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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 03-19-2012, 05:29 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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Cooling system! be safe than sorry?

Hello,

last weekend i bough a 2002 525i ( 110k miles ) i been reading for some time now in regard to the common issues of the E39. I understand the problem with the cooling system.

My question is:

What is the best way ( besides coolant leaks ) to see if is that time to upgrade the cooling system or if the cooling system was replaced already?

Another thing is the transmission fluid, since i'm not able to get the history of the car, should i just get the transmission fluid change?

I'm trying to prevent future problems.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2012, 05:44 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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Since you don't know the service history of the car, it's safer to just go ahead and overhaul your cooling system. I did mine last week and it was pretty easy. Since I have to remove the fan and fan shroud, I also went ahead and replaced the VANOS seals. You can buy them from Beisansystems.com and it also has a detailed step by step procedure, parts list, and tools in doing the job. CCV, ICV and VCG needs to be replaced too.

Is it a manual or auto?
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2012, 05:59 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George16 View Post
Since you don't know the service history of the car, it's safer to just go ahead and overhaul your cooling system. I did mine last week and it was pretty easy. Since I have to remove the fan and fan shroud, I also went ahead and replaced the VANOS seals. You can buy them from Beisansystems.com and it also has a detailed step by step procedure, parts list, and tools in doing the job. CCV, ICV and VCG needs to be replaced too.

Is it a manual or auto?
Auto.

after more reading i found where is that i need to check for common radiator cracks.

here http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=428099

George16: did you go with all OEM stuff? i know you can go the aftermarket route, but at a very high cost. most defiantly doing the Vanos seal. can you tell me what is CCV, ICV and VCG.

Thank you for your help.
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:20 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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I went OEM with all the parts I needed to do the cooling system, CCV (Crankcase Ventilation), VCG (Valve Cover gasket). I bought these parts from OEMBimmerparts.com and AutohausAZ. You need to change the VCG since you willbe opening the valve cover to access the VANOS seals.The VANOS seals are aftermarket by Beisansystems.com but is way better compared to the stock seals. The Beisan VANOS seals/o rings are made from Viton which can withstand higher temps compared to the stock Nitrile seals/o rings.

Cleaning the ICV (Idle Control Valve) helps in having your idle idle smoother.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:23 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George16 View Post
I went OEM with all the parts I needed to do the cooling system, CCV (Crankcase Ventilation), VCG (Valve Cover gasket). I bought these parts from OEMBimmerparts.com and AutohausAZ. You need to change the VCG since you willbe opening the valve cover to access the VANOS seals.The VANOS seals are aftermarket by Beisansystems.com but is way better compared to the stock seals. The Beisan VANOS seals/o rings are made from Viton which can withstand higher temps compared to the stock Nitrile seals/o rings.

Cleaning the ICV (Idle Control Valve) helps in having your idle idle smoother.
excellent.

I'm trying to follow this DIY part list http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986

some parts i'm not sure.

Do you mind posting you actual part list? I'm trying to get everything together that i'm going to need, so i can place the order tonight.

Also, what do you recommend for the transmission, change the fluid?
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:25 PM
1BadE39 1BadE39 is offline
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Op, I was gonna have my trans fluid changed a few weeks ago but, my mechanic said not to. I have a 97 540i with 106k. He warned me that changing the fluid now would probably do more harm then good. He said there's different variables or reasons to change it and there are a few different types of trans in our cars also. Imo if you wanna change it just cause, don't. In most cars its a wise decision but unlike most cars ours are ass backwards and the logical thing to do isn't. As far as the cooling system its definitely better to be safe then sorry best bet, just buy the parts and wait for it to go. And it definitely will go, I did my radiator, and expansion tank flushed bled the system its a 2 hour job and surprisingly a lot of fun.
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:40 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1BadE39 View Post
Op, I was gonna have my trans fluid changed a few weeks ago but, my mechanic said not to. I have a 97 540i with 106k. He warned me that changing the fluid now would probably do more harm then good. He said there's different variables or reasons to change it and there are a few different types of trans in our cars also. Imo if you wanna change it just cause, don't. In most cars its a wise decision but unlike most cars ours are ass backwards and the logical thing to do isn't. As far as the cooling system its definitely better to be safe then sorry best bet, just buy the parts and wait for it to go. And it definitely will go, I did my radiator, and expansion tank flushed bled the system its a 2 hour job and surprisingly a lot of fun.
Thank you for you advise, i will leave the tranny alone.

I'm doing the cooling system overhaul and vanos seal. i just need to make sure that i get the right pars, so i can place the order tonight and not worry about the cooling system.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:44 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
Here is the list of parts, prices and sources:

Cooling system Overhaul
11281738605 Ina Idler Pulley $24.68 AutohausAZ
11511436590 Water pump pulley $22.92 AutohausAZ
11517527799 Graf water pump $56.65 AutohausAZ
11531438634 BMW coolant hose $29.45 AutohausAZ
11531705223 Radiator upper hose $25.92 AutohausAZ
11531705224 Radiator lower hose $26.54 AutohausAZ
17111427156 Vent hose from radiator to expansion tank $9.44 AutohausAZ
17111712788aft Aftermarket brass bleeder screw (qty 2) $7.68 AutohausAZ
4PK0865 Ac belt $9.77 AutohausAZ
11537509227 Thermostat with housing $58.78 OEMBimmerparts.com
2100011031 Sachs fan clutch $91.19 AutohausAZ
11281706545 Serpentine belt $17.50 OEMBimmerparts.com
32421740858 Power steering pulley $30.00 OEMBimmerparts.com
11531438632 Expansion tank hose to heater core $27.50 OEMBimmerparts.com
11531438633 Expansion tank hose to aux pump $27.50 OEMBimmerparts.com
82141467704 BMW coolant (need 5.5 quarts plus 5.5 qts distilled water $22.50 OEMBimmerparts.com
11281748832 AC tensioner $53.00 OEMBimmerparts.com
11287512758 Alternator/waterpump tensioner $53.00 OEMBimmerparts.com

VANOS Seals/Valve Cover Replacement
VANOS Seals $60.00 Beisansystems.com
11120030496 Valve cover gasket $24.27 AutohauAZ
11121437395 Valve grommet(need 15) $11.04 AutohauAZ
11361433817 VANOS cover gasket $3.59 AutohauAZ

Keep in mind that my car is a 2003 530 and yours is a 525 so other parts might not be applicable. When you go to the websites, ensure you choose the correct year and model of your car.

Last edited by George16; 03-19-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:49 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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George16: thank you so much, i know you have a 2003 530i ( auto ) and i have a 2002 525i ( auto ) exactly the same part apply for me right?

for the vanos parts, i notice there is a Double Vanos Seals Repair Kit (6-cyl) and Double Vanos Rattle Repair Kit (6-cyl) i need both? also do you recommend getting the 17 and 18 MM Socket?

I notice that you don't have a radiator in your list.

Last edited by colombianoe39; 03-19-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:55 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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I am not asre if the part numbers for the cooling system is the same for the 2.5 and 3.0 engines. Just double check when you go to the AuthohausAz and OEMBimmerparts.com.

You just need the double vanos seals unless yours is also rattling which then requires the rattle repair kit. I didn't need the 17 and 18mm wrenches for the seal and o ring replacement. I used a 19mm open end wrench to remove the VANOS oil line.
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  #11  
Old 03-19-2012, 07:25 PM
TheHockeytowner TheHockeytowner is offline
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I'm pretty sure the only difference between the 530 and 525 are a difference in the stroke, otherwise they are identical
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2012, 07:40 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George16 View Post
I am not asre if the part numbers for the cooling system is the same for the 2.5 and 3.0 engines. Just double check when you go to the AuthohausAz and OEMBimmerparts.com.

You just need the double vanos seals unless yours is also rattling which then requires the rattle repair kit. I didn't need the 17 and 18mm wrenches for the seal and o ring replacement. I used a 19mm open end wrench to remove the VANOS oil line.
Looks like everything is the same, all the part numbers that you posted come up under 525i ( autohausaz )

now, some part don't come up using the part # ( oembimmerparts ) so i just added to the ( autohausaz ) using the same part #

now, you didn't get a new radiator?
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2012, 07:56 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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pulling the plug,







still no radiator. Last question, best way to find out if i have Water Pump/Alternator; Mechanical Type or hydraulic?
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2012, 07:57 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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No I didn't get a new radiator. The current one along with expansion tank were installed in December 2010.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:05 PM
NYC 528I NYC 528I is offline
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I would double check on the thermostat your ordering. It's listed for a E60 model not E39.
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  #16  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:09 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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how many miles on the car/
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  #17  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:11 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
how many miles on the car/
His car has 110k miles (first post) .
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  #18  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:16 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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NYC 528I : good catch, thank you

George16 : well, i went to the garage to check the radiator, is the same as yours with 2009-06-03 date =) that mean the previous owner had to replace it. not sure about the expansion tank.

Still not sure in regards to Belt tensioner Mechanical Type or hydraulic?

Last edited by colombianoe39; 03-19-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colombianoe39 View Post
I'm trying to follow this DIY part list
See also this one:
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by colombianoe39 View Post
what do you recommend for the transmission, change the fluid?
See also this list:
- What fluids to check/replace on your E39 (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by colombianoe39 View Post
What is the best way ... to see if ... the cooling system was replaced already
Time is the enemy of the cooling system:
- Cooling system date stickers & radiator date codes & markings (1) (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by George16 View Post
Here is the list of parts, prices and sources
I'll add that nice list to the overhaul list thread.

See also:
- It's not a DIY, it's what happened: One user's cooling system overhaul: How to get the radiator back on (1)
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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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  #20  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:47 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colombianoe39 View Post
NYC 528I : good catch, thank you

George16 : well, i went to the garage to check the radiator, is the same as yours with 2009-06-03 date =) that mean the previous owner had to replace it. not sure about the expansion tank.

Still not sure in regards to Belt tensioner Mechanical Type or hydraulic?
Only way to know if you have mechanical compared to hydraulic tensioners is to take a picture of them and post it here.
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  #21  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:49 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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bluebee: thank you so much for all that info, with the help of that info i was able to identify the coolant tank was replaced

George16 : , can't really see anything. I notice that you didn't have the fan blade in your list. why is that?

Edit: Order placed, total spent $710

I will be taking care of the job this weekend.

Last edited by colombianoe39; 03-19-2012 at 11:05 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-20-2012, 07:49 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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While you are doing all that: Clean your MAF, throttle body, air distributor piece, check DISA valve, replace spark plugs, and of course engine oil too.
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  #23  
Old 03-20-2012, 09:45 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George16 View Post
Only way to know if you have mechanical compared to hydraulic tensioners is to take a picture of them and post it here.
This is true.

You can even have one of each.

Here's an entire thread on the subject (with plenty of pictures).

- How to tell if you have spring-drive or hydraulic belt tensioners or both (1)
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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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  #24  
Old 03-20-2012, 09:51 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colombianoe39 View Post
you didn't have the fan blade in your list. why is that?
It's 50:50 on the fan blade.

Almost everyone replaces the clutch at the overhaul, and half (about) replace the fan blade.

Cn90 has had bad experiences with MTC, so look at the supplier list for WHICH fan blade to get.

As for me, I did not replace the blade. I inspected it. And just replaced the clutch.

I'd replace the fan blade at the SECOND cooling system overhaul (between 150K and 200K miles).

So, point is, it's up to you on the fan blade. It DOES fail (but there are arguments as to why).
- What could cause a BMW fan blade to explode or disintegrate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & should you go electric (1)
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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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  #25  
Old 03-20-2012, 10:26 AM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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bluebee:

Well on the fan blade, they only had MTC ( which i ordered one )

Also i notice you can go from mechanic to hydraulic , so i just order a hydraulic one.


underneath my car



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