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BimmerBreaker 07-03-2019 03:19 AM

Graham's BSM Aerodynamic Kit 4.8is
Hey Guys, I wasn't around here too long but loved my 4.6is for the short time I owned it awhile back! I bought my buddy Danny's 4.6is back in the day (build thread here) and it unfortunately blew it's motor and while I intended to rebuild it, the damage ended up being a lot more severe than we thought as we tore into it, so I ended up making the unfortunate, but financially prudent, decision to part it out :(

I loved the 4.6is when I owned it but had moved comfortably back into my E36/Z3 daily driving ways - I am in the process of S54 swapping an E36 M3 sedan and was looking for a parts car E46 M3 for an engine/trans donor. I found one locally, hitched my trailer up and drove an hour away... ended up the car was completely misrepresented, by "running and driving well" the seller actually meant "does not hold an idle, misfires, transmission is stiff and won't shift properly..." I could go on... it was crap! :rolleyes:
Ended up walking away from the E46 M3 and decided to play the "what if I spent all the money in my pocket on something on craigslist?" game when I got home. Stumbled across this gem...


I contacted the seller immediately asking if it was still for sale... which was probably a little weird seeing as how it was about 1am when I found it :p: The next morning though the seller responded and I asked about the suspension issue as the last picture on the facebook ad (not shown in the craigslist ad above) showed a "self-leveling suspension inactive" error on the cluster. He said it was missing a module and a previous mechanic may have stolen it. This was the first and only red flag from the seller though. Despite having the error, he said it held air and had new rear air bags and wasn't riding on the bump stops (that would not be fun driving home from Los Angeles)

Asked about the smoking problem that plagues these N62's, he said he's very familiar with it after having owned many E70's in the past and this one does not smoke at all after a long drive, after idling, whatever. A/C worked but was a little weak on the passenger side - sounded like it needs a recharge to me. I asked about the functionality of the windows and panoramic sunroof - all good except the rear passenger window. Not a big deal, I've fixed plenty of E53 window regulators. Tires - new in rear, fronts still good. Maintenance records present, other recent work done. No records of valve stem seals but seems they have been done if the no smoking is true on a 194,000 engine. Yes- 194K :wow:

I'm no stranger to high mileage BMW's (I own a few, and the average mileage is 203,000+) and the pictures looked nice. It seemed to check out. I didn't want to be impulsive, I needed an S54 for my swap... but every time I tried to find a reason not to buy it, the seller had a great answer, or the VIN revealed the perfect option list, or the carfax revealed a tidy, clean history. So I made a deal with the seller, he agreed to knock a bit off the price due to the faults mentioned and because I was going to come out pretty quickly - I agreed to meet him Monday after having contacted him Saturday. Which I totally understand after having sold a lot on craigslist... a quick sale is often better than dealing with a million more idiots just to get another few hundred bucks or whatever...

Anyways, I drove Danny and myself out in my 2003 525i wagon to go look at it, thinking it was probably too good to be true. Before the E46 M3, there were also three other cars I had locked down deals for and driven awhile to look at that ended up being bunk, including an E39 that Danny and I drove to LA to look at.
So after gassing up we were on the road at 7:50 am. Don't have any pictures of the drive out, it was mostly uneventful, but here's the X5 basically as I first saw it...


It sounded good and looked good, the seller had also mentioned beforehand that the only cosmetic defect worth noting were 2 dents on the hood and a scratch on the rear quarter panel. Both ended up being very small and overall the paint was in excellent condition. Trying to withhold my excitement I did a short test drive, testing all the features which all worked beautifully as described (knock on wood) before finalizing the deal with a big smile on my face :rofl:

What a great drive - it ate hills like it was nothing, the 6 speed transmission meant the mpg was livable and when the sun went down the panoramic sunroof shade being open reminded me of my days in an M roadster. And oh boy - those comfort seats are amazing. I was in total comfort despite having totally forgotten about the lumbar feature of the seats :p:

The new X5 and my wagon on the drive home


Made it home around 8:30 including a stop for In N' Out in California along the way. Not bad at all. Very uneventful trip overall, but had a "check brake light" "check rear light" and "check side light" warnings come on at one point, Danny behind me also observed a dim passenger side brake/parking light.

Love the warm glow of the stock lights on the Cream Beige interior at night


Normally I'm a little fatigued after a long drive like that but after eating a late dinner I found the energy to park my trailer, park my tow rig, shuffle all my outside cars around, then clean my garage so I could park my Z3 coupe outside and let the X5 remain garaged as it appears to have been for the duration of it's life


This morning... I woke up not feeling particularly well. Make sure to drink water kids, even on long road trips where you may not feel thirsty... it's important :stickpoke

Later in the morning... I drove it to a local A/C expert for a recharge - I can fix a lot on a car but A/C is one thing I don't do. At $30 for a full proper recharge, with it blowing icy cold now, I can't complain :dunno:

Spent the day working at my shop and then picked it up from the A/C shop around 5. Swooped over to emissions...


Passed no problem. Of course. Popped by a third party DMV afterwards and got it registered and a plate for it.

This is the nicest car I currently own. The leather is practically brand new everywhere except the driver's seat, with the driver's seat only showing the faintest of wear. Trims are all in nice shape overall, some cracking on one or two but just the overall feel of the car... you can tell it's been taken care of (knock on wood!). The feel of the engine is amazing, the power just feels like there is so much there on tap. It feels like more of a difference to the 4.6is than you would think by comparing the numbers on paper. I attribute that to the transmission but who really knows


Spent some time with Danny (that's his 540i) before it got too dark throwing my license plate on and took a look at the suspension system fuse and the faulty brake light bulb. The brake light bulb was just loose - went to reach for it and it flopped around. Removed it, verified bulb was in socket correctly, reinstalled tightly in correct orientation - bright like the other side now and no more warning on cluster. Cool. Checked headlights. Angel eyes are out, there's my check side light warning. Nice, that's an easy fix and one more error message down! Last error message now is the self-levelling suspension inactive. Suspension system fuse was missing - reinstalled it and was able to talk to the system in INPA, I could raise and lower the front and rear manually - but for some reason, the dashboard switch does not illuminate and it still says inactive no matter what, despite INPA not showing any errors in the system. We had to get back to finish some work before digging into it too deeply tonight, but I am going to look into it more tomorrow.


Once I got home I spent some time cleaning my admittedly messy garage (my excuse is it's no longer a workspace, I work on stuff at the shop so the garage has become storage) to have more room for the X5. What felt like a super spacious garage space in the Z3 coupe suddenly felt very cramped in the X5. Oh and front plate removed as well!


Tonight I placed an order for the rear window regulator, all rear door clips because they often break when removing the door panel to access the regulator, angel eye bulbs, instrument cluster bulbs (the one around the odometer was out, so ordered all 5 to replace them all together), a foglight cover for the driver's side which was hard to find since it has the Aerodynamic kit and an oil change kit (Liqui Moly 5w40). Typing this, I realize it also needs thrust arms - has some shaking under hard braking. I'll order those too.
That's all for now! :nanana:

tl:dr - yesterday I bought a 4.8is

dannyzabolotny 07-03-2019 04:00 AM

Heck yeah! Glad to see you back in an X5, you've always had a thing for those, maybe even more so than me!

Should be some good times getting it all fixed up to be 100%.

BigBlack48is 07-03-2019 09:40 AM

Way to go!!!! Mine is the same just with black leather instead of the " tuxedo " look!

Sweet ride :+1: :+1:

crystalworks 07-03-2019 10:32 AM

Nice pickup! Welcome to the aero kit club. :)

You have the part number for the fog? I was under the impression that the fogs were the same on aero kit and non-aero kit bumpers. Mine have never quite seemed to fit dead center of the fog hole. Having the wrong fog lights might cause that. LOL

BimmerBreaker 07-03-2019 01:07 PM


Originally Posted by dannyzabolotny (Post 1165236)
Heck yeah! Glad to see you back in an X5, you've always had a thing for those, maybe even more so than me!

Should be some good times getting it all fixed up to be 100%.

Yeah I might like them a lot... :rofl:
Looking forward to getting this puppy running tip-top and taking her on some long roadtrips!


Originally Posted by BigBlack48is (Post 1165243)
Way to go!!!! Mine is the same just with black leather instead of the " tuxedo " look!

Sweet ride :+1: :+1:

Awesome! They are really great vehicles :D The Black Sapphire Metallic is my favorite color of the bunch too... as much as I love the red and blue (silver just isn't for me) I just really appreciate the subtleness of a black SUV. It blends in, unless you know what it is :cool:


Originally Posted by crystalworks (Post 1165246)
Nice pickup! Welcome to the aero kit club. :)

You have the part number for the fog? I was under the impression that the fogs were the same on aero kit and non-aero kit bumpers. Mine have never quite seemed to fit dead center of the fog hole. Having the wrong fog lights might cause that. LOL

Of course - 51190306079 for the driver's side, 51190306078 for the passenger side
Looking at them at first I thought they were the same as the 4.6is style ones since the Aero kit and 4.6is are both round fog covers (facelift 4.8is bumpers have those oval shaped fog covers) but it ends up they are specific to the Aerodynamic kit :dunno:
I actually just ended up pulling the intact cover off the car to check for the part #... wasn't that bad in the end, after like an hour of digging through RealOEM diagrams. It's hard finding parts for these add-on accessories sometimes.

Bimma360 07-03-2019 06:17 PM

Congrats man! Dave here (did the carbon work on your e36). I just picked up a Le Manns 4.8is myself 5 days ago. Flew to Florida, and drove it all the way back to PA. Just wanted to say hi. Seems like I am following you around the internet these days.

BimmerBreaker 07-10-2019 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by Bimma360 (Post 1165275)
Congrats man! Dave here (did the carbon work on your e36). I just picked up a Le Manns 4.8is myself 5 days ago. Flew to Florida, and drove it all the way back to PA. Just wanted to say hi. Seems like I am following you around the internet these days.

Hey man - that's funny, what a small world! :rofl:

Haven't done much except drive the X5 the past week. Thrust arms are in - will install those later in the week, the other stuff shipped and will be here Friday :D




And one with the Z3 coupe... they look like distant cousins or something


Love this thing so far :cool:

Overboost 07-10-2019 02:54 PM

Beautiful! :2thumbs:

BimmerBreaker 07-11-2019 08:26 PM

Didn't do much today as I'm still waiting on some parts but did code a few features...

Enabled halogen highbeams on with bixenon highbeams
Enabled the windows closing/sunroof closing from holding lock on the key
Enabled daytime running lights
Enabled doors locking after driving a certain speed
Enabled windows to keep rolling down/up if door is opened
Disabled fasten seatbelt warning
Disabled key in ignition with door open warning
Disabled "accept" screen on nav at startup

Also did a reset on the TPMS and that light never came back so that might have just needed a reset :thumbup:

Only warning light left is the "Self-levelling suspension inactive" so I looked into the service records and found that the front bags were replaced in 2015 (rears were replaced last year) and the previous shop to work on it thought it was the levelling sensors that were faulty. This corroborates with what we saw on INPA, as some of the sensors seemed to be providing erroneous data.

I will do a little more digging - it seems to be related to the module, compressor or the level sensors. Compressor I will test next time I hook it up to INPA and if that is working (I suspect it is, I think it'd throw an error if the compressor was faulty and the system was trying to activate it) then I'll try the level sensors. There are no stored errors in the suspension module - and I can talk to the module, and run it through the tests on INPA - so I'm thinking a level sensor that was faulty may cause these symptoms.

BimmerBreaker 07-12-2019 05:32 PM

FedEx guy arrived at 1:31 today with these packages...


Top 2 are brakes for my E39 wagon but the bottom box is all X5 goodies :D

Foglight before and after... pretty simple, just snaps in place. They come in a black plastic, I will paint them eventually but the passenger side was also just unpainted black plastic so at least they match and are both there!



Angel eye bulb was REALLY seized in place. Bulbs were dated 05 so probably burned out quite awhile ago. I fiddled with it for quite awhile using pliers and other tools to carefully try to remove the bulb without breaking the base it screws into. I ended up having to heat it with a small torch lighter, I think that helped break the seal on the o-ring as after that it came out. The driver's side seemed like it'd be a lot harder as access is much worse and that bulb wouldn't even spin to get to where the tabs should release. Wedged my phone under the oil filter housing gasket to give me access (and light) and hit that bulb with the torch as well. After that it spun freely and came right out, no drama. Thank god




As you can tell from the condition of my hands, they needed some persuasion... but hey, now its got some of my blood and sweat on it, so it's really my car :nanana:

Instrument cluster bulbs were next. These were super easy, but glad they are done! The one around the odometer was originally out, did them all pre-emptively.




Was done with these jobs by 2:05 :cool: Good thing too - it's hot outside :rofl:

Tonight will do the window regulator and maybe the thrust arms depending on how the schedule looks

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