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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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  #26  
Old 09-18-2012, 06:37 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLE39 View Post
Ok guys, Why are the Behr expansion tanks no good again? They're half the price of the BMW units. If Behr makes a good radiator, why can't they make a exp tank? That would be a huge savings. $80+ vs $40-50. I'm just asking. As long at it lasts 4yrs 100k I'm good with it.
Its not that the behr expansion tanks are no good, its just supposedly the quality control of these units might not be as good as the ones that Bmw purchases directly. This was stated to me previously, initially i shrugged it off and took a chance. Kind of wish I didn't, two behr radiators that i received appear to be apart of some sort of defective batch. These were not purchased via dealer. Bad luck i guess, they still could have turned out well but they didn't. I didn't want to take the same chance with the expansion tank, so i just went to dealer to get it. Was it expensive? Yes. But i rather do the labor on something that will last(hopefully). You don't have to go to dealer directly since some sites sell variations of the same product, however under the listing it says GENUINE BMW, so it should be of dealer quality. IMHO bmw needs to get off their high horse and stop ass raping for parts, a little better or not too much money on plastic nonsense that costs them nothing to make and nothing to purchase.
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  #27  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:01 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLE39 View Post
^ I read the whole thing and even printed it out. You say to go with HEPU. Doesnt mention Saleri. ?
Hmmm... this is the link that Fudman and I pointed you to:
- What brand of waterpump to buy (1)

Gimme a sec to see what it says about the brands of waterpumps... ok. ... look at post #42 which mentions Saleri and even shows side-by-side pictures of it with the original water pump.
__________________
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; 09-19-2012 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Added the picture
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  #28  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:03 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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For $65 I can get a HEPU w/plastic impeller. Should be fine. About $30 cheaper than BMW online. I'll take the savings.



What about the pulleys. Since I'm there it's time and easy access. I already have the two belts, went with Napa Premium Gates belts. See if I'm wrong here but I see these items that need replaced. All prices are from a online BMW dealer. Not aftermarket.

A/C tensioner w/pulley # 11287512758. Roughly $87.

Hydraulic belt tensioner w/out pulley. Do you need to replace this at 94k?? Or just the pulley that goes on it? Either way, the adjuster # is 11287838797 goes for about $182!!!!

Pulley for above tensioner # 11281748131 $35

Dead pulley # 11281748130 $35


I'm debating inspecting the A/C tensioner/pulley assembly. I can always cut that belt off and keep on trucking down the highway. I can check the bearing for play and smoothness.

The hydraulic tensioner, does it really need replaced if it's not leaking??? That's a boat load of cash. $182. with no pulley!

Obviously I'm going to replace the two pulleys for $35 each b/c they are critical and will leave me stranded. Opinions?
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Last edited by FLE39; 09-18-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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  #29  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:09 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLE39 View Post
What about the pulleys. Since I'm there it's time and easy access.
As I had pointed you to, this thread has the list of parts to replace for the belt drive system:
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)

And, this thread tells you what others replace "while they're there":
- Typical tandem DIY repair jobs combined while you're already there (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLE39 View Post
I already have the two belts, went with Napa Premium Gates belts.
BTW, I did a complete belt & pulley writeup with tons and tons of pictures in this thread:
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLE39 View Post
Do you need to replace this at 94k?? Or just the pulley that goes on it?
These threads will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the tensioners and pulleys:
- How to tell if you have mechanical or hydraulic belt tensioners (1) & how to switch from mechanical to hydraulic (1) and what is the difference between the two types (1) (2) & how to rebuild your hydraulic tensioners (1) & how to re-grease your pulleys and rollers (1) & the answer to the question of adjusting the 540i hydraulic tensioners' belt tension (1) (2)
__________________
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; 09-18-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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  #30  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:20 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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Good info.
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DD: 2003 530i 5spd manual sport package. Conti DWS's, Llumar ATR, White LED lighting. TLC on-going.

Garage queen: '07 335i Sedan, base pkg, 6spd Manual, Procede 3 V5 w/NLS, staggered 18" 313's w/Conti DWS's, OS Giken TCD LSD, VAC Street Diff Cover, Akebono Euro Pads, CDV Removed, Black BMW Grilles, Interior & Exterior white LED lighting, LUX Angel Eyes, Debadged, Llumar ATR Tint.
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  #31  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLE39 View Post
Good info.
This paragraph (from the bestlinks) will likely answer EVERY question you have about the cooling system overhaul - because we've all asked the question before.

COOLING SYSTEM:
- What to look for when your KTMP (1) or coolant temperature gauge indicates overheating (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) & what to look for in a perfectly normal E39 cooling system (1) & a picture of every failed part in the cooling system (1) & various techniques to properly bleed (1) (2) (3) & refill (1) & drain (1) (2) & flush (1) & what coolant to use (1) & what parts to replace (1) (2) & how to retrofit brass bleeder screws (1) (2) & what special tools to make or buy (1) & how to tell how old your cooling system is (1) (2) & how to test the cooling system auxiliary electrical fan (1) (2) (3) (4) & a DIY for replacing the auxilliary fan (1) (2) (3) & the infamous fuse 75 (1) & the aux fan relay (1) & how to diagnose lack of HVAC/IHKA heater core heat with cooling system (auxiliary pump) at idle (1) & a Behr radiator and Behr/Heat expansion tank autopsy (1) (2) & request for another Behr surge tank autopsy (1) & why new made-in-China Behr/Hella expansion tanks are DOA (1) & E39 Fan shroud removal DIY (Besian) (M54) & some of the better cooling system DIYs (cn90 1997-1998 M54TU) (cn90 V8) (aioros '99-03 M54) (Ågent99 '01 530i) (pelican 3-series) (bluebee M54B25) & tricks to replace the fan clutch nut (1) & lower-hose thermoswitch o-ring (1) & to non-destructively remove the heater hoses (1) or radiator nipple (1) or expansion tank nipple (1) (2) or Oetiker clamp (1) or misplaced thermostat wiring loom (1) or broken bleeder screw (1) & modifying the cooling system pressure cap (1), or using propanol-based zero-pressure fluids like NPG+ (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) or all-aluminum cooling system parts by Zionsville (1) (2) (3) aluminum radiators & what happens if you drive one mile too far with an overheated BMW cooling system (1).
__________________
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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  #32  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:54 PM
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Get Evans.
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RK Supercharged @ 501wheel horsepower
Supersprint Headers,
Evolve Alpha N Tune,
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ST coilovers,
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Drilled slotted Rotors/Akebono Euro pads,
Magnaflow 14816 Mufflers

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  #33  
Old 09-18-2012, 08:08 PM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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this is a budget build. Daily driver/work car. No evans.
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DD: 2003 530i 5spd manual sport package. Conti DWS's, Llumar ATR, White LED lighting. TLC on-going.

Garage queen: '07 335i Sedan, base pkg, 6spd Manual, Procede 3 V5 w/NLS, staggered 18" 313's w/Conti DWS's, OS Giken TCD LSD, VAC Street Diff Cover, Akebono Euro Pads, CDV Removed, Black BMW Grilles, Interior & Exterior white LED lighting, LUX Angel Eyes, Debadged, Llumar ATR Tint.
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  #34  
Old 09-18-2012, 08:31 PM
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Evans is not expensive, I think a definite advantage in lower pressure.
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  #35  
Old 09-19-2012, 04:40 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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The parts prices you found are high. I will check my receipts when I get home but I paid a lot less than you are quoting. And yes, you should replace the hydraulic tensioner. The point is that the failure of any component within the cooling system can cause a failure of the entire system. Avoiding a system failure is the objective. If the system fails, it can cook your engine. Being in FL only exacerbates the potential problem. If the consequences were not so severe, then skimping would be OK. But this is the one of few areas (the others are brakes & tires) that you should not skimp. BTW, I sent you a PM regarding the hydraulic tensioner.
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  #36  
Old 09-19-2012, 05:59 AM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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^ I searched my butt off for those prices. That's the cheapest I could get man. Prices include S&H if applicable. OTD prices. If you are referring to the pulleys/tensioners then yes... I can do much better buying INA from a online vendor. Like $60 for the hydraulic deal, and $20-$25 for each pulley. All INA. Huge saving there. The only parts I find cheaper to buy from a online BMW dealership are the hoses & Expansion tank. Te tank, cap, switches, all 5 hoses and bleeder screw shipped for about $245.

On a side note, the only cheaper radiator I found is at Autozone or Advance. Spectra brand. Anyone have experience with them? I used to work at both places during college and never seemed to have an issue with the radiators. Rarely got a return, and it was mainly do to user problems like they put a screw driver through the fins and wanted a new one. I can get one for $131 OTD. Not a whole lot cheaper than a Behr delivered.
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DD: 2003 530i 5spd manual sport package. Conti DWS's, Llumar ATR, White LED lighting. TLC on-going.

Garage queen: '07 335i Sedan, base pkg, 6spd Manual, Procede 3 V5 w/NLS, staggered 18" 313's w/Conti DWS's, OS Giken TCD LSD, VAC Street Diff Cover, Akebono Euro Pads, CDV Removed, Black BMW Grilles, Interior & Exterior white LED lighting, LUX Angel Eyes, Debadged, Llumar ATR Tint.

Last edited by FLE39; 09-19-2012 at 06:02 AM.
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  #37  
Old 09-19-2012, 07:20 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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I think you may be confusing manufacturer and sourcing. It is important to find the proper manufacturer of a given part. In some (but not all) cases, it is important where you buy from.

The OEM is usually the best choice for a part selection. This ensures compatibility and hopefully, reliability. However, alternative manufacturers are sometimes as good or better (e.g. waterpump or Vanos seals). Forum feedback is the best way to judge long term product quality.

Assuming you have identified the appropraite manufacturer of your part, sourcing (who you buy from) is only important when anecdotal data from this forum identifies a history of defective parts. This is the case when considering expansion tanks but also applies to FSUs and CPS'. All OEM expansion tanks are made by Behr. However, where they are made influences how long they last. Many Behr tanks bought online have had premature failures. The forum feedback indicates the dealer is the best source for getting the proper manufacturing location. The second best choice is to get a product with the BMW logo erased from the product.

To my knowledge, reliability of pulleys, tensioners, etc. are not affected by sourcing. Buying an Ina pulley from an online dealer is the same as the pulley you get from a dealer. Hence, getting a product from an third party online dealer is relatively risk free in many, if not most, cases.

Ultimately, there are no guarantees (this is the Internet, after all). I have found that the collective knowledge and experience of this forum is a valuable tool in deciding which part to buy and where to buy it from.


P. S. In cases where you must by from a dealer, I would recommend contacting Bill Dodge BMW, Westbrook, ME. They offer 20%-30% off OEM parts pricing. They were the source for a DISA group buy last year. Do a search for the thread and email Ron Vose. Tischer BMW is another low cost OEM parts source.

Last edited by Fudman; 09-19-2012 at 07:44 AM.
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  #38  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:10 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLE39 View Post
^ I searched my butt off for those prices.
Did you look at the suppliers in the middle of this list?

- Supplier prices lookup comparison engine (1) & BMW salvage (junkyard) parts lookup engine (1) & BMWfans search by part number (1) & Realoem nominal prices by part number (1) & EACTuning actual prices by part number (1) & BMW of South Atlanta actual prices by part number (1) & Maxmillian BMW dealer prices by part number (1) & the most often recommended parts suppliers (1) & what BMW E39 parts & supplies are best to buy OEM (1) & joining BMWCCA to lower parts costs (1) (2) & what parts to always get OEM (1) which BMW dealers match prices (1) & in situ pictures of common parts of the M54 engine (1)
__________________
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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  #39  
Old 09-19-2012, 09:27 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Also try www.furiousmethod.com This website links you to all major e39 part vendors. A great way to compare pricing if you have the part number.
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  #40  
Old 09-19-2012, 10:14 AM
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IndiansFan IndiansFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
If the upper and lower hoses are good, keep them for now. But:

1. Temp sensor (lower hose), at least change the O-ring for now.
2. Rad: I use Nissens (installed May 2006, so far so good)
3. Fan Clutch: Sachs (installed May 2006, so far so good)
4. Thermostat: go with Wahler
5. WP: I have HEPU (installed May 2006, so far so good)
6. Fan Blade: BMW only, nothing else.
7. Reservoir quality has gone down since the last few years, even with the reservoir from BMW. Use only BMW reservoir and expect it to last about 5 years, then replace it!
My BMW reservoir was installed 2006, developed a minor crack near the seams near the cap in Nov 2011, it took me a long time to find it because the crack is on the front side (hidden by the shroud).
8. All pulleys need to go, the bearings grease dries out at 90K.
9. Belts are cheap.

When bleeding system do it with engine cool, and fill coolant past the KALT mark, almost to the brim, then it will flow out the bleeder screw on the tstat housing.
Is it better to buy these parts individually from several sources, or start with the "cooling system overhaul kit" from someone like Turner Motorsport then add the additional items mentioned above or in Bluebees links, not included in the kit. Turner has the basic kit for $365.00 and if you upgrade to Stewart waterpump, add items such as the expansion tank and temp sensor, etc. it jumps to $600.00.

My two E39 sedans are just shy of 90K miles.
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  #41  
Old 09-19-2012, 10:54 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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I personally see no benefit to buying a "kit" other than convenience. One click vs. several mouse clicks. Plus I rarely find exactly what I want from a single vendor. I had to buy my HEPU water pump by itself as very few vendors carry it. The rest of the overhaul was bought from two or three other sources. I might have saved $50 max on an $700 total purchase. Not great but it translates to a free bottle of Blanton's.
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  #42  
Old 09-19-2012, 11:57 AM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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Fudman, all my parts were found through furiuosmethod.com that you showed me the other day! Awsome tool.
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DD: 2003 530i 5spd manual sport package. Conti DWS's, Llumar ATR, White LED lighting. TLC on-going.

Garage queen: '07 335i Sedan, base pkg, 6spd Manual, Procede 3 V5 w/NLS, staggered 18" 313's w/Conti DWS's, OS Giken TCD LSD, VAC Street Diff Cover, Akebono Euro Pads, CDV Removed, Black BMW Grilles, Interior & Exterior white LED lighting, LUX Angel Eyes, Debadged, Llumar ATR Tint.
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  #43  
Old 09-20-2012, 07:07 AM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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It's done. I ordered everything last time from a total of 3 vendors. ebmwparts, BMA & RMeuro. Total of about $680 OTD. Did a HEPU pump (plastic imp), Wahler Tstat, BMW hoses, BMW temp sensor and radiator level switch, BMW expansion tank, cap & screw, All INA tensionsers & pulleys, Behr radiator. Cheapest combo I could do. Last night my Bentley repair manual showed up. Such good info... I love bentley manuals. I even got a 32mm spanner & hold combo tool kit off Ebay.
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DD: 2003 530i 5spd manual sport package. Conti DWS's, Llumar ATR, White LED lighting. TLC on-going.

Garage queen: '07 335i Sedan, base pkg, 6spd Manual, Procede 3 V5 w/NLS, staggered 18" 313's w/Conti DWS's, OS Giken TCD LSD, VAC Street Diff Cover, Akebono Euro Pads, CDV Removed, Black BMW Grilles, Interior & Exterior white LED lighting, LUX Angel Eyes, Debadged, Llumar ATR Tint.

Last edited by FLE39; 09-20-2012 at 07:10 AM.
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  #44  
Old 09-20-2012, 08:28 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Just so you know, that was the very first link on the list I gave him.

If there is ever a good link, and if it's not in the bestlinks, let me know!
__________________
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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