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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone

Grateful for your thoughts on how to proceed with my ongoing X5 saga.

I recently bought an E53 X5 4.4i on ebay with a few issues, namely:

- Loss of pixels on the mid unit
- Leaking radiator
- Unresponsive heating/cooling controls
- Door lock barrel

Additionally, I've just had to replace the rear air springs, however, I've got everything done or so I thought!

My last job on the list was to replace the FSU in the drivers footwell. Stripped back the carpet panel and the plastic panel under the dash and I was presented with this:

FSU replacement.jpg

I know there are exposed live wires under there as well as I took a nice jolt of electricity into my right index finger (not the best of smells)!

I am totally at a loss on how to proceed. I've stuck too much into the car to get rid and I'm wondering what your thoughts are on getting this resolved. I'm of course very concerned that whatever melted this lot is still posing a risk.

Absolute nightmare. Unfortunately, the drivers footwell area wasn't high on my pre-purchase inspection list!

Grateful for your thoughts or if this has happened to anyone else out there.
 

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Can't make much of that picture but could it be that FSU has overheated and melted the plastic on AC unit housing?

Disconnect battery and remove all those duct tapes and try to remove some of the melted plastic droplets so we could see the situation better.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Clavurion

Thanks for taking the time out to respond.

Apologies for the photo but having looked again at the mess, I'm going to take the dash out etc and replace the entire heater/air con unit. The space where the FSU should fit is no longer there :frown so there's no other way to manage this. I'll see what state the wiring is in once the unit is removed.

Scrappies are flogging the whole unit for between £50 and £75 so potentially a cheapish repair.... but labour intensive me thinks!

Thanks again.
 

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Sounds like a very brave task but the only right move in this situation. I've changed blower fan on my E53 and even there is some work. You have to remove the whole dashboard and to remove the dashboard you also need to remove center console. When you go at this definitely renew the blower fan and FSU preferably with OEM parts. And clean the condenser with some disinfecting agent.

Here some bedtime reading:

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e53-x5-3.0d-sav/repair-manuals/64-heating-air-conditioning/64-11-heater-controls/CIOk5wT

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e53-x5-3.0d-sav/repair-manuals/64-heating-air-conditioning/64-11-heater-controls/OEBqhU6

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e53-x5-3.0d-sav/repair-manuals/64-heating-air-conditioning/64-11-heater-controls/2bkEUfD

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e53-x5-3.0d-sav/repair-manuals/64-heating-air-conditioning/64-11-heater-controls/ORYXd0P
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Many thanks for the pointers and the bedtime reading (although it may give me nightmares)!! I've just tried using Carly (with the early 2000s conversion adaptor) to try and get rid of an airbag warning light and I'm getting absolutely nothing. Bet that wiring was fried as well!

Still... at least the engine sounds AWESOME!!

I'll keep you all posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update!!

Hi All. Thought I'd update you on how I'm getting on with sorting the HVAC box out.

IMG_20190606_195907.jpg

I took it to a couple of independents last week and they didn't want to know so I decided to get stuck in myself! The 'tear down' went well (I think). It's not difficult but it does take an age, especially when there are no 'You-tubers' to copy! It's a one man job but useful to have someone there to get the dash, and the frame behind it, out of the car.

When I removed the metal frame, I found that the steering column unit was connected to the frame by a bolt, about half way down the length of the column. The trouble was this bolt wasn't designed to be removed as the head of the bolt was round with nothing to 'grab'. I had to drill the bolt head and force a crossheaded screwdriver into the hole to get it out. Still, it's out now!

When it comes to the HVAC box, again, its pretty simple to remove - although I could have done with knowing that the box itself is bolted to the bulkhead (DUH). Still, because I had a replacement, I battered it with a hammer and removed it that way! The new one I got from a scrappie for £65 off fleabay, complete with heater core, evaporator and the pipework.

IMG_20190609_143814.jpg

As you can see from the photos, the wiring loom got scorched so I imagine the fire was larger than I first thought. The padding on the underside of the dash is also burnt. I spent an hour making sure the wiring was okay as I'm sure you'd agree it looks a right mess. A few inches of insulating tape later and I'm happy. I included a photo of the 'culprit'...a Vemo FSR. I've fitted a new Meyle FSR in the new HVAC box along with a new Nissens blower motor. I still have the FSR which came with the replacement HVAC box. It's a OE part made by Alcatel with BMW branding on the label. I looks like it's not the original due to the increased amount of 'prongs' on it.

IMG_20190609_143756.jpg

IMG_20190609_143820.jpg

Next job is to reconnect the aircon and heater plumbing at the bulkhead. I'm just waiting for an order of PAG oil to arrive as I'd lost a bit when pulling everything apart and during the gas recovery. Once that's done, it getting everything back together and then onto the water pump and rear brakes! I've also ordered a fire extinguisher!

I suppose the scariest part of the job is the amount of wires, connectors and fixings you have everywhere but as long as you're methodical, you will be fine! Apologies in advance if the photos turn out naff! Let me know if you can't click on them to make them larger. I'll try and do something to rectify.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi All. Just a quick update to let you know that I've completed this work! I bought a vacuum pump and manifold gauges to carry out a vacuum test on the aircon system - didn't lose any vacuum so went for a regas. I also replaced the battery as the existing one was a piddly Bosch S4010. I replaced it with a Yuasa YBX5019 which just about fit!

My only issue now is the vents on the HVAC/IHKA unit. To start with, the blower motor fan (brand new) wasn't working so I took the HVAC control panel apart and cleaned the dust out of it. I made sure the connectors were pressed in fully and voila, a working fan! However, I'm only getting air coming through the rear vent. No matter what buttons I press or turn the 'stratification dial' in between the front vents, I'm not getting any air out. As I'm an electrical retard, I'm waiting for my lad to get his multimeter on the control panel/ HVAC unit connnectors to see if everything is as it should be. I know it's not the FSR as the blower motor fan is working properly. I may have to replace the control panel based on his findings. Additionally the aircon isn't working as the compressor clutch won't engage. I'm guessing that this is either because the compressor is knackered or its not getting the 'instruction' from the control panel to open, much like the actuators on the HVAC unit. Any advice/guidance on this would be much appreciated.

I also spent a few hours yesterday removing a few small 'trolley dents' in the bodywork. I bought this dent puller device from Amazon which uses glue. Although not perfect, the dents are now hardly noticeable so I'd recommend it if you've got trolley dinks you want to get rid of on the cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
RESULT! Further to my last update, I'm pleased to report that a new climate control panel did the trick! I now have a fully working HVAC system!

I used a control panel out of an '06 X5 that Realoem stated was 'exchangeable retrospectively'. Either my panel was damaged or the HVAC box (out of an '04 X5) I used may not have been fully compatible with an '02 panel???

A big thank-you to all who passed on their pearls of wisdom to me!
 

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Nice work on the rescue. I just had my FSU smoke itself up, and some flames. I put it out with a fire extinguisher, but now it looks like the same dash out job as yourself! Not looking forward to it.
 
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