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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 09-28-2010, 06:47 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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What typical tandem DIY repair jobs are COMBINED (while you're there)?

What DIY jobs would you combine in tandem (while you're there)?

One of the hardest things for me is the research that comes BEFORE doing a job, especially if something like an alternator blows up in the middle of the day and I have to rush to get the right set of parts (ask me how I know).

In my situation, I would have done the cooling system and the drive belt system along with the alternator, if I had only known what parts I would be removing that were common to both jobs.

Therefore, it would be helpful if we had, ahead of time, a list of typical recommendations for what jobs to COMBINE in tandem.

I'll make a starting list, but I would expect others to add value so that we can eventually summarize with a really good list of jobs to combine, while you're there.

Mostly from the parts list thread, here is the summary I have so far (please improve!):

- People recommend doing the cooling system & belt drive overhauls together as the parts removed are similar (with or w/o alternator).

- People recommend the power steering PS hose check/fix & oil filter housing (OFH) gasket check/fix while doing the belt-drive/charging system overhaul.

- People add spark-plug replacement when doing the VANOS seals as the same parts are removed (I think they also do the o-rings at the bottom of the oil dipstick at the same time).

- It's common to do the crankcase ventilation valve (CCV) all by itself but some recommend a valve cover gasket (VCG) replacement at the same time. I'm not sure, but I think they do the idle control valve (ICV) at the same time (please correct me if I'm wrong so we all benefit from the result).

- Brake pads, shoes, and sensors often have rotors done as part of a regular brake job (if needed), and most recommend a complete brake fluid flush just after rebedding the pads to the rotors.

- Whenever replacing the battery and battery vent and explosive charge, you can check/repair your trunk loom wiring at the same time.

- When doing an oil and filter change, replace the o-rings on the oil filter tube and even the leaky 0-ring on the power steering fluid reservoir to stop that nasty grimy leak at the top of the PS fluid reservoir.

- When polishing headlight covers, check/replace the crumbling plastic inner headlight adjusters if necessary.

- When replacing all four tires, consider having the alignment checked once the new tires are on and balanced.

- While installing the radio mount DICE Silverline, consider adding a 4-foot (3-foot is too short) AUX cable at the same time you're installing the DICE.

- Most recommend doing the entire thrust arm (e.g., using EACTuning Meyle HD) when there is a need to replace just the thrust arm bushings.

QUESTION:
What other tandom jobs would you combine (while you're there)?

Last edited by bluebee; 09-28-2010 at 06:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:48 PM
dansr dansr is offline
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Depending on the mileage you should consider replacing the font wheel hubs along with the pads and rotors.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2010, 09:18 PM
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When filling up with gas I also clean my front and rear windshield

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  #4  
Old 09-28-2010, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansr View Post
font wheel hubs
Hmmm... what do you mean by "hub".

Googling for "bmw wheel hub", it looks like a ~$100 part that only fits on the front axle. A bunch of hits refer to a "BMW Wheel Bearing Hub", so maybe its the bearing with the parts surrounding the bearing?

At the very least, it would seem to be a good idea to CHECK the wheel bearing (hub) when doing the brakes so that's a good find! Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyffer View Post
front and rear windshield
Not to mention checking about half the dozen fluids & tire pressure.

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  #5  
Old 09-28-2010, 10:14 PM
dansr dansr is offline
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Real OEM calls it a "Wheel hub with bearing" part number - 31221093427



Hope that helps.
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Redline MTL in tranny | Redline 75W90 in diff |
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Last edited by dansr; 09-28-2010 at 10:16 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2010, 03:49 AM
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This would be a worth while sticky. Just sayin'
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2010, 05:41 AM
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weasel like weasel like is offline
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When I did my cooling system (and my water pump, the second time...) I replaced all belts and tensioners as preventative maintenance. Generally any "system" like the SAS, AC, cooling, etc, should be replaced as a system for best results and less chance of an old part going bad and killing off the new parts.
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:13 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Bluebee--If your going to tackle the Vanos seals--the valve cover goes with that--if your cooling system needs updating--add that to the job--add the ccv valve and 4 hoses along with the oil filter housing gasket--by doing all of these at once you have the extra needed room to make the job easyier--once the cooing system has been removed then tackle the ccv and ofg--you will have to remove the throttlebody to get to the ccv--so clean the tb and idle control valve at the same time--On the front wheel hubs--stay away from that one
might be more than you need to tackle--thats a rough job for me with a good air compressor and impact wrenchs---I would also replace the 02 sensors and spark plugs when doing the vanos and all
Hope that helps
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:32 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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For those p[lanning to keep their cars, WRT to any front suspension work after 75K, I'd recommend doing what cnn recommends: Replace everything while your in there. That includes thrust arms, control arms, sway bar links, tie rods, and struts. While many components may not exhibit any symptoms of failure, everything (struts, ball joints, bushings, etc.) on the front end is worn. The difference in ride and handling is transformational. And you won't have to worry about any front suspension work for another 75K or so.

Maybe it was just me but my experience with the CCV was that that job was the biggest PITA. I would do that job solo unless you are removing something (e.g. intake manifold) to improve access.

WRT Vanos, have some vaccum tubing available as you will probably crack the old secondary air pump valve vacuum tube when moving it as everything rubber gets brittle over the exhaust manifold area. Wait til you break up pieces of your valve cover gasket in that area! If you're in there, you may as well replace the SAP valve as that is good preventive medicine for saving your pump. If that valve fails, the pump costs $300+.

Last edited by Fudman; 09-29-2010 at 07:39 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2010, 05:01 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Vanos seals ... valve cover ... cooling system ... ccv valve and 4 hoses ... oil filter housing gasket ... throttlebody ... idle control valve ... 02 sensors ... spark plugs
Wow. That's a BIG job!

- Vanos
- Cooling system
- VGC
- CCV
- 4 hoses
- OFH gasket
- throttlebody cleaning
- ICV
- O2 sensors
- spark plugs

It scares me just thinking about it ... but from the standpoint of "while you're already there", it seems to make sense.

We REALLY need to help others (like me) plan ahead on that biggie!

Quote:
Originally Posted by weasel like View Post
any "system" like the SAS, AC, cooling, etc, should be replaced as a system
Hmmmm.... we don't have the Secondary Air System (SAS) listed yet.

QUESTION:
What tandem job goes with the SAS system overhaul?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
thrust arms, control arms, sway bar links, tie rods, and struts.
Sounds like a good recommendation. Let's flesh it out so that I (and by definition, all dummies) can understand it.

I do not know suspension components well so I'm unsure if the "ball joints" are already covered in your list ... but how does this sound as tandom jobs?

- Thrust arm bushings (with the thrust arm already attached by EACTuning)
- Control arms (are the ball joints on the ends of these???)
- Sway bar links (is that the same as a 'sway bar'???)
- Tie rod ends (I think these have ball joints on the ends)
- Struts (are these the front shocks but not the springs???)

Is this just the list for the front?
What would the list for the rear be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
CCV ... I would do that job solo
You're the second person to say the CCV is so big of a job, to do it solo. So, we need to make note of that in the recommendations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Vanos...secondary air pump valve vacuum tube...valve cover gasket ...SAP valve
Is this your recommendation to do in tandem?
- VANOS
- SAS vacuum tube(s)?
- VCG
- SAP valve
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:26 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Hmmmm.... we don't have the Secondary Air System (SAS) listed yet.

QUESTION:
What tandem job goes with the SAS system overhaul?

The secondary air system consists of a pressure actuated check valve and an air pump. The valve opens up to allow the air pump to add air into the exhaust stream during cold startup. The two items are typically replaced in tandem as a valve failure usually leads to pump failure when exhaust gases condense inside the pump. Replacing the check valve is considered preventive maintenance for valve failure, as the valve is "only" about $70 but the pump is in excess of $300!

Sounds like a good recommendation. Let's flesh it out so that I (and by definition, all dummies) can understand it.

I do not know suspension components well so I'm unsure if the "ball joints" are already covered in your list ... but how does this sound as tandom jobs?

- Thrust arm bushings (with the thrust arm already attached by EACTuning) YES
- Control arms (are the ball joints on the ends of these???) YES
- Sway bar links (is that the same as a 'sway bar'???) No, they attach to the ends of the sway bars and support bracket
- Tie rod ends (I think these have ball joints on the ends) YES
- Struts (are these the front shocks but not the springs???) YES, struts are simply shocks that are used in a McPherson strut suspension systems. They have a threaded end rod instead of a bolt bracket

Is this just the list for the front? YES
What would the list for the rear be? Don't know, haven't done that yet



You're the second person to say the CCV is so big of a job, to do it solo. So, we need to make note of that in the recommendations.




Is this your recommendation to do in tandem?
- VANOS
- SAS vacuum tube(s)?
- VCG
- SAP valve
The VCG must be replaced when doing the Vanos unless it is reasonably new. The SAS vacuum tube should be available as I have broken 3 in the 4 Vanos jobs I have done. The SAP valve is only replaced as optional preventative maintenance.

Last edited by Fudman; 09-29-2010 at 07:28 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2010, 10:37 PM
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Based on this thread, when you need a new clutch, consider the following:

1. DMF - dual mass flywheel (yours may be OK but they are a wear item)
2. engine/crank rear main seal
3. trans input seal
4. trans guide tube (throwout bearing rides on there 24/7)
5. trans selector shaft seal
6. trans output seal
7. clutch slave cylinder
8. trans plastic pivot pin and spring
9. trans lever arm (moves throw out bearing - may be OK)
10. Make SURE he uses new pressure plate bolts (got mine from dealer)
11. exhaust gaskets and new copper/bronze nuts
12. New shift console bushings (you can do SSK later) and plastic washers
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2011, 08:48 PM
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For the record, Doru today posted PDFs of two complementary tandem jobs:
- Chain Guide replacement & Vanos repair DIY for M62/M62TU
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:17 PM
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Im about to tackle this combined job,
Valley pan
CCV
valve cover gaskets
and a few cooling system odd and ends that i didn't change yet. after this job every part in the cooling system that can fail has been replaced on my e39
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:54 AM
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Just a suggestion based on recent experience with my daughter's Civic. When changing a part that can affect engine performance (e.g. spark plugs, coils, O2 sensor, etc.), consider expending the extra effort to do each job individually rather than in tandem. If a problem occurs (such as reduced performance, bad idle, hesitation, stalling, etc.) , this will allow you to isolate the cause of a problem.

After I replaced her plugs and O2 sensor together last weekend, the car has a strange hesitation that only occurs immediately after startup (cold or warm). It feels like fuel starvation and always happens only once per startup during the first acceleration and then disappears. It does not recur until the next startup. So now I have to go back and troubleshoot. Which means putting back the old plugs and seeing if that's the cause and then putting back the old O2 sensor. A PITA. Oh well...
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:41 PM
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For the record, here are a suggested set of VANOS tandem jobs from this thread today:
- HELP with Vanos system. Don't wanna ruin my car

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
While-you're-there stuff: The valve cover gasket and spark plug seals, the spark plugs also.
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2011, 02:10 AM
hqstu hqstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyffer View Post
When filling up with gas I also clean my front and rear windshield
I add the third task of emptying my wallet for this series...
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  #18  
Old 06-21-2011, 04:56 PM
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GSA1 kindly helped premo421 do his VANOS seals last weekend in NY:
- Please help me!!.. Vanos seals install

He reports these 'expected' tandem jobs:
Quote:
He already had the Beisan seals, and a valve cover gasket and plugs. I told him to get fresh coolant, valve cover bolt grommets, new oil and filter, and new belts and come back on Sat AM.
And, these unexpected tandem jobs:
Quote:
when we dropped the belly pan, we found a tensioner pulley and ball bearings sittiing there ... We got to the fan bolt removal process and broke the hold down tool ... SO...I decided to remove the entire cooling system from the car at the water pump. SO... I did the vanos seals, changed the plugs, changed the tensioner and belts, replaced the Intake side CPS (more sbout this later), and checked the throttle body boot for leaks.put back the coils and cooling system hoses. The shroud he had was held together with zip ties and no rivets or brackets. So I donated my old shroud ...
But that's not all:
Quote:
about the "New" CPS I just put in...Guess what, it's a Chinese-made piece of cr**

I pull the code...yes, CPS. He xplains to me that he was getting intermittent CELs, so he bought a CPS. Long story shory, I change the CPS back out. Now the car runs perfectly!!
And, yet another job in waiting:
Quote:
I found the Secondary Air Pump hose separated into 2 pieces.

Last edited by bluebee; 06-21-2011 at 04:59 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-21-2011, 06:01 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Im planning on replacing coilpacks when I replace the spark plugs. Wiper blades and fuild.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
GSA1 kindly helped premo421 do his VANOS seals last weekend in NY:
- Please help me!!.. Vanos seals install

He reports these 'expected' tandem jobs:
And, these unexpected tandem jobs:
But that's not all:
And, yet another job in waiting:

I ordered a CPS to keep around for back up, I got the Febi CPS and it was made in chine CRAP! The little rubber gasket was missing, and the pins in the connector were all F$#&ked up. Loose! I returned it and got the original BMW sensor. Unbelievable how much better the quality was,
Crappy CPS
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:33 PM
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nyclad nyclad is offline
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Oil pan gasket DIY, if you lower the subframe like I did, you might as well do the engine mounts since you simply have to undo the bolts and pick them right out. You put the new engine mounts in and bolt them on when you raise the subframe back in place.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...118&highlight=

Last edited by nyclad; 06-21-2011 at 11:35 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:37 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I belatedly realized the problematic DISA valve isn't listed in this thread yet.

As Doru mentions in this thread today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Broken DISA Valve

The DISA valve (which is easy to remove) should be visually 'inspected' whenever you have the airbox out of the car (or at the 85K-90K mile point).

This airbox-removal corresponds, I think, to most alternator repairs, and perhaps also most cooling system and belt-drive overhauls.

So, moving forward, I'll try to remember to recommend the DISA removal with all those jobs.

What other repairs necessitate airbox removal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
I replaced my DISA valve when I did the cooling overhaul.
I had +/- 89 k miles (143,xxx Km). To replace it it's a piece of cake. Literally. The "biggest job" is to remove the air box to have room, other than that, take the rubber boots off and unscrew the DISA.
I had some whirring noises, which disappeared after I changed the DISA. When I pulled it out, the top steel pin was loose - halfway out. The flapper also had 1/4" play at the beginning of the turn (when opening the valve) - very easy to open that 1/4" if you will. then, it was tighter, just like the new valve.
The reason I asked for the mileage is that I looked on various forums to see what other people experience was with the DISA. It seemed that lots of people experienced trouble after the 100 k Miles mark. I was close to 90k, and the DISA didn't look very good. Maybe the "cutoff" is around 85-90 k miles for this part?
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2011, 10:50 AM
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For the crosslinked record, today it was asked what tandem jobs to do when replacing the engine:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Replacing engine

Quote:
- Necessary suspension components
- Motor and transmission mounts
- CCV & hoses
- Cooling system components
- Belt drive system components
- Clutch (if warranted)
- ?What else?
EDIT: Fudman replied:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
If you are replacing the CCV, you should also replace the hoses. Just blow the dipstick tube clean.
If you are replacing the radiator and water pump, you should also do the expansion tank, fan clutch, various pulleys and belts.
If you are redoing the front suspension, you should consider replacing the struts, thrust arms, sway bar links and tie rods.
If you're replacing the engine, replace your Vanos seals.

Last edited by bluebee; 07-25-2011 at 11:15 AM.
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2011, 10:53 PM
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Just another vote (by Fudman in this case) over here today for doing the I6 VANOS and VCG at the same time:
- Did my valve cover gaskets and spark plugs today! wow that was a pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
For the I6, the Beisan DIY procedure has everything you need to know. And since you're 80% there, you may as well do your I6 Vanos seals too.
Quote:
It looks like people suggest the following along with a VCG replacement:
  • plugs replacement (mpower997)
  • I6 vanos seals replacement (poolman) or V8 valley pan gasket (Whorse)
  • ccv & hose replacement (poolman)
  • icv cleaning (poolman)
  • o2 sensor replacement (poolman)
  • ofh gasket (poolman)
  • throttlebody cleaning (poolman)
  • sap valve & hoses (fudman)
  • cooling system & hoses (poolman)

Last edited by bluebee; 07-31-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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  #25  
Old 08-05-2011, 01:05 PM
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For the record, edjack suggested in this thread today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Is this a good deal for a 540i motor?

The following items to replace along with a new engine:
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post

Before they install the engine, consider having them replace the CCV valve, the following gaskets: valve cover, upper timing chain covers (intake manifold?); water pump, t'stat, engine mounts.

While they have the upper timing case open, ask them to inspect what they can see of the chain guides.

Can anyone add to this list?
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