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Old 06-09-2021, 08:34 PM
wpoll's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Posts: 4,000
wpoll will become famous soon enough
Originally Posted by kspark View Post
Dang. Yeah it seems like people either say no difference at all, or night and day.
If changing the rear sub-frame bushes makes a "night and day" difference, you left them too long...

I changed mine at around 200,000kms, as preventative maint. The old ones were still pretty good and the change made zero difference to the ride - as I would expect.
2005 BMW X5 3.0d (b 02/05)
2001 BMW F650GS Dakar (b 06/01)
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: PNW
Posts: 29
kspark is on a distinguished road
Entering 4runner territory...

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Old 06-10-2021, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 63
thstone is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by X5 Overland View Post
Dang guys! I love all of your builds! We are just getting back into travel after a harsh covid season. We converted our X5 into a tiny camper so me and my wife could travel safe and sound in luxury =)

Hey X5O, your build and YouTube video's were one of the inspirations for my build and this thread! Thanks for joining us here, I think that you have a lot of experience that can help us all.
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Salem OR
Posts: 3
X5 Overland is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Hey X5O, your build and YouTube video's were one of the inspirations for my build and this thread! Thanks for joining us here, I think that you have a lot of experience that can help us all.
Well that hits me right in the feels haha. I'll do my best to answer any questions you guys might have =)
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 63
thstone is on a distinguished road
I have a friend who has a house in Lake Arrowhead (about 75 mins north-east of LA) and went up there last Saturday to get out of the city.

I recently suffered a leg injury so we couldn't go hiking (as originally planned) so we did some trail exploration on the north side of the lake in the X. My friend has an AMG G-Wagon that sees more than its fair share of off-road trails.

There were some really nice trails, nothing too hard but challenging enough to make it fun. I am finding that the X5 has a lot more off-road capability than I am usually willing to chance!
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Old 06-12-2021, 03:47 PM
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 167
Henn28 is on a distinguished road

After a week of full on Sanford and Sons in my driveway, my E53 is back on tires and the sweet smell of a slow drip of coolant on a hot 4.4L motor is evident again.

Its still very much a work in progress, but so far I've
- Replaced the instrument cluster with a 4.8 unit and a reprogrammed DME from Pixels.

- Installed new Arnott air springs (found a slow leak on one), new rear subframe bushings and the FMU 1.5" lift. Lots of lessons learned in general and some trial and error since the "instructions" for this kit are a 8 minute YouTube video. A few issues cropped up like the rear shock bolts being about 1/8th too long (a few washers on each fixed this) and it taking me way too long to sort out that I needed to pull the front strut locating pin out so get the lift on the top of the strut. It was late in the day, I was tired, etc.

I threw the stock wheels back on for a test drive and commenced a lengthy battle with the self leveling rear suspension. Initially it compensated for the lift by dropping about 1.5 inches, so I added a new sensor mount that dropped the sensor by 1.5". Problem solved...not really because now the car is riding about 3/4" high in the back. Either the car came to its senses, or I suspect that my fabrication simply isn't tight enough to accurate move the sensor, given it is measuring angle on a 3" arm. Its good enough for now though since the car is going to paint (hood and roof) this coming week. I'll probably need to get the suspension recalibrated, or figure out which software to use and how to do this myself.

Other than that its riding very nicely with the new subframe bushings. I will note that my initial test drive resulted in a nasty clunk from the left front on every bump, which ended up being the swing support upper bolt that some average mechanic failed to put a final torque on in his driveway.

My average fabrication work below (identical bracket on other side):

In retrospect a longer arm would have done the trick more precisely I suspect, except I was worried about crafting a robust enough attachment point(s) on a lower arm which would still allow for free play.

I've got three new wheels and tires ready to go on the car, but there was an issue with the fourth during mounting. Looks like a defective tire, so hopefully Tire Rack will see it that way too.

After the paint job I've got a fuel filter and oil change job to do, two window regulators/clips to fix, a lower radiator hose to install and a Pioneer unit to install, if it ever gets off of backorder at Crutchfield. I also want to get a look at the timing chain guides (camera down the oil filler) and at a minimum put a new tensioner in.
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:56 PM
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Washington
Posts: 135
plasstik is on a distinguished road
Good job on the fabrication

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Old 06-14-2021, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 11
Mr.Couch is on a distinguished road
that looks awesome!
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Old 07-08-2021, 06:56 PM
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 167
Henn28 is on a distinguished road
Overland build update

Just got my '02 4.4i back from paint and fitted wheels and tires finally. The Method 701 wheels are 16 inch and happily come in a 5x120, but only 16 inch. Thus the calipers in front were catching the inside of the wheels by a hair. A little judicious angle grinding at the one specific spot on the calipers and the rubbing is almost gone. A bit more tomorrow. The tires are about 31.2" and rub the wells a hair at almost full lock. Some work with a heat gun to reshape the wells where they rub should fix that.

The car is basically back together with some new seals and weather-stripping, but I have some clean-up to do as I chase down squeaks and rattles that were not there before I lifted it and monkied with the ride height, etc. The ride height isn't perfect in the back yet but I'll keep tweaking it.

I've got a right front axle to put in this weekend, a fuel filter and a lower radiator hose, in addition to some new fasteners and stupid window regulator clips to replace failing ones, for the millionth time.

The motor refresh is the big job I've been researching and avoiding. I'm looking for the perfect 4.6 to drop into the car, but will end up settling for one that needs work. My plan is to keep all the 4.4 mechanicals (diffs and tranny) and have my DME remapped to work better with the 4.6. Much more to follow.

After the mechanicals I'll return to the cosmetic. I've got an idea for a spare tire carrier in the back and perhaps a front brush bar. My awesome Kenwood AV receiver is still in the ether, a victim of the chip shortage.

Update: I spent the morning angle grinding the high points off the back of the calipers, a few points on the dust shields and the corners of the control arms. They were only hitting the inside of the rims by probably less than a 32nd, but you could definitely hear it. I also took a heat gun to the well wells at 9 and 3 oclock where the tires were rubbing just a bit at the locks and made a deeper well for them to fit into when at the locks.

Last edited by Henn28; 07-09-2021 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:43 PM
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 167
Henn28 is on a distinguished road

Its been a slow couple weeks for my project after getting it back from paint. The heat here in the deep south tends to suck the life-force out of me this time of year.

I did make some mostly overdue maintenance progress on my X5 project including:
- oil change with high mileage synthetic
- aborted fuel filter change, after dropping the protective guard with 4,321 bolts, due to wrong filter received from Pelican
- subframe bushings
- a right front axle
- 4 wheel alignment
- more monkeying with the rear ride height- not perfect, but getting there I hope. There seems to be about .5" to 3/4" of slop in the system from side to side which is driving me nuts. I probably need to suck it up and install ISTA, and learn how to use it.
- a pax side window regulator and new clips on both front windows

I'm holding off on installing a new lower radiator hose and a timing chain tensioner I was planning on putting in because I purchased a 4.6 to swap into my 4.4i. Sort of making it up as I go along because the motor will need work, I don't have a garage and I certainly don't have a lift. I've got some time to think about it while I wait for it to arrive (if it arrives) in several weeks and I see what I'm dealing with.

I still need to get some roof x rails to hold my Thule box at highway speeds, upgrade the factory audio if the chip shortage ever lessens, and work out how to integrate a rear spare tire carrier that looks like it came with the car.

post hood and roof paint.

Last edited by Henn28; 07-22-2021 at 08:54 PM.
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