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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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  #26  
Old 10-20-2008, 08:01 AM
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BMW5MT BMW5MT is offline
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Pictures

OK here are some pictures. Just looking at these pictures what seal do you think it is? The trans is at the top towards the rear of the car and you can see oil on what I think is the back side of the flywheel.

Thanks
Mike
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Last edited by BMW5MT; 10-20-2008 at 08:04 AM.
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  #27  
Old 10-20-2008, 08:22 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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The engine oil dye thingy is here:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/how_...71.html?page=2

My suggestion:
- If the oil leak not too sever, then watch it and top up the oil as necessary. At 86K miles, you may need a clutch job soon, so wait until clutch job and do the whole show (RMW, all man trans seals, clutch itself, flywheel, thrwout bearing etc etc)

- Or do this, always park the car in the same spot in the garage. Pull the dipstick and note where the engine oil is (keep note).
Also, check the oil level inside the manual trans by removing the FILLER plug and stick your finger inside. Best is to fill it with a bit of man trans oil until it flows out. Here is my write-up for 98 528i using tubing to fill man trans oil. Your 540i has the FILLER plug on the drivers side (instead of the passenger side as for 528i):

http://bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/189240

Now drive the car normally and check oil levels (engine oil + man trans oil) at 300-500 miles interval. If one goes down then you know the source of the leak.
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  #28  
Old 10-20-2008, 10:13 AM
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Al's540i Al's540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The engine oil dye thingy is here:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/how_...71.html?page=2

Your 540i has the FILLER plug on the drivers side (instead of the passenger side as for 528i):

http://bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/189240

Now drive the car normally and check oil levels (engine oil + man trans oil) at 300-500 miles interval. If one goes down then you know the source of the leak.
On my 540i the filler plug is on the passenger side of the tranny pan.
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  #29  
Old 10-24-2008, 05:27 PM
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OK, it was my rear main seal that went bad again! My mechanic removed the transmission and confirmed it. Here are some pictures I took today but I will post back tomorrow to talk a little about the shop that is doing the work.

BTW I am having the clutch replaced while they are in there!

Also the fluid you see in the fourth picture is not from the transmission, that is was came from the RMS.
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Last edited by BMW5MT; 10-24-2008 at 05:29 PM.
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  #30  
Old 10-31-2008, 05:11 PM
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Guys

I just wanted to let everyone know that I got my rear main seal fixed along with replacing the clutch and pilot bearing. The best part about the whole thing is that they were quick and have really good prices. I paid only $995.00 including tax for the repair. If you're looking for a small shop in the Woodbridge, VA (Northern VA) area that will treat you right then go to:

Laslo's Foreign Car Service
14747 Build America Drive
Woodbridge, VA
(703) 491-7545

Please mention my name!
Mike Taylor

P.S. I found out that the reason why my RMS went bad after only a little over 2 years and only 10K Miles is by not driving the car. I really only get to drive my car on the weekends. I was told that I need to start the car and let it run about 15-20 three time a week to keep the seals soft.
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  #31  
Old 10-31-2008, 05:54 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Glad you got that fixed.

I've never heard that about keeping the seals soft. I guess it's worth a try, but I'm not sure I believe it.
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  #32  
Old 10-31-2008, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
Glad you got that fixed.

I've never heard that about keeping the seals soft. I guess it's worth a try, but I'm not sure I believe it.

Funny, both the dealer and the Indy shop said the same thing about the seals without me saying anything about it. What do you think it could be?
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  #33  
Old 10-31-2008, 08:52 PM
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yes, when the seals get dry, they begin to leak. the oil lubricates them and keeps them soft, therefore the statement. also, if you run low on oil and not enough oil gets to the RMS, then it will leak once you do have enough amt of oil.
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  #34  
Old 10-31-2008, 09:09 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Couple thoughts:

1. Did your mechanic replace the Man Trans seals x4?
They should have done it.

Nothing is more annoying than 1 year and 20K miles later your Man Trans starts leaking.

2. Rubber, by its nature deteriorates with:
* Time
* Heat
* UV light (which is true for Car Tire but not for RMS).
* Pressure exerted on itself.

So a leaking RMS after 2 years could be a sign of INCREASED Crank Case Pressure. Check your CCV system!

I don't agree with people saying it leaks because of no use!
How about car stored for winter, does it leak in the Spring?
How about car parked at dealers lot waiting to sell?
How about Seals sitting a few years on the shelf waiting to be sold?

Last edited by cn90; 11-01-2008 at 08:43 AM.
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  #35  
Old 11-01-2008, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Couple thoughts:

1. Did your mechanic replace the Man Trans seals x4?
They should have done it.

Nothing is more annoying than 1 year and 20K miles later your Man Trans starts leaking.

2. Rubber, by its nature deteriorates with:
* Time
* Heat
* UV light (which is true for Car Tire but not for RMS).
* Pressure exerted on itself.

So a leaking RMS after 2 years could be a sign of INCREASED Crank Case Pressure. Check your CCV system!

I don't agree with people saying it leaks because of no use!
How about car stored for winter, does it leak in the Spring?
How about car parked at dealers lot waiting to sell?
How about Seals sitting a few years on the shelf waiting to be sold?
CN,
nothing likes to "sit still" because once it put into use, it breaks down or otherwise shows signs of no usage, ie leaks. If you remember, in storage a vehicle still needs an oil change, and its engine started every so often for simple lubrication. If the RMS is dry with out oil on it, it will leak. To your example, cars at the dealers get moved around all the time for space or specific vehicle needs. Both used and new of course. But if a used car sat at a dealers lot for 5 months, YOU BETCHA it would show its signs of breakage after sitting that long, in whatever shape or form.
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Last edited by razzy530; 11-01-2008 at 08:49 AM.
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  #36  
Old 11-01-2008, 08:51 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razzy530 View Post
CN,
nothing likes to "sit still" because once it put into use, it breaks down or otherwise shows signs of no usage, ie leaks. If you remember, in storage a vehicle still needs an oil change, and its engine started every so often for simple lubrication. If the RMS is dry with out oil on it, it will leak. To your example, cars at the dealers get moved around all the time for space or specific vehicle needs. Both used and new of course. But if a used car sat a dealers lot for 5 months, YOU BETCHA it would show its signs after sitting that long, in whatever shape or form.
razzy,

If you look at the comment the O.P. made:
"P.S. I found out that the reason why my RMS went bad after only a little over 2 years and only 10K Miles is by not driving the car. I really only get to drive my car on the weekends. I was told that I need to start the car and let it run about 15-20 three time a week to keep the seals soft."

Personally, I have owned many cars and some of which are driven ONLY on weekends, and yet the RMS only leaks after 12 years old and after 100k MILES, not AFTER 2Y/10k miles!
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  #37  
Old 11-01-2008, 09:23 AM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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If all this were true about not letting your car sit, then why don't the valve covers leak, the headgasket, the front main seal, all the seals in your tranny, in your differential, etc all leak? Because its BS. Only driving your car on weekends is fine. It's not like it's sitting for years on end. It's only 5 days. Come on guys.
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  #38  
Old 11-01-2008, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Couple thoughts:

1. Did your mechanic replace the Man Trans seals x4?
They should have done it.

So a leaking RMS after 2 years could be a sign of INCREASED Crank Case Pressure. Check your CCV system!

I don't agree with people saying it leaks because of no use!
How about car stored for winter, does it leak in the Spring?
How about car parked at dealers lot waiting to sell?
How about Seals sitting a few years on the shelf waiting to be sold?
No he told me that the Trans seal looked good. BTW where are the 4 seals located?

I had him check the CCV while he had the car and he said it was good.

I have to say that I do agree with what you are saying about the car sitting.

I will say that the day it started leaking, I took it out for some spirited driving and that's when it starting leaking. Do you guys think that's what caused it?
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  #39  
Old 11-01-2008, 09:36 PM
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very possible, to answer your question. But of course coincindence plays a part too
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  #40  
Old 11-02-2008, 07:41 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Originally Posted by Al's540i View Post
Where is the rear main seal? I have a leak after changing my valve cover gaskets and I'm pretty sure it's not the gaskets?
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  #41  
Old 11-02-2008, 10:48 AM
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OK where is the 4 transmission seals that cn90 was talking about?
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  #42  
Old 11-02-2008, 11:18 AM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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I only know of three. Input, output, and selector shaft. Not sure what 4th one he is talking about.
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  #43  
Old 11-02-2008, 11:36 AM
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Thanks Ryan!
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  #44  
Old 11-02-2008, 02:20 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Ryan is correct, 3 seals total. Sorry, typo error!
However, FWD MT has 4 seals (input, selector, 2 outputs)
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  #45  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:39 AM
VA525FREAK VA525FREAK is offline
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I need help now, My car is sitting at shop waiting to have my auto transmission pulled to either:

1. replace front seal $1,200
2. replace transmission $2,500 minimum

Care has 207k miles on it. Engine leaks oil as well. Is it even worth it to throw this much money at a car with over 200k?

I could potentialy call mechanic and tell him to just not do anything and have it towed to my girlfriends dad's (he has a huge garage with lift) and attempt this on my own. I have pretty good mechanical skills but im no mechanic. What do you think I should do?

Also, does it make sense that the front seal blew out because my filter was clogged? Think my transmission will last?
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  #46  
Old 11-17-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW5MT View Post
OK, it was my rear main seal that went bad again! My mechanic removed the transmission and confirmed it. Here are some pictures I took today but I will post back tomorrow to talk a little about the shop that is doing the work.

BTW I am having the clutch replaced while they are in there!

Also the fluid you see in the fourth picture is not from the transmission, that is was came from the RMS.
Cool. Nice photos
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  #47  
Old 11-17-2012, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PropellerHead View Post
Wow. Thanks for the photo.
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