Changing wheels

With the coming of the E39 530i, it’s the first time in more than 10 years that I have owned separate winter and summer sets of tyres and wheels for a car. Not wanting to deal with the hassle of driving to a workshop to have them change the wheels, […]


Porsche 911 (996)   Recently updated !

History The introduction of the 996-model Porsche 911 in 1997 was not universally seen as a good thing. Not only did 911 lovers have to live without an air-cooled engine, but also have to accept the “fried egg” headlights that Porsche carried over from the Boxster as a cost-cutting measure. […]


Fender American Ultra Stratocaster   Recently updated !

Usually, new product announcements are made around either the Summer or Winter NAMM show, but Fender chose early November to release the Ultra range of guitars. The Ultra replaces the Elite as top-of-the-line regular (i.e. non-Custom Shop) range. Models available are the Stratocaster (SSS and HSS), Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Precision, and […]


Review: Marshall Origin 50C   Recently updated !

How I arrived at this amp is described here. When Marshall introduced the Origin at the 2018 winter NAMM show, there was much rejoicing: Marshall seemed to finally deliver what many people had been waiting for: an affordable Plexi-style amp. When the specifications became known and the first videos turned […]


The 530i: i-bus interface

My E39 530 came with an Xtrons PX5 Android radio installed. While I’m all about originality (and thus got the original head unit, too), I actually enjoy the features that this radio provides: Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free kit, and a reversing camera. The downsides are that, by default, there’s no […]


The 530i: Parts are in

The first parts deliveries are in. My local BMW dealer supplied the missing baggage straps and the cracked footrest. Filters and a new fog light were ordered online. Someone devised this fancy contraption for replacing the original screw for the tool kit, even though the parts (screw and thread insert) […]


Leather seat restoration

My compact‘s driver’s seat shows typical signs of wear, as one would expect of a 17 year old car. Luckily, it has leather seats. Textile fabrics will simply rip at some point, requiring complete recovering. Leather is much more robust, and the wear is often a superficial discolouring. I ordered […]


The 530i: Fixing the sunscreen

My 530i is equipped with roll-up sunscreens, consisting of an electric sunscreen for the rear window and manual sunscreens for the rear door windows. These consist of two parts, a vertically moving part for the main window and a horizontally moving part for the small triangular window. The latter wouldn’t […]


The 530i: Status Quo   Recently updated !

Buying a car in the Netherlands is so easy. Whereas in Germany you need to go to a Landratsamt (district office) and might need new license plates, here buyer and seller go to the postal office, the seller shows a nine-digit code and the car’s license card (which is then […]


BMW E39 OEM wheels

The E39 is a bit special in regard to wheels, as it has a hub diameter of 74.1mm where most BMWs have a hub diameter of 72.6mm. This means that there is less choice than with other BMW types. Nevertheless, BMW has sold quite a number of different wheel styles. […]


Buying a BMW E39 5-series

When I bought my E46 compact two and a half years ago, the reasoning behind the choice was that I wanted a low mileage car, two doors were sufficient, and it had to be manual transmission for eventual track use. Since then, the requirements have changed. Not only does my […]


Building a DIY Guitar FX pedal

There’s a multitude of guitar FX pedals out there, but many of them are quite expensive. For those with some technical skill and a soldering iron, there’s an alternative: building your own pedals from a kit. A large selection of kits is sold by Musikding, and I recently ordered the […]