New Project: Building a Mk5 Golf Country GTI!

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. 

In better days...

In better days...

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!

MÖMUS VW GOLF COUNTRY Mk2

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.

Mömus VW Mk5 Golf 5 GTI Country Build Project nearly Front Off.png
Mömus VW Mk5 Golf 5 GTI Country Build Project Front Off.png

The engine itself has been partly disassembled already, to see what happened to it.

Mömus VW Mk5 Golf 5 GTI Country Build Project Engine.png

Then the front fenders can go too, as they will be way to narrow for what what I have in mind here.

Mömus VW Mk5 Golf 5 GTI Country Build Project Fenders Off.png

We will be making a video series on the progress too:

Interior trim & headliner upgrade!

AN EXERCISE IN BEAUTIFICATION.

 

High time to update the interior of our E39! Being pretty pleased with how the exterior came out, the interior of the car looks a little standard in comparison. Since I can remember, I could never leave anything alone. From “re-shaped” toy cars (read: bashed up) to completely overhauled bicycles to cars. I have never left anything standard that I had in possession.

Every car I see or enter, my mind already starts: This could be lower, wider, or this could be painted that colour, let's see if this grille would fit… And so, the aubergine cabin of our Mömusmobil was the next victim. From the get go I was never a big fan of the wood. Even though the wood pieces don’t look like the usual plasticky nonsense found in most cars, I still thought it could be improved upon.

Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus wood trim
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus wood trim removed

With those out of the way, my attention shifted to the headliner. I actually like light headliners, as they improve the spacious feeling of a cabin, but having a silver-grey headliner in an otherwise purple and black interior does not tick any boxes. I shortly thought of color matching it to the aubergine leather seats, before coming to my senses and deciding on black. I feel like it would blend in more, with the top of the dash and door cards being black too.

Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner dye black removal
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner dye black removal 2

For the dying process, I used spray cans for textile dying. It’s a slow process that needs many layers to build up to a even, black finish. But it’s a fairly simple job, that leaves the factory, soft finish of the headliner intact.

Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner dye black
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner dye black 2

Next up were the now removed wood pieces that were sanded, primered, and then painted in a gloss black base coat with spray cans. To bring out the maximum possible shine and deepness to the paint, the compressor was used for several layers of clear coat.

Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus wood trim paint primer coat
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus wood trim paint gloss black base coat
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus piano gloss black wood trim paint clear coat

During the time that the trim pieces were drying, I attacked some of the trim found in the headlining of the car. I wanted these to match with the now piano black trim, and so they given the same treatment.

Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner dye blackpaint

After all all the painting and dying was done, everything was re-installed. The headliner can be a bit of a pain to get in and out of the car. But with some flexing of the headliner itself and laying the front seats all the way down, it will go through one of the rear doors. Just about.

Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner dye black reinstall
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner trim piano black 3

I love it, two relatively small changes in the cabin, just the wood and the headliner + pillars, and the interior is just like I want it to be:

Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus headliner trim piano black
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus wood trim refinished piano gloss black
Mömus Trim and Headliner episode 7 bmw e39 wearemomus wood trim refinished piano gloss black 2

Here is a video we made of all this process:

Next time, we are taking care of that little would pieces that remains in the centre console!

Next time navigation unit android bluetooth real good!

 

 

Chapter two: The interior of our E39! Intro & Clean

AN EXERCISE IN BEAUTIFICATION.


It's finally time to start on the interior of our beast! But before we commence with any of the mods, a thorough cleaning is in order. Now, the previous (and first) owner of our e39, specced the car particularly well, with electrically adjustable, heated Aubergine leather sport seats, sport steering wheel, sunroof, and rear sun-blind. It is truly a joy to be inside the cabin.

However, as with many cars that are acquired second hand, the interior is covered in a thick layer of years and years of use. Especially the steering wheel is a real eyesore, and looks very greasy, grimy and slimy. It also appears to have some harsh skin oils induced damage.

Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats M steering wheel before 2
Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats M steering wheel Before

In my experience, the most (cost) effective way of cleaning leather surfaces like these are with a magic sponge, a very dense, soft foam sponge that only requires lukewarm water. No soap is needed, unless actual oil has to been cleaned of the surface. Softly wipe it (not rub) over the leather, and dry it off with a microfibre towel. The transformation is unreal!

Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats M steering wheel after
Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats M steering wheel after 2
Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats M steering wheel after 3

Especially the colored stitching is popping again.

Gone is the shiny, nasty grime. The leather once again has factory like, matte finish and looks and feels soft to the touch. Of course, the damages have not been repaired using this method. But they are way less visible, having removed the dirt that was filling the low spots, and the greasiness on top of the high spots.

Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats cleaning.jpg

The rest of the leather interior parts were also cleaned with the sponge, to match the now clean steering wheel. The seats were then gently cleaned, again using only lukewarm water, and soft bristle brush. This way the cleaning was not to abrasive on the top coat of the leather, since the last time these seats received any care or protection was unknown to me.

Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats Before

Here the front of the seat has already been cleaned, and reveals a more matte surface. Even the color pops more.  After all the of leather surfaces were cleaned, a natural care product was applied.  

Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats After

Now in my opinion, vacuuming the carpet and the over mats is one of the biggest transformation to the cars interior. Especially with Harvey, our cocker spaniel, leaving white hairs all over the place. 

Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats Carpet After

We made a little video introducing the interior and thoroughly cleaning it:

We are currently working on refinishing a whole lot of trim, and taking headliner and pillars out.

Mömus bmw e39 aubergine leather interior sport seats next time

Paint and re-finish, the e39 reborn!

AN EXERCISE IN BEAUTIFICATION.

 

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.

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish process Gloss Black Mirrors

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.

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Gloss Black Mirrors

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.

Mömus BMW E39 m sport package body trim exhaust tail pipes tips

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. 

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver Lights Re-install

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.

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver spray gun primer coat

"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.

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver spray gun base coat painting v2
Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver spray gun base coat

To seal them off and achieve factory levels of shine, three coats of clear were blasted on top of the base. 

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver spray gun clear coat

And after a curing time of 2 days, they were finally reinstalled back on to the car.

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver Re-install

Along with all the trims.

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver trim Re-install

Quite the transformation:

Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver Final results Front
Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver Final results side
Mömus BMW E39 Bumpers M Sport Paint and Finish Aspen silver Final results Rear

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:

Mömus BMW E39 Aubergine interior facelift updateupgrade wood trim removal

Updating the lights! + Cheeky quad-projector mod.

An exercise in beautification.


Have I been waiting for this! The old-style, dull looking, pre-facelift headlights have finally made way for some updated, clear lens units. The new headlights started life as original halogen equipped Hella's. Before I took command of them, some LED bulbs had already been installed to give the angel eyes some more brightness.

Mömus BMW E39 Comparision facelift Quad Projector Mod Headlights Facelift

That's a cute mod, but nothing like what was in store for them. I'm a sucker for projector headlights. They can really make or break a (modern) car for me, just like a set of wheels and springs can. The by now 30 year old BMW 325i E30 had these things fitted as standard, so why are reflector headlights still around today?

I don't know either, but I can get rid of the dated look of these main beams by high-jacking the projectors out of the old units and refitting them right in here.

Mocking up.

Mocking up.

After some struggling around, and getting everything to fit nicely, the lights were ready to be sealed and mounted back together. 

Mömus BMW E39 Making Of Quad Projector Mod Headlights Facelift

To me, this takes the car to a whole new level. Mind you, BMW chose to only offer quad projectors from the F10 5-series on. 

Mömus BMW E39 Front Quad Projector Mod Headlights Facelift
Mömus BMW E39 Front Quad Projector Mod Headlights Facelift close up

To match the front, some "facelift" replica tail lights were installed. Unlike the pro's of choosing originals for the front (such as the shroud and halo design), the con's of original facelift tails were mighty. To me, hammering out the body to make them fit, was not an interesting proposition. 

Mömus BMW E39 Facelift DEPO Rear Tail Celis Replica Lights

These replica's do look a bit plasticky in real life. I'm currently looking into a way to hide that, such as a tint spray or foil. The side markers were also swapped for some clear ones, to match the clear indicators in the headlights and taillights. 

Mömus BMW E39 Pre Facelift Orange Amber Indicator side marker blinker
Mömus BMW E39 Facelift White  Clear Indicator side marker blinker

Finally, the license plate lights were updated too. I went with some LED versions that have a relatively subtle blue-whiteish hue to them. 

Mömus BMW E39 facelift tail light led license plate light

To see the modding of the headlights and the installation of all these parts, we made this little video:

I started work on getting the wheels off and to see how we can get this thing to sit a bit nicer.

Mömus Bmw E39 Next time styling style bmw 238 wheels and springs