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Discussion Starter #1
I've been casually watching for an e53 (1st gen X5) for a while to replace my old e46 as a daily driver. Today, I bit the bullet on this reasonably clean 04 3.0L (M54). It's very much like a slightly bigger e83,

X5 Side View.jpg

I'll still be bouncing around here, as I'm still battling a VANOS problem with the e83, but now I have another project too!

AM.
 

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I've been casually watching for an e53 (1st gen X5) for a while to replace my old e46 as a daily driver. Today, I bit the bullet on this reasonably clean 04 3.0L (M54). It's very much like a slightly bigger e83,

View attachment 836695

I'll still be bouncing around here, as I'm still battling a VANOS problem with the e83, but now I have another project too!

AM.
Very good move. :thumbup:M54 is one of the most reliable engine, almost the same as your current e83 and you are already good at it.

Congrats and enjoy!
 

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I used to own a e53 4.4 it was a beast. I was looking for a 4.6is but then settles for a e83 for reliability.

Do the m54 x5s have bags in the rear?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You mean air shocks? Not mine. I think those only came on some highly-optioned models.

Mine has conventional shocks.

I spent the afternoon streaming the Rams theft from N.O. on my laptop in the garage while tinkering with the e53. Would you believe the stiffener plate under the front subframe has 6 bolts rather than 4, but more importantly..... it has loose nuts on top that need secured with a wrench to remove! Wasn't impressed with that! Advantage e83!

AM.
 

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Awesome! Enjoy the e39 platform problems. Get ready to fix those seats! :)
 

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Never driven or been a passenger in an M54 powered E53, but with all the weight I'd assume it's not going to win any stoplight races... :dunno:

Then again, I don't have any need for that and I've kinda been eyeballing some cheap M54 equipped E53s to maybe tinker with. Kinda would prefer E83, but cheap ones are hard to come by with around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The seats in my e53 are in really nice shape for the age/mileage. I gave the drivers seat bottom a slathering of Lexol and a couple extra go-rounds for the left bolster. Is that what you mean regarding seat problems, or do you mean mechanical problems? I haven't run across any threads about seat problems yet on the e53 forums.

On my wife's e83 vinyl seat, I used a product called VLP. It's a tube of glue basically but it did a nice job of keeping the little cracks in the left bolster from pulling apart and getting worse. I put on too much, so it shows more than necessary. I think if you were very careful with the application, you could make it barely noticeable.

AM.
 

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The seats in my e53 are in really nice shape for the age/mileage. I gave the drivers seat bottom a slathering of Lexol and a couple extra go-rounds for the left bolster. Is that what you mean regarding seat problems, or do you mean mechanical problems? I haven't run across any threads about seat problems yet on the e53 forums.

On my wife's e83 vinyl seat, I used a product called VLP. It's a tube of glue basically but it did a nice job of keeping the little cracks in the left bolster from pulling apart and getting worse. I put on too much, so it shows more than necessary. I think if you were very careful with the application, you could make it barely noticeable.

AM.
I think he's referring to the power seat control module in the E53. I always see those ripped out of the junkyard cars first.

Do you have a picture of the VLP application you did?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think he's referring to the power seat control module in the E53. I always see those ripped out of the junkyard cars first.

Do you have a picture of the VLP application you did?
I have a bad habit of assuming more is always better. With this stuff, I should have used a very thin line in each crack. This was done nearly 2 years ago and hasn't failed.

VLP Repair1.jpg

VLP Repair3.jpg

VLP Repair2.jpg

AM.
 

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To be fair, ours have their fair share of problems.

I've seen maybe only a handful of used late model (2010.9) E83s without cracked driver seats.
Ah...I wasn't meaning that the e83 is any better. I was referring to the twisted seat problem in the e39. But, given that you haven't heard about it, perhaps they used a different design in the e53. There are many similarities between the e39/e53 platforms, but hopefully that's not one of them.

And, for the record, my driver's seat is not cracked on my 2007.-9 model year x3. :)
 

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I have a bad habit of assuming more is always better. With this stuff, I should have used a very thin line in each crack. This was done nearly 2 years ago and hasn't failed.

View attachment 837177

View attachment 837181

View attachment 837179

AM.
Thanks for the pictures.

It's good to know that stuff holds up at least. I would probably apply too much as well, as I'm always known to be excessive with tape, towels, brake cleaner, and most other consumables.


I didn't originally realize, but the bolster on the side of the seat pad is often also torn.
I tried a seat cover, but it just didn't look good enough & heat could barely be felt through it.

There is a fine hairline crack on the passenger seat pad (which I swapped over to my driver seat), but its on the side towards the center console. Hopefully that one won't spread.
 

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Ah...I wasn't meaning that the e83 is any better. I was referring to the twisted seat problem in the e39. But, given that you haven't heard about it, perhaps they used a different design in the e53. There are many similarities between the e39/e53 platforms, but hopefully that's not one of them.

And, for the record, my driver's seat is not cracked on my 2007.-9 model year x3. :)
Although the e53 and e39 are like fraternal twins...they actually don't share the same front seats. The e38 & e39 share the same front seats...but the e53 front seats are designed like the e46 3 series (it's generational cousin)...but with a few extras thrown in like seat memory buttons...and it also controls the power steering column adjustments. :)

Some of the functions of the seat control module communicates over the K-bus (e53) instead of the P-bus (e38/e39)...see info below:

{e53 front seat}



{e38/e39 front seat}
 

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I think air bag shocks only available on E70 X5 rear wheels. Please see following... But it is fun to replace tho...
Just an FYI...the e53 X5 came with (4.6is & 4.8is) or could be optioned with a single rear axle self leveling suspension (EHC) or a dual axle self leveling suspension (EHC II). The 4.6is came standard with rear self leveling, the 4.8is came standard with dual axle. The 3.0 and 4.4 models could be optioned with either:


 

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