After a lot of work the exterior of our beast is finished! The m-sport style bumpers have been repainted, and a whole lot of body trim was refinished to match the general facelifting that has been happening.
Starting with the mirrors, these were masked off together with the window trim to receive a fresh coat of gloss black. In my opinion, the e39 has aged rather beautifully. But the mirrors didn't. They look big and clunky. Gloss black should make them disappear and blend in with the side windows nicely.
The window trim was already matte black, as part of the sports package, from the factory. However, a fresh coat of gloss black will give them a nice update and will make the car look and feel more modern and upmarket.
Sticking with the gloss black as our new design theme for the car - gloss black on aspen silver - the rear diffuser and exhaust tips were attacked next. The exhaust tips themselves are actually adapters for toilet piping. However they fit really rather nicely and DIY is life. I love little mods and adaptations like this.
The facelift style tail lights were chosen, as explained previously, so that no modifications to the body were necessary, yet still updating the look. However, I wasn't very pleased with the way they look: a bit plasticky. Looking for a solution, I decided to go with a black tint. First of all, it would match the rest of mods nicely, and on top of that hide some of the plastickiness that was going on inside the tail light housing.
The side markers were matched to suit. Then on to the big job. The bumpers needed to be painted. Unlike the experiment on the doors, these needed to be done properly. So without thinking "They're replaceable anyway", I got to work. We're talking compressor and spray gun here. The rear bumper of Chinese make was unfortunately not primed, so it was thrown in with the batch of side and bumper moldings to receive various coats of primer.
"Side and bumper moldings?", I hear you ask. Why yes, this car is getting facelifted and how! Color coding these will make the car look a lot younger. After the primer, a couple coats of base went on.
To seal them off and achieve factory levels of shine, three coats of clear were blasted on top of the base.
And after a curing time of 2 days, they were finally reinstalled back on to the car.
Along with all the trims.
Quite the transformation:
We made a video of how we went about tackling all this work:
Currently we are working on taking the interior apart to go through a bit of a facelift too: