In it for the long run...

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Brendan P
Posts: 208
Joined: Sep 19, 2011 3:24 AM
Location: San Francisco, CA

In it for the long run...

Post by Brendan P »

As I've mentioned in this thread about wanting to post photos of the progress that we've been making on our M5 conversion project, I figured after being a long-time lurker, it's been something I've been putting off for a while.

The idea is to convert this 535iS into a M5, while at the same time converting to Euro bumpers with an OE M5 chin spoiler and M-tech flares. Interior wise, the original plan is to use most, if not all of the M5's leather upholstery, as well as the map light mirror, heated seats, illuminated vanity mirrors, etc.

I'd have to find my older phone to get photos of what the car looked like prior to stripping, but here's what's been happening so far:

Project car on the left, it's been sitting for a while while we were busy doing a manual swap on another 535iS. The engine in the project car had already been taken out by then to give life to another car as well. The comfort seats made for a very comfortable couch during breaks.
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Initial stripping revealed a very nice body with solid sheet metal, minus some rust along the trunk seal area.
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Further stripping the car and preparing the sheetmetal to accept the M5-specific tabs/mounting brackets while cutting away those related to the 535i.
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Drilling out the old spot welds to replace the sheetmetal with the M5's - Note that this has an indent on the metal to accommodate the battery box.
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Swapped over the front calipers - At the same time, we serviced the pistons by replacing the rubber boots and o-rings inside.
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A little surprise message underneath left on some of the heat shielding!
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The front sway bar has been upgraded since a Dinan stage 3 kit was installed by the previous owner - In addition, the rear sway bar mount had been reinforced as well.
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Swapped over the S3.73 and added a new differential mount.
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The trunk and engine bay come back from painting; the exterior's been sprayed with filler/etching primer.
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The S38B35 awaits its new home, eventually once the engine bay's been tidied up a little more...
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Scraping off the old underhood foam insulation was tedious, but came off easily thanks to the 3M specialty adhesive remover. With the swap, we'll be using the M5's one piece hood liner.
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The existing firewall insulation was crumbling, so we decided to add some aluminum-lined heat/sound insulation. Thoughts?
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Replaced the clutch master; the previous owner had already installed the pedal box reinforcement bracket.
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Added Ed's steering box reinforcement dowel and welded the bracket, in preparation for the M5's quicker ratio steering box. In addition, we swapped over the M5's front subframe since it already has the mounting brackets for the head shield, as well as the slight difference in the steering lock.
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The interior's getting stripped out for some wiring and paint prep. The carpet had to be lifted to route the main battery cable, as well as adding the wiring that enables the heated seats.
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Battery box welded in and painted. Note the M5's specific mounting tabs for the trunk carpeting. Test fitting the carpet as well.
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Car received paint. Still needs some buffing/polishing to eliminate the orange peeling effect.
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The engine bay as it sits at the moment; I still need to install the AC drier and metal line, as well as finding the L-bracket that sits right behind the ignition coil that supports one of the A/C hoses. Note that for the oil cooler lines, the M5 had a cut on the radiator support compared to the 535i. After that, the pressure accumulator and lines need to be tightened into place...
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Bonsaibacker
Posts: 822
Joined: Oct 26, 2017 3:36 PM
Location: Savannah GA

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by Bonsaibacker »

Great work! Looking forward to updates and following. Thanks for sharing.
muleskinner
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sep 08, 2007 11:17 AM
Location: ATL

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by muleskinner »

Awesome. Look forward to seeing progress. Keep the photos coming.
kojo96
Posts: 372
Joined: Mar 31, 2019 7:39 PM
Location: Pleasanton CA

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by kojo96 »

A little history on this car for your records-

Original owner had the Dinan suspension done at A&E in the South Bay, I'm not sure if it was before or after DInan bought them out. Also, whoever owned the car was somehow connected to Dinan, there were sales brochures/Dinan marked chip holders in the car along with some other Dinan sales material.

The second owner lived in San Jose, he owned the car for a long time, I think it was over 19 or 20 years and the car developed an on/off no start issue. Marriage, kids and life forced him to leave the car parked outside and rarely driven hence the burnt panels. He had planned to get back to it but never did.

When I looked at the car it was starting then not starting and the day we made the deal it started and I drove it home.

First thing I did was to get the car on a lift and pressure washed the entire engine bay and undercarriage, that’s when I discovered writing on the heat shield, no idea where that came from but I thought it was pretty cool.

The no start issue turned out to be loose connections at the main relay plug/wiring. Once that was fixed it never failed to start, hot or cold, the motor ran really strong (as you know) and I thoroughly enjoyed the car while I owned it. It was an incredibly well balanced car.

I’m really glad it’s getting reborn, when your father bought it he indicated the plan for it, you’re doing amazing work to it and it’s going to be a knockout when it’s finished. I’m going to shoot out there soon to see it...
Adam W in MN
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Re: In it for the long run...

Post by Adam W in MN »

What a cool project and ownership history!
maybeillbuyit
Posts: 523
Joined: Feb 01, 2014 1:00 PM
Location: Vancouver BC

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by maybeillbuyit »

Nice work. Will be interesting to see a non black M5 tribute.
BDKawey
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Location: New Albany, Ohio.

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by BDKawey »

sub'd
Brendan P
Posts: 208
Joined: Sep 19, 2011 3:24 AM
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by Brendan P »

Note the difference of the hydrobooster line between the 535i and M5.
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Dinan springs with Bilstein shocks.
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Fitted the M5 front calipers. New pads and rotors will be on the way.
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M5 front sway bar bracket mount.
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Rockers and cams.
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New heater core and flap foam. Motor and cleaned up cages too.
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Modified the Euro turn signals to accomodate the 3-wire US markers.
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Seats. Sometime before we owned the car, someone had cheaply resprayed the interior. The front seats have been reupholstered.
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[https://i.imgur.com/xU0zpVv.jpg[/img]

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Main front & rear glass in.
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Trims in place.
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Nebraska_e28
Beamter
Beamter
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Re: In it for the long run...

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

This gives me flashbacks... Was the worst part of my build. Installing a new headliner looks great but such a pain.
Props to ya!


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wkohler
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Re: In it for the long run...

Post by wkohler »

This is a cool project. Looking forward to more updates.
BoogerEater
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Re: In it for the long run...

Post by BoogerEater »

wkohler wrote: Feb 25, 2020 11:26 PM This is a cool project. Looking forward to more updates.
Same as above...
Foonfer
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 18, 2015 11:33 PM
Location: New York, NY

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by Foonfer »

Great project, love where this is going. The color is stunning - is it Lachssilber?

Pretty amazing to see no rust on the rear bumper mounts. There must be some truth to those rumors you hear about cars from the Southwest and California...
SteveKerwin
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 16, 2020 9:42 AM
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by SteveKerwin »

"There must be some truth to those rumors you hear about cars from the Southwest and California..."
I wouldn't happen to know anything about that. Care to explain? :shock:
Foonfer
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Location: New York, NY

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by Foonfer »

SteveKerwin wrote: Mar 03, 2021 2:55 PM
"There must be some truth to those rumors you hear about cars from the Southwest and California..."
I wouldn't happen to know anything about that. Care to explain? :shock:
Just that cars from California and the Southwest rarely get rusted, or at least don't get to develop anything resembling levels of rust you typically see in cars from the Northeast. If you live in the NE like I do, you have to be really careful and avoid winter salt like the plague.
SteveKerwin
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 16, 2020 9:42 AM
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: In it for the long run...

Post by SteveKerwin »

Oh wow! I didn't know that. Thanks for clarifying! :shock:
cek
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Re: In it for the long run...

Post by cek »

Very Nice!

Keep it coming.
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