Let's discuss everything that's wrong with my BMW E39, in this week of the Cynical Car Guy! The list is rather small for a car of this "vintage", however, some oil leaks and other nastiness are starting to pop up! Get your Mömus on!
In this pilot episode of Test Drives present by Mömus - #stuffforcarguys, we race the Cadillac ATS-V on Spa Francorchamps! A delightful experience, as the Caddy behaves surprisingly well on the race track! We also take a quick look at the exterior and interior styling, and the all-round features.
Hey guys, this week was a bad one for me. Due to food poisoning it's been a slow one. I was in the process to take the head off the engine when it hit.
Luckily, I have this video to proof it. I'm afraid I did / do not have the strength to go through the photos nor to write a better update for this build, so please enjoy:
After a year of standing, it is time to revamp my GTI. After having the chain on the good old 2.0 turbo break, the car has been put inside our shop here at Mömus, to await its destiny.
First off, the car is a RHD. It was my daily when I worked in Ireland, and could not say goodbye. So it came back home with me, and shortly after had the breakdown. My first thoughts were to rebuild it as a track car, or perhaps to stance it out for weekend use only. However, none of these ideas really motivated me to rebuild it. It had to be worth it. Something different, something new, at least to me.
And one morning it hit me, a Mk5 Golf Country GTI, inspired by the Mk2 Country Golf GTI!
So lets get started. First thing on the to do list is to take the front apart and and disassemble everything needed to get the engine out.
The engine itself has been partly disassembled already, to see what happened to it.
Then the front fenders can go too, as they will be way to narrow for what what I have in mind here.
We will be making a video series on the progress too:
In this episode of the 'Cynical Car Guy presented by Mömus", the BMW E39 living experience gets dissected. We take our 528i on a little trip to see what is like to daily this 'sports' sedan.
Like i've said many times before, the head unit was about the best update we made to this car. Maybe I'm a media junky, but having any music / video I want on the go transformed the driving experience of our e39.
But there are a few things that bother me about the install, and the issues are all down to myself. At the time, I did not consider the back-up camera that came with the unit to be any use, other that being a bit of a gadget. However, the screen blacks out any time the reverse gear is selected, and the music / video is paused. A bit of nuisance to say the least. Especially because it draws my eyes to the head unit, and there is nothing there. It feels unfinished.
And so, I decided it had to go in. The wiring was a bit of a headache to figure out, especially since I did not want to cut or slice the BMW's wiring harness. Eventually I gave up, and wired it into to the reverse lights, as per the cameras manual. I tried a few other solutions, but the thing just draws to much current. At the front, it luckily is a plug and play solution straight in to the head unit.
With everything apart, I figured it would be the best time to install another gadget that I had ordered earlier. An I-bus USB key to finally regain control of the board computer functions. I-bus is the system that runs all entertainment in this generation of BMW's, such as the radio / navigation, phone, PDC, etc, and this little USB key would be wired into that, with the USB end slotting into the Android unit.
With an App especially developed for this USB key, the board computer functions would be available again. However, after wiring it in (tapping into the I-BUS wires on the head unit), the car started to develop all kinds of faults. First remote for the central locking stopped working, then the instrument cluster went down: indicator lights no longer worked, and neither did the blinker sound, nor did the blue light for the brights. Shortly after, the reverse lights were flickering.
Clearly, the Light Control Module was upset. And for good reason, the app also lets you fiddle with some setting of the car. I was really exited about this, as most settings were exactly what I was missing in the e39, such as a comfort blinker (auto 3x), coming home and leaving home, and locking the door when driving off. The LCM must have registered the foreign influences and shut down. Only after unhooking the battery, and de-activating the app, things went back to normal.
I contacted the company I bought the app from, to hear what went wrong. I then got a response that it must be because of my car being an "early touring" (1997 sedan), that the problem was known, and they don't really care. Nice.
In the end, I'm glad I installed the camera, it is a nice feature and adds a little safety. But I couldn't recommend the I-bus key with this app. It doesn't work.
We made this tasty little video of the install process:
This week, the Cynical Car Guy takes a look at various ways to inspect if the second hand car you want to buy was well cared for. Did the previous owner take the time to properly service and maintain the car? Find out now!
In this new episode of Mömus - Cynical Car Guy, we delve into the subject of buying and owning a used car versus leasing and driving a brand new car. What are the downsides? What are the upsides?
In this episode, we review the changes, upgrades and modifications made to our BMW E39! We take a look at the body work and m-sport bumpers, the facelift xenon lights with quad projector mod, the BMW style 238 wheels, the 30mm lowering springs, the headliner and trim, and off course the Android navigation head unit radio system!
The last little wood piece remaining in the centre console since the last update got whipped out to make place for an Android based head unit! It may seem just a small change to the car but is has got me excited as a little kid. There is just something about having that screen there.
Wether it's the fact that it still has this "exclusive option" appeal to it (especially in this 90s cabin), dresses up the interior, or just plain gives me something to do whilst sitting in traffic or waiting around for something: it all makes me very happy.
The install was easy enough once I figured out the wiring. Luckily all the cables and adapters were properly labeled. The head-unit came with a back-up camera, but I chose not to install due to the seemingly shoddy quality. The head unit itself though, looks and feels really rather nice.
The backlit buttons match wonderfully to the orange hue of the standard BMW ones, the design looks right, and even the knobs sound like the ones on the original unit. It looks right at home:
But instead of the tape deck monstrosity that was there before, I've now got Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS, DVD, and all the other modern goodies you can think of. I can't stop playing with it.
We made a tasty little video for you to enjoy the install: