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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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Old 04-05-2009, 05:16 PM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 525i Sp/5, 95 FJ80 LC
Rear Suspension/Wheel Bearing Install...

Well, after doing a complete front suspension install I decided to go ahead and do the rear as well. I figured this would be a good idea since I will be upgrading to 18" wheels in the next couple of weeks and would like to have the suspension as tight as possible before the extra meat goes on. With everything being tight up front, I could actually feel the rear shifting while partaking in some spirited driving.

Pictures: Rear Suspension Install Pictures

My car has close to 85K on the clock and figured since I am keeping it, the suspension should be totally redone front and rear. I replaced the shocks about a year and a half ago and have been running Koni Sports and OEM sport springs for a majority of the time. I recently upgraded the springs with H&R's which was a wise move as far as the handling and comfort department are concerned. Also, I am running Eibach sway bars front and rear which makes the car flat as hell in the turns. So, it was time to go ahead and upgrade the control arms, integral link, ball joints, and wheel bearings. I already replaced the ball joints about 8 months ago (can't remember exactly) and they were in good condition when removed. I replaced them anyway since I am more of a preventative maint. freak when it comes to suspensions.

In order to do this job the right way, you will be spending close to $1,000 for all the correct parts and those would be Lemfoerder and F.A.G. (Wheel Bearings). Here is the parts list:

2 LEMFOERDER_33326770749_S
LEMFOERDER Integral Link Rear Suspension (Trailing Arm Support) Left/Right (2 Needed Per Car) $42.69

1 LEMFOERDER_33326767831_S
LEMFOERDER Control Arm Left Rear Upper Subframe to Wheel Carrier $106.78

1 LEMFOERDER_33326767832_S
LEMFOERDER Control Arm Right Rear Upper Subframe to Wheel Carrier $107.48

2 LEMFOERDER_33326777424_S
LEMFOERDER Guide Link for Rear Wheel Carrier Left or Right $161.54

2 F.A.G._33411095652_S
F.A.G. Wheel Bearing Rear (45X80X37) (2 Needed Per Car) $69.54

2 LEMFOERDER Ball Joint
LEMFOERDER Ball Joint (2 Needed Per Car) $48.13


I replaced the hardware associated with all of the parts and were bought from the dealer. This job can easily be done with some hand tools and a couple of specialized tools to make the job much easier. So, for those of you who think you need an air compressor and fancy stuff, need not worry. You will need a torque wrench that can torque up to 221 pounds, a three jaw puller (I used a hydraulic 3 jaw puller), and a bearing puller. All of these tools can be purchased from Harbor Freight if you do not already have them. Trust me, this is all you will need other the regular sockets, drivers, extensions, 3lb. hammer, etc. you may already have.

I am not going to write a step-by-step of what I did since I just don't have time, but I did take many pictures during the procedure. The pics (Rear Suspension Install Pics) should give you a good idea of what is involved with this process outside of all of the French words used to get the driver's side wheel bearing off.

Remove Roundel caps from both rear wheels using a flat micro screwdriver without marring up your wheels. You should now see the axle nut on the axle shaft staked down. You need to use the same micro screwdriver and slowly tap it in the staked portion. This will work a little more room in there so you can insert a larger flat blade screwdriver later in the process. Once you have tapped enough room to fit a decent sized flat blade, you can start pounding away with your 3 lb. hammer in a controlled manner. Once you have enough clearance to turn the axle nut, grab a breaker bar and 36mm socket and loosen the nut to wear it just breaks free. Then, leave it alone. Do this for both sides and then loosen the lug bolts for both wheels. You are now ready to jack up the rear of the car from the differential. Once you have it high enough, put the car firmly on jack stands using the jack pads. Double-check and make sure the car is firmly planted before you go any further.

Now you can remove the passenger side wheel and set it off to the side. Remove the headlight leveling sensor using a 10mm and 7mm wrench and move it upwards out of the way. Disconnect the sway bar link form the carrier using two 16mm wrenches and lay it down and out of the way. Remove AABS pulse sensor using a 5mm hex bit and move it out of the after unclipping it from the plastic piece attached to the wishbone. You can then unclip the two latches that secure the plastic piece on the wishbone and move it out of the way. Now you may remove the brake caliper using a 7mm hex socket/wrench and hang it off of the sway bar using a bungie cord or wire (pop off retaining clip on front). Remove the caliper carrier from the hub carrier using a 16mm socket/wrench and set all of these parts off to the side. Use a 5mm hex socket/wrench and remove the brake rotor retaining screw and brake rotor, setting those off to the side as well. If the rotor is hard to get off, then you might want to make sure your E-brake is not engaged. Grab your 36mm socket and proceed to remove the axle nut from the hub.

The passenger side bearing/hub assembly was taken off using a 3-jaw puller and did not come off separately from the bearing as some of the write-ups I have read. While using the puller, the half shaft was actually moving inwards instead of the hub sliding off of the half shaft. Once the half shaft would not go in any further, it gave me enough room to fit the head of my E14 internal star socket to remove the 4 bolts that hold the wheel bearing on the knuckle. Otherwise there is not enough clearance to get a good grasp on the bolt without fear of stripping it on the hub carrier. Once the wheel bearing was disconnected from the knuckle, it came off with the hub as an assembly. Then, the hub was pulled off of the bearing using a 2-jaw puller. I had to use a socket (1-1/4" ˝") which was about the same size as the diameter of the splined hub shaft in order to press it off of the bearing. As you can see in the pics, I attached the hub/bearing assembly in a spare rear brake rotor and then on the wheel to keep everything stable for removal. The passenger side was pretty easy to separate and once this is done, the inner race of the wheel bearing will remain on the hub in almost every case. So, this is when the bearing removal tool ($40) from Harbor Freight (picture of red case) comes in if you want to do it in an effortless, civil manner. The alternative is to beat it off, heat it up, use a punch, etc. if you want to do it the barbaric way and risk damaging the hub in the process. The bearing puller tool will remove it easily and within a few minutes after it is setup. I highly recommend this method and is worth the cost of the tool. After the inner race is removed from the hub, you are ready to install the new bearing on the knuckle. You will need to use four new E14 star bolts for new installation and the old ones are not to be reused – again, do not re-use them. Once the passenger side bearing was removed, I could rock the bearing back and forth 1-2mm. Bottom line…....it was shot to hell and back.

Make sure you clean the mating surface between the knuckle and the new bearing before you install it with the four new star bolts (PB Blaster – let all parts soak and clean, scrub with toothbrush, wipe clean, and then lubricate). The half shaft is able to move around freely within the knuckle allowing you to easily fit the E14 Internal Star Socket from behind with ample clearance and install the new wheel bearing. Once the wheel bearing bolts are torqued down (22 ft lb), you are now ready to install the splined hub onto the splined half shaft dangling inside of the newly installed wheel bearing. Put grease on the outside and inside of the hub in order to make installation much easier (I used Valvoline Synpower Synthetic lubricant). You must slowly line the hub with the half shaft in order to mate the splines correctly and do it tight enough to where it will hang on by itself. This will insure that it is lined up and ready to be installed all the way. At this point I used a 4x4 piece of wood about a foot in length and placed it against the outside face of the hub. Grab the 3lb. hammer and proceed to smack the 4x4 while it is firmly butted up against the hub in order to eliminate any damage to the hub. Slowly, but surely, the hub will start moving inside of the wheel bearing. It won't hurt to put a little grease/lubricant on the exposed part of the hub every few hits to insure there is plenty of lubrication to help the process. Once you see enough threads on the spindle, you are now ready to spin on the new axle nut you purchased and push the hub on the remainder of the way. Use a 36mm socket to tighten the nut as much as you can by hand/ratchet and leave it alone.

The Upper Rear Control Arm (Wishbone) is easily replaced using two 18mm wrenches for the end connected to the carrier. The ball joint end connected to the knuckle requires the use of a 21mm socket/wrench and 10mm wrench to hold the ball joint in place while turning. Installation is the reverse of removal.

The upper front control arm (traction strut) actually controls the "toe" adjustment for the rear wheels and uses an eccentric bolt connected to the carrier. For this procedure it really helps to remove the plastic piece (COVER F RIGHT REAR AXLE CARRIER 33321092482 #12 in diagram) underneath the car attached to the sub-frame bushing closest to the rear wheel you are working on. Also remove the 10mm nut holding the wheel well liner as well as the three 8mm nuts holding the panel toward the rear of the liner (two of them actually hold the mud flap looking panel next to the jack pad and the other is screwed into the plastic piece removed from the bottom of the sub-frame mount). All of this helps you gain access to the eccentric washer and nut that holds it in. Now you are ready to make a mark on the head of the eccentric bolt and on the carrier itself in order to get the bolt close enough when the new arm is installed (Again, you should be using new hardware on everything). Once you have made the mark, you can proceed to remove the carrier end of the control arm using two 16mm wrenches. The ball joint side of the guide link can be removed using a 16mm wrench and a 7mm wrench to hold the ball joint in place while turning the nut. Once you have the old eccentric bolt out of the carrier side of the arm, make a mark on the new eccentric bolt in the same location and begin re-installation. Installation is the reverse of removal.

The Integral Link only requires the use of a 24mm socket/wrench and 18mm wrench and will come out pretty easy. You should remove the bolt holding in the shock in order to relieve tension before this process is done. To be on the safe side, I always place a jack underneath the assembly to avoid any surprises. After I pop the shock out, I then lower it and adjust accordingly. Once the integral link has been removed you can now replace the ball joint. I do not have pictures of the ball joint removal/installation in this set of pics since I did this procedure a few months ago. However, I do have a link to more pics that shows what to do (Click here for pictures for Rear Ball Joint Install). Also, there are quite a few write-ups done for this procedure on the forum.

Now you are ready to torque all of the nuts and bolts:

Torque Specs:

Component Ft.-Lbs. Nm
Integral Link to wheel bearing carrier (18mm) 77 104
Swing Arm to Wheel Bearing Carrier (24mm) 189 256
ABS Pulse Sensor (5mm) 6 8
Shock Absorber to Lower control arm (21mm) 94 127
Stabilizer Link to Swing Arm (16mm) 48 65
Stabilizer Link to Sway Bar (16mm) 32 42
Traction Strut (Upper Front Control Arm) to sub-frame (16mm) 44 60
Traction Strut (Upper Control Arm) to wheel carrier (16mm) 48 65
Wishbone (Upper Rear Control Arm) to wheel carrier (21mm) 105 142
Wishbone (Upper Rear Control Arm) to sub-frame (18mm) 81 110
Brake Rotor to Hub (5mm) 12 16
Rear Brake Pad Carrier to Wheel bearing Carrier (16mm) 48 65
Brake Caliper to Brake Pad Carrier (7mm Hex) 26 35
Rear axle shaft nut to hub (36mm) 221 300
Wheel Bearing to Wheel Carrier (E14 Internal Star Socket 22 30
Wheel to Hub 90 120



Once you have replaced all of the parts for the suspension, go ahead and put all of the panels, brakes, sensors, etc. back together. I ended up jacking up the rear carrier up to the point where the car started lifting to mimic the preloaded weight. I then torqued everything except the axle nut in this position – you can loosen everything later and then re-torque when the car is in the normal preloaded position. If you have access to a lift, then this process can be done with the car in the normal/preloaded driving position (recommended). You can torque the lug bolts back to 90ft. lbs. and then lower the car. Now you will need to get your 36mm socket out again and set your torque wrench to 221 ft. lbs. and torque the axle nut down. Once you have done this on both sides, you can then raise one side of the rear and remove the wheel. Now you are ready to stake the axle nuts in order to lock them into place. You can just use a punch/dull flathead screwdriver and a 3lb. hammer to accomplish this. Lower the car and repeat this process on the other side.

The passenger side wheel bearing removal was about what I expected it to be. However, this was not the case for the Driver's side. I bent my forged Craftsman 2 jaw puller trying to get the hub off. Then I bought a three jaw puller and one of the braces broke off of that tool. By this time I was getting pissed . So, I get a ride to the local AutoZone and rented one of their slide hammers as this seems to be the method some have had success in removing the hub from the assembly. Well, after about 60-80 slides with all of my force, the damn hub did not even budge one bit. Back to harbor Freight I went. This time I saw a sweet 5 ton hydraulic 3 jaw puller for $60 and thought this would do the trick. Sitting next to it was a 12 ton 3 jaw hydraulic puller on clearance for $80 that looked more enticing and might come in handy for other jobs down the road. So, I bought the 12 ton unit and got back to the scene of the crime. I have to say that the 12 ton unit is one nice piece of machinery and would highly recommend it if you have the cash. The nice thing about it is that the you do not have to torque the puller while it is attached to the assembly – the hydraulics do the work for you allowing everything to remain stationary. After I got the 12 ton 3 jaw hydraulic puller on the hub and started to turn the shaft it sounded like a sonic boom and scared the ever living $hit out of me. Believe me, there is no way any of my other tools would have gotten that thing off. Once the assembly was off and went through the same process as above, the driver's side bearing was in much better shape than the passenger's side.

After upgrading my front and rear sway bars with Eibachs, the rear brackets have deformed to the point where the bar makes them clank under stress. They were deformed to the point where the bars probably were not doing half of their job. So, I ordered some TC Design brackets (red) to take care of this problem. They are a very tight fit and are very well made – they better be for $127 shipped! I will also replace the fronts with a set of OEM I picked up from the dealer because I know they have taken a beating.

My thoughts…....

The second I pulled out of my driveway I could tell the difference in the rear end. It was smooth and very controlled. As I got on the interstate it was more evident how tight the rear was as I picked up speed. There was no shifting in the rear in lane change maneuvers and was razor sharp. I was real giddy as a result. I cannot really describe the feeling in words, but this is something that should be done on every E39 with over 60K miles, and maybe less in some cases. My expectations were far exceeded after the install and the very reason I ended up writing this install. It is not hard if you have the right tools and is a crime if you pay someone to do it due to the high labor costs involved. Similar to the vanos repair, I think many people are intimidated by the rear wheel bearings and suspension and often neglect it in that it is not as important as the front. Well, the E39 I6 has a 50-50 balance and it will only achieve this good balance if the rear half of the suspension is up to speed.

I also believe the rear suspension is neglected as a result of our sensory perception. We concentrate on the front because our senses from the hands on the steering wheel override any sensory data we may receive from our but in the seat. My front end is so tight that I could feel the rear end sway when driving under certain conditions. This is what prompted me to go ahead and tackle the rear, as well as an upgrade to 18's in the next couple of weeks. It is literally like driving a new E39 again – and yes, I have driven a brand new E39 I6 & V8. This procedure should be on everyone's to-do list if not done already.

I bought all of my parts from AboveallMotorwerks as they have excellent service and the lowest prices I have found (excluding hardware from the dealer). Many of you have your select vendors you like to order from - just make sure to get Lemfoerder and F.A.G. for all of your parts regardless of where you purchase them.

Next up…....subframe bushings!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2002 E39 525i Rear Suspension DIY.pdf (194.4 KB, 1235 views)
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Last edited by mmm635; 05-04-2009 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:10 PM
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xpcgamer xpcgamer is offline
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Nice write up. Something I would like to do with my Touring.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:03 AM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Nice write up. Something I would like to do with my Touring.
If you have the rear air suspension, I believe there are a couple of more steps involved to perform the procedure properly. I remember there were some additional steps in the Bentley and not sure if it is completely necessary - definitely something to look into.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:13 AM
HanSolofliesBMW HanSolofliesBMW is offline
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Awesome stuff! I look forward to doing my rear suspension at 100K miles, wish I could've done it sooner.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:30 AM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Awesome stuff! I look forward to doing my rear suspension at 100K miles, wish I could've done it sooner.
Chances are, you will need the "Force" if the RWB were seized like mine.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:52 AM
franka franka is offline
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if the RWB were seized like mine.

Seized as in the metals literally welded together from high friction and force?

Or seized as in rusted together?
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:20 PM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Seized as in the metals literally welded together from high friction and force?

Or seized as in rusted together?
The latter, and more specifically the hub and the half shaft. When the hub/bearing assembly was separated from the half shaft you could see small rust spots all over the splines inside of the hub and on the half shaft splines. I ended up bathing them with PB Blaster and brushed as much as I could and cleaned it down. Afterwards, they were lubed again.

You can really see it if you zoom in on the pics I have of the half shaft dangling inside the carrier with the wheel bearing removed. All three surfaces were lubricated well before re-installation: Inside of splined hub, half shaft splines, and outside of hub (smooth).

The inner race more so from the high friction and force.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:02 PM
tspeed tspeed is offline
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Thanks for posting this DIY, it's going in to my bookmarks for future reference.

As for the rear ball joint tool in your other set of pics, where did you get that ball joint tool in the red box, and approximate cost?
It's not from Harbor Freight is it?
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:14 AM
johnnnykoool johnnnykoool is offline
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Post-bearing issues

Great thread! You definitely did your homework. Maybe when I have some more $$ I'll work on the suspension.

I recently did a rear-bearing overhaul on my 01 525i, manual trans. Actually, after a 12 hour day of hammering and cussing, I only got to one on the driver's side. It was definitely shot, lots of pitting on the inner and outer braces, bearings where falling out and broken.

Now, my car tends to 'bounce/lunge' in 1st and 2nd gear when decelerating (no braking) like there's a rubber band tied to the rear of the car. The car used to do this just a little bit but only when I was careless with the clutch. It's a similar feeling. Have you experienced anything like this? Maybe it's a spline alignment issue? I can't see why the spline alignment with the bearing would make a difference since the wheel is free to spin. Bad u-joint maybe?

I also get an ABS pulse in the brakes when slowing down after about 25 mph, but it's not constant. About 2 or 3 per second. I cleaned the pulse sensor and the hole it goes in and there's no visible damage. I'll check the resistance to the sensor today, but I'm betting my symptoms are related. It could have been the 20 mins with a slide hammer on the hub that did it in... should have unhooked it (it's all in the details).

Just wondering if you have any thoughts on my problems or experienced them yourself...
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm635 View Post
...... I cannot really describe the feeling in words, but this is something that should be done on every E39 with over 60K miles, and maybe less in some cases.....
Michel,

I have 102K on my 1998 528i 5sp, not a single noise from the rear. From speaking with bmw mechanics and volvo rwd (they don't make rwd any more), the REAR wheel bearing, if driven conservatively (no huge potholes etc.) last about 200K or more.

Personally I think 60K is way premature to replace the Rear bearing.

Of course, if one is itchy with his hands, then replace the REAR bearings.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:32 PM
johnnnykoool johnnnykoool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnnykoool View Post
Great thread! You definitely did your homework. Maybe when I have some more $$ I'll work on the suspension.

I recently did a rear-bearing overhaul on my 01 525i, manual trans. Actually, after a 12 hour day of hammering and cussing, I only got to one on the driver's side. It was definitely shot, lots of pitting on the inner and outer braces, bearings where falling out and broken.

Now, my car tends to 'bounce/lunge' in 1st and 2nd gear when decelerating (no braking) like there's a rubber band tied to the rear of the car. The car used to do this just a little bit but only when I was careless with the clutch. It's a similar feeling. Have you experienced anything like this? Maybe it's a spline alignment issue? I can't see why the spline alignment with the bearing would make a difference since the wheel is free to spin. Bad u-joint maybe?

I also get an ABS pulse in the brakes when slowing down after about 25 mph, but it's not constant. About 2 or 3 per second. I cleaned the pulse sensor and the hole it goes in and there's no visible damage. I'll check the resistance to the sensor today, but I'm betting my symptoms are related. It could have been the 20 mins with a slide hammer on the hub that did it in... should have unhooked it (it's all in the details).

Just wondering if you have any thoughts on my problems or experienced them yourself...
Guess I jumped the gun on all those questions... I just took out the sensor and thoroughly cleaned the hole it goes in with 3M carb cleaner (against my better judgment with the plastic, I gave it 15 mins and spun the shaft a few times to let the carb cleaner evaporate). Also used some 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper on the sensor end which was slightly marred. Looking in the hole as I turned the hub, I could see some marring and some plastic rubbings on the cv shaft ring that the sensor reads from. I carefully used a flat-blade screwdriver to clean the shaft up a bit and remove the grime, plastic, etc., followed by some more carb cleaner. Everything works great now, no ABS grinding, no lugging either, which is an interesting side effect. I think the lugging was the ABS system compensating for the information from that sensor which it deemed accurate. It might also explain why it was only at low speed, <30 mph.

Lesson learned: If you do this job, invest in some good carb cleaner and treat that sensor and CV shaft rim like a fine lady; don't be too rough with her. It could cost you some $$ and a$$ pain to redo these suckers. Definitely clean the shaft up thoroughly and rub some fine sandpaper around the rim to knock down any nicks/scratches. It'll save you some do-over time in the long run.

Next up, the passenger side bearing! I'll get off your post now...
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:39 PM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Michel,

I have 102K on my 1998 528i 5sp, not a single noise from the rear. From speaking with bmw mechanics and volvo rwd (they don't make rwd any more), the REAR wheel bearing, if driven conservatively (no huge potholes etc.) last about 200K or more.

Personally I think 60K is way premature to replace the Rear bearing.

Of course, if one is itchy with his hands, then replace the REAR bearings.
My rear wheel bearings were shot - plain and simple. They were clicking on hard turns, especially when I drive through my parking garage and can hear it very well. My car drives so much tighter and does not have the loose feeling anymore. I replaced the wheel bearings on my E34 at 75K and they were in worse condition than these - you could hear the metal scraping loud and clear.

I find it hard to believe that you find it premature without even seeing my car in person. You are basing your opinion on a mechanics's theory, whereas I am speaking from present reality and experience over the years with a number of BMW's. You would definitely change your mind if you had my rear wheel bearings in your hands, experiencing the play for yourself. Many BMW mechanics will tell you the same thing about the Vanos, auto trannys, etc. There are many BMW mechanics I would never allow to touch my car.
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:53 PM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnnykoool View Post
Guess I jumped the gun on all those questions... I just took out the sensor and thoroughly cleaned the hole it goes in with 3M carb cleaner (against my better judgment with the plastic, I gave it 15 mins and spun the shaft a few times to let the carb cleaner evaporate). Also used some 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper on the sensor end which was slightly marred. Looking in the hole as I turned the hub, I could see some marring and some plastic rubbings on the cv shaft ring that the sensor reads from. I carefully used a flat-blade screwdriver to clean the shaft up a bit and remove the grime, plastic, etc., followed by some more carb cleaner. Everything works great now, no ABS grinding, no lugging either, which is an interesting side effect. I think the lugging was the ABS system compensating for the information from that sensor which it deemed accurate. It might also explain why it was only at low speed, <30 mph.

Lesson learned: If you do this job, invest in some good carb cleaner and treat that sensor and CV shaft rim like a fine lady; don't be too rough with her. It could cost you some $$ and a$$ pain to redo these suckers. Definitely clean the shaft up thoroughly and rub some fine sandpaper around the rim to knock down any nicks/scratches. It'll save you some do-over time in the long run.

Next up, the passenger side bearing! I'll get off your post now...
Good to see you have your issue resolved. The next one should not take as long since you know what is ahead of you.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:52 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 hamster w/ pin-wheel
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm635 View Post
My rear wheel bearings were shot - plain and simple. They were clicking on hard turns, especially when I drive through my parking garage and can hear it very well. My car drives so much tighter and does not have the loose feeling anymore. I replaced the wheel bearings on my E34 at 75K and they were in worse condition than these - you could hear the metal scraping loud and clear.

I find it hard to believe that you find it premature without even seeing my car in person. You are basing your opinion on a mechanics's theory, whereas I am speaking from present reality and experience over the years with a number of BMW's. You would definitely change your mind if you had my rear wheel bearings in your hands, experiencing the play for yourself. Many BMW mechanics will tell you the same thing about the Vanos, auto trannys, etc. There are many BMW mechanics I would never allow to touch my car.
+1!
The non-disputing fact that that mmm635's bearings were bad in his hand should be enough IMO.
Just because a mechanic says something, doesn't mean it is law IMO.
It is better to find out, and fix the thing before it gets crazy bad.

IMO, I am betting that the majority of the wheel bearings on E39's are toast around 60-75k miles, but it is too hard to tell if they are bad until you remove the bearings and inspect them.
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 05-04-2009 at 11:59 AM.
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  #15  
Old 05-03-2009, 05:15 AM
denice25 denice25 is offline
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cool info.... thanks...
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  #16  
Old 05-03-2009, 02:16 PM
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SoonerE39 SoonerE39 is offline
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Great write up and timely for me as I just noticed the grinding noise in the left rear today.
125,000 Miles
However, I found another thread that made me question if the issue could be the swing arm ball joints. (see this thread http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=wheel+bearing ). While this thread makes me second guess wheel bearing because the symptoms sound the same, I still tend to believe wheel bearing is my issue.

Does this sound like wheel bearing to you:
metal grinding noise (left rear corner) only when moving
Sound is steady when moving strait, stronger with left turns and non-existant with right turns
I jacked up the lft rear corner and spin the wheel by hand and can clearly hear the grinding and wheel turns with some difficulty.
no squeek/sound when getting in and out.

Agree that this is wheel bearing? I just want to make sure before I throw parts at it.
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Last edited by SoonerE39; 05-03-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-03-2009, 06:32 PM
franka franka is offline
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I'm over 221K miles on my 540/6 and have no wheel bearing problems. At least that I know of. I understand bearings so I would be surprised if I had a bad one.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:35 PM
franka franka is offline
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[QUOTE=SoonerE39;4147927]While this thread makes me second guess wheel bearing because the symptoms sound the same, I still tend to believe wheel bearing is my issue.

Does this sound like wheel bearing to you:QUOTE]

Yes it sounds like a bearing but it could be just the bolts holding the wheel to the hub are loose.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:58 PM
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[QUOTE=franka;4148524]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerE39 View Post
While this thread makes me second guess wheel bearing because the symptoms sound the same, I still tend to believe wheel bearing is my issue.

Does this sound like wheel bearing to you:QUOTE]

Yes it sounds like a bearing but it could be just the bolts holding the wheel to the hub are loose.
Torqued to 80 Ft/lbs. Just double checked.
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  #20  
Old 05-03-2009, 10:26 PM
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FAQ worthy material here...
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  #21  
Old 05-05-2009, 10:32 AM
kowaco kowaco is offline
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Great write up Thanks
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  #22  
Old 05-24-2009, 01:10 PM
BosBmw540 BosBmw540 is offline
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Michel,

How did you gain access to the 4 bolts that hold the wheel bearing on the knuckle? Did you take off bearing/hub assembly first or just pull off half way, then you unscrew the 4 bolts?

There is no way for me get access to the 4 bolds before I am trying to pull off the bearing/hub.

Thanks,
John
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  #23  
Old 08-25-2009, 09:54 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Thanks for the brilliant DIY.

I just want to ask you if the following Tool from Harbor Freight is good enough for the REAR Wheel Bearing Job:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=66829
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  #24  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:46 PM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Thanks for the brilliant DIY.

I just want to ask you if the following Tool from Harbor Freight is good enough for the REAR Wheel Bearing Job:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=66829
Hey CN90...from the looks of it, I don't see how that set will benefit you for the rear bearing job. The only two specialized tools that are necessary for the job are the Hydraulic puller to remove the bearing/hub assembly from the car and the race removal tool referenced in the first post (http://picasaweb.google.com/mmm525i/...66431904606642). The race removal tool is well worth the money and eliminates the frustration of getting the inner race off of the hub. Others have beat on it with a hammer, used a cutting tool, and also a torch. In fact, I was getting an exhaust leak sealed up at a muffler shop on my Land Cruiser today and they were in the process of removing an inner race with torch for another vehicle. They basically melted one spot and were able to pull it off afterwards. Using a hammer or cutting tool is pretty risky unless you really know what you are doing. The inner race is on very tight and basically butted up against the larger part of the hub. One can easily screw up and cut into the hub if not careful.

BTW, the 12 ton hydraulic puller I purchased for $85 (on sale at the time) is only around $60 at HB.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:52 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Thanks Michel,

So this tool set you mentioned 14-Piece Gear Puller Set is the only tool set we need?
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=30305
Can you use this tool set to pull the hub-bearing assembly out, then using the same set to remove the INNER race from the Hub?
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