Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-22-2009, 05:13 PM
xpcgamer's Avatar
xpcgamer xpcgamer is offline
5 Door'ing it!
Location: Pembroke Pines
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 607
Mein Auto: 99 528IT/10 Maxima
Touring liftgate shocks DIY

Ok. After getting nailed by my rear hatch the other day I decided to change the struts. I will try to explaing this with out pics as it has been raining and I had to do this under a tarp!

There are four struts. 2 smaller ones for the glass. 2 larger ones for the rear hatch.
1. Remove the rear back covers by pushing the black buttons on top. 1 for the subwoofer cover the other for the CD changer and Nav.
2. Remove the rear pillars(they are 2 screws and 3 snaps. I did not take them out completely so the bottoms where left in).
3. Pull back weather stripping on the hatch.
4. Remove the plastic that covers the back upper panel of the hatch(be careful as this has 4 snap connectors holding it in place).
5. Remove the cover of the hinges. 8 torx screw total.
6. Lower back part of headliner.
7. You will see 2 hex large hex screws by the rear speakers. Remove the 2 screws(one per shock) until you hear and feal the screw "pop" out of the shock end.
8. Now repeat on the other side.
9. Remove the circlips and shafts holding the shocks in place(by now you should have a large stick to hold up the hatch).
10. Pull out the old shocks and toss them into a Volcano while doing a dance!
11. Here comes the fun part! Reinstall the 4 large hex screws.
12. You will need a large flat head screwdriver. Starting with the small shock stick your hand in the small opening and fiddle with the shock until you set the open end one the ball end of the hex screw. It may take some finess but the small shock is small enough that you can lift it with your fingers. Once you feel the end fit on the ball(You will feel it by the shock not moving when you tug lightly. Do it lightly or you will pull it out of the ball and will have to start over).
13. Once you have it seated take the large flat head screw driver and pry it down. You will feel it snap in.
14. Repeat on the other side.
15. On the large shocks you will do the same but will need to lift the heavy shock with the flat head. You will need to push the cables to a side and place the flathead under neath it. Lifting it with the flathead do the same by placing in on the ball end and tugging lightly. When on push down with the flathead till it snaps in.
16. Repeat on the other side.
17. Put everything back in reverse.

Tips!
Use a small powerfuls flashlight to light up the inside of the space. Another person would be great!
Also when you get one of the larger shocks in DO NOT attach it to the hatch as you still need to "over open" the hatch to pry the other shock into place to attach the clips.

With a lot of light and a little finess you can get it done. Hope this helps. Just PM me if you gave any questions.

Last edited by xpcgamer; 03-23-2009 at 07:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 11-17-2009, 10:08 PM
BlackBMWs's Avatar
BlackBMWs BlackBMWs is offline
Check twice, fix once...
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 727
Mein Auto: 540it 533i 318ic 325i
Nice write up! You're a better man than me as I had the dealer do it for what I thought was a cheap price...
__________________

1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

BMWCCA# 160411
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-18-2009, 05:37 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,832
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
People with tight budget may use a 2 x 4 lumber or broom stick to prop it up...LOL.

Good job xpcgamer!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-26-2010, 07:39 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,832
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Although I don't have a Touring (I have a sedan), I just pulled some pics from the BMW TIS files for the pictures show:













Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	E39Taigate01.JPG
Views:	8275
Size:	52.3 KB
ID:	216237   Click image for larger version

Name:	E39Taigate02.JPG
Views:	8076
Size:	58.6 KB
ID:	216238   Click image for larger version

Name:	E39Taigate03.JPG
Views:	8010
Size:	52.1 KB
ID:	216239   Click image for larger version

Name:	E39Taigate04.JPG
Views:	7837
Size:	40.1 KB
ID:	216240   Click image for larger version

Name:	E39Taigate05.JPG
Views:	7794
Size:	34.4 KB
ID:	216241  

Click image for larger version

Name:	E39Taigate06.JPG
Views:	7815
Size:	34.8 KB
ID:	216242   Click image for larger version

Name:	E39Taigate07.JPG
Views:	7890
Size:	46.4 KB
ID:	216243  
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-26-2010, 08:22 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
Wrenchin' fool ...
Location: nova
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 762
Mein Auto: e39 528it
Very helpful. Thx.
__________________
Jason

2000 528iT Sport 5M (mfg. 5/1999) ~ 1990 325iX 5M
BMW CCA member #130075
JScottRacing
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-27-2010, 06:03 AM
repandpresent repandpresent is offline
Registered User
Location: Long Beach, CA
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 99
Mein Auto: 2000 528iTouring
OMG! I do feel some man love coming on! Thanks! I LOVE PICTURES!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-09-2010, 05:14 AM
jbrovage jbrovage is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Wyandotte, MI
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 113
Send a message via AIM to jbrovage Send a message via MSN to jbrovage Send a message via Yahoo to jbrovage
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540iT
So i'm making a parts list to do this for my touring. Firstly, how can i tell if they are going bad? mine stay up, but i have to lift them to full position before they do so. Im also unclear about how many struts there are total.

I think there's 2 small ones (for the window) - PN 51248190688 - ~41$/each
and also , and 2 large (for the gate itself) - PN 51248220072 ~ 67$/each

Grand total of 220$ for full replacement. (ee, gawd!)
__________________
- Jeremy

"I never learned from a man who agreed with me." - Robert A. Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-09-2010, 06:07 AM
xpcgamer's Avatar
xpcgamer xpcgamer is offline
5 Door'ing it!
Location: Pembroke Pines
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 607
Mein Auto: 99 528IT/10 Maxima
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrovage View Post
So i'm making a parts list to do this for my touring. Firstly, how can i tell if they are going bad? mine stay up, but i have to lift them to full position before they do so. Im also unclear about how many struts there are total.

I think there's 2 small ones (for the window) - PN 51248190688 - ~41$/each
and also , and 2 large (for the gate itself) - PN 51248220072 ~ 67$/each

Grand total of 220$ for full replacement. (ee, gawd!)
Yes there is 4 of them. When you pop the back the gate will not just go up. You have to lift them. Also the same for the glass. You may be fine thou.
__________________

1999 528it Sport 5Sp
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-09-2010, 06:34 AM
jbrovage jbrovage is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Wyandotte, MI
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 113
Send a message via AIM to jbrovage Send a message via MSN to jbrovage Send a message via Yahoo to jbrovage
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540iT
Good news, thanks XPC!

Now i just need to get my passengers to stop SLAMMING my gate! ITS NOT A FORD PEOPLE!
__________________
- Jeremy

"I never learned from a man who agreed with me." - Robert A. Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-09-2010, 08:42 AM
jdt10768 jdt10768 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Columbia, SC
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 124
Mein Auto: 1999 540iT
Yeah, I love it when some hamfist bodyslams my tailgate/hatch like it's a damn Suburban.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-09-2010, 11:57 AM
525man 525man is offline
Registered User
Location: swaziland
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 86
Mein Auto: 540iA Individual
First off, Thanks to XPCGAMER for the flawless instructions which made this job a breeze AND CN90 for the diagrams he posted which put everything into perspective.

I bought my trunk supports off ebay. the seller is called "mrlousstuff". They were made by sachs which I think is oem. The fit was perfect and i think they cost me about $150.

A quick tip when doing the install, at point 12 above, position the shocks in place and insert your little finger into the hole where the hex ball goes. in this way you can feel when the shock is in place. as the shock lines up on your finger, gently remove your finger, making sure the shock comes to rest directly above where the hex screws in. Now start threading the ball end of the hex into position. the shock should be perfectly positioned on the ball in his way. Then use your large flat head or as I did, a hollow broomstick handle to press the shock down to lock onto the ball.
This will only work if your little finger is small enough to get in there.

Also, while you are doing this, check the integrity of your wires that pass through to the trunk. You may find some to be brittle or even broken, especially if you had a water leak like I did.

I hope this helps and enjoy the end result.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-28-2010, 02:05 PM
87bimmerguy 87bimmerguy is offline
Registered User
Location: Taylors, SC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 95 M3/01 525iT
I just did this today, and what a difference! My old struts were totally blown.
Thanks for the write-up, it was exactly as described. And thankfully, it wasn't nearly as hard as I expected.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-07-2012, 04:24 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
87bimmerguy,

how long did it take you?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:01 PM
scott740il scott740il is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: lexington, ky
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 398
Send a message via AIM to scott740il
Mein Auto: 1999 540iT Wagon
how much did the dealer charge?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:48 PM
87bimmerguy 87bimmerguy is offline
Registered User
Location: Taylors, SC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 95 M3/01 525iT
Quote:
Originally Posted by bagodonuts68 View Post
87bimmerguy,

how long did it take you?
Hmm, it was a couple years ago now. I'm thinking 30-45 minutes.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:46 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,991
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Just for the record, there was nothing about the touring liftgate shocks in the bestlinks so I'll add this thread so others can find it more easily in the future.

The only somewhat similar thread I could find was this cn90 DIY:
- How to replace your trunk shock absorber struts (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
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:08 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
Thanks bimmerguy. i think i will tackle the job (though using bluebee's provided thread will not be useful to me).
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:20 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
I was able to purchase the liftgate struts for $119 and the smaller glass struts for $59. from mrlousstuff on ebay (with FREE shipping).

QUESTION though. In the past i did a bit of a solder job on the wiring that feeds the tailgate (button to release the glass stopped working). While i have the headliner down for this strut job is there a wiring harness (or section thereof) that i can easily install??
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-13-2012, 05:52 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
JBROVAGE... i just cant get by your posts without staring. is that a leather or vinyl outfit?

anyone know about the wiring harness? Given the likelihood of fraid wiring at the hinge of the door, i was hoping there might be an easy way to replace the wires that run through there.

Last edited by bagodonuts68; 12-23-2012 at 09:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-23-2012, 05:00 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
problem with instructions

OK...

i just returned from the garage where i replaced my glass and door struts and i have several comments. Most fresh in my mind is the difficulty installing the hinge/wire covers. Either i am doing it the hard way (clearly) or the extra thickness in electrical tape over my numerous wire repairs have kept it all from simply snapping together.

Of primary concern regarding XPCGamer's instructions. When loosening the large hex nuts, particularly for the larger tailgate struts, pressure from the strut causes the nut/ball aparatus to get crooked prior to the popping off of the strut. This causes some stripping of the threads in the roof of the car. I had some difficulty getting the hex bolts to rethread back into the roof. HAving the hex nuts out makes it easy to get the strut onto the ball, feeling with your little finger for the female part of the ball joint on the far end of the strut. However, rather than popping them off while removing the hex nuts, I recommend popping off the strut with a long screwdriver (I used the long shaft from a drill operated cement mixer...what a barn job). Again, rethreading the hex nuts back into the roof was a real problem and as it stands i have one in correctly (after tapping it with a 5/8ths narrow threaded tool--i know it's likely a metric thread but it does not appear to be a standard sized thread. Its narrower than the standard metric thread for that size (16 i think, which does not normally have both narrow and wide threads according to my observations at the hardware store)

Long story short... avoid stripping the threads holding the hex nut described in step 7 (provided by XPCGAMER), primarly for the larger struts as mine (2000 wagon with 175k miles) still had enough pressure to mangle the threads. Do not pop off struts by removing the hex nut. Instead pop off using some sort of long tool, then remove hex nuts and proceed to step 9.


the job took me about 5 hours, but included a trip to the hardware store for tap and die tools and a good bit of wiring re-repair.

now for a sam adams and a football game on the DVR.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:03 AM
irija irija is offline
Registered User
Location: Mostly San Diego, but you can find me anywhere
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: '08 750Li / '99 528iT
Anyone in San Diego

... Feel like helping me out? I'm thinking of tackling this but to be honest, I've never replaced my tools since moving back to San Diego so I'm almost working with a bare garage. Sad I know. I'm pretty close to maybe taking it to a All German or back to La Jolla for this job.

I didn't see anyone post in this thread how much the dealer cost was. Anyone? I'm Aldo thinking that maybe only the door struts at this time and noticed that the eBay seller is in San Marcos.

You have a nice bottle of single malt in it
__________________
'99 5.28iT [build date 01/99]
'08 7.50Li [build date 10/08] - SOLD
'88 3.25iC [build date 11/87] - SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-25-2013, 08:24 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
while you're in there do both window and door struts. Its not really all that difficult a job. pulling down the headliner is a bit of a pain but nothing to keep you from the job. only the most basic tools are required and i think a larger size allen wrench for the hex bolts. Get a set at sears for $20 and quit procrastinating. Have a few long rigid rods of different sizes to assist in the popping off and on of the cylinders and something to prop up the tailgate. The worst part for me was getting the plastic hinge/wiring covers back on and soldering the broken wires feeding the tailgate (used a needle-nose vice grip to hold the wires out). you'll enjoy how the tailgate and window just sort of pop open, though it will take a bit to get used to it.

i bet the dealer charges a bunch.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 02-25-2013, 08:59 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
ps

your 750 is H O T
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-25-2013, 06:34 PM
Aussie528iT Aussie528iT is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Australia
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 151
Mein Auto: 528iT
You don't need to remove the ball studs the struts pop onto, you just have to lever them off and on the ball stud. Thats how the TIS procedure works. The simplest way is to use a piece of tubing about 900mm/3 ft long that fits over the strut. For the large shocks you need 40mm OD x 1.5mm wall thickness steel tube. Can't remember size for the small strut. Lift the tailgate weather seal off the opening lip and protect with a piece of plastic. Body filler spreader works fine. Use a telescopic paint roller handle to support the tailgate in the open position, one end in the hand hold and the other end on the bottom of the opening. The hardest part of the job is replacing the plastic covers over the wiring loom were it passes around the hinges.
The new struts come with a small spot of grease in the ball socket. Don't use any more as the strut can pop off the ball stud. How do I know?

Hope this helps
RonR
99 528iT M52TU
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-28-2013, 02:02 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: ND
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 169
Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
i liked having the ball studs off to line up the hole on the strut with where the ball will be once it is screwed in. I could put my little finger in the hole, feeling for the cup on the strut. then, holding everything else still, threat the ball stud back up into place and seeing the strut raise a bit under the stud. then pop it on with some long tool.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms