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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 09-25-2011, 09:44 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Bingo!! I may have solved the misfire and lean codes P0171, P0174, P0300

Below are my previous posts when I started experiencing rough idle:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...487&highlight=
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...551&highlight=

Symptoms: Rough idle (cold or hot). Car runs fine but sometimes felt a tad sluggish probably due to misfiring. No smoke emitting from tail pipe.

The codes I was getting: (lean codes):







Not shown are also codes P0300, P0304, P0305 (misfire codes)

Things I ruled out:
Coilpacks -I switched them around to different cylinders. Made no diff in the codes.
Spark plugs - I installed fresh Bosch plugs. Still idles rough.
MAF - Cleaned it twice. Ran the car disconnected. Still idles rough.
Vacuum leaks from intake tube - No rips or tears that I could see.

Items I was going to do next:
New fuel filter, CCV Valve

Then I went to the E46 fanatics board and a lot of them were getting these lean codes. Also someone in this board mentioned DISA valve. So since it was easy enough to pull the valve out, I gave it a shot.

Comes out easy. Need to take out one electrical connector, then remove two T40 torx screws. You don't really need to take out the intake boot to remove the bottom torx screw but it makes it easier if you dont have the proper tools.

I pulled it out slowly.


I first noticed how much gunk it has. The gunk smells like fuel.

Upon close inspection. The darn intake flap is cracked. God knows where that cracked piece went into.Hopefully not my combustion chambers.


Also the metal pivot pin for the valve comes out easily. I don't think it should be loose like that:


Finally, the PLASTIC yellow pivot totally broke. This means the DISA valve doesn't work anymore. The pivot is no longer connected to the vacuum and the intake flap I assume remains closed all the time.


I need to get another DISA valve ASAP. Anyone can help me where to get the best price for this part? Also, I put the DISA valve back in the intake, but this time I removed the loose pieces (flap, metal and plastic pivot). So basically the valve is wide open. Will the car run like this until I get a replacement?

Final rant.. Whats up with these German plastic pieces? I used to own an Audi and it seems like plastic materials are the weakeness in German carts. They all eventually deteriorate and crack.. I dont recall Japanese cars have any weakness in their plastic parts..even on older models.

Anyway, once I get this new part I will clear the codes and drive around. I will report back on the results.
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2011, 10:34 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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There is a BFD in Yurrip to design a car to be recycled. Perhaps the Krauts have selected a plastic that is easily recycled, and therefore, perhaps not terribly stable.

Just sayin'.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:55 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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I just realized how lucky I was that I was able to take the DISA out before the metal pin fell into the cylinders..As far the the plastic piece that was chipped from the flap, it probably had burnt out long time ago and I am not too concerned about that. Like clockwork, this failed me at 100K miles. I now have 105K.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:00 AM
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I forget who said that, other than the cooling system, checking the DISA is the next most important thing to preserve the health of our engines!

- Why check the DISA at 85K miles to 90K miles or whenever the airbox is removed (1) (2) & 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).

Note: Your pictures are included below, at 640x48 pixels, so they stay with this thread for reference purposes.
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Last edited by bluebee; 09-26-2011 at 12:10 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2011, 09:05 AM
uncmozo uncmozo is offline
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DISA valve is a BMW only part, when I replced mine I got it from a local dealer about $200. BTW, the design hasn't changed, same crappy pin, same plastic flap.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:12 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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My 98 528i does not have the DISA Valve.

$1M question: what happens if you remove the "internals" and re-install just the shell?
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:33 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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I believe it has something to do with flattening the torque curve, so you may lose whatever low-end torque you have now.
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2011, 09:42 AM
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For the part call Chris at BMW of Schererville; tell him Chris from TN referred you.

I just did this myself: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=6333559
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncmozo View Post
DISA valve is a BMW only part, when I replced mine I got it from a local dealer about $200. BTW, the design hasn't changed, same crappy pin, same plastic flap.
It carries a new part number, so perhaps something has changed (possibly internally)...?
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For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:53 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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That looks like an identical part in what they use for the blend door on explorers. They are garbage.

I googled the hell out of this. Im guessing the 2000 540's dont have a disa?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:19 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Bluebee, thanks for doing the thumbnails. I agree, aside from the cooling system, the DISA valve is the next crucial thing to check starting from 80K miles! Its amazing here how many people keep pushing the VANOS seal advice over and over, but checking your DISA should be more important.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:21 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Well i took out the flap and loose pars and put the DISA shell back in without plugging in the electrica connection. I need to use the car before my part arrives. The car should still run but will have crappy performane and idle.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
$1M question: what happens if you remove the "internals" and re-install just the shell?
In theory, there should be some impact on overall engine performance, such as reduced power/torque during wide open throttle. The DISA valve changes the length of the intake manifold so that the velocity of the incoming air changes, which in turn changes the way the air fuel mixes and can also increase the inlet pressure (like mild supercharging). I don't know if the normal operation is valve closed or open but the likely outcome of removing the DISA internals is you would lose one of the intake manifold options (longer or shorter, don't know which) resulting in sub-optimal engine performance under some operating conditions. This might trigger a CEL but then again, it might not. Does this qualify for the $1M? How about $.50 and a bimmmerfest sticker?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
Its amazing here how many people keep pushing the VANOS seal advice over and over, but checking your DISA should be more important.
I think that is because the Vanos seals is a known inevitable failure due to material degradation that happens in EVERY e39 (symptoms appear worse for the double Vanos). The consequences of Vanos seal failure are more annoying than catostrophic. The failure of the DISA valve has not been well documented, as yet, so the likelihood of this event appears to be fairly rare. Nor has the consequences of a DISA valve failure been well documented previously (at least I haven't really noticed much talk about the DISA).

But I totally agree that this is something that should be monitored by every owner as it appears a failing DISA valve can cause catostrophic engine damage. You are doing all of us a service by highlighting this failure mode and the possible consequences of it. Thanx!
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:09 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Agreed, VANOS fails..your car will run fine but crappy. DISA fails, your car will run fine but crappy (plus SES codes). However, its when the DISA fails and left alone for a long time there is a chance that the internals will fall inside your combustion chamber.. There is a documented fact that bluebee linked where the whole flap fell inside the chamber. Even as bad, when the metal pin falls in the cylinders. I was lucky because the metal pin on my DISA was loose..nothing was holding it. I am however bothered by the fact that a piece of plastic from the flap is gone. It may have already burnt out inside the cylinders or it may still be trapped in the intake somewhere. I am tempted to take out the intake just to make sure all is clear.

I visited the E46fantatics.com board where this problem is a lot more documented and talked about than this board. Not sure if the E46 has a higher failure rate than the E39's..But nevertheless, the part is made of plastic and will 100% get brittle no matter what. So just like we all know about the plastic impeller water pumps, the DISA valve should also be a must replace item starting at 60 or 80K miles IMO.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:25 AM
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I had the same thing a few years back, but mine DID die a few times while at idling at stoplights. I think it'd die maybe a third of the time while idling.

Before I replaced the DISA, I had tix to an Angels game and had to take my 530i, so I waited until everybody left the parking lot before leaving. That way I wouldn't have to sit in stop and go (i.e. stop and stall...) traffic leaving the parking lot.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:33 AM
hkrslot hkrslot is offline
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Nice report, I had a simualar problem turned out to be a cam possition sencer and plugs. From 540indiana's post I'm not sure if my 540 has this DISA valve or not. I'll check for it!
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:53 PM
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After all this, I think we should see if we can get a group buy from one of our sponsors for a percentage off the ridiculous price for the DISA if we agree to buy enough from the sponsor.

Any ideas how to organize that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
Well i took out the flap and loose pars and put the DISA shell back in without plugging in the electrical connection.
Please 'do' let us know how it works out as that's a great test, for the team!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
In theory, there should be some impact on overall engine performance
We did try to quantify what the DISA does over here:
- How the DISA valve operates (0)
Quote:
below ~ 3750 RPM closed
above ~ 3750 RPM open
rest position, i.e. when removed - flap open
Personally, I never understood what the DISA actually does, that is of benefit to us.






Quote:
The resonance system provides increased engine torque at low RPM, as well as additional power at high RPM. Both of these features are obtained by using a resonance flap (in the intake manifold) controlled by the ECM.

During the low to mid range rpm, the resonance flap is closed. This produces a long/single intake tube for velocity, which increases engine torque.

During mid range to high rpm, the resonance flap is open. This allows the intake air to pull through both resonance tubes, providing the air volume necessary for additional power at the upper RPM range.

When the flap is closed , this creates another "dynamic" effect. For example, as the intake air is flowing into cylinder #1, the intake valves will close. This creates a "roadblock" for the in rushing air. The air flow will stop and expand back (resonance wave back pulse) with the in rushing air to cylinder #5. The resonance "wave", along with the intake velocity, enhances cylinder filling.

The ECM controls a solenoid valve for resonance flap activation. At speeds below 3750 RPM, the solenoid valve is energized and vacuum supplied from an accumulator closes the resonance flap. This channels the intake air through one resonance tube, but increases the intake velocity.

When the engine speed is greater than 4100 RPM (which varies slightly - temperature influenced), the solenoid is de-energized. The resonance flap is sprung open, allowing flow through both resonance tubes, increasing volume.

Last edited by bluebee; 09-26-2011 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:54 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Well I need this part today..so I called BMW of Long Beach which is a couple of miles from my work and luckily they had one Adjuster/DISA in stock. The price was $260..I wasnt aware you can negotiate their prices but I tried it and he lowered the price to $218. Which was great because thats about how much I see them online minus shipping charges. Plus I really wanted this today as I need to drive my car.

Shown is the part #


Also, I saw a video somewhere on how to test the vaccum on the valve. Move the flapper to the closed position, then block the vacuum hole with your finger. Release the flapper and it should not open all the way. It will stop in the middle position and wont open fully until you let go of your finger.



Also I noticed the orange gasket..This looks to be a one time deal. And I think that once its taken out, that gasket is no loger a tight seal. As somoeone pointed out here, using orange Permatex is probably a good sealant once you remove the DISA from your car and put it back in.

I will put this in the car when I get back from work and see if all is good..

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Old 09-26-2011, 02:07 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Agreed. $260 for this pice of plastic garbage is too much. However, I wouldnt recommend rebuilding the DISA or doing a "band-aid" fix. The plastic will be or is already brittle due to the age. There is no getting around that fact. So replacing it is the only choice.

Bluebee, I got this part today so I never got the chance to run the car w/o the DISA.. But I can imagine since my flapper is broken it probably ran always open..Which led to engine running lean and misfires.

The DISA on my E36 is much more reliable (no plastic). The car has 230,000 miles and the DISA works perfectly. It works the same concept..above a certain RPM, the engine gets a little boost in power as the air coming into the engine gets re-routed via the valve.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:07 PM
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Great thread all! Looks like I need to put this on the "to do" list. Though fortunately I've had no DISA troubles (that I know of) so far. FYI $199 currently at TMS. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-28...gn=11617544806
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Last edited by Mack; 09-26-2011 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:14 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
Great thread all! Looks like I need to put this on the "to do" list. Though fortunately I've had no DISA troubles (that I know of) so far. FYI $199 currently at TMS. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-28...gn=11617544806
Whats your mileage? Take it out and check..dont wait until it stars rattling. Taking it out is a 5 minute task.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
Whats your mileage? Take it out and check..dont wait until it stars rattling. Taking it out is a 5 minute task.
I just turned 167k. Think I'm due?
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:51 PM
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$195 at BMW of Schererville (maybe less if you tell Chris I referred you...?).
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For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:25 PM
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He,he, he...warned you gals and guys that the goddamn plastic valve starts self destructing at around 90 k miles...
I had no codes, but I searched many threads and forums, and the P0304 & P0305 seemed associated with the DISA when stuck. I had a faint whirring when I pulled it out, the pin was halfway out....and the flapper had a bit of a "free" movement. It's 200 bux vs rebuilding the engine (sooner or later, depending on your luck).
The 528 and 540 folks don't have to worry. They don't have that piece of super-engineering attached to the intake manifold.
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