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-   -   Checked out a 5 speed 3.0 today (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/113986-checked-out-5-speed-3-0-today.html)

ripvanos 12-18-2021 11:56 PM

Checked out a 5 speed 3.0 today
 
A 2001 3.0 5 speed has been listed for sale locally to me for several months now so I decided to go check it out.

It was listed with a bad head gasket and the owner stated he cannot drive manual anymore. After discussing about how the diagnosis of the head gasket failure came to be I suspected that it may have not been the problem. Owner stated he saw the temp gauge going up and pulled the car over and shut it off. After their local mechanic replaced pretty much the entire cooling system (besides thermostat which is Motorad) it still kept climbing up in temp.

When I took a look at the car, it started up and ran fine after three months of sitting. A little bit of lifter tick but I believe it went away after a quick test drive. Iíll get to that later.

Couple things I was curious about:

The car has the singe axle air suspension in the rear. The car was very level, no rear suspension sag. the front shocks did not look to be leaking, but the car seemed to ride very stiff. The air suspension warning light was not on either.

The oil dipstick tube was completely loose. I went to check the oil and I pulled the dipstick out and there was nothing on it. Thatís when I realized the tube wasnít secure. This was a bit concerning and looking under the car it looked like there was some leaking from below that area, this could be oil filter housing gasket too, but it was visible immediately after the drive.

The clutch was a little unforgiving. The car has 215k miles on it, but the clutch was said to be replaced about 3 years ago along with a new flywheel. It felt very abrupt when it would engage and the bite point felt high compared to my ZF E46. Shifted great and didnít seem to slip, so maybe no big deal.

I watched the coolant temp through the OBC menu on the test drive. Once it hit 100 degrees I hit the defrost on assuming the heat was on as well, but it didnít really seem to have any impact on the coolant temperature increasing. It reached 120 right as I shut it off in their driveway. Not the brightest idea but the temp increased quicker than I expected. Engine felt completely normal otherwise. CEL was on for P0117 for coolant temp circuit low. I cleared it and it didnít come back.

Should probably get it pressure tested huh? Iíll probably just take the risk with it since Iím looking to expand my engine repair knowledge and a head gasket is the next level. Just thought Iíd document my experience checking out this rare gem!
If anyone has any advice on my concerns Iíd love to hear them.

Vehicle options
Titanium silver metallic
Grey Montana leather
Birch poplar wood trim
Sports package
Cold weather package
Self leveling suspension
Xenon lights
Rear sun blinds

Iíll post pictures later, my phone wonít let me upload

andrewwynn 12-19-2021 12:56 AM

Temp doesn't climb on the non gauge until it's already overheated.

You need to monitor oil temp ECT and radiator output temp to diagnose the reality of the coolant situation

crystalworks 12-19-2021 02:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrewwynn (Post 1214668)
Temp doesn't climb on the non gauge until it's already overheated.

You need to monitor oil temp ECT and radiator output temp to diagnose the reality of the coolant situation

He said he used the obc menu to monitor engine temp. Good thinking not using the dummy gauge op.

Check the coolant with a cheap dip strip test kit. Or better the color changing fluid one for more accurate results. Sounds like a fun project. If the price is right... Hard to lose on a manual. They're selling on cars and bids for as much as 4.8s...

Happy 12-19-2021 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crystalworks (Post 1214669)
Hard to lose on a manual. They're selling on cars and bids for as much as 4.8s...


InterestingÖ

nick325xit 5spd 12-19-2021 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Happy (Post 1214678)
InterestingÖ

Not really a surprise. There's no alternative to a stick shift E53.

For the is, you have to want an E53. Otherwise, there are plenty of newer, more reliable alternatives for similar to not much more money. Yeah, the 4.6/4.8is is unique and interesting in many ways, but then again, E70 X5Ms can be found under $20k now. If you wanted the is, you probably wanted grunt, and an X5M has a LOT more grunt.

That kind of thing really holds down the value of the is, especially when you consider the cost of upkeep.

Your alternative to a manual E53, though, is either a really unreliable 1st gen Cayenne, or a really expensive 2nd gen. There were also about double the number of 4.6is and 4.8is trucks built. (Way more 5MT than 6MT.) That's why I'm here. I didn't particularly have any desire for an E53. I just wanted an inexpensive manual wagon-ish vehicle with AWD. And it had to be reasonably reliable and easy to work on. The E91 isn't big enough. The E61 is so hideous that I don't care how well it would fit my requirements. Old VAG products? :lol: So yeah. E53 6MT it was.

Bdc101 12-19-2021 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd (Post 1214688)
That's why I'm here. I didn't particularly have any desire for an E53. I just wanted an inexpensive manual wagon-ish vehicle with AWD.


Exactly the same for me too. This was my first German car and was quite a stretch for me, coming from a life of owning reliable Toyotas and Mazdas. But the combo of manual transmission and 6500lb towing capacity is almost impossible to find.

TheFixer 12-19-2021 11:19 PM

I would buy that. 500 to 1000 bucks. Maybe more if body and interior are really nice.

Engine swap on these is easier than doing a head gasket and there's plenty of decent running m54b30 motors out there. While the motors out freshen up the trans.

crystalworks 12-20-2021 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd (Post 1214688)
The E61 is so hideous that I don't care how well it would fit my requirements.

Vehemently disagree. The E61 is one of the prettiest wagons ever made. Right behind the E39 touring. Volvo has some very attractive wagons too. E61 doesn't suffer the Bangle Butt visual problems it's sedan brethren suffers from. And the functionality can not be beat. We've loaded Christmas trees, transmissions, all kinds of stuff in ours. But that's just my opinion obviously. Beauty is supremely subjective.

The 4.6/4.8's will have their day. But it will take some more attrition to bring the numbers down as nick325xit pointed out, they made a ton of them (at least the 4.8). The same generation M cars are now having their day, so within 10 years I think we'll see values increase. Not collector car values obviously, but increases. Bottom of the depreciation market has passed IMO. If someone wants a 5spd or a 4.6/4.8 now is the time to buy.

nick325xit 5spd 12-20-2021 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crystalworks (Post 1214719)
Vehemently disagree. The E61 is one of the prettiest wagons ever made. Right behind the E39 touring. Volvo has some very attractive wagons too. E61 doesn't suffer the Bangle Butt visual problems it's sedan brethren suffers from. And the functionality can not be beat. We've loaded Christmas trees, transmissions, all kinds of stuff in ours. But that's just my opinion obviously. Beauty is supremely subjective.

The 4.6/4.8's will have their day. But it will take some more attrition to bring the numbers down as nick325xit pointed out, they made a ton of them (at least the 4.8). The same generation M cars are now having their day, so within 10 years I think we'll see values increase. Not collector car values obviously, but increases. Bottom of the depreciation market has passed IMO. If someone wants a 5spd or a 4.6/4.8 now is the time to buy.

I never really had a problem with the back end of the E6x. I can't stand the headlights or the slab sides.

It is absolutely subjective, of course! But IMO, the E53 has aged a lot better.

And while I'd like the N54 power, I don't really want to deal with N54 maintenance. (And I have no reason to get the N52 wagon.) I have enough cranky engines in my life already. ...and the thing is that I don't like the way that modern turbo engines drive. So I'd have to change the turbos to make it drive the way I want. And then we're talking about a whole other can of worms. You can see how I ended up in the E53. :)

crystalworks 12-20-2021 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd (Post 1214725)
I never really had a problem with the back end of the E6x. I can't stand the headlights or the slab sides.

It is absolutely subjective, of course! But IMO, the E53 has aged a lot better.

And while I'd like the N54 power, I don't really want to deal with N54 maintenance. (And I have no reason to get the N52 wagon.) I have enough cranky engines in my life already. ...and the thing is that I don't like the way that modern turbo engines drive. So I'd have to change the turbos to make it drive the way I want. And then we're talking about a whole other can of worms. You can see how I ended up in the E53. :)

Yep, your powertrain reasoning makes a lot of sense. Which is why I have a 550i carcass that was in a slight front impact sitting out front as a donor for the N52 powered wagon whenever I have $$$ to burn doing the swap. :D Though I must say the N52, while slow, still drags the E61 around without feeling unsafe. Has enough torque to merge and drive normally. Just not enough to be spirited in any way. Plus it's very smooth. Quietest cabin of any vehicle we own, which is saying something being a wagon.


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