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Topics - ttr

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General X5 Forum (E53) / Seatbelt - slow to retract
« on: Yesterday at 08:59:24 AM »
Eh up all,

My E53 drivers belt and passenger seat belts have always been slow to retract.

My initial thinking was its the belt mech itself due to age etc and would need replacing so have beenlooking at used and a way to remove the trim.

I then searched on here (should have done it first !!!!!!!!!!) and found a recommended fix.

A quick clean of the plastic guide on the underside of the belt to remove 12 years of X$Ite, i was amazed what was stuck on that guide where the hell did it come from and mange to stick on it. A mist of silicone spray and the belt retracts at warp speed.

Repeated on passenger and hey presto.

Just to acknowledge what a great site this is for info, saved a fortune in time and money so far.

Cheers all from Gods Own County.

PS if anybody gets chance to look at my earlier thread on the wood trim its now got pictures on to try and figure out what wood it is - all help appreciated.


I noticed that my wooden effect door trim on the drivers side is cracking more, i assume its just the heat ( unusual for Yorkshire !!!) and the fact from what i have read its a common problem ?

My trim spec id S435A - can anyone confirm that this is Dark Poplar - ive looked and it seesm to indicate its Polar Smoke but really not sure, to be fair it does not look "smoked" at all.

Also, and more important i doubt if i can find or afford a new trim piece, but my OCD will not stop me from looking or touching the trim and its driving me mad.

Question -

Is it a real veneer stick on the aluminum trim piece ?
Is it just a plastic wrap that is then lacquered ?
Has anyone sanded and re finished these pieces at all ?
Could i use standard 2K automotive clear coat to re finish the piece ?

I am really tempted to wet sand and then cleracoat, then sand and buff, im am pretty convinced it could be done but thought i would ask the forum before i cock it up !!!!

All input gratefully received.


General X5 Forum (E53) / Scuttle Panel Removal And Refresh
« on: May 21, 2018, 09:38:51 AM »
Eh up All,
Decided my scuttle panel needed to come out and required a good clean in the corners and to check the drain holes were clear.
Removed the panel easy enough and on cleaning realised how bad the plastic had discoloured.
As some of you know I used Carpro dlux, its not cheap but works, cleaned up the scuttle applied the dlux and the results are spot on, hopefully get at least 12-16 months from one treatmnet.
Before and after pics attched

Eh -up all,

Having now fixed the PDC ( yipee) :) as per my earlier post i have deduced that someone has had the bumper off prior and broken the little plastic clip bracket that is mounted to the underside of the wing and that secures the bumper. ( Hope that makes sense)

As a result the bumper is "saggy" under the headlight simply because the clip is not supporting it.

I have sourced the plastic bracket and it looks like its secured by two screws at either end (no problem to get off ) and its then a push fit into two holes on the wing itself with plastic snap fit clips that are moulded onto the bracket itself. This secures then secures the bracket and as a result the bumper can sit flush up to the wing.

I am assuming that once the screws are off you can pry / drill/ lever (i can hear the snap already ) of the bracket ( no doubt the snap fits will break) from the outside and there is no reason why you should need to get behind the wing itself ?

Has anyone ever done this and how easy.

I can get the bumper off easily and given its only the one corner i am sure i can work it, but need to understand if its just as simple as i make it sound. what worries me is i am missing something that i cannot see on the flip side of the inner wing !!

As always any help appreciated - last thing i want is the bumper worse than before i start .....it has been known.....


Eh up all!

Next project for me is fixing my PDC.

Symptoms are:-
Ignition on 2
Press P button and sometimes in stays lit no sound, sometimes is flashes and a beep is herd which then goes off.
Sensors do not appear to be working, but some do work intermittently at the rear, not so at the front???

Things I have checked:-

I can feel the pulse from one of the rear sensors when I put my finger over the sensor, cannot feel it on others.
I can HEAR the faint clicking on all the rear sensors though, albeit some are very faint.
Fronts I cannot determine as yet.

I have get access to the rear sensor and popped one out so in terms of replacing the sensors it appears relatively easy now I know which way to tug/pull/twist/lever the shroud off from the front and behind.


Mine is a facelift so I gather 6 of the 8 sensors are “straight” type and interchangeable and 2 are “L” shaped which fit on the front bumper corners – can anyone confirm this please?

Which sensors are best to buy on ebay , I have found a set of 4 straights for £45.00 or you can buy 4 for £27.00 – is there any difference or are they all Chinese imports ?

Would you buy all 8 sensors just to rule out this fault as I gather that the rear and front can be isolated, so I assume rear will work ok even if the front are faulty,  but you cannot isolate if 1 of the 4 fail at either front or back ?

I am doubtful it’s the actual PDC unit itself, which I understand is in the rear of the boot well somewhere.
Any tips or advice welcome, I do not have access to any OBD kit to read faults etc .

Cheers again


I managed to pick up some BMW Tigerclaw Alloys fairly cheap as they were in rough condition, kerbed rims, damage to the paint and blistering due to corrosion on the inner faces and outers. Other than that the rims were in good underlying condition with no cracks or buckles. (see pics below)

Given the weather of late I thought I would set about a refurb and use these rims for my summer tyres.

I spent some time souring the correct paint code silver, so for anyone who is interested the code I used is BMW 144 Felgensilber, it’s a great match to the OEM, plus good 2k cleracoat.(see pics)

Method I used for anyone thinking about a refurb was:-

Clean of the wheels with acid wheel cleaner to remove day to day debris.
I ground out the worst of the rim damage with my mini grinder with a flap disc attached (240grit)
I also ground out the corrosion on the inner face with same
Initial sand with 320grit, only use this was areas of my wheels were so bad I needed to sand out the flap disc marks and take it back down to base metal.
Wet and dry with 400 grit to smooth out the sanding marks and get the area flat
Wet and dry with 600 grit to get a reasonable flat surface to accept the etch and base primer.
I panel wiped all the surfaces and sprayed on etch primer to the local areas which were down to bare metal, then left for 48 hours.

Panel wiped again and laid on 3 coats of grey  2k primer using my trusty HVLP spray gun. Compared to my days using cellulose 2k is far better and laid down well after the first mist coats.

Left for 4 days and then wet and dry with 600 to 800 grit, to leave a lovely flat matt surface ( and no finger ends left a this stage either !) (see pics)

Finally did two wheels at a time,panel wipe, tac cloth and laid on 3 coats of the silver and as the silver flashed off laid down 2 coats of 2K clear coat. (see pics)

For a home spray job, and £65.00 in materials,  I’m delighted with the results, just leaving then for a week of so before taking then to get the rubber on.

Hope the above assists someone in the future.

Next job – fixing PDC (See separate thread) 

General X5 Forum (E53) / Fitting a mobile phone kit
« on: February 20, 2018, 08:58:14 PM »

Looking for some help with advice on fitting a phone kit, either a Parrot or Bury.

I’m no fan of elecs, in fact I loathe them, better with the spanner’s as I understand them! Please bare with the stupid questions I will then decide if I give it a go or give in and get a qualified sparks in.

I have a facelift 2005 plate with basic single CD player and basic business radio.

If this is the case do I still have the amp in the boot with the 16 pin SOT lead rather than 8 pin ( understand these were Pre facelift), or is everything in the dash I need to wire into.

From what I can gather I thought all x5 had the amp in the boot but now I’m not sure and in fairness would not nessasairly know what I was looking for without pictures.

I looked on realoem which has helped a little but still not clear to me.

Happy ish with the trim removal aspects as I found some useful links on the site.

I want to ensure I order the correct kit and ancillary items from the supplier.

Cheers in advance for any tips, I will then decide which route I go down.

Well it’s less work and more tinkering…….

Managed to get 30 minutes to swop out the fog light bulbs and go “old School” with the yellow.

I’m not convinced yet, although I have to say the night vision is actually pretty good, I would even say better compared to the normal OEM white lights even though the wattage and output are the same. Or maybe its just psychological on my part, reliving my youth in my Phase 1 Renault 5GT Turbo.

Cannot really photo the night effect but you can see a daylight shot.

Will stick with it for a while to see if it grows on me, function wise its good just not sure aesthetically now they are in.

Next job the tints now the weather is getting better

General X5 Forum (E53) / This Weekend Work - Rear Wiper Upgrade
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:39:28 AM »

I know this has been covered before but its such an easy mod and cheap ( suits a Yorkshireman !) and looks great in my opinion.

Pics below - old v new pleased with outcome for £9.90.

Tints delayed over holiday as out of time  - but they are next on list.


General X5 Forum (E53) / Passenger side carpet wet/ damp
« on: January 29, 2018, 08:13:36 PM »
Hi all,

Noticed condensation on the screen last week and this, finally got time to look tonight and passenger side carpet is damp.

I Park nose down, drive slopes circa 20-30 degrees, cars not moved for 3 weeks as not had a moment due to work and other stuff on.

I suspect it’s water ingress, given its not stopped pixxing down here for weeks!,,,,,

It’s not loosing fluid nor screen wash.

So , my car has no sunroof and windscreens original.

What is the priority checking, I gather I should;-

Check drain holes at the bottom of the door ( I think they are clear btw will run a wire up anyway)
Check drain holes under bonnet- assume they are at the top of the bonnet and it s the gap that runs down the side of the wing.
Check door seal integrity ( I know they are ok as I silicon sprayed them a few weeks ago to stop door sticking in the cold)
Check door card inner seal ( understand from here these can leak)
I do not think it’s the rear screen wash feed.- given no loss of screen wash.

Anything else to check - I hate water leaks in car - makes my ocd twitch more.

Cheers for any and all advice.

General X5 Forum (E53) / This Weekend Work - Engine Bay Clean Up
« on: January 15, 2018, 07:46:22 AM »
Whilst it was miserable this weekend took the opportunity to clean up and tidy the

•   engine bay,
•   resprayed the bonnet springs
•   removed and cleaned the catch,
•   degreased and cleaned the engine bay
•   Gave the whole lot a finish with silicone based finisher I have

Pleased with the results (see pics)  - need to sort some bits and pieces under the car but just too wet even for me.

Also reading up on both diff and transfer case fluid change so that s on the cards for Feb – cannot believe you need to take both front bash plates off and the bolts on the metal diff protector are one time use as they are stretch bolts – really !! Anyone reused these at all?

Also do 4 of these bolts also hold the front antiroll bar bushes in place – if so anyone knows if they are a PIA to get back in situ as I assume you are working blind as such.

Cheers All 


Before i plough down the path of fitting a parrot can someone help me determine whether i should or should bot have BT fitted to my car.

I do not think i have from the spec list below despite the steering wheel having all the buttons and it being a facelift july 2005 model. Plus i have the single slot CD Business radio.

I think regardless i will need a  parrot as running iphone 7 so BT will be out of date so to speak

Thanks in advance

Type Code FB72E Series E53 ()Series XType GEFZGSteering RLDoors 5Engine M57/TUDisplacement 3.00Power 160Drive ALLRTransmission AUTColour STERLINGGRAU METALLIC (472)Upholstery LEDER DAKOTA/SCHWARZ (LCSW)Prod. Date 2005-07-06 Vehicle upgradesSpare/replacement key fob   Read more Vehicle optionsL812A  National version England / IrelandP330A  Sports packageS1CAA  Selection of COP relevant vehiclesS205A  Automatic transmissionS220A  Self-levelling suspensionS226A  Sports suspension settingsS230A  Extra package, EU-specificS249A  Multifunction f steering wheelS255A  Sports leather steering wheelS2CCA  BMW LA wheel, star spoke 132S302A  Alarm systemS321A  Exterior parts in vehicle colorS328A  Footplate, aluminumS386A  Roof railingS413A  Trunk room netS423A  Floor mats, veloursS428A  Warning triangle and first aid kitS431A  Interior mirror with automatic-dipS435A  Fine wood trimS441A  Smoker packageS442A  Cup holderS459A  Seat adjuster, electric, with memoryS473A  Armrest frontS481A  Sports seatS502A  Headlight cleaning systemS508A  Park Distance Control (PDC)S521A  Rain sensor
S534A  Automatic air conditioningS555A  On-board computer V with remote controlS650A  CD playerS661A  Radio BMW Business (C43)S692A  Preparation, BMW 6-CD changer I-busS775A  Headlining anthraciteS785A  White direction indicator lightsS818A  Battery master switchS840A  High speed synchronisationS853A  Language version EnglishS863A  Retailer Directory EuropeS877A  Delete cross-pattern operationS880A  On-board vehicle literature EnglishS8SMA  Car ident. number visible from outsideS8SPA  Control unit COPS925A  Dummy-SALAPAS926A  Spare wheelS945A  Dummy-SALAPA

General X5 Forum (E53) / USB Help
« on: January 08, 2018, 07:59:46 AM »
Morning all,

As you may know i'm better with spanners than electrics - so i know when to ask for help!

I want to try and either:-

Run a USB port so i can plug in my iphone and listen to music or
Run a USB port that allows you to charge

both is preferable but i 'm not too confident with electrics so will opt for the easier option if this exists !!

From the forum i gather you can buy a USB port and wire it in via the back of the radio and then mount in the ashtry area, this appears realtivley simple from the kit - has anyone done this and can confirm the bm part number i need or other supplier ?

Anyone fitted a charging USB port and if so what parts did they use and is there a How To anywhere.

Thanks i advance for any input into this.

General X5 Forum (E53) / This Weekend Work - Front Fog Lights
« on: January 02, 2018, 11:54:13 AM »
Happy new year to you all.

I managed to sort out a couple of items over the Christmas period although the weather stopped me doing anything major.

Managed to finish of my Quick Connect and got that safely tied up and out of the way, its much more convenient now just plugging in to recharge rather than relying on the croc clips – pleased I did this very minor mod.

One bit of the car that was annoying me was the front fog lamps, both had gone milky – to be honest I thought they may be irreparable and the light output was seriously compromised. Did a search on here and found out the correct way to get them out and thought I would try and clean them up first before resorting to spending cash (true Yorkshireman !)

Lights came out easily enough and the lenses were heavily contaminated on the inside, see pics.
Tried just cloth wrapped round a screwdriver but simply would not shift the problem, persevered for a good half hour to no avail!.

My mate was getting bored and fell asleep !!!!

Finally to get a better purchase and wider contact point that was a little flexable on the inside of the glass I tried using my old valve lapping tool with some wrapped cloth around the end, with a touch of G3 paste and started to clean – worked a treat and dead chuffed with results. (see pics)

Did both lights with same method, great finish and saved some cash, just thinking of going old school and replacing with yellow bulbs rather than traditional white.

Booked car in for window tints so looking forward to see what it looks like when done.

Cheers all

General X5 Forum (E53) / CTEK Quick Connect Install Guide
« on: December 14, 2017, 07:58:59 AM »
CTEK Comfort Connect Fitting – How To

19mm socket
Dremel and grinding bit (optional)
M8 eyelet CTEK quick connect or quick connect LED battery indicator (the later is better as leads are longer )


7mm OD electrical spiral bind (Optional)
10mm OD Plastic clip (Optional)

Fitting Time – 20mins

No requirement to disconnect battery (as far as I can tell)
Starting with Positive connector undo 19mm bolt and remove, be careful not to drop the bolt down the rear of the engine bay, and place safely to one side
Facing the car place the positive connection such that the lead faces diagonal towards the upper right corner of the black plastic positive connector cover ( see photos).

Optional Steps:-
To gain a better fit when closed I elongated the M8 eyelet and also ground of with my dremel the plastic shroud on the eyelet such that when the nit is placed back on the connector the removal of the material allows the plastic connector cover to seat firmly and close properly.

Tighten up the nut check connection and close flap door.
Route the cable as you see fit in the engine bay.

Now with the Negative connector undo 19mm bolt and remove, be careful not to drop the bolt down the side of the engine bay, and place safely to one side
Place the negative connection such that the lead faces at 2100hrs, it can position anywhere but I elected to route in the same direction as incoming cable direction.

Note if you are using the quick connect with LED indicator this will start to function immediately.

Tighten up the nut and check connection.

Check your CTEK charger now works and the correct sequence and checks complete and the battery charges.

Optional Steps:-
I elected to shroud my quick connect leads in electrical spiral bind for added protection, I also modified plastic clip I had in the garage so I could secure the LED indicator end in a fixed position.

See photos attached for details

I hope this very simple guide assists someone.


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