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-   -   Just got a 4.6is! May be one of my best car deals ever. (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/113740-just-got-4-6is-may-one-my-best-car-deals-ever.html)

Corellian Corvette 10-01-2021 04:04 AM

Just got a 4.6is! May be one of my best car deals ever.
4 Attachment(s)
I'm super excited so i wanted to share this story. It's a little long, but hopefully interesting :)

A little background - I'm a big BMW fan; own a bunch currently, have owned a bunch in the past. I think the late 90's - early 2000 cars are some of the best cars ever made.

Coincidentally, over the years, I had been picking up good examples of the era and had slowly (and kind of accidentally) ended up with nearly every high-performance version of BMW's 2000's lineup. Started with a 2002 e39 M5. Then a 2000 740i M-sport. Last year I got a great deal on a 2000 Z3 M Roadster. A few months ago I finally grabbed a nice 2002 E46 M3. At this point... I was only one car away. I knew a little about the X5 IS versions, but really hadn't paid much attention (i have a 2005 X5 3.0 that I drive in the winter which I really like). I started doing some research on them and decided I was going to go for the 4.6is vs. the 4.8is, but I didn't have high hopes for finding one that was either nice, nor cheap, since most X5's are kind of beat up these days, and I assumed a 4.6is car in good shape would go for big $$.

Well Monday night, poking around on FB marketplace I happened to glance at a 2002 Black/Black X5 - only because I noticed the interior shot looked really clean.

As I started looking through the pictures I knew something was going on. Inside my head I'm thinking...

"Wow this car looks super clean inside"

"Man, those wheels look different than most X5's I see."

"Wait, is that Dinan stuff under the hood real?"

"That looks like an M gauge cluster... Holy crap this is a 4.6is!"

See... the title said nothing about the car other than the year, make, and mileage. It was only in the pictures was I able to piece together this car looked to be a super clean 4.6is, with 125K miles and it had a Dinan intake, and Dinan strut tower brace (I only find out later it's also go the Dinan Exhaust). Again, none of this was in the actual ad.

I immediately IM the owner and ask if it's still available. It is.

Is there anything wrong with it? Nope - it's in perfect shape.

I hesitantly ask how much he wants for it.


At this point I'm *literally* sweating. There is NO WAY this thing is only $5K. It MUST be salvage. It MUST have blown the timing chains. While I'm IM'ing over Facebook, I'm frantically searching online for information on Dinan X5's. I see the CAI alone going for $900 on eBay. I see posts of people paying several thousand for the exhaust.

Meanwhile, I'm honestly wondering if this is just a scam and the other shoe will drop when he asks me for money or something.

I request the VIN so I can run a carfax. Plug it into bimmer.work and everything checks out. Carfax says 4 owners (which may only be 2 owners as I think the original owner moved hence the title changes) and has PAGES of service at BMW dealerships it's whole life.

At this point, I know enough about the car (I still haven't seen it in person) that I'm basically willing to buy it sight unseen. I work on my own stuff, and I can pretty much fix anything that's wrong.

I ask if he'll hold the car until I can come up over the weekend to see it. One thing I haven't mentioned is the car is 90 minutes away from me. So not easy for me to just 'drop over' to see it in person.

Well... he tells me sure but there is someone coming tomorrow (Tuesday) evening to take a look. If that deal falls through, he will let me know.

Having IM'd with him a bit at this point I don't think he's playing any games. I basically say "Look, I don't want to lose this car. What time is the other guy coming, and are you free before that"

He says he leaves for work at 8am, will be up around 6am, and if I can make it before he leaves for work he'll show me the car. Perfect!

So I get up a 5:30 am and make the drive to his place. Cancelled some AM meetings I had. If I lost this without even seeing it, I knew I would regret it.

Well... it was even better than I anticipated. There is an EVEN LONGER story about the car, but suffice it to say the original owner was a rich older guy who only bought high-end cars, had just purchased a new X5M, and this car was sitting. The guy I bought it from is a friend of the original owner and he bought it about 4 years ago. It's been meticulously maintained and garaged.

Here's the funniest part of the story, IMO. The guy I bought it from knew EXACTLY what it was. He knew it was a rare edition. He knew it was in great shape. He knew how valuable and rare the DINAN parts were. He knew everything about the history of the car. As I was looking it over, he even mentioned he thought it was "worth 10 or 15 grand".

Being an honest guy, I told him I thought he was right. I asked why he was selling it so cheap.

Turns out - he was getting harassed online. He had listed the car originally for $10k, but people were emailing him telling him that was a ripoff, the car was only worth $3K, he was asking too much, etc. He put a "For Sale" sign at $6500 and was getting calls saying he was asking too much then too.

So finally he just gave up and put the car on Facebook cheap and it STILL took 2 weeks for someone to call him. I really did feel bad for him but the 4.6is isn't as well known as the M cars, so I guess most people shopping just saw this as any other X5.

In the end I got totally lucky. It's going to be well cared for, but honestly so far appears to need absolutely nothing. Valve Cover gaskets were just done, and the rear air suspension compressor was also just replaced. About the only thing I've seen wrong so far is some burned bulbs.

I should also point out that I did call Dinan to verify the work. Yup, this car got the Dinan Stage 4 tune back in early 2005. This has the intake manifold, CAI package, MAF, Throttle Body, Tune, Exhaust, and Strut brace. So I know this was all done legit and not just added in randomly.

Anyway... I know this is a long story but I figured this would be the right place to post.

Can't wait to dig in more! Below are the pictures from the Ad that caught my attention. I'll take some better pictures tomorrow hopefully!

guntherrex 10-01-2021 06:21 AM

wow great find! Gotta be lucky sometimes, looks like it's well cared for.

welcome to the madhouse :D

LA02MAX 10-01-2021 08:31 AM

Definitely an amazing deal! I paid $12k for my 4.8is that ended up having a dead battery, bad tires (that apparently were new 3k miles ago according to the seller), and a self grenading water pump on my drive home :) hahaha. Enjoy it!

I'm guessing you have plans to replace the timing chain guides?

andrewwynn 10-01-2021 10:25 AM

There is no real reason to preemptively replace the guides.

Change the chain tensioner with the latest OEM model as it's almost assuredly original at that low of miles. Weak tensioner is the primary cause of chain guide failure.

Amazing find nice score.

Corellian Corvette 10-01-2021 11:43 AM

Thanks everyone! Timing Chain is on my mind as with all these cars, although it's my belief that cars with good maintenance are less likely to have huge problems. In this car, the engine is dead quiet I hear no vanos or chain noise.

Whenever I buy a car I do a full service when I get them no matter what the seller says has been done. All the fluids and filters are going to get replaced, and in this case I'm going to pull the lower oil pan to inspect. Gives me a chance to check the sump, oil pump bolts, and I can see if there are any chunks of plastic in the pan. If it's clean, then likely I'll do the tensioner and keep up with regular oil changes since this car isn't going to get pressed into regular duty.

This does bring up a controversial question on viscosity for these engines. I run certified LL01 5w-40 in all my inline-6 cars. I see no reason that won't work for the M62 as well, unless folks have other recommendations?

andrewwynn 10-01-2021 12:03 PM

I use 5-30 in my M54 and N63. I'm about to order oil for both and with people suggesting 40 I'm considering it but maybe 0-40 since winter is coming.

bcredliner 10-01-2021 01:21 PM

Great find! Bought my 4.6 new. Have always changed the oil and filter about every 5,000 to 6,500 miles. Use oil weight as specified. Live in Texas, toasty summers and very seldom under freezing in the winter.

Added all the DINAN performance options between 2,500 and 5,000 miles. Have 122,000 miles. Timing chain has not been changed. Changed to the revised chain tensioner very soon after it came available. Can 't remember when that was but it was many years ago. Check to see if it has the DINAN transmission software, great value and is designed to compliment the DINAN engine mods. It has the DINAN revised shift points, firmer and faster shifts, and complete control in manual of when it shifts. If you have any questions about DINAN mods I can probably help.

I have done several other engine mods which tells the bottom end can handle lots of hard driving and lots of boost. No need to treat it gently.

bmw540san 10-01-2021 02:35 PM

I've owned 2003 4.6is for 6 years IIRC and I loved every minute of it.
I've sold it about year ago and I'm still in contact with buyer and he loves it too.
I believe it probably has over 140k miles now and still on original guides.
Glad to see it has Dinan exhaust. I may be in minority but I always hated factory oval exhaust tips. IMO, it looks cheesy.
I know it's matter of personal preferences but I also hated rear factory air ride and did the Bilstein B6 all around with German made Suplex springs to replace the air bags.
Basicaly, I kept it factory height and code out the the "inactive air suspension" on the dash.
Looking forward to your updates here.

I run Liqui Moly 5w40 in my 532M but I run 5W30 in my X5 M54 and also ran it in 4.6is.

Lowblock 10-01-2021 03:32 PM

Just bought an 03 4.6 identical to yours, sans the tower brace, but the other dinan bits. Im not going to tell you for how much because it will anger some people....ill just say it was in the hundreds. It needs a good detail but its fully loaded, would it be blasphemy to put coilovers on it?

Corellian Corvette 10-01-2021 06:27 PM

Thanks for all comments! Much appreciated!

Regarding the Chain Tensioner; I assume that it's the original unit. I'm pricing out new ones online, and I know that INA is the OEM for all BMW pulleys; are they also the OEM for the tensioner? It looks like they sell one and getting OEM is always cheaper than the OE. I assume the "old" one is no longer sold so there is not another part number I need to look at?

Regarding mods; there was a time that I loved to make a bunch of "updates" to these cars, but as I've gotten older I realized that keeping one of these original is more enjoyable to me. In fact, I've been "de-modding" some changes I made years ago to try and get the cars back to their original state.

So for this car, my plan is to keep it as original as reasonable. I had - for a brief moment - thought about changing the wheels, putting in an Android head unit, etc. But then I realized how rare these cars are and have decided to just fix it up to like-new, as-new as much as possible.

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