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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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  #51  
Old 05-28-2010, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The best thing to do is to have a stock of 4-5 Mann or Mahle filters at home all the time.
Now that I've seen the shredded Fram filter, I can't agree more with you.

How does this recommendation-in-a-picture look to you?

Yes, I know only Mobil1 0W40 is LL-01 approved; but I use this criteria for selecting which motor oil to buy.

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  #52  
Old 05-28-2010, 01:23 PM
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Yet another "mistake" they don't warn you about in the fictionalized DIYs (which are only loosely based on the true story), is that the oil shoots out about a foot away from where you "think" it will land.

This necessitates a frantic re-fit of the drain pan ... or pans in my case.

BTW, what do you guys use for oil catch pans?

I had to stack two triangular oil pans on top of each other to gather up all 7 liters of old oil (at least the Motive oil extractor contained all the oil in one bucket).

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  #53  
Old 05-28-2010, 01:57 PM
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Oh, Another trick I forgot to share with everyone is when the drain plug is about to come out, do NOT remove it completely but rather hold it against the oil pan and bevel it up maybe 45 degrees or so. This way oil does not gush out.
Also, this way you have more control of the oil flow, not like BP is doing in the Gulf LOL!
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  #54  
Old 05-28-2010, 02:07 PM
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All torque wrenches are less accurate at the lowest end of their scale. Generally they retain accuracy only in the upper 80% of their range. I mostly own "mid range" priced tools, but when it comes to torque wrenches I bought a good one. I have a Utica Tools wrench...they sell for $300 to $400. These are "click" sensing wrenches and come with a certificate of accuracy of +-4%. Bluebee, your wrenches 'may" be fine, or may not be, the only way to tell is to start out by having them tested. Then periodically (perhaps every 3 or 4 years with occasional home use), have them retested. Again, for most use, you will need two torque wrenches, a 1/2" for lug bolts, and a 3/8" (rated in inch/lbs) for smaller fasteners. As previously mentioned, you must alway return the dial to "0" on a clicker wrench to relax the spring, and maintain calibration. Also, never drop the wrench.

One tip....All Costco tire centers have a torque measuring device, as they are required to test, and log the accuracy of all their torque wrenches monthly. Get friendly with your local Costco tire center manager (bring a couple dozen donuts ) and I bet they might check yours for free when they are not busy.
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  #55  
Old 05-28-2010, 02:13 PM
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...I should have known it was going to be the worst oil change in my life when I drove up and then right over the ramps, hanging on the other side, unable to move forward or backward!

A trick to avoid driving "over the cliff" when using ramp, whether it is wood or steel ramp:
- Drive the car until the front tires just barely touch the ramps, stop the car!
- Measure the distance the car needs to go to get to the top of the ramps, let's say it needs to go another 24".
- Get 2 large bricks (or 4x4 lumber) and place them roughly 22" in front of the REAR tires. These large bricks will stop the car from moving further.
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  #56  
Old 05-28-2010, 02:21 PM
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That is a damn good idea...I used to use a "spotter", but that is not always possible or convenient...
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  #57  
Old 05-28-2010, 02:54 PM
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In high school auto shop we were told that torque wrenches didn't need to be so precise. When you are torquing a head down it's more critical that all the bolts are the same torque and in the correct pattern. I believe even H.F. wrenches will get you close enough to the proper torque without the fear of under or over tightening. It just takes the guess work out of tightening fasteners since not everyone will apply the same torque without a torque wrench. I've been working on engines of all types and sizes for nearly 30 years and haven't had an issue caused by improper torque.
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  #58  
Old 05-28-2010, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TemporarySanity View Post
In high school auto shop we were told that torque wrenches didn't need to be so precise. When you are torquing a head down it's more critical that all the bolts are the same torque and in the correct pattern. I believe even H.F. wrenches will get you close enough to the proper torque without the fear of under or over tightening. It just takes the guess work out of tightening fasteners since not everyone will apply the same torque without a torque wrench. I've been working on engines of all types and sizes for nearly 30 years and haven't had an issue caused by improper torque.
True that, but there is a good reason to calibrate...what if your wrench is off and the lug bolts are too loose? Or, in the case of a service tech friend, someone used/abused his torque wrench and he found out after cracking the block on a couple VW engine blocks because he was over tightening the head bolts, since his wrench was way out of spec?
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  #59  
Old 05-28-2010, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
All Costco tire centers have a torque measuring device
That's a great idea! I'll try it with my three torque wrenches and report back. I was going to test them against each other on a two-headed bolt otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
These large bricks will stop the car from moving further.
Another great idea. Especially since I didn't have a "spotter" to help out visually where the tires were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
bevel it up maybe 45 degrees or so
Yet again! Now you tell me all the good stuff!

My oil "gusher" caught me by surprise as it missed the catch pan completely!

That stuff must be pressurized or something ... it wants out that badly!

It didn't help that I was taking pictures the whole time ...


Last edited by bluebee; 05-28-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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  #60  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:24 PM
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BTW, I have a question about 4 small O-rings related to oil changes.

First question:
I realize that these little 7.0mm ID x 2.5mm thick O-rings last 75K to 100K miles ... but ...

How do I tell if MINE specifically are worn or OK?

Is there a measurement I can do with the calipers?

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  #61  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:45 PM
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Second question:

Does anyone (typically) replace the two 9mm ID x 2.2 mm thick o-rings in the dipstick top and/or the one 19.5mm ID x 3mm thick o-ring in the dipstick bottom?

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  #62  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:59 PM
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The dipstick O-rings in my car are still original.

But for the sake of simplicity, at 90 cents/each, replace all 4 tiny O-rings you mentioned (2 on oil filter cap and 2 on dipstick) every 5-6yr/50-60K.

Bluebee, I usually keep all the good stuff until the end, pretty much like a movie...LMAO!!!

PS: The O-ring at the very bottom of the dipstick housing: leave it alone until you do the CCV job.
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  #63  
Old 05-29-2010, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The dipstick O-rings in my car are still original.

But for the sake of simplicity, at 90 cents/each, replace all 4 tiny O-rings you mentioned (2 on oil filter cap and 2 on dipstick) every 5-6yr/50-60K.

Bluebee, I usually keep all the good stuff until the end, pretty much like a movie...LMAO!!!

PS: The O-ring at the very bottom of the dipstick housing: leave it alone until you do the CCV job.
+1. I changed the o-rings on my dipstick a couple years ago, just for the heck it, they are cheap. As far as the oil filter cap (540s don't have these o-rings) I would simply do it as a precautionary thing, again, they are cheap and easy to swap, so why not?

I would not mess with the dip stick o-ring unless it is actively leaking or weeping. That is one of those, "don't fix, if it ain't broke" items by my estimation.
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  #64  
Old 05-29-2010, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Second question:

Does anyone (typically) replace the two 9mm ID x 2.2 mm thick o-rings in the dipstick top and/or the one 19.5mm ID x 3mm thick o-ring in the dipstick bottom?

Replace them ALL your first oil change, I bought an entirely new dipstick ($12 with CCA discount at dealer), wanted that "new" look under the hood and a nice bright red new dipstick does the trick and came with the two o-rings to boot.

I think there are five o-rings to do, 2 on the oil filter "holder", one on the cap and two on the dipstick. Cheap insurance...

On the ramps, I just bought 12,000 lb. Rhino Ramps are Pep-Boys, they have a nice tall lip at the front to prevent drive overs... throw those yellow death ramps away before you kill yourself. Those old style folding, have the center wire "support" should be outlawed, the new Rhino-type solid plastic are the way to go or solid wood works too.
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  #65  
Old 05-29-2010, 07:50 AM
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Rhino Ramps have their share of problems too.

Wood ramps for me the last 25 years.
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  #66  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
True that, but there is a good reason to calibrate...what if your wrench is off and the lug bolts are too loose? Or, in the case of a service tech friend, someone used/abused his torque wrench and he found out after cracking the block on a couple VW engine blocks because he was over tightening the head bolts, since his wrench was way out of spec?
I have no idea how that's even possible. The torque on a head bolt is just a jointing torque, say 30 ft lbs or so. The final torque is with a torque angle gauge. Torque wrenches are overrated by most people anyway. I guess it's fine for people who don't wrench much, and want to take the safe approach. I'm a BMW tech by trade, and hardly EVER use a torque wrench. I don't know any tech that does. They are way too slow and unnecessary 95% of the time. On things like headgaskets, of course I would use one. But on most other stuff, no way. You'd waste too much time and make no money. Once you get the feel of how the bolts should feel, you don't really need one.
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  #67  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:44 AM
xraye39 xraye39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
That mallet-tap 3/4 turn after the oil pan drain bolt is hand tightened is probably a good idea.

But, at least on my 2002 525i, the oil pan design seems to preclude the use of a box or crescent wrench (see pic below). Do you think they designed it that way on purpose?

The only wrench I could get in there was a socket wrench.

Bluebee,

Your nuking this stuff. If wrench won't fit use socket, it's that simple. There is no pressure behind the oil pan drain bolt, lightly tightening with a wrench/ratchet so that it snugs up on the crush washer is all that is needed. I never use a torque wrench for oil pan plug and have never stripped one out.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't know whether to laugh, cry or just marvel at your persistence.

I am honestly concerned about your safety, you sound like an intelligent individual however hands on mechanics does have some risks, intelligence does not directly correlate to mechanical ability. My brother in law has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering but you wouldn t want him anywhere near your car. It is clear from your posts that you have rarely used mechanic tools before and it is great that you are learning, I would just hate to see get seriously injured. You need to apply some ORM when working around cars. You are fortunate that you did not injure yourself or someone else by driving off the ramps.

A friend of mine who flys fighter jets just cut off his finger by working on his engine while it was running by having his hand pulled into pulley by the tips of his gloves. You would think he would have paid more attention but apparenty not.

Do you have any mechanically inclined friends that can walk you through some of these procedures?
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  #68  
Old 05-29-2010, 10:33 AM
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1+,

xray I agree that safety is #1 priority when fixing cars.
It is a beautiful Saturday here so I am working on some pics for an easy DIY oil change for everyone to enjoy.
All details will be mentioned.
Stay tuned.
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  #69  
Old 05-29-2010, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan M View Post
I have no idea how that's even possible. The torque on a head bolt is just a jointing torque, say 30 ft lbs or so. The final torque is with a torque angle gauge. Torque wrenches are overrated by most people anyway. I guess it's fine for people who don't wrench much, and want to take the safe approach. I'm a BMW tech by trade, and hardly EVER use a torque wrench. I don't know any tech that does. They are way too slow and unnecessary 95% of the time. On things like headgaskets, of course I would use one. But on most other stuff, no way. You'd waste too much time and make no money. Once you get the feel of how the bolts should feel, you don't really need one.
True that, you have a calibrated feel.....the rest of us DIYers need a torque wrench to prevent our screwing stuff up.
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
My oil "gusher" caught me by surprise as it missed the catch pan completely!

That stuff must be pressurized or something ... it wants out that badly!
I don't know if it was mentioned before, but that reminded me: Before removing the drain plug, open the filter house, lift the filter up a few inches out, and then put it back and rest 30 degrees diagonally in it's place to let the filter drain down completely. I let the filter sit there for some 15 minutes. It also gives it some time to cool down for more comfortable handling.

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  #71  
Old 05-29-2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraye39 View Post
You need to apply some ORM when working around cars.
ORM? (It's not in the BMW E39 glossary)

Quote:
Do you have any mechanically inclined friends that can walk you through some of these procedures?
Sure! You guys are my (virtual) friends who help me (online).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
the rest of us DIYers need a torque wrench to prevent our screwing stuff up.
And some of us DIYers screw things up, even with a torque wrench!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I am working on some pics for an easy DIY oil change for everyone to enjoy
Can't wait to see it; below is a picture summary of the tools & parts required from mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
I let the filter sit there for some 15 minutes
Sounds like a good thing to add to the step-by-step DIYs!

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  #72  
Old 05-29-2010, 02:06 PM
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Here it goes bluebee. I just posted the DIY here and "borrowed" a pic from your post for educational purpose.

DIY: E39 Changing engine oil made simple (how to do it in 30 minutes and not crying!)
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=459141
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  #73  
Old 05-29-2010, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
"borrowed" a pic from your post for educational purpose.
I'll take a look. You're welcome to borrow pics as the intent is to edify.

I hope it covers the very last step (see below)...

Which is the correct orientation for the oil-filler plug!

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  #74  
Old 05-29-2010, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I'll take a look. You're welcome to borrow pics as the intent is to edify.

I hope it covers the very last step (see below)...

Which is the correct orientation for the oil-filler plug!

It doesn't matter
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  #75  
Old 05-29-2010, 08:49 PM
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It doesn't matter
Actually, it does ... to me ... the oil-filler-cap lettering has to line up in the same direction as the BMW stamped on the engine!

BTW, when I took the oil-filter-cap o-ring off, I didn't notice where it lay; so when I put the new o-ring on, I wasn't sure if it was supposed to lie up near the lip of the cap or lower down.

I bimmergoogled and found in cn90's photos that it lies further down; so, a hint for others is that the o-ring should sit next to the slot cut in the threads. I used a jewelers screwdriver, slid into that slot, to pry up the old flattened oil filter cap o-ring ... but I wonder ... since nobody on bimmerfest has ever (to my knowledge) mentioned this ready-made slot ...

Does anyone know what that slot is actually used for? (see photo below).

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