With this type of custom work there's going to be seen and not foreseen issues that pop up before and during the build.
One of the initial ones was actually getting our heads around how to
actually pull this off with the overall concept of it looking good and
having a very high build quality. There was no way to use past experience
with no others having done this type of work to an M5, so very much unchartered
waters for myself and SRC team.
Now that the ute was back together with an extra 125mm (5") in the waist section it was time to see how the wider rear fender width that we wanted was going to actually fit. We knew that the wagons rear quarters would bulge out more then the M5's, but how much was a mystery we didn't really know. Normally a car actually gets narrower once it flows past the mid section of the car for better aerodynamic flow, but we had to still push the rear width out about 25-37mm (1" - 1.5") per side. This had to be 100% perfect as the effect I wanted from the shaved sides was a mirror look when painted.
One thing that seems to pop up in many custom shops, is staff leaving right when there needs to be all hands on deck. Some staff issues at SRC kept the guys left there taking on a bit more then they would have envisioned with more than one project running.
One slightly unexpected hurdle was getting the roof and the sails to work together to flow down to the tub. This wasn't really predicted in the early stages as being too big an issue, but became an issue once Shane got to see how if it was done wrong, would kill the look of the ute in a flash. The normal M5 ute roof is about twice as long once it was cut and the roof needed to roll down a bit more on the back edge for better visual flow. Once the roof had the right shape, Shane spent many hours trying different options for the sails so he could get the right look that pulls the two halves together.
How we were going to tackle the rear suspension was an issue in the early stages of our discussions. Once it was established that the rear shock towers were way to tall and bulky, there needed to be some careful calculation on what we could do that would keep the car/ute's factory handling but getting a better set up for the rear end.
It was not an easy area to do major surgery as so many things tie into
that area of the ute, so it was important to make this area very strong.
From the original position it's now 100mm (4") lower then OEM hook
The biggest hurdle so far (Shane's opinion) was the tail gate. He spent a few weeks scratching his head on how to get one to look good and function well. We had some issues that normal ute's don't have. Normal have flat doors on both sides so two hinges can swing the back door down with ease. What we had was a curve on the outside of the gate, so a normal two hinge set up couldn't work. Finally Shane decided that his single hinge in the center of the gate would be best. From there it would rotate down and back up locked with ease on that one hinge.