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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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  #76  
Old 12-26-2011, 12:06 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Quote:
Yeah, I wish I still had a garage too. Had a decent one when I lived in CA, but over here in NC I have to put plastic on the floor in the living room, put down a couple small boxes, a thick old towel, then the head on top of it. I've also turned the 1/2 bathroom into a small machine shop.
That reminds of building a small block Chevy in the bedroom closet of the apartment that I lived in while going to tech school. It was no problem until someone saw us carrying the finished engine out the back sliding glass doors, and reported it to the management. We got kicked out the next week, something about Chevy orange overspray on the inside of the closet. The other 3 guys sharing the apartment weren't very happy.

Quote:
I have no idea how I'm going to match them. There are three new ones going in but other than that I have no clue.
I would trying lightly sanding the contact surfaces against 400 grit silicon carbide sandpaper taped to a surface plate or piece of glass. If an 'untouched' depression appears in the lobe contact area I would replace them. You apparently have a lot of knowledge and experience at this sort of thing based on reading this thread, so you probably already know the ramifications of combining 2 dissimilar wear surfaces together under load.

I'm actual surprised that your cam lobes and lifters looked so good. The M54 that I'm rebuilding looked like new inside with no measurable wear anywhere except the cam lobes and lifters. That's the reason I'm putting hotter cams in, since I had to replace the cams and lifters anyway, why not replace them with mild performance cams.

Great thread; I also love it when people take the extra time to post this kind of detailed information. The main reason that I'm going to the trouble of posting all the details of my M54 engine build is so I can give something back to this great community.
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  #77  
Old 12-26-2011, 01:35 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikesStillRule View Post
That reminds of building a small block Chevy in the bedroom closet of the apartment that I lived in while going to tech school. It was no problem until someone saw us carrying the finished engine out the back sliding glass doors, and reported it to the management. We got kicked out the next week, something about Chevy orange overspray on the inside of the closet. The other 3 guys sharing the apartment weren't very happy.
As much as I hate to, I have to giggle at this at least a little bit. Nothing like a gearhead to spoil the party, huh? haha!! I can't remember a time when I didn't have something I was rebuilding/restoring somewhere in the house. Last year it was a vintage tiller job I did for a guy. This year it's my own engine.


Quote:
I would trying lightly sanding the contact surfaces against 400 grit silicon carbide sandpaper taped to a surface plate or piece of glass. If an 'untouched' depression appears in the lobe contact area I would replace them. You apparently have a lot of knowledge and experience at this sort of thing based on reading this thread, so you probably already know the ramifications of combining 2 dissimilar wear surfaces together under load.

I'm actual surprised that your cam lobes and lifters looked so good. The M54 that I'm rebuilding looked like new inside with no measurable wear anywhere except the cam lobes and lifters. That's the reason I'm putting hotter cams in, since I had to replace the cams and lifters anyway, why not replace them with mild performance cams.

Great thread; I also love it when people take the extra time to post this kind of detailed information. The main reason that I'm going to the trouble of posting all the details of my M54 engine build is so I can give something back to this great community.
Ya know, I thought about that, only using 1200 grit. Almost polishing the surfaces. There have been times that I have mismatched valves, lifters, etc, but I'm lucky enough to have never had a problem resulting.

Oh, as far as me being knowledgeable and experienced, well...... I wouldn't put myself up that high. I've rebuilt a few engines, done plenty of bodywork, even painted a car or two in my time, but I must admit, as many BMW's as I've owned and the work that I've done on them, I'm going to go ahead and consider myself still a newbie. Look around, you'll still see PLENTY of posts from me asking for info.
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  #78  
Old 12-26-2011, 01:52 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Ya know, I thought about that, only using 1200 grit. Almost polishing the surfaces. There have been times that I have mismatched valves, lifters, etc, but I'm lucky enough to have never had a problem resulting.
I've been known to use 400 or 600 on used solid lifter buckets on bike engines when installing new cams. I very fine crosshatch on the lifter face helps a little with oil retention, I've never seen them highly polished from the factory, in fact my new BMW lifters have a distinct radial grinding pattern on them.
Quote:
Oh, as far as me being knowledgeable and experienced, well...... I wouldn't put myself up that high. I've rebuilt a few engines, done plenty of bodywork, even painted a car or two in my time, but I must admit, as many BMW's as I've owned and the work that I've done on them, I'm going to go ahead and consider myself still a newbie. Look around, you'll still see PLENTY of posts from me asking for info.
Don't be so humble, just the fact that you're doing what you're doing, puts you in the five percentile.
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  #79  
Old 12-26-2011, 01:57 PM
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BTW, I can assume from the forum name that you're a Vietnam vet? Thank you for your service! You guys got a really bum wrap when you returned home.
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  #80  
Old 12-26-2011, 02:13 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikesStillRule View Post
I've been known to use 400 or 600 on used solid lifter buckets on bike engines when installing new cams. I very fine crosshatch on the lifter face helps a little with oil retention, I've never seen them highly polished from the factory, in fact my new BMW lifters have a distinct radial grinding pattern on them.
Ya know, that is a very good point. Just like the cylinder walls. See, little things like this is exactly why I hang out on several BMW forums. It's like having a "second eye".


Quote:
Don't be so humble, just the fact that you're doing what you're doing, puts you in the five percentile.
Well, thanks! I'm just the kind of nut that likes to take things apart and put them back together. It's a sickness, really. I'll never make the mistake of thinking I know it all though, always referring to my manual. I've made plenty mistakes over the years, especially when trying to cut corners. Biggest one was rebuilding an engine in an old Monte Carlo. Didn't thoroughly inspect the camshaft. It had a crack apparently, came apart 10 minutes into firing up the newly rebuilt engine. Gave me enough excuse to go with a Crane Cam and better lifters though.


The three lifters I'm replacing are because I found "pits" in them. Near the top surface above the oil groove when the lifters are situated upside down as if installed. Two have a very small pit, almost looks like it was meant to be there. Like a tiny little hole in the surface. The other one has two small pits pretty close to each other. Those are the only two that have these, so of course they aren't normal. The others also have an almost "polished" edge near the top. Perhaps scuffing those up lightly with 600grit would aid in oil retention also?
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  #81  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:44 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Originally Posted by BikesStillRule View Post
BTW, I can assume from the forum name that you're a Vietnam vet? Thank you for your service! You guys got a really bum wrap when you returned home.
Nope.

Jarhed (Marine), and 1964 is just the year I was hatched/found under a rock/created/born.


My dad is a VN Vet though.
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  #82  
Old 12-30-2011, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jarhed1964 View Post
Well, I didn't actuall "create" the situation. Kid got hold of my keys to the shed, apparently looking for something in my toolbox, and saw some things that looked "interesting". Came in and they were all stacked up.

I have no idea how I'm going to match them. There are three new ones going in but other than that I have no clue.
Kids do the darndest things . Yet they are innocent still.

Out of curiosity is their a reason to keep them in order aka matched? What are potential downsides of not doing so? Thanks in advance and thanks for this thread. Very interesting.

I cracked up when you described the work space you are using.

.
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  #83  
Old 12-30-2011, 07:39 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
Kids do the darndest things . Yet they are innocent still.

Out of curiosity is their a reason to keep them in order aka matched? What are potential downsides of not doing so? Thanks in advance and thanks for this thread. Very interesting.

I cracked up when you described the work space you are using.

.


Yea, I've been known to improvise to get things done. Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that at any given moment, there may be a cylinder block in the strangest place or me playing machine shop in a spare bathroom or closet.

The lifters tend to "wear in" in whichever guide hole they have been run in. So, there may be one lifter, for example, that has a tiny score on one side has already worn off the wall of the guide it came from. To put it in another guide will cause it to now wear the wall on the new guide, not to mention, remove metal from the lifter itself in the process. The lifters rotate, so that wear will go all the way around.

That all said, I've re-used lifters in other cars back when I was in college, and sometimes the beer got the best of me and I mixed them up. I've not noticed any negative effects, but with the tiny tolerances in BMW engines, it's always better to err on the side of caution.

I scuffed 21 lifters with 600 grit cloth and replaced three others. Put everything in with Lucas Assembly Lube and have the head on the block now. All torque stages complete (30ft lbs, 90 degrees, 90 degrees).

Cams go in tomorrow as soon as I figure the correct order to tighten down the cam bearing caps. Engine is already OFF of TDC. I will lock the rear of the camshafts at TDC, then tighten the bearings down, then bring it back to TDC and insert the TDC pin. Sprockets and chains after that, VANOS Reinstall after that, then work on the intake side.

Pics soon.
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  #84  
Old 01-06-2012, 03:06 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Valves all in, everything cleaned up. Installed three new lifters. They look different than the original ones from the factory. Head is on, cams locked, engine set at TDC. Had a huge crack in the lower chain guide, so ordered a new one from AutohauzAZ. While reassembling the sprockets and thrust washers, I over-torqued the studs on the intake side. Broke one. Going to pick one up today.

A lot going on in the past week. Got laid off on Friday 12/30, have been trying to organize a new office (going in as a full partner with a financial planning/Insurance firm). Need to get that going quick, need income.

More pics soon.
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  #85  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:24 AM
coopster530 coopster530 is offline
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No compression test?

Looks to be progressing nicely.

I tried to figure out before posting, can't. Did you have compression readings before? Or was it just a catastophic failure?

I rebuilt an M50 (?) (94 325) in 08. It had that same rust effect on the top of the cylinder walls. Honing cleaned it up (at the machine shop). It had a blown head gasket. The #2 was clean as a whistle (coolant scrubbing effect I suppose).
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  #86  
Old 01-06-2012, 10:42 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coopster530 View Post
Looks to be progressing nicely.

I tried to figure out before posting, can't. Did you have compression readings before? Or was it just a catastophic failure?

I rebuilt an M50 (?) (94 325) in 08. It had that same rust effect on the top of the cylinder walls. Honing cleaned it up (at the machine shop). It had a blown head gasket. The #2 was clean as a whistle (coolant scrubbing effect I suppose).

No, no compression readings. My symptoms were a steady coolant leak around the front of the head. I figured a warped head. It was past due anyway, you saw the pics of those pistons. The mess at the top of the cylinders was carbon, most likely from the CVV spitting oil into the intake.


So, couldn't get the studs for the front of the intake cam. Guess I'll have to wait for the dealer to get them in.

In the meantime, I'm putting together the junk under the intake manifold. Going to go ahead and get intake mani in, all the hoses connected and the exhaust manifold in with it's new gaskets. All I'll have to do then is get the intake sprocket assembly put back together with new studs, the exhaust sprocket, and the chain, put the VANOS back on, and button up the top.

STILL haven't gotten my new plugs or picked up my Mobil 1 0w-40 synth yet. (Lazy)
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  #87  
Old 01-16-2012, 11:16 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Vanos on, new vacuum hoses on. I literally painted a red stripe on one and a white stripe on the other - cheaper than BMW hoses.

Intake is on, just gotta torque it down. Pulled all of the injectors to replace the o-rings. Let me warn everyone on this: Always pull the little metal clips from the injector electrical connection OFF and put them in a safe place. Had two fall out, found one sitting under the exhaust cam. No idea where the other one is, but I checked the head thoroughly for it. Probably on the ground.

Also, try to put the exhaust manifolds on the studs as you are putting the head on the block. I didn't do that and had to pull the blasted manifolds from the pipes to get them to fit on there. Man, what a horrible process, especially with no help. Picked up some of what I thought was copper anti-seize, turned out to be copper colored gasket maker. Can't put that on the exhaust studs. See what happens when you are lazy about paying attention to details?

I poured some cheap oil over the cams for the time being to lube them and also to wash down any garbage into the crankcase. I left the drain plug OFF so it would hopefully wash out. I'll put that plug back in before I fill it with good oil.

Going to pick up some oil and new spark plugs later, along with some COPPER ANTI-SEIZE paste, tighten down the exhaust manifold, fill it with oil, and put the valve cover on.

Battery is giving me a F03 error on the charger (figures, thats how Murphy rolls with me). Going to try to use it to crank the engine and run it over to have it tested.

Some pics now, more later.
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  #88  
Old 01-16-2012, 01:13 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is online now
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Good tip about the injector clips. Thank you for that. Good luck, and I'll stay tuned for updates.
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  #89  
Old 01-17-2012, 06:00 AM
coopster530 coopster530 is offline
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injector spring clips

Let me second that! I think mine fell into that vortex between parallel dimensions. Spent most of sunday looking for it. No freakin' idea where it went. Spent yesterday looking for another. $75 at a wrecking yard? Not even on the catalog at the dealer. wtf? "Probably will need to order the entire harness". No thanks. Found an indy with an old shop that gave me several "because you might loose another!" LOL

Jarhed, Murphy lives at my house! So I'm looking with my trusty ACE hardware trouble light all around the cams (for that clip), etc., and the damned plastic cover falls off, right onto the cams. No biggie. Wait- where the H did the little screw go?! And it's AL (so magnet didn't find it). The way this week is going it fell down an oil passage.

But not happy with VCovergasket at all. It is just not fitting up into that recess well. Probably go get another today and try again. (Plus look for that screw once more!)

It's only Time.
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  #90  
Old 01-17-2012, 06:07 AM
coopster530 coopster530 is offline
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CCV (cold version)

Yo Jarhed.

Did you (are you) replacing the CCV Oil separator with the cold climate version?

I dont have any evidence of gunk in the old tubes, but am going with the 'cold' version anyway as I'm likely going to end up in the Dallas area for a while. Most of my miles were highway (100+) miles per lap.

The 'cold' version is a joke. An ill-fitting rubber coating (that I used a sealing tape to bind the halves together!) I think insulated something would be just as good - of course getting it to fit back onto the plenum might be another story.
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  #91  
Old 01-17-2012, 06:33 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coopster530 View Post
Let me second that! I think mine fell into that vortex between parallel dimensions. Spent most of sunday looking for it. No freakin' idea where it went. Spent yesterday looking for another. $75 at a wrecking yard? Not even on the catalog at the dealer. wtf? "Probably will need to order the entire harness". No thanks. Found an indy with an old shop that gave me several "because you might loose another!" LOL

Jarhed, Murphy lives at my house! So I'm looking with my trusty ACE hardware trouble light all around the cams (for that clip), etc., and the damned plastic cover falls off, right onto the cams. No biggie. Wait- where the H did the little screw go?! And it's AL (so magnet didn't find it). The way this week is going it fell down an oil passage.

But not happy with VCovergasket at all. It is just not fitting up into that recess well. Probably go get another today and try again. (Plus look for that screw once more!)

It's only Time.

Oh, so you've met my buddy Murphy too?
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  #92  
Old 01-17-2012, 06:34 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Originally Posted by coopster530 View Post
Yo Jarhed.

Did you (are you) replacing the CCV Oil separator with the cold climate version?

I dont have any evidence of gunk in the old tubes, but am going with the 'cold' version anyway as I'm likely going to end up in the Dallas area for a while. Most of my miles were highway (100+) miles per lap.

The 'cold' version is a joke. An ill-fitting rubber coating (that I used a sealing tape to bind the halves together!) I think insulated something would be just as good - of course getting it to fit back onto the plenum might be another story.
Nah, didn't use a cold climate one. Just used the regular. Not even sure if the M52 1997 has the cold climate one as an option.
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  #93  
Old 01-18-2012, 02:19 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Ok, it runs.

But..... it's a little noisy with the ticking. I did quiet down a LITTLE bit when I took it around the block. I'm wondering how long it will take to get the lifters full of oil.

Ran smooth until my run around the block at operating temp. When I parked, it threw a code and started running a bit rough. Gotta find out what that is.

Also, no heat. Not sure why, other than there is no coolant in the core yet. The fan doesn't even blow (New FSU last year, blew fine before teardown). Maybe the heater pump isn't full of coolant yet(?).

Going to let her cool down and check coolant level again.
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  #94  
Old 01-18-2012, 03:33 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Ok, here's the list:

P0305
P0300
P1519
P0173
P0306


Probably all related. Going to put some decent gas in there and run it a bit. The gas in the tank is at least two months old. Seems to be running smoother now, and the tapping is all but gone. Definitely needed time to get oil pressure into those lifters.

Still gotta figure out why I'm not getting the fan to blow. That FSU, like I said, was put in August of 2010. I can feel heat through the vents, so there is coolant in the core.
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  #95  
Old 01-19-2012, 04:18 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Interesting.....

Fan fuse was burnt up. Replaced it, got fan. Noticed also that the doors are locking and unlocking by themselves again, like they did before replacing the FSU a while ago.

Hoping it's just the FSU.

Reseated all of the vac hoses today, put new clamps on the hose that comes from the brake booster to the intake manifold. The old BMW clamps were not very tight. Went for a 20 mile drive and put 8 gals of 91 octane in there with some STP Fuel System cleaner. Runs and idles very smooth but I'm going to continue looking for vac leaks until the CEL goes off.

I'm still thinking it might be a good idea to pull the VANOS and reset it again. I'm pretty sure I did it properly, but better safe than sorry, no?
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  #96  
Old 12-30-2012, 02:18 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Update:

A couple weeks ago I developed a huge coolant leak somewhere underneath the intake. Had to pull the intake off to find it.

Turns out the heater hose that connects to the rear of the head was split wide open were it connects. Let this be a lesson to all.... don't be cheap or lazy when you have all that stuff off. The only hoses I replaced during rebuild were the two front ones that you have to pull for the radiator. All of the hoses going into the firewall, AND the one coming from the coolant reservoir to the pipe underneath the intake were more than likely factory. That is 16 years old, folks. This car was built in 6/06.

Ordered new ones, replaced all, along with most of the clamps. While I was under there, I noticed that pretty much all of the injector pintle caps (tips) were broken, chipped off, or not there. Bought a kit on Ebay and replaced not only the pintle caps, but also the filter screens.

Other than that, and reseating the VANOS properly back in April, a new water pump and t-stat, restoring and installing leather seats salvaged out of a 98 5'er, this car runs like a finely tuned BMW should run. No codes, no hiccups, no strange engine issues at all other than a slow electrical leak from somewhere (Has been going on for years) that I have to track down. It likes to kill my battery. Course, it could be the battery itself or the alternator. Both easy fixes.

Will probably replace all of my belt tensioners as I believe one of them is making a bit of noise. Can't figure out which one, so they all get replaced.
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