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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 04-03-2010, 07:05 PM
Meka Meka is offline
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Rear door vapor barrier leaking on floor board.

I have the rear door leak issue that seems to be very common with the 5 series BMWs.
I get a water in the rear floor mat area every time it rains.
I was gearing up to pull the rear door panels and reseal them.
Looking over the doors, mainly the bottoms I dont see where the water is meant to drain.
I dont see any drain holes. I thought perhaps there was a hole in the center of the two drain plugs located at the bottom of the door, but no.
So if my leak issue is the door panel needing to be resealed, how is the water to drain from the door?
Any advice on my leak issue would be great!
2003 525i Wagon
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2010, 05:13 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Rest assured the required drain holes are there. Pull the door panels and reseal the vapor barriers. When you have them loose, poor in a cup of water into the door and you will now know where the drain holes are.
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Ever wonder why 5 series electrical issues are common and complicated.. Spend time here and you will understand why. http://www.bmw-planet.com/diagrams/r...9new/index.htm
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2010, 06:15 AM
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Hooray! Hooray! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtxragtop View Post
Rest assured the required drain holes are there. Pull the door panels and reseal the vapor barriers. When you have them loose, poor in a cup of water into the door and you will now know where the drain holes are.
Great link to bmw-planet in your signature... never been there before, LOTS of good information and yes, e39's are complicated but nothing compared to the newer 5-series. I think we have the last DIY BMW, now they are electro this, adaptive that, computerized this, variable that... no fixing them without alot of $$$ and dealer tools. Long live the e39!
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2010, 06:24 PM
ctxspy ctxspy is offline
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i had the leaking issue as well, though i caused it myself when i replaced my window regulator. I ended up buying "3m strip caulk" because the material i had on the door from the factory was not enough for me to get a good seal again, it having been moved around during multiple on-off cycles
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2010, 06:52 PM
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525isport 525isport is offline
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had the same prob not as bad though just re seal the barriers and your good as new
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2010, 09:15 PM
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severe530i severe530i is offline
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what tools are required to remove the door panels? anyone have a good DIY link?
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2010, 10:22 AM
Meka Meka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMneWbie-530I View Post
what tools are required to remove the door panels? anyone have a good DIY link?
This info. would be helpful for me as well.
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2010, 11:13 AM
kentd98 kentd98 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMneWbie-530I View Post
what tools are required to remove the door panels? anyone have a good DIY link?
In video form here:

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  #9  
Old 04-05-2010, 06:51 PM
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Cool... I need to do this in the next week or so, every rain storm I have to dry things out! : ( My rear regulators were replaced and they must not have sealed things up.
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2010, 08:22 PM
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severe530i severe530i is offline
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Thumbs up

[QUOTE=kentd98;5077521]In video form here:

Thanks, that's perfect.
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2010, 12:25 AM
Meka Meka is offline
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The video is VERY helpful! Thanks.
After watching the video it has me thinking. Should I replace my regulators while I have the door panels off.
For all I know they were replaced at sometime in the past. Perhaps thats why I have leaks.
I don't have any issues with my windows. But if the regulators are indeed a design flaw and often need to be replaced should I go ahead and do it before I seal up my doors?
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2010, 12:36 AM
kentd98 kentd98 is offline
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You're welcome on the video link!

As far as replacing a functioning part that will not lead to a breakdown on the road if it breaks, my advice is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"...but I'm lazy.
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2010, 05:41 AM
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severe530i severe530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentd98 View Post
You're welcome on the video link!

As far as replacing a functioning part that will not lead to a breakdown on the road if it breaks, my advice is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"...but I'm lazy.
I agree.
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2010, 06:07 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Vapor barrier repair = standard rite of passage ritual for E39ers*.



*one of many I might add.
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  #15  
Old 04-06-2010, 06:15 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMneWbie-530I View Post
what tools are required to remove the door panels? anyone have a good DIY link?
This is a very good DIY, basically Torx screwdriver and flat screw driver. Very detailed, and nice pictures:

http://public.fotki.com/stilljester/...por-barrier-r/

It basically boils down to this. If you think you will spend more than 2h playing around with this, then my suggestion is to d/c battery ground acble to prevent battery drain.

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  #16  
Old 04-08-2010, 04:43 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Anybody considered putting in a rear seat footwell sump pump. Probably will be more reliable than the rear door seal.
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  #17  
Old 04-08-2010, 06:43 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Originally Posted by gtxragtop View Post
Anybody considered putting in a rear seat footwell sump pump. Probably will be more reliable than the rear door seal.
Line it with plastic and stock it with trout.
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2010, 07:33 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Here's another DIY that will be helpful. It's for an M5 but procedure is the same.
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  #19  
Old 05-01-2010, 02:29 PM
hokiehigh hokiehigh is offline
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actually if you have rear sunshade, following the M5 DIY, there are few more steps involved to remove the sunscreen.
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2010, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
This is a very good DIY, basically Torx screwdriver and flat screw driver. Very detailed, and nice pictures:

http://public.fotki.com/stilljester/...por-barrier-r/

It basically boils down to this. If you think you will spend more than 2h playing around with this, then my suggestion is to d/c battery ground acble to prevent battery drain.

Is there a danger in disconnecting power 100% (both + and -) while you do this? I read you can scramble modules if you dont let them "go to sleep" for 16 minutes or so. Is that BS? I'm planning to de-sulfer my batter while I do it, right now it never gets back to green in the view port always black.
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  #21  
Old 05-23-2010, 01:08 PM
eob eob is offline
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cn90, this was a great help....it took about 40 minutes for the first door and only 20 minutes for the second door. Both vapor barriers were coming off and now resealed....crossing my fingers this will work. Great job....thank you very much. For anyone that is condsidering doing this job, with the help of CN90 it was a easy one.
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  #22  
Old 05-23-2010, 02:51 PM
sealbeach740 sealbeach740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
It basically boils down to this. If you think you will spend more than 2h playing around with this, then my suggestion is to d/c battery ground acble to prevent battery drain.
Why not just open whatever doors you'll need to have open to complete the vapor barrier project & then just hit the wider center light button (up by the rear view mirror, where the overhead interior lights are)? This will turn off all those lights (until you open another door...) & hence, no drain on the battery.
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  #23  
Old 05-26-2010, 06:57 PM
Rainman15 Rainman15 is offline
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My car has airbags in the back doors. Disconnecting the battery isn't just for saving the battery, its for saving my face and arms.
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  #24  
Old 04-25-2012, 10:40 AM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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I see several references to 5/16" x 15' is 3/8" ok? its slightly thicker. jyst dunt know if that will b a problem when I open her up
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  #25  
Old 04-25-2012, 11:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I see several references to 5/16" x 15' is 3/8" ok? its slightly thicker. jyst dunt know if that will b a problem when I open her up
3/8" or 1/4" butyl rope is fine.
Get it at local glass shop.
About $10-15 for a roll of 15 feet.

Here is my experience with window regulator:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=556902
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