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Old 04-18-2021, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 93
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
As I am researching all things towing regarding the X5 and the probable Sanger V237 boat purchase I wanted to get an updated weight of the X5. Notable changes since I weighed it last are the Brembo BBK and Camaro ZL1 wheels + tires.

With a full tank of fuel, no driver, and no cargo the X5 came in at 5,100lbs.

I removed all the "essential" cargo that is stored under the floor and I lug around on a daily basis. All this stuff came in at ~70lbs. Much more useful than the 100lbs of folded 3rd row seat it replaced.
1. Rear seat protector for the pups
2. Shopping Bags
3. Emergency roadside kit I made with hand tools, sockets, tire plug, air compressor, and emergency First Aid kit
4. Microfiber towels
5. OEM BMW Diesel specific (unlocking) funnel
6. Glass Cleaner & Quick Detailer
7. Changing poncho (For MTB)
8. Small changing mat (MTB)
9. Emergency kit for the pups
10. Mobile Car Jumper / Emergency Battery
11. DC-AC inverter
12. High strength towing straps
13. Fox seat protector
14. 1,000 Ratchet Straps x8
15. Hitch ball, hitch locks, and OEM cargo rail eyelets
16. Manual
17. Jumper Cables
18. Extra Oil
19. Shop Towels
20. Gallon of water
21. Tire pressure gauge
22. LED illuminated frisbees, not 1 but 2!
23. Samsung tablet + OTG usb + K+DCAN
24. USB charging Flashlight
25. Seatbelt security straps
27. Ice scraper
28. Bike lock cable

Elastic on K&N dry charger failed and I will be trying to get a replacement.

I wanted more light in the cargo area of the X5 so I added some OEM-style LED puddle lights to the D pillars. The bezel which once housed the 3rd row seat belts made for a great location to mount the lights. Tapped into the OEM wiring for the tailgate light which was conveniently located right behind the passenger D pillar.

Here is the end product. Exposure is locked for both photos. Very happy with the result.

Here are a couple random recent photos.

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Old 04-30-2021, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 93
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
This is mainly a picture update but there are some exciting things on the horizon. The pile of X5D parts in the garage is growing. The X5 will have some substantial towing duties in the not-so-distant future when a boat comes into the picture so I am collecting a few additional mods/maintenance items to make this a well sorted towing beast.

Sutphin Torque Converter
Suspension control arms, bushings, etc. F/R
Eibach springs F
Arnott air bags R
Koni FSD struts F/R
PPE high capacity transmission oil pan

In search of a better ride quality from what my H&Rs offer I had Eibach springs on hand and with the current 20% off promotion for the Konis I figured this was the time to give them a shot. I patiently waited to see if I could find a deal on KW V3s but that never happened so Eibach + Koni FSD seems like the best option.

The trans will get a big overhaul with the upgraded torque converter (thinking about the upgraded valve body too) the high capacity PPE pan will need a custom solution to connect the replaceable filter to the OEM oil pick up. IN addition to holding more fluid the pan has a bung for a temp sensor which is AWESOME because I can wire that directly to my P3 vent gauge and I can monitor live trans temps. If needed I can plumb in an additional trans cooler to regulate temps, The logical choice is to mount a radiator under the passenger headlight to mirror the driver side.

Any-who, exciting stuff. Preventative maintenance gets me all fired up.

Here are some pics from a recent trip to Flagstaff and Sedona AZ.
Funny back story, my in-laws used to own a Toyota Highlander, a Toyota 4Runner, and a Porsche Cayenne and now (they say, it's me fault they sold all those and now have a 2020 X7 xdrive40i and 2021 X5 xdrive45e.

Both are awesome but the X5 is particularly impressive, although smaller the X5 has 300lbs of added weight and the same air suspension system which makes for an unbelievable ride quality, it's better than the X7. Add in the ability to run it in all electric mode which makes it deafly silent and it's a really impressive ride. I am a huge fan of the vehicle but I feel BMW did an injustice by limiting the electric range in the US market to 30miles, in the Eu they get 50miles. The charging rate is also PAINFULLY slow, for a full charge on the US model it takes ~24 hours. Bump the range up to 50 miles and reduce charge to 12 hours and it's a slam dunk.

If you look at all the fuel economy data on Fuelly for the 45e the tank average for all owners is 41mpg, not bad for a 5,600 vehicle with 390hp and 443tq

Averaging 26mpg highway @70mph with the cargo box and bike, not bad, not great.

Some mild but rough off-roading to arrive at the Schnebly Hill Overlook. The taller 45 aspect tires were very welcomed on the terrain but 40psi tire pressure and H&R springs were far from ideal.

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Old 05-24-2021, 08:46 AM
Googone20's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 19
Googone20 is on a distinguished road
Great build and great color!!
2015 X5 35d Msport (Carbon Black/Mocha)
2007 M6 (Diamond Schwartz/Schwartz)
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 93
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
The X5 had a big weekend under the wrench!

✅ Oil and filter change
✅ K&N filter cleaned, oiled, and new dry charger
✅ Eibach front springs
✅ Arnott bags
✅ Koni Active sturts
✅ Control arms, wishbone, ball joints, and integral links
✅ Revised vehicle coding
✅ Exterior washed and leather seats/SW cleaned
✅ New aftermarket flares which are shitty but not as shitty as the last set.

It started with a wash

Some of the suspension goodies.

Nothing beats a good driveway for wrenching

H&R vs Eibach are almost identical in length, H&R looks to be slightly thicker and also has an additional 1/2 coil

Fronts installed

Oil change. Hopping on the FCP lifetime oil train.

You can see how long the stanchions are on the Konis, Konis have 6" of travel and the old KYBs only had 3".

With my non-rear air strut mounts and custom spacers it was easy to accommodate the Konis (which are not listed as fitting a X5 w/ 3rd row), simply remove the spacer. The Konis are compressed just over 3" at static ride height which means there is just under 3" of travel to play with.

Took the opportunity to clean the wheels

Rear buttoned up. I wasn't able to get the ball joints done but I have the proper tool on the way.

Option 1: replace air bags BEFORE they fail
Option 2: Neglect your airbags and when they fail quickly go to the internet and complain, followed by possibly making a bad situation worse and converting the bags to springs.
I chose #1


K&N before

After cleaning and oil, better but not perfect.

Time to get dirty

Bonus! I am a sucker for unique mods and especially OEM retrofits so this project is very exciting. What you are looking at is a 3.15 electronic LSD from a 20,000 mile X6, F85 X5M flanges and axles, ICM and QMVH modules. Once the flanges are swapped the diff is essentially the same unit found on the F85 X5M. My research tells me I should have success integrating this system into my E70 which is very exciting but it won't come without some work. More to come.
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Old 07-21-2021, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 93
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
Good times continue for the X5D.

It looks like the axle-back exhaust will need to be reworked after the F85 differential is fitted.

New pano roof weather stripping. Unlike my 08' E61 it looks like the 12' X5 came with the updated version but it still shows 9+ years of use.

Plasti Dip on the front/rear bumper trim was refreshed since it was showing wear after a couple years of use.

Resolved an annoying vibration caused by contact between the rear dust shield and caliper brackets, can't believe I didn't catch this during the original install...

With the proper tool I was able to complete the suspension refresh and install new rear ball joints.

Here is a picture of me installing the ball joint INCORRECTLY.. lol :lol:

Accessing air compressor to refresh the silica gel that filters the exhaust air.

Tryin to repair an issue of the sun-partitions being disconnected and rattling. At first I thought I fixed it, then I broke it, then got it repaired even though it should still be broken. More on this later. What a pain.

Upgraded Torque converter install time!

Although the trans fluid only had a few thousand miles on it, with the converter getting fresh fluid I took the opportunity to flush the trans again to clear out as much old fluid as possible. Glad I did! New trans cooler o-rings too.

Oil around in the downpipe, rugh rogh.

Driveshaft refreshed with new CSB and guibo

New OEM windshield. For the record I have worked with Safelite two times for the E70 and E61 and have had a great experience with their install techs.

New OEM engine mounts. These made a HUGE difference in cabin NVH, especially at idle.

Splash shields cleaned again after being coated with front diff oil and red dirt from Arizona.

New tool to install transmission/transfer case mount

Out with the old

In with the new

I had the rear diff pulled and F85 axles installed as I was anticipating to install the F85 diff. I was having troubles removing the output flanges so I outsourced it to a local shop and I was expecting them to have success in a day or so but after a week and even having a local BMW foreman come out they were unable to complete the job. But here is a pic of the X5 patiently waiting ...for nothing. lol

It's a bit comforting when I get stumped, I outsource to a competent shop, and they also get stumped, it doesn't help with progress but it's nice to know I wasn't way off track. After waiting and wasting a week, we had a road trip to Arizona planned so I reverted to the basic diff.

I took matters back into my own hands and ordered a 5.5lb slide hammer. The hammer itself wasn't enough and I needed to tap/hammer in a couple wedge steaks to put the flange under tension and then with 3-5 big boy hammers the flange finally released.

The retaining clip did it's job almost too well...

X6 vs F85 output flanges

E70 X5D axle vs F85 X5M axle

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Old 07-21-2021, 05:48 PM
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 106
Henn28 is on a distinguished road
Great idea with the cardboard box to hold the pieces you are painting.
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Old 07-27-2021, 06:54 PM
BMWX5CHI's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 524
BMWX5CHI is on a distinguished road
Beautiful 35d. What type of numbers are you pushing out?
2011 BMW X5 35d Deep Sea Blue Metallic w/ 3rd row
Custom Kicker Audio System
Style 259's on Dunlop Sport Maxx Run Flat
Tune and Exhaust Coming Soon....

(Gone But Not Forgotten) 2008 BMW X5 3.0si Alpine White III

(Sold) 2002 BMW X5 3.0 TitanSilber Metallic
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 93
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by BMWX5CHI View Post
Beautiful 35d. What type of numbers are you pushing out?
Thanks. It makes 370whp 530wtq but those will go up as I am currently installing a hybrid turbo
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 93
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
Doggos were watched by in-laws for 2 weeks while we did some traveling, it's nice to have them back in the garage!

Current project(s)

I can't stand working on dirty cars so I like to clean before I begin and clean as I go.

First R90 HPFP install

Next High Pressure (small) turbo rebuild, no issues just took the opportunity to refresh with Melett CHRA.

Big boy (low pressure) turbo out

Tim's Stg 3 vs OEM

All cleaned up and ready for install

With the turbos out I deleted one of the X5's coolant lines (which was already "deleted" and capped. Plugging the block is a much better solution.


So much room for activities!

...Not anymore!

Priming small turbo with oil. After this photo the syringe was sticky and I successfully squirted most of the oil all over the turbo, so much for cleaning....

Optimize everything! With the turbo inlet now larger I took a sanding wheel to the plastic turbo inlet pipe to bore it out a bit. The rubber gasket which sits between this pipe and the turbo is still larger than the turbo inlet so this is moot/negligible mod but it ain't hurtin nuthin! +1hp for sure!

Next valve cover gasket. Injectors came out easily which was a relief as some can be a nightmare due to neglect and water ingress.

Injectors cleaned with new sealing elements.

Valve cover sparkly after a power wash. There was all kinds of oily reside and grime, carbon on the intake runners was also cleaned. intake ports in the head showed slight carbon on 4-6 but nothing worth correcting at this point.

Play bonehead games, win bonehead prizes. Making a to-do list is useless if you don't read the list. I wrote down "clock and tighten HP turbo" and proceeded to NOT. lol.. Meaning the CHRA wasn't fully torqued down with the inducer housing. Thankfully all the tolerances are small and all the other connecting pipes, etc. holding the turbos together kept things together but it was only after a test drive and I noticed some smoking I remembered to torque the 4 10mm bolts. This process required removing the exhaust manifold banjo fitting so I could remove the heat shield and access the bolts. I assume heat played into it but when removing the banjo bolt from the hot manifold the bolt decided to strip on the way out. Fun. Bolt was toast ("special order" item from BMW so I am waiting a couple days for replacement) and it left material in the manifold threads.

The solution was: using a pick, tweezers, and vacuum to carefully remove the metal and then chase the threads with a M12x1.5 die. Always fun to create metal shard just up stream from your fancy new turbo. Meh.
Thankfully I had just enough to get the die and handle into position, if this wasn't the case then this bonehead moment would have been much worse. Patience prevailed as I was able to clean the threads which are now ready for the new bolt.

It's not all rainbows and sunshine. My new turbo setup is still smoking as the previous ones were, at idle and under initial load. My old turbos were performing well according to data logs as are the current turbos, albeit not running optimally since I am still running a Malone 2.9 tune with the hybrid so there is a lot of smoke under load. After a little driving I notice oil coming from the LP turbo but I doubt it's the turbo itself. Since the VCG replaced I will next play with my PCV Catch can setup and revert it back to stock to see fi that helps. Crankcase pressure might be pushing the oil out. Ironically My stock turbos started smoking when I make the swtich from 5w-40 Rotella to Liqui Moly 5w-30? so if the PCV/OCC doesn't resolve the smoking I may try switching oil again. Further diagnosing would be to do a compression test. The X5 feels healthy and strong so I doubt there is an issue here but it would be to confirm anyway.

DDE is off to BRR for tuning. I was torn between sticking with Malone or going with BRR. I have nothing bad to say about Malone but I have seen some other hybrid X5s post data comparing the Malone vs BRR tune and the difference was significant, ~1 second different in the 1/4 mile. BRR also has experience tuning twin HPFP setups as well as the triple turbo setup Santjer Performance is developing. If I go down this high-output rabbit hole BRR is the obvious choice so I decided to make the switch now.

Can't wait see what this thing does when dialed in! In addition to power the fuel economy should also get a little bump.
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Old 08-07-2021, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 93
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
We have some nice updates to the engine, transmission, and rear differential.

With my DDE off for bench flashing I took advantage of having the X5 up in the air and inoperable. First was diagnosing the smoking and oil coming from the brand new hybrid turbo. Aside from mild-moderate smoking while driving I also noticed oil coming from the downpipe at the v-band and also lower flange. In addition there was oil dripping from the LP turbo but I believe that was an untorqued return line.

I removed the HP turbo to inspect it and have a look into the manifold. Both turbos felt perfect spinning freely and with zero unwanted shaft play. Oil lines were also removed to double/triple check no blockages. I ended up buying 3 new feed lines and replaced the 2 accessible ones. Shit picture but this is one of the original return lines, very clean and clear.

HP turbo off looking minty as it should

Peeking down the manifold I noticed some oil around the exhaust inducer.

What caught my attention was the crack in the casting which was adjacent to the inducer (and oil). I called Tim at this point to explain my symptoms, what I have done, and what I see. He explained most if not all M57 LP turbos have that crack in the casting, he said it usually happens in the first 20k of use and is inconsequential but he was happy to get the turbo back for inspection if I wanted. Tim also suggested I target my PCV system next as the likely cause.

Sooo off comes my Provent setup and on goes the little cyclonic thing BMW fitted from the factory. I checked the OCC for blockage or a faulty one-way valve but all was good. More on the oil saga later....

My upgrade valve body from Rod Sutphin arrived along with the DDE from BRR so it was time to open up the transmission.

Popped the DDE in

It's nice when you drain fluid and it's this clean.

Old pan/filter with the magnet swipe. This had ~20k on it.

My mechatronics seals and sleeves have plenty of life so I left them alone, *gasp* I know, I didn't perform preventative maintenance!

With the PPE high capacity oil pan being a flop the next best upgrade for the trans was the OEM e70 X5M oil pan. The X5M pan and filter are two separate items where OEM X5D is one unit. I also bought new ZF transmission bolts, they are 8.8 where the previous ones I had where made from very weak metal.

The other benefit of the X5M pan is the larger aluminum heatsink

Tight and crisp vs sloppy and flairy lol

VB, filter, and pan installed

I wasn't planning on executing the X5M diff swap at this time but manhandling my old stock diff out (previously) the seals were damaged and gear oil was escaping in a big way, the diff was coated and it was all over the exhaust. At this point I still had a couple days before the DDE would arrive to I decided to knock it out.

The QMVH harness finally showed up from Latvia after being delayed ~1.5 months thanks to USPS.

With the muffler heat shielding removed you can see the grommet with 4 screws that the harness passes through up into the cargo floor where the battery resides.

Harness ran up and over subframe, tight but I was able to thread it thankfully otherwise this part of the project would have been a much bigger pain in the butt.

New vent pipe

E70 X5D vs F85 X5M

Axles in

Go where you belong Mr. Diff!

An expensive cocktail of fluids and count em' 6 plugs.

Driveshaft, axles, and harness connected

Planning my next moves getting the exhaust reworked. The OEM piping you see (axle-back) will have to go. I will likely delete the remote valve too for simplicity, we'll see but the idea is to install the IVbrant resonator in the mid section and then have either dual 2.5" pipes ran around either side of the diff OR I will get some ovalized 3" pipe which should clear the diff and still follow the OEM routing you see here.

A little splash of Hot Shots to keep the injectors happy

With the DDE in, turbo installed, and transmission back together it was time to run the engine and fill the trans. The engine was idling for ~8 minutes while I filled the trans and once complete I peeked up the downpipe and was happy to report it was all dry. I gave the engine a couple light revs to 3k and this is what I saw after, uugh:

At this point I was thinking there was maybe an issue with the valve cover itself with something internal blocked. Some people mentioned I should check the injectors, that may help the smoking but it definitely wouldn't explain the oil ingress into the downpipe. I had already ordered a 5w-40 oil kit from FCP Euro. I always ran 5w-40 Rotella T6 but switched to 5w-30 Liqui Moly 2 months ago, this is also when I started to notice the smoking so I wanted to revert to 5w-40 just to observe any change. Turbo Tim also recommended 5w-40 for the hybrid setup.

After the oil change I decided it was time for a test drive to observe the smoking but also test the new valve body, new DDE tune, hybrid turbo, and new differential. lol Lot's to test! I drove around a bit with an open downpipe which was fun and deafeningly loud at WOT but I am happy to report the smoking issue has stopped. Not sure exactly if it was the PCV/OCC, oil viscosity, or what. MeKanic. I will probably reinstall the Provent at a later date and observe if the smoking comes back.

Here is a clip of the awesome sounds an open downpipe hybrid turbo M57 makes.
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