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Shite Reports Flooding In.


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Well, not exactly flooding.

 

We pretty much all occasionally buy something from the unfashionably deep end of the World Of Chod. Rather a lot of us like to post a thread about our latest rescue from the automotive gutter, whether it be a hearing aid beige festering pile of nylon and vinyl trimmed BL nastiness, something a bit ooh la la Frogtastic, something disposable with a TU lump and hyperactive suspension or highly overcomplicated and badly thought out.

 

So I thought I'd start putting those initial squealing with delight or howling with fury reports about my shite here. They've got to go somewhere, I can't be arsed looking for old threads when all it'll be is the odd 'purely car related' thread.

 

So, this 305k 528i SE Auto I just ended up with. After a day and a bit of mooching about in it, these are my initial thoughts about it.

 

Bought because it sounded like a fun thing to use for a while, pretty much unseen other than a 2 minute squint at it a few weeks ago. Hadn't driven it, or even sat in the thing for years. Metallic green with orangey, beigey leather. Tan I think they call it. Not hoovered it yet, so I've not taken any interior pics.

 

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305k on the clock, BMW main agent history to 100k when it had a new engine due to Nikasil issues buggering the old one, and a constant file of itemised bills from the local garage from then til September this year. A few tiny little marks here and there but nothing at all serious. Paint is still pretty shiny, bonnet has been repainted due to stone chips as have the front wings but it generally looks pretty bloody good. Interior is very good indeed, no wear on the bolsters, leather is a bit saggy on the drivers seat but that's about it. Passengers front cupholder is broken as is the little blue temp button for the driver side temperature (which still works). A couple of roundels are missing from the alloys. Torch, first aid kit, spare keys, handbooks, triangle, keyfobs, dealer plates, tool kit all present and correct. Everything other than the glovebox light works - and that's because the bulb is out as the switch needs adjusting. CD changer still works fine and dandy, but the n/s/f door speaker crackles a bit on some tunes. All the little illuminated bits still light up as they should, even on the steering wheel controls.

 

So. It's done more miles than Jean-Luc Picard. What does it actually drive like? When started from overnight cold it's a bit rough if the truth be told. Timing chain rattles for 5-10 seconds and then goes quiet. Idles on five cylinders for the first minute or so then the sixth chimes in. It runs fine on all six as long as it is warm and only does the timing chain thing for a second or so on subsequent start-ups. Probably a slightly weak cylinder along with a tired timing chain tensioner.. No smoke at all or bad behaviour otherwise, it's the only sign that the car has done big miles. Gearbox is smooth and quiet, engine is smooth and quiet, brakes are fine with a good pedal, little tiny occasional clunk from somewhere at the front end but the radio has to be off to hear it. Front wheels need balancing as there's a tiny little shake between 55-70 mph. Cruise control works, as does the aircon. Ride is good, no wallowing or tramlining on the motorway, no diff noise. No warning lights or anything untoward.

 

I need to run it for a while to get used to its little foibles, but I'm almost tempted to just run the thing and see just how long it will keep going if I look after it reasonably well.

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I rather like these despite my non-botheredness of BMWs normally. Sometimes you just want a car to run, no poncing about, so fingers crossed for you Pete this'll do the job over the winter. Still looks smart despite it's 305k miles.

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Yep, that has a wonderful air of faded class, you'll fit right in at the (council run) golf club on a Sunday morning.* :D

 

Your mention of misfiring cylinders reminds me of a story told me by a friend who bought a yank tank which was only firing on seven. Upon inspection he found there was a lump of wood wedged into the eighth plug hole. This was duly removed and a shiny new plug and lead fitted. Starting the engine blew the sump off (there might be a bit of exaggeration here to make the story more interesting). Dismantling of the engine revealed that not only was there no plug but a complete absence of piston and con rod as well.

 

*I have no real idea if this is true it is just the way my imagination works.

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E39's are fantastic cars, such an amazing machine for 1996 if you look at what it was competing again. Your ones a credit to how well they built them.

I've had two 520's one with 165k on it and it drove faultlessly if not very slowly. I always fancied a 528i or a 530i as I doubt the mpg is much worse than the 520i.

 

If I had 5-6k to spent on a daily driver I recon I'd still buy an E39 530d sport over pretty much anything else.

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such an amazing machine for 1996 if you look at what it was competing again.

 

Hm, the E39 was kinda competing with this:

 

1315659443_1998_ford_scorpio-pic-8192774798036752960.jpeg

 

I think I now understand why you said "look" (obviously, the owner of the car pictured here didn't think it was ugly enough on its own. Consequently he took to fitting some fugly wheels to round the appearance off). :mrgreen:

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One of the friends I left behind in Southport sent me a pic of his new car, the replacement for his pair of Volvo estates (one of them being the one I left with him); guess what, he's bought that shape of BMW, in a 525 manual flavour IIRC. It's silver, anyway. He seems happy with it, so you might be too.

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Is the gearbox the original one? Getting 305k out of an auto box is no mean feat....

 

You just have to change the oil every now and again.

 

You are aware that most modern buses and trucks are automatic?

And they really rack up the miles.

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Is the gearbox the original one? Getting 305k out of an auto box is no mean feat....

 

You just have to change the oil every now and again.

 

You are aware that most modern buses and trucks are automatic?

And they really rack up the miles.

 

I do know it, but carmakers are so proud of the fact that their own boxes are "sealed for life"...Hence it's a job that often doesn't occur to owners or even mechanics!

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Nope its sealed for life job. Must have been serviced though, mine at 2/3rds that mileage was a struggle to kick down unless you "foot off then foot down". Most definitely the high watermark at BMW before the dip (think early W124, Peugeot 405 etc) and the best headrests in the world (I'm sure there horse hair or summat). Pete I think the coil packs are date stamped - mine were all original, it might be that. P.M. me your address if you want a pack (and maybe a half) of NGK plugs. I have a hedgehog (heater resistor) that's reputedly a good-un if you get stuck too.

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According to the history, this hasn't had any electronic issues other than needing headlamp control modules in 2002.

 

It has had the wiper linkage replaced, but the rain sensing wipers work fine on it.

 

Just had a mooch through the service history. By 'eck he's been charged a bloody fortune over the years.

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Is the gearbox the original one? Getting 305k out of an auto box is no mean feat....

 

You just have to change the oil every now and again.

 

You are aware that most modern buses and trucks are automatic?

And they really rack up the miles.

 

Buses and fire engines, yes: conventional autos. Other trucks are non-synch controlled by compressed air + electronics. And they're mince, the ZF ones regularly breaking at 500 thou.

Nice BMW that is, I bid on a V8 estate version before I bought the Volvo. Not as many miles tho', 'only' 250 thou...

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Today's update.

 

Brought it to the workshop, gave it a good coat of looking at and a vacuum.

 

Went through the codes in the ECU and had a good giggle. Previous owner spent a fortune getting lots of stuff done to it by one garage over the last 10 years, which they've done but they obviously didn't have decent quality diagnostic equipment so a lot of the diagnostic work done appears to have been guesswork and substitution with new parts. Something hasn't worked so they've replaced everything until the car felt right, but by the look of things it's only been plugged into the "service reset" jobbie. Not actually interrogated.

 

I've just interrogated the engine, transmission, steering, instrument panel, climate and gone through all the codes present. All the stuff that has flashed up a code had work done on it in the service history. All the codes cleared without a problem and after an hour of driving and testing everything none of them have returned and everything works as it should. The engine and box are smoother, according to the MPGometer it's using a fair bit less fuel and the fuel gauge now reads as it should (the sender had been replaced but there was still a code present so it still read incorrectly).

 

It feels like it's gained 50 bhp...

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Yep, that has a wonderful air of faded class, you'll fit right in at the (council run) golf club on a Sunday morning.* :D

 

Your mention of misfiring cylinders reminds me of a story told me by a friend who bought a yank tank which was only firing on seven. Upon inspection he found there was a lump of wood wedged into the eighth plug hole. This was duly removed and a shiny new plug and lead fitted. Starting the engine blew the sump off (there might be a bit of exaggeration here to make the story more interesting). Dismantling of the engine revealed that not only was there no plug but a complete absence of piston and con rod as well.

 

*I have no real idea if this is true it is just the way my imagination works.

 

Possibly dressed up a tad. No piston would have meant no compression, or indeed induction when the pushrod opened the intake. There would have been no sump smashing explosion. The bit of wodd is believable; tough it would have probably been glued in.

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Yep, that has a wonderful air of faded class, you'll fit right in at the (council run) golf club on a Sunday morning.* :D

 

Your mention of misfiring cylinders reminds me of a story told me by a friend who bought a yank tank which was only firing on seven. Upon inspection he found there was a lump of wood wedged into the eighth plug hole. This was duly removed and a shiny new plug and lead fitted. Starting the engine blew the sump off (there might be a bit of exaggeration here to make the story more interesting). Dismantling of the engine revealed that not only was there no plug but a complete absence of piston and con rod as well.

 

*I have no real idea if this is true it is just the way my imagination works.

 

Possibly dressed up a tad. No piston would have meant no compression, or indeed induction when the pushrod opened the intake. There would have been no sump smashing explosion. The bit of wood is believable; though it would have probably been glued in.

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These are nice motors. Car Mechanics had a 523i a while back and it wasn't a bad old bus really. That felt a little flat, even after some tweaking, and it was rather too keen on kicking down for my liking, but it was very pleasant to eat up the miles in. The only big downside was getting wanker signs made at me as I overtook a 'proper' Mini one time! I was a bit pissed off about that. It wasn't even my BMW and I had a proper Mini at home!

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What software are you using Pete? I've got a eBay special OBD2 reader complete with lots of dodgy software, it'll talk to the Mrs's Citroen but not the BMW. Mine's a 2002 'timebomb' spec (530D auto), dunno if there's a difference.

 

Snap-On Solus Pro with the BMW adapter. It's not mine, but I have access to it as I do some diagnostic jobs in my mates garage.

 

As for interior shots. Grabbed these tonight. Could do with a visit from the valeting fairy on the carpets where the mats haven't covered and the leather could do with a bit of a feed'n'clean, but it doesn't appear to have ever had food in. Unused ashtray and lighter....

 

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These are nice motors. Car Mechanics had a 523i a while back and it wasn't a bad old bus really.

 

I had a brief look at the CM 523i when I visited Kelsey Publishing's offices in Peterborough when I bought TV2 from Peter Simpson in April 2009* and it seemed like a pretty good car, although the big wheels that Total BMW had fitted to it weren't to my taste.

 

 

 

*I also bought The Volvo from him in December 2003.

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Last of the "proper" BMWs ? It's almost terrifying just how old these are now. Eitherway, nice motor, though I'd probably baulk at the mileage if I were in the market for such a thing, regardless of how good a condition it were in. :lol:

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CIH":2goggxd5] Eitherway[/b], nice motor, though I'd probably baulk at the mileage if I were in the market for such a thing, regardless of how good a condition it were in. :lol:

 

A lot of people would run away at the thought of 305k. Understandably, it's an epic amount of miles. Car is from 96 so nearly 16 years old. It has averaged 20k a year. It obviously isn't going to last as long as a well maintained 70k Miler but I bet it would do another 150 - 200k provided it's looked after properly.

 

I have driven 70,000 mile E39s that feel haggler and more worn than this one.

 

Besides, This is autoshite, a 70k mile one of these doesn't belong here. I think this might just by virtue of still going!

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Just going through the history. Amazing how much it costs to get a car to 300k.

 

Here's what it has cost in servicing over 200k miles. (Stuff with * is BMW main agent) History is not detailed to 90k, just stamps. Other than the tyres it's all been from two garages, one BMW, the other a local job.

 

July 2000 - £678.77* - Oil service, upper control arm, wishbone, aircon regas, suspension arm, alignment

December 2000 - £157.45 - two tyres.

January 2001 - £535.51* - Inspection I, Starter motor, wiper blades, bulbs, new block and pistons (FOC)

March 2001 - £126.70* - wiring issue and a new tail lamp.

May 2001 - £638.43* - aircon repairs, new condenser and drier.

June 2001 - £251.09* - oil service, front pads, wiper blades.

July 2001 - £166.80 - two tyres

December 2001 - £830.50* - brakes, 2x tyres, mot, service, number plates, handbrake shoes

May 2002 - £402.37* - Oil service, power steering pump

August 2002 - £190.00 - two tyres

August 2002 - £172.34* - alignment adjustment

November 2002 - £274.41* - Inspection I + pollen filter

Jan 2003 - £39.25* - MOT

April 2003 - £285.75* - Oil service, f+r pads, bulbs

Novermber 2003 - £150.00 - two tyres

Jan 2004 - £1212.84* - Inspection II, MOT, side airbag loom, anti roll bar bushes, thrust rods, silencer, fog lamp, swing arm

Jan 2004 - £383.52* - headlamp wiring module fault. Module replaced.

July 2004 - £20.00* - key.

August 2004 - £170.00 - two tyres

September2004 - £267.48* - Inspection service

July 2005 - £232.65 - Service

July 2005 - £1718.51 - Cylinder head repair, radiator replacement. Head gasket, thermostat.

August 2005 - £185.65 - Crank sensor

December 2005 - £209.15 - Service

August 2006 - £1023.42 - aircon compressor, 2x springs, 2x shocks

January 2007 - £874.56 - Window motor and cable, service, idle control valve, fuel pressure reg

Mar 2007 - £221.74 - front discs, pads, pad sensor

May 2007 - £950.00 - aircon compressor, abs sensor, fan, pipe, drier, engine oil and filter

November 2007 - £205.17 - front pulley replaced

December 2007 - £497.65 - Oil, filter, rear discs, handbrake shoes, rear wheel bearing

March 2008 - £420.65 - Service auto box, replace gearbox oil cooler

November 2008 - £291.40 - Service + Diagnostic (this'll be the same place that left the fault codes in for everything)

July 2009 - £950.01 - Service, rear springs, rear pads, 1 rear wheel bearing, 1 front wheel bearing, 2 brake pipes, abs sensor, washer valve

August 2009 - £269.71 - Replace wiper linkages

October 2009 - £248.40 - Replace water pump, cam belt!!! and cam belt kit!!!. Impressive on a car with chain driven cams. Must mean fan belt.

January 2010 - £177.42 - Battery and two wiper blades

November 2010 - £664.67 - Service (and diagnostics!), front and rear discs, pads and pad indicators

March 2011 - £153.60 - 2x drop links

April 2011 - £300.00 - Cooling fan and antifreeze

September2011 - £266.31 - Service and brake pads.

 

So, for 215,000 miles.. £16793.88 in servicing. If my maths is correct, that's 12.8p/mile for servicing.... Considering the geezer I bought the Jag from spent approaching £6000 in 18,000 miles that's not too bad really....

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Fucking hell, some people really do have money to burn!

 

 

"October 2009 - £248.40 - Replace water pump, cam belt!!! and cam belt kit!!!. Impressive on a car with chain driven cams. Must mean fan belt."

 

A fan belt is just over a tenner. Water pump £32 ( http://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/c/BMW_5 ... cb6&000366). £200 worth of labour, at independent garage prices, for changing the alternator belt? I wouldn't be surprised if he actually paid for a new timing belt...

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