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Old 01-03-2020, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 51
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
Need to get caught up a bit on this thread. I just returned from a 2 week road trip through CA, NV, UT, and AZ but there were some important mods which happened prior to the trip.

- Engine, Transmission, Transfer Case, and F/R Differentials all flushed and I added some "Golden Eagle" oil, more on this below.
- Installed "Phantom Fuel System"
- Swapped to ZL1 Winter wheel setup
- Converted D1S bulbs to D2S and installed custom 50w Hella ballasts
- Installed Diode Dynamics 18" LED light bar
- Installed non-3rd row cargo floor and OEM rail system

Threw the X5 on the scales, 5,100 with a 1/2 tank of gas. So this should be 5,050 on the ZL1 wheels.

First up is the Phantom Fuel system. I stumbled upon this thing while searching Craigslist for X5D related stuff. I contacted the seller for more info and after connecting over the phone, sharing some info back on forth via email I am not a beta tester for the unit. I call this thing the wizard-tube but it is essentially filled with metals that excite the fuel as it passes through which in terms helps the fuel completely burn for better performance and efficiency. The tech is derived from petroleum drilling but has been implemented into commercial diesel fleets around Texas such as semi trucks and school busses with excellent results. The system can work on all fuels types so I might throw it on my E61 that runs ethanol to see how it performs. Data on more performance oriented vehicles like the X5 is limited which is where I come in. I will be sharing more info on this later.

Fluids were all flushed and Golden Eagle oil supplement was added. You add 10% to any engine/trans/gear oil. This is derived from the commercial refrigerant market and is essentially a hyper lubricant. The concept is simple, less friction = less parasitic loss which means better performance and efficiency. Not cheap at $135/gal but you don't need much. Before/After dynos have been done on C6 Z06s and Gen 2 Vipers and show a 10whp and 30whp gain respectively.

I pieced together a square setup of 20x11 ZL1 wheels off eBay, I ended getting 4 wheels for ~$700 and with the crazy ~$90/tire I paid for the Michelin Alpin LA2 295/40/20 (Tirerack has them on "closeout" for $1,000/set) the total cost was about $1,400 for the setup which isn't "cheap" but considering the quality and weight of the wheels and that the snow tires are new, it's a great value.

2 wheels with tires arrived

The other wheels are tires arrived

The stamp of quality

Wheels bored out to 74.1mm

Tires mounted and wheels installed. 3mm spacer up front to clear wheel carrier and 25mm in the back but a 30mm would be ideal for flushness. I am VERY happy with how everything came together. I love concave wheels and this design cuits the E70 well. I will likely keep these as my summer aka "all the time minus mountain trip" wheels.

The plan was to retrofit the headlights but I ran out of time prior to the road trip so I converted the bulbs to D2S which allows me to run the 50w ballasts, this bulb/ballast setup is currently running through the stock projectors (meh) but the same setup will be paired with the Lexus SC430 projectors below. The SC430s are amazing but low-beam-only so I needed a solution for the high beam. The plan was to install quad projectors, one low + one high, but there isn't enough room to stuff a decent high beam option so I reverted to an LED light bar for high beam use. A Diode Dynamics 18" Stage series light bar in "driving" optics was my choice. This was wired into the OEM high beam which means I have I retain the high beam assist feature with the light bar. Both the 50w ballasts and light bar use relay harnesses.

Here is the back of the headlights with the D2S igniters coming through sealing grommets. The additional pigtail on the left is the OEM input for the low beam and connects to the relay harness.

Originally I tapped the high beam pigtail inside the headlight as well but it wasn't triggering the relay harness, not sure if the voltage drops or if there was something going on with the CANBUS interrupting the signal so I switched the location to the wiring harness just before the headlight connector. Pigtail is soldered in and I wrapped it up with the fresh tape.

Light bar install was simple, I bolted the adjustable brackets to the plastic shroud under the kidney grills.

Blocking the power steering cooler and having the mesh grill block the light bar are both not ideal but they are compromises I am willing to make for the high beam performance. Where the grill does block a minimal amount of light it does offer a stealthier appearance which I like.

Here are some output pics...

LED fogs

Low beam (stock projectors + Philips XV2 + 50w Hella ballasts)

High beam (projectors + LED Light bar)

With the 3rd row deleted this is what the cargo area looked like

...so I sourced the cargo floor from a non-3rd row X5 ($50) and snagged some OEM cargo rails ($50). I still need to get some touch up pieces but this is essentially how it will look. Given my 2nd row is designed for the 3rd row which means it has sliding, reclining, and pivots forward for rear entry the floor and cargo trim near the 2nd row is very different between the 3rd now and non-3rd row vehicles. The added adjustability of my second row is great and I have no interest to swap in the "static" 2nd row found on non-3rd row X5s but this also means I can't get the base piece where the cargo floor's hinges pivot on (and gas strut mount) nor can I run the cargo area side trim pieces without the built in 3rd row armrests that my X5 has. Not the end of the world but it does mean my cargo floor essentially just laying into position and isn't bolted to anything. A bit of a bummer a proper OEM conversion isn't possible but IMO the adjustability of the 2nd row is worth it. Hope that made sense!


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Old 01-13-2020, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Diego
Posts: 51
ucsbwsr is on a distinguished road
Here are a bunch of pics from my Holiday road trip.

Duck Creek Village, UT.
Cargo box was a life saver...

Zion National Park, UT

Zebra Slot Canyons, UT.

Bryce Canyon, UT

Sedona, AZ

Free car wash in Sedona

Terrible pick but proof I was in Flagstaff, AZ as well!

Lake Havasu City, AZ

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Old 01-14-2020, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Mid Michigan
Posts: 52
MillerMav is on a distinguished road
Killer trip and great upgrades. Nice one!
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