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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2006, 08:35 PM
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E39 Faq

Here's something i think we should all do. start a FAQ since these questions seems to pop up every... oh.. 6-12 days?? here's a start...
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2006, 08:38 PM
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Cup Holders

yes, it's a great car but NO, the cup holders work as well las LBJ's legs.

you got 4 choices:

1: get OEM so look around ebay since most dealer's price is kind of a rip though not always.

2: http://ultimatecupholders.com <-- great cup holders which holds a varity of cup sizes. my only gripe is that if you get a drink with a lid, the carpet might catch it and if you go around a turn, the drink will spill out and all over the carpet.

3: http://www.tecaccessories.com <-- again, a great cup holder but it's more of a 12 oz beer..., i mean soda, can holder. anything else is pushing it. if you drive an auto, this works great. if you have a manual, well.. it kinda gets in the way but nothing double jointed bad.

4: leave it broken and just ignore it.
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:42 PM
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M5 exhaust on a 540

Can it be done? yes? do you really want it done? that's up to you. do you REALLY feel like HAMMERING (note the capitalization) your FULL tire well a bit to wedge the passenger side in? or you can just cut it and invert the cut part so you'd end up with a pretty, yet wedged, spare tire well.

Can you OEM spare tire still fit? yeah, i suppose. where it would normally sit? never seen it but something tells me the answer is no, not really. it could be just a centimeter (yeah, gotta conform with the world guys, sorry USA'ers) off to the left (hey, i'm a righty OK!) but nothing detrimental.
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:55 PM
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Angel Eyes

for angle eye upgrades, you can go either with Umnitza and their predator lights or with OE Hellas from http://eurosportdesign.com/headlights.htm

predator lights are thicker and brighter... almost 10 folds brighter. the draw back? the eletrical wiring is questionable when they start to fail and it's to my personal experience that it was the connectors failing. i had to take the connector apart and solder them to make sure they'll fire up right the first time every time.
some also say the look cheapens the look of the 5. some say it looks rice but this is all opinions and they are like assholes...


OE Hellas are nice. fits well, projects a bit tighter and just built better overall though i really wish they made the rings light up white to match the xenons. the other drawback is the price. they are going to cost you but you get what you pay for so weigh your thoughts carefully and choose wisely.
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2006, 12:42 PM
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Radiator that'll make you blow your top

You say your radiator blew up on you? you notice that "CHECK COOLANT LEVEL" on the OBC now? does your 5 look like it took a leak over night in the garage and didn't wipe up? that would be the uber weak cooling system bmw's seems to have not yet master (on top of the electrical).

what to do you say? well, if you notice a leak, take care of it quick! if you just had it done and it still leaks, check the gaskets unless you have a Geba water pump. Yes, Geba will not only look tougher but will leak on you in a few thousand miles (ask me how i know). the system doesn't leak and shouldn't.

if your radiator blew up, don't go cheap. it's a BMW, drop the extra coin for the expansion tank (that's in line to let you down) and the water pump as well as the thermostat. get them all at once. where to get? that's up to you but definitely run down to the dealer and get the water pump gasket. i used one in the box (could have just been because it's made by Geba) and it leaked from the get-go. pretty sweet huh?

let's start with the radiator. you can go with a Behr which is OE. nothing really wrong with it except it's made of plastic and it'll let you down agian... guaranteed. but the price of it isn't so bad so spring one if you like. it comes with ridges in the neck to give it an extra "grip" so the pipe doesn't just slide off.
you can also spring for a Nissen (not Nissan and not the brand that makes noodles) radiator. Some say they are made better but it's still plastic. the radiator neck is smooth then ribbed so some say in certain conditions, the upper radiator hose *might* slip off. who knows, it could just be crappy workmanship or the truth. either way, it's something to think about. the longevity of this "aftermarket" radiator is said to be above OE but some have doubts.
if you are in true baller status and really want to make sure the radiator is a thing of the past, you can fork over a nice coin for this:
http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/s...egory_Code=AR1

it's a lot more then the cost of a Behr or Nissen but it'll never ever let you down EVER again.

so now you'll need an expansion tank. it's that extra canteen looking thing humped on the radiator. yes, it too is made of plastic and it too will fail on you. There's OE's which will work fine since you are going to replace the radiator with the expansion tank all at once so might as well fork over the cash for it; don't get cheap on this, your motor is dependent on this like you are with your liver; sure you can live with 1/2 a liver but do you really want to?
again, if you are a baller and really have no patience for things failing over and over again, get a Lexus... Just kidding! if you are tired of servicing your cooling system, here's the package made just for you:
http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/s...egory_Code=CCS

yes, the price says it all but you know what? you're NEVER EVER going to post: "i got stuck because of my radiator".

so we covered the radiator and the expansion tank. 2 very critical components and like death and taxes, will definitely fail on you. you should also look into the water pump. the OE pressed aluminum foil impeller is good to be used as a home made spinner firework. you do have some choices but i will say this: NOT GEBA. E36 guys have had hell with them and so have I. it was too late for me though. i bought it and half way thru the install i read about a post noting the failure rates of Geba water pump. There's other out there that you can get is very good news. Graf is the OE replacement and it serves it's purpose, pump water around the block. it's OE so you're still going to get the pressed aluminum foil quality impeller but think of it this way: it was working fine so why re-invent the wheel. if it worked before, it should work again. nothing wrong to think like that and many have gone this route. there are other options as far as water pumps since the price could make the difference. Laso is another water pump out there. built of the same quality, it serves it purpose and serves it well. neither of them are price too far from each other so it's a matter of personal preference. A new contender that i never heard of but it's been raved by the fanatical Volvo owners (those who own a true Volvo, before Ford took over and as much as i hate to stereotype, they are truly into getting quality parts because anything less then perfect will freak them out, maybe that's why they don't own a BMW) is the brand: Hepu. it could be found here:
http://www.******************.com/mm...ump~parts.html

it's a bit more (like $20... just skip out on your kid's allowance for a week or something) but i'm going to try it out and report back.

thermostat is a thermostat is a thermostat unless you go for the cooler popping ones but that's a special case and i'm not going to cover it. this part isn't expensive and they are usually priced all the same (give or take).
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2006, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chivas View Post
for angle eye upgrades, you can go either with Umnitza and their predator lights or with OE Hellas from http://eurosportdesign.com/headlights.htm

predator lights are thicker and brighter... almost 10 folds brighter. the draw back? the eletrical wiring is questionable when they start to fail and it's to my personal experience that it was the connectors failing. i had to take the connector apart and solder them to make sure they'll fire up right the first time every time.
some also say the look cheapens the look of the 5. some say it looks rice but this is all opinions and they are like assholes...


OE Hellas are nice. fits well, projects a bit tighter and just built better overall though i really wish they made the rings light up white to match the xenons. the other drawback is the price. they are going to cost you but you get what you pay for so weigh your thoughts carefully and choose wisely.
some don't want to drop the dough for the OE's or some just don't like the yellow OE rings, contact Matt:

http://www.umnitza.com/


i have the P39's for the last 2 year and i love them. definately makes the car stand out more then the OE's though some say it's "rice", i like them because it's different and honestly, i can't stand the yellow rings OE lights offer. it's not rice if it's done right.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:36 PM
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gets in the way of my gun bag.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chivas View Post
yes, it's a great car but NO, the cup holders work as well las LBJ's legs.

you got 4 choices:

1: get OEM so look around ebay since most dealer's price is kind of a rip though not always.

2: http://ultimatecupholders.com <-- great cup holders which holds a varity of cup sizes. my only gripe is that if you get a drink with a lid, the carpet might catch it and if you go around a turn, the drink will spill out and all over the carpet.

3: http://www.tecaccessories.com <-- again, a great cup holder but it's more of a 12 oz beer..., i mean soda, can holder. anything else is pushing it. if you drive an auto, this works great. if you have a manual, well.. it kinda gets in the way but nothing double jointed bad.

4: leave it broken and just ignore it.

what i did was got a paper cup holder which carries 4 cups..cut it in half and put it against the original E39 open cup holder latches to hold it. lol..works for me
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2006, 07:49 PM
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Oh No, my O2's!

So instead of heading over to the dealer and bend over for the O2's, Autozone carries the Bosch PLUG AND PLAY (very important since others sell GENERIC ones that you need to SPLICE into the harness and that's just a glutton for pain and punishment).

it may not be in stock but give it a few days and they'll get it in. i'm not 100% sure about other E39's but for 540's the Bosch part # is: 13 559. They run for $65 (plus tax if applicable). sure beats the $135 dealer charges for the same damn part.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:00 PM
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Buttplug?? No, i said Sparkplug!

Ever start the car first thing in the morning (or when the block is cold) and when you start to drive off the car spudders a bit and only when the car warms up a bit does it run smooth from a dead stop? well, it's your buttplug..i mean sparkplug.

these should be changed with inspection I and II but hell, who's counting?

My source for the OE replacement at the cheapest price is at:
www.sparkplugs.com
part #:
BKR6EQUP
discount code:
nicoclub thanks to, well, you guessed it, NICO club (for those that don't know it's Nissan/Infiniti forum)

this is for NGK plugs BTW.

i orded 8 for the 540 and total FINAL price (included shipping) was $67.01

some other sites are going to cost about the same but they all do the same. the other sites might be forum sponsors so do buy it from them if you can/want to spring the extra dough. i bought mine before finding all this out or i would have supported the sponsors for a few bucks more. i'm cheap but when it comes those who make this place possible, i'm all for it.
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Last edited by chivas; 05-29-2006 at 09:06 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-21-2011, 12:24 PM
Leben Leben is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chivas View Post
Ever start the car first thing in the morning (or when the block is cold) and when you start to drive off the car spudders a bit and only when the car warms up a bit does it run smooth from a dead stop? well, it's your buttplug..i mean sparkplug.

these should be changed with inspection I and II but hell, who's counting?

My source for the OE replacement at the cheapest price is at:
www.sparkplugs.com
part #:
BKR6EQUP
discount code:
nicoclub thanks to, well, you guessed it, NICO club (for those that don't know it's Nissan/Infiniti forum)

this is for NGK plugs BTW.

i orded 8 for the 540 and total FINAL price (included shipping) was $67.01

some other sites are going to cost about the same but they all do the same. the other sites might be forum sponsors so do buy it from them if you can/want to spring the extra dough. i bought mine before finding all this out or i would have supported the sponsors for a few bucks more. i'm cheap but when it comes those who make this place possible, i'm all for it.
Chivas, does this have anything to do with when the engine is cold and first started, and the RPM periodically drops and then raises while it's idling...almost like it's lightly revving itself? I'm new to the BMW community, so I'm a little unsure of all the interesting phenomena. Is it normal? Once engine reaches normal op temperature it stops doing this, that's why your post made me think of it.
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:28 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Shouldn't there be something that addresses the wheel shimmy thing?

Last edited by Ågent99; 05-30-2006 at 11:36 AM.
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  #13  
Old 05-29-2006, 10:53 PM
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Dash Pixels fix?

What is the best exhaust for my car?

Does a strut bar help the car at all?

How can I get more bass in my 540 audio?

Will 20" rims fit on my E39? Will it rub? Do I have to roll my fenders?

How can I get clear corners on my 2001 and newer E39?

M5 front and rear bumper conversion?
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:54 PM
usedbimmer usedbimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chivas View Post
So instead of heading over to the dealer and bend over for the O2's, Autozone carries the Bosch PLUG AND PLAY (very important since others sell GENERIC ones that you need to SPLICE into the harness and that's just a glutton for pain and punishment).

it may not be in stock but give it a few days and they'll get it in. i'm not 100% sure about other E39's but for 540's the Bosch part # is: 13 559. They run for $65 (plus tax if applicable). sure beats the $135 dealer charges for the same damn part.
Sounds reasonable. Thanks
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:49 PM
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Spinning key additional notes

I am doing this exact job right now and just have a couple important things to add to the awesome write up above.

After reading the above instructions I went to work and following the above directions everything came apart like clockwork. The only difference is I took out my tumbler as opposed to getting a new one. How you do it is:

1. Pop off the plastic sensor that surrounds the key by taking a smaller flat blade screwdriver and putting it underneath the wire connector and between the metal lock body and plastic ring. Carefully twist forward till it pops off.
2. Turn the key to the 1 position
3. locate the the tiny hole at the edge of the key slot
4. find a nail that will fit in it but that's not flimsy and about 2.5" to 3" long
5. By hand start pushing the nail into the hole firmly and if you're lined up it should go in at least and inch. If you can't get it that far by hand take out the nail and double check your in position 1 and try again.
6. If it does go a ways in by hand then grab some pliers and firmly push it in harder. At this point take the pliers and grab around the tumbler and pull it out.
The paper clip may work but it's easier with the nail. I also tried using a small allen/hex key but it didn't work for me. They trick is to have it lined up in the 1 position and press the nail in firmly.
Lastly do not take out the nail until you're ready to put the tumbler in the new lock. Once you put it in the new one the ring will lock back in and you can then pull out the nail

The sensor ring just snaps right back on.

Second issue. There is a plastic bracket that surrounds the ignition switch, holds some of the wires and attaches to the steering lock you're replacing. It is held on by 2 #30 torx screws. The old screws did not fit the new steering lock for whatever reason. However I was able to thread in the bottom screw and it seemed like it self tapped.

Third BIG BIG ISSUE.

After I picked up the parts today I excitedly drove the wife's Volvo Wagon home and changed clothes to put it all back together. While getting into the car the new ignition lock fell out of the box and BROKE............ When I say broke I mean the piece that holds the column lock down popped out... So I put it back together and re-assembled it with the ignition switch to see if it was o.k.. Unfortunately it would spin backward if I tried after the key was first put in. I then figured maybe it was a fluke and re-assembled the lock to the column. I even put on the snap ring. This time the key got stuck again........

I promptly called the dealer and ordered another ignition lock which will be here Monday.

DO NOT DROP THE NEW LOCK!!!

Apart from these things I still recommend doing this yourself with the above instructions. Had I had someone else do it or the dealer the labor would have been minimum $300 and as high as $450. The parts with my buddy discount were originally only $180. That is going to now shoot up to $250 but the savings were worth it.

Overall time to do the job had I had the parts on hand would be two hours taking your time.

Pics Below

Cheers!





Last edited by Wicked.-; 10-16-2009 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:31 PM
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Batteries ARE included... ooo..

so you got issues starting, running and all the electrial stuff is going googlie eyed on you. guess what? it's either your alternator or battery. most likely it's the battery.


head over to your autozone (hey, they are more then just for O2's) and pick up a Duralast 49-DL. Secret about car batteries: there's only 3 manufactures and all are about the same; Duralast is made by Johnson Control which also makes Diehard, Interstate and Optima . don't spring for anything more like Optimas unless you are going to compete in audio show which then you'll need special batteries but for everyday Joe, Dick and Bob, the Duralast is your winner. And at about $65 (i think.. could be $67 but not over $100 plus tax), it's the winner by a HUGE margin.

save some ducks and take yourself out to a good dinner with the $65 you just saved then going to a dealer for a battery.
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Last edited by chivas; 05-29-2006 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:35 PM
Steveoreo Steveoreo is offline
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The real answer is change out the ignition switch. 90 bucks and 30 minutes later your electrical gremlins go away. Weird but true. Go to pelican parts.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:10 AM
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What is the function of the dial on the vent for air conditioning above the radio?

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I just found this out today while researching another problem I have with my air.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:20 PM
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Question Does DME gets reset when you disconnect the battery >few minuates?

Answer: Yes, indeed, so you'll loose the DME adaptation settings.

Note: For those with VF Engineering supercargers with GIAC DME software, this means you'll loose GIAC adaptation settings as well. And according to GIAC and VFE, they recommend breaking in the software for next ~100 miles. And that means, take it easy for next ~100 miles, nothing fancy RPM'ing. That's all.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:23 PM
gixxer gixxer is offline
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Question: What's the authorative way of removing the stock leather e-brake handle?

Answer: The definitive (without the need to breaking any sweat), the simplest way is to pre-heat the handle with the blow dryer first. If you have heated to a point where you can twist the handle 360 degrees, then you are home free. At that point, just twist, and pull it out. Using this method, no need for iron pumping for weeks in advance only to find you are still yanking the handle after a week. No need for WD-40. No need to bust the handle with a utility knife. Apparently there's bit of clue with form fitting of the handle that makes it so darn difficult to remove in any other way.
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:03 PM
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Do I have to change the sensors if I change brake pads?

Hell yeah cheap bum...
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:13 AM
denko denko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHL528i View Post
domiguy
I just got a 1999 528i but didn’t come with a manual.

i bought a 2000 528 with no manual. if you go to BMW website you can download a copy of it.
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  #23  
Old 05-30-2006, 02:08 PM
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I'll add some stuff about teh ///M audio upgrade that i've found. Credit goes to anyone who found info on it.

The details for the connectors are

61.13-1 378 136 This is the 12 pin connector to go to the DSP sub connection. 1 of these.
61.13-1 378 132 This is the 4 pin connector to connect to the M subs. 2 of these.
61.13-1 376 193 This is the part number for the pin (1.0 - 2.5mm2) to fit both housings. 16 of these.

I purchased the subs through www.bmaparts.com, speak to Patrick ONLY. I paid $205 per sub. I have a 9/97 production 540i 6-spd with DSP, and i had to drill my own holes. I must add that this was a huge pain.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hmmm . . . my notes are not quite as crisp as they seemed at the time:

Based on color coding of the wires, I have the following associations between the drivers and the wires in the connector, including polarity:

Rear left voicecoil 1 + yellow/red - gray/brown
Rear left voicecoil 2 + blue/white - blue/brown
Rear right voicecoil 1 + yellow/white - yellow/brown
Rear right voicecoil 2 + yellow/black - yellow/gray

I also think I use the wiring diagrams at http://www.bmwtips.com/ as reference. The connector my wires go into is a 12 pin connector, with the outside pins unused.

If you look at the attached picture, the following pin pairs each power 1 voicecoil:

5-4 3-2
11-10 9-8

(the subs are each have dual 8 ohm voicecoils)

Hope that helps.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have folding seats and the sunshade...and i have a nasty rattle that seems to be caused by the sunshade because it goes away when i raise it. So if you have a sunshade, and a cure for this rattle, PLEASE let me know!
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Last edited by bimmerd00d; 05-30-2006 at 02:12 PM.
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  #24  
Old 08-15-2012, 12:03 AM
eohagan eohagan is offline
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Location: Auburn, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 95
Mein Auto: '03 540i/6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerd00d View Post


Based on color coding of the wires, I have the following associations between the drivers and the wires in the connector, including polarity:

Rear left voicecoil 1 + yellow/red - gray/brown
Rear left voicecoil 2 + blue/white - blue/brown
Rear right voicecoil 1 + yellow/white - yellow/brown
Rear right voicecoil 2 + yellow/black - yellow/gray

I also think I use the wiring diagrams at http://www.bmwtips.com/ as reference. The connector my wires go into is a 12 pin connector, with the outside pins unused.
came here to submit these color wires for adding an amp to the DSP system - all the wiring diagrams and links on bmwtips.com used to point to a bimmers.org forum that is now dead. Took me 3 weeks of dicking with my car to find the right wires to LOC into my amplifier!
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  #25  
Old 08-29-2012, 02:09 AM
radd radd is offline
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Location: Jakarta
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 60
Mein Auto: e39
Possible tires & Rims sizes

just try to cover future confusion about tires & rims changing
Attached Files
File Type: pdf size velg e39.pdf (36.1 KB, 416 views)
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