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  #1  
Old 05-15-2017, 12:55 PM
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New member, new owner- '03 4.6is

Hello all, just found the forum and it looks like there's a ton of good info and activity here! I picked up a 2003 4.6is this weekend, and decided to start an introduction/project log thread... I've always found it to be a good way to keep track of maintenance and whatnot.

This is my first X5, but I've had plenty of BMW's over the years. I currently have an '01 m5 and '88 e30 race car that I've owned since 2003. I sold my '01 Land Rover Discovery to buy the X5, mostly because I needed(wanted) a SUV-type than would be a comfortable hwy cruiser, somewhat fun daily driver if needed, and suitable tow rig for race car/trailer. To be honest, I hadn't even considered an X5 until friends let me borrow this one but it won me over pretty quickly.

'03 4.6is LN80030
Sapphire Black/Black Comfort
250k miles
Trans rebuilt in Jan '16
e46 M3 SMG wheel with working paddles
Magnaflow cats

It comes from a BMW family, and has been with them since it had 60k miles, I think they bought it as a CPO car. It's on it's 2nd engine, and I think the timing chain guides were done on this engine as well. Still need to find out the specifics on that stuff so I can have an idea on what it'll need next... For now, I'm just cleaning it up and enjoying it.

It has a few issues- nothing pressing but definitely things I'll need to address
-Hard 3-4 shift. This has been a lingering issue, and was a problem before the transmission rebuild. It's not a huge problem, but just an annoyance.
-VANOS noise- It definitely needs O-rings, but it's also a little louder that I would like it to be at operating temp
-Shocks are old
-Vibration around 60 mph. Doesn't feel like thrust arms, might be wheels. I need to get new wheels anyways because the chrome is peeling, but I think I'll have these road-forced in the meantime.

First chore- headlights. They were terrible. Didn't take a before picture of the left side but they were both equally bad. I removed the lights and wet-sanded with 800/1200/2000 and polished with Meguiars 105 on a rotary. They came out really nice, need to get some Lamin-x or clear coat them to keep it that way though.

DSC_0352 by Jonathan braswell, on Flickr

DSC_0351 by Jonathan braswell, on Flickr

DSC_0354 by Jonathan braswell, on Flickr

Post-wash

DSC_0359 by Jonathan braswell, on Flickr
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Last edited by Jcbe34; 05-16-2017 at 08:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2017, 01:11 PM
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Congrats! It's good to see another high-mileage X5 4.6 on here! Mine has 214k miles on its original engine— I rebuilt the chain guides + vanos, replaced OSV/CCV, and resealed the valley pan last year. The transmission was rebuilt by the previous owner. All it needs now is a transfer case and a front driveshaft, after that it should be rock solid.
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1995 750il | 2003 Mercedes S500 | 2003 540i/6
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2017, 01:15 PM
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Welcome! 250k on the chassis awesome!

4.6 makes a great garage mate for the E39 M5
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BMW X5 4.6iS Registry
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2000 E39 ///M5
2003 E53 X5 4.6iS - My Progress Thread
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2006 E83 X3 3.0i MSport - Gone but not far
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2017, 01:19 PM
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Welcome! I feel your pain on the downshifts. Mine has a harsh 2-1, I just stick in manual mode to help alleviate it but still annoying. Hoping WilliamX5 on here completes his 6 speed swap soon! Biggest gripe on my X is auto and AWD...... otherwise thing is awesome!
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'90 Chevy K5 (Full on monster truck)
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:06 PM
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Jonathan?
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00 E39 DINAN S1 //M5 (72k miles)
06 E53 DINAN 4.8iS, born 2/18/2006 (114k miles) http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...s-my-dslr.html
90 Straman Z32 TwinTurbo Convertible (my pride & joy, 1 of 44 ever made) Manual, 444rwhp/451rwtq
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:19 PM
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Welcome you I have the same year and and color X5 IS as well as a E39 M5.
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2017, 02:22 AM
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Welcome to the 4.6 family
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2017, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmv View Post
Jonathan?
Yep! I recognize your username from m5board, along with Danny. Seems that the X5 is a pretty logical companion to the M5, like others have said.

Thanks for the welcome, everyone. Really enjoying this thing so far, but I really haven't driven it too much because my girlfriend has really taking a liking to it as well. She sold her car recently and was searching for a Volvo C30 R-design, but after driving the X5 for a few days she's decided that we don't need another car. Fine with me, but that leaves me with a decision to make on my M5. It has 105k miles right now, and if I'm going to be driving it every day I need to decide if I'm going to keep this one and drive the value out of it or sell it and buy something that already has some miles on it. Really considering swapping it for another e34 m5.

DSC_0337 by Jonathan braswell, on Flickr


A little more regarding this issues with the X5... The 3-4 shift problem is on upshifts. I can make it better by using manual mode, but it still doesn't shift into 4th the same way it does into any other gear. Not super worried about it because I know everything in the transmission is mechanically good, but I will try to get to the bottom of it after I take care of the more glaring issues.

The vibration is the first thing I'm going to fix. I need to get tires balanced just to see how bad it really is but I'm sure these things eat thrust arms, I would imagine they would be even worse than the M5. So- what do you guys replace them with? I have sphericals on my M5, and they feel amazing but I'm not a huge fan of the increased NVH and they have also made the car hyper-sensitive to wheel/tire imbalance. I want to avoid all of that on the X5. Should I just use the updated Lemforder pieces? It looks like they made a new rubber bushing with some different plastic inserts.
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- 2003 Sapphire/Black X5 4.6is
- 1988 325is M54

Last edited by Jcbe34; 05-16-2017 at 08:47 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:17 AM
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There are some of us here with the M5 too. CleanIsFast, StevenVA, dannyzabolotny (a.k.a danny as we known), OptiMu5 (spell check?), AquilaBMW (aka Micheal, but he hasn't been on for awhile after selling his E53) X53Jay4.8iS and a few more I forgot.
If I have to drive everyday, I wouldn't get any other cars but the M5. Might as well compensate for the hassle dealing with traffic daily, right?
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06 E53 DINAN 4.8iS, born 2/18/2006 (114k miles) http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...s-my-dslr.html
90 Straman Z32 TwinTurbo Convertible (my pride & joy, 1 of 44 ever made) Manual, 444rwhp/451rwtq
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:34 PM
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Life's too short to worry about resale value— it's not like you have some super unique car that needs to be a museum piece. Just keep driving your M5 and enjoy it. You've already put a bunch of time and money into it, might as well drive it until the wheels fall off. It's always tempting to get something different, but that means getting into another basket of problems.

Though what do I know, I'm apparently crazy for selling my M5 and keeping the 540i touring haha
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1995 750il | 2003 Mercedes S500 | 2003 540i/6
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