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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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  #26  
Old 06-18-2011, 11:30 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
your friend will need the fancy tools, and you don't
I had not realized that, so, thank you for mentioning it.

I'll let him know when I speak with him that he'll need more than I do.

He was hoping to use my 32mm thin long wrench & waterpump counterhold tool; but we hadn't planned on buying additional vanos tools.

Now he will have to do that ahead of time.
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  #27  
Old 06-19-2011, 07:37 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Paying a friend just seems weird to me.

If I needed my VANOS done (and I probably do), the way I'd go about it is:

a) Consider paying a professional (i.e., an Indy)
b) Decide if I could do it myself (e.g., through the Beisan, Fudman, Poolman, etc. DIYs)
c) Find a friend who has a bimmer that also needs a VANOS job (& then work together, on both cars, one by one or side by side).
Totally agree with the first comment.

I think "c" is the best way to go, although we didn't do it side by side. When I did mine the first time, NeverSayNever (Chris) came over and assisted (actually he led the effort and I followed). I then returned the favor (although I was merely a second pair of hands). This greatly reduced the "stress" of seeing your engine open and being able to discuss every step with a companion was extremely helpful. I now have a "consultant" on any e39 problem I experience! And I now have four Vanos jobs under my belt (a fifth is scheduled).


Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
I would have taken his $250, but on the condition that he does it with me and learn how it is done by watching and helping. The only reason for me to do it is to teach him and help him get over his fear of wrenching.
I did this with Hooray! last fall but no money was exchanged (Seth did pay for getting a fan clutch tool made when mine broke). This is another great way of meeting new folks and assisting a fellow 'Fester who has the desire but has reservations about going beyond their mechanical comfort zone. I believe in good kharma and paying it forward. What goes around, comes around.


To me, one of the greatest thing about this forum is getting to meet folks (GTXRagtop, too, who assisted on my control arms) who share a passion for the e39 and have varying degrees of technical skill and knowledge about repairs. Talking things over with these guys has been great (and communicating over the forum with the rest of you!). I have learned a lot and thoroughly enjoy the company of these fine fellows. I highly recommend finding a fellow 'Fester to jointly work on your cars.
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  #28  
Old 06-21-2011, 08:02 AM
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GSA1 GSA1 is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 & '02 E39 530i Sports
I helped out this OP...but what an adventure!!!

I had him over my house on Thursday night. I looked at the car and told him what parts he needed. 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. When I offer to do this, like I did with EnergizedImmortal, I get involved only if the Member says he wants to learn AND he is willing to help and take instructions.

He got here Sat at 9AM. He left at 6:30 PM...on Sunday!

We were crusin through the work, he was helping and learning throughout. He was lucky in a way because we we dropped the belly pan, we found a tensioner pulley and ball bearings sittiing there! I recently did my entire cooling system (at 58,000 miles). And I kept all the parts. This was one I had. No problem to use it for a while, especially since we were into Sat night at this point.

We got to the fan bolt removal process and broke the hold down tool..One I made (that BLUEBEE had cataloged pics and specs for...thanks)and had used three times before. No problem (I thought). Added some PB Blaster and took out the metal stock I bought that was leftover from the other, original tool build; and cut, drilled and grinded out a new one. After hours of PB Blasting and trying to break the nut free, the second tool bent and was unusable.

SO...I decided to remove the entire cooling system from the car at the water pump. Not very easy to do, unless the fan is out of the way, but we managed. Also took out the radiator to facilitate removal of everything as a unit. The nut wouldnt break free with the unit off the car either.

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.

I was putting on the belts with a flashlight at 1:00AM. Now we have to get the water pump back in the car. The pump screws we pretty easy, but lining up the cap screws in front of that is really difficult in the dark and with so little room to move your fingers.

Tommy fell asleep under the car at 2:30 AM. (He is half my age.) I sent him in to catch a few winks, and had myself a vodka and cranberry I went out again at 7:30 AM while he was still sleeping and 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 (perfectly serviceable) and surprised him when he woke up. I sprayed some CRC on the MAF, and we threw the intake box back on. Filled and bled the cooling system, and changed the oil and filter...

Let's go for a ride!!!

Car starts great...smooth as silk. Out on the road it's bogging down getting out of second gear....Crap!!!

I am thinking through what the problem could be. I ask Tommy 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!!

We wash our cars, and, after 26 hours of work, he goes home smiling ...at 6:30 PM. It's Fathers Day...I wasnt supposed to be doing this stuff today...LOL

Beside getting another CPS, I found the Secondary Air Pump hose seperated into 2 pieces. I casually suggested He get another one...:rofl. (I think he wants me to fix this stuff for him next week)

PS...yeah I took the money, which goes to my son for High School graduation next Sunday. Tommy still got the deal of his life!!
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Last edited by GSA1; 06-21-2011 at 08:17 AM.
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  #29  
Old 06-21-2011, 09:14 AM
StevieV22 StevieV22 is offline
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Great story, you are a good man.
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  #30  
Old 06-21-2011, 09:24 AM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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GSA1! excellent! . He sure has the best deal of a life time, my hat is off to you.
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  #31  
Old 06-21-2011, 09:35 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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GSA1,

You are a good man. Actually you meet the minimum federal requirement for minimum salary:

$250/26h=$9.60/hr........ haha...LOL!!!

I love these parts:

Quote:
I get involved only if the Member says he wants to learn AND he is willing to help and take instructions.

Tommy fell asleep under the car at 2:30 AM. (He is half my age.)...LOL...
(What happens to the young people's stamina these days?)
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  #32  
Old 06-21-2011, 09:50 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Great story! GSA1, you are a saint! What you did was cheap for twice the price and went well beyond the friendly assist.

Your story reminds me of when Hooray! came over for his seals replacement. I had built a fan nut holder out of some cheesy flat plate steel bar that bent when we tried to apply torque. Belt friction didn't work and NeverSayNever wasn't home to borrow his. We fortunately found a machine shop that modified a garage door arm for us (for only $30!). That delay cost us about 3 hrs.

Ultimately, helping out a fellow e39 owner does entail some risk. If you could not have traced the running problem to the bad CPS and fixed it, would he have blamed you for the "new" problem? Who knows? Working on a car always entails a bit of risk for us amateurs. It is bad enough working on our own cars, working on someone else's adds a bit of uncertainty. That alone puts you in the saint category! Way to go, man!
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  #33  
Old 06-21-2011, 11:38 AM
premo421 premo421 is offline
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Adventure it was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went to gary with open eyes and ears willing to have hands on experience with my e39 as like I stated before not being to inclined mechanically. I must agree that boy was this experience something. But I must admit that at the end of the day both our white shirts looked like they were originally gray colored. I mean my hands were filthy, hair filled with oil and coolant.. so this wasnt no sit back with my feet up type thing for me. I literally worked my butt off as well. we started at 9am saturday morning and didnt eat anything until about 10:30pm that night!. He told the story so I dont have to get into detail, but as far as "A Job Well Done".. indeed it was. I felt Gary went the extra mile with letting me sleep in his house so that we can finish in the morning. I dont think no person would let a stranger they just met sleep at there house and I thank him for that as well as acknowledge his generosity. I didnt mind giving him money because like i said he did more than what was planned.. so thanks again Gary

P.S. Oh yea, Gary imma be over there on saturday buddy!..lol need u to do domething for me.. HaHaha.. til then...... C ya "My Man"
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  #34  
Old 06-21-2011, 11:41 AM
premo421 premo421 is offline
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LoL cn90 dont judge me.. O yea and nice meeting ya.. hearld a lot about u as well as a few other guys on here!!!!
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  #35  
Old 06-21-2011, 04:30 PM
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edmonem edmonem is offline
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good to hear you got everything sorted out op...

@vetal thanks for the shout out buddy. was glad to have helped a fellow e39er
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  #36  
Old 06-21-2011, 06:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
helping out a fellow e39 owner does entail some risk
Kudos to GSA1 & premo421 for a job well done.

I hadn't realized the magnitude of this risk aspect.

Now, even more than before, I like the idea of two bimmerfesters, side by side, each working on their own car, and sharing tools and helping each other ... drawing on each other for moral support - but - the risk is stated - up front - that what breaks breaks - and it's the responsibility of the individual car owner for that.

To help others, I excerpted portions of their wonderful story to enhance the following threads:
- How to make your own BMW special cooling system & drive belt counterhold tools
- BMW 528i 1998 Replace camshaft position sensor - DIY
- What typical tandem DIY repair jobs are COMBINED (while you're there)?

Last edited by bluebee; 06-21-2011 at 06:17 PM.
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  #37  
Old 06-21-2011, 06:28 PM
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edmonem edmonem is offline
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well, if i were the person who needs the help, i would know and understand the risks there are when you DIY instead of going to a shop and doing it.the responsibility is all on the owner of the vehicle as soon as the owner agrees to let the "friend/fellow member/UNLICENSED mechanic/DIYer" work on thier vehicle. its unspoken rule is it not? .it should be. i would only help someone work on thier car. but i wouldnt do it on my own.im willing to help you but not do it for you.
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  #38  
Old 06-21-2011, 06:49 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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I agree that it should be an unwritten rule but that and a $1 might get you a cup of coffee. When Chris (NeverSayNever) and I did our Vanos seals, it was the first time for both of us. We did them in our respective garages as we only live 25 minutes apart. That way if they failed to start, we wouldn't need to tow them anywhere! When Seth came down from Maine, I was a little concerned as it's a long cab ride or tow home. Fortunately, other than the broken tool, the job went without a hitch. As BB stated, working side by side and drawing on each other for moral support is the biggest benefit. Most of these DIYs are a one time event. Hence, any applied experience is a huge benefit. I can truly say that my front end overhaul would not have occurred without Chris' expert assistance. So if anyone in MetroWest needs a hand with a front end suspension, Vanos, or CCV repair, send me a PM. I'm no expert but I do have a butt load of tools and two working hands.
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