Are early/mid E90/E60s a bad idea? Banger territory.

Discussion in 'General chat' started by neemz, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. neemz
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    neemz

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    Hi all.
    My 2006 Diesel Accord is past its sell by date. It's done 150K now and I have to get a replacement before end of March.
    I have up to £3k hard limit to spend on a diesel car. The car has to last 2-3 years.

    I could do with some advice on the E90/E60 as I am way out of the game and have forgotten almost everything BMW related.

    Would appreciate feedback from the esteemed forum members on here running older versions of the above as they've done over 100K and getting niggly. Slim do you run an E60 still sir? I respect your opinion would be keen to get a reply from you.

    Honda, Toyota, Ford, BMW considered - I'm not a snob. I don't have much luck whenever I've gone VAG with a Passat or whatever so I'd probably dodge that. Open to suggestions. Must be diesel, I get cheap diesel locally.

    My #1 criteria is reliability. The car must be a mid/large saloon (or estate I don't care). I'm concerned going back to a BMW because the price of parts for a non standard repair and whenever I owned them in the past they were always fussy with things breaking especially over 10 years old. I'm not interested in having to scratch around on ebay buying a 200 quid something-or-other suspension airbag or weird engine thing electrical thing and then finding a bloke to code it every few months thanks very much.

    I've been spoiled with the Accord, I bought it cheap off a mate for £1500 4/5 years ago as it was scruffy bodywork. Its very comfy, heated leather, nav, cruise, climate supremely reliable, 55mpg everywhere. I have serviced myself a couple of times and it had one failure (PAS metal pipe rusted through, easy fix). I think total cost on maintenance over that time is less than £150. I would buy another one but they stopped building my model in 2007 and the replacement is weaker. With particulate filter etc. The ones left on the market are dregs, hideously overpriced like the E39 or with proper moon mileage.

    I've had my fair share of E39/E46 but they are too old now for me.

    I am a big fan of the Ford Focus/Mondeo in petrol and always have one of these as a spare/second car for the wife when I'm not about. Absolute bangers sub £500 jobs you understand, but I can't be doing with that for our main family car. We live in Poland which is a big place and do long runs hence the need for a comfy saloon or better in diesel.

    I could get a 2009/10 Mondeo diesel 100k miles. But the TDCI ford range above 100k concerns me. And it will still cost me the wrong side of £2k to get a good one so I thought I'd see what BMW you can get for that.

    £2500-3000 (pre haggle - and I love haggling) buys a 2008/110k SE spec 3/5 series 320d/520d.
    When I was active on forums the E60s were getting a bad rap all the time. I know a few people who had them when they were new who were not big fans. Whilst I prefer a bigger car I think I'm leaning toward the E90. Are the early/mid E90s considered as bad? I'm sorry I just don't remember.

    Of the top of my head specific negative points to the range are:

    - E60 water ingress into boot battery area, big deal as it nukes all sorts of electrics down there.
    - E60 & E90 swirl flaps? fitted on these models? I can't remember the details?
    - E60 & E90 520/320d camchain failures rings a bell. Should I just get the 6cyl derv engine? Does this protect me from this? I am mega-tight (perhaps it's Scots blood not Polish after all??) and want maximum MPG hence the x20d.
    - E60 & E90 do all the diesels have a particulate filter? They go around 120K from memory. Can they be coded out? I live abroad so after the MOT i have no qualms in getting it taken out.
    - E60 & E90 do they still have weak cooling systems like e39/e46 (rads, waterpump all finished by 100k).

    - I would buy manual only so no auto box dramas.
    - Hard ride. I'd be looking at exclusively SEs with the biggest non run flat balloon tyres money could buy.

    What else goes in the common faults section for these so I know what to look out for?

    Advice and experience welcomed.
     
  2. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Hi Neemz, long time no hear :wavey:

    I do indeed still have the e60, see my post #18 here: https://bmwland.org.uk/index.php?threads/older-car-still-feel-new.2381/#post-37456

    Of course, mine is petrol so I can't really advise on a diesel purchase, but I'd think the 6-cylinder engine would be the way to go. Any pitfalls particularly related to diesel, I'm sure some of the Collective will be along to advise on what to watch out for.

    Mine has the manual 'box and I got my Indy to change the oil soon after I got her. Why? Well.....just because :D
    There was no particular problem or concern about it, but it seemed like a sensible precaution with the miles on the [what I assumed] was the original oil.
     
  3. snrbrtsn
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    snrbrtsn WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I’d suggest your list as comprehensive, to suggest your eyes are wide open
    Perhaps missing glow plugs and the controllers across all models
    You correctly mention swirl flaps, easily removed, though incorrectly touch on the cooling system, the rads & pumps were more a E39/46 thing, the E60/90 was more thermostat related, many believe there’s only two, (EGR & Main) however the autos do have the third troublesome stat easily changed and/or bypassed
    Suspension wise, the E60 is a heavy car, most prone to drop links (though cheap) broken springs / top mounts, whilst seldom on the move, moreso when left parked (surprising I appreciate though believe it’s porosity of steal and frost)
    Otherwise the touring are known for airbags again a relatively simple diy fix once you’ve done one!
    Weak batteries cause all manner of problems and sometimes difficult to diagnose!
    Take into account, the E60 was easily fettled and many remapped, some for performance/economy gains others to map out the dpf, whilst unlikely to cause a problem overseas the uk laws changed and frown upon such mods

    Overall I love the look & drive of the E60, moreso in Msport trim, still a very eyecatching silhouette and very worthy engine in 6 pot form, whilst many state the 2.0d 4pot is chattery, their certainly refined and torquey on the move, (though suffer from timing chain issues as you’ve mentioned)
    Perhaps avoid heavily optioned cars as these are more prone to cause issues, otherwise I’m sure the either chassis will over reward
     
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  4. mach one
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    mach one WARLORD Site Supporter

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    to add to what has been said above if i was looking at a 520D E60 for low money i would be looking for a pre LCI fitted with the M47 engine rather than the N47

    it was when they changed to the N47 engine that thye had issues with the timing chains, did the early Pre LCI E60.s have a DPF fitted?
     
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  5. pinewood
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    pinewood

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    I had a 2005 E60 530d auto for 6 years . bought at 70K miles and sold on at 130K miles
    in that time i had the following done for piece of mind and/or regular maintenance.

    swirl flaps removed and blanked (£180)
    hidden menu showed my engine temp was low, so had both thermostats replaced (£350) - can cause issues with DPF regen
    broken nearside spring - changed both at a cost of £400
    first service showed up 1 glow plug not working, and advised to wait until more fail. Replaced all 6 and controller in year 4 and it cost £400
    Otherwise she ran really well, was quiet and powerful
    It was a joy to own, and would recommend a well sorted one. Even at 130K miles she was a taught and responsive, with no DPF issues
     
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  6. The_Master
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    The_Master Site Supporter

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    I also have has a 2007 LCI 520d (M47 engine though) for 6 years brought at 70K and still running at 128K been great have done the following

    Had both the thermostats replaced as temps low (C110 scanner showed temps on the low side) - £200 local garage
    Rear drop links (DIY job) - £25
    Both Track Rod ends - £200 inclusing wheel alignment
    Boot lid wiring failed - fixed DIY - £0 just some solder and heatshrink tubing I had laying around
    Front and Rear Pads - still on original discs - £100 DIY
    Vortex breather replaced when self servicing (oil etc done every 8,000 miles) - £30

    Will need following this year - front drop links, rear top mounts
    2 Glow plugs have failed but still starts and runs fine even in really cold weather

    No hint of DPF issues daily commute is 7.5 miles each way...and has been for 5 years..

    Still drives great and LCI interior holding up well ....looks better inside than some 4 year old cars I've seen
     
  7. DavidC
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    DavidC

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    I had a 2006 320d E90 up until last year when it went to my sister. Mileage was around 95,000. It had the M47 engine. The early ones don't have a DPF (mine didn't) I think they were fitted from around 2007 (not certain on that). Mine had the 2 x thermostats (main radiator and EGR) changed as it was running cold.

    It also suffered from the ABS ring (reluctor ring) deforming - rust on the rear axle forms underneath the ABS ring and slightly deforms it. The abs sensor is subsequently activated and it will throw up various lights on the dash (ABS/Flat tyre) and may go into limp mode/misfire slightly. It's a relatively easy fix with some garages offering just to clean up the axle and replace the ABS ring (about £100 per side). BMW's recommended fix involves a complete half-shaft with a new ring fitted - the part is is around £250 per side plus labour.

    Didn't have any rust problems when I had it (much better than my previous E46)

    Since my sister owned it, I know it has had a problem with just cutting out for no apparent reason (it re-started again straight away) - it did this several times but her local independent couldn't get to the bottom of it. Anyway the issue seemed to have cleared up and it's going OK (I think it's now covered around 107,000 miles)

    Hope that helps

    David
     
  8. neemz
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    neemz

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    Appreciate all replies thanks a lot for taking the time.

    After doing further reading I have completely put myself off the early E60/E90 diesels in 320d or 520d spec owing to the camchain tensioner failures. So scratch that. I can't get the M engine as specified as the age of the vehicle will be too old for me. I can't get my head round buying an older vehicle than I already have, sorry. Which is a shame because they were wonderful engines.

    To get a comparable age/mileage 6 cylinder is out of budget.

    My friend is a trader and on his auction portals found a very late 2010/11 early F10? I believe is the model designation.
    520d SE. 90,000 miles. Bodywork is completely battered which is great as it's in budget and has massive balloon tyres. Nice spec too for a peasant like me.

    May I ask did the F10 in 520d engine also suffer the camchain tensioner issues?

    And finally there is a clean passat 2010 plate diesel high spec low mileage in budget so may end up being that. If I end up with that dreary motor I hope it is more dreary than my past wallet emptying VW experiences. How exciting.

    Thank you again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  9. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    You've got this the wrong way around, its the N47 from Sept 2007 that has trouble with the timing chain, the F10 is in the troublesome timing chain bracket until around 2013. The one you want is the one @The_Master has, a 520d LCi with the M47 engine (168bhp from memory), more reliable engine in the updated facelift version with later gearbox, however, they were only built between March 2007 and Sept 2007.
    I would get a E60 or prettier E61 2007 LCi with the M47 engine in M Sport trim with xenons and put some decent conventional tyres on it, then you will have a very nice car.
     
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  10. bishbosh
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    bishbosh WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I had an N47 engined e91 which had the chains, tensioners and crank changed at 108k miles as it was very noisy. Sold it at 204k miles and it was and still is running great.

    I wouldn't write off all n47 engined cars for the 2007-2011 period if you could verify the history and whether or not the chain had been changed. As a percentage not many engines actually exhibited faults. You will tend to find doom and gloom on the Internet.

    Good luck in whatever you choose. (y)
     
  11. neemz
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    neemz

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    Thanks again all. Another update to this. I'm not a regular poster but it's rude to not keep people updated who took the time to reply.

    The dodgy as you like F series went at auction for 4 grand, and good luck whichever brave soul bought that... More like whichever poor unknowing soul in London buys it from a back st garage after he bodges the paintwork and fabricates some history. Shame that one got away, it was black and I planned to limo tint it like the main family car here (hot as hell in summer). Mafia spec on the UK plates.

    Unless the right BMW drops into my lap I don't think I have the balls to buy one on my ever increasing budget. The diesels are either the cursed cam chain variants. 6 Cyl way too rich for my blood and I can't stomach the running costs of any petrol BMW. May as well lock the thread now but who knows?

    Remember I'm buying blind at auction to save the 30-40% on retail compounded by the fact I'm not in the UK to drive around and kick tyres.

    I've found that DPF removal is popular here and they gut the insides and recode ECU so it looks normal underneath (not that anyone gives a toss about foreign plate cars in my neck of the woods). Cost around £150 local. If I end up with a diesel I will take it out preemptively as my understanding is will gain a couple of MPG too.

    There's a lovely black estate 10 plate 1 owner accord ending tomorrow but mileage a little high. Didn't reach the reserve at £2,2 last week. May stick a bid in.

    Today as a big ford fan I have my eye on a clean (for me, i'm counting only 1 missing bumper reflector and 3 dent/arch scratches) 12 plate mondeo diesel with sub 100k mileage and mega spec for a Daghenham dustbin. Keep your fingers crossed lads. Worst case on a mondeo is DMF going with the clutch (extra 200 quid) and DPF - as discussed.

    That will bring us to a 3 ford family. Moderators please ban me now. :redcard:
     
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  12. neemz
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    neemz

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    Update to this. Few weeks back I managed to blag a late 13 plate Mondeo 2L TDCI from the work fleet in UK. Nice spec including multispoke alloys, nav, USB music socket, tinted 3/4 and rear glass, running lights, puddle mirror lights etc so it looks half modern. 6 speed with the DPF. Paid less than half market value, its a 1 owner motorway only job.
    Drove well here for a Dagenham dustbin. Needs a new lower engine mount which I have waiting to go on. £18 for a Febi bilstein.
    Forgot how decent Ford speakers are compared to the Accord, touch.

    Also didn't realise how big they were compared to the Accord. I managed to fit 2 mountain bikes, a bouncy castle, rotary washing line, strimmer, chest of drawers in the back with the seats down and not blocking rear window.

    I've tinted the front windows
    There were a couple of dings I've fixed and DPF is coming out in a week or two I can feel it is hurting MPG.

    And so ends this sorry tale.
     
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  13. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Not a sorry tale at all, whatever car you can get which fills your needs and at a budget you can afford is good.

    Oh, and you ought to remember worthless_thread_wo_pics.gif
    Don't feel you can't post some of your Ford, there's been an epidemic of Porkers lately.....:sunny: :D
     
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  14. neemz
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    neemz

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    Evening Slim. Hope you're keeping well.
    Some pics as requested. First are in Blighty the night before hitting the road.
    The next was a couple of minutes after arrival getting the once over from the boy. Since then it's had the front tints done to a questionably legal level and an equally questionable rattle-can front bumper spray tan.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Other sad news is down to 2 cars again. Wife got fed up of the estate UK plate 2002 Cat C Mondeo we were given when we emigrated rotting behind the garage so it went off to have a new life in Ukraine. 187 odd thousand miles. Original clutch 1 cambelt everything working. She'll be motoring around for many years to come.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. neemz
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    neemz

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    I still plan to have a nice German car again some day. The budget had creeping death from the original £2-3K, you know how that goes... I couldn't bring myself to drop 4-5 bags on a 10 plate/10 year old German car that was begging for big bills.

    Was given this one for under £2K (due to sorting the company a £7K discount on a replacement company car - what goes around).

    When I finally give up driving right hand drive bangers I'll join the rental club like everyone else and rent a new car for £400 a month and be done with it. They'll all be leccy by then. Fred in a shed does not approve. You haven't seen the last of me. Assuming the forum is still live in 2021 I'll come back to pester again.

    Cheers
     
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