Just ordered an f10 535i

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

Holy hell, cheap tires can really ruin a car. I wasn't happy with the tires on the car when it arrived, but knew that was a risk up front and wasn't terribly concerned about it..tires are easy to replace, just require some $$$. That said, the tires that came on it are proving to be terrible, absolutely terrible. WORST TIRES EVER. Basically the car, with all it's 300 horsepower and Shadowline and m-tech malarkey would be embarrassed down any twisty road by my decidedly un-m-tech e28 :cry:

I have about 700 miles on the car now and this weekend spent a lot of time on familiar local backroads where I've driven probably hundreds or even thousands of miles in my e28 at this point. Curves and on/off-ramps that the e28 can take at 55+ mph before the tires start to complain are sending stability control into a panic at 35 mph, it's pathetic. On Hwy 1 headed south from SF to Half Moon Bay yesterday morning, a Mercedes Sprinter Van angrily zoomed around me after a particularly curvy section because I kept having to slow down to prevent the DSC light from flickering and aggressively braking the outside front wheel through every curve. And then I found that I simply couldn't keep up with the pack ahead through the next series of curves safely...and the pack ahead included the aforementioned Mercedes Sprinter Van, several Prius variations and a number of econoboxes...so pathetic.

So what's the story on the tires? Carvana's standards are to replace any tires before selling that are damaged or has tread depth less than 2/32 (I think). So in my case they replaced the rears and left the pretty-worn-but-still-within-spec fronts.

Let's start with the fronts, which are the biggest problem: they're Bridgestone Turanza ER300 "Summer Touring" tires. I didn't know "Summer Touring" was a thing, so had assumed, based on the tread design and "summer" rating on websites, they were "high performance" or "ultra high performance" summer tires. Wrong -- they're touring tires...problem #1. And they're pretty worn...problem #2. And they were cheap to begin with...problem #3. Oh yes, and let's not forget to mention that they're run-flats...problem #4. The results of all this are that the ride is pretty harsh, they tramline terribly, hard braking is not straight, and they have absolutely no grip through the curves...they've really reset my low-bar for tires, the cheap worn Michelin Econo-tires on my 14" bottle caps that came on my 528e had way more grip. I'm also terrified to see how these drive in the wet. Pics of the crappiness:

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And now the rears -- the story is a tad better here, at least they're "Ultra High Performance" All Season tires. That's where the good news ends though. They're not run-flats, which they didn't tell me, but explains the tire refill/slime kit they randomly included in the trunk; not so much a problem, but glad I found out before I tried to drive home on punctured one. The first real problem is that they're Uniroyal tires...a name I've only ever seen on cheap, lifted pick-up trucks. Specifically, they're the Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ All Season 2. Compared to the fronts, they seem fine, but they're also brand new. Digging through some reviews, the news gets bad though...many complaints across numerous sites about this "all season tire" being downright dangerous in even mildly wet weather after only a few hundred miles of use..sounds fun. :|

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So all of this means that new tires are on the shopping list much sooner than I expected, and all four rather than just the fronts...and I stupidly bought a car with the biggest set of staggered wheels that BMW offered on the non-M5 f10 :laugh:

I've read some reviews and am pretty sure I'm going to go with the Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus as they get great reviews and seem best-suited to both the car and my own driving style/preferences. They're supposedly not as hard as the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ and not as soft as the Continental DWS 06 (which I have and enjoy on my e28). I'll probably do that in early September before the fall weather sets-in.

I knew ahead of delivery that the tires would probably be a minor issue, so overall this is just an annoyance and can be easily remedied. That said, it's disappointing to get into a 35 year newer 5 series with M Tech badges that you can't expect to be as competent as a bone-stock 528e because of shitty tires, which basically sums-up my experience.
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

After my first two full tanks of gas, I'm pleasantly surprised at the fuel-efficiency of this 3950 lbs, 300 HP turbocharged car: 24 mpg in mixed city/hwy (~70%/30%), and those city miles are in very-hilly San Francisco. I absolutely did not expect this kind of economy out of this car and it's impressive. My "e2i" converted 528e manages ~14-16 on a similar ~70/30 SF cycle, and when it was still a "528e" it could achieve ~18 mpg on the same cycle. I've learned to expect ~4 mpg less in San Francisco from the EPA "city" rating for any car, so this isn't all that bad for the 528e in either of it's configurations (standard with auto vs e2i with manual), but 24 is hugely impressive for the f10 535i which only gets a 20 mpg city rating from the EPA, I was expecting closer to 18 mpg.
Mike W.
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by Mike W. »

The automakers in general have really made strides on gas mileage, but BMWs always seem to test lower than they get. Going back to my E28, a 535i/5, they say 14-20 when it was more like 18-23. My newer ones with M5x engines aren't quite that far off, but still almost 20% off.

I wonder if the other German cars test lower or if it's just a BMW thing?
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

Mike W. wrote:The automakers in general have really made strides on gas mileage, but BMWs always seem to test lower than they get. Going back to my E28, a 535i/5, they say 14-20 when it was more like 18-23. My newer ones with M5x engines aren't quite that far off, but still almost 20% off.

I wonder if the other German cars test lower or if it's just a BMW thing?
I will admit that's been my general experience as well, except within San Francisco city limits, I usually see the opposite; this city is just not car-friendly. My friend's e46 323iT would get ~16 in this city and his e91 325iXT would get an abysmal 14 :| Outside San Francisco, both got great gas mileage in the city and on the highway. So to have the heavy-ass f10 be the first BMW I've seen able to not only achieve it's rated city MPG, but exceed it, in SF feels pretty impressive. You're right, carmakers have made huge improvements lately. Unfortunately I have no appreciable experience with other German makes to compare.
russc
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by russc »

nice, I just understand why BMW really doesn't make red cars anymore.
good luck
RussC
John in VA
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by John in VA »

russc wrote:nice, I just understand why BMW really doesn't make red cars anymore.
The G20 3er comes in Melbourne Red.

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duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

...and you can always order an individual color.
russc
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by russc »

sure, it looks like the 3/4 series can be had in red, but thats about it.
wont buy a new one, dont want to take the appreciation hit.

RussC
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by russc »

duggi wrote:...and you can always order an individual color.
No you cant, not in red, the only color close to red is dark brown, blah

RussC
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by garageboy »

duggi wrote:Holy hell, cheap tires can really ruin a car...

I knew ahead of delivery that the tires would probably be a minor issue, so overall this is just an annoyance and can be easily remedied. That said, it's disappointing to get into a 35 year newer 5 series with M Tech badges that you can't expect to be as competent as a bone-stock 528e because of shitty tires, which basically sums-up my experience.
You should re-read what I wrote. :popcorn:
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

russc wrote:
duggi wrote:...and you can always order an individual color.
No you cant, not in red, the only color close to red is dark brown, blah

RussC
Um...you can spec the G30 in many reds:

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Barbera Red

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Fire Red II

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Imola Red

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Indianapolis Red

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Melbourne Red

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Rosso Corsa

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Ruby Red
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

I' about 3.5 months and 2,500 miles in, so thought it would be a good time for an update.

Now that I'm more familiar with he car's character, I'm going to say that the steering feel isn't bad at all, it's just muted and requires a bit more focus to feel what's going on at the front wheels. And now that I'm used to shifting an extra 1,000 solid German pounds, I think the car overall handles well in spite of them. Changing out the [yet unchanged] tires will bring improvement to both categories (feel & handling), so that's still scheduled for Nov.

Fuel economy is generally very good for a ~4,000 lb car with such a large engine (nowadays) around San Francisco - I average about 16 around the city, the same as my 528e when it was stock and running perfectly (which now gets ~14 around SF with it's 2.7i and Alpina chip). Highway economy is quite good (yay modern aerodynamics): I recently got 32 mpg over a 500 mi round trip with cruise set to 75 for most of it (and a/c running), but think I could have bumped at least 34 if I'd actively been driving with the accelerator pedal (for reference, my 528e could get 32 mpg and stretch to 36 when I wanted to try). The 18 gallon tank feels like it takes forever to fill, but after this last trip, I think you could easily pull over 500 miles out of it while keeping a good highway pace, and even perhaps approach 600 (probably not quite hit it) if you actively drove very economically (ie: 55-65). The secret to getting economy really is to keep the turbos from spooling up too hard...keep the revs below 2000 and just gently ride the low-end torque wave, and you can generally keep up with traffic (along level ground) without using too much gas.

And that brings me to probably the best parts: the engine and transmission... the N55 and 8 speed ZF are just an incredible combination. The N55 is a wonderful engine, but TBH that's expected at this point from a BMW straight-six...so there's nothing groundbreaking there. It's smooth, powerful, responsive, flexible, etc, etc, etc. I love it. The transmission is the surprise though...I did have reservations about an automatic, as even most modern ones haven't impressed me much, but the ZF unit is superb. It's so flexible and responsive to your wants and needs, I just cannot find fault with it at all. Even the paddle shifters, which I've used in several cars over the last 10-15 years and always felt were gimmicky, work very well and suit the transmission better than reaching down for the shifter, and in sport it shifts very fast and precisely. If you haven't had the chance to drive one of the newer BMWs with the 8 speed, try it out, especially if you can get one with the sport programming, it will change your mind about autos.

So far no faults...I did have a low washer fluid warning, but that's it so far. I'm preparing for it's 60k maintenance at the end of the month, which has turned into quite a list of "do this while you're in there," so I should have some stories to tell about that soon.
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

I finally replaced the tires with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ and the car feels much better: rides smoother, quieter, and has a lot more grip. Finally feels like an "m sport" car should in day-to-day driving. Sway bars are still on the list, but now feel much less urgent.
Jeremy
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by Jeremy »

How many miles on this one? I've been reading lately about how the Nxx motors are apparently experiencing failed main bearings around the 150k mile mark regardless of maintenance regime.
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

Jeremy wrote:How many miles on this one? I've been reading lately about how the Nxx motors are apparently experiencing failed main bearings around the 150k mile mark regardless of maintenance regime.
Damn I hope that's not the case, it's a very nice engine. Only 58k miles on mine. I plan to get rid of it by early 2021 and hope to have less than 75k by then, so hopefully someone else's problem if it does get there.
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

I was able to snag a set of 30mm/20mm Eibach swaybars for less than $400 shipped for Black Friday/Cyber Monday...took them a while to figure out they actually had them in the warehouse, but all that's resolved and now they're just waiting to go on the car in the next few weeks...will definitely report back once I've driven around on them a bit! The "stock" ones are ~22m/13mm, the "M Tech" ones on my car are 22mm/14mm (the same as my '84 528e!) and the M5 units are supposedly 26mm/18mm (I think). These are basically the beefiest ones made (H&R makes an identical spec set), so should result in a significant improvement in the side-to-side motion of the heavy 5er.

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Johnnysrx
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by Johnnysrx »

I'm interested to hear your finding with the new swaybars, as I have pretty much the same car as you with the same tires.
SeattleGuy
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by SeattleGuy »

duggi wrote:And here's the first car I've ever financed: a 2015 535i M-Sport (RWD) in Dark Graphite Metallic over Black Nappa Leather (via Carvana). This led me to the VW eGolf, which can be had used for a neat $14-17k. They were very alluring..lots available to choose from and ridiculously, mind-numbingly sensible. Unfortunately they only come in two trim options and like three colors, and the interior is over-the-top-german-austere in such a boring way. Adding to that, everyone in SF has a Golf, I see at least 30x every time I drive 2 miles across town, so it really would be hard to feel like I'm differentiating myself in any way; I'd be just another mid-thirties-techie-in-a-Golf :zzz: snooze-fest.
....Haha I drove Maxine to SF twice last year and did see lots of eGolfs. My friend lives in Hayes Valley and they are everywhere. I do like them though but yes quite austere. My Dad has a MK6 Jetta and it too, is austere. Fortunately it's also very inexpensive and at 82 he's not so much into flash anymore and we had a falling out with Volvo awhile ago so he switched to VW 15 years ago. I assume you are out of the city a ways with THAT many cars LOL.
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

Johnnysrx wrote:I'm interested to hear your finding with the new swaybars, as I have pretty much the same car as you with the same tires.
I'm hoping to get them installed later this month...will definitely report back =)
SeattleGuy wrote:
duggi wrote:And here's the first car I've ever financed: a 2015 535i M-Sport (RWD) in Dark Graphite Metallic over Black Nappa Leather (via Carvana). This led me to the VW eGolf, which can be had used for a neat $14-17k. They were very alluring..lots available to choose from and ridiculously, mind-numbingly sensible. Unfortunately they only come in two trim options and like three colors, and the interior is over-the-top-german-austere in such a boring way. Adding to that, everyone in SF has a Golf, I see at least 30x every time I drive 2 miles across town, so it really would be hard to feel like I'm differentiating myself in any way; I'd be just another mid-thirties-techie-in-a-Golf :zzz: snooze-fest.
....Haha I drove Maxine to SF twice last year and did see lots of eGolfs. My friend lives in Hayes Valley and they are everywhere. I do like them though but yes quite austere. My Dad has a MK6 Jetta and it too, is austere. Fortunately it's also very inexpensive and at 82 he's not so much into flash anymore and we had a falling out with Volvo awhile ago so he switched to VW 15 years ago. I assume you are out of the city a ways with THAT many cars LOL.
LOL we have all except one of the NKs in San Francisco with us parked at our house...we're within city limits, just on the quieter side of the city in a single family home with parking (Sunset).
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

Johnnysrx wrote:I'm interested to hear your finding with the new swaybars, as I have pretty much the same car as you with the same tires.
A long-time local friend and board member (who I met through mye28!) Derrith came over Saturday and installed the Eibach 30mm/20mm sway bars on the f10 (vs the ///M Sport 22-24mm/14mm). They really transformed the car and it now handles like you'd expect any generation 5 series with "///M" badging on the door-sills to handle: flat, neutral, and without drama. The ride quality was impacted minimally, with the front wheels really just feeling more communicative and steering a bit tighter and more responsive than before, which it kind of needed. It actually feels a lot more like an e39 now, to be honest. Both passengers I've had so far have immediately noted the improvement within a mile of being in the car.

Specifically, I observe the following, more measurable improvements after changing the tires and then the sway bars:

- Full-circle on/off ramps --
- before tires -- generally had to stay ~5mph under the recommended speed on the yellow signs to prevent actual slipping at the front wheels (so 15 for a familiar recommended 20 ramp)
- after tires -- could do 20 in the recommended 20, but 25 would be a bit scary
- after sway bars -- found myself doing 35 in the recommended 20 and it felt oddly safe; 35 is where my e28 starts to complain around this particular loop

- Off-camber curves --
- before tires -- SCARY...seriously the front would start slipping at surprisingly low speeds, I got in the habit of staying ~10 mph under on very curvy roads
- after tires -- Grip was no longer an issue here, but the body lean would leave me holding on to the steering wheel to maintain my driving position (no sport seats in my ///M-Sport :cry: )
- after sway bars -- Lean is gone and I stay in my seat, and the car feels like it could go much faster than I'm actually comfortable with

- Curvy roads/spirited driving --
- before tires -- It just wasn't fun at all. Downright terrifying.
- after tires -- Again, grip was no longer an issue, but the lean and weight transfer would leave me holding onto the wheel for support and the tail would have an odd tendency to want to act like a pendulum at times. Putting down power coming out of a curve was still a bit precarious...you really needed to make sure the rear-end was fully settled out of the curve before booting it.
- after sway bars -- The rear end is really planted in all situations now and doesn't really make a fuss about itself anymore. The power feels much more controllable, especially transitioning out of curves/turns.

- Dips on one side of the road -- we have this particular issue in SF a lot with relatively deep rainwater drainage holes (covered by grilles) on the edge of the roadway, and narrow lanes means you dip into them with one tire frequently --
- before tires -- Traction control light, every time
- after tires -- No more traction control light, but dip and rebound on one side would slowly transfer to the other and cause the car to uncomfortably pitch and roll out of it from side-to-side...again with me holding onto the steering wheel for support :evil:
- after sway bars -- Car tracks straight and true regardless of the dip and the other side stays planted

Overall, I'm really glad I did the sway bar upgrade even though I generally plan to avoid doing much to this particular car. It's not only brought it in-line with how I expected the car to handle, but it's actually kind of exceeded those expectations, so pretty happy about that. The above were just noticed after a day and a half of driving it around this weekend, so I'm sure I'll be able to be more comprehensive in a month or two if anyone is interested.

Front (red is Eibach):
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Rear:
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Johnnysrx
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by Johnnysrx »

Thanks for the update, sounds like it is something that I will be doing to my F10.
duggi
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by duggi »

It's been about a year and 6,000-ish miles since my last update (at about 63,500 now). Overall things have been great, still drives beautifully...engine and transmission are superb, interior and exterior are holding up well. Now that I'm much more familiar with the car, I do note that the 8-speed (like all BMW transmissions) is a tad rough on cold mornings, but it's really hard to notice unless you're familiar with the transmission...kind of like the steering, you don't really feel it well until you know the car.

Now that I'm approaching 65k, I am dealing with a few maintenance items:

First, my front right rotor is warped. It's felt a bit warped since I got it, but several spirited drives over the summer have definitely made it worse and now new brakes are on order for all four corners. I felt a bit of sticker shock when the total price of new brakes came to around $850, which is about 2.5x what I'd pay for all new brakes for the e28, but given the size of these things, I get it. It originally came with a 2-piece aluminum/steel rotor and I could've gone with a slightly cheaper all-steel unit from Zimmerman, but this thing already suffers from an unsprung weight problem (I'd honestly get lighter wheels if I was planning to keep the car permanently), so I spend the extra money and got the BMW rotors. I suspect the current rotors are original, so the fact that they hit over 60k miles is pretty impressive. On Derrith's recommendation, I've purchased Porterfield R4S pads to go with them and new ATE 200 brake fluid has recently been installed.

Second, we had it up on a lift a few months back for a routine oil change and noted that the left rear shock was leaking quite badly, so I ordered some OE-replacement Bilstein B4s and had them intalled (by Derrith of course). The replacement Bilsteins were actually only $128 each, so while the brakes felt spendy, the shocks were actually quite reasonable. He did note that during install, the entire suspension assemblies are massive and strong and required a lot of work to remove. He also did the brake fluid flush at this time.

Of course the new rear shocks made me feel the age of the fronts, so those are now on order with the brakes (again Bilstein B4), which will hopefully finally arrive this week.

Beyond that, I've had no unexpected problems; the shocks and brakes, while annoying, are expected at around this mileage, so I can't complain. And overall the cost of repair is more reasonable than I expected, even the brakes...I realize that stopping 4,000+ lbs from a potential 150+ mph reliably is no trivial exercise and can accept it.

I am planning to keep the car another year or so, instead of trading it in around "early 2021" as originally thought. Life circumstances have changed a bit (nothing bad) and I hope to direct my more immediate financial energy to another goal and set getting rid of the f10 on the back-burner. I'm considering a B7 next, so probably should hold a bit if I have other goals :laugh:
stuartinmn
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by stuartinmn »

65,000 miles in 18 months? Man, you do a lot of driving. :)
MannyE
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by MannyE »

duggi wrote:
The car has two previous owners and was serviced routinely by Irvine BMW in SoCal though both ownerships; the first was a 3 year lease and second a CPO private ownership. It has 54k miles and a clean Carfax.
OP wrote above quote towards the end of original post.
stuartinmn
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Re: Just ordered an f10 535i

Post by stuartinmn »

I missed that...11k miles make more sense.
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