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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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  #76  
Old 07-16-2012, 09:10 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Luckily, I think 'this' thread has all that anyone would need to answer that question!
That's the good news.

The bad news is that people aren't 'finding' this thread when they order parts. Sigh.

For example, just now I saw this thread from today:
-> E39 (1997 - 2003) > 2003 530i - A/C Tensioner Pulley part number help

The user clearly did his homework - but - sadly - he ended up with the wrong parts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcatank View Post
Hey everyone, need some help finding the actual part # for a A/C Belt Tensioner Pulley on 2003 530i.


According to this forum: http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986


The part # should be 11281748131

But when I bought this part, its actually wrong. No way can it fit sungly as the original.


My full A/C Belt Tensioner Assembly looks like this:

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-530...ner/ES2528731/


Can anyone tell me,
Thanks.
Even in 'that' thread, people erroneously suggested that RealOEM will provide the part number (it won't).

To help out, I suggested the following, which I hope people find in the future (which is why I post this here and now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Go to the bestlinks and do a /tensioner F3.

You'll find the canonical threads for the tensioner.

As you found out, many people will suggest RealOEM or your VIN to look up the part number, but if you actually try (I was also a victim of that advice), you'll find out that RealOEM can NOT help you.

You'll find out that you first have to VISUALLY look to see if you have hydraulic or mechanical tensioners.

In addition, you clearly have the 2003 E39 because, AFAIK, no other E39 has the mechanical tensioner adjustment fulcrum point as a recessed T60 Torx. All other E39s have the mechanical tensioner adjustment fulcrom point as a raised hex 'nut'.

But all this is a repeat of what you'll find in the bestlinks.

For example:
Common questions which need to be answered BEFORE you do an alternator and/or drive belt system overhaul:
- 1st: Physically, determine what type of tensioners you have (1)
- 2nd: Physically, determine exactly what alternator you have (1)
- 3rd: Determine which parts you need to buy for a complete drive belt system overhaul (1)
- 4th: Do the alternator and drive belt system DIY (belts, tensioners, pulleys, rollers, alternator) (1)

Alternator and Belt Drive DIYs:
- Removal instructions for the alternator & drive belt system of a 2002 525i
- Removal instructions for the fan shroud of a 2002 525i
- Alternator and Belt Drive DIY (1) (2)
- How to tell if you have spring-drive or hydraulic belt tensioners or both (1)
- How to diagnose noises coming from the drive belt system (1)
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) (2)
- Video of cold idle engine squeal (1)
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)
- How to make your own BMW special cooling & belt drive system counterhold tools (1)
etc.
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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

Last edited by bluebee; 07-16-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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  #77  
Old 07-17-2012, 05:29 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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If anyone is seeking a hydraulic tensioner assembly for their M54, see this:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ulic+tensioner
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  #78  
Old 09-10-2012, 01:54 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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For those who want to convert from mechanical ---> hydraulic, see the attached pdf published by "INA".
Attached Files
File Type: pdf E39conversionkit.pdf (691.2 KB, 160 views)
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  #79  
Old 09-10-2012, 02:13 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Aha! So that's why I couldn't get it to fit. It used a different mounting hole!
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  #80  
Old 09-10-2012, 03:05 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
It used a different mounting hole!
If the value difference between so-called hydraulic and mechanical tensioners were greater - and - if the replacement were plug and play, I could see us switching to hydraulic by default.

But, seems to me, the cost is greater, the utility is marginally better, and the effort is greater.

Given that, I don't see overall value in the switcheroo.
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #81  
Old 09-10-2012, 04:05 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If the value difference between so-called hydraulic and mechanical tensioners were greater - and - if the replacement were plug and play, I could see us switching to hydraulic by default.

But, seems to me, the cost is greater, the utility is marginally better, and the effort is greater.

Given that, I don't see overall value in the switcheroo.
NOW you tell me! Anyone wanna buy a new hydraulic tensioner?
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  #82  
Old 01-18-2013, 05:58 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For cross reference on switching from mechanical to hydraulic tensioners, this thread today has some good information from Fudman and cn90 about the autohauz conversion kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I bought the Ina hydraulic tensioner and the assorted longer bolts and pulley as an upgrade for my cooling system overhaul last spring. But after taking everything apart, I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to install the hydraulic tensioner. It does NOT fit into the existing mechanical tensioner mounting holes. I ended up reinstalling my mechanical tensioner. After some research, it appears that you must mount the hydraulic into different mounting holes on the block (which I did not find). Bottom line, this is not a simple one for one replacement. Do some research before attempting this. I, for one, will simply replace my mechanical tensioner with another one this spring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Also,

The BMW TSB is attached.
See also:
- 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)
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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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  #83  
Old 02-05-2013, 08:11 PM
mhobryan mhobryan is offline
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Bluebee - Thanks for the pics! Thought for sure I had mechanical tensioners as I have a first year e39, but after studying the pics and studying underneath the hood I have hydraulic. saved me from ordering the wrong parts.
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  #84  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:57 PM
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ztom ztom is online now
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This is a really good thread. Thanks. I'm getting a flickering battery light at idle and I think it's a worn out tensioner rather than a failing alternator, not sure however. I'll look for any indication of a loose belt. Maybe the belt ribs will look worn or glazed from slipping. Tensioners are original and have 260K miles on engine!
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  #85  
Old 07-11-2013, 02:04 PM
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I hit my alternator with a metal rod & the light went off. Looks like worn brushes some debris got in. Belt & tension ok.
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  #86  
Old 07-11-2013, 02:32 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Some of BB's questions make me feel like we need a higher authority in here to help her out.

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  #87  
Old 07-04-2014, 12:26 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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A few more pictures of the belts of the 528i showed up today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Anyone have a diagram ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twis121 View Post
I need help , long story short , my alternator belt slipped off and is completely gone I was wondering does anyone had a diagram on how to put it on and also where could I go about getting one
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  #88  
Old 07-06-2014, 03:54 PM
Rundonrun Rundonrun is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
My serpentine belt shredded on this past Monday. Only the center metal part of idler pulley was left - no sign of any of the plastic pulley. I used the great info on this site and some great videos and am proud to state that I am back on the road today. I replaced both the main belt and AC belt as well as main tensioner pulley and other pulley on main belt. I want to thank those of you who have worked so hard to make this such a great resource.

The videos on this page were helpful also - http://www.bmpdesign.com/technical/e...acement_p1.php
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  #89  
Old 12-18-2014, 05:29 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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BTW, for the 2003 (which uses different tensioners than the rest of the E39s), this thread today may be useful on Torx sizes...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Alternator Removal: Tension Pulley star slot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
Hi Guys,
I need to replace my alternator but I discovered that my tension pulley doesn't have a standard socket fit hex but an 8? pointed star (I cant find a damn image).
I looked in the forums and didn't see anything in regards to the size or what type of socket bit I should be using to release the tension and finally replace this alternator.
Thanks guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
Hey guys for a straight forward answer i found it to be a " 5/16th hex screw" .. plug it in if your e39 requires it and loosen that belt up! (Clockwise). Set your wrench to tighten ,"R" , and push it down (assuming your start position is with the handle pointed towards the alternator, horizontal to the ground, push down towards the fan). Just breaking it down for the noobies
EDIT: Based on my alternator removal thread, I think it's a T50 Torx; but it doesn't matter as that's not the way to loosen tension anyway ...
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (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

Last edited by bluebee; 12-18-2014 at 11:12 AM.
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  #90  
Old 12-19-2014, 03:27 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Another vote today not for the hydraulic tensioner switch...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Alternator Removal: Tension Pulley star slot
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnzSr View Post
Back in 2006 before I started doing all of my own work, the dealer wanted an extra $150 for the hydraulic tensioner over and above the $236.00 that he charged me to replace the belt tensioner with a mechanical unit. I passed on the hydraulic unit. A month later the new tensioner was squealing like a pig. He again tried upgrading me to the hydraulic (as suggested in the service bulletin above). I went with the mechanical. That was at 86,600 miles. Recently I replaced both tensioners, the idler and both belts at 147,000 miles when I replaced the alternator - not because they were noisy but because it made sense for $155.00 (BavAuto) while I had he front of the engine open. The old tensioners were still quiet and good for many many more miles. I for one don't see a reason to upgrade to the hydraulic tensioner.

Deathstroke - you do not need the torx socket for a 525i. The cast-in hex lug on the tensioner is used to relieve the tension on the belt. The whole project will be a lot easier if you remove the fan.

See also:
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) [Read post #66 & post #107 & especially post #146]
__________________
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

Last edited by bluebee; 12-19-2014 at 03:50 PM.
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