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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 12-18-2011, 09:51 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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DISA Valve repair kit

For those of you that have viewed my M52-M54 engine build and swap forum you know I posted there that I was working on internal replacement parts for a cost effective and long term fix for the DISA self destruct syndrome. Here is what I posted there plus the CAD models of the new internal replacement parts.







The 1st pic is of the flapper valve and lever arm that rotates the flapper valve. As you can see the end of the flapper valve has a hex shaped hole in it. The section of the lever arm just past the pointed and slotted end has what's left of a hex shape O.D..

In my opinion, the reason these fail is due to the following:

> Because the 2 parts are injection molded they need draft (taper) in order to release from the mold.

> Because of the draft on the ID of the hex hole and the OD of the hex section of the lever; and the allowance for manufacturing dimensional tolerances, the 2 pieces have to be made with a clearance in their fit together.

> The code PA66 GF30 on the flapper valve means it's made of 30% glass filled nylon.

> The code PA66 on the lever arm means it's made of just nylon, without glass fill.

> Because there is clearance between the 2 parts in their assembled state, and because there are strong pressure pulses inside the intake manifold, these 2 pieces vibrate against each other during normal operation.

> Once the nylon starts to wear a little, the tiny glass fibers in the flapper valve start to become exposed. Since the lever arm is plain nylon, the exposed fibers in the flapper valve start to wear it away, then it's all down hill from there. The lever arm was most likely not made with glass fill because it would eat up the sleeve bearing and seal that it rides in. I have seen this same erosion in other parts where a glass filled plastic moves or vibrates against a non-glass filled plastic.

My solution will be to machine both pieces out of aluminum, then anodize them for wear resistance. They will be made in such a way that they lock solidly together once assembled, and indexed so that the flapper valve is slightly preloaded against the rubber sealing lip inside the housing when in its closed position to prevent vibration.


New aluminum parts view 1.


New aluminum parts view 2.


New aluminum parts cutaway view showing fitment of the pieces.

A few things to note about the new design:

1) The new aluminum parts will be stronger than the OEM plastic parts.

2) Since all the internal parts lock solidly together they cannot vibrate against each other and erode like the stock pieces.

3) Since a worn and freely flapping about flapper valve is the most likely cause of the internal supporting framework breaking; if a current DISA valve still has a solid internal support structure, there should be no reason for it to break in the future.

4) Since the flapper valve is screwed to the lever arm, and since the lever arm can't get pulled through it's support bushing, even if the internal support framework were to break the flapper valve would remain captive. No possibility of parts running amuck inside the engine.

5) Same concept applies to the pivot pin on top of the flapper valve; it will be screwed and thread locked to the valve. With the OEM design the stock steel pivot pin is just pushed into the plastic flapper valve and falls free in the event of failure.

I hope to machine the first set within the next week. If everything goes to schedule I hope to be able to offer a repair kit in about 2 weeks. The kit will include all parts shown plus detailed instructions, a new O-ring seal and a mini tube of red thread lock. This should be a very easy DIY repair.

All feedback welcome.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2011, 09:59 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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i think there is one guy on ebay and he was doing some similar repairs for M52-M54 DISA engine

Last edited by champaign777; 12-18-2011 at 10:16 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2011, 10:38 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Quote:
i think there is one guy on ebay and he was doing some similar repairs for M52-M54 DISA engine
I just did a "DISA" search on eBay motors and couldn't find anything but entire new or used ass'ys.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:37 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Originally Posted by BikesStillRule View Post
I just did a "DISA" search on eBay motors and couldn't find anything but entire new or used ass'ys.
jdm-auto on ebay
He sales o-ring's for M54 DISA and also did M54 DISA repairs for something like 40$
( not sure about details and why he stopped to do it now )

Last edited by champaign777; 12-21-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2011, 01:34 PM
Pappy2 Pappy2 is offline
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DISA rebuild

BikesStillRule,

I'm very interested in your rebuild kit. My daughter's has apparently gone bad on her X3 2.5. I'm not sure yet if the vacuum diaphram is bad or not, as I haven't yet pulled it. Is there a part for that as well?

Please PM me when you have the kit available. I'll give it try and report back.

Eric
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2011, 03:29 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Quote:
I'm very interested in your rebuild kit. My daughter's has apparently gone bad on her X3 2.5. I'm not sure yet if the vacuum diaphram is bad or not, as I haven't yet pulled it. Is there a part for that as well?

Please PM me when you have the kit available. I'll give it try and report back.
Funny you should ask; I have just finished the 1st prototype parts and everything fits perfectly, so I hope to make a small first run over the weekend. The kit will include new aluminum flapper valve, aluminum bell crank actuating lever, custom titainium bolt/pivot pin, small packet of 262 loctite threadlock, a new silicone o-ring, a small packet of synthetic grease and complete instructions.

The DISA valve from my vehicle is the original with 120,000 miles on it, and even though the plastic bell crank lever and plastic flapper valve were completely worn out and starting to fracture, the main frame ass'y, vacuum pot, inner support bushing, outer support bushing and bell crank seal are all in perfect condition. This gives me a certain level of confidence that most used DISA's will be repairable. I'll keep everyone posted on expected shipment availability.


Exploded view of rev2 design.

The revision 2 design incorporates a very light weight custom titainium cap screw that both secures the assembly together and acts as the internal pivot pin. With this design everthing is secured together from outside the DISA/manifold assembly, meaning there is nothing to fall into the intake manifold that's small enough to make it to the engine, even if the main screw were to loosen and fall out.



Transparent view of rev2 design.
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2011, 11:55 PM
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great work, pm me when done, ill take one
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:53 AM
uncmozo uncmozo is offline
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Really nice work. Must be a bit slow in your shop to tie up a CNC on a project like this. Do you have an estimated cost?

Jerry
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2011, 10:59 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Quote:
great work, pm me when done, ill take one
Thanks, I will. If you're ready to install it when you get it, and you're willing to critique the quality of the product and installation instructions, I give you heck of a deal for purchasing the 1st one.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Really nice work. Must be a bit slow in your shop to tie up a CNC on a project like this. Do you have an estimated cost?
Thanks, It's rare that I don't have at least one free machine. No cost estimate yet, I need to see how much machining time and manual time I end up having into them, I'm shooting for approx 1/3 the cost of a new DISA or less.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:09 PM
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:19 AM
Ed Cheung Ed Cheung is offline
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Sorry to hijack the thread, what is the first year do the e39 start having the DISA? Or all e39 got one.
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:24 AM
WaveSurfin3100 WaveSurfin3100 is offline
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Looks Awesome! Give me a shout when you are ready to sell them!
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:42 AM
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Very nicely done. That mod/repair would appear to make the DISA valve last the life of the car, as long as the vacuum component doesn't fail.

BMW does seem to be a little too addicted to plastic these days.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:21 PM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Very nicely done. That mod/repair would appear to make the DISA valve last the life of the car, as long as the vacuum component doesn't fail.

BMW does seem to be a little too addicted to plastic these days.
I was kinda shocked to find out how much sheap plastic BMW saturates it's cars with... they really make a person feel cheated wehn they find to much plastic... and it's pretty flimsy,,, I have it break often if I touch it with shaky fingers or apply a tad to much pressure just in the normal course of operating the car.. I just don't understand why they did this over the top running amuk on plastic part...

I have stated in several threads befor ethis comment, the amount of cheap plastic is way to much and unexpected... I have no clue if they learned their lesson in never cars, or just keep filling them up with cheap plastic... the performance and looks is fanatastic.. the plastic is rubbish...

IMHO


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Old 05-20-2013, 01:14 AM
MJLavelle MJLavelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredat44 View Post
I was kinda shocked to find out how much sheap plastic BMW saturates it's cars with... they really make a person feel cheated wehn they find to much plastic... and it's pretty flimsy,,, I have it break often if I touch it with shaky fingers or apply a tad to much pressure just in the normal course of operating the car.. I just don't understand why they did this over the top running amuk on plastic part...

I have stated in several threads befor ethis comment, the amount of cheap plastic is way to much and unexpected... I have no clue if they learned their lesson in never cars, or just keep filling them up with cheap plastic... the performance and looks is fanatastic.. the plastic is rubbish...

IMHO


Good luck finding a car without a lot of plastics (especially since 2000). What you are experiencing is not necessarily cheap plastic (it's actually pretty high quality plastic), but old plastic. The use of plastics in the engine bay was fairly extensive in BMW's since the late 90's, and continues to grow in the models after it. The F30 has a plastic oil pan. For the most part, plastic works fairly well. The problem is that as it ages, it gets more brittle. That is what you are experiencing now.
Most people think that using plastics means that the manufacturers are cutting costs. In some ways they are, but not where most people think. The initial cost of a plastic part can be as high as, if not more than a metal part. The molds for a plastic part can run from the hundreds of thousands up to millions of dollars. But the appeal of plastics for manufacturers is the dimensional consistency of a part that comes out of a mold. As long as the curing process is right, then the molds will spit out parts that are nearly perfect duplicates of each other as fast as they can cycle the molds. It is a constant supply of parts that are nearly perfect.
The same part made of metal may pass through numerous machine operations and machine operators, which increases the chance for human error, and adds to the complexity of the quality control processes. Then, you are left with a metal part that must be plated or polished or painted or powdercoated of blackened or anodized. All of these separate steps increase the chance for errors, and scrapped parts. The same part made in a plastic mold may very likely be complete, and ready to be installed on the car as soon as it exits the mold, and it will be a nearly perfect copy of the original design. Also, there is the weight savings, which can be significant.
For the most part, those plastic parts will function perfectly well during the warranty period of the car. Let's face it, that is all the manufacturers are interested in. For them, it is a good bet that there will be no problems with those plastic parts while they are responsible for them.
But for us, the people who own the cars after that 5 year or so warranty period expires, the plastics start to be a problem, particularly in the engine bay. The numerous heat cycles, ozone, UV, and chemical exposure make the plastic brittle, and prone to breakage.
The reality is, the plastics have added a new area of maintenance for the owners of these cars as they age. Now, in addition to the traditional wear items, we have to account for replacing aging plastics in our maintenance routines. It has become a fact of life with an aging car. You have to determine when the plastic has reached the point that it is going to break, and hopefully replace it before it does, especially if it is in a critical area, like the cooling system. I have no doubt that the owners of a 10 year old F30 will be wondering when they will need to bite the bullet, and replace their plastic oil pan. So, it is only going to get worse. At least we have metal oil pans.
Don't get me wrong though. I am not really defending the use of plastics. Personally, it is a PITA. I am just explaining why it is so appealing to manufacturers, and why it will only increase. After all, it is not like there is a manufacturer who offers an alternative, at least not in the same price range. Also, you don't see people refusing to buy cars because there are too many plastic parts. Of course, they are improving the formulation of the plastics as well, to improve longevity. But it will be years before we know if they were sucessful. The manufacturers could care less about the frustrations of people like us, who are driving around in cars that are anywhere from 6-15 years old or more. We are not exactly their demographic. They want to appeal to people who drive a car for 5 years at most, and then upgrade. If you don't fall into that catagory, then too bad. But that is not something exclusive to BMW either.
I suppose we should just be happy that we don't have to face the risk of punching a hole in our oil pans when we are replacing a control arm.

Last edited by MJLavelle; 05-20-2013 at 01:16 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2011, 03:33 PM
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I am interested...
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:28 PM
Pappy2 Pappy2 is offline
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DISA valve

Will your kit work with an '04 X3 2.5? I checked and the part # for the E39 is one number off, 805 vs 806.

Eric
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Will your kit work with an '04 X3 2.5? I checked and the part # for the E39 is one number off, 805 vs 806.
I just searched applications by part number and there is a different part number for all the 2.5l engines (ending in 806) compared to the 3.0l versions (ending in 805).

The version I'm currently working on is the 3.0 liter version. As soon as I can I will try to get my hands on the other version and see what the internal differences are.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:52 AM
Bill2002 530i Bill2002 530i is offline
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Do you have those DISA flaps for sale yet ? I need one for my 02 530i got fault codes telling me its faulty
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:43 AM
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Props to you BikesStillRule!!!!
I will post your efforts on the other board too, I am certain there are people interested in this. If you will start "mass"-producing the kit, at least let's increase the audience....

P.S.: I posted it on the other board here.
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Last edited by doru; 01-04-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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  #22  
Old 01-04-2012, 09:11 AM
Dwayne Dwayne is offline
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Saw doru's post over on bimmerforums, I'm definitely interested. I've got 142K miles on mine, I haven't checked it, but I am planning on doing all the gaskets in that area in the next week or two, so I'd love to refresh my DISA if I already have it taken out. I'd be willing to be a beta reviewer if you still need one.
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  #23  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:03 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Just finished the final revision tool path programming last night. I have the o-rings, Locktite and grease packets in stock and I plan on running about 10 sets of parts over the weekend. The only delay at this point is I'm still trying to source the titanium cap screws. For the people who are in a hurry I might have to ship the first kits with a stainless steel screw.

On another positive note; I just purchased a brand new unit from BMW with the new superceded part number and everything is a perfect fit on that unit too. In fact I can't see any differences between the original production units and the new superceded part number units.

Quote:
Saw doru's post over on bimmerforums, I'm definitely interested.
Thanks Doru!
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:53 PM
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Im interested. I will be watching this thread.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:14 PM
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Awesome, very awesome :-)

You'll be doing good deals on international postage I hope!
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