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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 07-06-2010, 09:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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EMP Stewart Water Pump, read this!

http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/9528126-1.html

This is my point all along. For Water Pump, stick to:
- BMW OEM
- Graf
- HEPU (this is what I have used for 4 years)

IMHO, EMP Stewart Water Pump is a true waste of money.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2010, 09:27 AM
legitsnowe39 legitsnowe39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/9528126-1.html

This is my point all along. For Water Pump, stick to:
- BMW OEM
- Graf
- HEPU (this is what I have used for 4 years)

IMHO, EMP Stewart Water Pump is a true waste of money.
Thanks for the info.

I figure if you go BMW OEM nothing can go wrong (assuming a correct installation).
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2010, 09:46 AM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/9528126-1.html

This is my point all along. For Water Pump, stick to:
- BMW OEM
- Graf
- HEPU (this is what I have used for 4 years)

IMHO, EMP Stewart Water Pump is a true waste of money.
I think that is jumping the gun a bit, 1 reported failure on roadfly and 2 known in 8 months assuming emp was telling the truth? Granted no one knows out of how many from that time period the 2 failures account for but to assume its a bad product due to that.
I agree the pricing is high for what you get but any mechanical part regardless of price or quality is going to have a certain failure rate.
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Last edited by oembimmerparts; 07-06-2010 at 09:56 AM.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2010, 10:11 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Interesting...
Cnn-
What is your preferred WP?
Hepa, because it has no plastic?
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2010, 10:51 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I use "HEPU" water pump.
Four years later not a single issue.
As I mentioned before, the Volvo people have been using HEPU for a very long time, no issue.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2010, 11:41 AM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/9528126-1.html

This is my point all along. For Water Pump, stick to:
- BMW OEM
- Graf
- HEPU (this is what I have used for 4 years)

IMHO, EMP Stewart Water Pump is a true waste of money.
Sorry man, but that is not a definitive thread/post at all. First there was an indie involved, then there was a cracked pulley which is not part of the pump and most likely due to an earlier install error - go back to my first statement.

He did not post up any definitive findings from EMP on this matter - only their remarks to a failure in general, but not to this particular one since they have not disclosed the exact failure on this one yet. There is not enough info in the thread to start bashing EMP. I have had one for 40K on this car and had over 40k on my M3 (still going strong with many more miles now) and still going strong. They are quality pieces.

I find it hard to believe that you think they are a waste of money from reading lack of factual data on the internet, particularly that thread, and no first hand experience with them yourself.
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Last edited by mmm635; 07-06-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2010, 11:42 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Originally Posted by oembimmerparts View Post
I think that is jumping the gun a bit, 1 reported failure on roadfly and 2 known in 8 months assuming emp was telling the truth? Granted no one knows out of how many from that time period the 2 failures account for but to assume its a bad product due to that.
I agree the pricing is high for what you get but any mechanical part regardless of price or quality is going to have a certain failure rate.
Could be "jumping the gun", but if you as a customer are willing to pay double or more the price for a premium product (such as the EMP Stewart water pump or Zionsville radiator - which is like 4-5 times the price) to have the peace of mind not having to deal for certain issues as long as you will own the car, then every report of one of such failed "premium" parts is more than unsettling.
We, BMW and not only, owners are taken for a ride by the car manufacturers, buying a more costly car not necessary for luxury needs, but more likely for handling (performance) and "that German bulletproof prestige bulding know-how". Now, the parts manufacturers are doing the same it seems. See: Stewart and Zionsville. It is NOT acceptable to have a failure for a part that costs over 3 times more than an OEM or OE part (which OE replacement has also metallic impeller and costs only like 61 bux) or 5 times more for a radiator (OEM vs Zions), and having quite a few reported "premium" all-aluminum radiator failing due to cracked weld seams.
It's not acceptable to have premium parts or premium cars to be disposable.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2010, 12:06 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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mmm635,

EMP Stewart Water Pump: $195/each. How long does it last? Who knows?

HEPU water Pump: $65/each. In the Volvo world, HEPU WP easily runs into 180-200K lifespan range, no problems!

I know a good BMW aftermarket WP (Graf, Geba etc.) lasts about 90-130K miles. Good enough for me.
When I removed my BMW factory WP at 90K as preventive maintenance (nothing wrong with it), it had slight play in the bearing but absolutely no leak at all.

Although I have no direct experience with EMP Stewart Water Pump, for the price of $195, I think is a waste of money. For the same money, I can have 3 HEPU water pumps. Plus most of us here buy a car at let's say 80K miles and put another 100K miles on it (i.e. at 180K total) and move on.....Very rare to see a forum member here with more than 250K on the clock.

Anyway, at $65/each, I am sticking to HEPU WP. Plus every 80K or so (If I keep the car that long), I go back in that engine area to do a cooling overhaul, so the WP comes out every 80K anyway.

I look at WP in a way similar to spark plugs, they are disposable items after 80K miles.

Last edited by cn90; 07-06-2010 at 12:11 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2010, 12:18 PM
sferley sferley is offline
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Looking at EMP Stewart water pumps .. it doesn't seem any are being made for the V8's .. is the water pump still a major issue on the 540's? If one does need to get a replacement, what is the suggestion to the 540 people?
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2010, 12:23 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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EMP Stewart WP only available for 6-cyl engine.

For V8 look at BMW OEM or Graf ($135).
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2010, 01:37 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Currently, the top-three suggested water pumps are (from the BMW E39 glossary) ...

Water pump 123: (EMP/Stewart, Hepu, GMB)

Should I change that?

To what?
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2010, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oembimmerparts View Post
I think that is jumping the gun a bit, 1 reported failure on roadfly and 2 known in 8 months assuming emp was telling the truth? Granted no one knows out of how many from that time period the 2 failures account for but to assume its a bad product due to that.
I agree the pricing is high for what you get but any mechanical part regardless of price or quality is going to have a certain failure rate.

+1, it is hard to draw definitive conclusions regarding product quality based on such a small statistical sampling. On the other hand, we often assume that higher cost equals better quality or longer lifespan, which is not always the case. I appreciate it when people post this anecdotal information as each data point adds to the overall body of knowledge. Everyone should just draw their own conclusions regarding what this really means to them.

FWIW, I'm with Cam in that I plan to keep this car awhile and am planning to replace my cooling system, front suspension, CCV, etc. every 80-90K. As such, I'll go with the HEPU WP when the time comes.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2010, 05:16 PM
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I think I will put my money on the EMP water pump if it is going to give 20% more water flow to cool.
Cooler engine = cooler cooling parts = longer part life...
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2010, 07:28 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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anyone who has worked on these cars for any period of time will tell you the plastic pulleys literally fall apart with age. I have replaced many pulleys. I've seen a water pump pulley missing the entire rear lip save for one chunk. A member on bimmerforums just posted a pic of a water pump pulley that was cracked in half yet still was attached and working when he found it. It happens.

I think the EMP pumps are a really great product and are geared more towards the performance market such as the supercharged crowd. I've never processed a return on one.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2010, 07:31 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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A thought...

Though a good track record with the Hepu in the Volvo world is an indicator of quality, one must also consider that there can be certain design limits in BMW pumps that could limit the type and quality of bearings and seals used for BMW applications...I have no idea or not, but just a thought.

As far as Stewart, I would agree one failure is hardly a trend...regardless of the warranty. I got a "lifetime" warranty with my BMW oem alternator I had the dealer install several years ago...it includes free labor to replace too, but there is nothing special about the alternator, it is a rebuilt unit of what came with the car originally (Bosch).
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2010, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Though a good track record with the Hepu in the Volvo world is an indicator of quality, one must also consider that there can be certain design limits in BMW pumps that could limit the type and quality of bearings and seals used for BMW applications...I have no idea or not, but just a thought.

As far as Stewart, I would agree one failure is hardly a trend...regardless of the warranty. I got a "lifetime" warranty with my BMW oem alternator I had the dealer install several years ago...it includes free labor to replace too, but there is nothing special about the alternator, it is a rebuilt unit of what came with the car originally (Bosch).
And how much did that cost you total with labor and parts out the door? Just curious.
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[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
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  #17  
Old 07-06-2010, 09:23 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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And how much did that cost you total with labor and parts out the door? Just curious.
It was insane, but this is my "work car" so when it failed (4pm on a weekday) I needed it fixed pronto. Had AAA flat bed it right to the dealer, they had me all fixed up by the following afternoon, and take care of a few other things they found it needed as well (leaking power steering hoses, cracked thrust arm bushings). I believe that the alternator was right around $700 or so with my BMWCCA discount...labor was another $200 or there about. I made a few sarcastic remarks that "you must be damn proud of that alternator to charge that!" But am assured I will never have to buy another one...and as much as I drive the car, they will likely end up warranting it eventually. It failed at around 61k miles, and I am at 146k now...and I plan to keep the car a while more...

Basically I paid $300 more for a "lifetime" warranty that includes labor, if it ever needs replacing, with no deductible (factory Bosch rebuilt alternators for 540's run around $400 delivered. BMW also offers this lifetime warranty on shocks/struts, starters, mufflers, and water pumps (but only when a BMW dealer installs it).

Most people are not aware, but most other parts BMW sells include a 24 month/unlimited mileage warranty as well. And if the part needs replacement during the warranty, they cover labor for the dealership to replace it. I took them up on it when I bought a Homelink system and it failed about 8 months later. I bought it online from Pacific BMW in California, and simply took my car to BMW Seattle with the receipt and they had their technician inspect it, and confirm the problem, then promptly replaced it at no charge, labor included. They said this is the case for most any BMW part, and said to always save the receipt.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 07-07-2010 at 12:49 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-07-2010, 03:48 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark@EACTuning View Post
the plastic pulleys literally fall apart
Which components on the E39 have the plastic pulleys?
- Water pump?
- Alternator?
- Power steering pump?
- Crankshaft?
- Idler roller?
- Idler pulley?
- Main belt tensioner?
---
- A/C compressor?
- A/C belt tensioner?
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:07 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Which components on the E39 have the plastic pulleys?
- Water pump? plastic
- Alternator? metal
- Power steering pump? plastic
- Crankshaft? metal
- Idler roller?plastic
- Idler pulley? plastic
- Main belt tensioner? plastic
---
- A/C compressor? metal
- A/C belt tensioner? plastic
The idlers are plastic, they hold up a little better than the water pump pulley or power steering pulleys though. Different plastics for the idler pulleys. The material that the water pump and PS pulleys are made from is some sort of composite that gets brittle and crumbles over time.

In the picture below you will see a water pump pulley from a 1998 528i. Probably the original pulley to the car. Note the chunks missing from the one edge. This was an overheat waiting to happen and the car owner is very lucky she got the car to me before it failed, she was oblivious to anything going on under the hood.

Last edited by Mark@EAC; 07-07-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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  #20  
Old 07-07-2010, 09:11 PM
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My indy replaced my tensioner and idler pulley's on suspicion when I had my TMS pulley's installed. I didn't question it at all and they were very fair on pricing. And I figured at around 120k at the time it was much better safe than sorry. Great info as always Mark
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  #21  
Old 07-07-2010, 09:55 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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good quality metal pulleys at the water pump and PS pump are certainly a worthwhile upgrade in my book. I'd like a set for myself.
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  #22  
Old 07-07-2010, 09:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark@EACTuning View Post
- Water pump? plastic
- Alternator? metal
- Power steering pump? plastic
- Crankshaft? metal
- Idler roller?plastic
- Idler pulley? plastic
- Main belt tensioner? plastic
---
- A/C compressor? metal
- A/C belt tensioner? plastic
Oh my. That's a lot of plastic. I'm still working on my list of parts to replace when I do my belts and cooling system soon, so, I'll make sure to replace all those plastic pulleys. That's why I asked.

Thanks.
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  #23  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:04 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark@EACTuning View Post
good quality metal pulleys at the water pump and PS pump are certainly a worthwhile upgrade in my book. I'd like a set for myself.
Any luck finding metal pulleys replacements?
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  #24  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:44 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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Turner makes some, per Mack's info above.
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