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  #1  
Old 03-27-2015, 02:41 AM
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New E53 Owner, comments and questions

Aloha from Hawaii,
I am the proud new owner of a 2002 X5 3.0 MT. This is my first X5, but my love affair with BMW's goes back 25 years and 18 cars. Most of those car were manuals so I can do 3 pedals. That being said, I having a little trouble getting smooth with this X5. This thing seems to be geared like a truck with 1st being like a granny gear in my Dad's '60 Chevy pickup. I feel like I'm always 1 gear to high then I should be. Cruising along at 40-45 I find myself finding 4th because I feel 3000 is not a good sustained rpm. Am I nuts to worry about this or should I just shut up and drive. The 3.0 is an absolute jewel and feels smoother at 3500rpm than most V8's I've driven. BTW, I really like this thing, best car I've spent any time with.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:15 AM
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Welcome and congratulations on getting a 3 pedal driving machine!

IIRC the low first gear is so you can still tow a decent load with the modest 6cyl torque.

I think the 04 - up 6 speeds are better.

The resident X5 manual owners should be chiming in with their experience, or go chat them up in the manual transmision registry thread.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:02 AM
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I'm not a MT owner, but there is a thread on swapping the diffs (both) to get a sportier feel.

Look for "diff swap" or something similar. Different versions of the X5 got different gear ratios in their diff...
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:48 AM
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:39 AM
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The facelifted 6-speeds are nice to have an extra cog for highway cruising, but honestly all MT E53's have a 4.10 gearing ratio and short first gear, to help with acceleration and towing.

Just something you'll get used to, I don't even mind it anymore.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaii_E53 View Post
Aloha from Hawaii,
I am the proud new owner of a 2002 X5 3.0 MT. This is my first X5, but my love affair with BMW's goes back 25 years and 18 cars. Most of those car were manuals so I can do 3 pedals. That being said, I having a little trouble getting smooth with this X5. This thing seems to be geared like a truck with 1st being like a granny gear in my Dad's '60 Chevy pickup. I feel like I'm always 1 gear to high then I should be. Cruising along at 40-45 I find myself finding 4th because I feel 3000 is not a good sustained rpm. Am I nuts to worry about this or should I just shut up and drive. The 3.0 is an absolute jewel and feels smoother at 3500rpm than most V8's I've driven. BTW, I really like this thing, best car I've spent any time with.
That's because it is a truck.
How do you think it can tow 6000 lbs from standing still???

Quote:
Originally Posted by David.X5 View Post
I'm not a MT owner, but there is a thread on swapping the diffs (both) to get a sportier feel.

Look for "diff swap" or something similar. Different versions of the X5 got different gear ratios in their diff...
would you have to swap front and rear diffs???

Welcome to the forum at least you won't have the frozen CCV issue to deal with.

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Old 03-27-2015, 12:07 PM
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Welcome. Cruising around at 3k is just fine. I'm usually at that or higher when on the freeway. But you also have the ability to shift to fifth if you prefer, it is plenty torquey.

As far as swapping riffs, you must do both. I'd keep the 4.10s given the general speed limit in Hawaii. I like the quicker acceleration, plus my E30 is geared the same way.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:03 PM
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My experience with the manual trans in my '94 325i is that 3000 RPM is almost nirvana. The car cruises at 70-ish doing 3000, and 85 pulls the needle to about 3500, and the car is utterly effortless at this speed.

Your X5 is as close to a truck as you will get in the North America market with a BMW logo on the hood.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:18 PM
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I shift out of 1 at about 1500 to 2000. It seems early, but the shift is the cleanest when done this early. Get the car moving, then shift and let 2 pull you up to speed. I make the 2 - 3 shift at about 2500, although in heavy stop-n-go traffic on the freeway, I find that I can pull 3rd from about 5 mph all of the way to 65 or so.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:52 PM
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Reading all that makes my head hurt. I just put mine into D and press the gas.
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