Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:03 AM
jbonly21's Avatar
jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: LA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 596
Mein Auto: 02 525I SPORT
Replace head gasket or replace engine.

Need help, new guy.
I think my head gasket is about gone, what's easy, should replace HG or get a used engine with low miles. I have a 97 E39 184k?????
__________________
02 525I Sterling Gray, 18" M Parallels, M Tech bumper, Magnaflow Highflow cat, Resonator delete, 3" OBX muffler, H&R spring and Bills sport shocks.
RIP ALPINE WHITE 97 528I
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:10 AM
Takechan Takechan is offline
E39 fanboi
Location: Scandinavia
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 244
Mein Auto: BMW E39 520i (M52B25)
I6 or V8?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:22 AM
reb78 reb78 is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 64
Mein Auto: 528i touring
Have a read of my recent thread(s) here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=522856

I have the same issue
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:44 AM
Flybot's Avatar
Flybot Flybot is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Louisville, Ky
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 764
Mein Auto: '98 528
Edit: Never mind. I thought you said Valve Cover Gasket....



.

Last edited by Flybot; 03-04-2011 at 06:50 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:48 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
To the team:
Please tell me what I missed in this attempt at a quality response?
And, why aren't there more head gasket DIYs?
Please improve the "typical scenario" below as I don't have the technical expertise to write this important paragraph!

To the OP:
We're very sorry to hear about this issue. The main problem is that the BMW cooling system is a time bomb. If not periodically overhauled (about every 6 years or 60,000 miles), the cooling system "will" leak in multiple places ... (see pictorial reference here). If you drive for even a few minutes with an overheated engine, the aluminum heads warp & crack, often causing bolts to pull out of the aluminum block E39s (some E39 blocks are, thankfully, cast iron and are less susceptible to this common problem), and other internal damage to the engine (valves, cylinder walls, piston rings, etc.). This is bad. Very bad. The cost for parts is nothing compared to the labor rates involved. Half the engine needs to be removed. If you "suspect" this problem, you really need professional advice with the engine being TESTED! Your options are to replace the parts (expensive), replace the engine (expensive), or buy a new vehicle (expensive). Plus the car will be out of service a minimum of a couple of weeks realistically. Did I mention you really must get professional advice from someone who has the engine to test in front of them? Good luck. And, please keep us informed as to your progress, if for no other reason, so that we may advise the next person who follows in your footsteps.

We get this question about once a week:
- 525i BIG problems!
- Major Decision - replace head or buy "new" engine
- E39 528i Engine removal/replacement
- Overheating and water loss
- Replace head gasket or replace engine
- E39 528i Engine removal/replacement

The problem is this is like asking a forum "I think I'm having a heart attack ... what should I do?". You may be in serious trouble; so you need professional help. Up 'till now, this was my standard response (1).

o 1997-1998 6-cyl M52 engine: iron block, ferrous-liners?, aluminum head
o 1999-2003 6-cyl M54 engine: aluminum block, non-ferrous liners, aluminum head
o 1994-2005 8-cyl M62/S62 engine, aluminum block, non-ferrous liners, aluminum heads

However, I'll try to consolidate the questions from those last few threads to come up with a more standard (i.e., artificial intelligence) approach for improved efficiency.

For quality control, I would ask subsequent posters to help us hone this questionnaire below...

To the OP:
  1. What happened?
    • Who was driving (i.e., reporting what happened)?
    • Did the car overheat?
    • How long did you drive it overheated?
  2. What is the vehicle?
    • What vehicle (i.e., engine) do you have?
    • What is the age, miles, condition?
    • Do you (really) want to keep the car?
  3. What is your situation?
    • Can you afford the few thousand dollars to spend on the fix?
    • Do you have (or want to have) the appreciable skills to DIY?
    • Can you allocate the weeks-long downtime while it's being repaired?
  4. What symptoms do you have now?
    • Do you have white smoke in your exhaust?
    • Is your engine running rough or not at all?
    • Are you losing coolant?
      • Is it visibly leaking?
      • Is your dipstick oil somewhat milky?
      • Does your oil or exhaust smell somewhat sweet?
  5. What tests have you run?
    • What are your wet/dry compression pressures? (1)
    • What is your cylinder leak down results? (1)
    • What is the cooling system pressure test result?
  6. Have you had a professional price out your options?
    • Comparison cost of a replacement vehicle = ?
    • Installed cost of a replacement engine = ?
    • Labor rates for a replaced head gasket = ?
      • Warning: "Head gasket" costs often escalate due to unseen issues like the bolts ripped out of the aluminum heads or damaged rings, cylinder walls, or valves, etc. Pad accordingly!
  7. If you decide to fix the engine yourself
  8. While you're at it, replace a few other maintenance items
    • Vanos seals
    • CCV, ICV, & DISA valves
    • All cooling system & belt-drive system parts
If the OP is a newbie, which often is the case, then these links below should help with pricing:
- BMW phantom diagrams (1) & nominal prices by part number (1) labor rates by zip code (1) (2) (3) where to find a good mechanic (1) (2) & finding a specialty BMW indy in your area (1)

Also, see this summary:
- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) & how to test an engine for blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & a well researched reusable response to a particular user with a blown engine (1) & what questions to ask when severe heating-related damage is initially suspected (1) & what E39 engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & why the E39 engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & real-world results from people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25).

Last edited by bluebee; 04-15-2011 at 12:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-04-2011, 09:52 AM
poolman poolman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: martinsville va
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,865
Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
With your model engine you may be in luck. The short block is made of cast Iron for your model--the heads of
course are Aluminum. If you can DIY this may be the way to go, remove the head--have it checked for warpage--have a complete valve job worked and then do the install--replace the Vanos seals while your at it also.
Now thats the way I would do it--if you purchase a used engine--may be better off--but who's to say--
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:08 AM
xz14 xz14 is offline
Registered User
Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: bmw 528I
Bmw 528I overheat.

I got 1999 Bmw, 528I and the car was overheat because the hose burst and water was in the oil pan. The engine was not able to start and it need a rebuilt or buy a used engine. It sound that you have the same problem. What are you going to do? I think that you need to rebuilt the it because buying a used engine it may not be good because the new used engine properly has some mileages in it now so it is better do with the original engine. Second expect to have a lot of problem and time needed to do it right. Also, it is good to replace the vanos seal while the part is out. There are many parts that need to pay attention when you drive this car of car. I did replace some O-ring that run alone the water hose. If you need help when you decide to rebuilt. Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:11 AM
xz14 xz14 is offline
Registered User
Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: bmw 528I
Vanos seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
With your model engine you may be in luck. The short block is made of cast Iron for your model--the heads of
course are Aluminum. If you can DIY this may be the way to go, remove the head--have it checked for warpage--have a complete valve job worked and then do the install--replace the Vanos seals while your at it also.
Now thats the way I would do it--if you purchase a used engine--may be better off--but who's to say--
It is excellent. I did the Vanos seal replacement and the engine does make different with the engine sound especially when you first start the to go.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:26 AM
jbonly21's Avatar
jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: LA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 596
Mein Auto: 02 525I SPORT
Thanks guys, I bought the car from a mechanic friend of my, who was too lazy to change the heater return line and over heated the engine.

I have already replace the heater hose, I am just trying to figure out my next move.
__________________
02 525I Sterling Gray, 18" M Parallels, M Tech bumper, Magnaflow Highflow cat, Resonator delete, 3" OBX muffler, H&R spring and Bills sport shocks.
RIP ALPINE WHITE 97 528I
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:27 AM
jbonly21's Avatar
jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: LA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 596
Mein Auto: 02 525I SPORT
Quote:
Originally Posted by takechan View Post
i6 or v8?
i6
__________________
02 525I Sterling Gray, 18" M Parallels, M Tech bumper, Magnaflow Highflow cat, Resonator delete, 3" OBX muffler, H&R spring and Bills sport shocks.
RIP ALPINE WHITE 97 528I
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:47 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
1997-98 6-cyl engines M52: check the cyl head for warpage or cracks and do what poolman said above.

1999-2003 M54 engine is all aluminum: "new" engine.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-04-2011, 12:46 PM
xz14 xz14 is offline
Registered User
Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: bmw 528I
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbonly21 View Post
Need help, new guy.
I think my head gasket is about gone, what's easy, should replace HG or get a used engine with low miles. I have a 97 E39 184k?????
First, I want to know if you have a aluminim block or Cast iron block. Your car should have a Cast Iron Block. If It is then It good for you because you don't have to worry about the tread in the block.

Second, The head should cost you about $380 to complete head job.

Third, The parts that you need for the job is about $ 350 and if you want to replace the vanos seal then $ 60 more.

four, $ 50 more to water, oil, new sparkplus, and hose or O rings if need.

five, you need to have a extra car for two weeks.

My car is run very good after I did it, and no leak, and no water temp problem or Air condition. I think you shoud do the rebuilt engine better the disconnet the engine from the transmission because it cheap and the time is proper the same. Goodluck, and glad I can help. I live in LA.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-04-2011, 12:52 PM
xz14 xz14 is offline
Registered User
Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: bmw 528I
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
1997-98 6-cyl engines M52: check the cyl head for warpage or cracks and do what poolman said above.

1999-2003 M54 engine is all aluminum: "new" engine.
Do you have a Aluminum Block? It is hard to try to fix the tread in the Block but it can be done.

I did mind with a special way by bond and save money.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-04-2011, 02:06 PM
jbonly21's Avatar
jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: LA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 596
Mein Auto: 02 525I SPORT
@ xz14

What about the timing tool?
__________________
02 525I Sterling Gray, 18" M Parallels, M Tech bumper, Magnaflow Highflow cat, Resonator delete, 3" OBX muffler, H&R spring and Bills sport shocks.
RIP ALPINE WHITE 97 528I
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-04-2011, 03:05 PM
xz14 xz14 is offline
Registered User
Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: bmw 528I
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbonly21 View Post
@ xz14

What about the timing tool?

You do not timing tool because it run by the coils. What you have to do is set the block at TDC on piston One and the valves on that piston must close so it has compression besides, the head cam do have mark that you have to remember to align when you put it back so do not worry about it. Make sure before you crank, turn the bottom so that everything is turn so when you crank, it should be start smoothly.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-04-2011, 03:23 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
It bothers me that common but very important (to the OP anyway) questions like this get hit-or-miss answers wholly depending on who responds and how much time they wish to spend.

So, I wrote up my response above in order to accommodate all of your ideas.

I've added everything relevant said, so far, in this thread, so that we can re-use the answer in the future.

One question ... what is the situation with the 'other' E39 engines?

Is this table correct?
  • 1997-1998 6-cyl M52 engine: iron block, ferrous-liners?, aluminum head
  • 1999-2003 6-cyl M54 engine: aluminum block, non-ferrous liners, aluminum head
  • 1994-2005 8-cyl M62/S62 engine, aluminum block, non-ferrous liners, aluminum heads

Last edited by bluebee; 03-05-2011 at 04:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-04-2011, 05:59 PM
jbonly21's Avatar
jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: LA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 596
Mein Auto: 02 525I SPORT
Car won't start, coolant in oil, so I have to replace HG asap.
What do I need.
__________________
02 525I Sterling Gray, 18" M Parallels, M Tech bumper, Magnaflow Highflow cat, Resonator delete, 3" OBX muffler, H&R spring and Bills sport shocks.
RIP ALPINE WHITE 97 528I
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:36 PM
rdl rdl is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,052
Mein Auto: 530i 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
... stuff deleted ...

Is this table correct?
  • 1997-1998 6-cyl M52 engine: iron block, ferrous-liners?, aluminum head
  • 1999-2003 6-cyl M54 engine: aluminum block, non-ferrous liners, aluminum head
  • 1994-2005 8-cyl M62/S62 engine, aluminum block, non-ferrous liners, aluminum heads
The attached pdf page 8 describes the M52TU having aluminum block with cast iron (ferrous) liners. Page 23 describes mechanical changes for the M54, no mention of change so presumably has same.

Regards
RDL
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Engines[1].pdf (977.8 KB, 361 views)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-05-2011, 05:22 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
M52TU ... aluminum block with cast iron (ferrous) liners... M54... presumably has same
Thanks for that PDF (we should archive it somehow in an easily found way).

Because it's important to help others for this type of thread, I started trying to organize WHICH BMW engines have a non-ferrous cylinder liner and which have aluminum blocks or heads ... using that PDF plus wikipedia ... but it got so confusing ... that I just gave up at this point below ... Sigh.
  • 1997-1998 6-cyl M52 engine: block=iron, liners=iron, head=aluminum
  • 1999-2003 6-cyl M54 engine: block=aluminum, liners=aluminum, head=aluminum
  • 1998-2001 523i engine=M52TUB25 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 1998-2003 520i engine=M52TUB20 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 1995-1999 520i engine=M52B20 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 2001-2003 520i engine=M54B22 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 2001-2004 525i engine=M54B25 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 2003-2005 530i engine=M53B30 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 1994-2005 540i M62 engine, block=aluminum, liners=aluminum, head=aluminum
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-05-2011, 05:32 AM
rdl rdl is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,052
Mein Auto: 530i 2003
Here is another that may be of interest

Regards
RDL
Attached Files
File Type: pdf m54x5[1].pdf (2.52 MB, 265 views)
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-25-2011, 12:44 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
For future use, I put all of RDLs wonderful PDFs in the bestlinks thread.

In addition, due to yet another blown-engine-what-do-I-do thread today:
- 2001 528i engine

I opened what I hope will become a canonical thread to POINT others to who suspect their engine was severely damaged (usually by a cooling system failure):
- What advice should we provide when a newbie asks for help with a blown E39 engine?

I ask the team to input your tribal knowledge into that thread expressly so we can point the next person with this dilemma to the combined knowledge of the team.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-25-2011, 01:16 AM
jbonly21's Avatar
jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: LA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 596
Mein Auto: 02 525I SPORT
Thanks Blue..
__________________
02 525I Sterling Gray, 18" M Parallels, M Tech bumper, Magnaflow Highflow cat, Resonator delete, 3" OBX muffler, H&R spring and Bills sport shocks.
RIP ALPINE WHITE 97 528I
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-25-2011, 06:26 PM
Perse_us28 Perse_us28 is offline
Registered User
Location: Federal way, wa
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 1998 bmw 740 il
hey everyone has a 5 series and i have this 7 series that will run but will overheat if i let the car just seat and idle for about 15 mins i turn right off it shows the temp gauge but it only got to 70c from what the screen stated underneath my odmeter
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-28-2012, 03:48 PM
marklenka marklenka is offline
Registered User
Location: Melbourne
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2007 BMW E60 525i
Replacing head gasket on BMW E39 - E60 is relatively easy. All you need is a right set of tools, BMW service manual from Bentley Publisher (around $180) that provides really detailed instructions with images on how to do it right the first time and in some cases BMW special tools. I was quoted $4000 for the head gasket + $2800 for parts, $3000 for the cooling system (water pump failure killed off the radiator and head gasket) and 2-3 days of free time (8hr/ day average). I ended up spending $2100 for the lot....

Here is what happened to me... And according to the info on the web this is a very common problem with BMW E39 and E60.

It only took one occasion after the water pump failure when the car displayed hi temperature warning for the head gasket and cooling system to fail.

Although I was contemplating to get rid of the car after first round of quotes I persisted with the idea of replacing what was required at home using the Bentley publisher manual (really awesome), BMW Camshaft locking and timing tool (really easy to use - purchased online for $400) and some special tools (can get them pretty cheap in just about any hardware store - $200 - $400 - BMW BP Manual will advise of what tools and Tools special code to be used as part of the head gasket replacement.

The car is now running better then ever.... Point of interest - Whilst working on the car I have found three of the head bolts to be snapped. This most probably happen during the original engine assembly at the BMW factory (all aluminum bolts are painted blue at the factory thus proving no prior head gasket repairs have taken place - have bought the car four years ago with 15,000km - I guess Zerman Quality can't always be taken for granted)

One think you should consider replacing is the VANOS valves that can quite easily fail if exposed to higher than normal temperatures, causing all kinds of problems at later stage .. here is something that could be of interest http://www.eurodb.com.au/New-used-ca...bmw-rough-idle

I know as I had the pleasure to replace Vanos valves twice in less than 30,000KM.

Another think for consideration should be the installation of aftermarket temperature gauge (this should be considered for any E39, E60, regardless if the car experienced any type if cooling problems). The right temperature range for BMW E60 N52 is between 95C to 105C with a maximum of 120C. I'm getting mine done next tuesday for $350 (top of the line product)

Hope this helps...
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-23-2013, 10:06 PM
flight203 flight203 is offline
Registered User
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to flight203
Mein Auto: 2001, 530I
Gentlemen,

I have a 2001 530I . It ran hot while on the highway. I drove the car an additional 3 miles, when I got to my job the car was hotttt. I drive a truck so I went on out on the road assuming the engine was done. When I got back five days later. I added coolant , the car started and ran normally. ( no codes ) one thing I noticed the resivor was cracked. I had the resivor replaced and the car ran fine didnt over heat or anything. a month later its running hot. Is this a head gasket ? Now Ive heard that it is better to replace the engine in BMW vs doing a head job ? is this true ? Thank guys in advance ! ps the car has 125000 on it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms