First off congrats on the F10 and I'm sure you'll love it. My first BMW was a 2005 E60 530i and I think I remember you from e60.net as well. The F10 is a completely differnent car in my opinion compared to the E60. I little more luxurious and less sporty like the E60.
Anyways I've tried my best to answer your following questions. Feel free to ask anything else here cause there's a lot of helpful members on this board.
I am REALLY hopeful that some of you will have some opinions and guidance on some of my more pressing questions that I haven't been able to confirm via diligent searches of the forum:
1. The manual shift knob is an absolute joke. How BMW found it advisable to use such a junky piece of plastic in a car like this is beyond me. I am strongly leaning toward replacing with the illuminated M5 shifter, but I am wondering if: a) there is power nearby to tap into for illumination; and b) if this is truly a plug and play situation in terms of fitment. It seems like the M3 guys have modified the boot to work for them, but I doubt that would apply to us F10'ers, right? I am looking to pick up this one
I'm sure there is a power source there and that's would be a cool conversion but I drive an automatic
2. I have the sport steering wheel, but since my car is not an M-sport, my lower trim piece doesn't have the /M logo. Can I simply replace the trim piece with a /M branded version? I see how to take the airbag out and unscrew the existing trim piece, just need confirmation it's that easy.
Yes is as simple as popping out the airbag and swapping out the trim.
3. My car has illuminated door sills, which is pretty sweet, but I am wondering if an /M logo'ed version exists that plug and play? It seems like the M-sport sills were branded but NOT illuminated?
I have the M sport door sills and they don't illiminate. I wonder is that's part of the ambiant lighting package which I don't have.
4. I have contacted Gary Lo at Suvneer about a rep M-sport body kit and it seems like a fantastic deal. I would love to hear about positive experiences that y'all have had with his product. Saving funds here will allow me to get the wheels I want sooner. Also wondering if someone sells a kit of clips/adapters/etc. that Gary's stuff kit doesn't include?
Yes the replica Msport kits are almost identical to OEM and there's many venders online selling quality kits. I've seen many in person and can't tell the difference between OEM and replica kits. Replica is a huge was to save $$$.
5. Speaking of wheels, it seems like the Avant Garde M510s get mixed reviews. The roads here in N.C. are fantastic, so I am not so concerned about potholes, but I have seen examples of pitting and that does concern me. Any opinions or reviews -- I will go with 21s -- would be greatly appreciated.
The only problem in my opinion for the Avant Garde M510's are the front wheels. They almost have no concavity compared the the rears. I had them on my wife's e93 and opted to go with 9.5's all around to get full concavity. I don't think that's an option to run 10.5's all around on the F10. Forgestar has the CF10's in a 21" setup which are really nice. PM if you have any further questions on wheels
6. Has anyone customized their headlights? Cracking open the E60's for angel eyes mods is all the rage, but I am more interested in blacking out the F10 inner housing to match the other black mods I intend to accomplish. Opening these lights is not for the faint of heart, so I was wondering if any forum members have started specializing in this yet.
The F10 already has LED rings which I don't think it's nessacary to upgrade. I've seen one F10 here in Socal have it done along with black out house and it looks pretty cheap to me. If you're looking for a tint maybe look into LAMIN-X for a light tint you can cover the headlights with