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  #21  
Old 11-19-2023, 06:07 PM
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Does yours have a AIV intake tube on it? I just realized mine does not. I do have one that was ordered. I'll be installing it on the intake. If it's missing, your vacuum leak could be there.
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'06 X5 3.0i - bought @143,123 miles (12/26/20)

Last edited by X5chemist; 11-19-2023 at 07:03 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-19-2023, 09:58 PM
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I'll probably replace all the rubber parts, anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by X5chemist View Post
Does yours have a AIV intake tube on it? I just realized mine does not. I do have one that was ordered. I'll be installing it on the intake. If it's missing, your vacuum leak could be there.
Yep, but I wasn't happy about the fit (IIRC, sorta loose two years ago). I might have to get another (plus other parts) after the smoke test.

By the way, it seems the real (not my homemade junk) smoke tester I ordered went missing before it reached me, so it might be awhile.
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01 BMW X5 E53 3.0i, 5L40E, 7/13/01
topas-blau, Leder-Montana grau

Here:
14 Lexus ES350 3.5L, U660E
09 HHR Panel 2.2L, 4T45E
04 Chevy 2500HD 6.0L, 4L80E
98 GMC Sierra 1500 5.7L, 4L60E

Gone:
66 Chevelle Malibu 2dr, 327>427c.i., TH350>PGlide/transbrake
08 Cobalt Coupe 2.2L, 4T45E
69 & 75 C10s, 350c.i., TH350
86 S10, 2.8l V6, 700R4
73 Volvo 142 2.0l, man4
73 VW SuperBeetle 1.6l, man4
64 VW 1.2l, man.4
67 Dodge Monaco 500 2dr, 383 c.i., A727
56 Chevy 210 4dr, 265 c.i., PG
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  #23  
Old 11-25-2023, 04:30 PM
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I think I've got a smoke tester that'll work! finally

17 days ago I showed three smoke testers for around $75 each, that I liked, after perusing Amazon & Ebay for a long time. https://xoutpost.com/1234590-post14.html

I had tried to repair my home-built tester, but the replacement heat source (another old soldering iron, like the first) didn't last but a minute, so I decided to quit wasting time and money on my own handiwork, and buy a commercially-marketed unit.

I waited nine days before I ordered one from my short list, and five more days for it to be delivered (it went missing for a couple). It arrived with the heater element broken. I wasn't sure if it had been damaged in transit (while it was missing), though the packaging looked pristine, or if the seller had lousy quality control.

I contacted both Amazon and the seller, and another unit was sent...broken in the same fashion (heat wiring broken/missing). I was told to keep the first (by the seller) and return the second (by Amazon...I don't understand why not return both?), and I was promised a discount once I purchased another brand (as compensation for my time spent waiting for the testers to arrive, and 1.5 hours of my time invested on phone calls and chats with them).

So, I just received the AutoLine Pro Automotive Smoke Machine, which was listed for $102 on 11-23-23 (as a Black Friday special...down from $120). My promised discount/compensation will be the difference between what I paid for the non-functional unit(s) and the $102 sale price of the other brand. P.S. the new Cyber Monday price has dropped to $95...maybe I can renegotiate?

Name:  Autoline tester.JPG
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This Autoline unit is built much better than the AKWH units, which I had bought thinking that they were just cheaper clones ($44 cheaper, at that time) of it. I guess you get what you pay for sometimes, since the Autoline is sturdier, sealed better, packaged better, and was inspected/sealed/initialed before shipping. Though the AKWH seller was nice/generous/apologetic, he'd be better served by hiring a product inspection/quality control team.

I was trying to save a few bucks (to spend on parts) by buying an offshore product, instead of the made-in-USA Autoline unit that it was a copy of. It was the Autoline unit that I'd really wanted, but again, I was on a fool's errand trying to save money.

Still, I'm actually hesitant to test it anyway, since I'm somehow feeling jinxed at this point.

And, by the way, with everyone on all the various BMW forums always pushing for smoke testing, why have I never seen anyone ever give a product review or recommendation for a smoke tester?????
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01 BMW X5 E53 3.0i, 5L40E, 7/13/01
topas-blau, Leder-Montana grau

Here:
14 Lexus ES350 3.5L, U660E
09 HHR Panel 2.2L, 4T45E
04 Chevy 2500HD 6.0L, 4L80E
98 GMC Sierra 1500 5.7L, 4L60E

Gone:
66 Chevelle Malibu 2dr, 327>427c.i., TH350>PGlide/transbrake
08 Cobalt Coupe 2.2L, 4T45E
69 & 75 C10s, 350c.i., TH350
86 S10, 2.8l V6, 700R4
73 Volvo 142 2.0l, man4
73 VW SuperBeetle 1.6l, man4
64 VW 1.2l, man.4
67 Dodge Monaco 500 2dr, 383 c.i., A727
56 Chevy 210 4dr, 265 c.i., PG

Last edited by workingonit; 11-25-2023 at 06:36 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-25-2023, 06:11 PM
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I have never done a smoke test and don't have a smoke tester but may eventually buy one so I appreciate you sharing your experience and look forward toward your review
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  #25  
Old 11-26-2023, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workingonit View Post
And, by the way, with everyone on all the various BMW forums always pushing for smoke testing, why have I never seen anyone ever give a product review or recommendation for a smoke tester?????
It's a troubleshooting thing. I've never done or needed one. I've usually find vacuum loss parts fairly quick. However, those are domestic cars. BMW has a lot of places for issues. The intake itself can crack. With so many possible areas of vacuum loss, I would save time and have it smoked before I spent hours trying to find a small leak. I just put mine back together after a coolant refresh. Plus, CCV and associated hoses. I used grease on all o rings. I made sure all connections snapped into place. One connection kept coming off. I couldn't get it to snap into place. A little grease and more push snapped it into place. Another 50-100 miles will tell me if I screwed up or missed a connection somewhere.

Good luck!
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'06 X5 3.0i - bought @143,123 miles (12/26/20)
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  #26  
Old 11-26-2023, 01:21 AM
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"too many hoses and gaskets, the X5 has" -Yoda

Quote:
Originally Posted by X5chemist View Post
... I've usually find vacuum loss parts fairly quick. However, those are domestic cars. BMW has a lot of places for issues. The intake itself can crack. With so many possible areas of vacuum loss, I would save time and have it smoked before I spent hours trying to find a small leak....
I've been working on cars since 1966, when there were few vacuum leaks (if any), and were easy to find. I learned to tune most of them with only a timing light and vacuum gauge (+ a dwell meter, if one was available, back in the points ignition era; I haven't had a points ignition vehicle since '96, when I converted my '69 C-10 to HEI).

As for finding vacuum leaks (anywhere near or leading to the intake), I always used carb cleaner or starting fluid, or on other leaks (like to the brake booster or vacuum-powered windshield wipers...on pre-60's GM cars) I preferred to use soapy water. I've never had to use smoke before the X5.

I was quoted $150 or more for a shop to smoke test for me; that just rubbed me wrong. I'd rather spend that amount or more, buying my own tester, and replacing every possibly-leaking part (via parts cannon) before paying some kids to blow smoke into my car (it'd feel more like blowing smoke up my ass). Especially if they said they couldn't find a leak.
__________________
01 BMW X5 E53 3.0i, 5L40E, 7/13/01
topas-blau, Leder-Montana grau

Here:
14 Lexus ES350 3.5L, U660E
09 HHR Panel 2.2L, 4T45E
04 Chevy 2500HD 6.0L, 4L80E
98 GMC Sierra 1500 5.7L, 4L60E

Gone:
66 Chevelle Malibu 2dr, 327>427c.i., TH350>PGlide/transbrake
08 Cobalt Coupe 2.2L, 4T45E
69 & 75 C10s, 350c.i., TH350
86 S10, 2.8l V6, 700R4
73 Volvo 142 2.0l, man4
73 VW SuperBeetle 1.6l, man4
64 VW 1.2l, man.4
67 Dodge Monaco 500 2dr, 383 c.i., A727
56 Chevy 210 4dr, 265 c.i., PG
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2023, 09:25 PM
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concerning the three smoke testers I have on hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by workingonit View Post
... I ordered one from my short list, and (waited) five more days for it to be delivered (it went missing for a couple). It arrived with the heater element broken...

I contacted both Amazon and the seller, and another unit was sent...broken in the same fashion (heat wiring broken/missing). I was told to keep the first (by the seller) and return the second (by Amazon...I don't understand why not return both?)....
After not feeling right about keeping the first tester, though the seller said to, I'm returning both separately tomorrow via UPS return labels (one was a QR code sent to my email during a phone conversation with an actual live Amazon customer service representative!, and the other was a printout form on my Amazon orders page, after a "chat" with a rep on their site).

Though the seller sent defective merchandise twice (thru Amazon), why should I benefit, and he and Amazon lose money? No malice intended, I'm sure. But in a face-to-face transaction where someone tries to cheat me, I'm not so forgiving...just saying....
__________________
01 BMW X5 E53 3.0i, 5L40E, 7/13/01
topas-blau, Leder-Montana grau

Here:
14 Lexus ES350 3.5L, U660E
09 HHR Panel 2.2L, 4T45E
04 Chevy 2500HD 6.0L, 4L80E
98 GMC Sierra 1500 5.7L, 4L60E

Gone:
66 Chevelle Malibu 2dr, 327>427c.i., TH350>PGlide/transbrake
08 Cobalt Coupe 2.2L, 4T45E
69 & 75 C10s, 350c.i., TH350
86 S10, 2.8l V6, 700R4
73 Volvo 142 2.0l, man4
73 VW SuperBeetle 1.6l, man4
64 VW 1.2l, man.4
67 Dodge Monaco 500 2dr, 383 c.i., A727
56 Chevy 210 4dr, 265 c.i., PG
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