BMW Tried painting the M5 E39 in the elusive Chrome Shadow paint to see what happens. Here are some shots of the 1 of 1 M5 E39’s. The machine is still owned by the factory.
The Chrome Shadow color on M5 E39 reminds between a mix the colors Sterling Grey with a touch of Silverstone. The intention was probably not this settle color, but a more vibrant “popping” paint, with extreme contrast dark fall-off on surfaces pointing away, just like the Style 65 wheels have it. The most likely reason the car looks more “silver” than Chrome Shadow is that the clear coat is too thick.
The thicker the clear coat, the less the Chrome Shadow shows and this is an issue with the Chrome Shadow process, because to achieve a Chrome Shadow feel a thin clear coat is necessary, where a thin clear coat does not protect the fragile Chrome Shadow ‘silver’ dusting under the clear. Any aggressive detergent/shampoo (especially wheel cleaner) will eat through the thin clear coat.
Scroll to the bottom to see the M3 E46 Concept in Chrome Shadow. That car’s paint is a lot closer to (whatever) Chrome Shadow (people think) paint should look like.
This looks like a test to see what happens if a Chrome Shadow painted door has to be resprayed for a customer. The result appears that BMW themselves are not able to get Chrome Shadow right. Given the complicated and extremely unreliable (different results every time) process of painting in Chrome Shadow, BMW obviously scrapped the idea that they should offer this color to customers. BMW would not get a consistent finish from car to car, but would also deal with the impossibility of re-spray and paint repairs.
BMW M5 E39 in Chrome Shadow by E39 Owners Group members at Munich “Push it to the Limit” meet
Here you can see images of the M5 E39 in Chrome Shadow in Munich, in different light and shadows, to get a feel how it looks outside sunlight.
The painted door is obvious. This looks like a test to see what happens if a Chrome Shadow painted door has to be resprayed for a customer. The result appears that BMW themselves are not able to get Chrome Shadow right. Chrome Shadow is just a color of 50 shades of gray, with little to no consensus of what it really means to have Chrome Shadow.
Below is a M3 Concept that is painted in Chrome Shadow. The wheels match the body (it appears) much better in terms of color. The vehicle is located and on display at the BMW HQ/Welt/Museum.
Got to Autobahn and realized rear tires are not properly balanced. Felt there is vibration above 200kmh. I got the Michelin PS4’s mounted some time ago, but I did not do balance check before leaving. At 90-130kmh on regular roads the vibration could not be felt. Looks like the big-brand chain service station balanced the car to “He won’t feel it at 100kmh” style… both tires out of balance.
Worst surprise was that one wheel is slightly bent oval and not perfectly round, of course the shop where I got the wheel/tire mounted, did not even mention anything about this. This is why it is dangerous to take your car to “Pep boys” and “Autozone” or “ATA” style service shops.
In Germany, ATA and 5 other shops we visited on Friday morning in mid July said “Next time for tire balance is in August”. This was a WTF moment… WTF is going on in Germany? .. then finally 7th stop we visited, ARC Auto & Reifen-Center GmbH came through “10 minutes” and it was super fast and super cheap. Highly thankful because they saved my day/trip!
1939 Auto Union Typ C/D V16 520hp is likely the most insane car Audi (Auto Union) has ever produced. To have 520hp in 1939 when average decent car had ~50hp was absolutely insane. They did not manufacture tires wide enough to hook up all that power, so it got double rear wheels.
This one-off example 1939 Auto Union Typ C/D V16 520hp was saved by Mr. Kulbergs (founder of Riga Motor Museum) of Latvia from getting destroyed by Soviet Union. Personal possession/ownership (You will own nothing and will be happy) was outlawed during Communism and there are long stories (that are best re-told by Mr. Kulbergs son Andris Kulbergs) how parts of the car were hidden in walls of buildings so the Russians would not find it.
Audi did not have an example of the car themselves. When they found out the only example is alive and in the possession of Riga Motor Museum in Latvia, Audi purchased it for an undisclosed sum and as part of the deal, produced a (near) perfect replica of the original, that is now standing at Riga Motor Museum. This “saving the Auto Union Typ C/D” part of story is omitted from the spec sheet at Audi Museum.
Year got a slow start with the lock-down. 2021 auto registration only arrived at end of June, almost 4 months late.
Much needed oil change after Autobahn runs. I was worried the Liqui Molly 10w60 oil will be cooked and lost its lubricating properties, due to extended hard runs on the Autobahn and over 10,000km on the oil. Turned out the oil was looking surprisingly good for the km/miles driven and the oil filter (after careful examination) was empty of debris or metal particles.
Getting the machine ready to install ESS Supercharger @Driftdarbnīca, Riga, Latvia. ESS install means first doing rod bearings, and major engine overhaul. To get understanding of before and after Supercharger results, went and Dyno’d the machine at Dyno Systems, Riga Latvia on a Superflow Dyno, showing 379HP DIN @ crank (full info on the bottom of the page).
S62 Motor build for M5 E39 Touring Wide-body ESS Supercharged
Meanwhile @ Driftdarbnīca, Sergej Ananic was busy assembling his S62 for his BMW Individual “1 of 7 Atlantis Metallic” M5 E39 Touring Wide-body ESS Supercharged. The engine was completely apart to lowest common denominators just two weeks ago, and in 15-16 days of work, Sergej with help of Maris Rungis @ Driftdarbnīca, managed to fully assemble the newly sleeved, balanced crank/pistons/rods motor, ESS Supercharge & Dyno tune.
I showed up (late as always), but at least managed to film (and catch some of the emotions) of the final assembly, first start and dyno tune.
Note that the dyno was to check AFR’s, etc., and tune, not for power output testing. That will come later once the engine has been broken after the road trip.
M5 E39 Dyno test before ESS Supercharger install
Dyno’ed the M5 E39 before supercharger install. The car has 182,000 miles or 292,000 kilometers on odometer. ABS and DSC fuses 17 and 30 in the trunk were not pulled.. and 4th gear was used, while 5th gear is the direct gear.
The motor dyno’ed at 379hp on Superflow Dyno.
In regards to WHP, the machine dyno’d at: 318.72 SAE (USA) WHP 323.15 DIN (Euro) WHP
The video shows max power moment @ 6580RPM, the Wheel Torque @ 344.9NM which is 254.4 ft lbs. Then taking the imperial measurement system (ft lbs) way of calculating WHP from Wheel Torque and RPM: EngineTorqueFootLBS times RPM divided by 5252: 318.72 HP SAE SAE HP to DIN HP = x1.0139 318.72 SAE WHP x 1.0139 = 323.15 DIN WHP
The only sensors replaced in last 150,000 miles are MAF. Everything else is original and no other performance improving mods have been done to the motor.
The oxygen sensors were reading a perfectly steady 1.0, meaning no compensation was necessary and engine/systems were working perfectly on all 5 dyno runs.
The 379hp max power were achieved at 200.5km/h @ 4th gear and on 5th dyno run, as the stock cats needed to be heated up and each consecutive run gave better readings. The ambient temp outside was 16c and inside Dyno shop about 20-22c.
The car lost ~20hp in last 182,000 miles/292,000km- down from 400hp to 379hp. 5% loss in almost 300,000km of hard driving.
Overall I’m satisfied and right in-line with what my M5 mechanic Maris Rungis @DriftDarbnica predicted (378hp, when I asked him to place the bets) before the Dyno run.
End of video shows clip where we did a €2 coin balancing test on the M5 motor to check for vibrations. Stands still and the minimal €2 sway is from the belt-fan air passing by.
Next up is crankshaft balancing, new rod bearings & chains/guides, sensors/grommets/gaskets/o-rings/et. al. replacement and refreshment before charger install. After refresh probably will have PedM5 from M5Board tune the ESS supercharger to perfect tune.
2020 events took the wind out of traveling. Stuck with the machine in a small country while all the borders are closed. No chance of re-building the motor and installing ESS Supercharger as the lock-downs rage, suppliers and shops are closed. Spring time came and finally had a chance to do a photo-shoot of the new paint job.
Enjoying the new wheels. Made a mistake though, it was pouring rain outside the day I was to mount the wheels, brought all tires laying around, told the shop to put on the ones with good thread/best shape. Little did I know the rears they mounted were 265’s because that was the deepest threaded tires. 265’s bother me, since M5 E39 comes with 275’s.
The M5 was in dire need of something to do with paint and this is the story.
8 years of wear on satin black paint
In 2011 the M5 had the matte/satin black wrap removed and was instead painted satin black with the paint “Hot Rod Flatz” by TCP Global in San Diego. The paint was a single stage polyurethane paint that withstands small scratches and such. The car was street parked for next 5 years and endured countless hours of California scorching summer sun, road trips to Salt Flats for drifting purposes, runs across the South West United States deserts, Death Valley trips, inter-continental road trip across United States and Europe, 1000’s of KM at 250km/h on Autobahn, Nurburgring, Laguna Seca, various containers it was shipped in and other boat trips, and can’t forget the Eastern European dirt roads, among many other encounters. The Hot Rod Flatz paint held up, surprisingly well, the paint full-filled its purpose of staying on the car, but any paint put through all this would have suffered severely. The beauty with a satin flat paint job is that there are no swirl marks and the Hot Rod Flatz was super easy to take care of, high pressure washing all the way, every time and looked great afterward.
@Painter for Quick Sticker Removal
Initially the intention to visit painter Ainars Valdmanis was to only remove the stickers from the car. The painter was to paint the roof of the red Volvo when he said he won’t get it done before summer solstice and instead to bring the M5 in for decal removal, because that will be faster than painting a 3.8 square meter roof of a Volvo.
Los Angeles body shop shenanigans
Suffering 2002 through 2011 from restless repeating oncoming storms of Carbon Schwarz swirl-marks, the car was painted Hot Rod Flatz in 2011 in Los Angeles. While the paint looked and held reasonably well for the years of beating it took while being #streetparked… after sticker removal it was beyond repair. With sticker removal it was revealed that the paint’s primer was sanded and prepared at various locations with 1500 to 2000 grit and by so the Hot Rod Flatz polyurethane paint had nowhere to bite and came off with the stickers at various places. Problem was that the stickers only covered a relatively small portion of the car, what else primer shenanigans is below the Hot Rod Flatz paint?
I forget the name of the shop in San Bernardino, CA where I painted the car in 2011 in Hot Rod Flatz, the owner seemed very reasonable and forward coming, but obviously years later it reveals that there was no skill in the trade. The primer was so smooth that by looking at an angle on the primer, one could see a clear reflection.
Little story why hood is little different reflection tone than rest of car: The hood was replaced and re-painted in 2014 at Century Collision Center in Orange, CA. It took Century Collision almost two months to paint hood and bumper. After running over car tire back in 2014, I was trying to tell Century Collision owner that the paint used is Hot Rod Flatz, but the owner showed some arrogance and told me “We know how to mix paints”. After 2 re-sprays by Century Collision, then bringing a lawyer, 1 more failed attempt I said “fuck it” and took my car out of the body shop. They still would not listen where I bought the Hot Rod Flatz single stage polyurethane paint and insisted mixing their own. That said the hood never really matched the car, but very few noticed, and those who did where mechanics/and painters examining the car at their shop, but still it bothered me that I know. The M5, “fully repaired by Century Collision”, left the body shop first with lights pointing into the ground 5 feet ahead, then after me demanding they fix the lights so they point right, they got insurance to replace both headlights, and upon leaving the body shop the lights were tilted up about at 20 degrees from a horizontal plane, shining at tree-tops. Obviously, the paint was not matching. The Dinan splash guards for cold air intakes that were bent due to running over tire, were not replaced or removed, i was not consulted, but instead straightened with pliers best they could in 20 seconds, and various other ‘ fuck this shop ‘ type of errors. So that’s for Century Collision in Orange, California, which was recommended by M5Board, quite disappointing. I have only gotten terrible paint jobs and experience in California. Seems like no one knows how to paint anything.
Some of Details That Need Attention
Initial Plan of Quick Re-Spray
Having removed the stickers, it was clear that the car will need touch-up of areas where primer is showing through slightly, fix the dent on the fender and rear bumper crack. I then instructed the painter also to remove hood and trunk emblem. Let’s do quick re-spray of fenders, hood, trunk, rear bumper…oh yea the roof also been scratched from when car was in container from NYC to EU. Rear fenders too, and then what we got left? The front bumper? Slippery slope we got here.
Total Paint Removal/Stripping
Realizing it is not wise to re-spray the Hot Rod Flatz with new layer, when the existing Hot Rod Flatz polyurethane paint sits on a very poor primer layer, that is too smooth for the existing paint to grip on… realizing all that I went to help the painter sand the original layer off and scuff the smooth primer. Problem with the Polyurethane paint is that the 800 grit paper turns smooth real fast even wet sanding due to the urethane catching the sand paper. I tried using a 800 grit rotation sander and the sand paper lasted 4-5 seconds before turning perfectly smooth. Same with 400 grit. Realizing that getting that polyurethane paint off will be some challenge I went for the paint remover against the painters wishes.. he was like “Oh no, just not the paint remover” but I told him “Fear not, let’s do this”.
When totally removing the paint around the fuel tank area, it was revealed that E39 chassis has a hidden drain hole in the fuel tank area, seen on the right, where it was intended the water would run off and not accumulate and start rusting. This drain hole (which has no piping inside the chassis) drains straight into the metals between the chassis and accumulates there, which is not a good solution in any way so apparently BMW gave up on this idea and sealed that drain hole with some rubber compound and painted it over, and apparently on every single car this “mistake” exists.
Seeing the meticulous work the painter is doing on the fuel tank area and roof rails, it became clear that it will be a shame to paint the car Hot Rod Flatz after all this work put in, and that what needs to be done is to rather have the car painted the original color, which is BMW Carbon Black. Another push that tipped toward repainting the car in original color is that Hot Rod Flatz, no matter how decent the paint is out the box, matte black paints can not be repaired and polished when scratches occur. Unless the car is a show-car only, or total garage queen, then it will be driven, and then you will get scratches. The facts in front of me, I realized that I do not want to fly to San Diego to pick up Hot Rod Flatz paint, then ship it as hazardous materials to wherever the car is, and have exactly the same spray-gun with me (in order to get the matte texture to match) and try to match exact same paint/drying temperatures in order to get same shine, just to fix a scratch on the fender that could just be buffed out on regular shiny paint.