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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 02-21-2011, 04:38 PM
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WagonTheDog WagonTheDog is offline
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Check my pulleys?

So, I'm finally getting into diagnosing MY source of this sound, captured in another thread here: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...913&highlight=

I figured I'd go for what's most accessible first, which would be the pulleys (see video below), and I read somewhere (most likely here) that if your pulleys are free spinning and sound dry, get rid of them.

Do these fit the description? They free spin somewhat, but very little sound...



Also, it appears I cannot replace just the pulley on the mechanical tensioner, I have to buy the whole unit, is that correct???: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...05&hg=11&fg=18

Any thoughts would be appreciated
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2011, 07:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonTheDog View Post
I read somewhere (most likely here) that if your pulleys are free spinning and sound dry, get rid of them.
Lots of good pulley-spinning references in the VERY best of E39 Links:
- Video of cold idle engine intermittent squeal (how to determine cause)?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonTheDog View Post
I cannot replace just the pulley on the mechanical tensioner
Everything you could possibly ask about the mechanical tensioners and the pulleys for it are in the VERY best of E39 Links because we all ask the same questions (including me):
- How to tell if you have spring-drive or hydraulic belt tensioners or both (1)

But, the specific answer to this question is that the INA mechanical tensioner we recommend comes with the pulley attached:
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)


Last edited by bluebee; 02-21-2011 at 07:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2011, 07:58 PM
GSXRYDER GSXRYDER is offline
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from my perspective

I am in the process of changing mine right now. Last year mine were similar, so I removed the covers cleaned the hell out of them, and repacked them with grease. they were trouble free all year, but being anal about my car I decided this was going to be one of my winter projects so I am replacing them this year, on order right now.

You have them off, and have to put it together anyway...

GL

Whatever you do...do not put those back in your car like that...they will fail.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2011, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Lots of good pulley-spinning references in the VERY best of E39 Links:
- Video of cold idle engine intermittent squeal (how to determine cause)?




Everything you could possibly ask about the mechanical tensioners and the pulleys for it are in the VERY best of E39 Links because we all ask the same questions (including me):
- How to tell if you have spring-drive or hydraulic belt tensioners or both (1)

But, the specific answer to this question is that the INA mechanical tensioner we recommend comes with the pulley attached:
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)

Ha, thanks for coming through as usual... Did you opt to replace the mechanical unit with another mechanical one, or is that just a reference pic?
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:00 PM
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Yeah... The more I thought about it I figured, WTF am I talking about? Might as well go ahead and just do it...
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonTheDog View Post
Did you opt to replace the mechanical unit with another mechanical one
That was someone else who replaced the mechanical with a non-OEM (i.e., non INA) mechanical tensioner. While the OEM (i.e., INA) mechanical tensioner is an exact replicate, the aftermarket mechanical tensioners are not.

So, for you, just replace mechanical INA with mechanical INA.

That's what I did!

BTW, do NOT make the mistake of switching to hydraulic:
- Changing from Mechanical tensioner to Hydraulic tensioner for your BMW E39


This is a picture of MY mechanical tensioners!
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2011, 08:00 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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If your pulley is bad, time to do a cooling overhaul.
No piecemeal approach, it is a formula for disaster!
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
If your pulley is bad, time to do a cooling overhaul.
By way of (bad) example, I did my (emergency) belt-drive overhaul in August of last year and then had to remove it all again to do an (emergency) cooling system overhaul in November, just a few thousand miles later.

The two jobs go together:
- Typical tandem DIY repair jobs combined while you're already there (1)

Recommended parts are well established:
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
If your pulley is bad, time to do a cooling overhaul.
No piecemeal approach, it is a formula for disaster!
Lol, cooling overhaul was done when the M-Sport bumper went on, when the pulleys SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE... Just didn't know any better at the time
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
That was someone else who replaced the mechanical with a non-OEM (i.e., non INA) mechanical tensioner. While the OEM (i.e., INA) mechanical tensioner is an exact replicate, the aftermarket mechanical tensioners are not.

So, for you, just replace mechanical INA with mechanical INA.

That's what I did!

BTW, do NOT make the mistake of switching to hydraulic:
- Changing from Mechanical tensioner to Hydraulic tensioner for your BMW E39


This is a picture of MY mechanical tensioners!
AWESOME
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2011, 02:11 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonTheDog View Post
Lol, cooling overhaul was done when the M-Sport bumper went on, when the pulleys SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE... Just didn't know any better at the time
LOL, The definition of complete cooling overhaul includes anything and everything that has to do with cooling system.

In your case, the pulley was not replaced so by any standard it was not complete cooling overhaul!

Anyway, glad you caught the culprit!
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2011, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
LOL, The definition of complete cooling overhaul includes anything and everything that has to do with cooling system.

In your case, the pulley was not replaced so by any standard it was not complete cooling overhaul!

Anyway, glad you caught the culprit!
Lol, how funny... What was NOT replaced, FAILED in only a couple thousand miles following replacement of all the other stuff...

I wonder... Who could have possibly seen THAT coming???
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:23 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I wonder... Who could have possibly seen THAT coming???
If you change only your R sock, do you see the L sock coming tomorrow LOL?
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2011, 07:15 AM
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My Indy swapped my tensioner also when I had my pulley's upgraded last year. They said it was shot and a fairly common replacement part on our bimmers. I never questioned it. CN90 is also right, if you haven't already you'll want to look at a complete cooling system overhaul with new water pump (HP and/or metal impeller) thermostat, new rad, expansion tank, replace all hoses and sensors etc...etc.. Peace of mind. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
My Indy swapped my tensioner also when I had my pulley's upgraded last year. They said it was shot and a fairly common replacement part on our bimmers. I never questioned it. CN90 is also right, if you haven't already you'll want to look at a complete cooling system overhaul with new water pump (HP and/or metal impeller) thermostat, new rad, expansion tank, replace all hoses and sensors etc...etc.. Peace of mind. Good luck!
Radiator, expansion tank, hoses, sensors, et al were replaced after I "experienced" some "debris" one night on the CA 8:



Unfortunately, that was like three weeks after I bought the car, and I was still incredibly green on my general e39 knowledge, otherwise I would have had the shop do a lot more than just fix the stuff that got busted up. I'm pretty much in catch up mode now, addressing the stuff they didn't. As it turned out, the tensioning pulley on the AC unit was really shot (especially compared to the pulleys in the video), and was the actual culprit in creating the noise du jour
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonTheDog View Post
it appears I cannot replace just the pulley on the mechanical tensioner, I have to buy the whole unit, is that correct???
To answer this specific question, most of us do replace the entire mechanical tensioner and most (if not all) the sponsors only sell the entire mechanical tensioner ... but ...

You "can" replace just the mechanical tensioner pulley:
- RECOMMENDED BELT-DRIVE SYSTEM PARTS LIST:

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Old 03-02-2011, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
To answer this specific question, most of us do replace the entire mechanical tensioner and most (if not all) the sponsors only sell the entire mechanical tensioner ... but ...

You "can" replace just the mechanical tensioner pulley:
- RECOMMENDED BELT-DRIVE SYSTEM PARTS LIST:
Heh, if only one would follow the suggestion, "Search,ask,listen ^ VALUE", "SEARCH" being the key starting point... Since "asking" I "searched" and found not only things like the individual pulleys, but even the bearings that go in them, in case after inhaling too much brake cleaner I should suddenly decide to replace them exclusively...

I have difficulty mastering the obvious because I'm busy contemplating the impossible
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by WagonTheDog View Post
I "searched" and found ... even the bearings that go in them
Wow. That's great. Sorry it took me so long to respond to the original request but I never personally tried to replace "just" the mechanical tensioner pulley.

Can you provide a reference for the bearings so we can add that to the bestlinks so the next person starts where you left off?
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:08 PM
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The tensioner spring will out last three pulleys. Just get the pulley, put a couple drops of Tri-flow lub, you are as good as new
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Wow. That's great. Sorry it took me so long to respond to the original request but I never personally tried to replace "just" the mechanical tensioner pulley.

Can you provide a reference for the bearings so we can add that to the bestlinks so the next person starts where you left off?
An interesting discussion on bearing grease: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...Number=1273667

I didn't drill down and identify the actual bearing by part number, I just spoke to a friend of mine in industrial sales who advised me that one of these two mfgs would definitely have it, or an equivalent:

http://www.skf.com/portal/skf/home/p...g=en&newlink=9
or
http://www.astbearings.com/

I searched all the markings on the bearing itself and the only thing I found was from the "bobistheoilguy" link, where someone apparently wanted to do exactly what I was considering after prolonged contact with industrial solvents
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by WagonTheDog View Post
one of these two mfgs would definitely have it, or an equivalent
Thanks. So that no information is wasted, I added all the comments to the thread on what to purchase when doing an entire belt drive system overhaul.
- Recommended parts kits for overhauling cooling, drive belts, CCV/ICV, VANOS, OFH, PSP
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  #22  
Old 11-13-2011, 02:10 PM
astallings50 astallings50 is offline
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Does the Dayco pulley also fit the alternator mechanical tensioner?
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