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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 06-30-2010, 08:29 AM
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What are the pros/cons of the various BMW E39 replacement water pumps?

What are the pros/cons of the various BMW E39 replacement water pumps?

I'll start with an overall summary (based purely on Internet research) but I don't profess this keyboard list to be accurate (until vetted by you guys).

I think these are the fundamental options:
a) water pump, paper gasket, & rubber o ring with composite impeller (OE & OEM & OES & OES Replacement)
b) water pump, paper gasket, & rubber o ring with metal impellers (Aftermarket)

Are these the known suppliers? What are the pros/cons of each?

BMW E39 Water Pump Suppliers:
--- top tier (I think) ---
1. Stewart EMP (some say they beef up the bearings to handle the metal)
2. Hepu (Cam like's em but I don't know much about 'em)
3. Geba (heavy cast metal impeller, bearings sometimes fail)
4. Graf welded steel impeller (better but also occasional bearing failure)
5. GMB (I think this is OE with composite plastic impellers???)
--- lower tier (I think) ---
6. Hella (I think this is OEM with composite plastic impellers)
7. Bosch (I don't know of any users who reported back on these)
8. Beck Arnley (they sell 'em but I don't know anyone using them)
9. Airtex (again, they sell 'em, but we'd have to hear from users first)
10. AC Delco (same as the last two above, they sell 'em)
11. A1 Cardone (they sell 'em, don't know much about 'em)
12. ??? please correct this list as needed so we all benefit ???

Last edited by bluebee; 07-02-2010 at 11:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:37 AM
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I got my water pump at AutohausAZ. It was the EMP/Stewart high performance pump with metal impeller. Theoretically lasting longer and it has a lifetime warranty. I felt the few extra $$ were justified for peace of mind and so far so good about almost 20k on it. Anything to prolong doing another cooling overhaul anytime soon.
--

BMW High Performance Water Pump

The BMW High Performance Water Pump is a direct replacement pump designed to fit a wide range of BMW engines with no modifications. That includes accepting the Factory Fan Clutch. The front of the BMW High Performance Water Pump is stock appearing giving it that classic BMW look while the back is all business.

* Up to 20% increase of water flow over stock pump
* Twice as efficient as factory pump
* Much less parasitic drag than other pumps
* Racing or Stock Factory Replacement applications
* Stainless steel impeller
* Heavy duty bearing
* High quality water seal

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Old 06-30-2010, 10:20 AM
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This is a very timely posting, Donna! I'm in the throes of overhauling my cooling system (previous owner never did anything, even the belts are original; 139K miles so far) and I had the very same questions. I've been leaning toward the EMP/Stewart so I will take Mack's advice and include this on my list of parts to get. Thanks to you both!
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:49 AM
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did some research and ended up with a HEPU for performance and price. stock with metal impellar should be ok too.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by menhir View Post
I'm in the throes of overhauling my cooling system
Me too. I can do the research, but, what's killing me is I can't make decisions easily. I need overwhelming advice either way ... whenever it's in the middle of the road ... I freeze like a deer caught on the middle stripe at night!

This link might be useful:
EMP Stewart Components + Expansion Tank + Coolant Change + Tensioners DIY
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:54 PM
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I put an OES (Original Equipment Supplier) water pump in. Out came a composite with 96K miles and in went the same thing. My thinking is that a composite pump impellers can be held to much tighter tolerances than a metal or cast one. So efficiency should be better.

Now if I was to use EVANS NPG+ in MA with -20F temps in the winter, I would have used a metal one so that there is no chance of breakage pumping slush around until it warms up.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:01 PM
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Because stock BMW cooling parts are world renown for their quality. Blubeee do yourself a favor and get the EMP/Stewart HP
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:52 PM
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Bimmer magazine also recommends the EMP Stewart, FWIW, and that's what I bought.

I just killed my wallet by buying all the other necessary cooling system parts, closely following all the advice on this board, shopping several vendors, saving some $$ here, spending a little more $$ there... very time consuming process (Bluebee, I was also afraid to make the wrong choices but I feel good knowing I did my best) and now I'm overly anxious to dig in. But, it's time for bed...
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:00 PM
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Oh thanks for this post...Nice list you have here man huh...This thraed will bevery informative...
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:13 AM
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Great thread on parts selection. Parts selection can be a tough decision for e39 owners. Especially since we have to replace so many parts!! How much better is "the best" and is it worth the extra cost. And with the e39, we have the good fortune to have a multitude of aftermarket choices (which is really a good thing) on almost every part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
Because stock BMW cooling parts are world renown for their quality. Blubeee do yourself a favor and get the EMP/Stewart HP
+1, Good Advice based on solid rationale!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
what's killing me is I can't make decisions easily. I need overwhelming advice either way
FWIW, here's how I prioritize my decision making when it comes to replacement parts for my e39:
1. If the part failure can kill my car (e.g. cooling system), it gets the best parts $$ can buy.
2. If the part failure means I have to redo the job later (e.g. thrust arm bushings), I'll strongly consider the better part depending on the extra cost & complexity of the job to avoid redoing it.
3. If the part means higher vehicle performance (e.g. shocks, tires, etc.), I'll consider it but in most cases will probably pass as I don't drive that fast anymore.

Others probably put performance at the top of the list but to each his own. For me, getting there is more important to me than getting there faster.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSA1 View Post
did some research and ended up with a HEPU for performance and price. stock with metal impellar should be ok too.
I have had HEPU Water Pump in my 1998 528i now for four (4) years, rock solid no issues.

I guess Graf is good too.

The Volvo people love HEPU. Just Google "Volvo forum Hepu".
Some of the threads supporting HEPU:

http://volvoforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8843
This came from a Volvo tech:
Quote:
That (HEPU) is what we use when we replace the water pumps. Never have any problems with them.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:45 AM
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Stewart is a way to go Got it in my both cars.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:50 AM
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IMHO, Stewart is expensive and a waste of money. Standard WP like HEPU or OEM easily lasts 80-100K miles.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:27 PM
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Buy a 540, then you don't have all of those water pump choices
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:27 PM
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Bluebee, I feel your pain when it comes to deciding on parts when there is more than 1 to pick from.. On this specific issue I have a small tidbit. At 120K, I replaced my original wp with a Bosch while dong a cooling system revamp. Two weeks later developed a leak that originated from the wp. Replaced it with the original that I took out and no leak. Now I have to do the job again at 200K, but at 160K the original BMW one is still running strong.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by occhis View Post
Bluebee, I feel your pain when it comes to deciding on parts when there is more than 1 to pick from.. On this specific issue I have a small tidbit. At 120K, I replaced my original wp with a Bosch while dong a cooling system revamp. Two weeks later developed a leak that originated from the wp. Replaced it with the original that I took out and no leak. Now I have to do the job again at 200K, but at 160K the original BMW one is still running strong.
At 160K, the original Wp lives on borrowed time!

Bosch strength is in sprak plugs, ECU etc. Now they get into the Water Pump market, it is another story.

For Water Pump, I have had HEPU now for 4 years, zero problems. Volvo people use HEPU alot and rock solid. My recommendation is do a cooling overhaul at 160K and change anything in there that is OEM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
At 160K, the original Wp lives on borrowed time!
Cam's cross reference on Stewart vs Hepu is here ...
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:06 PM
scott0357 scott0357 is offline
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Got the water pump from bavauto.com for $56 and now has 30k mi it. If it needs to be replaced every 100k mi, there's no need to spend $180-$200 on another brand. Chances are that the car won't last beyond the 200k mi mark without spending tons of money on repairs.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott0357 View Post
Got the water pump from bavauto.com for $56 and now has 30k mi it. If it needs to be replaced every 100k mi, there's no need to spend $180-$200 on another brand. Chances are that the car won't last beyond the 200k mi mark without spending tons of money on repairs.
This ONLY assuming you do all your own work and don't mind being stranded anywhere at inopportune times.

I'm not saying stock replacement parts are half-assed. But if you have the opportunity to replace them with better than OEM then why not do it? I guess I just don't understand your logic.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:04 AM
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Just a quick Follow-up, I am on my 5th year on HEPU water pump on my 1998 528i, zero issues.

You can get HEPU WP here, free shipping if order more than $49:
www.eeuroparts.com
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:07 PM
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just do not buy cheap ass water pumps from ebay!!

i learned the hard way, and now paid a lot of money ; i am running thermostat, clutch and water pump straight from the stealership; (the pump is rebuilt and has metallic propeller)
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
What are the pros/cons of the various BMW E39 replacement water pumps?
[/I]???
Thanks for the post BB - great comparison - bookmarked (in my own way)
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:04 PM
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I'm heading down a test-case path ... went with Stewart & NPG+ at 130K, all other stock/Behr stuff. I want to see the whole lower-pressure system go to 300K. Let ya'll know in about 8 years; earlier if fail.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Papabear426 View Post
went with Stewart & NPG+ at 130K, all other stock/Behr stuff.
Kudos to you.

I didn't have the guts to try this low-pressure experiment.

BTW, when you remove your old Behr/Heat expansion tank, can you slice it in half and let us know what it looks like inside for this thread?
- Request for another Behr expansion tank autopsy (1)
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:28 PM
Papabear426 Papabear426 is offline
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BTW, when you remove your old Behr/Heat expansion tank, can you slice it in half and let us know what it looks like inside for this thread?
- Request for another Behr expansion tank autopsy (1)
I would, but I had planned to keep it for emergency back-up; it was the radiator neck that forced this operation last August. Doh! wish I had autopsied it ... but long gone now.
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