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ger's e61 LCI 535d touring

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I’ve not bothered with photobucket or any other service. I’ve written this out in Word and saved it as a PDF so you can see it with the pictures if you want. Saves me messing about with uploading pictures and the pictures should remain forever…


Here’s my post, I hope you have a long time to read it. If you manage to read it all you’re a dedicated BMW guy (or gal)!

Scroll to the end if you want to see a list of the main things I've had to sort!


Hi guys. I’ve been a bit quiet on here recently.

This is why:


I had been wanting an E39 530d touring as a companion to the M5 for a long time. Rob’s (ttrw2) 530d was very tempting and I have hassled him about it a few times but things never seemed to work out.


Anyway, I suggested I’d go for a more recent car with many less miles and was received with much agreeance from everyone who mattered. Within a couple of evenings I had decided on an E61 535d LCI. I had spotted what I had hoped was a suitable car at a suitable price. I contacted them, asked a few questions and thought it was a decent enough car; deposit paid and arranged with my brother to go down to London the following morning! This is not a quick journey, it’s well over 300miles.


We arrived, Wembley iirc. As I approached the car I was saddened to see that I had been lied to, terribly. I wanted to cry and hit someone!

The car had been through a wall or something. Might not have been recorded but it was a mess.


All of the paint was terrible. Bonnet was a replacement, headlamp cracked, rear door not shutting properly, inside was just awful, I didn’t want to touch it really.


With heads held low and a heavy heart, we walked away (I did get my deposit back). Before setting off we both thought a quick look through AutoTrader was in order, we were at least in the capital and surely there must be a few more around. I searched for 535d in the app and a dozen or so came up, including this one which was 12miles away.

It was a million times better than the black one I’d seen earlier. So, after a quick drive the deal was made and we were finally on our way home.

Car had a virtually full BMW service history, but it didn’t have any receipts (which tell a lot more) as it had been passed through different people until it arrived with the seller.


So here is the ‘story so far’ of my ‘new to me’ BMW E61 LCI 535d M Sport. I’ve kept a record on my phone of the jobs I’ve done, here it is…

Pic at a feeding stop on our way back: (pic of car)


Bought on 21/7/2017 from a guy in London.

Mileage when bought 120,800miles

Colour : Grey – Platingrau A68


22/7/17 Saturday – spending begins!

Bought new front wiper blades and a cheap rear blade for the insert.

Cleaned engine top and pollen filter units.

Cleaned seats (Lara helped) and under the tailgate glass.

Flushed water from screenwash, added my own mix.

Looks much better now. (clean engine bay pic)


23/7/17 Sunday

Replaced rear wiper rubber. Whilst testing I realised rear screenwash wasn't coming from the nozzle.

Removed rear 'spoiler' and found screenwash pipe not connected. 

(rear screen pic, no spoiler)

Cleaned up the area under the spoiler then refitted everything.

All now working correctly. 

Fitted a screw to ns boot trim, behind the panel.

Cleaned spare wheel and towbar. 

Removed rear charging point as it was broken.

Removed the clocks to attempt to remove a rattle. Split them and added cloth tape between the two plastic sections, not certain it's worked.

Removed the dash trim piece to get to the heater control unit. Sampling vent looked disgusting, almost blocked with thick dust.

(dash – no trim- pic)



24/7/17 Monday

Dismantled the heater control panel. Cleaned all parts, including the sampling vent and reassembled.


Loads of dust around the temp sensor.

(heater panel pic)

Again, dust around the temp sensor.


(heater panel pic)


Dust around the sampling vent.

(heater panel pic)


Nice and clean, it must work better now!!

(heater panel pic)


All nice and clean now.

(heater panel pic - clean)


Fob battery died, have to use the key to open door! Removed spoiler to access Diversity aerial to check for corrosion, all well and good there.

Could be key coding, key battery or car problem. This turned out to be a big job to sort!

(Diversity unit pic)


25/7/17 Tuesday

Replaced cracked rear ns tailgate lamp with a good sh unit from eBay. Looks much better.


Old unit with two cracks (there were two cracks in it). (cracked lamp pic)


New unit fitted (new lamp pic)


Checked wheel bolt torque, all consistently tight but at a bit more than 120Nm. All spot on now.

Checked tyre pressures, meant to 36.3 and 43.5 psi but front was about 34 and rear about 38 psi.

Gave it a wash, drying off at the end (hot day).


Washed off pounds of mud from wheel arches. It was unbelievable how much mud came off it. We had driven through rain coming home, I thought most would have washed off. I bet about 10lbs of mud came off it, that was just with the normal hose pipe. Two brick sized lumps of mud came from the rear arches!

Reset tpms.



26/7/17 Wednesday

Car key didn’t want to work every time. Suspected a few things, including the car’s battery.

Charged car battery overnight. Woke up at 4am to find half the town had a power cut!!! This was rather hilarious at the time!

Placed key on a ‘toothbrush charger’ overnight – it’s amazing what you find on the ‘net’ but worth a try! Amazed to find that the key worked. It stopped after a while, but it seems that the key battery is very weak.

Cleaned every piece of glass, all nice and clean now.

Mounted the dashcam (DDPai M6 plus – as recommended by Techmoan a while ago – he’s since updated his choice), need to wire it in soon.

Rear/boot power socket arrived, fitted in moments. All good.



27/7/17 Thursday

Second key and headrest arrived from seller. Second key worked perfectly. Split the original, convinced the battery was dead.

However, it gave 3.2v and about 2.8v when pressing a button. Tried it with the car a while later and it worked faultlessly!

Ordered a new VL2020 battery anyway, it’s obvious that something wasn’t right.

(key pic)

(key pic)


Also cleaned and refitted the headrest.


Fri 28/7/17

Installed dashcam hardwire kit, removing glovebox, A pillar trim, etc.

(fusebox pic)


Realised that there must be a broken wire between the tailgate and roof area, key is affected by opening the boot (big discovery this – bloody big job)...


30/7/17 Sunday

Service. 121153miles.

Changed oil, oil filter, air filter & pollen filters.

Removed inlet manifold.

Removed swirl flaps, control rod and diaphragm, fitting 33mm blanking plugs with new manifold gaskets (old ones were brittle and were leaking a bit). Blanked off vacuum after swirl flap control valve, under manifold. 

Changed glow plug control unit, diag reported all six glowplugs weren’t working.

Renewed vacuum lines under manifold with some red silicone pipe ( a bit of invisible bling:) ).

Cleaned EGR valve and tcu/throttle butterfly.

Washed engine under manifold, a little oily from the brittle manifold gaskets.

Reset service indicators on dash:

Vehicle check : 37000miles

Oil change : 19000miles

Engine without manifold.

(engine no manifold pic)


Inlet manifold with swirl flaps removed, aluminium blanks inserted instead. Lara helped in changing them :) .

(manifold with flap blanks pic)


31/7/17 Monday

Drove to Bangor in the morning to get some belts and workshop manual from ECP.

Used the ‘hidden menu’ to see engine temperature and realised it didn’t go over 65! I can’t believe that I hadn’t done this prior to this time, I just thought it was fine!!! How silly of me.

New thermostats needed for engine and egr, ordered and collected in the afternoon. This was a bad sign of things to come, had I realised it!!!!!!!

Fitted new thermostat and egr thermostat.

Mileage: 121198.

Engine heats up fully in about 6 to 7miles and ran consistently at 88-91 C.

MPG seemed to respond too.


Slam panel, airbox etc removed.

(no slam panel pic)

Might be a bit oily in there!

(turbos pic)


Thermostat off...

(no stat pic)



1/8/17 Tuesday (My birthday :) )

Replaced boot lights with new led versions. Found some led ‘bulbs’ that fitted the light in the tailgate and the door puddle lamps.


Old light-units were cracked.

(old yellow lights pic)


New lights, much ‘crispier’ and I’m sure more actual light.

(new lights pic)


2/8/17 Wednesday

Removed rear light units from above the rear doors. ‘Bulbs’ ok for interior light but not for reading lamp.


4/8/17 Friday


Removed ac stretch belt and replaced aux belt (2080).

Noticed that all 3 aux belt idler pulleys were loose, very loose and will need replacing.

Also, alternator is sometimes noisy, might benefit from a quick re-con.


5/8/17 Saturday

Had a message on the dash, halo/sidelight bulb had blown. Removed headlamp to investigate but didn’t need to.

Bulb is a H8, very difficult to find on a Sat evening!

Also discovered that the driver’s seat thigh support squab doesn’t move! It slides in and out but does not move with its motor. Upon a quick google search the plastic gear likely to have broken.


7/8/17 Monday

New number plate fitted.

No. plate carriers arrived but front one had two clips broken, very disappointing.

Got some new sidelight/halo bulbs for about £14, half Halfords’ price. Both sides were in a bad way. Sorted now J


8/8/17 Tuesday

Removed driver’s seat to sort out the non-functioning thigh support (new gear had arrived).

Removed under seat speaker grille and vacuumed it all clean.

Stripped the thigh support mechanism and fitted the new gear, pressed it on, not sure how long it will last, a metal version would be much better but cost a lot more and would have come from America...


(seat in bits pic)


Fitted everything back and cleaned plastics. Seat works.


(seat squab motor pic)


Removed rear bench and gave it a good clean.


10/8/17 Thursday

Removed the alternator to allow access to the serpentine belt guide and tensioner pulleys, all were worn, slack and noisy.

They were replaced.


Pic of alternator out

(no alternator pic)

I had heard some noise from the alternator so decided to service it. Striped it down, replaced front and rear bearings as well as the brushes, which were very worn.


Had a bit of an ‘epic’ as the front bearing didn’t come off as it should, I had to tear the bearing retainer and use bolts with shaped washers, some fins touched the insides, just, the bolts used for the retaining washers were too long and soldering the three wires back to the regulator was a pain as all the heat was quickly lost.

Front bearing had to be smashed up and ground off, bit of a pig of a job!

Part number and split open.

(alternator number pic)

(split alternator pic)


Cleaned shaft end and pulley and painted them red.

Installed new belts, including the brand-new stretch belt for the ac.


All seems good.

I did get a new coolant pump too, but when I removed the belts to work on the alternator I realised that the current pump has good bearings and no leaks. At least I have it ready for when it ‘goes’.

(split alternator pic)

(alternator bearing retainer pic)

More bits and bearing securing plate that had to be forced off. This was replaced by the four shaped washers and bolts. Bolt heads had to be filed down as they were fouling!!!

(alternator bearing refitted pic)

(alternator and pulleys fitted pic)

All back together and looking better.



11/8/17 Friday

After much searching I had decided that the tailgate wiring needed attention to sort the key not working issue. This is a weak point on these, repetitive bending of the wires causes them to crack.

Tailgate wiring, driver’s side glass section.

Removed roof speaker to gain access to ‘car side’ wiring.

Removed the spoiler and disconnected the diversity amp wiring, and the heated screen and glass opening button wiring. Cut the wires (individually, in case of a short) and pulled them through. Cut them at the inner end. One wire, red/white, had snapped, this was the power feed to the diversity antenna, no wonder the remote didn’t work. Looking at the other wires it could be seen that all had cracks in their outer casings, job needed doing so at least it isn’t a waste of time.

BMW wire was a high multi strand wire, but I used wire with more strands (60) and they were thinner, so more flexible and they had a silicone covering (tougher).

Used heat shrink and solder connectors, very nice method, quick, easy and secure.


(wiring cut pic)


All joined up


(joined wiring pic)


This work has shown me that it’s very likely that the other wires for the tailgate are likely to be the same so will need doing soon.


12/8/17 Saturday

Did a full diag run on it using DIS. Not sure why I didn’t do this any sooner but there we go!

Two main faults plus issue with dpf.

1.      DAB antenna, probably a broken wire at the tailgate hinge, will get sorted very soon.

2.      Three glow plugs, 1, 5 and 6. Better than the previous six! So, new glowplug control unit works, but need to change the faulty ones. I have four good ones from the e46 (same ones  12237786869), it reported all four as being faulty, turned out that it was its control unit too! These will be changed in the morning. This is probably another reason the dpf wasn’t regenerating. One, or two thermostats not allowing engine to warm up then the glow plugs not burning the extra fuel to bring exhaust temps up. Could be issue with extra fuel contaminating the oil (and ruining the turbos!) but unlikely, need to check oil level (up if too much fuel pumped into engine). DPF regen needs all glowplugs working to get fuel rich mix to burn to raise exhaust temp, leading to a blocked dpf and/or flushed oil.

3.      Dpf shows up as being badly blocked, showing a limited distance remaining!!!


Need to look into this.

Will change glow plugs and try to regen a few times. Might need to get cat mileage reset? Not sure if my dis would do that (time to get a fresh version.)

I could wash out the dpf or send it away for proper cleaning, or get a new one (v expensive from bmw), factor units are troublesome or get a pipe and remap (ie delete) or get mine gutted and pipe added, again delete and remap... Will start with the cheapest options and see what happens :) .


13/8/17 Sunday

Replaced three glow plugs, for cylinders 1, 5 & 6. Had E46 old plugs that checked out fine (resistance approx 0.6ohm for each of them, limits are 0.5 to 2.5ohm). This required the intake manifold be removed (did this two weeks ago for de-flap and glow plug control unit!). Job completed in 1.5 hours, not bad going at all I thought.


Plug hole for 5 & 6.

(engine no manifold and glowplugs out pic)


Reset the engine code, no glow plug code now, only dpf.


Went for a drive and monitored dpf situation.

At idle, backpressure is about 20mbar.

At 2k rpm backpressure is approx 200mbar, this is the limit for any revs!

Saw 500+ at higher revs.

Two codes showing, 452A (distance limit for dpf close) and 480A pretty badly clogged up.

Presence of codes (especially 480A) stops regen from taking place

Possibility : add dpf cleaning solution (helps reduce soot burn off temperature) and drive car, resetting codes continuously using laptop and edibas, this should allow regen to happen, certainly worth a try. This will be next!


15/8/17 Tuesday

Bought some Forte DPF treatment. Added one bottle to half a tank. Lara used the little handheld code reader to clear any codes and monitor back pressure and temp.

Did this on a reasonable journey.

Backpressure much better by the evening:

Idle : 10mbar

2K rpm : 170mbar

480A returned after parking!!!


Went out later in the evening and saw:

Backpressure when stationary:

Idle : 6 to 8 mbar

1K rpm : 16 mbar

2K rpm : 38mbar

3k rpm : 122mbar

4k rpm : 142mbar,

These seem better, should be ok as long as dpf regenerates as it should (no reason not to, thermostats, glowplug control unit and three glowplugs replaced.


Car drove rather well, went for a quick spin up to a nearby village, performed well. 480A code did not re-appear.

Need to sort out 452A code (reset with dis) and monitor dpf for a good while. Understood that Terraclean is quite successful in cleaning dpf’s, might be worth a try...

Got the battery tested. This was after driving for 25miles – it said it was dying, probably a bad cell – brill, more costs!


16/8/17 Wednesday

Read the dpf backpressure readings before driving off :

Idle : 4mbar

1k rpm : 10mbar

2k rpm : 22mbar

3k rpm : 78mbar

4k rpm : 100mbar

These look really good. Hoping they will remain low and that the dpf will continue to regenerate when required.

Fitted four new bulbs (P21-382) in the rear lamps each side of the tailgate. Old bulbs had become darkened, beginning to ‘go’.


19/8/17 Saturday

New diag cable and sw arrived. Installed on Lara’s laptop (the bugger doesn’t want to install properly on my old laptop so I’ve got to get on my knees and beg to borrow her laptop every time I need DIS – it’s ok for NCS expert!!).

Anyway, used DIS to investigate pdf. Reset ‘remaining distance’ from about 52,000Km back to 250,000Km.

Enabled a regen and drove car. Carried on investigating, sw requested another regen! Drove further until complete.


20/8/17 Sunday

Checked codes after a short journey (to gym), only one due to dying battery, no dpf code. Monitored backpressure at idle, down to 3mbar, which is very good.

Hoping it will stay working, will be closely monitored for some time.


21/8/17 Monday

Carried on with the tailgate wiring, glass section lhs, the one with the heated element earth cable, the radio antenna wire and the screenwash pipe.

Earth cable outer had deteriorated, but the inner seemed ok.

No apparent damage to the antenna wire (but there is a dab code??).

Antenna extension done, smb male to Fakra female, 52cm long end to end

(wiring repair pic)


Female smb on car section of wiring, ready to be soldered. Very tight!

(wiring repair pic)


Smb having being soldered

(wiring repair pic)


Ready to tape up now.

(wiring repair pic)


Removed the steel tailgate wiring, lhs. 12 wires here, five had cracked outers. Spliced in new wires but didn’t run them through, it got too late.

(wiring repair – labelled pic)


22/8/17 Tuesday

Continued with wiring job. Finished lhs and all refitted bar the plastic trims. 12 wires in this lhs section.  Noticed some rust under where the trim rests at the bottom of the tailgate so scraped away the paint and treated with Kurust.

Removed parts to access the rhs steel tailgate wiring but didn’t cut the wires.

Discovered that the adjusting screws in the tailgate (for the glass section) have seized. Will need to be removed carefully and replaced, sometime.


23/8/17 Wednesday

Did the rhs wiring, reassembled everything bar trim again. All works too. 12 wires in this rhs section.

Painted previous rust spots with primer. Heated with heat gun for a while to aid drying but left overnight to dry off.

(wiring repair – at tailgate - pic)


24/8/17 Thursday

Tidied up the primer on the rusted areas and added another layer. Paint did not arrive in Halfords in the morning as promised (but turned up later at 7pm! No good for me). Ordered paint from ebay in the morning.


Removed both headlamps and changed the D1S dipped hid bulbs (one was different to the other in colour).

Cleaned lamps and found one lamp ‘back/cover’ was not fitted properly and had a broken clip (nearside).

Turned out that the new bulbs were different in colour too!


Fitted new battery, nice and cheap!!!! Better to have it all working than to be let down sometime in the future (like in the middle of winter, wet, cold and wanting to get home).


Fitted new carpets I’d bought from ebay (which are, I believe, the darker of the two genuine BMW beige shades, no matter, they look good!).


25/8/17 Friday

Continued with painting the rear tailgate, just where the glass section finishes, these used to rust and had a tsb for them. Looks ok.


(boot spraying pic)

(boot spraying pic)

Swapped a headlight bulb for one of the originals, looked very similar (ie blue).

Left headlamp loose, hoping a fresh bulb arrives tomorrow.


Nice, thick boot mat arrived but was too big

Contacted the company, will need to make them a new template so they can sort it out for me.

(wrong boot mat size/shape pic)


26/8/17 Saturday

Sprayed cavity wax over repaired/painted area.

Fitted rear tailgate trim panels, all fitted well with the new repaired wiring.

Refitted headlamp with original bulb, difficult to see difference.


Lifted car on ramps and adjusted handbrake - released lever and pushed back auto adjuster.

Removed wheel bolt and found adjuster (in line with calliper), adjusted until wheel wouldn’t move then backed off 8 clicks. Released lever auto adjuster. Lever feels the same but adjustment was out by about 4 to 6 clicks (ie took 12 to 14 clicks to lock wheel).


Prodded around the arches releasing dried up mud. Lot came off.


Noticed a panel behind os rear wheel seemed heavy. Removed and found a layer of at least 1” deep mud in it. Cleaned it off and washed with hose.

Previous owner was a vet, so I suspect he used to go to loads of muddy farms and get the car stuck in fields and such. Underneath has had a bit of a beating, some of the under panels show signs of grounding but no serious damage

Felt other panels and released more dirt, not quite as much though. Needs a thorough clean beneath...


27/8/17 Sunday

Went to fit a new fuel filter only to discover that a fresh one was installed last year sometime, new canister dated at 8/7/16, so must be a bit after that. Marks on torx bolt confirm work was carried out.

(fuel filter pic)

Glad to see hardly any dirt behind undertay.

Removed each wheel (did job per side with two jacks) and pressure washed wheel arches clean. Components can now be seen J

Greased hub registers and cleaned wheels. Sprayed AG Vinyl & Rubber care onto wheel arch plastics, looks good now.


29/8/17 Tuesday

Going around a car park in Chester I scraped against a fence, deep scrape on ns wing and scratch on headlamp. Absolutely livid.

Replacement primed wing ordered and painting by a friend, whole left-hand side of car to be sorted, door dent etc.


(dented wing pic)



Autoglass came to the house and changed the rear tailgate glass, old one had many deep scratches. I had only called my insurance regarding having it polished... Original was a ‘Securit’ and replacement is the same (OEM), but no BMW logo on glass – no matter, it’s identical in every other way.


Fitted the correct, new Bosch rear wiper blade.

Ran a diag, no codes other than the dab unit (dpf looking good).

Removed dab unit in boot to open up and clean, hopefully it will be enough, it did sometimes work.

Installed the dab receiver later on, it seemed to be working fine but the signal continues to drop out.



Added one bolt and speed nut to the dab receiver bracket, one less thing to rattle!

Added the missing small flap from the passenger cup holder and greased the button so it releases nicely.

Received a replacement D1S bulb and replaced the one that looked ‘blue-er’. Not much difference really.

(cup holder broken pic)

(repaired cup holder pic)

Did a diag read, error for dab antenna (A52C – band III aerial short circuit). Went after the dab aerials, found one next to the rear passenger glass, difficult to get to.

(DAB fault code pic)

Realised that the driver’s side glass has the same ‘element pattern’ and that it might have something to do with it too. Need to find which aerial is which, could be the side glass, rear glass, in rear spoiler or in the shark fin. One of these wires might have been crushed.

I have since discovered it is the rearmost wire of two in the dab unit on the left-hand side, this wire leads to the sharkfin, centre connector. I now understand that this is a bit of a known corrosion point, so it will need some attention when I finally get to it!

Polished piano black trim and roof rails.

Added more fibre loom tape to dash, I hope it won’t creak as much - successful J.


1/9/17 Friday

Went down to Newtown with my brother for him to get a 535d touring as well, driving carefully got 42.1mpg for the journey. He got 42.1mpg on the return trip too!


His car looks like it just came from the showroom. Enthusiast owned apparently, but it is good. I ran DIS on it, cleared all the ‘battery flat’ codes, took it for a drive then read them again – no codes at all.


Found on the return journey that his thermostats weren’t perfect, running about 8 to 10ºC lower than they should. These were changed the following day and his now runs perfectly. I hope we got them just in the nick of time, car did exceed 75ºC so would regen but it wouldn’t have been long before they would have gone below this threshold (one of the requirements for a regen to happen, 75ºC, faster than 40mph, more than 10l of fuel, no relevant fault codes etc).


My brother had shown signs of liking mine on the return journey from London. It was quite funny that I got mine on the first Friday of the summer holidays and he got his on the last Friday of the holidays.



Discovered source of the sunroof rattle, the rhs lifting track (BMW call them gates) has worn at the ‘park’ position. Move it a tiny bit either side and it won’t rattle a bit, but in the park position it can move just enough to cause that terrible annoying rattle.

BMW have a repair kit that contains the correct part but it’s about £250, so I’ll be looking onto other ways of sorting it!



Quick follow up on the ordered wing – it arrived having being posted via Hermes – it was a mess, all bent out of shape, that is parts folded over and the metal torn in a few places! What the hell did they do to it I’ll never know. Talked to the sellers and they refunded me immediately, fair play to them. Had to go on the hunt for a second wing which was about £30 dearer!



Didn’t do much this week. Used car to work.

Noticed temps were a bit low, looks like main stat has failed, takes a long time to reach temperature and cools down quickly if coasting downhill.



Bought a second stat from ecp and swapped the old one out, got a refund from ecp. Very little difference in temperatures (sorry ecp), makes me think it must be the gearbox oil cooler/heat exchanger. (great, more costs!).


Fitted cree led rear number plate lights, look as they should but they don’t seal properly, will need to look into that again sometime.


Removed standard driver’s mirror and replaced with folding, dimming and lit mirror. Mirror covers were also exchanged. Removed door card in the process and had a look at the mirror/window switch, all good except the lci unit has round buttons, pre has squared buttons! Not sure what to do with it at the moment (I got a pre LCI switch in the kit).


Removed sunroof glass to inspect the rattle. Left hand ‘gate’ has a worn plastic track at its ‘park’ position. Got some epoxy, it turned out too soft...

(sunroof main panel removed pic)



Swapped the passenger mirror and covers over then coded a few things:

Wrote s430 and s563 into VO in KGM and LMA.

Activated a few functions in KGM:


BEIKLAPPEN_B_KOMFORTSCHL (aktive) for folding with long key press.


ASP_BEIKLAPPEN.  Folding outside mirrors (aktive)


ASP_EC_INPUT Electrochromatic dimming outside mirrors (aktive)


VORFELDBELEUCHTUNG_KGM. Extended light package sa563

Also coded digital speed in KOMBI. Shame that engine temp can’t be shown, this would really be a big help. If any coders on here can help, it would be really useful.

All but the dimming glass work perfectly, glass will need two wires from central mirror to unit behind glovebox (shown in ‘how to’ from ‘blood’ somewhere on the ‘net’).

Removed epoxy from sunroof gate. Tried using some fibreglass resin, seems ok for now. Glass refitted and left slightly off the ‘park’ position to give resin a chance to go off. This turned out to be too old and didn’t adhere…



Re-wired the dashcam positive wire from fusebox (all continuous 12v) to the glovebox light circuit – which also feeds the glovebox rechargeable lamp (should there be one fitted). This becomes live when car is unlocked but then remains live for about 15mins or so. It’s a shame it’s not for longer but the feed from the fusebox kept on giving ‘high rate of battery discharge’ error on the dash.


12/9/17 Tuesday – here’s a biggie!! Scared me..


(new gearbox oil cooler pic)

Replaced the gearbox oil cooler (heat exchanger).


Rather awkward to reach top bolt and oil pipes securing bolt, but got it changed with little loss of oil and coolant.


Went for a short drive to get fuel. All good until return leg, gearbox jumped out of gear and little drive, gave an error message on central screen. Switched it all off and started again, similar thing happened and was stuck in 2nd gear. Took car back to house and used m5.

Little oil was lost when I changed the coolers, max 100ml, it takes 9.4l so there should be enough in it.

Thinking it’s an airlock. Will cycle through the gears and use dis to check level/top up etc.


13/9/17 Wednesday

Had a look to see what was the problem with the gearbox, thinking it was an airlock. Intended to check gearbox oil level. Ran engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil, as per guides.


Tried to move car but it completely refused to stay in any gear! Really worried.


Moved cars and using a screwdriver by gear lever to disengage gearbox, pushed car into garage and got it up on the ramps.

I could immediately see traces of oil underneath!!!


Worried I hadn’t fitted the oil pipe ‘o’ rings I removed them from cooler, o rings were installed. Oil leak source was obviously from cooler area so decided to remove the new cooler. To my horror I found the plastic lower section of the cooler had a crack, near the oil pipe entry! Really very worried now!


(broken gearbox oil cooler pic)


Couldn’t do any more. Shitting bricks!!!


Not sure if I missed this before installing, I only looked at it quickly and got on with the job but I’d like to think that I would have spotted it!

It might have happened when fitting, but I certainly didn’t over tighten anything and it all went together very nicely, smoothly and mostly by hand, all of the bolts screwed in nicely with my fingers, nothing was forced.


14/9/17 Thursday

Contacted arkglobal (ebay) where Nissens g/box oil cooler was bought from (drop shipped direct from Nissens). Sent them an ebay message and then phoned, spoke to Ajai who was to deal with problem. He contacted Nissens direct and later informed that a new unit was sent out for delivery tomorrow.


15/9/17 Friday

New oil cooler arrived. Double and triple checked that the plastic was intact.


Cleaned underneath of engine reasonably and fitted oil cooler.


Added just over 1l of new gearbox oil (Comma MVATF Fully synthetic – I phoned Comma up to confirm that this oil was ok, I know it’s not the absolutely perfect oil for the box, but under the circumstances it will do!).


This was enough to start engine. I actually had ‘butterflies’ as I went underneath the car to add more oil, never happened before!

Ran engine, dad cycled through the gears and I added more oil through level plug. Added about 3l extra, so in total gearbox had a good 4l, possibly close to 4.5l of oil added.


Ran engine for a little more and checked well for leaks, none apparent.


Took car up the road, it felt fine, gearbox working as it should, smooth changes and holding on to gears fine.

Big relief and a big thanks to Ajai for getting a new cooler so quickly.



17/9/17 Sunday

Removed driver’s door card. Removed door handle moulding to remove window/mirror switch panel. Drilled a hole in the moulding for the mirror fold button. Fitted an LCI window/mirror switch with mirror fold that I’d bought off eBay. Discovered that the standard, non-folding switch has the folding functionality, prodded the button with a bike spoke and mirrors folded. All that was required was the button!

I had also bought the parts for the interior light package (illuminated door handles, door pockets, footwell lights and rear door puddle lights).


Removed interior door handle, replacing with an illuminated version.


Drilled holes in the top of the door pockets to accept the light guides and fitted these.

Connected up the led’s for the handle and door pockets, all working as expected.

(doorcard inner and lightguide pic)


Light guide fitted, you can see it poking up through the doorcard in the middle of the picture.


(doorcard and lightguides pic)

(interior handle pic)


Made a template for the boot mat, finally, but not entirely happy with it. Might need a second try some other time. Company asked me to make a new template for them to sort out the boot mat issue.


18/9/17 Monday

Preventative maintenance - pulled back front left wheel arch cover, removed each screenwash pump and filter and gave them a clean. One filter came off in the tank but was fished out with a bent bike spoke.

Flushed tank out a bit.

All good afterwards.

(screenwash filters pic)

(screenwash bottle pic)


19/9/17 Tuesday

Removed passenger door card and fitted illuminated handle and door pocket light guides. Look good.

Only rears to do now.


21/9/17 Thursday

Removed drivers rear door card and fitted illuminated handle and door pocket light guide.


22/9/17 Friday

Removed passenger rear door card and fitted illuminated handle and door pocket light guide.

All door handles and door pocket lights installed and looking good.


Removed passenger headlamp and replaced the main cover, original one wasn’t fitted properly at one time and one of the clips had broken. All good now.


Have been monitoring dpf and found that it counts up to 32.7Km before counting back down (so 75.4Km) and perform a re-gen. This is frequent (hence 4667 code).

Will try the direct dpf spray soon...


24/9/17 Sunday


Ran wires from interior mirror down to body module (KGM) to allow outside photochromatic mirrors to operate.

(mirror wiring pic)


Testing with a lamp next to the interior mirror seems to confirm that everything operates correctly J


Installed wiring for front footwell lamps and the rear door puddle lights (almost).

Footwell lamps were aided by the write up in this thread:


Big thanks to the author! I earthed them by using the earthing points under the carpet.

Work well, nice and bright without being too harsh.


Wiring used:


(footwell wiring pic)


Rear door puddle lights:


Both lights (footwell and door) used the same connector on lcm, making it a bit easier.

(rear door puddle light wiring pic)


27/9/17 Wednesday

Had a spate of error codes relating to dpf.

4667 regeneration frequency too high.

480A dpf almost full.

Reset with reader but dpf needs further attention.


28/9/17 Thursday

Faults continue, 480A reappears every half mile.

4667 would not go away until engine cycled. 

Tried removing the ‘pre dpf’ temp sensor, very tight indeed. Will try again with heat tomorrow.


30/9/17 Saturday


Used heat to remove temp sensor from dpf – easy!

Now possible to use the Normfest DPF100 400ml dpf cleaner from Euro Car Parts.


Dpf cleaner nozzle wouldn't fit through so a different spray pipe was made up. Worked fine.

Can sprayed in to dpf and all reassembled.

(dpf temp sensor removed pic)

Engine ran at tickover for 30mins then taken for a drive to Aberdaron (40miles ish – taking wing to be painted).


Forced then at approx 12miles that lasted approx 20 miles – so about 8 miles for the regen. So far, has covered 70miles without a regen! Minimum distance for a regen is 300Km (186.4 miles). It used to regen every 30 to 40miles!


1/10/17 Sunday

Added Forte dpf cleaner to a full tank of Shell diesel to help the dpf.


Checked engine oil level, said it was too high!

Sucked out about 1l, now at top of dipstick. After 10mins driving screen said it was ok too. What has happened? Oil level raised??


Big question is how? Can only be diesel has found its way there or me filling it too much?

Diesel : High pressure fuel pump? Injector seals? Leaking injectors? Too frequent regens?

Car did a full regen at 120miles, for about 10miles.

This was after being revved hard with the excess oil (so maybe oil vented through breather, through engine and into dpf) which might have affected it a bit.

So, regens much better but not perfect, about every 200miles would have been better. But, no fault codes at least (yet).


6/10/17 Friday

Had a brainwave: remove the dpf, send it away to be ‘bench cleaned’ and then refit.

I wasn’t going to rush this, it’s not a small job and I did wonder how the car would drive with the dpf ‘removed’, so I was thinking of using it without a dpf for a few weeks, just to see.

So, I got a gutted dpf from ebay, so that I could use the car whilst the dpf was being cleaned.

Removed the original dpf. Had to slacken steering rack and it dropped out easily.

Turbo clamp thread got damaged, but should be repairable.


7/10/17 Saturday


Fitted a completely gutted dpf bought off eBay. Repaired clamp, maybe a new bobbin and bought a new M6 x 100 bolt.

Used jubilee clips on the pressure sensor pipe.


9/10/17 Monday

Used car to work. Car drives fine but is ‘rattly’ and the small turbo whine is obvious with window open. Not nice. Small puffs of smoke on a hard rev, to be expected I guess.

Error codes:

4cf3 exhaust backpressure sensor, signal; very quick from cold.

4166 Particulate filter system later on, re-appears immediately when engine hot.

Made enquiries re tunes and cleaning dpf.

Whilst enquiring about tunes to run the car safely with the dpf removed, I happened upon a local guy who seems to be an expert on all things DPF. Highly recommended. Reckons dpf is fine with the pressure readings, suspects something else might cause the frequent regens. I'm thinking possibly the lambda sensor.


Convinced that the diesel in the oil was due to frequent regens (if it is actually diesel, really wondering about this – how do I test?).

Uses Terraclean to clean out the dpf but it needs to be on the car!!!

Said that police now do spot checks on NOx's and confiscate the car if failed!

So, small change of plan : refit the dpf and take it to him asap!


11/10/17 Wednesday

Gutted dpf removed.


12/10/17 Thursday

Main dpf refitted with a new gasket.

Captive subframe nut replaced.

Engine cover blanking plate fitted

New front central jacking pad fitted (one thing damaged by the car grounding during its vet duties in its earlier life). 

Also, changed the oil to Tesco LL04 C3 5W30 (seems fine! I wonder who makes the oil for Tesco?).

Used about 6.75 litres but it still showed as full on the dipstick, full should be 7.7litres! Must have not been able to remove all oil. Starting to wonder if the older oil is still ok??


Oil filter not replaced as it was damaged in transit from opie oils. Previous one seemed fine.

Car taken for drive, did a regen in no time.




13/10/17 Friday


Breather removed and cleaned (not bad). Has a valve inside that is held open by a relatively strong spring, not sure on operation... would need a low crankcase pressure to close valve, otherwise open for anything to flow either way. Wondering if spring should hold seal/valve shut? It would only open on a positive crankcase pressure and not let as much oil through, but would contain more of the vapours....


14/10/17 Saturday

Steering a little off, removed airbag to find wheel located correctly. Adjusted tracking by approximately ½ turn to level steering wheel. Had to heat left hand track rod/end to adjust, might fit new parts (it got rather hot).


I suspect that the steering uj was off by one spline, disturbed when working on dpf. There were marks in plastic locator and it was stiff to slide off the first time. Uj alignment checked carefully, now on perfectly ‘square' with the plastic tab, but steering wheel was low on left hand side.


18/10/17 Wednesday 124160miles

Took car to local expert to get the DPF cleaned with his Terraclean system (3 stage). Results so far seem very good. Will monitor regens for a good while.


19/10/17 Thursday

Drove car into work, near the end of the journey there were signs it wanted to do a regenL

124237miles (77miles since I received it back) but had to go to work, only did about 4miles max of regen, dpf temp hit 500°C. Did not carry on coming back. Will need to continue monitoring...


20/10/17 Friday

Found water in boot side pocket (driver's side).

Obviously coming down the pillar, probably from the sunroof.

Pulled the sunroof drain up, seemed clear. Blew through it, again clear but sounded as if air was exiting 2/3 of the way up the pillar. Will need to remove trim to check sometime.

Had to unbolt fuse panel to get the pipe back in, it had been shaped to go around the vent.


21/10/17 Saturday

Fitted a new trim piece to the top of the metal bootlid, under the glass section. Some idiot had broken the tab from the old piece and somehow managed to get two of the metal clips into one plastic holder. Sorted it all and the panel sits nicely.


Removed the rear pillar (D) trim piece to see where the water leak comes from, nothing obvious. One clip was missing so it was replaced. The rear section of the roof lining will need to be removed. Good time to sort the DAB antenna too.


Removed the tailgate closing button and stripped it down. Illumination bulb had blown, plastic carrier had burnt. Fitted a small superbright red led (with resistor) instead. I now have an illuminated button at last.


(boot light stripped down pic)


I will monitor the water in the boot...


22/10/17 Sunday

Made a template for the boot mat, again! Happy with this one at last. Will be sent out asap.


25/10/17 Wednesday

Fitted new led side repeaters of ebay. Very clean and very, very bright.


26/10/17 Thursday

Decided to refit the swirl flaps in the inlet manifold.

Had discussions with dad about this. I initially thought they wouldn’t make any difference, I even rang DMS to ask their opinion (doesn’t make any difference) but the more I thought of it the more I thought I should fit them again.

Driving to work, or any driving at about 60mph results in the revs being at about 1k to 1.5k rpm. Swirl flaps open at something like 2250rpm. So, most of my driving happens with them shut, aiding (albeit ever so slightly) in getting a better mix between the fuel and the air and ultimately a better, more complete burn – which is better.

I believe that soot is unburnt (but hot) fuel or partially burnt fuel. Multiply this over the distance of the full journey and it might start to add up and help contribute to filling the dpf prematurely. If you don’t have a dpf then there’s nothing to worry about, but I’m beginning to think that with dpf fitted cars, these damned swirl flaps make a slight difference.

Did job in about 2hrs.


Took car out but it sounded strange, very ‘blowy' under the bonnet, not far from a locked viscous fan, above about 2krpm.

Checked as much as I could in Tesco car park at midnight! All seemed fine.

Later realised some smoke (as in smoke in breather system) was coming out from somewhere under the manifold. Reasonable to think that either the swirl flaps no longer seal or the manifold isn't in its correct position.

Took car back and used Freelander.


In order to get the manifold off I removed the front slam panel and the fan, this makes it easy to remove the air pipe from the front of the manifold (but isn’t actually necessary, it can be removed without taking off the slam panel). Anyway, to cap it all off, somebody accidentally knocked the fan over, allowing it to slam the ground hard. I now have a very rare cracked fan housing!!


28/10/17 Saturday 124594miles

Removed inlet manifold again!!!!

Found cause of poor running, one of the ‘square’ manifold seals had been lost, on cyl 6. Most of the extra pressure was therefore lost, giving all the codes.

Seal replaced and all seems well. Took car for a drive and it regenerated immediately as the dpf had filled up, giving a 480A code after the short drive on Thursday evening. This tells me (or even confirmed my suspicions) that the dpf is rather full and that the Terraclean didn’t work.


Getting completely tired of all this dpf stuff now.

I want it to be legal, apparently the MOT laws are going to tighten on this issue soon. Getting fed up of trying different things and want to just get the car working fine now.

Even though everybody on these forums etc say that an aftermarket dpf is rubbish and not worth the hassle etc, I have decided to give one a try, mainly due the cost (about £2200 for a genuine one from BMW!).

Original, cleaned up units are available from Germany but they are far away should an issue arise.

Decided to go for a brand-new Walker dpf from a local place for about £600 and nip it all in the bud. These are ‘type approved’ and are apparently an oem manufacturer, so they can’t be all that bad and come with a 2 year warranty.


Car runs fine. With the gutted unit fitted it gave very little smoke. It runs smoothly and gives plenty of power and delivers good mpg, all signs that the engine is actually running pretty fine (so no faults that will kill a fresh dpf). This is from comparing with my brother’s car (his car is nearly identical to mine but with half the mileage and runs pretty fine – it’s only 13 different in chassis numbers!), having spoken to a few local people ‘in the know’ as well as the local dpf expert and form my own experience – car runs fine so the new dpf will have a good, fair chance.


The issues that caused the dpf’s demise have been sorted (knackered thermostats and probably the failed glowplug control unit and three dead glowplugs).


The lack of a coolant temp gauge by BMW is nigh on criminal, especially when coupled to the lack of any error code relating to failed stats or a clogging-up dpf. Thinking also of setting something up to monitor coolant temp and the dpf temp (to know when it’s actually regenerating) – this will take some time though :). Any ideas?


29 and 30/10/17 Sunday & Monday


Removed old clogged dpf and fitted a new Walker dpf. Codes cleared and ran replacement dpf ‘test’ in DIS which reset distance left and a few other adaptations. Reading 0mbar on tickover :)

(new dpf pic)


Also replaced left hand (nearside) track rod and rod-end. Greased thread so it will adjust another time J

Went to Morrisons about 10:30 and used the trackrite to adjust the tracking. Got both sides to ‘not move the needle’ when going over it. Should be pretty close.

(new trackrod and trackrod end pic)


Car drove fine afterwards.


Here’s another one to add to the ever-growing list this car gives me…

Keys fell down toilet!!! Remote operation stopped functioning. Took it apart, no major issues but still not working after cleaning. Will try a fresh battery (showing 2.7V, thought it would be enough) and maybe replace buttons. I doubt coding of the locks will be needed.


31/10/17 Tuesday

Had noticed the new side repeaters flash when ignition is turned on and was told that the number plate lights do the same.

Used ncsexpert to load lma coding info (using my own laptop, not my daughter’s!). Turns out both cold checks for these are already off.

I’m now a bit confused as to why they flicker. Could it also be ‘hot checks', will need to check but I've a feeling that these were also off. Need to check...


I had bought a new sunroof runner off eBay, I had been assured that the plastic was thick enough and that it wouldn’t rattle… Changed the runner that's worn. Unfortunately, the new piece is too thin and would rattle. It too will have to be returned. Will have to try to repair the original part.



1/11/17 Wednesday

Made one final adjustment to tracking, I think it’s spot on now. Still wondering if it's a spline out as it now has a gentle pull to the left (wondering if ps gives a gentle pull when ‘off centre') might play around with this when I feel like it!!!


Repaired the original sunroof runner using Supafix APX4 super glue and filler, seems to have done the job! You pour some of the filler stuff where you need it and then add a drop of the glue, let it harder and you can file it down etc. I keyed the plastic a bit (after a thorough de-greasing – parts cleaner) and followed the instructions. Added a few drops of the glue afterwards to smooth it out a bit more.


(repaired sunroof runner pic)

Refitted the runner (BMW call it a ‘gate') and it seems not to rattle. Will see after a drive and after a few months if it’s a permanent fix.




So, there we have it, things that have happened and jobs done in my first three months with the car, I’m sure it’s trying to break me!!:

Heater control unit strip down

Service (including two oil changes)


Glow plugs and controller


Gearbox oil cooler (including giving me a real fright)

Boot hinge wiring

Seat squab gear


Water in boot (though not too much thankfully)

DAB fault (ongoing)

Sunroof rattle

Dented wing!!!

New idlers

Rebuild alternator (partial)

New rear glass

Wrong shaped boot mat!

Remove inlet manifold three times!

Remove and refit DPF three times!

Retrofit folding mirrors

Retrofit light package (but rear puddle lights ‘to-do’)

Broken fan housing




I’m sure there are a few other smaller jobs and there will certainly be more!

I’ll keep you posted :) 





gers BMW 535d post1.pdf

Edited by ger

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Christ on a bike; that's some serious write up 8)


Great project and you can clearly turn your hands to almost anything (90% of the stuff you've done I wouldn't personally touch with my trusty 9lb sledge hammer) :lol: 

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Definitely a proper write up that. Well done sir!


You don't do grace and finesse then Dan??? 

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Coolant temp cannot be programmed, but the MPG gauge can be converted to show oil temp (tested on my 35DLCI) and I've written a guide to do it. I've also found a company that will make gauge fascias that look standard but have oil temp on instead of MPG. Would need to dig the details out for them though I found it ages ago, but still haven't got round to getting it done.




Edited by Mashed Potatoes

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2 hours ago, trenchy24 said:

Definitely a proper write up that. Well done sir!


You don't do grace and finesse then Dan??? 


To a point, yes... And then out comes the sledgehammer 8):lol: 

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Thanks for the comments guys. It's been a lot of work but getting there. 


On 03/11/2017 at 12:50 PM, Mashed Potatoes said:

Coolant temp cannot be programmed, but the MPG gauge can be converted to show oil temp (tested on my 35DLCI) and I've written a guide to do it. I've also found a company that will make gauge fascias that look standard but have oil temp on instead of MPG. Would need to dig the details out for them though I found it ages ago, but still haven't got round to getting it done.





This looks interesting if not a bit daunting. It would be cool if it was possible to get (or make) the background for the gauge to match. Are there companies that make gauge backgrounds? I'm sure I've seen some available. It would be great if just this piece was available. Might do it, we'll see.


Today's update:

Key has been sorted, it needed new buttons, they were a bit small for me and my primitive tools! I should receive it at tge beginning of the week, thanks to 'second-remote-repairs' on ebay.



Also, the boot mat has arrived. Fit is very good and it looks good :)

Thanks to 'premiercarmats' on ebay. Link:



I hope it's ok to add the links. If not, admin please remove.



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2 hours ago, BarryM said:

Great write up and good idea with the pdf.


Losing all your photos in your M5 thread was a big loss, is the M5 ‘finished’ for now?



Thanks for the comments.

I'll get the m5 photos into a pdf sometime. Certainly not finished, but not being able to do much at the moment... 

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