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I thought it would be nice to share some of the back ground on the M5.  As is my tradition, I named the car and she was dubbed "Phoenix".  I got the car as sort of a rescue project from Southern California.

As we already know, the car is a 2000 BMW M5.  When I acquired her, she only had 108K miles.  However, it would seem it was not always an easy life for her.  She had been involved in a front end accident with the damage concentrated around the lower front end on the driver's side.  In addition to this, her paint was suffering some pretty bad clear coat damage on it.  The interior though was somehow impeccable.  Also, from the records I was able to pull up on the car, it had a pretty solid service history.

I am the third owner after the accident.  Sadly, two owners prior, the repair work that was done on her was shoddy at best.  From the second owner, she had a Service Engine Light on, it was having pretty severe VANOS issues and some other other things.  My work was cut out when I acquired her, but I believed I was starting off with a good base - so I went for it.

I picked up the car in Southern Californie with my fellow BMW Nut and dear friend - Jeff P.  I immediately replaced the plugs with NGK Platinum 3199 Plugs.  This immediately improved things... a little.  There were still VANOS issues that really impaired the performance, particularly under 2500 RPMs.  I was able to make it back to Northern Californa - which is about a 400 mile journey.  The car performed very well above 3000 RPMs, this was symptomatic of either bad VANOS boards or units.  I was able to scan the error codes prior to the drive and it pointed primarily to the Bank 1 VANOS.

There were also other issues - front and rear bumpers were replicas, there still some under body damage not fixed right, missing under body panels, bad horns, etc.  I had my task set out before me, however I was determined to do my best for this car. 

Any-hoo..... I went ahead and started the work on the car.  I replaced the VANOS boards - I had discovered the VANOS board on Bank one was damaged, it had broken solders at the solenoids which was a common malady on the earlier engines.  The ealier engines had VANOS board covers that did not have locking pins or studs.  This allowed the solenoids inside to bang around a bit and cause damage to the solders. 














After that, I replaced the Front and Rear Bumpers, the exhaust system and a few other componets here and there.  The exhaust was such a terrible hack job it pained me to ever run the car with it.  UGH!  Or I should say aaargggghhhh!!!!




Validation finally came for the car.  It passed the CA Smog Test all by itself and with flying colours.  The car''s unique history and all that it's been through made it a "Survivor"to me.  I named it Phoenix after the mythical bird of fire that rises from the ashes. 

So.... this is a major part of why Phoenix is my choice for this trip.  Hopefully, she will "survive" this ordeal too. 

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