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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 10-03-2011, 01:08 AM
Reuvers Reuvers is offline
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Location: The Netherlands
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 139
Mein Auto: BMW e39 540i '97
Misfiring cylinders 1-4

Hello,

I've been having a missfiring issue with my 540i '97 since I bought it.
Its getting random missfires on cylinders 1-4.
It seems to be most at idling and occasionally during cruising. Under wide open throttle I don't notice anything.

So far I changed:

sparks
swapped all 4 coils from cylinders 5-8 to 1-4
new fuel filter
cleaned injectors
rocker cover gaskets replaced
sprayed brake cleaner everywhere but seems to be no leaks

After this I thought it might be the right hand cat
But I had an emission test done last week and this was fine; lambda sensor was giving good value's as well.

Seeing as the misfiring is all on the left side of the engine I'm thinking it must be something on that side. but I'm all out of ideas.

Would really appreciate some help

thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2011, 06:47 AM
bmwbmc bmwbmc is offline
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Location: wexford, ireland
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 67
Mein Auto: '97 bmw 520i
can't help you much but thanks to bluebee's hard work and all the other forum members we have this:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=15
Maybe it'll help you trace the cause of the missfire.
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2011, 08:42 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9,195
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Cylinders 1-4 are on the right side of the engine. Tap the cats with a rubber mallet. If they rattle, they're gone. Mine were gone at 125 kmiles; your mileage may vary.

Excess back pressure from a clogged cat will cause random misfires in all cylinders of the bank that is clogged. Ask me how I know.
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Last edited by edjack; 10-03-2011 at 08:43 AM.
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2011, 10:33 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,234
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Tap the cats with a rubber mallet. If they rattle, they're gone.
Hi Ed,

I don't remember if I've asked you this yet but I've been curious ever since you started mentioning this.

How does a rattling cat cause a misfire?

If I try to guess ... I 'could' assume if they're clogged, then the back pressure causes (somehow) the misfire?

Is that how?
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2011, 09:17 AM
Reuvers Reuvers is offline
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Location: The Netherlands
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 139
Mein Auto: BMW e39 540i '97
I actually do have 2 replacement cats ready to go on the car. But as I work next to a garage I asked them to do an emission test. They said all was fine. Furthermore when tapping there was no rattling.

Anyhow, as I have them lying around, I'll be putting on the replacement cats when I get round to it and certainly hope that will cure it.

In the mean time if anyone else has had these kind of issues and it turned out to be something different from cats I would really like to hear it.

Thanks for the replies so far
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2011, 09:51 AM
Dirk885 Dirk885 is offline
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Location: Saskatoon, SK
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 16
Mein Auto: 540i
I had misfire codes when my CCV went one winter. A mechanic said the CCV on my '97 540i just wasn't made for extreme cold. Over time, unless kept in a heated garage, frost can build up and cause a tear in the little diaphragm in the CCV.

This may not be your problem though since when the CCV goes you tend to get a lot of blue smoke in the exhaust from sucking oil into the intake. Also, I wouldn't think this would just cause misfires on one side. If you sprayed the rear of the intake, that should cover any cracks in the external CCV case, if it's the frost issue, it can be the internal diaphram which is hard to diagnose. Not sure how cold it gets where you are either.
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2011, 04:49 PM
carnoob carnoob is offline
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Location: washington state
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 97 540i 6spd
I'm having similar issues... Any update of this thread?
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2011, 10:00 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
PM the OP.
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