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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum Going from e90 to F10 (maybe) Can I get some community input?
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      05-18-2018, 03:13 AM   #1
ColoradoCale
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Going from e90 to F10 (maybe) Can I get some community input?

I found a clean looking 2012 528i xdrive under market price with 100k on it that I'm looking at picking up this weekend so I can have a reliable DD for living in Colorado.

After doing some digging, it looks like the N20 can have timing chain issues with pre-2015 models, is there an easy way to check if it has a stretched chain/had the service to change it done? The dealer said he had it inspected at the oil change 100 mi ago and said it was fine/tight/no stretching or wear marks. Not sure if it is a vocal minority or a widespread issue affecting all the models using the N20 (have one 17+ year master mechanic say avoid it, another with the same experience say they've only seen one ever with the problem.) Will call Schomp BMW to see if I can get any info on it since that's where the last dealer service was. Would it be worth it for an extended service contract? Quoted at $3600 for a comprehensive contract through USAA.

Anything else I need to look out for? I have the Full iCarly Pro with bluetooth reader that I'll be using to check it out after the test drive.

The dealer is holding it for me to make the drive out to check it out on. If it checks out I'll be taking it home. I'd like to throw on a Racechip GTS or GTS-Black for a nice even powerband bump, a high flow catted downpipe, and replace the plastic charge pipes then call it good on the N20.

If not, I'll probably look at getting a boosted Volvo XC60/70 in the same year range since it fits my price point and expected capability/comfort + some options for piggybacks.

Looking it up through BMW NA there aren't any service recalls on it. Was thinking about doing a DMV VIN public records search but it can take up to 3 weeks for results.

Thanks for your input!

PS, let me know if crossposting is frowned upon, I have the same post in the technical section since I figured it would be better to get exposure to both those more technically inclined and a wider audience that has dealt with these issues.

Last edited by ColoradoCale; 05-19-2018 at 07:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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      05-18-2018, 11:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ColoradoCale View Post

The dealer is holding it for me to make the 70mi drive out to check it out on Saturday. If it checks out I'll be taking it home. I'd like to throw on a Racechip GTS or GTS-Black for a nice even powerband bump, a high flow catted downpipe, and replace the plastic charge pipes then call it good on the N20.
I don't know much about the N20 in particular but overall F10 chassis has been pretty good. If you are looking into getting power out of it, I'd recommend getting an 535 (N55) instead.
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      05-18-2018, 04:10 PM   #3
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Good to hear it has been pretty reliable, I'm not about power in this car. From what I've read the RC doesn't really give massive gains but gives a solid bump across the power band with some increases in gas mileage in eco. The numbers they have listed on racechip say a 55+ hp gain with the GTS but that is on max settings with 93 octane. Denver seems to only have 91 so my optimistic expectation would probably be a 40-45hp gain on max settings + 20-25 with the catted high flow so it'd be in the 300-310hp ballpark/stock 535i territory when in racemode and get a little bump in the already good fuel economy in efficiency mode. The GTS-Black would put it 10-15hp ahead of a stock 535i xdrive (in theory, haven't had much luck finding dynos for racechips in n20s) and the 528i xdrive is 133 lbs lighter to boot.

To make it sound more sporty (in the cabin) I'll just recode the ASD to M5 or M6 engine sounds

I just want to be comfortable while passing slower tourist traffic driving up to the mountains in the summer/winter, my weekly trips up to Boulder, and get decent gas mileage on occasional road trips.

My go-fast car is my Greddy + Stillen everything t-top Z32 TT. I'll be focusing on it after I get the DD sorted out, it has some boost leaks, harness issues, probably due for turbo rebuilds, a fresh tune for high altitude(was a san diego car,) and an injector issue. When my uncle passed away it went to my grandparents until my grandpa passed away, then to my mom, then to me when she couldn't store it/get the work done it needs. Needs lots of love to get it back to where my uncle had it. Was at around 405 bhp before adding NOS for 1/4 runs (the spray system was removed after he passed.)

Last edited by ColoradoCale; 06-05-2018 at 07:11 PM.
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      05-21-2018, 01:40 PM   #4
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I've owned 2 E90's and 2 F10s's. The F10 will feel like a boat compared to an E90. But I quickly got used too it. Although, I find myself in sport mode 90% of the time still.

I personally would not even consider a 528. It is just simply not enough engine for such a large sedan IMO. The 535 is slightly more expensive but so worth it. N55's are solid.
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      05-21-2018, 01:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 203banshee View Post
I've owned 2 E90's and 2 F10s's. The F10 will feel like a boat compared to an E90. But I quickly got used too it. Although, I find myself in sport mode 90% of the time still.

I personally would not even consider a 528. It is just simply not enough engine for such a large sedan IMO. The 535 is slightly more expensive but so worth it. N55's are solid.
This, although it took me a while longer to get used to the size of the F10. I came from an E90 M3 which is a go-cart by comparison. 535 all the way.
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      05-21-2018, 08:11 PM   #6
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Wound up getting this on Saturday: premium package, winter package, hifi sound system, and comfort package.

Will be getting the Racechip GTS-black (found a coupon code that brings it down below the price of the GTS,) metal charge pipes, and a catted high-flow downpipe ordered after the guy buying the e90 picks it up on Thursday and leave it at that.

The mods *should* put it at/around 535 stock power (assuming it doesn't actually add as much power as advertised and running 91 octane.) I'm guessing the numbers they quote are at sea level with e85 and the stars align, I'm at a mile high and no 93 to be found :/. Theoretically if the marketing isn't bumping numbers up it would be 20-25 hp more than a stock 535

That's plenty for me. Added bonuses: the 528 xdrive is 133-233lbs lighter than the 535 xdrive and gets 22/33mpg in eco + the RC supposedly bumps up mpg in efficiency mode. (seems like different spec sites give different weights for both models, anyone know where to find actual weights?)

Unfortunately I haven't driven the E90 more than on and off a trailer lol. Check out my threads on it here and here.

I'm not worried about boatiness, my Z32 is close to the same width and a foot shorter (and has bigger blindspots.) It won't be like the 90's sports cars I've had for sure, but won't be like the trucks and SUVs I grew up driving with either (I grew up a couple miles from my grandparents ranch and learned to drive with big trucks like F250s, F350s, an Excursion, and an Armada.
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      05-23-2018, 06:42 AM   #7
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Nice choice, good value. Slap some 331 rims on it, it will look great in non M trim with those. Even if you commute, the ride cant be so bad for you. Also that tan interior gives away the age, you got plans on getting it properly detailed inside?
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      05-23-2018, 08:22 AM   #8
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Hop on to bmwtechnician.com for a little eye opening on the timing chain problem
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      05-25-2018, 01:37 AM   #9
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I have both. The e90 corners way more direct with almost no sacrifice in ride comfort or highway performance - I would say it is a better package overall. the F10 is more comfortable, especially the interior. I would avoid the N20 engine at all costs
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      05-25-2018, 07:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest View Post
Nice choice, good value. Slap some 331 rims on it, it will look great in non M trim with those. Even if you commute, the ride cant be so bad for you. Also that tan interior gives away the age, you got plans on getting it properly detailed inside?
I'm looking at getting some RSR R702s for it, should be a nice update and 12 lbs less unsprung weight.



I'm getting a full detail kit from Zymol and going to be going bumper to bumper on it once the tree's stop with all the pollen. I washed it 2 days ago, then it rained and was covered in pollen overnight. Sprayed and wiped down yesterday. Pollen overnight. Sprayed down, wiped down, quick detail spray, wiped down again. 20 minutes later, f*ckin pollen. I'm also looking at getting this and this for the interior

Quote:
Originally Posted by nedmon View Post
Hop on to bmwtechnician.com for a little eye opening on the timing chain problem
I'm aware of the timing chain issue, did all the research before going in. I already have all the newtis.info pages to do it printed out. I'll be looking for some second hand BMW timing tools then dropping the oilpan + taking off the valve cover to do timing chain, guides, and tensioner. Once that is done with parts from 2015 or later it is supposed to be good for another 100-150k miles. Will check out the oil pump while I have the oilpan off. The e30 I had had the timing belt snap on an interference engine. The head had several bent valves and broken rocker arms. Not fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Mexican Women View Post
I have both. The e90 corners way more direct with almost no sacrifice in ride comfort or highway performance - I would say it is a better package overall. the F10 is more comfortable, especially the interior. I would avoid the N20 engine at all costs
I'm sure the e90 corners way better, but the e36 corners better than the e90, and the e30 was ridiculous with a M54 swap in the corners. I'm going for interior space and comfort (I have multiple spine injuries, multiple shoulder injuries, multiple neck injuries, and problems with where my spine meets my pelvis + osteoarthritis in my shoulders and neck.) I'll be cornering with my Z32 on the weekends once it has been revived

Just sold the e90 last night
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      05-26-2018, 02:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoCale View Post
I'm looking at getting some RSR R702s for it, should be a nice update and 12 lbs less unsprung weight.



I'm getting a full detail kit from Zymol and going to be going bumper to bumper on it once the tree's stop with all the pollen. I washed it 2 days ago, then it rained and was covered in pollen overnight. Sprayed and wiped down yesterday. Pollen overnight. Sprayed down, wiped down, quick detail spray, wiped down again. 20 minutes later, f*ckin pollen. I'm also looking at getting this and this for the interior



I'm aware of the timing chain issue, did all the research before going in. I already have all the newtis.info pages to do it printed out. I'll be looking for some second hand BMW timing tools then dropping the oilpan + taking off the valve cover to do timing chain, guides, and tensioner. Once that is done with parts from 2015 or later it is supposed to be good for another 100-150k miles. Will check out the oil pump while I have the oilpan off. The e30 I had had the timing belt snap on an interference engine. The head had several bent valves and broken rocker arms. Not fun.



I'm sure the e90 corners way better, but the e36 corners better than the e90, and the e30 was ridiculous with a M54 swap in the corners. I'm going for interior space and comfort (I have multiple spine injuries, multiple shoulder injuries, multiple neck injuries, and problems with where my spine meets my pelvis + osteoarthritis in my shoulders and neck.) I'll be cornering with my Z32 on the weekends once it has been revived

Just sold the e90 last night
the e36 sure does corner better, but the e90 has achieved a near perfect balance between ride comfort/ high stability and cornering potential.

if you want a nice smooth highway ride, and a car that is supremely capable around quick, high speed cornering transitions, you will be very pleased with the F10.
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      05-26-2018, 08:03 AM   #12
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To me, I am not going back to e90 as I went from a 335d with sport package (oversize tires/wheels that could not be aligned properly IMO) to a more adequate sized car a 535d with what upgrades came with the 535d: 18 inch wheels, sport transmission (2016), high grade stereo (at least as good as HK on the e90) etc.

The f10 is too heavy, but at least it gets a proper (meaning non-strut) front suspension and better road manners (the e90 would drift on braking at intersections over uneven pavement) etc.

I'll stick with the f10 for now. Don't think there is much future in diesels due to a numb public perception, but it sure is a great engine and gets 36 mpg overall. Don't want Russian oligarchs to profit from using too much fuel...

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      06-05-2018, 02:21 AM   #13
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I've just gone from an E90 LCI to the F11, and the F11 is just a way nicer place to be. Sute the nimbleness and roadholding of the E90 will be missed, but the space, comfort, equipment & build quality of the F11 is so much better than the E90. Loving it (this is day 4)!
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      06-05-2018, 06:48 PM   #14
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Went in to have the turbo oil line replaced under warranty at the dealership and they are doing a goodwill offer on the timing chain for $2400 (would have been ~$5000) so I'm having it done as a precaution. This is my loaner for the week while everything is getting done, 2018 X5 with 170 miles on the clock
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