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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 04-19-2005, 09:20 PM
Charlie Brown Charlie Brown is offline
Charlie B
Location: Southern California
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 1998 E39 540i
Replacing Starter 1998 540i

I have been trying to R&R the starter in my 98'540i. The bolt on the top is in a nasty location. It appears that I have to remove the exhaust manifold to get to the top bolt. Is there a special tool that will give me better access or do I just have to remove the Exhaust manifold?

Any quick advise would help as I need to get the job done this weekend.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2005, 08:16 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Do you have any pics? Although, I'm not sure it would help.... What about a thin wrench or a stubby wrench?
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2005, 09:49 PM
Charlie Brown Charlie Brown is offline
Charlie B
Location: Southern California
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Mein Auto: 1998 E39 540i
Replacing Starter 1998 540i

Thanks for your reply,
A picture wouldn't show anything of merit. A stubby might work if I could pull on it will something that would produce enough force to loosen the bolt, which is an inverted torx.Other than that I am afraid I'll have to remove the exhaust manifold.
I am surprised that there wasn't more replies to this question. Is it a rare occasion for a starter to go bad in a 540?
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2005, 06:03 AM
Okie540i Okie540i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540ia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brown
Thanks for your reply,
A picture wouldn't show anything of merit. A stubby might work if I could pull on it will something that would produce enough force to loosen the bolt, which is an inverted torx.Other than that I am afraid I'll have to remove the exhaust manifold.
I am surprised that there wasn't more replies to this question. Is it a rare occasion for a starter to go bad in a 540?
I don't know how common the starter failure is on the 540's, but I haven't seen it mentioned on this or other forums as a common failure, so maybe that's a good indication that the starter is not a problem piece.

RE the tools, without crawling under mine and looking, I can only suggest using u-joints and extensions of varying lengths to come up with a tool that will snake through tight spots. Even a high quality 1/4" drive u-joint can take quite a bit of torque without breaking, and if you only use it for this R&R and it works but is damaged, it might be worth it.

And if you haven't done it already, check bmwtips.com. Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2005, 06:13 AM
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BahnBaum BahnBaum is offline
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Assuming it's similar to the e36 configuration, you can get to that nasty bellhousing bolt by doing a couple things:

- lower the transmission mount cross brace to give yourself some extra room up top, allowing the drivetrain to rotate to the rear

- several extensions on the torx socket should allow you to get to it fom the rear.


Nick may recall more from his clutch job.

Alex
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2005, 10:58 PM
Charlie Brown Charlie Brown is offline
Charlie B
Location: Southern California
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Mein Auto: 1998 E39 540i
Thanks for the tips. I've tried the extensions. The angles are severe and I cant seem to get the torque needed. I'll ty the bmwtips.com....
Thanks again.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2011, 05:42 AM
1997bmw540I 1997bmw540I is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 bmw 540 i
Removing starter

I just removed the starter and it took less than an hour

The top bolt is a tite spot so the dealie was like this--(all 3/8 drive)

deepwell E12(female torx)
2.5" extension
universal
5.5" extension
breaker bar

Using the extensions, universal and breaker bar proved very tough with the limited swing range but few tries and I heard the first creak of the bolt breaking - success.

Be careful to make sure the socket is all the way down on the bolt head - It may tend to wabble with the universal and all. I would not suggest anything except an E12 reverse torx to undo this with. Some spline sockets claim to fit torx others may fit around it, but, I really had to bear down on it to get it to pop and I don't know if they would work. If you bung up this bolt head, you will be in a jam - bigtime.

A few times back and forth on the torx head and I could get the spot I needed to hit it with the torque to pop it. I tapped the bolt head with a hammer to make it ready to break loose too ( it was real tite.)

Also, it was a few small twists with the breaker bar before I could get the ratchet on it.

I broke the bottom one first to make me happy - it was easy.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:31 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1997bmw540I View Post
I just removed the starter and it took less than an hour
I'll make sure these hints get to others via the bestlinks:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2012, 10:50 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross-linked record, there are some nice pictures of the 540i starter motor here today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > bad starter
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:30 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, JimLev kindly wrote a recent V8 starter motor R&R DIY over here ...
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Bosch starter rebuild kits? DIY write-ups?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
Not technically a rebuild, I just removed, cleaned, and lubed it to see if the noise it was making every 10-20 starts would go away. So far it has been fine.
The V8 starter takes about 30 minutes to remove from the bottom of the car.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2013, 06:33 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Just in case JimLev's site goes down, here are his pictures from that thread, which was updated today.
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__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2013, 09:17 AM
rexro603 rexro603 is offline
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Location: seacoast,nh
 
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Mein Auto: 97 540i 6
wondering if you guys had any insight on a problem im having. i have a 97 540i 6 speed manual. and the starter recently just stopped turning over. all lights in car work so i went underneath the car to look at the starter and noticed that the white rubber coated wire/cable that goes from the starter to the solenoid is disconnected on the solenoid where it clipped down. the wire is pretty crusty where it broken. is there a way to strip the wire and add another piece of wire to it to make it longer. or does the starter need to be replaced. any help is appreciated thanks
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2014, 03:55 AM
BrandonMag BrandonMag is offline
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Location: Vantucky, WA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 77
Mein Auto: 2000 540i Sport
I just replaced the starter in my 540 yesterday... not too bad a job, all told actual wrenching time was about three hours. Of course, actual time in the air was much more because I had to wait on the remanned unit to show up at my local NAPA. I did a little research on here to see what kind of problems I might encounter, and utilized my trusty Bentley book. I did have to pull the passenger O2 sensor for clearance purposes, but that only took about five minutes.
The new starter sounds WAY quieter than the stocker that I pulled out. I didn't realize it until I heard how smooth the remanned unit is, but I think the stock starter was pretty much on it's way out when I bought the car. I now have just over 147K on the car, I suppose that's not bad for the original Bosch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rexro603 View Post
wondering if you guys had any insight on a problem im having. i have a 97 540i 6 speed manual. and the starter recently just stopped turning over. all lights in car work so i went underneath the car to look at the starter and noticed that the white rubber coated wire/cable that goes from the starter to the solenoid is disconnected on the solenoid where it clipped down. the wire is pretty crusty where it broken. is there a way to strip the wire and add another piece of wire to it to make it longer. or does the starter need to be replaced. any help is appreciated thanks
I suppose it depends on your budget... you're going to have to pull the starter out to replace that wire. If it were me, I'd probably just replace it.
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  #14  
Old 06-28-2014, 08:17 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
The question of how to remove a stuck 540i starter motor came up today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > 540i starter removal problems
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdawg246 View Post
First let me startoff by saying I know the procedure and tools for removal of the starter on a 99 540i. I have already loosened and removed the 2 e12 torx starter bolts, but the starter is not budging. Im wondering if anybody out there has had any problems removing their starter after taking out the bolts. I broke loose the 3rd 4th and fifth bolt from the bottom of the case on the right on the picture I attached-am I correct. My friend thinks its just stuck but I only have a small hammer to hit it with till tomorrow.

See also:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & removing the 540i starter motor in one hour (1) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)

- BMW_E39_Starting_Systems_Starter_Motor_And_Solenoi d_Operation.pdf (357.6 KB, 543 views)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-28-2014 at 08:20 AM.
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