button seemed intermittent, aforementioned seat issue, half the pixels in the stereo dead, passengers rear window inoperable, the pictured cosmetic issues, and worst of all, no HD radio!

 

When I got home, the wife and I took it to dinner. She digs it.

 

Next morning I fired it up to go to the parts store to see if their scanner could pull the BMW specific data, as I had just an obd2 bluetooth dongle and torque. Their scanner wouldn't even try to connect, but torque works fine. Leaving the parts store, started misfiring badly. Got it home, and using torque pulled the following codes:

P0125

P0300

P0304

P0305

P0306

P0154

P0150

P0173

P0189

 

 

First job was changing the plugs, as there was no record. Used standard NGK v-power plugs, instead of the 4 electrode jobs that it had. No pictures, as its not exactly an interesting picture.

 

This did not make misfires or o2 codes go away. So I cleared codes, swapped sensor plugs (so bang 2 chassis harness would read off sensor 1 and vice versa), threw some injector cleaner in it, and went for a drive. 10 miles later, all codes returned. So I KNEW it was chassis side of bank2. In doing some research, it seems that a complete lack of 02 signal will kill power to the coils on that banks cylinders to prevent misfires and catalyst damage. Or something like that. So I went looking for obvious damage. Nothing has been found yet, and that's where that is. Same with hunting vacuum leaks. I found 1. but the code comes back. So more exploration and research is required. Anyone have any ideas?

 

In the meantime, I decided to tackle the seat. With the help of TIS and multiple youtube videos, I found all the problems. The seat twist cables were fiddly, but a known issue. The lateral movement (fore aft on the tracks) proved more difficult. I had voltage to the module on the motor. So, I pulled the module apart.

 

20180731_151055 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

some component on the board had let the magic smoke out. To test the motor itself, as well as the gearbox and tracks, I pulled my bench power supply out.

20180731_181001 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

everything works fine. So all I need is a module. Unfortunately, there were NO e39's in pullapart with face-lift headlights or seats. But we got some weatherstipping, an unbroken airbox, and the console trim. I put the seat back together, and used my power supply to get it adjusted for now. I WILL find a module....

 

I reattached the side trim while I was at it. It all has to come back apart again when I find a module though.

 

20180801_191735 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

id love to find some quality cloth seat covers then as well. Coverking had spacermesh covers that fit the miata seats PERFECT. Is there something like that for the e39?

 

This brings us up to current; I found a blue e39 in pullapart with blacked out trim, and loved it. So I bought a roll of trim tape at the parts store and tried my hand at it. First attempt.

20180802_111203 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20180802_145436 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

 

one full roll in, but I redid a few parts to get it right. One more roll should do it now that I know how to work with it.

 

I guess ill lay out tentative plans to leave yall with if youve read this far:

  1. stereo upgrade. I have a kenwood hd radio, kicker 4 channel amp, jl audio 8, and various other amps and components laying around. Will need some install parts, and its not high on the list.

  2. Fix whats broke: CEL, cruise, window, seat so far.

  3. Lower it (around m sport height would suit me fine)

  4. tint (20%on the rear, 35% front windows, 55% windsheild

  5. interior rehab

  6. polish the paint, fix blemishes, repaint as necessary. Delete pinstripes.

  7. Headlight upgrades. These are pretty well shot. So, looking at aftermarket because I dont want to spent $500 on headlights.

  8. 275k on the odometer.

Thanks fpr following. Feedback and comments are always welcome. Im in the deep end already with this one, and ive only owned it two weeks and driven it 300 miles......

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 2:21 p.m.
Justjim75 said:

In reply to bobzilla :

I disagree.  They're only stupid expensive if you take them to the wrong people for repairs.  Stock replacement parts are usually on par with any other brand, although upgrades parts prices are effing ridiculous.  It's the knowledge base to know what to fix and how that makes them a pain.  Both of my 2 recent German cars (03 E class and 99 E39) were so good I found them boring.  Like the comparison I experienced first hand between a 79 MGB and a C6 Vette, the MG was more fun at 55 that the Corvette at 155, the German cars are fast as heck around corners but the comfort and sound deadening insulates you so well that there's no "feel" IMO.  From what I hear the 3 series cars are different.  I personally am not a big heavy ultra comfortable autobahn cruiser kind of guy, but I have discovered that the Answer is the answer for me, as long as I have another car big enough for taking the family to church on Sunday!

and the answer was the answer for me for a long time. unfortunately, needs change. hopefully we both have found our Answers. 

tedroach
tedroach Reader
8/2/18 3:20 p.m.

Take a look at the Fuel Temperature Sensor fault code (P0189). This could cause the engine misfires, which would also mess with your air/fuel mixture, which will throw off the O2 sensor readings. It could be wiring, a connector, the sensor itself, a bad fuel pump, or the PCM.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 3:35 p.m.

Thanks ted. Unfortunately i fat fingered that. P1189 vacuum leaks should have been the code. Confirmed thats the only one i bungled.

tedroach
tedroach Reader
8/2/18 3:37 p.m.

Well, that changes everything. Hope you get it sorted out.

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
8/2/18 3:43 p.m.

Black out tape on a BMW is always the right thing to do...... or according to google translate....... Black out Tape auf einem BMW ist immer das Richtige zu tun

02Pilot
02Pilot Dork
8/2/18 3:52 p.m.

Few things to consider:

- Incorrect plugs generally will not play nice with the computers. Expect fault codes.

- You mention no facelift cars in the junkyard, but your car is pre-facelift, and I think the seats were the same pre- and post- in any case. Facelift was MY01+.

- P-codes are next to useless for diagnostics on these cars, and will often lead you down false paths.

- Replacing the missing rubber trim around the windshield will reduce wind noise considerably.

 

 

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 4:06 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Hmm.....

So getting the 1.4 scanner up and running should be primary concern, correct?

And plugs were a simple guess. Ill expect to have to change them.

I thought there should be rubber, but none of the e39s in the junkyard had any rubber there either so i wasn't certain. 

That part of my post reads funny in hindsight.  I was looking for facelift lights, and ANY seats/trim/rubber, figuring that stuff was all the same. However, in doing further research, it seems lots of things changed between years of the body style, and some based on build.date. that should make it more interesting. 

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/2/18 4:08 p.m.

In reply to Doc Brown :

Not in North Carolina! We have emissions inspection here. Light must operate, and obd2 cannot report any codes, and all pids must be in place.

Edit: you meant trim, not check engine light. 

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