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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 11-19-2012, 12:13 PM
GT-Charlie GT-Charlie is offline
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 97 528i
Engine vibration between 900 & 1400 rpm

I have a 97 528i, base model, automatic, with 162K miles. Over the past couple of months I've been chasing down an engine vibration that starts at about 900 rpm and smooths out around 1400 rpm. At 1100 the entire car is shaking and everyone riding in the car asks what the issue is.

There are no codes present, no check engine light either. Fuel pressure is 42 lbs and solid throughout the rpm range. Replaced all injectors, coils, & spark plugs. The oil separator had a failed diaphragm so that was replaced along with the valve cover hose. The IAC was removed and cleaned, then replaced a week later just because. Air filter is a new K&N. Compression check shows 145 to 150 lbs on all cylinders.

When I pull the PCV hose from the valve cover there is a small amount of vacuum and the car runs worse until I plug it back in. Have sprayed carb cleaner everywhere looking for another leak without success and tried propane as well. No leaks found.

I've read about issues with vanos and high mileage but the engine has good power and idles smooth so my symptom doesn't match the description of one that is failing.

Also read about cam sensor and crank sensor on this forum but my symptom doesn't match them either.

I checked the fan/clutch and watched the pulley's when it's shaking but everything appears to be turning smoothly.

I took it to a friend who owns/races/rebuilds/repairs BMW's for his opinion and after two hours of checking said he didn't have a clue.

Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2012, 02:27 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,994
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Even though you believe it's not the VANOS, why not browse the Beisan Systems forum, and also post your observations there.
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Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:43 AM
GT-Charlie GT-Charlie is offline
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 97 528i
Good Advice, I'll give it a try.

Thank you!
Charlie
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:51 AM
GT-Charlie GT-Charlie is offline
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT
 
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Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 97 528i
After too many hours of checking everything again I finally found the problem. After replacing the PCV/Oil Separator because the diaphragm had failed, fuel injectors (161K miles), spark plugs, and multiple hoses thinking it was a vacuum leak, the engine ran the same. As I mentioned earlier I checked everything on the front of the motor for being tight and running smoothly; the water pump and fan clutch by holding and moving from side to side/up and down. Loosened the drive belt and checked the idler pulleys, etc.

What I didn't notice was how tight the fan clutch was. I disconnected the fan from the water pump and let the fan assy sit inside the shroud. Started the motor and it ran as smooth as silk. The fan clutch had failed and was pretty stiff. The nut was slightly off center too which wasn't noticeable while attached to the water pump shaft or while it was running. Live and learn.

My only hope now is I didn't drive it long enough to do damage to the water pump.
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diagnosis, misfire, no codes, vibration


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