Some Changes, Maintenance and More Details

This is what it looked like the day I brought it home: (You can see the anti-christ SVT Focus in the background…)

Shortly thereafter the front grills were swapped to matte black, as were the side gills- with monochrome emblems, monochrome BMW emblems for the hood, trunk and steering wheel, the corner lights were replaced with a pair with black bases, the side marker lights were replaced with a ‘smoke’ set, Those amber side markers were replaced with body color parts, and the lights were updates with Halo style DRLs. Fogs were swapped for an HID set up, making night driving much much easier.

Did some preventative maintenance along the way as well, including:

  • Rear differential fluid change – Most expensive diff. fluid ever, at just under $40/pint- and it takes 3.
  • Oil change at 1/2 interval (BMW recommends every 15k miles, which seems a bit much to me, so I’m taking the every 7,500 mile interval approach) complete with VANOS -from German variable Nockenwellensteuerung, meaning variable valve timing control- o-ring and filter change. This is cheap insurance for that unit, as the parts were $14, and the unit, should it fail, lists at about $2k for the complete assembly.
  • Also picked up OEM coolant to be changed before the summer ends, new Poly rear trailing arm bushings- should firm up the rear a bit, as the OEM units are known to wear prematurely, and SMG fluid to be exchanged as well. Will also be replacing the spark plugs, air filters, transmission fluid, brake fluid (potentially with a brake upgrade), and front driveshaft universal joint (Or GUIBO as it’s known). That, along with a thorough inspection of the rest of the systems should bring it far ahead of the factory maintenance schedule.

VANOS o-rings and filter swapped, and an Engine bay shot:

Next up was some cleaning and freshening of the paint. The car has about 750 million rock chips, of which a good portion were addressed with the Dr. Colorchip touch up package. It was really easy to use, and the results were decent enough to hide the majority of the chips that were treated. It’s not perfect by any means, and I think a round of OEM touch up and clear coat will be in order later. Next up, the car was clay barred, and the paint was gone over with a medium/fine polishing compound and rotary polisher. Once that was complete a good coat of synthetic wax was applied to protect the work.
Masking off after clay bar:

Close up of the paint afterwards:

Swapped the OEM shifter for the OEM M5 unit, which feels much better, looks great, and is not only backlit, but shift position is also individually lit as well.:

Also was able to locate a second set of wheels, allowing be to run the rear wheels at all 4 corners (square set up), and 10mm spacers in the rear to bring the wheels more flush with the fender.
The end result:
There are a few details to address still:

  • The rain guards/sills are starting to fade a bit. I think repainting them versus buying new will be the best approach.
  • The driver’ door handle (interior) is bubbling up. Ideally I’d like to swap the interior trim all together with an Aluminum set, but that is pricey. I may have all those interior parts painted professionally- perhaps a matte or satin black.

As it stands I’m planning to use the 4 front wheels for snow tires for this season, and am considering parking the car for the following winters…Not 100% on that yet, but if my long term plans pan out (supercharger, etc.) I’ll most likely have to garage it for the snowy seasons….For now, it’s still a Daily Driver.

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