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V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI #1641311
23/05/2020 21:37
23/05/2020 21:37
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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I think the decision is made (we've put the Roomster up for sale and made an offer on a 545i), but what advice can you give us about how to maximise the V8 Beemer experience?
We don't do many miles, so we're not that fussed about mpg, but is there anything we can do to make the car more fun, (tastefully) noisy, yet retain the outward subtlety?

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641383
27/05/2020 15:25
27/05/2020 15:25
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S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Gripped Offline
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I won't suggest my exhaust guy again. wink

How old is it? Does it have the 'angel eye' headlights?

Perhaps a subtle lowering kit, remap and zorst would be sufficient.

Last edited by Gripped; 27/05/2020 15:28.
Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641391
27/05/2020 21:15
27/05/2020 21:15
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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It's a 2005 545i SE Touring with 125k miles.
My eyes are wide open and, as we've opted for the cheapest one in the UK, I'm prepared for it to be a disaster!
Ideally, I'd like a >ahem< subtle map with a few grown up pops and bangs, in combination with an exhaust. Perhaps not from the crazy South African in Cardiff though...! Lowering? Probably not, knowing the roads round here.

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641444
30/05/2020 20:44
30/05/2020 20:44
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Well, to the surprise of nobody, we bought it! Needs a few bodywork scrapes fixed, plus the headlights need clearing (not too much of a problem...), drove home in rather fine fashion!
Think I'll probably always be paranoid about it, but I'm at the start of a journey and so far I rather like it. Especially the way it goes from drowsy cruise to hyperspace in a fraction of a second.
And all for under 3500 quid. So far.

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641469
01/06/2020 15:59
01/06/2020 15:59
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Excellent. I want a video of the engine please. Revving if possible.
wink

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Gripped] #1641471
01/06/2020 17:45
01/06/2020 17:45
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gripped
Excellent. I want a video of the engine please. Revving if possible.
wink


I think that can be arranged - but probably not til the weekend now, as we are crazy busy at work.

First drive yesterday to visit step-daughter (under social distancing measures, naturally) was about 90 minutes each way, mostly on A-roads.
The car seems exactly as I expected - smooth, comfortable and quiet. The gearbox is dead smooth and if you stick your foot down, it leaps forward and keeps leaping!
The V8 is obviously much too subtle and quiet for my tastes, but it seems to be doing its job.
The paranoia begins in earnest tomorrow with a first check at the local garage (he's a VAG specialist, but knows his way around other stuff). If that doesn't show anything financially fatal, we'll buy a few odds and ends: spacesaver spare, new key, etc.
If it's bad news, we'll have to weep into our leaked oil and take the hit!

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641475
01/06/2020 22:47
01/06/2020 22:47
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S. Wales. Way beyond my means
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Well, I guess if it's driving well with no odd noises and the gearbox, brakes and suspension is smooth, then fingers crossed there's nothing major.

Unfortunately in Wales we're still stuck at home albeit with a 5 mile radius to drive....

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641545
05/06/2020 19:48
05/06/2020 19:48
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Cambridge & Cotswolds
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MeanRedSpider Offline
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What news, Jim?

We should catch up at some point once this malarkey settles.

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641581
07/06/2020 09:47
07/06/2020 09:47
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Would love to catch up, MRS - so glad to hear that life for you and yours appears to be returning to New Normal (TM)! Lots happening around these parts as ever... documentaries, art, dragsters, car repairs, radio appearances... And that is just MrsC.

Haven't sold the Skoda yet - possibly my love for the car has made me a bit over-optimistic on price! I'll lower my sights this weekend, I think! But it is bloody great. I know we'll regret selling it, which leads me to...

...the 545i, which is sitting around, not doing much; until we have the various leaks sorted, we don't want to risk damaging anything important. We took it to our local garage, who seemed to think it was fundamentally OK, but with a few things getting a little tired. One (very dull) alloy is bent, so we've bought a second hand set of slightly less boring ones. We'll spray up the old ones and sell them. Wish I knew someone who could straighten alloys reliably. I've also bought a space-saver spare, which hopefully I'll never need!

Under the bonnet, we now know that there's a power steering fluid leak, but not sure whether it's pump, seal or pipe. There's a "misting" of oil from the front of the engine, source as yet unknown. The garage are going to remove the undertrays and steam clean the engine so they can spot the origins. Unfortunately, they are absolutely flat out at the moment (as are we), so we can't get it sorted until a week Tuesday. I'm doing my best to be Zen, although I just want to drive it everywhere. And cut off the back boxes, obviously.

One annoyance is the key - it's the "diamond" shaped one, for those that know Bimmers - and we only have one. They have a rechargeable battery, but ours appears to have lost that battle. A new key cut and programmed appears to cost north of £160 either from Timpson or the BMW main dealer (I know, weird, huh?). As Barnacle knows, I have to outsource soldering, or I'd perform the £3 new battery fix, as seen on YouTube. Whatever, it means that all we can do is manually lock/unlock the doors and start the engine, although it sets off the alarm every time we unlock! I'll happily send it off for a £24 fix, but not until we have a second key. Which takes me back to the start of this paragraph.

Another minor irritation is that the car has no USB or Aux connection, which is a surprise in what is a reasonably high-spec one. I have to remind myself that in 2005, ipods were reasonably new, and a 6-CD changer (oh yes, we have that) was still the bees knees.
I'll eventually get around to fitting an aux/USB/charging point, but the complication is that it'll need to be coded to the (basic, early) iDrive system in order to play through the sound system.

I'm beginning to find my way around the various forums, some of which are very helpful, but if you thought there were lots of issues with Coupés, then the E60/61 takes it to a whole new level! BMW build quality is no better than Fiat shock!

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1641586
07/06/2020 12:04
07/06/2020 12:04
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MeanRedSpider Offline
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Sounds not too bad, Jim. Hopefully you can sort oil leak and key issues.

The Merc you kindly helped me collect has no aux etc and it is a bit of a pain. These days I use a portable speaker for long journeys but then I’m listening to audiobooks as I find them more relaxing

Must sort a meet up - BMW meets BSA

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642454
09/07/2020 10:42
09/07/2020 10:42
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Welcome to V8 land Jim.
I've had a 645ci for the last 2 years and so far absolutely love it. Burble around town in auto and then unleash the torque in manual mode on the twisties.
They all leak oil at some point and the usual places include alternator bracket, cam covers and the vacuum pump. Mine is running 5w-40 now as its on 130k and it only drops a couple of drips when parked overnight.
Get a copy of the diagnostic/coding software if you haven't already as its needed for things like changing the battery!
Mpg is actually ok at 20 on local journeys and I once managed 36 on a long motorway run.

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642508
11/07/2020 20:48
11/07/2020 20:48
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Hi Daz, good to hear you love the 645. I was very nearly tempted into one, but realised that we still occasionally need to seat 6ft+ teenagers in the back. So I went to the other extreme. I've always loved a fast estate, but I still glance over at every 6-Series V8 I see!
The power steering issue turned out to be the rack and track rod ends, so we are now £700-odd lighter. The better news (for now) is that the power steering was the only significant fluid leak.
On Monday it's going to Cotswold BMW for a new key and a earth strap recall. The best price I got for a new key elsewhere was the same (£160-ish), so I figured I'd get a proper one from the main dealer, then get a cheapo fix for the existing key.
Annoyingly, the airbag/seat belt warning has come on (something that was a nuisance on our old e39 530d, but cured by a square of black insulating tape over the warning light on the dash). I assume it's the sensor and can be cured either by a new one, or the "there's an adult on the seat, arm the airbag" magic box fix.
What is the diagnostic/coding software of which you speak? I'd definitely be up for it, as I imagine there will be a lot of that kind of fun and games ahead...

No solution as yet for the aux connection, but we bought a set of scrappy MV2 alloys that we are halfway through tarting up in between painting a racing fiesta and a Willys dragster (long, tiring, but fun story!)
Unfortunately, the alloys (unbeknownst to me or MrsC who bought them) have a significantly different offset that can snag on the front suspension, so I've got a set of spacers waiting in the workshop to avoid disaster (and add a little *stance" as the, ahem, mandem say).
The back box removal (another nod to my unsophisticated side) is now in hand, after being horrified at the quoted cost from exhaust companies. A new (and very useful) contact, who happens to be a very skilled fabricator, is going to cut out the back boxes and weld in a straight pipe through the OEM tips - exactly what I wanted - for £60! He is also going to be carrying out our other ill-advised project - converting a 17-seat Jumbo hi-roof Transit into a motor-racing spectating camper/healing space.

More on this elsewhere. Eventually.

Oh, and the Skoda has gone to a very happy new home.

Just need to bin the horrid PT Cruiser...

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642572
14/07/2020 18:24
14/07/2020 18:24
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My kids are under 6ft so still just fit in the back. They are pretty small inside for such a big car.
£700! Ouch! I have a slight weep on my power steering reservoir to sort so hoping there's no issues with the rack.
This might be a bit late but I'm sure you can reprogram a used key to work with your car and the airbag is most likely to be the passenger seat mat as you say. Not sure on the best fix for that but you can sometimes reset the light using DIS/INPA etc. I got a disc from 'B Cables' with the adapter for less than £30 and it works great.
Some MV2 alloys were from the 3 series iirc which would explain the offset issue but some hubcentric spacers will do the trick nicely. Your car might have an exhaust valve fitted (Mine is a bit louder than the 545 that lives near me as it doesn't have the valve fitted) so check that its disabled for a bit more rumble.
If you do get the back boxes chopped then I think we will need a quick video so i can decide if mine needs doing too. cool
Oh and some pics of that dragster too please. I'm intrigued!

Last edited by Dazvr6; 14/07/2020 18:25.
Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642648
16/07/2020 07:27
16/07/2020 07:27
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Thanks for that - I'll look into the B Cables thing - it would be good to be able to reset the inevitable warnings as they appear (in tandem with cures where necessary, obviously!). The only thing I'd like to find out about the mat airbag emulator thing is if you can still manually disable the passenger seat airbag (for fitting child seats, etc).
Now that I have one working new key, I'm happy to entrust the old one to someone who can either put in a new battery or fit the blade and transponder into a new casing.
We managed to spray up the new rear MV2 wheels yesterday (and the door mirror casings), so all we need to do now is get the tyres off the existing front wheels, put them on the rears, then fit all four spacers and wheels. Then take the fox and the grain...

The exhaust has a twin back box arrangement, with a vacuum-operated valve to release more gases and - presumably - noise through the inboard box above a certain engine speed. However, mine seems to be stuck open (an apparently common fault), as there are gases coming through both tips at idle.
I'm hoping removing the back box will make quite a difference (and YouTube provides some encouraging evidence). I'll try to take a quick before and after video, but can't be sure I'll get time!

Talking of YouTube, here's a clip of our dragster friend leaving our workshop: https://youtu.be/v2y0QaJt36s

It had terrible lacquer peel on the tops of the front wings, so we agreed (actually, MrsC agreed, I would have run away screaming) to repaint them (and the rest of the front end, as it's all of a piece.

Then the owner asked if we could respray the rear wheel arches so they matched. And the tail needed two reflectors deleting, so while we were there...

So, we ended up respraying the whole car, apart from the roof, boot lid and bonnet. In consultation with the owner, we settled on Porsche Mint Green with a pearlescent top coat.
Without getting too technical, it turned into a bit of a nightmare when it turned out that the rear wings had previously been painted with a cellulose paint that doesn't play at all well with our lacquer...

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642658
16/07/2020 10:30
16/07/2020 10:30
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That dragster looks fantastic and sounds even better!
I remember Cellulose paint very well, having a similar issue with a Mk2 XR2 I restored a long time ago.

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642738
19/07/2020 09:35
19/07/2020 09:35
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Glad you like the dragster vieo! It's part of our job that we like - occasionally being involved in spraying things other than Audi lease returns and pensioners' Fiestas!

I've taken the plunge with the old BMW key and sent it to a key expert on eBay, along with the Transit key. Before we bought the Beemer, I'd never heard of sealed, rechargeable car keys, now we have 2!

Tomorrow the fabricator gets his hands on the exhaust, so I'm hoping it will be a bit less genteel afterwards. I'll try to get a quick before and after video.

We were hoping for the wheel/tyre shenanigans to be sorted on Friday, but no joy, so hopefully it'll be on Tuesday. We sprayed the mirror caps the same colour as the alloys (a kind of bronze/gunmetal hybrid created by bunging a load of leftover poaint into a large pot and shaking it) and also the same satin lacquer finish, though not sure yet if that was a good idea...

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Dazvr6] #1642740
19/07/2020 17:40
19/07/2020 17:40
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Dazvr6
... the airbag is most likely to be the passenger seat mat as you say. Not sure on the best fix for that but you can sometimes reset the light using DIS/INPA etc. I got a disc from 'B Cables' with the adapter for less than £30 and it works great.


I've got a Foxwell code scanner, which showed me that the airbag/pretensioner/seat belt light was due to a 9aFF code. This is actually about the battery resistance being too high (supposedly dirty terminals can do this), so I've cleared the code and the light has gone away. I suspect temporarily, but you never know...

Did you get the standard blue K-Line cable for your car from B Cables?

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642767
20/07/2020 17:30
20/07/2020 17:30
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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If anyone can show me a better way to spend £60 on a car, I'd be very interested!
Our new fabricator friend has cut out the two back boxes and replaced them with a nice bit of stainless tubing, connected to the original tips, just as I wanted.
Apparently one of the boxes had split and would have needed replacing and the trick vacuum valve on the other was stuck open as I suspected.
The new section is sleeved and clamped in case we ever want to put new boxes back on.
The videos are not great, but you get the idea...!

Before:
https://youtu.be/5sq2Pa-HHPg

After:
https://youtu.be/ZzevB9LFwL0
Massive grin not pictured. And yes, we know we have to repair the damage to the bumper!

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642841
23/07/2020 12:01
23/07/2020 12:01
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Bloody hell Jim that sounds a bit different! But it was very understated before. Quite a bit quieter than mine.
I hope you have good neighbours laugh
I did get my blue cable from b cables but you can get them from ebay for less than £10 iirc

I'm off to find that 3" stainless tube I've got in the garage cool

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1642961
27/07/2020 12:43
27/07/2020 12:43
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Glad you like the noise! I'm getting used to it and loving every minute!

We've finally got the refurbed MV2 alloys on the car now (with spacers to avoid snagging the suspension). They look much better than the original 123 model 7-spoke ones.

I've got my key back from the auto locks place, but it still won't open or lock the doors with the remote and still sets off the alarm if I open it manually.

It *might* be that the new battery needs charging so - don't laugh - I'm trying the old toothbrush charger trick. The Transit key doesn't work either, so both toothbrush chargers are currently in use!

I've got the cable and software as well now. Not sure how to use it, but hopefully I won't screw anything up irreversibly (nobody say "bingo"!).

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1643003
29/07/2020 20:41
29/07/2020 20:41
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MeanRedSpider Offline
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The tricks people talk about often work.

Imagine my surprise when, having lost his keys, an acquaintance started his Renault Espace using a Blackberry phone battery in the key slot....

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1643044
01/08/2020 17:41
01/08/2020 17:41
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Jim_Clennell Offline OP
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Well, I've heard about other items working for Renault substitute keycards, but my research suggests that the toothbrush charger solution doesn't work. However, I must qualify this by saying that there are other possible causes in the case of the Transit. It turns out that there are 2 batteries in the Mk7 Transit (rear wheel drive versions). One is the starter battery that does all the heavy lifting. This was replaced by the previous owner and is in fine fettle. The other "aux" battery runs (as the name suggests) the ancilliary functions, like the dash instruments, interior lighting and - you guessed it - central locking module.
I hooked up my battery charger to the aux battery and immediately, the remote worked. Congratulating myself (and the person on the Transit forum who revealed the issue to me), I set the charger to "recondition" and retired for the evening. The following morning, I opened the door, expecting to see the familiar dormant charger and reconditioned battery, but no; what I saw was a battery steaming like a kettle and a charger obstinately attempting to force electric-ness into the overheatred cells. I'm a bit disappointed because the charger is specifically designed to avoid this kind of scenario (it's fitted with a temperature probe, etc).
A lucky escape, then, as I disconnected everything and once cool, no apparent damage done, but I think I'll be buying a new aux battery... I'm waiting for a while, though, because we may need something a bit different once we have solar panels on the roof and a few other bits and bobs.
As for the BMW key - no change. If I knew how to use the software I've bought, I might be able to code it, but "rudimentary" is several grades above the level of my German.

Re: V8 BMW 545i vs Skoda Roomster 1.9TDI [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1643131
04/08/2020 17:14
04/08/2020 17:14
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Have you tried driving the car with the old key in the ignition Jim?
My spare was flat when I bought my 6er so I used the working key to open the car and the flat one to start it.
It took a couple of weeks to charge it though.


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