BMW X5 E70

So something strange happened a few weeks ago. It was a Saturday afternoon and nothing really happening so my wife and eldest daughter went with me to Stratstone BMW in Chesterfield. We had a bit of a look around the used cars but there was nothing to take our fancy. After that we took a trip to the new (I say new but it has been there a year or two now) Sytners in Sheffield. This is a lovely dealers and we thought we’d grab a cuppa and take a look at some X3 and X5.

There were some really nice nearly new X5 in stock and this really got the taste buds tingling. However, these were a bit out of the current price range as I was fancying something newer than the E53 but not that new as to cost the price of a small nation.

The reason I had been thinking about something newer was that the E39 had been hit whilst I was away for work. Some nice person had gone down the side of it and left a paint transfer all down the side. Most of this came off with the machine polisher but there was some work needed to fix a spot over the rear wheel arch. Having to sort this out made me notice some rust coming through on the top of the wheel arch. This little bit of rust along with rust starting to come through on both sills and the fact that the recent MOT had shown some kind of leak on the top end showed me that I was in for some more garage bills. It was going to be either keep the E39 and spend some cash on it or trade it in for something newer.

Now, because I had been thinking this way I had mentally started to put together a list of the things I wanted from the idea car:

  1. Cream / Beige interior
  2. Sunroof
  3. Heated seats (kids also wanting heated rear seats as they had been feeling left out)
  4. Built in entertainment screen
  5. Would be nice to have another 3 litre but this time maybe a Diesel
  6. Had to have the wow factor

So, whilst looking at the cars in Sytners the sales person asked if there was anything of interest. Nope. Could he look at what other cars they had. Sure. So off he went and he came up with an X5 and an X3 that he thought I would be interested in, both of which were arond the back of the building so off he went to find the keys and bring them round for us to check out.

Well, the first one to come out was the X5 and straight away this had the wow factor. 2013 E70 xDrive 4.0d, 3 litres of loviness with twin turbo. Cream and black interior, panoramic sunroof, heated seats all round. Yep, this one just ticked all the boxes for what I was looking for.

The X3 came round and even though it was nice, it didn’t have all the bells and whistles and was straight away consigned to the rejected pile.

There was no way I thought that the salesman could find me a car that matched everything I wanted but somehow he managed it, without even knowing (as I hadn’t told him about my list).

We ended up walking away that afternoon with the deal signed for the E70. The E39 has gone on to hopefully be loved by someone else and we have the lovely new E70.

The E70 has already been on the BMW Car Club stand at two shows, the Doncaster Classic Car show and the BMW Show @ Santa Pod.

Touring Hydraulic Tailgate

My touring came with the hydraulic opening / closing option. This is a really neat option and when the car first came out this would have been really impressive. Of course, most cars these days come with this option as standard but I still think it is great.

When I first got the car the hydraulic lift was not working as it should and I have been asked a few times on how I got this working again. The system is quite simple and there  are really only a couple of things to look at if the tailgate does operate but not to your satisfaction. If the hydraulic pump has gone and you get nothing then this will be an expensive fix. If it does work but needs some help then it will most likely a combination of the hydraulic fluid needing to be topped up or the struts for the tailgate and window section that need to be replaced.

I started off with the simplest check, the hydraulic fluid. The fluid recommended is AeroShell Fluid 41. You can buy this from many places. I got a 1 ltr can for around £10. You can get it from eBay, Amazon or direct from a number of aircraft parts websites. The place I got mine is the URL below.

https://transair.co.uk/aeroshell-chemicals/aeroshell-fluid/aeroshell-fluid-41/aeroshell-fluid-41-1us-quart-defstan91-48-om15-mil-prf-5606h

Once you have the fluid you need to carefully remove the fluid reservoir from the pump. This is a push on affair with a clip. You need a screwdriver to loosen the clip and then really carefully pull off the reservoir. It is only a small holder so does not take much liquid at all. Fill it up just past the max level and put it back on carefully. You will no doubt spill some.

Once you have the reservoir back on then grab a hold of the tailgate and move it up and down a few times to pump the liquid around the system. Do this before you try it with the buttons.

When I first changed the fluid  it seemed to make little to no difference to the system but should always be tried in the first instance.

Next came the more difficult check which I left to my local garage. What I noticed was that if I opened the window portion of the tailgate and then pressed the button to open the tailgate then it would magically work with no issue. The hydraulics could not lift the weight of the tailgate and window combined. What we did next was to change the struts for the tailgate and the window so that they are all new and at their best. Changing the struts can be a bit fiddly, which is why I left it to my local garage, but can be done.

Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VaFBlyuk6Y&t=77s

Once I had the struts replaced the tailgate now works as it should. It does have some difficulty if the car is pointing down a hill. I am figuring that this is because the tailgate will need more of a push to get it going and the system is not up to it.

Would be great to hear if this has helped or if you have other suggestions for getting this working or making it better.

BMW Show 2018 Santa Pod

So we just got back from this years BMW Show at Santa Pod. This year Rose wanted to camp so we got a weekend ticket. Once again we were on the BMW E39 Club UK stand and we met up with a few members on the Saturday for camping. The highlight of Saturday night has to be the bumper cars 🙂

The camping field was full and there were some great cars, it was like having a show within a show. Really enjoyed having a walk around and seeing them all.

On the Sunday we were up bright and early, pulling down the tents and getting to the stand to set up.

The weather for both days was really great and very hot. Yes, there was some sunburn involved. Amazing how you can miss places putting on the lotion.

The E39 Club UK stand looked to be the largest in the show and as ever there were some great cars on the stand. Looking around I did start to think about getting another car, maybe a Z3 or Z4. Not sure that I could afford the amount of shoes for the wife it would take for her to let me have another car in the collection.

The Sunday went too quickly with there being so much to see, the drift track, the stunt guy, the racing on the track and all the stands. The show does lack stalls and merchandise which I hope the organisers will sort out for next year. For instance, Autoglym is a sponsor of the show and were not even there.

Looking forward to next year already. National Festival at Gaydon is next on the cards, showing the X5 on the BMW Car Club Eastern stand. Come say hello if you see us.

Installing BMW Scanner 1.4.0 on Windows 10

I keep seeing people requesting information on how to install BMW Scanner 1.4.0 on Windows 10. Here are the notes I took whilst I installed the software on Windows 10 Professional. The software installation was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Professional. I first copied the scanner software from the CD to a folder on my desktop.

These instructions should also work for Windows 7 but I have not tried them on this Operating System.

Disclaimer: This procedure worked for my installation. It is not guaranteed to work for all laptops and all versions of Windows.

1.  Double-click on the set up program in the software folder.

2. When asked if you want to allow this software from an unknown publisher to update the computer. click the Yes button. The installation will start.

3. Take all the default options for the installation. If asked if you want to overwrite and files, click on Overwrite All. When prompted, take the option to install a shortcut on the desktop, and to auto-run the application after installation.

When the application starts you will see that the drivers are not installed.

4. Now we need to install the drivers.
Go to the install folder on the c:\ drive.
Go in to BMWScan140.
Go in to Drivers.
Select the file FTD2XX.inf (the one that says setup information) and right-click the mouse to bring up the context menu.
Press Install.

When asked if you want to allow the program to modify the computer. Press Yes. The drivers will start to install.

During the installation you will be notified that the system cannot verify the publisher.

Press on Install this driver software anyway
5. The drivers are installed and the software now shows the drivers installed when you run it

6. Plug the laptop in to the car and start the software. The software should connect to the car and allow you to scan and update the system.

The items noted below I did not need to do for my installation of Windows 10 Professional but are included to give you some pointers for troubleshooting.

  • On a previous installation of Windows 10 I needed to find a registry hack to allow uncertified drivers to be installed. This was a while ago so I don’t have the link. Try searching for “how to install drivers from an unknown publisher”. (always take care when editing the registry)
  • On 64-bit installations you may find you need to install the 64-bit drivers. The drivers are available in the install folder where you run the initial setup program from.

    Go in to the 64 bit drivers folder, locate the Setup Information files, right-click on these and choose the Install option from the menu.

  • You may also find you need to change the configuration for the COM serial port. You can do this in Device Manager, look for the serial port driver and use the configure options. You can change the assigned COM port and other things like the latency.  NOTE: You won’t see the serial port in Device Manager unless the laptop is plugged in to the car.

I hope that this post helps you to get the software working. Please do let me know if this gets you going. If you have issues, try Googling (that’s what I do) or you can post a comment and I will try and help. I can’t give any guarantees to be able to get things working for you but can sometimes help to communicate

UPDATE 2018-05-06

My laptop updated to the latest feature version of Windows today and after this update BMW Scanner could no longer see the serial port to communicate with the car. It would just say Hardware not ready. A quick look in Device Manager in Windows and it said that the driver for the BMW Scanner was not loaded. I went back to load the drivers as per the above instructions but they would not install. Windows gave an error about there not being a signature on the drivers and so would not install them. A quick Google of the issue and I found the following link.

SOLVED: The Third-Party INF Does Not Contain Digital Signature Information

I used the notes on GUI to Disable Digital Signature Checking. After disabling the check for the digital signature it now allowed the drivers to be installed. I had to reboot the laptop after the install of the drivers before they would work.

 

 

 

Refurbish Wiper Arms

The wiper arms on the E52 were looking a bit worse for wear. The black had gone very pale and in some places had come off altogether and there were rust patches. It was time for a refurb.

I used a 17mm spanner to remove the bolts holding the arms on and a battery terminal puller to extract the arms off the spindles.

Using sandpaper and spray that I already had in the cellar I set to work.

Sanded down the arms with 250 grit followed by 1500 grit to remove the worst of the rust and to smooth where the original paint had peeled. I then used three coats of grey etch primer followed by two coats of matt black.

I waited at least five minutes between each coat of paint and then left the arms for 24-hours to dry before fitting back on the car.

The end result is astounding and makes such a difference.

The Before

The After