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.

X5 Progress Report

So it’s been a few weeks now since I took ownership of the E53 X5. It’s been a busy time with travel for work and so I have not been able to get as much done as I had hoped. The car has been in the local garage a couple of times but has so far not had much done on it due to them being busy , holidays, etc.

Here’s what has been done so far:

  • The pixels in the dash have been fixed. This has allowed us to see the messages that were being displayed. This was Check Park Light and Check Reverse Light. After playing a little with the connections these have now stopped being displayed.
  • I knew the car needed a new front passenger tyre, ended up that it needed all four new boots.
  • The car has now had a service.
  • The steering wheel has been adjusted to that it is now straight. It’s amazing how annoying it is if the steering wheel is off, even by just a small amount.
  • No matter how much I tried to get the keys working, the one key to start the car and both keys to operate the remote central locking, I just couldn’t get them to work. I took the car down to Newhall BMW in Sheffield and the guys there were nice enough to plug in their computer and looked to see if they could get the keys working. They came to the same conclusion as me, the key is kaput. I went to Sytners and ordered a new key, two days later I have a new key that will start the car and will operate the remote central locking.
  • I have replaced the two tailgate lights. I did clean up the passenger side but I also managed to break it in the process. The drivers side has a crack in the reverse lens. I quick online chat with Quarry Motors in Sheffield and two replacement lights were on the way. These are really easy to replace with only three screws holding each in place. Remove the top plastic cover on the tailgate and then the inside plastic trim and the lights are easily accessible.
  • Plugged in the MID to try and get the BC to display messages in the instrument cluster. According to the manual this should be possible by pressing the BC button on the end of the stalk until the display shows PROG. Unfortunately I can’t get it to display PROG. I tried using INPA to program the display but no joy there either. All I want is to have the current time displayed in the cluster on the message line.

So what is left to do:

  • The drivers door actuator will be replaced this coming week at Newhall BMW(http://newhallsheffield.com/)
  • EML Light, Engine running lean on banks one and two. Hoping this is just a split pipe. Not spotted anything obvious under the bonnet.
  • Lights coming on now and again for the DSC and brakes. Looks like a wheel sensor. Shouldn’t be much to resolve.
  • Car does not get up to temperature. Thinking this is a stuck thermometer.
  • Handbrake replacement. The teeth are all worn and needs adjustment.

The car is back in the local garage again this week to have these remaining items looked at.

Looking forward to finally getting these last few things sorted and then the next thing is to look at the bodywork. The body work is not in to bad a condition (apart from the small dent in the tailgate I put in it last week after reversing in to a skip). Needs a good clean, clay, polish and wax. The thing now is finding the time at the weekends when it is not raining or blustery.

I am really enjoying playing with the X5 but I think the poor E39 is feeling a bit left out recently.

BMW E53 X5 3.0i Sport

It only seems like yesterday when I was picking up the 530i E39 and was totally besotted (which I still am) but it has now been over a year since the E39 became part of the family.

When I got the E39 I was actually looking for a X5, preferably a 04 or 05 model. Whilst I was looking around I saw the E39 and that was the start of that adventure.

Now that the E39 is as close to how I want it as it can be, apart from some paintwork which will be done over the winter, I needed another project. This is when an 02 E53 popped up on my Facebook page from an X5 group. Turned out it was not too far away and had only just been posted and so no visible interest so far. The car needed some work, the owner was very open about this and was priced appropriately. As this would be a side project then as long as there were no major issues then this could be the car for me. I quickly got in touch with the owner and a meeting arranged.

When I got to see the car I could see straight away that there was some work needed doing, the car needs some TLC. Visibly from a distance it looks great. There are a few bodywork dints here and there,  nothing major. A few scratches that will easily polish out. The wheels are in a bit of a state and may need a professional refurb rather than me getting out the sandpaper and spray cans. The tail gate lights are fogged over, which is the same issue on all these models, including the E39 touring. The windscreen wipers need painting and the drivers side mirror has paint falling off. All this is nothing really for a 15 year old car.  The usual dash pixel problem.

From a mechanical side I had been told the engine light comes on now and again and the three wheel sensor lights (which is fixed by turning the steering wheel to reset the unit, only happens occasionally). I had brought along my laptop with BMW Scanner to take a look at what issues were being reported.

  1. Running lean banks 1 & 2
  2. Drivers door central locking not working
  3. One of the two keys does not start the car. Reports Out of Sync. (the second of the keys, which does start the car is held together with sellotape). Neither key remote buttons work and I have been unable to sync them to the car. Tyres looking very worn.

Again, nothing to make me worried. A test drive showed that there were no funny sounds from the suspension and the gearbox and engine seemed to work well. Head under the bonnet and you can hear a sound that sounds like the bearing in the alternator may have gone so will have the garage check this out.

A deal was struck and I picked up the car the next day. Once you have your hands on the car, this is when you really start to find out all the little things. A full list of items that I have found so far: –

Outstanding Items

  1. Engine light comes on now and again. Running Lean banks 1 & 2.
  2. Drivers Central locking not working.
  3. Issues with the keys.
  4. Garage to check the alternator and the water pump.
  5. When in reverse on a hill the car will sometimes slowly roil forward. Local garage has confirmed that this is working within normal parameters and probably needs a fluid change. This is happening this coming week.
  6. The handle on the handbrake not fastened on. Quick fix to tighten the screws and it now works a lot better although all the teeth seem to have been worn away so I will be having this replaced.
  7. Rear tailgate lights need a refurb. Have already set to work on this with the Autoglym Headlight Restoration kit. First attempt has done good but need to go back and work on all the edges to get them better.
  8. Going to put on new tyres all round.
  9. Just about ready for a service so this is being done for piece of mind.

Fixed Items

  1. The tailgate release switch on its last legs. Sourced a new unit from Sytners. This was an easy swap. Couldn’t fix the existing one due to it being a sealed unit and besides, the rubber was past its best.
  2. The middle rear seatbelt does not fix in to the holder. Replacement sourced from eBay and fitted.
  3. 12v socket in the rear had been disconnected so this has now been fixed. Great that the kids will be able to charge their phones in the back.
  4. Radio does not work in the stereo. An aftermarket Pioneer double din unit has been installed, with screens in the headrests. When this was installed the antenna did not have a converter fitted. Now Sorted with a cable from Halfords. There was all the wiring hanging around for an old telephone Bluetooth kit which has now been taken out.

A few things to sort out to get this car where I would like it to be but not that much, and great fun sorting the little things, leaving the bigger things to my local garage to sort for me. As with all these things, if left they build up. What could have been small costs along the way is becoming a lot of things all adding up but I see this as being well worth while to have a lovely car at the end of it. I will have to watch it though as the better half has decided she likes it too. She prefers it to the 530i. She says she prefers the higher up driving position. How she can say that when she drives a Beetle.

I am looking forward now to following the X5 groups and seeing if there is a group out there for the X5 that can match up to how great the BMW E39 Club UK is. Any group has big boots to fill to try and match The E39 group and I am honoured to be a member.

I’ll be posting more on how the X5 is coming along and posting some pictures when I get to take it out properly for a few good runs.

BMW Festival 2017 – Gaydon

For the second time this year, we were invited to be a part of the BMW E39 Club UK stand. This time the event was the BMW Festival at Gaydon, the home of the British Motor Museum.

The BMW Festival is hosted by the BMW Car Club at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon.

The E39 Club stand was once again “King of the Hill” with the cars overlooking the main show arena. There were over 40 E39 on the stand of all different models, Alpina, M5, Pre-facelift, Touring and everything you can think of. In all there were over 45 E39 on the stand. It must have been the biggest club turn out behind the host club.

There were many clubs in attendance as well as a compere through out the day along with an Oom-pah band. A number of trade stands kept our wallets open. Attendees were also free to walk around the Motor Museum and Historical Collection buildings.

The weather turned out great and we had a fantastic day out. I have to say that I love going to the shows and being a part of the club stand. It’s great to meet and put faces to the people we talk to on the club Facebook group and always a good opportunity to catch up, swap stories on the trials of E39 ownership, get some advise or help and maybe even pick up a bargain from a club member.

So looking forward to the show season next year and hope to get to more meets and shows, including Vanity which I missed out on this year.

To Radu and the club admins and mods, Thank you very much for all that you do and putting together the club stands. It is very much appreciated.

BMW Show – Santa Pod 2nd July 2017

For nearly a year I had been waiting for the 2017 BMW Show at Santa Pod. The girls in the house had no interest in going to the show with me but I thought it would be great to have a run out, see all the fantastic cars and get some ideas for small mods I could make to mine. Sorry, not in to the lowering thing after being bone rattled to death in the wife’s lowered New Beetle, just want some simple style / tech mods. I was also saving my “pocket money” for all the trade stands that I would be running up to saying “here, take my money, give me everything”. I finally managed to talk my youngest daughter in to making the trip with me, on the promise that she had control of the stereo in the car. I know, that was a stupid thing to agree to.

So with a month to go to the show I bought the online tickets. Yay. We were going. Now, to keep off eBay and buying stuff as I will surely get it cheap at the show with their show discounts and offers.

Anyhow, a week before the show I received a message from Radu of BMW E39 Club UK asking if I would like to have my car on the stand at the show. Would I? Do bears poo in the woods? How fantastic would that be. OMG. Awesome. (and other such words that I have been learning from my daughters). Of course, Radu. That would be lovely. Thank you. See you there.

When the tickets dropped through the letter box a couple of days later I was literally jumping around the house in excitement.  Not only was I going to the show that I had been waiting nearly a year to go to but my car was going to be on a stand at the show too. How frickin’ (nope, that one is not one from the daughters, thankfully)  awesome is that !!!!!!

The day of the show arrives and it is an early start to meet up with the convoy to drive to the show. A 6am meet at the services just south of Chesterfield on the M1. The motorway is really quiet at that time on a Sunday morning.

After meeting the first couple of cars to go down (Stefan, Mike and Vicki and their friend in a 740) it was off to the next stop, in Leicester.

As we were a little behind on time the journey to Leicester was a little quicker than I imagined. I am the one on the motorway at 70mph with the cruise control on, in the left hand lane. I think that this was the first time my car had been in the right hand lane under my ownership. It did seem to like it and really did want to have a little charge with all those horses. (I spent the two weeks after this part of the road trip waiting for a letter telling me I had some points. Who knew there were all those speed cameras on the gantry near Nottingham these days).

After meeting a few more cars at Leicester it was off to our next stop outside Northampton. A longer stop this time followed by a sedate drive through the country roads and villages to Santa Pod.

Now, if you remember, I had given over the stereo to my daughter. What ensued from Northampton to Santa Pod was Spotify on repeat playing the song Convoy. I still catch myself singing that song in my head weeks later.

When we arrived at Santa Pod it was great to see the crowds and to be entering the venue as part of the convoy. It’s experiences like this that make the day one never to forget.

The BMW E39 Club UK stand looked awesome and the bacon butty’s, burgers and hot dog’s being cooked on the stand really were making us hungry. The packed lunch I had made for us didn’t last long.

To see our stand with 50 E39 was really impressive. I’m sure it must have been the biggest club stand at the show.

We spent our day looking around the other stands and watching the cars on the 1/4 mile.  I wasn’t going to take the car on the 1/4 mile. I’m sure the car would have loved it but I don’t think the beige leather seats would have stood up to what they may have had to endure if I had been behind the wheel. I have much admiration for all of you that did take a ride down the strip.

I have to say that the trade stands left a little to be desired. I expected more traders. At least I saved some money.

We are already looking forward to next year. Thinking of taking the trailer tent next year and going down on the Saturday and making a weekend of it.

Thanks Radu for inviting me to join the stand and for putting it together. It was a great day and very much enjoyed and one I am sure myself and my daughter will speak of fondly for many years to come. 🙂

PS. And I still came home with those bloody door cards. Could not give them away, even tried giving them to BM Spares trade stand for nothing and they wouldn’t take them. They ended up in the skip after I took off all the fixings to save for spares.