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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 04-18-2012, 08:51 PM
ZachBimmer540i ZachBimmer540i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i, evo 9 mr
1998 bmw 540i cylinder head removal

Well basically I am trying to remove my heads in my 1998 bmw 540i. I want to do without take the motor out. Another problem is after the headers on both sides. The headers and im guessing the midpipe is pretty much stuck together. So could someone help me out with tips and locations of bolts.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2012, 10:40 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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What does the Bentley's say?
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:18 AM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachBimmer540i View Post
Well basically I am trying to remove my heads in my 1998 bmw 540i. I want to do without take the motor out. Another problem is after the headers on both sides. The headers and im guessing the midpipe is pretty much stuck together. So could someone help me out with tips and locations of bolts.
Your car is pre-VANOS, correct? I've done it on mine, it's not really difficult.

First you unbolt the exhaust pipes from the headers, then the entire exhaust can be moved back enough to free up the headers. Then you need to raise the engine an inch or so, basically as you raising it watch how transmission case gets close to the top of the tunnel and stop before it hits it. Then you can unbolt the headers one at a time in a certain order. On the right side the rear header comes out first, on the left the front header is first. The left side is a bit more tricky because the steering box is in the way and the headers need to be rotated like a giant screw to get them out.

One thing you don't want to do is trying to remove the heads with the headers attached. The right (passenger) head is doable but becomes very heavy and hard to handle, the left simply wont come out because of the steering box.

TIS references:

Removing and installing or replacing both exhaust manifolds on right
Removing and installing or replacing both exhaust manifolds on left

Removing and installing right cylinder head
Removing and installing left cylinder head
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2012, 09:05 PM
ZachBimmer540i ZachBimmer540i is offline
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Oh yesterday I had just taken my motor out. Bentley only said to take out the whole thing. Now i have to figure out how to remove re valvetrain from the heads its a bit dirty.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:28 AM
Hewitt540i Hewitt540i is offline
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I am about to undertake what conjures up for me to be a blind man's nightmare, rather that is a layman is about to replace the head gaskets on a 1997 540i. My worries primarily are, how to keep the timing correct and if that is not possible, how to re-time the engine.

First thing, a warning. I bought a DVD 'Service and Repair Manual' from eBay. I, with the help of a computer geek wasted a half day with it only to find I could not use it. I recommend books instead.

Fortunately, bimmerfest Flug540 has already provided a lot of wonderful information on this job. Thank you.

I see funny looking tools advertized for the job that I can't fathom why they cannot be circumvented with a home made do-what-chi. (the black plastic cam block w/swivel ) Nevertheless I intend to rent what I need on line for $60 from 'Brimmer Tool Rental' as advised by a member here.

I need to find before hand, but I cannot, exactly what parts I will need; all-gaskets, chain tensioner, bolts, and whatever 'stuff'.

I hope to be able to lift the engine with a floor jack and a 4x4x8 wooden block under the oil pan.

I will try to post as I go along. Hopefully some mechanically experienced Samaritan on here will see the errors of my intention and help me see the light before I f it up.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2012, 10:27 AM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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Good luck in your adventure! Just take your time, it really isn't that bad.

The cam lock tool is steel, not plastic (unless you meant to make your own tool out of plastic?). I did originally make my own tool from a steel plate, timed the engine with it and the engine ran fine (pics attached). However later for several reasons I decided to buy the real timing tool and after comparing mine vs. the the purchased one I found that it sets the camshafts at a slight angle, not at a 90 degree and parallel to each other as I originally thought. So I reopened the engine and had it retimed again. Having said that, the cam angle isn't very different from 90 degree and when you factor in the slack from the timing chain/tensioner, there probably isn't much of a difference in the end. But it definitely gives you a piece of mind knowing your engine is timed properly.

BTW, I still have the tool, if you want it.

As for the parts, replace every gasket that you encounter, go to realoem.com and see what's there. While I was there, I replaced the head gaskets, valve seals, cam timing chain guides, had a shop reseat the valves, adjust the valve springs, clean/resurface the heads, then there is the valley pan, rear coolant pipe gaskets, coolant pipe o-rings, upper timing cover gaskets, valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets (manifold to the heads, throttle body to the manifold, rear manifold plate to the manifold.
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Last edited by Flug540; 08-30-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2012, 10:33 AM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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BTW, here's another way to lift the engine: 1000 Lb. Capacity Engine Support Bar.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:11 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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These may help:
- What E39 engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt replacement short block or long block (1) (2)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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  #9  
Old 09-20-2012, 04:20 PM
Hewitt540i Hewitt540i is offline
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Thank you men for your advice! It was very good and generous of you. I myself however, still find the concept of the job daunting. When I began, the engine looked like a minefield compared to old American engines. I knew zero about BMWs. The bmw garages will tell you the job will take a BMW mechanic 31 hours to complete and the total charge is $6,000.00 US. I have gotten some $2,000.00 quotes, with the added danger ---- plus whatever other problems they might find. ; )

Twice I have taken the valve-covers, coils and assorted things out, but could never fugue out how to take the electric boxes out of the way once the square nuts are loosed to get to the valley to redo it too and of course remove the intake. Each time I have put the thing back together with head scratching aggravation. I will attempt to do it again. It is very ease to redo the things I have learned (on my own) and I am not worried about doing the heads either, only about getting everything OUT of the way. Happy head scratching.

These internet sites (some from bimerform members) may help some other non-klutz, yet ignorant to BMW engines folks like myself.

http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/131...8with-pics!%29

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1826017

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1633366

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/cata...E39-Engine.htm

https://www.google.com/search?q=how%...FJDo8wTK4oGwDQ
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2012, 04:32 PM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewitt540i View Post
...could never fugue out how to take the electric boxes out of the way
Everything should just unplug except one cable on the driver's side that connects to the alternator. You could either have it unplugged as well, but it could be tricky, some people chose to cut it inside the driver side box:

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  #11  
Old 08-10-2014, 10:00 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Cleaning up the bestlinks, so I changed this:
- How to replace the E39 V8 valve cover gasket (1) (2) (3) (4) (540 pdf) (E38) (E38 pdf) & VCG DIYs for the E39 I6 M54 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (2004 E46 video) (another E46 video) (yet another E46 video) & which VCG brand to buy (1) (2) & what VCG lubricants to use (1) & how to replace the timing chain tensioner and rail guide on the I6 (1) & on the M62 (1) & on the M62TU (1) (2) (3) & what can go wrong when replacing the VCG valve cover gasket which may cause subsequent plastic engine cover leaks (1)

To this:

- How to replace the E39 V8 valve cover gasket (1) & how to replace the E39 I6 VCG (1) & which VCG brand to buy (1) & what VCG lubricants to use (1) & what can go wrong when replacing the VCG valve cover gasket which may cause subsequent plastic engine cover leaks (1)
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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 08-11-2014, 10:01 AM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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In retrospect I would not advise cutting the harness at that location.
When I long forgotten about it, it started giving me the flickering battery light on the dash.
The alt was still charging fine, but the light was flickering randomly.
Took a while to figure it out.

The cable going down to the alt on the driver side isn't actually as bad to unplug.
Just unbolt the two nuts on the motor mounts underneath and raise the motor for more clearance,
then you should be able to reach the plug on the back of the alt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flug540 View Post
Everything should just unplug except one cable on the driver's side that connects to the alternator. You could either have it unplugged as well, but it could be tricky, some people chose to cut it inside the driver side box:

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