Xoutpost.com (https://xoutpost.com/forums.php)
-   X5 (E53) Forum (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/)
-   -   New X5 4.4 Owner Resto *long thread with pic dump* (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/100242-new-x5-4-4-owner-resto-long-thread-pic-dump.html)

Deansbimmer 03-30-2015 08:17 AM

New X5 4.4 Owner Resto *long thread with pic dump*
Hey everyone! I've wanted an X5 for a long time, with a need growing lately as driving my supercharged 98 M3 sedan is not very economical for daily use. I'm online on Bimmerforums and M3post but I thought it would be cool to talk about my X5 here on the outpost so here we go!

It all started when I thought I found a steal when an 03 V8 with sport package popped up on Craigslist for $2300 non running, listed as a fuel pump failure. I got on the phone and told him I'd buy it, so he held off the other buyers and I drove two hours to pick it up.

When I arrived I could tell the games had begun because he had pulled the battery out "because he wanted to keep it". I would have brought my jump box had he told me so I could test the electrics, etc, but I knew it wasn't a runner so I continued to pay and load it up. It was raining, cold, and dark- great car buying weather.


So the next day, once home, I hook up a new battery and crank it over to feel it out. She's not a bad looker...


Listening to it I immediately know it was not a fuel pump issue, the engine was slow to crank and sounded like it had no compression strokes, so I immediately think head gasket. I did a quick compression test and quit after three cylinders had 5psi compression. I knew I was pulling a head to investigate.

So far so good... There was evidence of overheating with coolant residue around the reservoir and hood liner, and the previous owner had obviously been chasing it down for years as the cooling system had new parts all over- hoses, radiator, reservoir, etc...no part was over a couple years old...

Then I pull the head off and found carnage. Every cylinder had irreparably severe scoring... Oh boy I though...

So I think about my options... Obviously the seller knew the engine was fried and tried to mask it. I post it back on CL for what I paid, but being honest about it needing an engine....No takers for a few days. So I decided not to part it out, but to put a new engine in it. Thus begins the Saga.

I get online and look for a good engine. I have seen them grow on trees lately these 4.4's, but of course now that I need one it seems the sources have dried up. Shipping one in was proving to be the only option but I wasn't ready to pay over 2 grand for a tired engine with 100k miles or more.

I found a local yard an hour away selling what sounded like a steal- a 90k mile BMW 740iL "long block" for $700. I talk to the yard and he describes a low mile great running engine, but without the peripherals, oil pan, or intake, all wrapped up in plastic and stored indoors. Perfect, just what I was looking for. I get there and found I had been once again, duped. The engine was under a lean-to metal shed, under a bedsheet, covered in dirt and dust- no timing case, oil pan, intake, or valve covers. Completely open to the elements! I have words with the guy I talked to on the phone and tell him I drove almost two hours in traffic to find a block worth nothing more than a core refund. I told him I'd buy it at a much lower price IF I can pull the heads to check the bores for water damage. He (quite reluctantly) agreed. Of course I find damage as two cylinders were sitting in water and had rusted rings, along with timing chain rail failure (didn't skip timing though).

Lacking any other options at the time I decided to take it home with me, I had quite the sour stomach on the drive home, wondering if I had made another big mistake. I am too embarrassed to post pics of the engine as I received it, but here is one of the heads to give you an idea...

Now I plan a full engine rebuild. To give some background, I am a tech and BMW parts guy by profession and work on BMWs and built my ///M cars from the ground up and am no stranger to building engines, so I dig in. I get my wish list together and start getting all the parts together. In the down time waiting for parts, I pull the old block. So much oil leakage... Goodness...




In removing everything, I find completely worn out brakes, CV axles, front driveshaft, flex disc, and various hoses, so I add all those to the list, turning this into more of a resto.

e30cabrio 03-30-2015 09:22 AM

In for the resurrection. You are braver & kinder than I am.

Good luck!

Ricky Bobby 03-30-2015 09:43 AM

Mother of God.

Deansbimmer 03-30-2015 10:09 AM

I have a parts washer at home so as I disassemble the "new" engine to clean everything, I pull the pistons and rods to survey the damage to the cylinders. Technically, in knowing that the blocks are Alusil, I only expect damaged rings, and that's what I find. Two pots will need to be re-ringed. I order the parts.

I also decide to forego pulling the crank for new main bearings, and instead just install new rod bearings. With the block bare and mounted on a stand, I clean the crap out of the block with a case of Berrymans spray.

The car sits in my driveway for a month like this:

I neglected to get a picture of the bare cleaned block, but this is a shot of the block without pistons after the bore reconditioning.

The bore's were stained (oxidized) where the standing water reacted with the aluminum, but that doesn't affect the bore's ability to seal. There is a lot of voodoo an unknown about these Alusil blocks, but let me affirm that these can indeed be re-ringed with no problem, and are even DIY friendly. Porsche aircooled guys know this too as they have the same Alusil cylinders.

I had ordered two new sets of Goetze OEM rings (the original rings I pulled were labeled Goetze too). I had cleaned all the pistons and bagged them, so after checking end gap (note the wall stain) and with new rings installed I bagged the last two also, before I started to rehone the block.


I used Sunnen AN-30 honing compound, specifically made for Alusil blocks. These blocks are not sleeved, coated, or anything tricky. The block has a high silicon content which is crucial for the bore's survival as the silicon (high hardness level) is an excellent wear surface.

Using this with felt pads around a standard spring hone and hand drill removes a slight amount of aluminum from the bores, exposing the silica crystal component of the Alusil block. The pistons/rings ride on the silica as they are more exposed than the aluminum. When you run your fingernail across the surface of the prepared bore, it feels almost like running across a chalkboard- you're skimming across the silica crystals. This is also great for oil retention as the bore is almost porous on a microscopic level.


Prepared bores:


Using a straight edge I found the block deck to be slightly cupped (low spots between the bores) which would cause a short life of the head gaskets, so I leveled the block using my at-home method which has served me well. MLS head gaskets are finicky and demanding of a good surface finish RA.


I continue to the Rod bearings. Using a micrometer and pastiguage I found the crank's rod bearing journals were within standard size bearing tolerance so I ordered a set of bearings and installed them with new torque-to-yield bolts. I soaked the pistons in oil and popped everything in with assembly lube on the bearings.


With a new valley pan, the bottom end is coming along nicely...


Ready for gaskets. Genuine BMW HG. They just seem to last...

I move my attention to the heads, which needed lots of love. I fully disassemble them, clean each part, and lap each valve. The surfaces weren't in spec either, so I level them out.... All better now.

New stem seals

Reassembled and ready for cams and installation.


Torqued them down and did the additional degrees...




Installed cams and loosely installed rebuilt VANOS. I used a Beisan seal and press kit to rebuild them so they'll last for another 100k.


Found true TDC and locked the cams for timing...


New genuine BMW guides and tensioners.

New front case seals, installed and set up. Cams timed, sensor wheels aligned in their jigs.

Buttoned up the bottom end, installed oil pump, locked down oil pump nut...


All together with new seals everywhere. New OEM seals on the axle shaft housings and differential too.


Getting ready for the intake...New knock sensors and valley cover.

Newly sealed diff, new pipes and hoses...

New alternator...Adding the accessories... Getting close!

Next morning... In she goes!



It was a late Friday night when I got it all buttoned up, fluids in, double and triple checked everything... I wanted to fire it up before going to bed so I could know whether to have good dreams or nightmares. Primed the fuel system and she fired right up. Real noisy at first...Then the oil system caught up and it settled into a good idle. She smoked a lot though from the tail pipe. I said I had a good days work and went to sleep with good dreams.

Next morning started right up, bled the coolant, checked for leaks, and went around the block to seat the rings. Did the "drive hard" method for ring seating. Smoked like a freight train for a mile then it settled down and ran like normal. Car runs and drives great. Fantastic smooth idle. Now to fix the rest of the bugs in the car....

Ricky Bobby 03-30-2015 10:38 AM


e30cabrio 03-30-2015 10:42 AM


Thanks for all the great pics!

Johnny_5 03-30-2015 10:44 AM

Nice. Keep up the good job! Since you work at BMW you must have gotten all the parts at a steal!

Naz24 03-30-2015 10:49 AM

you are my hero...

love to see this

motordavid 03-30-2015 11:06 AM

Helluva 're do'! :bow:
It's like a Lazarus project, or a metamorphosis, or a reincarnation... :wow:
GL, mD

white46 03-30-2015 11:24 AM

wow.. just simply wow... Love seeing thread like this!

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:30 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
2017 Xoutpost.com. All rights reserved.