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Old 07-03-2019, 03:19 AM
BimmerBreaker BimmerBreaker is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Arid Zona
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Graham's BSM Aerodynamic Kit 4.8is

Hey Guys, I wasn't around here too long but loved my 4.6is for the short time I owned it awhile back! I bought my buddy Danny's 4.6is back in the day (build thread here) and it unfortunately blew it's motor and while I intended to rebuild it, the damage ended up being a lot more severe than we thought as we tore into it, so I ended up making the unfortunate, but financially prudent, decision to part it out

I loved the 4.6is when I owned it but had moved comfortably back into my E36/Z3 daily driving ways - I am in the process of S54 swapping an E36 M3 sedan and was looking for a parts car E46 M3 for an engine/trans donor. I found one locally, hitched my trailer up and drove an hour away... ended up the car was completely misrepresented, by "running and driving well" the seller actually meant "does not hold an idle, misfires, transmission is stiff and won't shift properly..." I could go on... it was crap!
Ended up walking away from the E46 M3 and decided to play the "what if I spent all the money in my pocket on something on craigslist?" game when I got home. Stumbled across this gem...






I contacted the seller immediately asking if it was still for sale... which was probably a little weird seeing as how it was about 1am when I found it The next morning though the seller responded and I asked about the suspension issue as the last picture on the facebook ad (not shown in the craigslist ad above) showed a "self-leveling suspension inactive" error on the cluster. He said it was missing a module and a previous mechanic may have stolen it. This was the first and only red flag from the seller though. Despite having the error, he said it held air and had new rear air bags and wasn't riding on the bump stops (that would not be fun driving home from Los Angeles)

Asked about the smoking problem that plagues these N62's, he said he's very familiar with it after having owned many E70's in the past and this one does not smoke at all after a long drive, after idling, whatever. A/C worked but was a little weak on the passenger side - sounded like it needs a recharge to me. I asked about the functionality of the windows and panoramic sunroof - all good except the rear passenger window. Not a big deal, I've fixed plenty of E53 window regulators. Tires - new in rear, fronts still good. Maintenance records present, other recent work done. No records of valve stem seals but seems they have been done if the no smoking is true on a 194,000 engine. Yes- 194K

I'm no stranger to high mileage BMW's (I own a few, and the average mileage is 203,000+) and the pictures looked nice. It seemed to check out. I didn't want to be impulsive, I needed an S54 for my swap... but every time I tried to find a reason not to buy it, the seller had a great answer, or the VIN revealed the perfect option list, or the carfax revealed a tidy, clean history. So I made a deal with the seller, he agreed to knock a bit off the price due to the faults mentioned and because I was going to come out pretty quickly - I agreed to meet him Monday after having contacted him Saturday. Which I totally understand after having sold a lot on craigslist... a quick sale is often better than dealing with a million more idiots just to get another few hundred bucks or whatever...

Anyways, I drove Danny and myself out in my 2003 525i wagon to go look at it, thinking it was probably too good to be true. Before the E46 M3, there were also three other cars I had locked down deals for and driven awhile to look at that ended up being bunk, including an E39 that Danny and I drove to LA to look at.
So after gassing up we were on the road at 7:50 am. Don't have any pictures of the drive out, it was mostly uneventful, but here's the X5 basically as I first saw it...



It sounded good and looked good, the seller had also mentioned beforehand that the only cosmetic defect worth noting were 2 dents on the hood and a scratch on the rear quarter panel. Both ended up being very small and overall the paint was in excellent condition. Trying to withhold my excitement I did a short test drive, testing all the features which all worked beautifully as described (knock on wood) before finalizing the deal with a big smile on my face

What a great drive - it ate hills like it was nothing, the 6 speed transmission meant the mpg was livable and when the sun went down the panoramic sunroof shade being open reminded me of my days in an M roadster. And oh boy - those comfort seats are amazing. I was in total comfort despite having totally forgotten about the lumbar feature of the seats

The new X5 and my wagon on the drive home



Made it home around 8:30 including a stop for In N' Out in California along the way. Not bad at all. Very uneventful trip overall, but had a "check brake light" "check rear light" and "check side light" warnings come on at one point, Danny behind me also observed a dim passenger side brake/parking light.

Love the warm glow of the stock lights on the Cream Beige interior at night



Normally I'm a little fatigued after a long drive like that but after eating a late dinner I found the energy to park my trailer, park my tow rig, shuffle all my outside cars around, then clean my garage so I could park my Z3 coupe outside and let the X5 remain garaged as it appears to have been for the duration of it's life



This morning... I woke up not feeling particularly well. Make sure to drink water kids, even on long road trips where you may not feel thirsty... it's important

Later in the morning... I drove it to a local A/C expert for a recharge - I can fix a lot on a car but A/C is one thing I don't do. At $30 for a full proper recharge, with it blowing icy cold now, I can't complain

Spent the day working at my shop and then picked it up from the A/C shop around 5. Swooped over to emissions...



Passed no problem. Of course. Popped by a third party DMV afterwards and got it registered and a plate for it.

This is the nicest car I currently own. The leather is practically brand new everywhere except the driver's seat, with the driver's seat only showing the faintest of wear. Trims are all in nice shape overall, some cracking on one or two but just the overall feel of the car... you can tell it's been taken care of (knock on wood!). The feel of the engine is amazing, the power just feels like there is so much there on tap. It feels like more of a difference to the 4.6is than you would think by comparing the numbers on paper. I attribute that to the transmission but who really knows



Spent some time with Danny (that's his 540i) before it got too dark throwing my license plate on and took a look at the suspension system fuse and the faulty brake light bulb. The brake light bulb was just loose - went to reach for it and it flopped around. Removed it, verified bulb was in socket correctly, reinstalled tightly in correct orientation - bright like the other side now and no more warning on cluster. Cool. Checked headlights. Angel eyes are out, there's my check side light warning. Nice, that's an easy fix and one more error message down! Last error message now is the self-levelling suspension inactive. Suspension system fuse was missing - reinstalled it and was able to talk to the system in INPA, I could raise and lower the front and rear manually - but for some reason, the dashboard switch does not illuminate and it still says inactive no matter what, despite INPA not showing any errors in the system. We had to get back to finish some work before digging into it too deeply tonight, but I am going to look into it more tomorrow.



Once I got home I spent some time cleaning my admittedly messy garage (my excuse is it's no longer a workspace, I work on stuff at the shop so the garage has become storage) to have more room for the X5. What felt like a super spacious garage space in the Z3 coupe suddenly felt very cramped in the X5. Oh and front plate removed as well!



Tonight I placed an order for the rear window regulator, all rear door clips because they often break when removing the door panel to access the regulator, angel eye bulbs, instrument cluster bulbs (the one around the odometer was out, so ordered all 5 to replace them all together), a foglight cover for the driver's side which was hard to find since it has the Aerodynamic kit and an oil change kit (Liqui Moly 5w40). Typing this, I realize it also needs thrust arms - has some shaking under hard braking. I'll order those too.
That's all for now!

tl:dr - yesterday I bought a 4.8is

Last edited by BimmerBreaker; 07-03-2019 at 03:53 AM.
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