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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 02-19-2012, 06:47 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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Blown 5 motors!!!

Is my BMW elergic to water??? I want to write this as short as possible. I had my 1998 540i for just over a year when, in the rain at idle speed and about 5mph, my 8th cylynder blew a hole the size of my fist threw the bottom of the block. 2 weeks later my dad's mechanic(for many years) got a refurbished engine put in. he drove it 2 times and on the second one almost the identical thing happened to him. Same cylynder and everything. this happened 3 more times over the course of 7 months that the car was in the shop. 6 months later after the first signifigant rain of the season; I went to take my car out of the driveway and I got the same rough, feeling I got just before the motor blew before. since then I've started it and let it idle. It sounds fine, maybe a little exhaust leak. when i bring the rpm's up (reving it slightly) when it comes back down it falls to about 400 rpm and stays that way for a bit. I'm scared to drive it and don't know that its worth putting more money into after buying a new motor and front suspention. I've written to BMW and got no responce about a year ago. Any Ideas would be appreciated. Everyone I've talked to can't beleive it and has never seen anything like it
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:56 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Have you reviewed the stored codes before/after the failure? They may offer a clue.

If you have an aftermarket cold air intake, remove and toss it. Replace with stock.
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Last edited by edjack; 02-19-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:19 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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No mods other than wheels. And I have some sort of prob with the ECU in general. I constantly get warnigs for all my lights. I'm in San Jose also, where do you get your work done?
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:24 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is online now
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Your car is apparently allergic to engines.
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:27 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Your car is apparently allergic to engines.
Nice back handed spelling correction, but no help otherwise - Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:41 PM
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Don't mention it.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:04 PM
SNAKEYES86GT SNAKEYES86GT is offline
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OP - you may want to try another angle with your first few posts if you're looking for help from the members of this forum. I also wouldn't get too peeved if people spell words correctly in consequent posts after your trivial mistake....

Also, please consider what questions you are actually asking - I'm not sure if you prompted anyone to help you with anything other than "Is my car allergic to water?" What kind of ideas are you looking for?

Please provide us with symptoms, codes - well, really anything that would allow us to help you. I also have a hard time believing that your 5 engines all let go without any form of warning and have nothing in common aside from the fact that it was raining, and I would appreciate it if you stop ruining all the used M62s around.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:32 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNAKEYES86GT View Post
OP - you may want to try another angle with your first few posts if you're looking for help from the members of this forum. I also wouldn't get too peeved if people spell words correctly in consequent posts after your trivial mistake....

Also, please consider what questions you are actually asking - I'm not sure if you prompted anyone to help you with anything other than "Is my car allergic to water?" What kind of ideas are you looking for?

Please provide us with symptoms, codes - well, really anything that would allow us to help you. I also have a hard time believing that your 5 engines all let go without any form of warning and have nothing in common aside from the fact that it was raining, and I would appreciate it if you stop ruining all the used M62s around.
Well thanks for the tips. I dont have all the answers. I don't know the codes and the only symptom I've had was a very low idle then just stops other than that instance its running fine prior. It only happened to me twice. Once moving forward in a parking lot then again in reverse backing out of my drive way. I dont have much to go off of since it happened so fast. Pretty much felt like it was stalling(best way I can describe it). The other times in the shop it was similar, and thats all I know. I asked in this forum with a ridiculous statement because the whole situation is ridiculous and unbelievable. I have no idea what to do or even where to start. I wanna beat it this time rather than have a 6th engine die. The long and the short of it: what could cause that much compression in the cylynder at less than 1000 rpm? When the oil came out, it was brown like it was mixed with water. Could water get into it other ways than air intake.

I'm not a car expert or any kind of forum regular. I just figured some BMW enthusiasts would have heard of something like this or at least just be interested in such a rare case.
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:41 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Oil and water (coolant) can make a brown substance like cake frosting, or a milkshake. Really weird problem, blowing up engines. Never heard of this before. Hardly anyone on this forum has chewed up their original engine, much less five!

I do my own servicing. Might want to consider joining Bay Area Checkbook. They do periodic surveys and ratings of auto repair shops, including BMW specialists.
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:24 PM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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I got money on your brake booster being full of water.

Look it up, it's very common... especially if you park outside or drive in the rain. Are you cabin filter drains clogged, or have they ever been? That'll cause the booster to suck up massive amounts of water. You can test it by pumping the brake pedal and having someone listen for moving water in the booster.

Be happy you're not in the north somewhere, because the water DOES freeze, causing the brakes to be almost useless.
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:27 PM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Look at the very first search result: http://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&...+booster+water

Quote:
If not I have seen engine hydrolock result from water getting sucked into the engine from the brake booster
Quote:
I have seen a few of these before. The worst one cause a rod to go through the block when it hydrolocked.
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540i - Stock/Sport / 6MT / 13.9@100mph
WS6 - 231/234 / 6MT / 4.10 / 410rwhp
ITR - 262/262 / 5MT / 12.2:1 / 9600rpm

540i/6 Sport, Jet Black, Style 65, LED tail, DICE+GROM USB, !CDV, Redline MT-90, M1 0-40w

Last edited by Quick99Si; 02-19-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:33 PM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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In all my years of existence, with all the cars I've owned or known, I've never known a person with a street car to go through more than two engines. That is just throwing good money after bad. By engine 3 I would have just moved to another car or maybe had a professional look into it. Posting a question on this board is simply idiotic. This isn't Click and Clack.
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:55 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
I got money on your brake booster being full of water.

Look it up, it's very common... especially if you park outside or drive in the rain. Are you cabin filter drains clogged, or have they ever been? That'll cause the booster to suck up massive amounts of water. You can test it by pumping the brake pedal and having someone listen for moving water in the booster.

Be happy you're not in the north somewhere, because the water DOES freeze, causing the brakes to be almost useless.
Now THAT makes a lot of sense. I had a slightly squishy feeling in my brakes at one point, like ther was air or water in the line or something but it went away quickly after pressing the brake pedal. Never would have thought they were related. Not something I'd try and do myself though.
Thank you
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:02 PM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misfit_408 View Post
Now THAT makes a lot of sense. I had a slightly squishy feeling in my brakes at one point, like ther was air or water in the line or something but it went away quickly after pressing the brake pedal. Never would have thought they were related. Not something I'd try and do myself though.
Thank you
Squishy feeling is a symptom of the same water problem. My friend has it in his 00 528i as well. The fix is to replace to brake booster (a relatively big job) but some people have managed to empty it by drilling into it and then sucking the water out. Maybe the hole can be plugged up with JB weld?

But really man, 5 engines.. damn. You got any extra valve covers lol
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WS6 - 231/234 / 6MT / 4.10 / 410rwhp
ITR - 262/262 / 5MT / 12.2:1 / 9600rpm

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  #15  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:05 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helpmyfive View Post
In all my years of existence, with all the cars I've owned or known, I've never known a person with a street car to go through more than two engines. That is just throwing good money after bad. By engine 3 I would have just moved to another car or maybe had a professional look into it. Posting a question on this board is simply idiotic. This isn't Click and Clack.
Awesome inpute! I only payed for the first motor. The rest the shop covered and did before I even knew about it. Seeing as I'm in the military and gone quite often.
But hey, at least someone was helpful
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:13 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is offline
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Get back to use on the BB! I would bail on the car if you experience any issues, the E39s are awfully cheap these days and labor is quite expensive.

Don't expect much coherent or useful info from OldGeez though, he's too busy passing out and careening into shopping malls
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:29 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
Squishy feeling is a symptom of the same water problem. My friend has it in his 00 528i as well. The fix is to replace to brake booster (a relatively big job) but some people have managed to empty it by drilling into it and then sucking the water out. Maybe the hole can be plugged up with JB weld?

But really man, 5 engines.. damn. You got any extra valve covers lol
haha, no man. the only way I kept getting them was the shop had them insured. And after 2 they actually got investigated apparently. I dont have any of the parts. I only payed for the first one(well, got my dad to pay for it - hense why I didnt choose to just go to a better mechanic) I was stuck there.
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2012, 06:48 AM
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i knew a guy that had water get into his engine (Honda) and then the next motot had the same problem ,turns out the intake manifold(water cooled on the honda) was reused on the new motor and it was leaking water . so this may be the cause in your motor .is there any part being reused on these motors from the original?
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:05 AM
Turbo_525 Turbo_525 is offline
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A few thoughts for you:

1. Search the forum for any threads/posts on "failed v8 engines" I've heard of many overheated/warped/cracked head & gaskets, but 0 through the block failures.
2. Any attempt of correspondance with BMWNA in regard to a 10+ year old car is a complete waste of time - they don't care.
3. I would humbly suggest finding a different car - like a Toyota Corolla.
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  • Pre-Purchase Inspections by a qualifed BMW tech should be considered required PRIOR to purchase.
  • Service Records matter - a whole lot!
  • Plan to spend $2-3000+ in maintance & repairs the first year of ownership.
  • Plan on something unexpected to happen, more often than you are used to.
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  #20  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:16 AM
bimmerteck bimmerteck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
I got money on your brake booster being full of water.

Look it up, it's very common... especially if you park outside or drive in the rain. Are you cabin filter drains clogged, or have they ever been? That'll cause the booster to suck up massive amounts of water. You can test it by pumping the brake pedal and having someone listen for moving water in the booster.

Be happy you're not in the north somewhere, because the water DOES freeze, causing the brakes to be almost useless.

Quick99Si is more than likely correct, I've unfortunately seen the booster issue hydrolock and damage 2 motors in the same car back to back, only took the shop the 2nd install "on the house" to find and correct the booster issue. I can't imagine a shop putting in 5 motors in the same car without thinking to check the iATN, or the ASE boards though.
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  #21  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:53 AM
fortunateson fortunateson is offline
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The brake booster has my vote. By the way... those big things under the hood are engines not motors. Motors are electrically run while good old internal combustion run our engines. LOL
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:35 PM
bimmerteck bimmerteck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortunateson View Post
By the way... those big things under the hood are engines not motors. Motors are electrically run while good old internal combustion run our engines. LOL

In German

"Motor" = "Engine"

which is why your BMWs have a DME instead of a DEE.

If we were talking about an "electric motor" it would be "Elektromotor".(as far as BMW is concerned)
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:39 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is online now
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I prefer to be called a "motorhead".

Enginehead just does't have that same impact.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:53 PM
Misfit_408 Misfit_408 is offline
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Awesome!

Well thanks guys, I'll let you know how that turns out. Theres a BMW specialist down the street from me, I'll tow it over there and point them in the direction of the brake booster. This'll be my last effort on this car. I have such hope in it because for being such an old car, it's still great. The wife just got a Sonata Hybrid a couple days ago. If this doesn't work I might be headed that way as well


MOTORCYCLES>CARS
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  #25  
Old 02-20-2012, 02:47 PM
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adjmcloon adjmcloon is offline
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So what are the common items that stayed throughout all of the changes, that could be the culprit? Brake booster, air box (?), etc.?
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