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-   -   Which one to buy? (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/92550-one-buy.html)

Doru 05-13-2013 10:16 AM

Which one to buy?
Looked at different threads in different forums, but still not clear.
Looking at a e53, 2000-2006.
  1. Which year would be best? Are the post 2004 better, if yes, why?
  2. Which engine? (Not looking @ M54). 4.4, 4.6 or 4.8? Which is the most reliable? (Which cooling system lasts longer, tranny, valley pan gasket, VCG's, chain rail guides, etc. or is it a wash?)
Thx gang.

Qsilver7 05-13-2013 11:05 AM

The 2000-03 4.4/4.6 is the M62TU...so basically you're going to see the same common engine issues as those you've experienced on the e38 & e39 forums.

The 2004-06 4.4/4.8 is the N62 engine...which has some new issues that you'll find discussed on the e53 forums (like the intermediate lever issue).

The other issues would be the AWD maladies and air suspension systems. With both, there are 2 different set-ups...the 2000-03's AWD system is slightly different than the xDrive systems on the 2004-06...and then there's the rear axle and dual axle air suspensions.The single (rear) axle system again, is like the one in the e39 Sport Wagons so there's some common reference material if needed...and some e53s may have the dual axle (front & rear) air suspensions . :)

If you do move up to the e53...welcome...you'll see some familiar "faces". The e53 is the last place for those of us that cut our teeth on BMWs during the 80s,90s, and early 00s before the use of a computer to diagnose and work on our cars became mandatory. Anything beyond the e53 requires CPU access...even to swap in a new battery. :(

xsx450 05-13-2013 11:17 AM

I am going to make a completely uneducated guess which is what helped me when purchasing mine.

Get the newest one with the lowest mileage you can afford. For me this was an 06 4.8is with 65k. Previous owner has 0 issues, I am at 75k and still 0 issues. Trannies (~$4K) and air bags (~$1k) are big "maybies" on these cars so if you wanted to be 100% safe and had your heart set on owning a e53 for a while. Either purchase one that has had these rebuilt at your current budget. OR if you budget is say 20k, find one for 15-16K and put the 4-5K in the bank and tell youself you bought the car for $20k with a rebuilt tranny pre paid, and new airbags pre paid. And if they never fail then you are in a much better situation that if they do and it is not budgeted.

I always believe that the latest model of a series and the last year is logically going to have the most updated parts in it. That doesn't mean things wont fail...

tmv 05-13-2013 11:20 AM

Dorin, if you can, go with the 2005-2006 4.8iS.

Doru 05-13-2013 12:27 PM

Thx for the replies.
I am still holding on to my e39, not planning on selling it. I need another vehicle, and I am thinking e53, just because I believe I can fix myself the bulk of problems.
What's the main difference between the N62 and the M62TU engine? What is the consensus about reliability?
Not sure if I will go 4.6 or 4.8l.

epdarks 05-13-2013 01:13 PM

N62 and M62 are very different motors. Each has their own bag of worms, the N62 being a bit more complex and difficult to work on.

Reliability wise, none of the motors are reliable... the 3.0 being the best option.

Aren't your gas prices insane in Canada?

Doru 05-13-2013 01:39 PM

Gas prices are bad everywhere right now. I think the M54 engine is underpowered for the truck. I have an e39 with the M54 engine, and it's OK. In stop and go traffic, mpg isn't brilliant. I read reviews in C&D and mpg isn't great in hybrids either in stop and go traffic, but I am not considering hybrids. rather a diesel, but diesel prices aren't cheap either, it's not available at every gas pump and mpg suffers in stop and go traffic also, just as much as a gas engine.
I want something that's also fun to drive, and a 4.4 engine and up for the e53 fits the bill.

epdarks 05-13-2013 02:09 PM

I personally went for the M62 motor as it was easier to work on and has a bit better parts availability.

Qsilver7 05-13-2013 06:04 PM

I forgot to mention the transmission...the 2004-up has the 6 speed tranny as well as the new N62 V8 engine. So you get the extra power engine wise (with the N62), yet basically the same MPGs as the M62TU & 5 speed auto tranny.

And the N62 throws you a loop in that your oil filter reservoir is underneath the engine and you'll need slightly different tools to change the filter (24mm socket instead of the 36mm + a smaller hex/allen wrench to remove a bolt in the center of the lid and oil drain bolt). This is not a difficult thing for a regular e38/e39 DIY'er to adjust to...but just a little surprise to find that BMW changed something so long a "tradition" with the top remote oil filter reservoirs. :)

Doru 05-13-2013 06:24 PM

Thx Qsilver. For the N62 - to change the ATF, same procedure like for the e39 trannies? Also, that oil filter reservoir lid, is it interchangeable with the M62? Or has the reservoir a different thread/dimension?
The hex bolt for the oil drain plug reminds me of the drain plug for the tranny.....

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