BMW X5 E70 xDrive 40d Phone Cradle Removal

About 18 months ago I purchased my latest BMW from Sytners Sheffield, a 2013 X5 E70 xDrive 40d M Sport. I was quite excited to find that it had a phone cradle installed in the center console. Of course, since the car was built, mobile technology has come on leaps and bounds and I found that it was not possible to get an adapter for my mobile phone, which meant that the cradle just became something that was filling up space in the storage area and got in the way.

I figured it should be possible to remove the cradle so I took a quick trip to Sytners parts department to ask about obtaining a blanking plate. The team were really helpful and were able to find the relevant part and order it for me. Don’t forget that there is a discount on parts when you show your BMW Car Club GB membership card.

The part number for the blanking plate is 51 16 9 115 083

The removal of the cradle is quite a simple job and took my around 45 minutes.

The first thing to do is to remove the carpet trim that runs down the side of the center console on the driver’s side. The is a single T20 torx screw by the pedals. Remove the screw and gently, but firmly, pull the trim away from the tunnel. There are two push connectors holding it in. When these have been pulled away simple pull the panel towards the front of the car as there are two slide clips holding the back.

Once the front panel is off, the back panel needs to come out as well. This one simply slides forward and I found it easier to do this from the rear seats and push it forward as trying to pull it was quite tricky with the drivers seat being in the way.

Once the back panel is out there are two connectors which need to be disconnected. You will see the cable coming from the cradle inside which is fixed to the tunnel by a couple of clips. Unclip the cable and follow the cable to find the two connectors and disconnect them. There is a large black one which pulls away from the plastic support and a smaller connector with a purple connector. The trick to disconnecting the purple connector is to use small flat blade screw driver to lift the purple cover and then press down on the clip beneath to release the clip holding the two sides together.

After disconnecting the wires, we can now look to remove the phone cradle. The cradle is held in place by two T20 torx screws which are hidden under the cradle, lift up the cradle and unscrew. The cradle will pull away easily and it is then a case of feeding through the connectors to allow the cradle to be removed.

When the cradle has been removed you can refit the carpet panels. The blanking plate simply pushes in to place. Here is a before and after.

This is a simple at home job that does not take long to do and gives you back a lot of storage in the center console.

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

 

 

 

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.