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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 09-21-2011, 07:39 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Do I have the correct location for the E39 battery safety terminal explosive charge?

Just curious, where is the battery disconnect explosive charge in this picture?

I searched the bestlinks, and found only this:
- How the battery disconnect explosive charge works in an accident (1)

But there were no pictures of the location of the explosive charge in that thread.

I ran a 'regular' search for "explosive charge" and "explosive battery disconnect" (and a few others), most of which got tons of threads, but, scrolling through the first few pages showed no picture of the location of the explosive device itself.

Realoem had this (but again, no explosive charge):


Googling for "E39 battery explosive charge" I find the term "battery safety terminal", which, further googling, gets me this "BST" E90 thread:
- Battery Safety Terminal exploded & disconnect the starter cable

From that, can I 'surmise' that the picture below of my E39 has the correct location for the BST circled?

Also, what is that white plastic box for that is just above the battery?

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Last edited by bluebee; 09-21-2011 at 07:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:54 PM
JimLev JimLev is online now
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The explosive caharge is on the positive cable just past the clamp. See the small wires, they detonate the charge.
The white cover has more big amp fuses (50 to 100 amp) behind it......don't you have a Bentleys?

Last edited by JimLev; 09-21-2011 at 07:57 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2011, 08:15 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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The explosive disconnect is the circled "BST" in you picture. It's triggered by the MRS (airbag/seatbelt/etc) module in the event of an accident.

The white cover with the arrow "what is this?" is a fuse box for F100 -> F106

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  #4  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
See the small wires, they detonate the charge.
I don't actually see the small wire in my own pictures so I'll have to check tomorrow in the daylight. I do see two large wires.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
don't you have a Bentleys?
I'm sorry. I didn't think to look there. Most of the time, I find the Bentleys almost useless.
- Are the Bentleys nearly as useless to you as they are for me?

I do have the paper & PDF Bentleys. PDF is vastly easier to search. Page 121.3 has the first mention of the Battery Safety Terminal (repeated at page 400-9).



Page 121-10 shows another diagram of the BST:


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
The explosive disconnect is the circled "BST" in your picture.
Thanks. I found it. Here it is in my 2002 E39 just after I replaced the battery:


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
The white cover has more big amp fuses (50 to 100 amp) behind it......
Ah. I had thought there were only 4 fusebox locations in the E39.

This tells me there are five!
  1. Glovebox
  2. Passenger side filter ebox
  3. Passenger side underseat carpet
  4. Trunk battery compartment panel 1
  5. Trunk battery compartment panel 2
I'm trying to map out all my fuses, one by one, to put them in a spreadsheet. The first task is finding them; the main task, after that, will be to identify the purpose & amperage of each one (and to make sure I have a spare on hand for each).

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl
The white cover with the arrow "what is this?" is a fuse box for F100 -> F106
Thanks. So far I've only identified F46 -> F66 (although I'm not sure what an 'onboard monitor' is just yet as there is absolutely no mention of it in the Bentleys).
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Last edited by bluebee; 09-22-2011 at 06:40 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:25 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I didn't find any pictures of activated E39 BSTs, but here's an E60:
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2011, 05:32 PM
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Here is a nice pic, from JimLev, of the high-amperage fuses (fusible links?) under the white cover above the battery:



And, older E39s apparently have four relays (instead of the three that I have):
  • Rear window defogger relay
  • Central locking relay
  • Unloader relay,
  • Fuel pump relay <== only in older E39s
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:45 PM
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For reference, RDL added a nice diagram of G19 explosive disconnect over here today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
The explosive safety disconnect is intact if the car starts without a jump at the engine bay post.

When activated (i.e. discharged to sever the circuit) it cuts the circuit running from the battery's +ve post to the starter, engine bay jump start post and alternator => impossible to start the car from the battery.

For those interested, the safety disconnect is located on the +ve battery terminal. Item G19 on the locator picture from WDS.

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  #8  
Old 03-10-2013, 04:34 AM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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If I removed the explosive charge would any sensor be aware of it and give me an airbag light or something? Here in New york Ive had people hit me and run and luckily I was in older vehicles that I would be able to drive (even with 3 wheels) long enough to get a license plates or view of the driver. One time I was in and accident where if i didn't get the car moved there would of been a 10 car pile up. I drove my e30 with the frame rail wrapped around the alternator and the motor pointing to the right about 25degrees. In an e39 I'm "Dead" in the water. or **** out of luck if i get rear ended and the airbags go off breaking my face and then killing the engine while the scumbag in his 1988 toyota drives off.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2013, 05:14 AM
JimLev JimLev is online now
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Hi Whorse, haven't seen you around for a while.
Don't think anyone has ever asked that question before.
You could try unplugging the little connector that detonates the charge and see if it gives you a fault.
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2013, 07:21 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
You could try unplugging the little connector that detonates the charge
Just curious ... do you mean unplugging this little connector in the blue circle?

Does that go to connector X1770? Is it in any of the photos in this thread?

It's hard to visualize what the explosive charge is connected to from these pictures [ before it goes to the MRS (airbag/seatbelt/etc) module ].
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Last edited by bluebee; 03-10-2013 at 07:24 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2013, 08:42 AM
JimLev JimLev is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Just curious ... do you mean unplugging this little connector in the blue circle?

Does that go to connector X1770? Is it in any of the photos in this thread?

It's hard to visualize what the explosive charge is connected to from these pictures [ before it goes to the MRS (airbag/seatbelt/etc) module ].
Bluebee, that's it.
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2013, 08:39 AM
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For the record, the BST activated in an accident recently and the user's thread was updated today with nice videos explaining the BST:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
It's called the battery safety terminal (BST). See this:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=570030

See also:
- Where to find the battery explosive charge emergency quick disconnect (1) (2)
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2013, 06:29 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, we might get a good picture of an exploded BST from this thread today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > E39 Shorted Alternator Lead

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngnotold View Post
bartelbe,
Thank you. I had just posted a new thread about the location of that cable. Do you think it is possible I set off the BST when I shorted the alternator lead? Anyway, thank you for the help. I was going to say that searching for that cable in a cold garage in Ohio is no fun. But, then see where you are from MN. 27 f now seems tropical !
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2014, 05:40 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Sometimes I wonder why people ask questions, and receive help, and never post a picture when asked. sigh.

Anyway, Saint Q posted a nice graphic of the BST today, over here:
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2015, 09:59 AM
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This thread today has good information about the cables and BST ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Melted '00 528iT battery cable to fuse / relay panel ...
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  #16  
Old 04-13-2015, 10:01 PM
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Found this nice diagram in this thread today, which should be relevant to the E39 also...
> E46 (1999 - 2006) > Body electrics pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesmith2 View Post
May be useful for diagnosing body electrics

http://www.bmwtech.ru/pdf/e46/ST034/...20Internet.pdf
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  #17  
Old 04-14-2015, 04:35 AM
gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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Two phrases that I don't like to see on the same page: "Battery", and "Explosive Charge". Someone has got to screen the weed that these German engineers are smoking in their bull-pit sessions.
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  #18  
Old 04-14-2015, 05:34 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmak2012 View Post
Two phrases that I don't like to see on the same page: "Battery", and "Explosive Charge". Someone has got to screen the weed that these German engineers are smoking in their bull-pit sessions.
Or maybe you should watch less hollywood movies. The BST has explosive charge that is only enough to push out the tapered end on the cable from the battery terminal. It's like saying I don't like to sit behind of a an explosive charge while driving..
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmak2012 View Post
Two phrases that I don't like to see on the same page: "Battery", and "Explosive Charge". Someone has got to screen the weed that these German engineers are smoking in their bull-pit sessions.
I think "detonator" sounds worse!

That's what this guy uses for terminology when replacing the battery safety terminal...


EDIT: Attached are screenshots showing how to pull the BST apart without detonating it!
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Last edited by bluebee; 04-14-2015 at 05:55 AM.
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  #20  
Old 04-14-2015, 05:53 AM
gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Or maybe you should watch less hollywood movies. The BST has explosive charge that is only enough to push out the tapered end on the cable from the battery terminal. It's like saying I don't like to sit behind of a an explosive charge while driving..
I think you need to turn up the volume on your humour meter, no?
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  #21  
Old 04-14-2015, 05:55 AM
gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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Those silly germans

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
How about "detonator"?

That's what this guy uses for replacing the battery safety terminal...
I know. lol. I can just see a bunch of crew-cut German marketing types, who all moved over from engineering looking for the 'best' word to describe a part and then translating it directly into English. They are so serious and precise.

BTW. Great video. Thanks for that.

Last edited by gmak2012; 04-14-2015 at 05:56 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-14-2015, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmak2012 View Post
I think you need to turn up the volume on your humour meter, no?
What really gets me, in terms of terminology, is this guy, Angelo, explaining how a BST "pyrotechnic device" can cause a low-voltage situation or an airbag srs code - who repeatedly says "I seen" ... (which hurts my ears more than a pyrotechnic explosive device would!).

I don't want anyone touching my battery who says "I seen", because the lack of attention to detail worries me around pyrotechnic devices.

However, these two screenshots from that video are instructive for anyone who has what Angelo calls "B+ codes" and airbag codes... because it shows what happens when the plug moves out a bit, and the tabs engage.

Angelo says "he seen" these BST devices trigger on minor crashes where the plug moves only 20mm or 30mm, resulting in ground, and low-voltage errors, and airbag codes as shown below...
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Last edited by bluebee; 04-14-2015 at 06:04 AM.
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  #23  
Old 04-14-2015, 06:06 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmak2012 View Post
I think you need to turn up the volume on your humour meter, no?
Well I've always tought this kind of Bluebee threads were about giving information not humour. We got topics like "Thread about nothing" for offtopic. If you meant that as a joke it wasn't that great if I'm honest.
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  #24  
Old 04-14-2015, 06:34 AM
gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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Cool Jawohl, mein Herr!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Well I've always tought this kind of Bluebee threads were about giving information not humour. We got topics like "Thread about nothing" for offtopic. If you meant that as a joke it wasn't that great if I'm honest.
You're right. I've only ever seen posts that are serious and completely on topic in every thread. Silly me.
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  #25  
Old 04-14-2015, 06:44 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmak2012 View Post
You're right. I've only ever seen posts that are serious and completely on topic in every thread. Silly me.
Sure there a offtopic on threads, but these threads that bluebee makes are about giving information for people, so jokes won't aid anyone in finding information.
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