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Messages - gileso

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General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Pre & Post LCI Comparison
« on: September 20, 2018, 08:15:39 PM »
The buttons and surround are a complete unit - AFAIK you can’t change the surrounds by themselves.

However - have a closer look. BMW coats these items in a rubberised finish that wears and looks s**t. It can be scraped off (with something plastic, not metal) and cleans up pretty well. Give it a go before diving in for a new wheel...

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Pre & Post LCI Comparison
« on: September 19, 2018, 10:25:07 PM »
Liking the smaller steering wheel.

If I managed to get one with an airbag already fitted is it still a straight swap?

There's lots of instructions on changing the steering wheel. It's an easy DIY if you have a bit of patience.
You will need to remove the airbag from the new wheel (if attached) to do the swap.

Basically, adjust the wheel to be as close to the driver as possible (and preferably with the wheels pointing straight ahead. Disconnect the battery (v important otherwise you will throw an airbag fault). Remove airbag centre from steering wheel by inserting a screwdriver into the hidden blind holes in the cowl of the steering wheel (they look like small dimples) and gently following the channels until you feel some resistance - this is the locating spring and you have to push it firmly to release it. You have to do it once on each side. Its a bit bizarre but once you see how the inside looks, its obvious how it works.
Disconnect the airbag and the clockspring connectors. Undo main bolt (with a bit of force) and remove the wheel. Replace in the reverse order.

This is the best video I found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsqdEeFexHc

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Fitting towbar
« on: September 08, 2018, 09:29:56 AM »

You have 3 options:

1. OEM is around £2k, as the official specs require the addition of a gearbox oil cooler.

2. Third party - such as PF Jones - who will supply and fit for around £600 - no oil cooler

3. DIY for about £300 for parts (towbar and electrics). I went down this route when PF Jones went out of stock over the summer. You will need to approach it systematically and it will take about 2 hours to fit plus another hour or so to route and connect the electrics. You will need some specific special tools (deep socket and plastic rivets)

Things to note:
- always use a dedicated electric system as generic ones can make an E70 do weird things
- DIY / 3rd party wiring can give you warranty problems

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Pre & Post LCI Comparison
« on: September 03, 2018, 09:45:08 PM »

No flappy paddles on pre-LCI either.
I think they came in when the X6 was launched. The 2011 handbook notes that they are only available on the X6.

They only became standardised on the X5towards the end of the model run - I think they are standard on the F15.

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Pre & Post LCI Comparison
« on: August 30, 2018, 10:58:41 PM »
Nope - no flappy paddles. Not standard on 2011 8-speeds SEs at least...

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Pre & Post LCI Comparison
« on: August 30, 2018, 10:56:24 AM »
Good price and find. Where did you find them?
I would have had them lol

What spacers have you got , brand and depth?

I have mud flaps on the m sport and even the 20’s at times looks lost in the arches from the rear

Paranoia about the cost of star rated tyres means I have an alert setup on Ebay when E70 stuff comes up. Delivery is always a problem (packing /cost) for the seller, so I look in locations near to me or where family/mates live. These came up local to my brother who collected them for me.

The spacers are a no-name brand fr Ebay at 20mm - don’t forget to specify E70 as the E53 and E71 (X6) have different hub centres, and that you get extended bolts as part of the set.

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Pre & Post LCI Comparison
« on: August 24, 2018, 04:20:35 PM »
Thanks for all the positive comments.

One update to report on. The steering wheel has been changed from this:

to this:

from an E90, I think. Completely plug and play, the only difficult bit was repackaging the airbag to fit the new-shape cover. Thicker, slightly smaller diameter and with rests at 10 and 2. Not a full-one M-sport one, but hey, its an SE! Total cost: £25 for wheel / £22 for new cover.

An interesting read

I’ve a 35d/ 3.0sd 7 seat m sport with lots of toys and drove a LCi 3.0d 7 seat m sport for over 6 hours across m4 and into London city and back. So I’ve experienced the lci gearbox, lack of toys.

I agree with the new CIC, it’s not as simple.
The 8 speed was smooth and was better geared on tighter bends and corners I thought

I think your are right about the 8-speed giving more poise (i.e. right revs for right corner), but I still think it is over sensitive...

What 19’s did you run on the 35d, any pics?

I quite fancy trying the newer x5 19’s

It was these (sorry for picture quality):

I bought them as they had new star-marked Michelin Latitudes on them for £400 for the set. Put them on the M-Sport with spacers to fill the arches. For the SE, will probably run current 18s to the winter, swap to (another) set of 19s I have with winter tyres on (another bargain at £200 that have done 2 winters now with plenty of tread still on them) and then back to the black 19s. Yes - that's correct, I have 3 sets of E70 wheels (and limited places to keep the ones not actually on the car...)

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Reversing Camera Retrofit
« on: August 23, 2018, 03:24:48 PM »
Avin do one for cheap.

I suspect this is an add-on to the Avin head unit, as there's nowhere to plug it in on the OEM system...

General X5 Forum (E70) / Pre & Post LCI Comparison
« on: August 20, 2018, 07:41:42 PM »
After just completing our first continental journey in our (new to us) 2011 40d SE, I thought it may be of interest to compare with our previous 2009 35d M-sport. I know that there are specific differences between the M-Sport and the SE, but I think there are enough similarities to provide a decent comparison.

By June 2018, after 3 years of ownership, we had taken our well-loved 2009 35d M-sport to 93k miles, and would break 100k with the year. As we had cautiously maintained the BMW extended warranty after the original AUC cover ran out (with good cause – new glowplugs/control unit/panoramic roof/small turbo etc etc all replaced at some point under our ownership) we were worried that the 100k cut-off on the warranty may cost us dear in the future.

The M-sport was highly specc’d – heated rear seats, reversing camera etc, so we went looking for an AUC car that was younger, had fewer miles and a similar high spec (and within our £20k budget). Surprisingly, one appeared at the Park Lane dealership – quite old for an AUC car (2011 40d) but with less than 30k miles. We were reticent at first - it is an SE, not an M-Sport; it’s in a standard silver (the M-Sport was in Individual Pearl Silver – a fantastic colour), but it was low miles and had lots of toys. A deal was done, selling the M-Sport locally for £2k more than the PX value.

Driving home a new car on a Friday at 5pm from Park Lane is quite an adventure! A thorough check at pickup had revealed a number of missing items (handbook, adaptive luggage rack, sunroof key etc) but Park Lane were brilliant, sourcing and sending the new parts to us.

So – what do we think?

M-sport v SE

I hate the SE steering wheel – thinner than the chunky M-Sport and without the finger rests at 10 and 2 o’clock. However, the steering is lighter but with a similar level of feedback. The M-Sport was always slightly too heavily weighted for us.

Comparing steering and suspension is difficult. Both cars have 7-seats, so have the automatic ride height system at the back. The M-sport was originally on 20” RFTs, but we moved to 19” non-RFTs quite soon as the ride was crashy, hard and the steering wandered at the first sniff of a damp white line (probably due to tyre wear rather than an inherent fault). The SE is on new 18” RFTs, but the 19” ones will be going on soon (we sold the 20” wheels with the M-Sport). We have found that the new car is slightly softer than the M-Sport, but still well-damped and with good body roll control.

The SE has the marmite (love/hate) side steps. Great for standing on to load a roofbox, awful to keep clean and not a great help in entering the car – they have the effect of making the sill wider unless you do a double ‘step up/step in’ move.

Both cars are twin-turbo, so no shortage of power. If anything the 35d felt smoother at lower revs, with quicker pickup. However, that may be due to the gearbox (see below).

Verdict: The kids prefer the SE ride as it jars less and I’ll change the steering wheel soon. Call it a draw.

Pre vs Post LCI

As you all know, the two major changes between pre- and post-LCI E70s (apart from brighter angel eyes, LED lights etc) were the gearbox (6-spd to 8-spd) and the upgrading of the CCC to CIC (DVD to hard disk nav system).

All articles I’ve read have been complimentary about both changes. It may be me needing to adapt, but I disagree. The 8-spd unit is smooth, and certainly contributes to an improved MPG (from circa 31 to over 35 on long runs and from 19 to 24 in town) but to my mind is a little too frenetic for its own good. The engines are powerful with loads of torque and doesn’t need lots of gear changes. In the M-sport (6-spd), an application of throttle resulted in a rising tide of power without needing to kickdown (except when pushed). The 8-spd seems to delight in changing down at the earliest opportunity and then holding a gear too long before changing back up. It may require a resetting of the transmission learning system to sort it out, but it doesn’t contribute to relaxed motoring.

The CIC is rubbish. Yes it does everything vey cleverly, and the higher-definition screen is brilliant (we did upgrade the M-Sport to one of the 10.8” android screens, which is on a par with the CIC one), but it is overly complicated and not intuitive. The old CIC controller was simple – four directions, rotation push, and a single menu button. It did bluetooth, sat nav, radio and integrated with our ipod. The CIC does pretty much the same but in a counter-intuitive way that tries to be too clever. Spending 10 minutes on google to find out why the ETA display has disappeared (it isn’t documented in the handbook) doesn’t strike me as customer-friendly (and I have a Masters in IT that should help but doesn’t…)

Verdict: Post-LCI is too clever by half. Pre-LCI is simpler and more relaxing. Maybe I’m just too old.


Both cars are highly specified, so it has been fun playing with different things and picking favourites. Some of the highlights are:

Seats: M-Sport had heated sports seats with electric adjustment that we loved. SE has comfort seats that are heated and cooled (S453A/S456A) that we love even more. If you buy an X5 you must get comfort seats.

Rear Hatch: M-sport was a manual lift, the SE is electric (S316A). A great toy, but difficult to open ‘just a bit’ to catch things that are going to fall out of a jam-packed boot before everything comes tumbling out.
Rear cabin: Both cars have rear heated seats, but the SE has 4-way aircon (S4NBA) which is brilliant, and goes a long way toward compensating for the lack of rear blinds that were on the M-Sport (and were great at keeping the heat out).

HUD (S610A): missing from the M-Sport, a toy on the SE, apart from the route directions for complicated French junctions (can anyone tell me how to get the main map display on the CIC screen to auto-zoom to show close-up detail when approaching 7-way roundabouts (not the RH direction screen)?).

Adaptive Cruise Control (S5DFA): new to us on the SE. Incredibly clever and effective on long motorway stretches but a bit too sensitive and harsh. Set it to say 70 mph (and no faster, obviously) on a clear road and it is fine. Approach a slower vehicle in your lane and it decelerates much harder than a human driver would – passengers slide forwards on seats and loose items move around. Move out to overtake and it accelerates just as hard back up to speed, inevitably kicking down a gear (see gearbox notes, above).  This happens regardless of the car distance you set. The most dangerous bit is when you approach a slower vehicle with a line of faster traffic in the outside lane. As a human, you judge the distances, signal, and blend into the faster moving traffic. With ACC running, you can signal and move as the deceleration start to happen but as you move lanes to fit behind a car in the outside lane, the ACC sees the gap between the faster and slower cars and starts to accelerate hard again before decelerating as you slide in behind the car in front. This surge of speed can be disconcerting when you are negotiating your way into a line of faster French traffic. On balance, it’s a great tool (and surprisingly effective in stop/start conditions), but you need to be alert when changing lanes.

Panoramic Roof (S402A): On both cars. Great when they work. Expensive when they don’t. If you have one, get a warranty.

Individual Audio (S752A): The 35d had Professional HiFI, the SE has Individual Audio (silver speaker surrounds, speakers everywhere). The Pro HiFi was fine, the Individual Audio is a pain to setup. At low volumes, the treble all but disappears and all you can hear is bass. I’ve fiddled with the equaliser (very 1970’s!) but it still only clears up at higher volumes (and it can go loud!).

Rear camera: The SE didn't have a camera (but which we had on the M-sport). OEM retrofit is ridiculously expensive, so I contacted an Ebay seller who offered to fit a rear camera for around £275 fitted, but it only has static lines. An upgraded version with dynamic lines is available, but is nearly £400 fitted. The guy sounded knowledgeable, but you do have to go to Birmingham for installation. After much research, I went for the Emtronica kit with dynamic lines (also on Ebay) to self-install. Purchase was £220, and installation took about an hour - the hardest part is routing the wire to the rear camera. It works perfectly, with a clear, bright image.

There’s other gadgets on the SE (e.g. comfort access, adaptive luggage system etc) but they are not major additions that make it stand out from the 35d.

Verdict: Always go for lots of toys, but some are more effective (and useful) than others. Comfort seats / rear camera / heated seats are (now) top of our list.

We are very pleased with the SE, effortlessly crossing France last week. We still miss the M-Sport (for its colour and presence especially), but the new car is equally as quick comfortable and has better economy. We will learn to love the gearbox and the CIC. Finding such a car with less than 30k miles and being absolutely spotless (even the suspension is clean!) with an AUC makes us happy. They are both great cars...

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: Reversing Camera Retrofit
« on: July 05, 2018, 07:34:17 AM »
Apparently that kit is an aftermarket camera, and they don’t do supply only.

Our new (to us) 40d didn't have a camera (which we had on our previous 35d), so I contacted the Ebay seller mentioned above (OEM retrofit being way too expensive). Apparently, for an LCI with PDC, the price is around £275 fitted, but it only has static lines. An upgraded version with dynamic lines is available, but is nearly £400 fitted. The guy sounded knowledgeable, but you do have to go to Birmingham for installation.

After much research, I went for the Emtronica kit with dynamic lines (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-Reversing-backup-camera-retrofit-3AG-E88-E90-E84-E70-CIC-MID-1-3-5-X1-x5/262689576513?hash=item3d2984d641:g:XIYAAOSwmSdaYLN~) to self-install. Purchase was £220, and installation took about an hour - the hardest part is routing the wire to the rear camera. It works perfectly, with a clear, bright image.

I'll post a short how-to when I get the time.

Buy and sell / Re: E70 M-sport Roof Bars
« on: July 02, 2018, 11:35:50 AM »
Now cleaned up and packed ready for delivery.

Comes with torque tool and spare end caps. Pre-spaced for E70 M-sport (requires allen key to adjust for other cars with flush roof rails).

Delivery circa £10 to mainland UK via UPS or similar.

Buy and sell / Re: E70 M-sport Roof Bars
« on: June 30, 2018, 11:16:19 PM »
Hopefully photos below

Not sure on postage - probably £15 or so via courier (due to length). I'll measure tomorrow and get a clearer price.

Buy and sell / E70 M-sport Roof Bars
« on: June 30, 2018, 06:48:26 PM »
'Farad' brand roof bars for M-Sport E70 (flush roof rails).
Have been on our now-departed car over the past 3 summer holidays without fault.
Aero aluminium style.
Tape marks and scratches but fully functional. Complete with tightening tool and spare end caps.
Retails for over £80 on Ebay (search Farad E70 closed).

They won't fit on our new SE!

£40 plus delivery or collection from Oxford.

**Now on Ebay**

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: BMW warranty question...
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:21:42 PM »
Well, I'm certainly one Giles, but probably not the Giles  :))

General X5 Forum (E70) / Re: BMW warranty question...
« on: June 27, 2018, 12:47:52 PM »

The warranty is a good option if available to you (on a precautionary principle - I've had lots of things fixed on our 2009 - turbo, rear heating, sunroof, air suspension, water pump etc etc, but others haven't had any problems).

I've never had to produce service invoices for warranty work, as they've used the BMW online records. As most service items are not mileage-linked, as long as there's not a huge gap between the last 'official BMW' service and the warranty work - and no service check messages are showing, you could be OK.

However, if they ask for the book with the specialist stamps in, you may have a problem - it has happened to me once, but that was only to confirm the first pages in the book had been completed properly (a bit late to ask given its nine years old!).

The actual warranty requirements are:

Failure to comply with the service schedule recommended by BMW Group UK may invalidate the warranty. An Authorised BMW Centre or BMW Service Authorised Workshop using only genuine BMW Parts must carry out all service and warranty work. The BMW Service Booklet should also be stamped, dated and detailed with the correct mileage at the time of service by the servicing BMW Centre.

I wonder if that applies to all work undertaken before the warranty is started (which it implies but doesn't explicitly state). The only way to find out properly would be to give them a call.


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