Ownership Verified: Dirty Diesel, Bought Dirt Cheap - 2008 M57 X5

Misrabelle

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So, as those on the Telegrams know, a few months ago I was looking for something a with a higher ride height than the XR6, and which could accomodate all of Dad's new mobility accessories, as well as 3 adults, comfortably.

Rest assured, the XR6 is NOT going anywhere!

Considered a Ford Territory, but was leaning towards Diesel to take advantage of the fuel tax rebate we get through the bus company, and all of those models were well into a 5 figure asking price, or completely clapped out.
Holden Captivas were around in the price range I was looking at, but there's a very good reason for that, since they tend to grenade themselves regularly. Plus they have Holden badges, and that's a no from me.
Honda? Toyota? Nissan? Plenty of Mazda SUVs, but all with serious issues. Nothing appealed to me.

While mindlessly scrolling FB Marketplace one day in April, I found an ad for a suspiciously cheap, Alpineweiss III X5, with Nevada black leather and Anthracite headliner, pretty close to me, which looked to be in very good condition, apart from it's listed faults (left side doors central locking doesn't work, reverse camera on it's way out, a random, intermittent gear selector fault, and the undiagnosed stalling issue).

So I started doing some research on their common problems, which was somewhat concerning, as of course the mileage was getting into the "This repair will be more expensive than usual" ballpark at 220,000km, however in the meantime the ad disappeared from my feed, so I assumed it was sold, and my search would continue.

A few days later the seller relisted the car, edited to add something about people asking stupid questions and stuffing him around, so I threw caution to the wind and sent a message, asking if I could come and have a look at it, with a mechanic workmate of mine.
A time was set, and we looked it over.
It was indeed in very good condition inside and out. Had two keys, original BMW folio and documentation, removable towbar, panoramic sunroof, new floormats, rubber boot liner, and the rear suspension looked brand new as well. Sunroof drains were clear, there were no leaks, and it opened/closed fully.

One minor door ding (it's been opened into something on the edge near the handle), and the tailgate had been replaced but not quite lined up correctly, however they're both things most people wouldn't notice until it's pointed out. The seller seemed genuinely surprised when I pointed out the inner tail lights didn't match the outer lights. Minor marks on the rear bumper, the usual yellowing/crazing on the headlights - which the seller had new lenses for, but didn't include with the vehicle.

Checking it's VIN number with the relevant local authorities showed a clean title, and no recorded accident history. All TSBs and recalls have been completed.
Checking it's VIN with DFence showed that it had been serviced from new until 2013 with BMW, then disappeared from their system until 2021.

The seller stated that it had a new battery, alternator, starter motor, windscreen, and rear tyres, with receipts for the work. Mechanics had done the DPF delete, and apparently replaced injector 6. None of which had made a difference to the problem of it cutting out, and the seller wasn't prepared to sink any more money into it, unless they could definitely fix the problem, which had now made the car almost completely undrivable.

We took it for a test drive, after being warned again that it would likely cut out when at operating temperature.
It made no concerning noises, or emissions, in the couple of minutes that it idled in the driveway, or once we started moving.

We were able to drive for a few minutes, until my workmate tried to floor it, and it died without warning.
We coasted to the gutter, tried to restart it, which it did instantly after we'd pulled the key and reset the ecu. Tried to move it back to the seller's house, and it would cut out again as soon as we tried to put it into gear.
Trying to restart without pulling the key resulted it in strong cranking but never firing. I took a cheap scantool with me and read the generic error codes, which seemed to be minor things like O2 sensors only, though that didn't explain the shutdown issue.

Eventually, the seller wandered over, said "Yep, that's what it's been doing", and we handed the keys back, for him to deal with moving it back to his property later. After a quick discussion with my workmate, I decided I was still interested, put down a deposit, and left to gather more information on what we believed the problem to be.

Armed with this info, I returned to the seller two days later, handed over the remainder of the asking price, did some paperwork, and a tilt tray arrived to bring my purchase back to the depot.

It was originally listed at $9000. I paid $7000.

Anyway, enough waffling, onto the photos (because let's face it, thats all anyone really cares about)...
Photos in this post are from the seller's listing.

There are many like it, but this particular money pit is now mine:
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I've always really liked this style of wheel; what I'm not going to like is the price for the tyres to fit the 20" rims, but at least the more expensive rear tyres are near new.
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Once seen, this abomination cannot be unseen, so immediately the hunt was on for LCI outer tail lights, as the original ones were crazed, faded, full of bugs, and not worth keeping.
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Apart from the usual 'soft-touch' door handles being stuffed, minor plastic bubbling, and a couple of cracks in the bamboo trim, the interior is in VERY good condition for it's age/use.
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Some leather cleaner/conditioner brought the rear seat back to near new condition.
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On it's arrival at the depot, the first person to see it was Janar, the Estonian guy who works in the other shed.
It wasn't even off the tow truck before he wandered over to check it out and critique my purchase.
It got a preliminary thumbs up, and he promised to bring in his laptop the following day with the INPA software to give me some more accurate information about how I might go about getting it running.

Meanwhile, I set about changing dead globes, destroying the Michael Buble cd that was left in it, removing the completely useless phone cradle taking up most of the center console storage, and making a list of anything else that needed to be changed, fixed or cleaned.
 
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lip

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Are you aware that you bought a SUV? Just asking. :ROFLMAO:

Hope you can fix the cut-out problem.
 

Misrabelle

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Sadly, yes. Though technically, I bought an SAV, according to BMW.

Dad had a stroke in December, and uses a walking frame around the house or for short distances, but if he goes out anywhere, then he has a manual wheelchair. He's also not currently (and may not ever again be) allowed to drive. I was using the cheap Toyota Corolla hatchback he got last year, but having the chair in it, left no room for the frame, and required the back seat to be folded down as well.
This meant that if mother, or anyone else had to come with us, then they didn't fit comfortably.

The stalling problem has been fixed, and I've been using it regularly since May.
The thread was delayed as (a) I couldn't think of a decent thread title, and (b) I've been managing Dad's business, his property investments - basically his life, since the end of 2019, due to various medical things going on for him.

There's lots of "I need to do ______, I'll get to it later", and then it's suddenly months later and I've still not got around to it.

There are more updates to come, but all the progress photos are on my phone, so I'll have to upload them from there.
 
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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These have aged pretty well, I didn't like them when they were new. Probably more reliable than a Range Rover Sport or ML from the same era. I had no idea they stuck the exhausts through the bumper but apparently I just wasn't paying attention. And yeah the mismatched tail lights are something you really can't unsee, please fix if you haven't already. :p

I hope it serves you well and you can have fun in it if that's possible, maybe a bit of off road action when you're bored of it. :LOL:
 

Misrabelle

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While waiting on Janar to be available with the laptop, I ordered some textured vinyl from eBay, and set about wrapping the bamboo trim.
Sue me, I’ve never liked it in cars, and having watched a YouTube tutorial on replacing it, this was the easiest solution.

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Its not perfect, but it’s good enough, and looks far better than the bamboo.
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After that, it was put up on ramps so we could have a look underneath.

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On pulling some of the plastic under-tray off, we found the remains of a large rat, jammed near the cross member. One of my drivers pulled that out. I didn’t bother to photograph it, and I’m glad it was long past the point of being able to smell it.
Then it was time for new fuel/air/oil filters and an oil change.
The air filter was literally falling apart and covered in oily/greasy hand marks, didn’t look like it had ever been changed.
Found a downstream O2 sensor with a couple of cut wires, and replaced that while we were at it. Cleared an error.

Co-worker was insistent that this would solve the stalling situation, and was bitterly disappointed when it didn’t.
 
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Misrabelle

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Eventually I was able to coordinate to meet with Janar, a friend of his who was also interested in playing with the car, and another workmate on a Saturday to do some troubleshooting.

37 codes later, we confirmed that it was most likely the common injector problem.
Cleared all codes, tried again, and that was the only one that returned.
So we set about pulling things apart to get to them for testing.

Armed with 6 empty water bottles, and some tube, it was determined that injector 5 was returning way too much fuel, which was causing the high pressure fuel pump to spaz out, shutting down the lift pump in the tank.

Janar pulling the injector. Honestly, the guy put way more time into it than I could have ever asked for. His mate was saying that he seriously knows his stuff when it comes to BMWs, and had owned one with the same engine back in Estonia.
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The injector fault was why it was cutting out, and wouldn’t restart without pulling the key, resetting the ecu. As soon as it detected over-pressure again, another shutdown, with the time between start up and shutdown getting shorter and shorter.

While we had the intake manifold off, we also tested the glow plugs, finding that 5/6 were dead, clearly not helping matters.

I took to the internets, ordered the injector and glow plugs, and a swirl flap delete kit while I was at it. Then twiddled my thumbs waiting impatiently for everything to arrive.

After binning the swirl flaps, which were in a pretty sad way, I had to make an unexpected trip to Brisbane the following weekend.
Nick and Janar decided to just carry on without me and put it all back together with the new parts.

It started, it idled. It did not shutdown. Neither of them, however, test drove it in the yard.

After blowing a cloud of black smoke on its initial test drive, we found that someone had left the air intake disconnected, so that fixed that problem.

Cost of labour for the injector and glow plugs was a case of beer. :)

While I was away, I ordered a new set of the plastic cowling/drip tray partition for the engine bay, as the one in it was stuffed, and is a common cause of the injector issue that it had, by allowing water ingress onto the injectors.
I also modified it somewhat with a large strip of very sticky plumbers butyl tape. Hopefully it will encourage the water to run harmlessly down the drains in the side instead.

By then it’s registration was almost expired, so the moment of truth would be taking it for it’s annual inspection.

Which it passed with no problem!

This left just a few small or cosmetic things to fix.
Someone had previously changed all the interior lighting to LEDs, along with the number plate lights, which the car didn’t like and kept telling me were not working. Annoying.

Back to eBay, I now have the brightest plate lights I’ve ever seen, but no error message!

The reverse camera module was removed and I went searching for one that worked. They’re like rocking horse poop here, apparently.
One (known working) has since been sourced from Texas, with Spectre’s help, and it’s on its way to me now.

I bought a replacement door lock actuator for the front left door, hoping that will fix the problem, as I can hear clicking when I press lock/unlock, so it seems to still have power.

Rear left door is not as urgent, since I don’t need to throw kids in the back, but I’ll get to that. (The actuator replacement, not the kids).

I finally managed to get a hold of a set of LCI outer tail lights, and fixed that problem too!
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So much better! Even if it was now crying about two stage braking lights not working, but it’s easily coded out, so that’s what I did.

I’ll be getting the body guy at work to have a look at how best to correctly align the tailgate, as it’s noticeably crooked on the right side. But it works as intended. Once the camera module arrives, I’ll put all the interior trim back on as well.

I did have an unexpected repair a couple of weeks ago, with the left side mirror falling out as I left for work one morning.
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Just completely dropped off the backing plate..of course it shattered on the concrete of my driveway.
Another trip to eBay, ordered aftermarket glass which didn’t fit. Seller tried to argue I measured incorrectly, and there was no way their mirror didn’t fit. They recommended I just glue it on. No.

OEM mirror plate
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First eBay plate…
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For shits and giggles I called the local BMW dealer to find out what organs they wanted to harvest for one. $647.40. Lulz.

Ordered from a different seller which clipped straight in, (for $29.90, with the heater element), but it meant the car was stuck in the shed at work for over a week while I sorted it out.

I absolutely hate the headlight bulbs that are in it, so those will be next on the agenda, along with sorting out the adjustment, as the driver’s side one feels very poorly aimed.
I have to be one of “those” people driving around with the fog lights on as well, just to have a decent amount of light on the road.

It still has one engine code (P14A2 Exhaust Gas Back Pressure Sensor Dynamically Implausible), which I believe is related to the DPF delete, and is likely just a matter of plugging a cable in.

I will shortly be checking the oil seals on the turbo, another known issue, but Sydney is bitterly cold and rainy at the moment, and while the shed is dry, it’s not very warm, so that’s a few weeks off yet.
If I floor it, and then have to sit in stop start traffic, suddenly the world disappears in a cloud of blue/white smoke from my exhaust. Which I think is oil getting past those seals, and is not a good thing. If I don't do silly things like that, it's perfectly well behaved.

The shifter fault the seller reported seems to be operator error. It only happens when you try and make it shift when you shouldn’t, or in a way you shouldn’t. I've done it by accident a couple of times, but if I pay attention, then it's not an issue.

We also scanned the gearbox for codes and found nothing, which was a relief.
I’m of the opinion the fluid, pan and sleeves in the mechatronic should be changed at some point, though it’s shifting smoothly at the moment.
 
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Perc

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Been waiting for this thread. Finally!

The only thing better in a BMW than a 3-liter straight six diesel would maybe be a four-liter straight six diesel, if they made such a thing.
 

Misrabelle

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Does this count as a proof pic?
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Maybe this? The interloper meets my one true love.
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I've yet to get it out on the open highway, though I did take it for a run down the expressway a couple of weeks ago when I was running late.
It's like a comfy sofa on wheels. Which, considering it also has live tv capability, makes sense.

I have a couple of things on order for it right now. Clip-on backing for the grab handles, to cover the sticky/peeled mess that was the soft-touch material.
LED DRLs to fit in the lower front bumper, where the silver spears are currently. We'll see if I fit them, I can use the halo rings as DRLs, just need to get whiter bulbs for the headlights.

I also bought a Bluetooth OBD connector, to be able to use Bimmercode (removed the safety warning, and recoded the tail lights with it already.)

It's in desperate need of a wash, but there is rain forecast for another week here, and it gets parked in a mud pit at home (The XR6 gets the garage), so there's just no point.
 
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WDWBen

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I also bought a Bluetooth OBD connector, to be able to use Bimmercode (removed the safety warning, and recoded the tail lights with it already.)
Time to tell the X5 it's a Rolls-Royce so you can act super fancy when it starts up! I keep wanting to do this to my buddy's 2er when he's not paying attention.
 

Misrabelle

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In a mildly irritating development, not one, but TWO of the AC vent-slider-thingies came loose today.
Attempted to change the vent direction while sitting in traffic, to enjoy some heater action, and the things came away from the connector piece behind the horizontal blades.

At least pulling them out to replace doesn't seem terribly difficult, and doesn't require a full dash-out job.

Also: ebay parts sellers won't deliver to my post office box for reasons of stupid. So I'll have to order it to work, and then re-direct it once there's a tracking number, adding a couple of days to what should have been a straight forward purchase.
 

Misrabelle

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Slip on cover things for the soft touch grab handles arrived - finally. They gave me a kit for a Euro car, however, so I have one that won't fit and one handle not covered. Annoying.

Also, I managed to hit the tiny lever that telescopes the steering for easy access on start up/shut down, and for the last week, it's been driving me nuts trying to work out what the whirring noise from the dashboard was. Fixed it this morning when I moved the car for the builders to get into the house.
 
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Misrabelle

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Well, the OEM vent tabs are a pain in the ass to fit, and I don’t have the patience currently, so they’re in a paper bag on the front passenger seat for now. I've pulled the vents out as well.

The extra grab handle cover arrived, and was promptly clipped into place. Happy with the result there.

I received a package from Texas a few weeks ago, containing (among other things), the SOS button cover that was missing, and a working reverse camera module! So I made the effort to fit both of them, and replace the flickering interior LED while I was at it.
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It works!!!!! (Ignore the dodgy wrap job)
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Looks like a complete car now... Plate lights are damn bright as well....
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I also fitted super bright LED's to the tailgate, while I was replacing all the plastic trims, so I can see what I'm looking for in the boot now. Great success!
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However there is now a problem with the CCC screen not working, intermittently.
Seems it’s just really, really dull, but without shining a torch on it, you can’t see it while sitting in the car. Even with lights on.
I'll pull the fuse in the boot first up and see if that resets it as a temporary fix.

If I do end up keeping this car for any length of time, I'll look in to doing the same screen upgrade that Dfence did to the touring. But currently, it only happens maybe 1 out of 20 times I start the car.

I've sent an enquiry email to a place that sells the 10.25" CarPlay equipped upgrade unit here, so we'll see if they can do any better than Amazon or eBay. Most of those kits are overseas though, and so will incur an import tax.

Also note the bonus broken vent tab in the picture. Love that. (OG Finalgear facemask too!)
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When the builders fixing our house dropped a skip bin in the place I usually park, I took the X5 to the bus depot and left it there in the shed.

It had also been getting a bit worse with the blue smoke from the exhaust when coming off the gas and letting it coast (down hill for example), so I decided it was safer to just park it until one of my workmates comes back from Greece this weekend.

Next week he'll harrass me into checking out the CCV (Fingers crossed it's just that, and I'll get a kit for it), the intercooler and turbo/oil feed lines for leaks, and worst case scenario would be a turbo overhaul/replacement. In which case it would potentially become someone else's problem.

Janar did apparently mention this as a common problem, to Nick, when they were working on the car while I was in Queensland.

Also still on the to-do list is change the door lock actuators on the left side doors, and the aftermarket lower DRLs.
 
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Matt2000

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The backlight appears to be off or very dim in your last picture. From the Googles there are suggestions that you can adjust its night brightness when the headlights are on in IDrive > Settings > Display Settings. In the daytime it can get upset by shadows apparently.

Otherwise the backlight lamp may be intermittently giving up.
 

Misrabelle

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The backlight appears to be off or very dim in your last picture. From the Googles there are suggestions that you can adjust its night brightness when the headlights are on in IDrive > Settings > Display Settings. In the daytime it can get upset by shadows apparently.

Otherwise the backlight lamp may be intermittently giving up.
Yeah, I hadn't changed any settings at all, and turning it off and on again seems to resolve the problem.

Funnily enough, the XR6 is having a similar problem, as it's also been sitting in the depot for a few weeks during the renovations, while the builders were storing their materials in the garage.

Here, I'm running it for a while to charge the battery, and the screen isn't working at all. If I were to try and drive it home, It'd come on about half way there. Though all the functions continue to work.
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They’ve been sitting here together for the last couple of weeks…hopefully making friends..
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Misrabelle

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Current error list from BimmerCode.

For a 14 year old BMW, with a patchy service history, that’s not actually too bad.

Probably needs a new injector control module, and shifter joystick replaced.
The mirror heaters I'm not concerned by, I won't be taking it to the snow any time soon.
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Matt2000

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One of the sites tried to connect the screen playing up with a low battery, any chance to put it on a trickle charger and see if the problem goes/stays away? The Falcon having a similar issue is an odd coincidence, the CCFL backlight might take some extra juice to fire up I suppose. I've never had a car with an older factory screen before. I should buy a 20 year old Range Rover...

Is that a W123 under the junk? I think it is.
 

Misrabelle

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The X5 battery is fine, was one of the new items listed by the seller when I bought the car, and I've had them both running several times since they got parked up. It actually started doing it while I was using it daily.

The XR6 was a similar thing. I'm assuming it is a dry socket somewhere, as once the car has been running ~10 minutes or so (part way into my journey to work or home), it springs to life as if nothing happened. But even when the Falcon was on a trickle charger, it still did it on start up.
Is that a W123 under the junk? I think it is.

It's a W114. 280E I'm pretty sure. Was mother's daily until I was about 10, and some arsehole in a 4 tonne truck ran up the back of it. Begged her not to call the cops, and took off after exchanging details - promising to pay for the damage.

He paid $1000 in cash (of $4000 damage), then changed his name and disappeared. (A police officer friend tracked him down from his licence number later on).
We got the damage repaired professionally, but it needed a full respray due to the paint being crazed all over. Dad had intended to do it himself though he hated spraying 2k, but it never happened.
Also, being pre-unleaded, it would need a conversion kit for the valve seats and so forth, as lead replacement is getting pretty rare here.

I have photos of it somewhere on my phone I think.
 

Misrabelle

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Vent tabs have FINALLY been replaced. Figured out how to detatch the fascia, and disassemble the vents enough to get hands in.
(Now they will be set to the positions I prefer, and anyone who attempts to move them will have their fingers broken. Because I am NOT doing that again.)

The CCC screen is now constantly dark, with the A475 CCFL failure error, so bugger it, I've ordered the Xtrons Android 11 10.25" screen, and it should be here in time for me to spend our National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, at work fitting it. I hope.

Might also attack the front left door actuator. Finally.

New head unit will allow wireless CarPlay, so I won't need to have a spare phone for music. (I usually plug the phone in to charge and use the aux in teh centre console, then get out at my destination and forget all about my phone), which is annoying for a number of reasons. Using an old phone got around part of that, apart from then always being flat when I returned. Because unlike in the XR6, it doesn't automatically stop the music when you turn the vehicle off.
 
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Misrabelle

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Sydney, Australia
Car(s)
'03 Falcon BA XR6, '79 XD Falcon S, '08 X5 3.0D
Well, the Xtrons unit arrived from Hong Kong about 40 hours after I ordered it.
Since I had not much to do today, I decided to go to the depot and play on my own.

I hadn’t replaced the centre air vents because I knew they had to come out again, and the OEM screen was only held in by 2 screws, so I pulled that on Friday evening.
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Good enough starting point.

I’d watched a YouTube video of someone in Queensland installing the exact same unit, so was pretty confident it wouldn’t be that hard. Despite the very basic instructions, and photos that didn’t show much, it really wasn’t difficult.

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Its more awkward than difficult. Not much space to work with, and some things are done by feel because you can't get them to a position where you can see what you're doing.
With the harness adapter installed, there is even less room! Of course everything had to come out or be moved…
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Install was actually really simple. The biggest hold ups were clips I couldn’t get a good grip of, or screws that weren’t wanting to budge.
Got 'em eventually.

Install is the reverse of removal…
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Not a lot of vacant real estate in behind these things…
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Checking it functions as intended before securing everything. Of course if I hadn’t, something wouldn’t have worked.

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It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

All the original iDrive functions are retained, and the factory input still works. Wireless CarPlay is decent, and I can add a micro SIM to use internet, or connect via wifi hotspot from my phone.

The kit comes with a GPS unit and wifi antenna, which I’ve fixed under the top of the dashboard.
There are also two extra USB inputs that run through to the glovebox to allow game controllers, or even just charging and USB music.
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That actually gives me 8 potential power sources in the cabin. Two USBs in the glove box, two under the DVD drive in the cup holder lighter port, two in the centre console lighter port, and two in the rear console lighter port.
Then there's the power source in the cargo area as well.

There is a 3.5mm connection to run under the console to the aux input in the centre compartment, but unless the unit doesn’t play sound when you try it the first time out of the box, you don't need to fit it, and it's a bit fiddly anyway.

Had to manually select the OEM reverse cam in the settings, but that all works, including guide lines. There are spare wires for adding the 360° camera, an aftermarket reverse camera, or a hardwired dash cam recording to a microSD.

Having now also read the manual, I’ll be changing the start up screen from the basic Android one, and playing with the apps.

Some other accessories are available for it, such as an OBD2 reader, which will display direct to the screen and a DAB+ dongle/antenna. If I listened to radio often, I might have actually considered buying that as well.

There are a bunch of functions I’ll never need, but overall, I’m very happy with this upgrade.
It looks OEM - just like the F series BMWs. So much more modern!

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Misrabelle

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Joined
Nov 30, 2008
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3,188
Location
Sydney, Australia
Car(s)
'03 Falcon BA XR6, '79 XD Falcon S, '08 X5 3.0D
Spent the better part of the day on this thing again.

However, I now have one more remote locking and unlocking door! 3 of 4!! The front left actuator was stuffed, as I suspected. So the replacement part I've had sitting around for almost as long as the car, once installed, has worked as intended.
It also means I was finally able to put the interior door handle back together (after a quick panic when I didn't know where I'd put it).

This just leaves me with the rear left door lock not working, so I'll grab another actuator, and probably replace that next weekend if it gets here in time (seller says they're in Sydney, so we'll see).

Other work semi-completed today includes these....
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Not everyone's cup of tea, I'm sure. Will have to cut out some holes in the plate on the driver's side, as the transmission oil cooler is right behind it. Maybe I can find a way to mount the light to the original insert, if some heat is involved.
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Still need to complete the wiring, as it also should work in with headlights, and dim when they’re switched on.

Also, in an attempt to chase down the occasional blue smoke issues, I pulled the PCV/CCV breather to inspect, and found it empty. No filter of any kind in there, though it was also very clean and dry...there is a filter on order now.

Then I'll have to check the valve cover gasket, and pull the charge lines/intake off the turbo to inspect that shortly as well. May yet need a new turbo, but Garrett say their global policy is that they don't sell repair kits or spare parts for this model, otherwise I’d get it re-cored and fit new seals.

However, I have seen remanufactured OEM turbos around, so obviously there is a way around that. A recore can be done without disturbing the VNT mechanism if you're very careful, and that's something for someone who knows what they're doing - NOT me.
 
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