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Old 02-29-2020, 12:17 AM
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Picked this up last summer ... Issues and progress...

Last summer I picked up an E53 in really nice condition. Well, except the smell of mice and a bunch of little issues.

Car lived on a farm in White Sulpher Springs, Montana. Was parked for a while. I'm guessing a ling while. Then it was sold to a used car dealer. I talked them down a quite a bit because of the stink. It has sat on their lot for 8 months.

Gutted the interior including dash and headliner. Scrubbed with bleach water. Assembled. Set off chlorine bomb. 5 months later, just a hint of chlorine smell. No more mouse. There were mouse nests everywhere hidden. Above the fuse box, under the carpet, in the battery box, by the audio amp in the back, in the headliner by the roof motor, in the air intake box. Had a few wires to splice. Like 5 around the shifter to get the hazards, door locks and lights around the shifter now work.

That was a big project. There are a few things that went wrong. Plastics are old and break. But that's what a hot glue gun is for. Some screws were missing from some previous service. Now it's back together.


Parking Brake - nothing. Pull the lever forever and nothing. Shoes were driven on with the lever pulled. Replaced the shoes after taking a heavy mallet to the rims to remove them. Stuck on hard. Now I have a parking brake.


Car is cold in the winter. Engine doesn't heat. But the fan wasn't removable. Had to remove 3 allen bolts on the clutch to get the fan off. Found out the shroud can be removed with it in place. Since I cannot remove the clutch from the water pump, someday I will replace the water pump. When the engine is running, you can reach down and stop the fan. The viscous clutch isn't doing much.
Replaced thermostat. Now with a working thermostat, the engine warms up and the fan starts And it's warm inside - huge bonus. Warm engine means better fuel economy also - up .3 mpg so far. Even at 38 degrees F. Since the viscous clutch is shot, I will see what's happening this summer. If the aux fan is running a lot in the summer, I'll replace it.


Smells like gas when I fill the tank. Check engine light is on. Scan with INPA says a less than 1 mm leak. Fill the tank and it drips for a while. Not cool. Got around to pulling the back seat out again - I remember seeing some covers when I was cleaning the mouse stench. Under the driver side I see a wet dusty lock ring. Passenger side it's dry. Order a new fuel pump o-ring. Went to replace it and it just lifted up. Someone installed a Delphi replacement pump and didn't lock it down all the way. I replaced the o-ring and locked it down tight. No more MIL. No more fuel leak when full.


Front door windows wouldn't always open and close. Took the door panels off and replaced some cheap guides. All works now.

Driver side handle broke a few weeks after I picked it up. Found the inside part pretty inexpensive on Amazon and replaced it. Door works.



Outstanding problems:

Halogen headlights are not very bright on low beam. My ancient Chevy truck had better low beams. Enough that I don't like driving on the interstate without high-beams. I found some some HIDs, but also found an HID kit that would give me bi-xenon but without auto-leveling, I'll have to make sure they are dipped enough so with the vehicle loaded, oncoming drivers are not blinded with glare. I haven't ordered yet, but am looking hard at this...

Rear window defrost doesn't seem to do anything...

Rain sensor doesn't work. I hear there is a fuse that can be pulled but when washing down the interior, and washing the fuse label, all the text came off with the mouse shit. Great...

Headlights turn off after 30 seconds or so when dark and switch is in auto. If I wait, in another minute they will come back on and stay on. I usually just turn the switch on. But I'm hoping there is a better way...

Airbag light is on. No errors when I scan with INPA. But the passenger seat light "Airbag Disabled" never turns off. I'm guessing the switch is bad in the passenger seat. Maybe there is a way I can read why it's on? Maybe my cheap fleabay cable isn't working correctly so I've ordered another from a recommended vendor. Will see...But if anyone has ideas...

Sunroof was not working. I found the reset (press the button for 30 seconds, keep pressing while it cycles). Now it opens properly. But then, a few months later, when closing or opening the shade, it moves a couple inches. Have to push the button over and over many times to open or close it. PITA. Have reset it and still the same.

Want to replace the stereo because I want BlueTooth, Android Auto, Rear Camera. So looking for a replacement unit. Will a replacement break other things, such as fuel economy on the dash? Maybe one of the interesting Chinese units that fit into the space with the existing cabling...

When the passenger rear view mirror dips, it doesn't always work. But I found instructions here on how to take it out and clean the old grease out of it. Going to try that.

Someone put a UHaul hitch in the car and the lighting module is spliced in by tapping into the existing wiring instead of the proper factory plug. UHaul hitch has a horizontal square tube and it interfered with the two central Parking Distance sensors. So they pulled them. I've got new sensors and internal brackets. Need to order new hitch and outside covers. But the wiring harness is jank and when a trailer is plugged in the car won't know. So I'm still looking for a BMW original but haven't found it yet...


Want to press the unlock button once. Sometimes I'm pressing it over and over 3-4 times and the passenger side still doesn't unlock. I have to wait and then press to unlock. No logic on how long I need to wait. Is there a way to program the car (like I did with my Audi) so I can press the unlock once?


Parking Brake. There is no beep if I drive with it on like my A car does. Maybe that's normal?? I seldom use the parking brake and when I do, I lock it down tight enough that I will feel it, but if I only pull a couple of clicks, I can still drive and not feel it. I'm guessing the previous owner drove with it on and wore out the brake shoes that I replaced above...


Side windows need to be tinted...When I cleaned up I found broken glass around the rear - behind the rear license plate bracket. It's tinted already. It must have been replaced with a factory tinted window. Maybe that's why the defrost doesn't work...
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:45 AM
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Sounds like a great project - I love sorting out a neglected BMW..

I read from an earlier post your car is an '06 3.0 - Nice..You might add to your signature - How many miles ?

The OEM trailer module and harness are avail on EBay - not cheap - but a big improvement over that Uhaul wiring.

Your rain sensor (also a light sensor) is either faulty or there is a dirty spot on inside of windshield - or other occlusion. This is probably why your auto lights shut off...
You can also code out the rain sensor and return to a normal intermittent wiper operation..see below

Any haze on headlights? If so polish them up to help with dim low-beams. See high-beam light coding modification below.

I installed an Xtrons Android head unit- latest available in my 2 X5's and am happy with them.I still have steering wheel and cluster OBD functionality. But I don't use the Xtron to read any car data.

Coding: I use PA Soft - which uses a diff cable than INPA. I also use NCS Expert which uses the same cable. Either can do much of the coding you would like to do NCS expert is tough to get comfortable and can require a lot of German look-ups (NCS for Dummies helps), but since you probably already have NCS, why don't you try to learn it.

This is what I typically do:
-Code the unlock function to single press- all doors unlock
-Turn off auto 5mph door locking
-Turn of daytime running lights - if you want to
-Code the center halogen lights to turn on when you use the high beams- huge improvement
-Turn off rain sensing wipers and revert to intermittent.

Last edited by Effduration; 02-29-2020 at 03:03 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-29-2020, 12:10 PM
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Clutch fan is removable. It should be easy to turn when engine is cold and have some resistance when engine is hot if working properly. Probably a thread explaining the process here. Try searching--remove clutch fan or just clutch fan.

Aftermarket radios don't cause any problems. There are several threads of step by step installation There is one active right now. There are several different brands to consider, all android based I believe and all installs are fairly similar. If you have a system with DSP it is a little more complicated by many of us have been through it and can help if you get stumped. I suggest choosing a brand that has a US distributor.

If you don't have a service manual like the Bentley offering, doing all the things you are doing, I would purchase one.
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Old 02-29-2020, 01:10 PM
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Just as an aside, in case you didn't know, the fan clutch nut is reverse-thread.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:33 PM
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Oh, Tension strut bushings. Pulled them off and had new bushings pressed in. Front end still makes noise but not as bad. I think the Driver side strut is shot. Leaking a lot.

Stopped by a tire shop today and they had a look at the TMPS system. This car has an "indirect" system. No tire pressure monitors. The system simply measures the rotational speed of the tires. If one is of, it assumes it's low and sets the alert. Press and hold the console button to make it go away. Or set equal pressure and drive some 20 miles.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amancuso View Post
Just as an aside, in case you didn't know, the fan clutch nut is reverse-thread.
Thank you. I was trying to turn it clockwise to loosen - Clockwise looking at the front of the vehicle. Assuming too loose is left hand thread as viewed from the front of the vehicle. It's got all kinds of rust on it.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:54 PM
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Mod I forgot about. Since I had the interior torn apart, I re-wired the lights in the rear hatch, cutting the feed in the hatch and running a splice off of the rear right ceiling lamp. Now they come on when the interior lights come on and fade off when the doors close or when the timer expires.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:10 AM
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That's an interesting mod. Means the lights won't stay on so long as normal however, BMW made the tailgate lights stay on on purpose so you can use the tailgate eg tailgating and have lighting. The cabin lights will shut off quickly but the tailgate lights stay on.

I use the tailgate lighting often and if I really want to turn it off I just close the latch with my thumb. I'll hang a rope or something to remind me before I slam the hatch when locked
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DacidSalin View Post
Thank you. I was trying to turn it clockwise to loosen - Clockwise looking at the front of the vehicle. Assuming too loose is left hand thread as viewed from the front of the vehicle. It's got all kinds of rust on it.

I use the method of taking a big open end wrench pointing straight up and hit it hard with a 3-4# hammer to the left of the car (as you described clockwise to you facing the engine).

I made a YouTube video:
https://youtu.be/lozXFFwfok8
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:57 AM
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Op - PM sent
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