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E63 / E64 6 Series (2003 - 2013)
The E63/E64 BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #1  
Old 12-02-2014, 06:47 PM
Nitrousbird Nitrousbird is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 Avalanche
645 vs 650...and should I get one at all as a DD?

I'm losing my company car that I've had for years and need a daily driver. I have an '02 Avalanche I've owned for many years...for the last 6+ it has been for towing the boat, hauling stuff, long trips and getting the kiddo from daycare. I drive a good 40-60 miles a day, some freeway, some 45-55 zone stuff, only maybe a mile of "city" driving.

Truck will be used for snowy days. I want a FUN DD. So far, I have test drove:

- Early 996 Porsche...too harsh of a DD, interior is garbage for a car that sold for 70k+ new
- 135i...felt cheap for a BMW, but was nice enough, quick and I liked the size
- 335d...snooze fest. Interior was nicer that 135i but car was boring. I doubt a 335i Coupe would be much better, though only tested the 335d because it was on the lot
- E46 M3...I drove an overpriced, not cared for example. Ride was at the edge of my comfort level, not as fast as I expected, high strung but I liked the car
- '08 650i...I loved, and I mean LOVED that car.

650i was the 2nd car I test drove, right after the Porsche. It was about as loaded as a 650i gets...HUD, SMG, Sports Package (I think that's what it is called), rear camera, parking sensors...you name it, she had it. Asking a couple thousand over my budget (20k budget), but I loved it. My only complaint was it was a bit bigger than I desire. I didn't give this car a thorough inspection, but it drove perfectly and everything worked.

I will be turning all my own wrenches. I know how to get parts online - wife has a B7 Audi I maintain, so I've got a bit of experience with German cars.

Questions:

- Fuel mileage...what can really be expected?
- 645 vs 650; besides a little HP, what do I really gain going newer to the 650?
- From my limited research, these seem like really leaky motors (645 and 650). It seems that if it has a gasket, it will leak on this motor. Is the issue really that bad? Some seem cheap/easy, other problems seem pricey for parts along and many hours to repair.
- If I purchase one, I would only consider an SMG or manual car. I know the auto's had some issues; any issue with the SMG or manual?
- I'm looking at cars in the 70-90k mile range...should I be overly concerned? Valve seals have me a bit concerned, as that motor looks like a real chore to pull the heads.

I don't mind doing maintenance and some repairs, but I'm not looking for a weekly project car either. Should I pursue the 6 series dream or move on? Only other cars really on my radar to drive are an '08 S5 (budget stretcher), and if I sacrifice to a 4-door, '09 S4 (budget stretcher again) or 1st Gen CTS-V.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2014, 09:51 PM
meangreen94z meangreen94z is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 745i sport
The 650 has several improvements over The 645, not to mention the first two years had more electrical bugs. Avoid the convertible at all costs. SMG was only offered from 2004-2006 in the 645/650, it was dropped after that due to low sales. It was a sluggish ZF system, not the Getrag setup in the M6. Either way avoid. The Slave cylinders leak and are $1400, the actuators are $3-4k. The manual is reliable. Valve seals are guaranteed to be leaking in the mileage range you're looking at or soon after.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2014, 12:13 AM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 BMW E63 650i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrousbird View Post
I'm losing my company car that I've had for years and need a daily driver. I have an '02 Avalanche I've owned for many years...for the last 6+ it has been for towing the boat, hauling stuff, long trips and getting the kiddo from daycare. I drive a good 40-60 miles a day, some freeway, some 45-55 zone stuff, only maybe a mile of "city" driving.



Truck will be used for snowy days. I want a FUN DD. So far, I have test drove:



- Early 996 Porsche...too harsh of a DD, interior is garbage for a car that sold for 70k+ new

- 135i...felt cheap for a BMW, but was nice enough, quick and I liked the size

- 335d...snooze fest. Interior was nicer that 135i but car was boring. I doubt a 335i Coupe would be much better, though only tested the 335d because it was on the lot

- E46 M3...I drove an overpriced, not cared for example. Ride was at the edge of my comfort level, not as fast as I expected, high strung but I liked the car

- '08 650i...I loved, and I mean LOVED that car.



650i was the 2nd car I test drove, right after the Porsche. It was about as loaded as a 650i gets...HUD, SMG, Sports Package (I think that's what it is called), rear camera, parking sensors...you name it, she had it. Asking a couple thousand over my budget (20k budget), but I loved it. My only complaint was it was a bit bigger than I desire. I didn't give this car a thorough inspection, but it drove perfectly and everything worked.



I will be turning all my own wrenches. I know how to get parts online - wife has a B7 Audi I maintain, so I've got a bit of experience with German cars.



Questions:



- Fuel mileage...what can really be expected?

- 645 vs 650; besides a little HP, what do I really gain going newer to the 650?

- From my limited research, these seem like really leaky motors (645 and 650). It seems that if it has a gasket, it will leak on this motor. Is the issue really that bad? Some seem cheap/easy, other problems seem pricey for parts along and many hours to repair.

- If I purchase one, I would only consider an SMG or manual car. I know the auto's had some issues; any issue with the SMG or manual?

- I'm looking at cars in the 70-90k mile range...should I be overly concerned? Valve seals have me a bit concerned, as that motor looks like a real chore to pull the heads.



I don't mind doing maintenance and some repairs, but I'm not looking for a weekly project car either. Should I pursue the 6 series dream or move on? Only other cars really on my radar to drive are an '08 S5 (budget stretcher), and if I sacrifice to a 4-door, '09 S4 (budget stretcher again) or 1st Gen CTS-V.

As long as you are willing to spend money, having a 650i is no issue.

The 650i is a reasonably reliable car, but here's a reality check. This car is not designed to last like a Toyota with low maintenance costs and it is not for those with a tight budget either as this is a car that once sold new for over $80K. So while you may get a 650i that has depreciated most of it's original MSRP, brand new parts for this car are still going at MSRP prices.

Official fuel mileage from the EPA is 15 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway. I average 20 mpg with a deviation of +/- 1.5 mpg. Your results may vary.

By going with the 650i, the N62 does have some improvements like better CCV hoses, stronger crankshaft, and an oil cooler(645Ci does not have an oil cooler). Here's a link for the N62TU.

http://prodcds.bmwuniversity.com/lib...e%20Update.pdf

Valve cover gaskets, timing cover gaskets, alternator bracket gaskets, valve stem seals, and coolant transfer pipe leak are weak points of the N62 engine.



Stay away from the SMG as the pump is known to go bad and can cost $1.5K-$3K to fix.


I currently have 77K miles on my 650i and it has been an excellent ownership experience for me since I bought this car at 55K miles in 2013. I've spent a hair over $2K on maintenance(not repairs) that includes a brake fluid flush, 4 new brake rotors and pads, power steering fluid service, oil changes, AT fluid service, and spark plugs so far.

I have only spent $100 for repairs as I had a CPO warranty at the time which covered a leaking vacuum pump and Mechatronics sleeve.

Some owners have had good experiences, while others are not so lucky. Before you buy, check for service records and have a reputable independent BMW specialist do a pre-purchase inspection on the car.

Lastly, my intention is not to scare you about buying a 650i, but these are all possibilities that have occurred.

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2014, 12:58 AM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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I personally would rather have the SMG over an auto if I had to choose. The auto has it's share of issues and based on the cars I've driven it feels dated compared to modern autos. If the SMG pump goes it's no more expensive to fix than several other problem areas on the 6er. The manual is bulletproof but rare.

Owning an older 6er is a bit of a lottery, you may have zero issues but there is a good chance you will have an expensive repair at least once every other year. I would try to get the newest car you can afford and look for a well maintained car.

I have an E46 M3 track car and when I started shopping for a convertible the 650i was not on my short list - I thought it was way too big. I happened to take a manual one out for a test spin when I had my M3 in for an alignment and I was blown away at how well it handled for it's size. If you can find one, the V8 combined with a manual transmission is just awesome.
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Last edited by Yorgi; 12-03-2014 at 01:00 AM. Reason: typo
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2014, 10:59 AM
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bigscore bigscore is offline
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it's 2014...

Go for the 650...!
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2014, 12:05 PM
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gregb gregb is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 BMW 650 vert
I've owned my '07 650i auto vert for the last 4 years and used it as my daily driver on a 50 mile round trip commute (80% highway/ 20% city), and I average about 19.5 mpg. Bought it CPO with 32K miles and it now has 115K miles. I've experienced a few of the problems with leaks, etc. but most of everything was fixed for nominal charge under CPO, so I would agree with the prior comments managing your expectations on the frequency/cost of maintenance and parts on the weak points which will go at some point. If you can get good service records, a couple of the expected repairs might have already been performed, but if not, expect there will be some issues. Given your experience with the Audi and willingness to turn a wrench, I would say go for it.
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'07 650i vert, beige/jet black, sports & cold weather pkgs, comfort access, logic 7, sat radio, Miro M6 wheels (with Michelin super sports), M6 spare tire, tint, windscreen, triple resonator delete, m-tec v3 AE's bulbs, corner bulb delete and m-tec fogs
'11 Acura MDX Advance with Entertainment pkg for wife - no mod's '04 Acura TSX (daughter) and '12 VW GTI - Autobahn (son)
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2014, 02:03 PM
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roseng roseng is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 528i + 2007 650 Vert
I have an '07 Auto/Vert, that I bought exactly 3 years ago. I am not one bit tired of it. My wife asked me if I wanted a new (or newer one) and I passed. It's a keeper.

I bought it with 35k miles and about to hit 69K It's my DD and I love it. It's been rock solid. Fun to do some minor mods and make it your own.

I do disagree with Yorgi on the trans. though. It's not the smoothest but it is reliable for most of us. If you are in a city and have to do a traffic commute, it's a must.

If I had to make the choice over again, I would go for it in a flash.
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2014, 02:59 PM
Nitrousbird Nitrousbird is offline
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No verts for me. Rag tops aren't my thing.

I won't be doing a lot of driving requiring constant shifting, so manual isn't an issue. SMG is pretty much like an auto but a little more fun.

Valve seals a big concern? SMG pump sounds like the same item the E46 cars could have go out...didn't seem like a big enough concern for me to write it off. I'm sure new seals are relatively cheap but pulling heads on the N62 looks pretty awful.

Coolant crossover pipe expensive? I've read a couple conflicting things on that.

Also, if I'm expecting a 1-2k in parts repair bill in the next 2 years of ownership, would I simply be better off getting an '08 S5 (which I'm sure I will also love)? The V8's in those cars, from my limited research, seem to be some of the most reliable across the Audi lineup. S5 may be more expensive on the initial purchase, but I wonder if over the first couple of years it would hit a break even point.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2014, 03:16 PM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 BMW E63 650i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrousbird View Post
No verts for me. Rag tops aren't my thing.



I won't be doing a lot of driving requiring constant shifting, so manual isn't an issue. SMG is pretty much like an auto but a little more fun.



Valve seals a big concern? SMG pump sounds like the same item the E46 cars could have go out...didn't seem like a big enough concern for me to write it off. I'm sure new seals are relatively cheap but pulling heads on the N62 looks pretty awful.



Coolant crossover pipe expensive? I've read a couple conflicting things on that.



Also, if I'm expecting a 1-2k in parts repair bill in the next 2 years of ownership, would I simply be better off getting an '08 S5 (which I'm sure I will also love)? The V8's in those cars, from my limited research, seem to be some of the most reliable across the Audi lineup. S5 may be more expensive on the initial purchase, but I wonder if over the first couple of years it would hit a break even point.

I cannot comment on the S5's reliability, but these weak points on the 645Ci/650i are the major reason for the heavy depreciation on these cars.

Eventually, the valve stem seals will fail, but some owners have gone past 120k miles before it has failed. I can tell you that changing your oil every 5,000-7,000 miles can only help you prolong the life of the engine. We don't know 100% for sure if the 15K mile oil changes that BMW recommends contributes to gasket failures or the fact that the gaskets are not designed to last due to Germany's green law.
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Last edited by 07 E63650i; 12-03-2014 at 03:41 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2014, 03:36 PM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseng View Post
I have an '07 Auto/Vert, that I bought exactly 3 years ago. I am not one bit tired of it. My wife asked me if I wanted a new (or newer one) and I passed. It's a keeper.

I bought it with 35k miles and about to hit 69K It's my DD and I love it. It's been rock solid. Fun to do some minor mods and make it your own.

I do disagree with Yorgi on the trans. though. It's not the smoothest but it is reliable for most of us. If you are in a city and have to do a traffic commute, it's a must.

If I had to make the choice over again, I would go for it in a flash.
+1

Some owners who have the automatic transmission will encounter some issues such as a harsh 2nd to 1st gear downshift, slipping gears, leaking Mechatronics sleeve, etc.

I've had a good experience with my car that is equipped with the automatic transmission. Just make sure to do a transmission fluid drain and fill along with the transmission oil pan change(filter is built-in and cannot be removed) and replace the Mechatronics sleeve every 60K miles and you should be good. Don't buy into BMW's lifetime fluid statement as many owners who have issues with the AT do not change the fluid on time and have clogged filters which may lead to transmission failure.
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Last edited by 07 E63650i; 12-03-2014 at 03:37 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2014, 04:56 PM
tampamark tampamark is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 650 convertible!!!
I agree with Roseng, of all the problem areas on this car I do not consider the automatic transmission to be one of them. Sure, it is prone to developing some leaks, but that is par for the course on this car. It WILL spring a leak somewhere. But unlike the oil leaks it is relatively inexpensive to fix. A completely failed transmission is a rare bird, just don't see that much. There is the occasional failed solenoid, but for the SMG you have to worry about the pump and clutch, and for the manual you have to worry about the clutch. All of them have some wear item.

The concern that it will be a car you have to wrench on every 2 weeks is not one to worry about. It is not like that at all, the car is solid. But when the occasional issue comes up it will be expensive...or labor intensive for you to fix yourself, maybe even beyond your abilities (that depends on you!). There are very few repairs on this car that does not involve several hours.

Definitely get the newest car with the lowest miles. If you choose to go with the car that is high mileage maybe you will get lucky and they already replaced the gaskets. I would think the dealer would clean the engine so there are no obvious signs of leakage, but pop the hood and look at the front to see. Use a flashlight to view all the way down to the bottom engine shroud. See if there is oil down there.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:38 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Mein Auto: 650i 330cic X5d MINI
645 vs 650...and should I get one at all as a DD?

I've had my 07 650 coupe with 3 pedals for five years. Bought it as two year lease return with 13k mikes, now 49k miles. All the toys (HUD, night vision, pearl leather, upgraded audio.)
It has been 100% reliable. I maintain it per old BMW maintenance guidelines for fluids & filters. Nothing has broken.
I think of selling cuz I don't need it and then I go on a road trip with it and love it all over again.
Yes I know I will need to spend money on repairs if I keep it several more years.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:33 PM
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bigscore bigscore is offline
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I remember reading that the 645 SMG trannys were'nt very smooth.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:47 PM
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I've owned both an E64 645 and 650. I would tell you while the HP numbers don't look that much different, it's a completely different drive. If the $s are close, I would suggest the 650 for the performance, but also for the younger age, as well as the fact that some of the kinks in design and quality were worked out by the time the 650s came out.
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2014, 08:38 PM
Vlad Dracul Vlad Dracul is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07 E63650i View Post

By going with the 650i, the N62 does have some improvements like better CCV hoses, stronger crankshaft, and an oil cooler(645Ci does not have an oil cooler). Here's a link for the N62TU.
Umm does N62 really not have oil cooler? Because I got raped when I had this fixed on my own 645ci.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:26 PM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
Umm does N62 really not have oil cooler? Because I got raped when I had this fixed on my own 645ci.

To be more specific, only the N62B48 received the oil cooler in all of the Series models. The N62B44 only received an oil cooler for the 7 Series and only for certain models in different regions of the world.
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2014, 12:37 AM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigscore View Post
I remember reading that the 645 SMG trannys were'nt very smooth.
Once you learn how to drive an SMG, they are smooth. The problem is people take an SMG car out for a test spin with no prior experience and find the shifts jerky in full-auto-mode.

SMG is the 6 speed manual transmission with some hydraulics bolted on to press the clutch and move the shift lever. You need to lift slightly between shifts.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:28 AM
meangreen94z meangreen94z is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrousbird View Post
No verts for me. Rag tops aren't my thing.

I won't be doing a lot of driving requiring constant shifting, so manual isn't an issue. SMG is pretty much like an auto but a little more fun.

Valve seals a big concern? SMG pump sounds like the same item the E46 cars could have go out...didn't seem like a big enough concern for me to write it off. I'm sure new seals are relatively cheap but pulling heads on the N62 looks pretty awful.

Coolant crossover pipe expensive? I've read a couple conflicting things on that.

Also, if I'm expecting a 1-2k in parts repair bill in the next 2 years of ownership, would I simply be better off getting an '08 S5 (which I'm sure I will also love)? The V8's in those cars, from my limited research, seem to be some of the most reliable across the Audi lineup. S5 may be more expensive on the initial purchase, but I wonder if over the first couple of years it would hit a break even point.
If $1-2k in parts/repairs scares you, I wouldn't buy any high end German car. I've spent over $5k in parts(including tires) in the last year fixing issues on my 745. It's nearly perfect. I'm a tech, so that number is again parts only.

Last edited by meangreen94z; 12-04-2014 at 06:44 AM.
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2014, 06:51 AM
meangreen94z meangreen94z is offline
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I take that back $1200 of it was on having the valve guides replaced at a Machine shop. The car had some major items the original owner let go. But the car itself was clean.The biggest being leaking valve seals blocking the secondary air ports(N62's except the E53 X5 have secondary air, N62TU's do not). While I had the heads pulled and valve guides replaced, I took the lower timing cover off and replaced the coolant transfer pipe, and all sections of the timing chain guides.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:54 AM
meangreen94z meangreen94z is offline
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Originally Posted by Yorgi View Post
Once you learn how to drive an SMG, they are smooth. The problem is people take an SMG car out for a test spin with no prior experience and find the shifts jerky in full-auto-mode.

SMG is the 6 speed manual transmission with some hydraulics bolted on to press the clutch and move the shift lever. You need to lift slightly between shifts.
The ZF setup in 645/650 and the Getrag setup in the M cars are completely different beasts. You can adjust to driving either, but ZF is very sluggish compared to the Getrag setup.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:17 AM
tampamark tampamark is offline
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would I simply be better off getting an '08 S5
Read up on the Audi carbon buildup issue with the direct injection:

http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...-up-Megathread

That car is not perfect either!
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  #22  
Old 12-04-2014, 09:18 AM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meangreen94z View Post
I take that back $1200 of it was on having the valve guides replaced at a Machine shop. The car had some major items the original owner let go. But the car itself was clean.The biggest being leaking valve seals blocking the secondary air ports(N62's except the E53 X5 have secondary air, N62TU's do not). While I had the heads pulled and valve guides replaced, I took the lower timing cover off and replaced the coolant transfer pipe, and all sections of the timing chain guides.

So it is true that the N62TU engines and the N62B48 in the E53 X5 do not use the secondary air system.
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:42 AM
meangreen94z meangreen94z is offline
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Originally Posted by 07 E63650i View Post
So it is true that the N62TU engines and the N62B48 in the E53 X5 do not use the secondary air system.
E53 with either the N62B44 or the N62B48(4.8iS) don't have secondary air, the heads are different.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:45 AM
ScottyQ ScottyQ is offline
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Mein Auto: E63 650i
My 2 cents because you mentioned the 335... I absolutely loved my 335i and the only reason I even considered moving up to the 650i was because the '09 CPO on the dealers lot was a steal. I cannot say enough good stuff about the 335i. It was powerfully fast, highly responsive, got decent gas mileage (18-20), carried the family of 4 comfortably, etc. My SA did mention there was a possibility I'd need turbo work after 50k miles (post-warranty) and that made me nervous. When I reached the new car warranty expiration I opted to use the money I would have spent on extending the warranty and the renewing maintenance plan (about $5k) on the down payment for the 650i. My '09 650i has been quite reliable and the CPO has covered all repairs except the mysteriously cracked moonroof frame. In addition, the 650i is fast and furiously fun to drive. It's also a head turner and I get compliments frequently. My wife had the 135i and it was a rocket that gripped the road like it was on rails; and pinned me to the seat when I stomped on the accel (I believe the 335 and 135 share the same engine). Bottom line, it is the ultimate driving machine (in my boastfully and highly biased opinion).
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  #25  
Old 12-04-2014, 11:02 AM
07 E63650i's Avatar
07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Location: Southern California, USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,317
Mein Auto: 2007 BMW E63 650i
Quote:
Originally Posted by meangreen94z View Post
E53 with either the N62B44 or the N62B48(4.8iS) don't have secondary air, the heads are different.

In conclusion, that would mean that the N62TU on the 5, 6, and 7 Series models still use the secondary air system?
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