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Old 09-21-2012, 01:10 AM
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New Guy Intro

Greetings and Salutations!

This looked to be the most active forum for the e53 X5s, so thought I'd sign up. I'm not an X5 owner at the moment, but about to become one; my wife decided it was time to graduate from the minivan phase and wanted something a little more upscale, so we found a 2001 X5 3.0/5-speed in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for a decent price.

Checking out the car turned into a bit of an adventure; we live about 4 hours away in Sioux Falls, SD, so we decided to make a car shopping weekend of it. I lined up several cars to look at and my wife made arrangements to spend the night with some old friends in the area. We got there late Friday night & planned to go check out the cars on Saturday, potentially driving one of them back with us. But while chatting over coffee on Saturday morning my wife started having some nasty chest pains; next thing I know we're blasting down the freeway on the way to the heart hospital ER in downtown St. Paul.

At first the ER doc didn't think it was a heart issue -- the friend we stayed with had had a heart attack four years ago, and had a fresh bottle of nitroglycerine tablets on her, and gave two to my wife while we were on the way to the ER; no effect. But the EKG they did when we first arrived at the hospital looked odd to them, so they had another one done an hour or so later, and it looked different, which raised a red flag, and we weren't going anywhere but to the cardiac unit. Blood work done throughout the day showed elevated levels of Troponin, an enzyme that is a good indicator that the heart is in distress; it was a heart attack. A mild one, but still a heart attack. So she was scheduled for an angiogram, which couldn't happen until the following Monday. We were stuck. I got a hotel room, and tried to keep the two of us from dying of boredom for the next two days.

The angiogram revealed a narrowed artery feeding the back of her heart (the left circumflex coronary artery), so a stent was inserted and some clotting cleared... Pretty amazing what they can do. But the procedure happened too late in the day for us to get out Monday, so night three...

I was able to duck out a few times to check out a couple of the cars I had on my list, and the X5 was by far the sweetest one. Sport package, 5-speed, 18" wheels, factory towing package, super clean, good maintenance records, meticulous owner... I caught the BMW bug several years ago and have bought and worked on a few older ones (e32, e28, e34 & e36). I'm a little partial to the inline six, and loathe automatics, so this X5 fits my preferences perfectly. The owner & I agreed on a price, but he wouldn't let me take it just then; he had had it in the dealership for a repair last week and they had to order a part to complete the work. It was scheduled to go in today (Thursday) and I could pick it up after that. Got a message from him earlier today that it's ready to go.

So, I'm planning another trip to the Twin Cities this weekend. Hoping this one will be less eventful, and considerably shorter.

Here are some pics that I grabbed from the CraigsList ad for it; anybody know the car?


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Old 09-21-2012, 02:34 AM
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Welcome, congrats, and holy shit about the heart thing. Glad she's ok.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:40 AM
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Thank goodness you were able to get to the hospital in good time. It's scary when something like that happens. Glad to hear she is doing well now.

Hopefully you are right and it will be less eventful because when you get the X, she will take you on an adventure all on her own.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:08 AM
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Glad your wife is OK.
Might be too late now but get the PPI (pre-purchase inspection).
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:49 PM
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Yeah, too late for the PPI. I know my way around BMWs fairly well, and took the time to have look over the vehicle and drive it when there last Tuesday. I found a few issues, and the price was adjusted accordingly, so I feel like I got a decent deal.

First repair will be replacing the subframe bushings to fix the clunk coming from the rear end (already found a great DIY post on that here; thanks to X5girl!) I've been down that road before with my other cars, so no hesitation with that. The PO had the car in to the dealer the week before I looked at it because the CEL was on; he spent close to $1000 on that visit (P0171 and P1083, replaced DISA valve) but the CEL came back on soon after he picked it up. He scheduled it for another visit last Thursday (which was one reason I didn't take the car home with me right off) and they got the same codes again. The paperwork says it might be due to a fuel overfill... The CEL came back on, again, while he was driving to meet us on Saturday. We adjusted the price of the car again because of that, so I'll need to do some digging to get to the bottom of it. We've got an indie shop that is good with BMWs so I'll probably enlist their help as well.

Couple of questions for people here; the button on the end of the turn signal stalk doesn't have any effect on what's displayed on the instrument cluster, it always reports the outside temperature. I'm guessing it might be a bad switch. Are they a common failure point? Any other culprits there?

Also, is the e53 Bentley Manual worth the money? Any other service manuals around that you all would recommend?

So far I've found a lot of helpful info on this site; glad to have joined up!

Oh, and thanks for all the well-wishes for my wife. She's definitely doing better; we're almost back to our usual walking routine (~3 mile circuit through our neighborhood), which is a huge improvement over her needing to rest after a slow walk around our block. She's got an appointment with a cardiologist (LOCAL!) on Friday, and he'll help decide when she is OK to go back to work. She's an RN & works part time in OBGYN/labor & delivery at a hospital near us. Loves her job, but is glad to be able to have some time off to focus on recovery.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:05 PM
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Get an OBDII code reader, very usefull. Bentley Manual worths the money. I have it for my E39.
IIRC, that BC button can be set to circle and display different info on the cluster. You might have to search for mor info.
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90 Straman Z32 TwinTurbo Convertible, (1 of 44 ever made) 5 speed, 444rwhp/451rwtq
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