Our 2010 BMW X5 35d is now officially a great road trip vehicle

| March 18, 2017

We’ve taken a enough longer road trips in the 2010 BMW X5 35d now to officially declare it an outstanding road car … no surprise really. The driving characteristics of this 5000+ pound SUV are enjoyable since the handling is tight, interior space excellent, ride comfort “so-so” and highway power substantial. I don’t really want to […]

Update on BMW X5 35d problems: Battery and tires

| March 1, 2017

Neither of the problems I’m having has anything to do with BMW X5 35d diesel brand since the battery and run-flat tires are both aftermarket items. The AGM replacement battery I installed last year is still hanging in there so long as the weather remains warm (cold cranking amps are sufficient), but it will not hold a […]

Ugh! I just hate when this happens to an expensive tire.

| February 26, 2017

Don’t you just hate picking up a nail or screw in a halfway decent tire? The BMW X5 35d has expensive run-flat tires and although I don’t panic about being able to drive the car home with a slow leak, I dread deciding on replace just "one" tire … so hear is hoping I can […]

U.S. approves first fix for 70,000 Volkswagen TDI diesels

| January 6, 2017

After the initial wave of buybacks, phase 2 will be to fix the 2015 diesel Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat and 2015 diesel Audi A3 by updating software and adding a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and NOx catalyst. VW will now be able to resell diesel vehicles that they repurchased once […]

Diesels are not Done

| January 1, 2017

Much has been made of the death of diesel after the VW cheating scandal … but there is still room for debate and a need for diesel vehicles – innovation benefits diesel as well as EVs. Electricity has potential in passenger vehicles, but in its current state of innovation, it falls short to the Diesel […]

Disgruntled Volkswagen TDI owner not happy with buyback

| December 21, 2016

Now that Volkswagen TDI owners have to accept the performance debilitating modification or return in their diesel cars in for compensation as the settlement enters the "compensation phase." Some have been stripping parts off their cars prior to turning them in. Joe Mayer, in Cincinnati has take that a step further … and stripped "the […]

VW to Fix or Buy Back 80,000 Emissions-Cheating 3.0-L TDIs

| December 20, 2016

The vehicles affected include the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne Diesel.

Encore gets a Vetus Strainer and thoughts on a sink upgrade

| December 6, 2016

I headed down to Florida to check in on Encore this past weekend and enjoyed the sunshine but not necessarily the long drive for a short stay. Primarily the in-water project had to do with getting the dodger and bimini back on the boat and getting the deck cleaned up after the harsh summer and […]

Our 1982 Mercedes diesel can see (in fog) again …

| October 24, 2016

As mentioned a few posts ago, I finally found an amber fog light on ebay to replace the broken glass lens. I was disappointed in the cost, but very pleased with the quality of the lightly used Bosch part. Forgive the bug splats (needs to be cleaned) but when the weather is nice, this 1982 […]

More repairs and parts. The John Deere 330 diesel this time.

| October 17, 2016

Actually this repair is long, LONG overdue. A decade or so ago when I was heavy into running biodiesel, a sticky batch of fuel ended up in our John Deere. I really never hesitated to run about anything in this little Yanmar diesel engine, but the biodiesel was a mistake. The solvent nature of the […]

An old amber fog light for a Mercedes diesel is not inexpensive

| October 15, 2016

Ouch … the amber fog light in our 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel shatter a couple weeks ago and I’ve been searching to find a Bosch replacement ever since. While looking on ebay, I was surprised not to be able to find a decent one for under $35 … that is a lot to spend […]

John Deere 330 Diesel 10K Generator project update

| October 13, 2016

After doing a little maintenance and replacing the front tires on the John Deere 330 last month, I finally finished the simple 10K generator setup and wired up a new longer power-to-house cable. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to come up with a mount that makes it easy enough from my wife to connect the generator […]

Other European Diesels of Polluting More Than VW TDIs?

| September 23, 2016

Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker skirting diesel emissions laws—many automakers build cars even dirtier than VW. Source: Study Accuses Other European Diesels of Polluting More Than VW TDIs A study concludes that Volkswagen TDI diesel are among the cleanest of all the European brands. That could be the reason the Paris Auto Show are showing […]

The old Mercedes is out and about and starting a boat project

| September 18, 2016

After sitting quietly most of the summer, my friend Jeff needed to borrow a set of wheels for a week. He has intimately name the 1982 MB diesel the "old girl" and seems to appreciate her many quirks. Since it isn’t covered, there was a little dust, but she still looks pretty good to me. […]

Fuel economy on the BMW X5 35d diesel after modifications

| September 9, 2016

For those following the modifications and upgrades on our 2010 BMW X5 35d for most of 2016, below are the resulting fuel economy improvements, at least so far. This 5225 lb SUV (minus a few pounds) will never be a Volkswagen TDI fuel sipper, but I’ll take a 15% mpg improvement considering it also has […]

Replacing tires on the John Deere lawn tractor

| September 5, 2016

One of the home/yard updates last week were new tires on our 30 year old John Deere 330 diesel lawn tractor.  It has been a great small tractor and the 16 HP Yanmar diesel has performed flawlessly year after year. I’ve rewired and “plumbed” (rubber hoses with Viton) the fuel system do to an electrical fire a […]

Many Volkswagen TDI Diesel Models May Never Return

| September 3, 2016

A sad day for those of us who appreciated the efficiency and longevity of a small VW TDI diesel. 🙁 Volkswagen won’t try to revive its position as a leader in diesel-engine technology in North America, says the recently appointed head of the company’s operations. The technology needed to bring the engines into compliance, along […]

Our 2010 BMW X5 35d clicked odometer to 150,000 miles

| August 27, 2016

On my drive home this week, our 2010 BMW X5 35d modified diesel rolled the odometer passed 150K (I know, they don’t roll like my old Mercedes anymore). Economy is not quite up to the 30 mpg highway that I have been hoping for, but I’m not complaining about 28 mpg "with an impressive power" […]

The complex but impressive 3 compressor Audi TDI diesel

| August 16, 2016

Audi’s 2017 SQ7 diesel TDI takes a new spin on hybrid vehicles by incorporating an electric compressor in addition to the already impressive 2 compressors (turbochargers). I’m not sure at what point technology goes too far in adding complexity but improving performance, but this is one impressive TDI! (link and video illustration below)

Our BMW X5 35d loves cheap diesel fuel ;-)

| August 14, 2016

First let me qualify, this is the discounted United Dairy Farmers (UDF – Mobil) price for diesel … but I’m not complaining about $2.14 either (current Aug 2016 price). It isn’t like we need an excuse to buy milkshakes, but their summer promotion in discounts fuel is the little push I need to bring home […]

The Acoustic Function that lead to the VW emissions scandal

| July 23, 2016

The development of Volkswagen’s emission defeating device may have initially had the best of intentions, according to Road and Track. It started with engineers in 1999 who were working to quiet the diesel clatter on an Audi V-6 engine. They were  using "Pilot Injection" to inject an additional amount of fuel to a cylinder when […]

The 2010 BMW X5 35d is finally ready to be my daily driver

| July 11, 2016

Spent a few hours under our 2010 BMW X5 35d this weekend to finish up the rust treatment and before reinstalling the shields and skidplate. The procedure was the same as I used on the old Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel, Skyco’s Oxypho, except the BMW only has a little light rust on the frame. I’m really […]

The engine bay of our BMW X5 35d has been put back together

| July 5, 2016

As mentioned on Saturday, the project over the July 4th holiday was to put the new plastic parts shielding the engine bay from the cabin air and water drains back under the hood of our 2010 BMW X5 35d. I’m not sure it quiets the diesel engine all that much, but should be an improvement […]

How much OEM BMW plastic can you buy for $200?

| July 3, 2016

Plastic is not cheap when it comes to engine compartment parts for our BMW X5 35d, although parts for most cars are all pretty expensive … but what other options are there? Since they just came in today (Saturday), I’m hoping to work one the car Sunday or Monday – we will see since Monday […]

What Volkswagen TDI owners need to know about the settlement

| June 28, 2016

As Volkswagen prepares to dole out $15 BILLION in a diesel emissions settlement for their cheating, here is what VW TDI owners need to know (Source: Yahoo Finance): Who can file a claim? Owners of certain Volkswagen and Audi cars with 2.0 liter diesel engines from model years 2009-2015 are eligible under the settlement. The […]

Finally closing in on a 2010 BMW X5 35d worthy of driving

| June 26, 2016

It has been a much longer process to get our BMW X5 35d back to road worthy than I initially thought. When I bought the used diesel SUV last year, I knew there were a few things I needed to repair, as well as a few items I wanted to tweak. After tinking on our […]

A broken tool, a stuck part and fixing them

| June 25, 2016

In rounding out and connecting the dots in a couple previous posts, I’ll summarize with a short post and what happened. When reinstalling the brake caliper slides the other day on the BMW X5 35d, I snapped off my Craftsman branded hex socket when tightening down the slide. It was careless on my part as […]

Installed a 2 inch hitch receiver and flat 4-plug on the BMW X5

| June 24, 2016

I’m behind on my BMW X5 35d updates as the hitch installation happened over Father’s Day weekend and I failed to get the photos to my computer. The process started by peeling off the body moldings which have every combination of plastic locking tab. Suffice to say, I broke a few trying to figure out […]

VW to Pay More Than $10 Billion to Settle Emissions Claims

| June 23, 2016

Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle claims from U.S. owners of diesel-powered vehicles affected by the German auto maker’s emissions-cheating scandal, said people familiar with the matter.The $10 billion-plus deal would address owners of nearly 500,000 diesel-powered vehicles with two-liter engines that contain software capable of duping government emissions […]

Ceramic Front Discs Brakes installed on the BMW X5 35d

| June 21, 2016

It was past time for brake maintenance as the wear sensor on the BMW X5 35d has been warning me to replace the front brakes for weeks. After a bit of research, I opted for the Power Stop (17-1294) Evolution-Plus Ceramic brakes and am hoping to reduce the dirty brake dust. I’m hoping for continued […]

An EGR Race Pipe mod for the BMW X5 35d diesel SUV

| June 18, 2016

Finally found enough time to remove even more items from the BMW X5 35d … this time it was to replace the EGR and the EGR cooler assembly with a "gorgeous" billet aluminum EGR Race Pipe from FixMyVW ccm. The photo on left below is fresh out of the package and below and on the […]

BMW X5 35d update: Shedding some weight plus a new item

| May 28, 2016

It is amazing just how many exhaust parts find their way onto modern cars. They do a good job of making diesel exhaust clean, but the expensive and complex process is going to kill the internal combustion engine, in my opinion. I’m amazed at just how much "junk" I had to remove (above) in repairing […]

Still tinkering with the BMW X5 35d after limp mode ordeal

| May 12, 2016

Replaced the defective Throttle Actuator on the BMW X5 35d last night … unfortunately it did not solve the Limp Mode problem. Now to look further into the disconnected sensors after the ECU came back from Andrew Rodriguez and FixMyVW.com.    old | new

Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz diesels can last a long time

| May 2, 2016

From the Christian perspective, I have mixed thoughts on using the "Think eternal" line for a 1963 classic Volkswagen Beetle cover on Hagerty Classic car magazine. It is of course a Peope’s Car with a l-o-n-g and beloved history by VW enthusiasts, but the word "eternal" when it comes to "earthly material things" can be […]

Maintenance on my old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| April 26, 2016

Since I’ve been driving the 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel most of the late winter and spring this year, I’ve been racking up the miles and am due for a full fluid and filter change. Tonight was the night and after 4 filters (2 fuel, 1 oil and 1 air) and 8 quarts of oil, […]

Downloaded iOS Carly for BMW app and ordered OBD adapter

| April 22, 2016

The saga of our poorly running 2010 BMW X5 35d continues while replacing component by component the SUV is inching back towards running condition. The most recent hiccup was a bit of a computer glitch after getting the ECU back from the tuner. I was hoping that as as soon as I powered everything back […]

Archive: Looking forward to seeing this at the 2016 TDIFest

| April 20, 2016

In an email exchange with Andrew Rodriguez of FixMyVW.com, he hinted that he’ll have a few new products up in Wisconsin at the 2016 TDIFest this Labor Day. One item that caught my eye was a billeted chunk of aluminum "goodness" as the marketeers say — he knew what he was doing sending it to […]

Newer cars are too complicated. What have I gotten myself into?

| April 16, 2016

What a mess of "tiny snakes" as my daughter call the the organized harnesses of wires connected to my cars ECU. I have to admit, I was taken back at the perception of a rats nest of connectors and wiring all tying into the BMW X5 35D’s computer. The air and water tight box under […]

My fair weather daily driver: 1982 Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel

| April 5, 2016

Love this car and the whole W123 thing!

BMW X5 35d weekend wrenching update

| April 4, 2016

In order to start working on the BMW X5 35d upgrades this weekend, I ordered a set of "star" sockets known as E-sockets. I picked up the larger set partially because I wanted the plastic storage box … and the Torx bits (already have "some") came with it — Amazon’s price with Prime shipping was […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.