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Old 03-30-2015, 08:17 AM
Deansbimmer Deansbimmer is offline
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Location: Texas
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New X5 4.4 Owner Resto *long thread with pic dump*

Hey everyone! I've wanted an X5 for a long time, with a need growing lately as driving my supercharged 98 M3 sedan is not very economical for daily use. I'm online on Bimmerforums and M3post but I thought it would be cool to talk about my X5 here on the outpost so here we go!

It all started when I thought I found a steal when an 03 V8 with sport package popped up on Craigslist for $2300 non running, listed as a fuel pump failure. I got on the phone and told him I'd buy it, so he held off the other buyers and I drove two hours to pick it up.

When I arrived I could tell the games had begun because he had pulled the battery out "because he wanted to keep it". I would have brought my jump box had he told me so I could test the electrics, etc, but I knew it wasn't a runner so I continued to pay and load it up. It was raining, cold, and dark- great car buying weather.



So the next day, once home, I hook up a new battery and crank it over to feel it out. She's not a bad looker...





Listening to it I immediately know it was not a fuel pump issue, the engine was slow to crank and sounded like it had no compression strokes, so I immediately think head gasket. I did a quick compression test and quit after three cylinders had 5psi compression. I knew I was pulling a head to investigate.

So far so good... There was evidence of overheating with coolant residue around the reservoir and hood liner, and the previous owner had obviously been chasing it down for years as the cooling system had new parts all over- hoses, radiator, reservoir, etc...no part was over a couple years old...


Then I pull the head off and found carnage. Every cylinder had irreparably severe scoring... Oh boy I though...


So I think about my options... Obviously the seller knew the engine was fried and tried to mask it. I post it back on CL for what I paid, but being honest about it needing an engine....No takers for a few days. So I decided not to part it out, but to put a new engine in it. Thus begins the Saga.

I get online and look for a good engine. I have seen them grow on trees lately these 4.4's, but of course now that I need one it seems the sources have dried up. Shipping one in was proving to be the only option but I wasn't ready to pay over 2 grand for a tired engine with 100k miles or more.

I found a local yard an hour away selling what sounded like a steal- a 90k mile BMW 740iL "long block" for $700. I talk to the yard and he describes a low mile great running engine, but without the peripherals, oil pan, or intake, all wrapped up in plastic and stored indoors. Perfect, just what I was looking for. I get there and found I had been once again, duped. The engine was under a lean-to metal shed, under a bedsheet, covered in dirt and dust- no timing case, oil pan, intake, or valve covers. Completely open to the elements! I have words with the guy I talked to on the phone and tell him I drove almost two hours in traffic to find a block worth nothing more than a core refund. I told him I'd buy it at a much lower price IF I can pull the heads to check the bores for water damage. He (quite reluctantly) agreed. Of course I find damage as two cylinders were sitting in water and had rusted rings, along with timing chain rail failure (didn't skip timing though).

Lacking any other options at the time I decided to take it home with me, I had quite the sour stomach on the drive home, wondering if I had made another big mistake. I am too embarrassed to post pics of the engine as I received it, but here is one of the heads to give you an idea...


Now I plan a full engine rebuild. To give some background, I am a tech and BMW parts guy by profession and work on BMWs and built my ///M cars from the ground up and am no stranger to building engines, so I dig in. I get my wish list together and start getting all the parts together. In the down time waiting for parts, I pull the old block. So much oil leakage... Goodness...







In removing everything, I find completely worn out brakes, CV axles, front driveshaft, flex disc, and various hoses, so I add all those to the list, turning this into more of a resto.
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