I have said already that the car went through some maintenance and restoration steps. It’s fairly ready for this summer season but still not perfect. In the following text, I summarize all steps that are coming. Not neccessarily before the summer but overall in the future. I don’t have to finish everything now, I have to have something to do over the winter, right? 🙂

So far, we’ve managed this:

  • Dead pixel fix (dials, MID).
  • IHKA/HVAC panel swap.
  • Paint restoration (polishing, re-spray on bonnet, bumper and side mirrors) + ceramic coating.
  • New parts installed:
    • Headlights + tail lights + fog lights (Hella).
    • Style65 rims set.
    • Exterior side moulding.
    • Door seals.
    • Interior edge protectors and M door sills.
    • Shift knob + cigarette lighter.
    • Numberplate lights + trunk switch.
    • Side turn signals.
    • GSM antenna.

Some things are on the way now:

  • New M steering wheel (post-facelift) + airbag.
  • New B pillar interior trims.
  • New steering column trims.
  • Eisenmann Sport exhaust.

I have been really heavily considering the steering wheel update. The car was made in 1999 but the previous owner already changed some parts to the 10/2000+ layout, namely headlights, tail lights and dials. And the only thing remaining from the original setup was the steering wheel. I would love to keep the car in total stock and original stage but it’s been already harassed with new things. Plus, the current steering wheel is thin, very wide and obviously uglier than the new M wheel. So I’ve decided new wheel wouldn’t hurt too much and placed the order. As far as I know, the swap should be just plug-n-play, no coding or electrical work needed.

For the exhaust I have to say the serial pipes are tuned just right. They are quiet when cruising and slightly louder when pushing throttle or the RPMs go above 4000. But it could get better. I could just improve the sound in the lower RPMs, to emphasize the character of the M5 and support the sound when going for the performance. In general, there are several exhaust manufacturers I could consider. The only issue is M5’s age and thus product availability. Removing US companies from the equation and some garden shed producers, I’m left with only 3 options:

  1. Eisenmann – still being made on order, 100% quality, stainless steel, pipes very similar to the stock version and precisely calculated flow. Road legal certificate. And sound!
  2. SuperSprint – still being made (even with manifold, x-pipe and muffler setup), high quality, every exhaust being dyno’ed, road legal certificate. But the end pipes look cheap and I don’t really like the sound.
  3. Akrapovič – they will create any exhaust upon request. Precisely calculated and modelled. But no certificate or homologation, plus the price, which is five times of both Eisenmann and SuperSprint.

So, I ended up with only SuperSprint and Eisenmann. And thanks to YouTube, where I’d spent tens of hours listening to all possible exhaust setups, the decision making was a bit easier. I didn’t want the M5 to become a shouting muscle-car or a dragster. I wanted something decent, non-obtrusive, yet slightly louder than the stock pipes. Therefore I was always thinking only about changing the rear mufflers. Nothing else. Because any other update (manifold, x-pipe..) just increases the volume. Besides, I’ve always insisted on a road legal certificate. Just to avoid any issues during regular road-legal check.

After having scouted hundreds of forums and watched hundreds of videos, I went for the Eisenmann Sport. Quieter version with certificate, which will provide everything I’m looking for, while still causing no issues on the road. You can hear it in the video below – from 0:44 mark. The difference between muffler only and x-pipe setup is obvious and I have to admit I really don’t like the loud version. Because the muffler swap only setup is IMHO the best. Now I only have to survive those 5 weeks of delivery time.

And now the list of the upcoming updates and restoration steps:

  • Roof side mouldings.
  • The glanzschwarz window trim + window seals.
  • New inner plastic trims for the door windows.
  • New center console.
  • New seatbelts in the front.
  • Fix driver seat sewing.
  • New button module for driver’s door.
  • New rear view mirror on the right.
  • New rear view mirror housing on the left.
  • New gearbox – just to have one spare.
  • General engine check and possible fix:
    • Timing chain + plastic guides.
    • Piston + cylinder check.
    • VANOS unit check.
    • Spark plugs replacement.
    • Rod bearing check and maybe replacement.

I may have forgotten many other things. I keep finding some imperfections regularly and I need to solve them. Let’s see how it goes – it’s only matter of time and resources. The good news is, there’s still a lot to do. And as far as I can see, we have plenty of time. And that’s what matters! 🙂