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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 06-29-2011, 09:29 PM
brickwhite brickwhite is offline
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Broken DISA Valve

Hello all,

Think I can fix it???? (I'm Kidding)

Anyone know if I'm missing any parts, it was kinda stuck in there.




Anyone know if I'm missing any parts, it was kinda stuck in there.

Thanks,
Ted

Last edited by brickwhite; 06-30-2011 at 08:23 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2011, 09:45 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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broken inside engine ?
not good
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
broken inside engine ?
not good
As Champaign intimated, the $200 DISA valve has nothing between it and your cylinders.

Witness what happened to others whose DISA ruined their engines:

- How to repair a rattling DISA unit (1) (2) (3) & why the DIfferenzierte SAuganlage ("Differential Air Intake") valve flap breaks (1), sometimes with parts sucked into the intake manifold (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & how the disa valve o-ring fails (1) (2) & how it can cause all sorts of cold-engine rough idle problems (1) (2) & where to get just the DISA valve o-ring (1) & how the DISA valve operates (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) & an example of how a broken DISA valve can ruin your engine (1) & how to test DISA operation (1) (2) (3) (4).
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:36 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Did you break it getting it out?
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2011, 05:16 AM
brickwhite brickwhite is offline
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Broken Disa FLAP

Yeah I broke the frame of DISA while trying to get it out (broken flap holding it in). With the Flap broken I was able to get the metal pin and all other plastic I could find out of the intake manifold. The only pieces I see missing are some small plastic white ones that held the flap in place which were gone long ago.

Last edited by brickwhite; 06-30-2011 at 05:21 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2011, 05:22 AM
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doru doru is offline
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What was the mileage when the DISA broke?
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2011, 06:13 AM
brickwhite brickwhite is offline
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120,xxx
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2011, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickwhite View Post
120,xxx
Oh. Until you added the "just kidding", we thought you were serious!

Methinks at about 100K all of us should 'inspect' the DISA visually by removing it.

I've never done a DISA removal ... so I'm still scared of how much work it might be (I didn't look at the DIYs before posting this so it 'might' actually be easy to remove).
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Oh. Until you added the "just kidding", we thought you were serious!

Methinks at about 100K all of us should 'inspect' the DISA visually by removing it.

I've never done a DISA removal ... so I'm still scared of how much work it might be (I didn't look at the DIYs before posting this so it 'might' actually be easy to remove).
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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  #10  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:20 AM
poolman poolman is online now
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As long as you have thge metal pin in hand you should be OK. The plastic parts shouldn't cause any problems if by chance they get around the combustion chamber. They would be soft enough in my opinion not to cause
serious havok entering or leaving.
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:21 AM
brickwhite brickwhite is offline
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Disa Removal

I said 120,000 but it's been rattling for some time, wasn't sure what it was. I'd say it has been bad for a long time, but just started to throw some codes. I'd check at 80k or so if you haven't already.

****** FYI the local dealer has 4 in stock they must break alot!********

The removal is easy. I just removed the boot from the airbox and the intake. Loosen 2 hose clamps and pull out the boot.

The actual disa just has those 2 screws. It's a 10 min job, but if the flap is broken it's kinda hard to pull the disa from the manifold.

Last edited by brickwhite; 06-30-2011 at 08:24 AM.
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:28 AM
jayee_2003 jayee_2003 is offline
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+1 on how easy it was to replace.
Had the machine gun or loud tappet noise from the DISA @ 65k miles. Otherwise the car ran fine.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
replaced my DISA valve when I did the cooling overhaul
So that others don't lose that golden opportunity, I'll add your suggestion to the tandem-jobs thread:
- Typical tandem DIY repair jobs combined while you're already there (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
The "biggest job" is to remove the air box to have room, other than that, take the rubber boots off and unscrew the DISA
Thanks for picking up on my subtle trepidation and explaining, as a result, how easy it is to do (so as to ease my anxiety I always feel before any job).

Last summer, when I had done my emergency alternator & belt-drive overhaul (~90K miles) and subsequent cooling system failure overhaul in the autumn shortly thereafter (~95K miles), I had the airbox out - so that was a perfect opportunity (alas, lost) to inspect the DISA condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Maybe the "cutoff" is around 85-90 k miles for this part?
I hadn't realized the importance of 'inspecting' the DISA for broken plastic parts before.

Methinks we need to prioritize this in the list of items to check prophylactically "whenever the airbox is out".

What is the most common part that fails around 85-90K miles that also necessitates airbox removal that we can tie this job to?
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  #14  
Old 06-30-2011, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickwhite View Post
The actual disa just has those 2 screws. It's a 10 min job, but if the flap is broken it's kinda hard to pull the disa from the manifold.
Thanks for letting us know. I've always been scared of the DISA.

Sorry for being blunt at first - we thought (at least I thought) that you were seriously contemplating repairing it (as many others have tried).

Personally, if it was NOT attached (unfiltered) to the intake manifold, I'd probably attempt a glue-repair myself - since 200 dollars is sheer extortion for such as poorly designed and manufactured part - but - it's too dangerous to the engine when it fails (as can be seen in the pictures I referenced where the entire cylinder, valve seats, and pistons were damaged from flying debris.)

From now on, I'm going to recommend that the DISA be removed whenever the airbox is out of the car (e.g., alternator repair, cooling system overhaul, ICV, CCV, etc.).

To clarify, do you have a picture of just the boot removed so I can get a better idea of the minimum removal steps to recommend?
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2011, 09:29 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
To clarify, do you have a picture of just the boot removed so I can get a better idea of the minimum removal steps to recommend?
The minimum is to simply remove the two torx fasteners holding the unplugged DISA unit in place and carefully pull/wiggle straight out. You might need good socket extensions to do this, and it helps if they're magnetized (never any fun dropping a fastener down into the bellypan). No need to remove the air intake box/boots, though of course doing that will leave you with lots more room to work on the DISA and many other things.

Oh yeah, forgot..... I'd probably do this with the manifold still warm.

Last edited by pleiades; 06-30-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2011, 10:54 AM
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I would take the DISA out, "only" when you hear DISA related noise. Once the DISA is out, and in case it's still good (fat chance), the glued O-ring seal is certainly toast. Placing the DISA back with a bad O-ring might induce unmetered air.
To replace the glued O-ring, is not that easy. It's fairly hard to remove it without nicking the plastic. However, some people tried sealing the unit by wrapping some electrical tape. The new DISA, the seal (O-ring) is different from a "regular" O-ring, and maybe this is why there is no OEM part for the M54 DISA. The seal is flush with the lips of the groove, having only a very small rib that will seat inside the receiving end - intake manifold, and that will produce the seal.
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2011, 11:38 AM
brickwhite brickwhite is offline
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Disa Picture

When I get home, I'll take a Picture of the new M54 Disa and its built-in O-ring just to show all what it should look like when it was new.
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2011, 12:31 PM
poolman poolman is online now
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When replacing my DISA valve after cleaning it last weekend ,I realized that I had a couple of old thermostat
gaskets for my 427 Ford laying around. Thes are the older type with the big stat that was used. It was surprising that they just about fit over the DISA valve perfectly but did require just a bit of triming. I used
a fingernail cliper and trimed away around the inside of the gaskets and then used them when tighting the DISA back up. No vac leaks and the price of the 2 gasket would be around 2 bucks and can be found at any
automotive parts store. The outside edge of the gaskets can be cut away with a sizzors---worked for me.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:44 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Check post #15 form this post (cousin forum). He got lucky, just dodged a bullet with the DISA falling apart.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:03 PM
brickwhite brickwhite is offline
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Disa Replaced

The new disa is now installed and the CAR runs a-lot better, I can't believe the difference. It's just more responsive. CRAZY!
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:10 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
When replacing my DISA valve after cleaning it last weekend ,I realized that I had a couple of old thermostat
gaskets for my 427 Ford laying around. Thes are the older type with the big stat that was used. It was surprising that they just about fit over the DISA valve perfectly but did require just a bit of triming. I used
a fingernail cliper and trimed away around the inside of the gaskets and then used them when tighting the DISA back up. No vac leaks and the price of the 2 gasket would be around 2 bucks and can be found at any
automotive parts store. The outside edge of the gaskets can be cut away with a sizzors---worked for me.
Good info. Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 07-01-2011, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
I would take the DISA out, "only" when you hear DISA related noise.
Are you sure the DISA always makes noise before it fails (i.e., crumbles)?
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  #23  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:08 AM
poolman poolman is online now
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If you suspect there is a problem--the way to make the test is, with the engine at idle lay your left ear over on the disa. If you hear rattling and such inside the box,it's bad and needs replacing. If your hearing the problem and not laying your ear on the box, consider yourself lucky that metal parts haven't made their way trhough your engine.
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  #24  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Are you sure the DISA always makes noise before it fails (i.e., crumbles)?
Not sure about "always".
Mine had a faint whirring sound, and when it was out, it had that 1/4" or so play - very easy to move the flapper compared to the new unit. The DISA is supposed to open at a certain rpm, but mine was whirring at low rps - maybe due to that play (probably created a frequency sound by opening/closing repeatdly within that 1/4" gap)?
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  #25  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:15 AM
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Thanks for the info and writeup. Good hints to know when listening for strange noises under the hood.
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