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The 2006 BMW E60 M5

Bought this 2006 BMW M5 V10 for $7,200!….With a Blown Engine…

February of 2015, BMW of Riverside called me to find out if I could get a used S85 Motor for them. I told them a used motor would run about $9k. To my surprise he then asked me how much the car would be worth as scrap. He mentioned that a yard in San Fernando Valley had offered them $4,500 for the 2006 M5. I knew I could easily pay more than $4,500, but they weren’t sure what the owner wanted to do with it yet. From that day forward I had my sights on this ///M5. When I’d go pick up parts at the dealership and I’d see the M parked in the back lot. About 3 months passed and I had no new news. I was giving up hope. I asked if I could contact the owner myself, but they wanted to respect the owner’s privacy. It killed me seeing the car just sitting in the back doing nothing. Luckily, one Saturday I went to go grab some parts and I saw the tow truck driver and the owner pulling the car into the middle of the road. I pulled over and I had a friend hand him my business card just incase he wanted to sell it. I didn’t want to seem eager to buy it even though it had been on my mind for 3 months already. I got a call back 3 long days later and was able to sort out a time and date to see the car in Orange County.

June of 2015: I was so excited to see and hear the car running, and perhaps buy it. I was dying to know what was really going on with the engine and why it needed to be replaced. I checked out the car and everything looked and sounded great. The parts guys at the BMW Dealer had told me the engine had a bad rod bearing and would knock. I couldn’t replicate the issue. So hoping that the engine could still be saved, I offered the owner $7,000 for the broken 2006 M5. He told me that he needed to make a phone call really quick. Turns out he was calling was another shop that had offered to buy the car too. Luckily for me, the shop didn’t pick up the phone and he ended up selling it to me for $7,200.00.

I towed the car to my warehouse and started to get to work. Right off the bat, I saw bad signs.

Glitter in the oil filter housing! Yeah, except that’s not glitter. This is the sign of $10,000 worth of repairs on the horizon.
Just to confirm that this wasn’t something else, we hoisted up the engine and got to work.

Took off the whole subframe and remove the Oil Pan. Low and Behold:

We saw a chewed up Crank and Rod that needed to be replaced. Anyone who knows how much a new S85 crank costs knows this is pretty much done and will need to be fully redone. I estimated the cost at about $7000 with all parts at wholesale prices. It was still doubtful that even with all that work that the build would be good since we had never done this before.

Since there was so much money at stake I had to opt for a good used engine. After about 2 days of hunting I had found a Guaranteed Used Motor from LKQ on the East Coast for $7,450 delivered to my door. They only wanted a $100 core charge so I was excited to spend the $100 to keep the old engine (more on that later).

They brought it to me with all of the throttle and throttle actuators and goodies attached! Since that was now here, and knowing the Bearing Issues that these have I had to tear apart the bottom end on this new motor to make sure everything was not already destroyed. Then rebuild it so that it would last another 100k miles.

This new motor would have only lasted another 20k miles before it would have done the same thing my original motor did.

We put all new bearings, bolts, gaskets, plugs, cooler, lines, and oil into this new engine. I had to even put another clutch kit on it since the throw out bearing was broken on mine and the bearing alone was $300 which is half the cost of a new clutch kit $600

Here is the New Clutch Installed on the Motor.

I spent 3 days rebuilding the bottom end and tidying up all the loose ends.I also swapped the whole freakin engine harness since the one on the motor had broken plugs. The engine was now ready to be matted to the Transmission and put into the car.

Here we are pre-setting everything making sure it all looks good.

2 hours later the engine is in!
To be honest, everything after this point was a huge blur. I got so excited I forgot to take pictures of us putting the whole front end back on and double/triple checking all the bolts and connections.

We finally finished, but we still needed to find out if there were any additional surprises. We primed the engine (which felt like forever) to build up pressure in the Vanos’s. Once the CAM knocking subsided we cranked it up and it turned it on right away.
I did the VANOS bleed Function with the ISTA ICOM A+B+C which takes out any air bubbles from the system and everything checked out great.

I gotta say I am not sure if I would have bought the car knowing I was going to have to put $12,000 into rebuilding it. Luckily, I was able to absorb the surprises over time and with some luck I was able to make it through. It only took us 2 weeks to get a good running M5.

Fast Forward 2 years:

I was able to part out the whole ($100.00 Core) broken motor for $8,000 on eBay. I still have about $2,000 worth of parts left so it’s looking up!

Car is still running strong. Since then, I’ve had to install a new SMG Pump Motor ($550.00). The brushes on my old motor were going out so it would get weaker on higher shift settings. I have put about 7k miles on the motor and I couldn’t be happier! Although I’m not so happy about the gas mileage. But who buys a V10 M for fuel efficiency? It gets 130 miles to the tank when I test its limits compared to 200 miles driving normally. I can’t seem to get any better than that. Its 550i counterparts will get 300 miles easy. So, yeah, I basically throw money out the window when I drive it. But it’s an enjoyable beast to drive. A beast I personally brought back to life.




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