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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.

$5000

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

Congratulations!
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.

bcredliner 10-01-2021 06:48 PM

The is only one part number anymore and it is the revised version.

Corellian Corvette 10-01-2021 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcredliner (Post 1210440)
The is only one part number anymore and it is the revised version.

Awesome great to know! Any concerns with the INA Tensioner?

andrewwynn 10-01-2021 08:39 PM

OEM is ok. Just no go on knock off.

andrewwynn 10-01-2021 08:39 PM

Look up the part on fcpeuro they always show an equivalent oem part. Often a couple options.

x5Alpine 10-01-2021 11:03 PM

Keep it stock, they're far better that way. As for the timing chain guides, If the budget allows definitely do them sooner than later. They will go at some point and you don't want it to be when the engine is at 3k rpm on the highway. The X5 is almost 20 years old and 20 years of heat cycles will show its ugly head no matter how well maintained it was.

aureliusmax 10-02-2021 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corellian Corvette (Post 1210386)
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.

Is that you Tyler, from Hoovie Garage ? :rofl:

bcredliner 10-02-2021 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corellian Corvette (Post 1210444)
Awesome great to know! Any concerns with the INA Tensioner?

I have not had belt tensioner fail. However, when I replaced the clutch fan in favor of an electric fan I replaced them while I working in that area.

Tensioners will let you know if they are bad. You will easily hear them complaining over the sound of the engine idling. But if you have the belts removed for any reason I would change them, not expensive and easy to do.

andrewwynn 10-02-2021 03:52 PM

+1 on warning signs of the tensioner. I've helped a few people dodge a bullet on m62 motors when the chain is audible at startup for a few seconds.

Just like my "lifters" tick but only for a few seconds on a cold start. It will last 6-10 seconds when my oil is low. A properly working tensioner on m62 you won't hear the timing chain on a cold start.

N62 they switched to two chains it's far less likely to have the problem but I would still replace at 100 k miles and every 40-50 after that.

bcredliner 10-02-2021 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrewwynn (Post 1210500)
+1 on warning signs of the tensioner. I've helped a few people dodge a bullet on m62 motors when the chain is audible at startup for a few seconds.

Just like my "lifters" tick but only for a few seconds on a cold start. It will last 6-10 seconds when my oil is low. A properly working tensioner on m62 you won't hear the timing chain on a cold start.

N62 they switched to two chains it's far less likely to have the problem but I would still replace at 100 k miles and every 40-50 after that.

I was talking about the serpentine belt tensioners not the chain tensioner.

As far as the chain tensioner, in spite of all the horsepower and torque gains from engine mods, I have not changed anything but the chain tensioner to get the redesigned version. I have the parts to change the chains and guides and proper tools but don't intend to do the job until there are some symptoms or when I do some other mods I am planning, even though some have said they had no warning. Mileage- 122,000 or so. I have a look with camera scope every once in a while and I always look for any indication the guides are failing when I change oil and filter.

Corellian Corvette 10-05-2021 03:01 AM

Well new INA chain tensioners are on order to install in both the E53 and E38 motors - can't hurt.

Finally got the beast on a lift and was very pleased on the underside. Some oil leaks (as expected) but I think the major problem is actually the front PS lines more than any oil leak on the engine. Unfortunately that part is only available from URO so I had to get an NOS one off ebay.

Pulled the lower oil pan and everything looked great. No timing chain particules and only a *very* slight amount of sludge.

A buddy who is an ASE certified tech (and a bimmer enthusiast) went over the car with me and was surprised how dead-silent it was on cold-start.

So I think chain guides are fine. I'm going to keep up on oil changes, keep an eye (or ear) out for any noises and just enjoy fixing it up.

guntherrex 10-05-2021 04:06 AM

great news!

bcredliner 10-05-2021 06:37 PM

Good plan.

X5only 10-06-2021 01:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corellian Corvette (Post 1210438)
<snip>
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.

The E53 Avin4 android head unit is almost identical in appearance to the factory head-unit. I'd go ahead with the upgrade and enjoy modern tech in a factory looking encasement. When the avin4 is off, an untrained eye would be very hard pressed to notice it's not the E53 factory head unit.

Fifty150hs 10-06-2021 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X5only (Post 1210772)
The E53 Avin4 android head unit is almost identical in appearance to the factory head-unit. I'd go ahead with the upgrade and enjoy modern tech in a factory looking encasement. When the avin4 is off, an untrained eye would be very hard pressed to notice it's not the E53 factory head unit.

+1 on the Avin unit. Looks stock to anyone that isn't familiar with the e53, but it gives you modern capabilities. I swapped mine and am very happy I did. I kept all the original nav equipment so if I ever sell it and someone wants the original for some reason I have it. Can't think of any reason they'd want it though. Nothing rare about a 3.0.

bcredliner 10-06-2021 06:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I didn't go with a stock looking unit. I wanted a bigger screen. I was concerned it would look weird but to me it looks like factory install

Corellian Corvette 10-06-2021 07:23 PM

I have the Avin unit on my 3.0i and I love it. Smart of them to include the i-BUS app so it works with the DSP.

On this car I'm going to go BlueBus I think. Like my M5 I just want to keep it stock looking. I"m not pressing this car into daily duty (that's what my 3.0 is for) and for some reason I'm feeling very precious about keeping this car as original as possible. The factory screen is minty clear, so might as well just keep it.

PalmSpringsE534.6 10-07-2021 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corellian Corvette (Post 1210863)
I have the Avin unit on my 3.0i and I love it. Smart of them to include the i-BUS app so it works with the DSP.

On this car I'm going to go BlueBus I think. Like my M5 I just want to keep it stock looking. I"m not pressing this car into daily duty (that's what my 3.0 is for) and for some reason I'm feeling very precious about keeping this car as original as possible. The factory screen is minty clear, so might as well just keep it.

Consider adding a BlueBus unit to give yourself streaming and great bluetooth capabilities in the X. It plugs in where the 6Disk is located in the rear left. I still have a completely stock head unit/audio system but now have all the upgraded BT that I was hoping for. I'm quite happy with it and it was very reasonably priced. It was also created by a member here.

Corellian Corvette 10-07-2021 12:18 PM

Yes, BlueBus has been pre-ordered from ECS.

Who is the member? I actually have a question for them...

c-bass 10-08-2021 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corellian Corvette (Post 1210906)
Yes, BlueBus has been pre-ordered from ECS.

Who is the member? I actually have a question for them...

I believe @t3ddftw is who you're looking for

x5Alpine 10-08-2021 04:41 PM

The bluebus is the only way to go in my opinion. If you want a massive ugly screen then buy a new car but for these keeping them as original as possible is the best way to go.

Fifty150hs 10-09-2021 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by x5Alpine (Post 1210996)
The bluebus is the only way to go in my opinion. If you want a massive ugly screen then buy a new car but for these keeping them as original as possible is the best way to go.

You can put in a head unit with the same size screen as the original stock nav head unit. If you didn't know any different you'd think it was the stock unit. Gives you lots of functionality not originally available with a stock look. I recommend the Avin Avant 4 with the IBUS app and dongle. Been very happy with mine.

bcredliner 10-10-2021 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by x5Alpine (Post 1210996)
The bluebus is the only way to go in my opinion. If you want a massive ugly screen then buy a new car but for these keeping them as original as possible is the best way to go.

They're not going to appreciate in value so why is it important?

Corellian Corvette 10-10-2021 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcredliner (Post 1211087)
They're not going to appreciate in value so why is it important?

You really don't think so? All the early BMW High Performance cars seem to be going up in value - even the non-M cars like the e38 740i Sport versions.

And a 4.6is just sold on BaT for $18K like 3 months ago. I'd say that's a big leap from a standard V8 X5.

I do think they are going to go up (not like the M cars for sure) but the fewer people keep them original, the more an original car will go up. That's my take anyway.

FWIW, that's not the primary reason I got this car but I do think a lot of people modded these cars (or didn't take care of them) so to find a nice original example I'm going to do my best to keep it that way.

nick325xit 5spd 10-10-2021 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corellian Corvette (Post 1211094)
You really don't think so? All the early BMW High Performance cars seem to be going up in value - even the non-M cars like the e38 740i Sport versions.

And a 4.6is just sold on BaT for $18K like 3 months ago. I'd say that's a big leap from a standard V8 X5.

I do think they are going to go up (not like the M cars for sure) but the fewer people keep them original, the more an original car will go up. That's my take anyway.

FWIW, that's not the primary reason I got this car but I do think a lot of people modded these cars (or didn't take care of them) so to find a nice original example I'm going to do my best to keep it that way.

Eh. Just stick with reversible mods. That original NAV system is garbage. I had it new in my first E46 M3, and it was crap then.

Fifty150hs 10-11-2021 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd (Post 1211098)
Eh. Just stick with reversible mods. That original NAV system is garbage. I had it new in my first E46 M3, and it was crap then.

+1 on the original nav system. The screen was crap too. A replacement head unit like the Avin with the smaller screen looks exactly like the original nav, but with tons more functionality.

crystalworks 10-11-2021 12:13 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Nice pickup OP. Great price for it too especially with the goodies on it. Happy modding, lots of options for audio upgrades in today's market.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcredliner (Post 1210859)
I didn't go with a stock looking unit. I wanted a bigger screen. I was concerned it would look weird but to me it looks like factory install

I'm not a fan of that unit as it sticks out of the dash like a grafted on tablet. Though I'm sure visibility on it is better than the one I run which suffers severely from sun glare.

Attachment 81051

As for appreciation, as with all enthusiast BMWs, the 4.6 and 4.8 will go up. Has already started. Don't think they will ever be truly a collectible high dollar vehicle excepting collection quality and mileage examples.

With enthusiasts, tasteful mods won't devalue the vehicle either. Which is nice. Seems we all tolerate "resto mod" vehicles very well when shopping, much like the classic muscle guys do now.

Corellian Corvette 10-11-2021 01:02 PM

FWIW - I have used all these systems in various cars Avin, Dynavin, Eonon and they all have various benefits.

For *this* particular car, much like my M5, I'm going to keep it stock. The current system is working great and I'm not going to press this car into daily driver duty so my preference is to leave it original. The BlueBus will work perfectly for music and phone calls.

If the screen or nav unit was bad, for sure I'd swap. I have the AVIN unit in my X5 3.0 which my wife and I drive regularly and I love it.

bcredliner 10-11-2021 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corellian Corvette (Post 1211094)
You really don't think so? All the early BMW High Performance cars seem to be going up in value - even the non-M cars like the e38 740i Sport versions.

And a 4.6is just sold on BaT for $18K like 3 months ago. I'd say that's a big leap from a standard V8 X5.

I do think they are going to go up (not like the M cars for sure) but the fewer people keep them original, the more an original car will go up. That's my take anyway.

FWIW, that's not the primary reason I got this car but I do think a lot of people modded these cars (or didn't take care of them) so to find a nice original example I'm going to do my best to keep it that way.

Nope, do not. I don't think the demand is there. A possible exception might be a low volume color with a low volume interior, around 25,000 miles on the clock, original paint, clean Carfax, one owner, complete maintenance records, all service done at BMW dealer etc. Even then I think one would have to find a collector as the vast majority of those interested in old X5s want a driver rather than garage queen. Even if the 4.6 does start to appreciate one will likely be holding on to it for years. All that time it is taking space in the garage, running up insurance costs and has cash tied up.


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