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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 04-17-2012, 06:53 PM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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E46'er maybe joining the X3 family too

Hi all, I've been on the e46 forum here quite a bit on and off since I got my 325xi wagon almost 3 years ago, and we're looking at an '07 X3 for my wife. It's a 6 speed manual which is essential to us, and looks like a nice car generally. I'm interested to see how it compares to my car, since the X3 came from the e46 platform, or at least shared parts with it originally.

Here's the car: http://www.concordmotorsport.com/det...d-8415857.html

It's good to see a reasonably active forum here, although it's hard to beat the activity on the e46 section! Anyway I'll let you all know if we end up getting it...

Cheers
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:26 PM
jrapo jrapo is online now
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 3.0si
Great car, especially in a MT. I just bought the same one, with almost same options including nav, but an auto trans, which turned out to be the weak link so far. Otherwise its a very solid car and I LOVE the ride. Yours looks in great shape, but expect to drop some cash for maintenance items considering its mileage.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:12 PM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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I have a pretty good idea of what might be coming for maintenance, I got my car with about 120k and it's at 170 now. Nothing crazy but lots of suspension bits, some sensors, that type of stuff. At least I find these cars (bmw) are reasonable to work on so I don't have to pay for labor every time a little thing needs replacement.
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:27 PM
spokelizard spokelizard is offline
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Nice looking car, price looks reasonable. I have a 2007 MT, been very happy with it. Overall it's been quite reliable, though I did have a lot done on it during the warranty period.

Consensus here is that the X3 with the N52 engine has fewer cooling system issues than you'd find in the E46 forum. But with 93K miles, you'll want to consider a proactive replacement if it hasn't been done already.

Search this forum about engine ticking. The N52 engine has a problem with that. If it happens first level fix was to replace the lifters. Second level fix was to replace the cylinder head. I had both done. You'll want to check service records to see whether it was done on that car. Not all of them have a problem, but it's an expensive fix if it does.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2012, 06:09 AM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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Thanks for the info on the n52... I have heard the risk of that issue can be mitigated by 5k oil changes and maintaining a proper oil level. What's your opinion on that? I do have access to most of the service records so I'll look into that.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:30 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Looks very nice. And it has comfort seats! That's the first X3 I've seen with them.

I've had great luck with mine on the 5k interval. Virtually no valve train tick.
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:57 AM
spokelizard spokelizard is offline
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I've been changing oil every 5K to 7.5K miles. Still had ticking. Lifters replaced at 34K. Head replaced at 42K.

On the other hand I bought my X3 with 25K miles, service records showed only 1 oil change done before that, I don't know whether previous owner did any extra changes that didn't show up on the computer.
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  #8  
Old 04-18-2012, 09:21 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokelizard View Post
I've been changing oil every 5K to 7.5K miles. Still had ticking. Lifters replaced at 34K. Head replaced at 42K.

On the other hand I bought my X3 with 25K miles, service records showed only 1 oil change done before that, I don't know whether previous owner did any extra changes that didn't show up on the computer.
I bought mine new, changed the oil at 1,080, then again at 4,804. I broke the engine in running in town and secondary country roads only with absolutely no freeway driving for the first 2,000 miles. Since the second oil change I usually change the oil very close to 5,000 and have never gone more than 6,000. I checked my head casting number and it's not one of the improved heads. I've never run anything but OE BMW engine oil and filters.

I'm either doing everything right or I just got lucky.
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2012, 09:23 AM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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Service records don't show every oil change, and also do not show any lifters or head replacement. So, nothing gained from that information. I've read up on the ticking a bit, as we also looked at newer 3 wagons that have the same motor, and I guess it's a bit of a roll of the dice in this case. I do oil changes and most maintenance myself, so I'll be sure to stick to the 5k changes and keep the level where it should be.

I'm very sensitive to clicking/tapping noises since I had a knocking sound at cold engine temps in my boat, which turned out to be a warped piston and thus scored cylinder (351 V8) and a complete engine rebuild. I learned a hell of a lot doing that, but mostly I learned the art of, and importance of, listening to engines carefully. My wife is tuned in to strange noises too, and picked up on a whine in her Volvo before it tripped the CEL due to a clogged oil separator. She heard the wheel bearing before it was a problem, too; this is good because she drives her car 500 miles a week and sometimes I'll go a month without hearing it run.

Back to this car: I guess unless the engine shows any signs of valve ticking today, there's not much we can do to avoid the risk of having this issue at some point. It appears that the only previous owner changed the oil @ 7,500 intervals, roughly. Beyond that, it's a gamble I guess.

Oh yeah and the comfort seats? Nick was telling me about that option yesterday, but didn't have a strong opinion about them. I love my sport seats in my wagon, so if they're anything close to that I'll be happy. I gather it was an unusual and expensive stand-alone option.
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2012, 10:34 AM
GeoffS GeoffS is offline
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Mein Auto: 2k8 X3 3.0si/2k3 330xi
I've got both a 6-speed '03 330xi and a 2008 6-speed X3 3.0si with every option except the auto tranny. Both of them have Bilstein HDs on them with H&R rear sway bars and Conti ExtremeContact DWSes, so the playing field is about as level as it'd get. X3 has 19" wheels, 330 has 18" wheels.

My observations:
330xi:
+ Marginally quicker than the X3
+ Tighter handling/much less body roll even with the upgraded setup
+ 1-2MPG better fuel economy both freeway and city
+ Slightly softer leather?
+ Smoother ride

X3:
+ More rear seat room
+ More cargo room than even the e46 wagon by a decent bit
+ Easier to get in and out of
+ More durable (if football-esque) leather?
+ Still handles superbly
+ Quieter motor

They're both:
Comfortable with sports seats
Fun to drive with the 6-speed manual
Relatively "tossable" in corners
Good in the slick stuff

That being said, for being so similar, you would never mistake one for the other. The 330xi is a bit more involving, the X3 is a bit more relaxed.

Hope this helps some.
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  #11  
Old 04-18-2012, 02:04 PM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Welcome!

Looks like a clean and well-equipped X3! I've also got a 2007 with the manual transmission, and thoroughly enjoy the vehicle every time I drive it. There have been relatively few problems with mine, all addressed under warranty. However, one problem I did end up having was intermittently 'ticking' lifters; mine finally demonstrated itself for the dealer -- inside their service drop-off area as I was picking it up from the last of its free maintenance -- and literally days before my warranty expired.

Coincidentally, my X3 also passed through Concord Motorsport on its way to me. I noticed the Concord dealer license plate frame that was still on mine as I viewed the vehicle when the previous owner was offering it for sale, and asked him about it. The previous owner said he had a friend who worked (perhaps still works) there; which is how he, in Pittsburgh, ended up with a vehicle that was sold by a dealer in New Hampshire.
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A sports sedan disguised as an SUV...
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  #12  
Old 04-18-2012, 07:02 PM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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Thanks for the replies, definitely helpful! I like the comparison to the 330xi, I agree with the sentiment, especially coming from a 325xi wagon. Quite a bit more cargo space, not quite as fun to drive but still very nice and handles nearly as well.

I'll let you all know how it goes!
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2012, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timfitz63 View Post
Welcome!

Looks like a clean and well-equipped X3! I've also got a 2007 with the manual transmission, and thoroughly enjoy the vehicle every time I drive it. There have been relatively few problems with mine, all addressed under warranty. However, one problem I did end up having was intermittently 'ticking' lifters; mine finally demonstrated itself for the dealer -- inside their service drop-off area as I was picking it up from the last of its free maintenance -- and literally days before my warranty expired.

Coincidentally, my X3 also passed through Concord Motorsport on its way to me. I noticed the Concord dealer license plate frame that was still on mine as I viewed the vehicle when the previous owner was offering it for sale, and asked him about it. The previous owner said he had a friend who worked (perhaps still works) there; which is how he, in Pittsburgh, ended up with a vehicle that was sold by a dealer in New Hampshire.
I actually read about your lifter adventure as a result of using the search on here recently... you were very lucky with that one! I'm basically rolling the dice on this one, there's nothing much I can do at this point since the engine sounds great right now.

Funny that your X3 has been through Concord Motorsport, I think those guys do their best to get their hands on every rare manual car they can!
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  #14  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:27 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1972ford View Post
I actually read about your lifter adventure as a result of using the search on here recently... you were very lucky with that one! I'm basically rolling the dice on this one, there's nothing much I can do at this point since the engine sounds great right now...
Yeah, I'll be the first to admit I dodged a bullet there. I'd actually mentioned it to the SA during a previous visit, but as seems to be the case with so many BMW dealerships, if they don't hear it themselves, they won't perform any warranty work on it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1972ford View Post
... Funny that your X3 has been through Concord Motorsport, I think those guys do their best to get their hands on every rare manual car they can!
Yeah, I guess they're one of those regional BMW 'specialty' dealers. As nearly as I can piece it together, mine was originally delivered to a BMW dealer in Westbury, NY (according to the window sticker), which is apparently on Long Island. It had a reasonably easy life there for a year or so (according to the CarFAX), then somehow wound up at Concord Motorsport, from where the second owner purchased it and brought it to the Pittsburgh area. Apparently he liked the vehicle, but found it really didn't suit his family's needs (they needed a larger SUV), so after owning it for about a year, he put it up for sale and I scooped it up!
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:37 PM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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Well, the X3 is in the capable hands of Concord Motorsport again, having a few things addressed (sunroof shade being one of them) and we get to see how much we can sell the Volvo for in the meantime. Anyone want to buy a 2005 Volvo S40 2.5 AWD 6 speed manual?

I'll post pics (of the X3) when we take delivery, probably 2 weeks from now to be realistic.
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2012, 07:12 PM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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Well, time flies and we finally got our hands on the wife's new wheels yesterday. It's an '07 with 93,000 and a 6-speed manual. The shop had to replace all kinds of things in the sunroof / sunshade track and address a couple other minor things. We sold the Volvo last week and got pretty good money for it through a private sale - ebay classified listing actually (free!). And the buyer is a Volvo enthusiast so I'm glad the next owner will take as good care of it as we did. Hard to sell a car that you get new and put almost 150,000 miles on.

Moving on, you can see the attached pics of the new car, and I'll probably be spending a little more time over on this forum from the e46 section now... although I'm probably not changing anything about the car for a little while. And the e46 with 175,000 miles has a few more "quirks" you might say.

I did have to try the "golf tee" mod on the new car (one of the first things I did to my car), and there's not nearly the difference with this engine/exhaust as there is with my '01 e46. A search says otherwise, but maybe I'm just used to the much louder exhaust on my truck? Oh well. I'm more upset that my wife went from a car with 50 more HP than mine to one with almost 80 more than mine.

I'm pretty DIY inclined so I'll be sure to post pics if I do anything new or interesting, and I'm already better informed for having read a lot of the existing threads on here.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Cheers!
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2012, 09:27 PM
spokelizard spokelizard is offline
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Congrats on your purchase, enjoy! Also, I admire your patience, you located the car almost a month ago and waited until yesterday for delivery.

Nice to have another MT in this forum.
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  #18  
Old 05-13-2012, 10:40 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1972ford View Post
Well, time flies and we finally got our hands on the wife's new wheels yesterday. It's an '07 with 93,000 and a 6-speed manual. The shop had to replace all kinds of things in the sunroof / sunshade track and address a couple other minor things. We sold the Volvo last week and got pretty good money for it through a private sale - ebay classified listing actually (free!). And the buyer is a Volvo enthusiast so I'm glad the next owner will take as good care of it as we did. Hard to sell a car that you get new and put almost 150,000 miles on....
Welcome to the X3 world! Congratulations on finding a 6-speed manual. It will add some driving enjoyment. Mine is also a rare 6MT (and an ultra-rare sunroof delete).

I think you will find the X3 is a very practical vehicle. It does well in bad driving conditions. And the cargo capacity is more than you would expect for a vehicle of its size. I have managed to haul everything from bicycles to furniture in mine.

Some unsolicited advice: change all of your chassis fluids ASAP, especially the transfer case.

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  #19  
Old 05-14-2012, 12:04 AM
-jay- -jay- is offline
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congrats. she's a beauty. makes me wish i had gotten an LCI. i love the newer taillights.
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2012, 03:59 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Curious how much you spent on this X3 as I may be putting mine on the market at around 75k miles. It has had the lifters replaced. It is an 08 MT in sapphire metallic black with tobacco brown leather interior and xenon headlights.

Honestly it has had very little problems. I did not find out until the end of my warranty that all the real problems were with the dealer pretending to be my advocate but in reality they were the issue when it came to getting things handled properly.
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Last edited by Evlengr; 05-14-2012 at 04:00 AM.
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2012, 06:21 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Congrats and welcome to the forum. Very nice looking X3.
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2012, 01:41 PM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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Thanks all for the welcome! @evlengr - My wife actually really wanted the interior color you have! But you can't get everything when you buy used. Since the price was listed on the website until recently I don't mind telling you it was just under $19k. With the sale of her old car it made it well under $12k out of pocket. A nice upgrade in space and power, and since my wife is pregnant and in the car for 2 hours a day, she's psyched about the comfort level, and the super-adjustable "comfort" seat option this one has.

The fluids were changed by Concord Motorsport before we took delivery, but I don't think the transfer case would have been on the list, I'll check. That would be an easy 'next oil change' type of thing for me to do.

Thanks again for the welcome and we're very happy with the car. Coming from a wagon I was very anti-SUV in general, and this is about as unlike an SUV as you can be. It absolutely feels like a lifted E46 wagon. It's kinda strange actually. Like wearing a larger size of your favorite shoes.
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