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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-22-2013, 06:13 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Anyone here changed an AC compressor on a 545i?

Mine is starting to make some rattling noise that can't be good, so I'm looking to replace it before it goes kaboom and makes a mess of all the AC lines/orifices.

Has anyone here changed one before? Easy/hard/impossible?? I have gone through ISTA/D and it looks doable, just a tight fit.

I have a vacuum pump, manifold gauges, scales, etc. to do it right, but just curious if anyone else has done it before on here. It's only a couple of bolts, just that they're ones that are tough to get to.

Apparently these cars have clutchless compressors, which isn't so surprising for BMW's over engineering.

Anyways. Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2013, 08:48 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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For anyone that may find this thread later.. below are pictures of everything I could find on doing the operation, in no particular order.

Sections include:
AC EVAC / FILL
POWER STEERING BLEED PROCEDURE
HOW TO REMOVE/REPLACE COMPRESSOR
HOW TO REPLACE DESICCANT, IF NECESSARY
BMW CLUTCHLESS AC COMPRESSOR OPERATION/THEORY
ACTIVE STABILIZER REMOVAL
TORQUE SPECS

AC EVAC / FILL INFO:




















POWER STEERING BLEED PROCEDURE







HOW TO REMOVE/REPLACE COMPRESSOR (545I WITH DYNAMIC DRIVE)











HOW TO REPLACE DESICCANT, IF NECESSARY









BMW CLUTCHLESS AC COMPRESSOR OPERATION/THEORY





















Last edited by schpenxel; 02-22-2013 at 08:55 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2013, 08:48 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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ACTIVE STABILIZER REMOVAL, IF APPLICABLE


















TORQUE SPECS

















Last edited by schpenxel; 02-22-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2013, 01:59 PM
H F H F is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Mine is starting to make some rattling noise that can't be good, so I'm looking to replace it before it goes kaboom and makes a mess of all the AC lines/orifices.

Has anyone here changed one before? Easy/hard/impossible?? I have gone through ISTA/D and it looks doable, just a tight fit.

I have a vacuum pump, manifold gauges, scales, etc. to do it right, but just curious if anyone else has done it before on here. It's only a couple of bolts, just that they're ones that are tough to get to.

Apparently these cars have clutchless compressors, which isn't so surprising for BMW's over engineering.

Anyways. Thoughts?
hey bro .. after u get the new compressor on,,,, ditch the stretch belt.. theres a update for a belt tensioner .. and its the same tensioner as the serpentine belt tensioner.. and if u need... ill dig up the new belt part number...
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:07 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
hey bro .. after u get the new compressor on,,,, ditch the stretch belt.. theres a update for a belt tensioner .. and its the same tensioner as the serpentine belt tensioner.. and if u need... ill dig up the new belt part number...
Oh please give me that part number, haha. I HATE the stretch belts. It can't be good for bearings either having belts pulled that tight (or maybe it doesn't matter, who knows).

Can you retrofit it to the 2004 models?
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:14 PM
H F H F is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Oh please give me that part number, haha. I HATE the stretch belts. It can't be good for bearings either having belts pulled that tight (or maybe it doesn't matter, who knows).

Can you retrofit it to the 2004 models?
This is the belt put on my car...Continental CONTITECH 4pk860..
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:19 PM
H F H F is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Oh please give me that part number, haha. I HATE the stretch belts. It can't be good for bearings either having belts pulled that tight (or maybe it doesn't matter, who knows).

Can you retrofit it to the 2004 models?
yes.. i have an 05... same car.. ill take a picture of it to give u a visual if u want..
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:20 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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A picture would be awesome.

So I need to order that belt, and another tensioner (same that is used for the other belt) and that's it? Regular AC compressor will work fine?
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:29 PM
H F H F is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
A picture would be awesome.

So I need to order that belt, and another tensioner (same that is used for the other belt) and that's it? Regular AC compressor will work fine?
yes same one.. the update is for both our cars..
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:35 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Pictures from Mr. H F. Thank you for these!










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  #11  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:13 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Ordered a used compressor off a wrecked 545i with 30K on it. 1/3 the cost of one rebuilt in China and 1/4 the cost one from BMW. Hopefully it works ok.

Ordered replacement seals for just about the whole AC system, so I can replace anything I touch.

I also ordered replacement bolts for the nut/bolts that hold the AC compressor on. I've learned recently that the extra few bucks to just replace all the bolts you're dealing with is completely worth it. Usually it's $20 or less. I did the same when I replaced my water pump (all bolts, all pullies, tensioner, idler, etc.). So much easier than dealing with old hardware.

Interestingly enough, I bought it all from ECS, then I went back to their website today and all of the bolts I ordered are either no longer available, or only available in 10 packs, so I apparently got the last of the individual ones . That's a good thing, as some of these bolts were close to $4 a piece.

Then there's the CCC wiring harness that I couldn't find anywhere else--they had one for like $6 that I bought, and now the part number doesn't even show up as valid at all on their website.

Guess I ordered the last of them

Last edited by schpenxel; 02-23-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2013, 02:53 PM
mrgrumpy mrgrumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Ordered a used compressor off a wrecked 545i with 30K on it. 1/3 the cost of one rebuilt in China and 1/4 the cost one from BMW. Hopefully it works ok.

Ordered replacement seals for just about the whole AC system, so I can replace anything I touch.

I also ordered replacement bolts for the nut/bolts that hold the AC compressor on. I've learned recently that the extra few bucks to just replace all the bolts you're dealing with is completely worth it. Usually it's $20 or less. I did the same when I replaced my water pump (all bolts, all pullies, tensioner, idler, etc.). So much easier than dealing with old hardware.

Interestingly enough, I bought it all from ECS, then I went back to their website today and all of the bolts I ordered are either no longer available, or only available in 10 packs, so I apparently got the last of the individual ones . That's a good thing, as some of these bolts were close to $4 a piece.

Then there's the CCC wiring harness that I couldn't find anywhere else--they had one for like $6 that I bought, and now the part number doesn't even show up as valid at all on their website.

Guess I ordered the last of them
Same boat as you (growling compressor on 545i).

If you can afford the time, please provide a step by step on how you accomplished this task.
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2013, 05:47 PM
racooper3 racooper3 is offline
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Is this belt tensioner and new belt a recall thing or just something they want you to change out when you replace the A/C belt? Should I worry that current setup may cause a premature failure?
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2013, 07:58 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgrumpy View Post
Same boat as you (growling compressor on 545i).

If you can afford the time, please provide a step by step on how you accomplished this task.
I will certainly try. I have a feeling it's going to be such a tight space that there won't be many good pictures, but I will try..

Quote:
Originally Posted by racooper3 View Post
Is this belt tensioner and new belt a recall thing or just something they want you to change out when you replace the A/C belt? Should I worry that current setup may cause a premature failure?
Not sure if it's a recall thing or not. My problem with the current setup is the difficulty in installing the stretch type belt without a special tool. Some have made a tool to do the job, but with the amount a brand new belt has to stretch to make it on, I'm not too sure about how good that much force can be on the compressor bearings. I had a pretty good way of holding the belt on the compressor pulley and had a lot of force on the crank when trying to get it on and couldn't even get it close to going on

That's just my thoughts on it though, I have no actual evidence to back up the idea that the "stretch" belts accelerate any wear

Basically, I'd rather spend the money on the tensioner than on the special tool..

Last edited by schpenxel; 02-25-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-26-2013, 01:02 AM
H F H F is online now
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[QUOTE=racooper3;7404447]Is this belt tensioner and new belt a recall thing or just something they want you to change out when you replace the A/C belt? Should I worry that current setup may cause a premature failure?[/QUOTE.

I dont think the tensioner is a recall,,, its an update .....
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Last edited by H F; 02-26-2013 at 01:14 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2013, 02:31 PM
Damon54 Damon54 is offline
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Who is the OEM of this compressor & what is their model # for it?

It is a Denso 7SEU17 & offered by Denso as new, Part # 471-1490 . Part is in $350-370 range.

Looks as if there was a part # switch in the 2 year 545 run or is this confusion over the above referenced Tensioner & belt?

Ranshu offers it and they have traditionally offered great pricing. Did not call or register @ their site.

Last edited by Damon54; 02-26-2013 at 03:39 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:03 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Good price for that compressor if correct (not saying it's not, just haven't had time to really research).

Just quickly going through ebay most of the ones in that price range listed as Denso for 545i are re-manufactured and not really new. They may be fine, I'm no expert on them, but I've already ordered my used one w/30K on it at this point, and it comes with a warranty so hopefully that does what I need it to.. Good information for anyone else looking through. If I had known that part number I probably would have had a lot more options when looking for my replacement.

edit:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-E64-E63-...6e5515&vxp=mtr if you go to the last picture and zoom in you, can see the name/part # match what you found. Good to know!

Last edited by schpenxel; 02-26-2013 at 08:02 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-26-2013, 11:00 PM
Damon54 Damon54 is offline
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You are an amazingly thorough & competent mechanic Schpenxel.

Denso uses a different part # for their rebuilds. My experience with them has always been that new means new & I have changed four 10PA20C Compressors in my day on 3 Lexi accumulating 600K +. They do indeed offer you both choices new or rebuilds.

I always find forums like this one much more useful when people list the BMW part # & when possible the OEM part #.
You tend to go a great deal past that standard!

Last edited by Damon54; 02-26-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:37 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon54 View Post
You are an amazingly thorough & competent mechanic Schpenxel.

Denso uses a different part # for their rebuilds. My experience with them has always been that new means new & I have changed four 10PA20C Compressors in my day on 3 Lexi accumulating 600K +. They do indeed offer you both choices new or rebuilds.

I always find forums like this one much more useful when people list the BMW part # & when possible the OEM part #.
You tend to go a great deal past that standard!
600K? Good lord. I knew they lasted, but didn't know they lasted THAT long.

Thank you for the kind words. I've thought about doing it more full time but starting from the bottom and the huge pay cut from where I am now would be rough. And being dirty all the time would surely get old. Guess it'd get me out from behind a desk though

ECS cancelled my order for all of the bolts by the way. Not sure if I posted that earlier or not. They said that they could now only sell them in packs of 10, which came out to about $100 just for 3 bolts (well, 30 actually, but I only needed 3). Kind of pisses me off that they didn't honor what they had listed as available on their website, but whatever. I haven't decided if I'm going to try to order replacement bolts from somewhere else or just re-use the old ones. At least it isn't hot here yet, so worst case if I mess up any of the old hardware I can order it as needed and go from there.

Ordered replacement desiccant last night. Figured it couldn't hurt considering the mileage on the car and that I'll have the system open for a few hours at least

Why does no one else work on E60's hardly? haha. I'll try to take some good pictures when I do the job.
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  #20  
Old 03-10-2013, 03:21 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Well, today was the day!

I had planned on doing a full video and a bunch of pictures of the process to help anyone else out if they ever needed to do this, but I forgot my GoPro for the video and after about step 2 things weren't going well, so I stopped taking pictures and just wanted to get it completed in the time I had to work with.

Basically the simple steps to do this are to remove the sway bar, remove a couple of AC pressure lines (one on passenger side between motor and fender, and the two running to the condenser), unbolt compressor and electrical connection, yank it out. Reverse for installation. In theory anyways.

The problem was the "Dyanmic drive" sway bar thing has hydraulic lines running into it, and the nut/tube were frozen together for one of the connections. I started bending the tube trying to get them unfrozen, and even after a few hours of soaking in penetrating oil, they never would loosen up. So, I went forward with the sway bar disconnected as much as possible (everything except one hydraulic line). It kind of hung right in the way and made things more difficult, but ultimately it was still doable. When I started tracing the hydraulic line back to see how much of a pain it would be to just break it and replace it later, I quickly decided I'd rather cut my AC belt and drive without AC than do that repair. The line goes right between the frame, and I didn't see any way to change them out without dropping the whole front cradle (I'll look this up later to be sure)

I can tell you that anyone who tries this for the first time is going to take one look at the compressor and think there is absolutely no way to get to the bolt/nut at the rear of the compressor. I found a flex head ratchet and the right length socket worked though. It's not that tough to get to them once you forget about the fact that you can't see what you're working on (and hopefully you have skinny hands)

Anyways. I finally finangled the compressor out. The pulley had enough wobble in it that I was sure it was the problem, and when you wobbled it back and forth it sounded exactly like the noise I've been experiencing. The new (used low mileage) compressor was tight and had no wobble. I drained as much oil as I could get out of the old one to see how much I needed to add. It came out to about a shot glass worth, so I put a full shot glass then a little more into the new one (tried to drain it but couldn't get anything out, so I assume they did that prior to shipping).

Getting it back in was even more fun. The bolt on the rear of the compressor you have to install (and keep in) before putting the compressor back in, and you have to route the AC line running to the condenser in a crazy way that is next to impossible to do in one shot by yourself. I finally got it without breaking anything.

Oh, I forgot to mention I forgot to bring all of the new seals I bought and waited for. Gah. I cleaned the old ones as best I could and put a little PAG 46 on them and decided to go with it.

So, got everything back together, vacuumed the system for 30 minutes and it (as far as I can tell) held a vacuum for 30 minutes after that. Then I realized I forgot the r134a can tap thing, so I couldn't put in refrigerant.

Went to Advance and picked one up--it sucked refrigerant right in and got cold a few minutes later. For better or worse, for the first bottle of refrigerant, I prefer to use a short simple hose and just leave the whole bottle under the hood and drive around for 20-30 minutes with it like that. I did that and the can got super cold as soon as I hooked it up.

Hallelujah! AC got super cold at this point. Like, I rolled down the windows to warm things up cold.

15 minutes or so later I pulled over and switched to a second can. First can was as empty as I've ever seen one get, and at this point my AC was as cold or colder than it's ever been, so I was happy.

15 minutes later I was home and the second can was empty. The system should hold 28 ounces, and each can held 12 ounces so best case I was at 24, but probably actually more like 20-22 total. I may add a little more and check pressures tomorrow, but for now I'm calling it done.

Oh, and the best part? The car is DEAD SILENT NOW. Like, creepy "I'm not sure if my car is running or not" silent. It must have been making a lot more racket than I ever realized, because the car is quieter at all speeds now, so that is a good sign!

Anyways. Long post, but all is well. I didn't change the desecant either--I decided to see if the system was actually sealed or not before I risk new parts there. It looks like you can change it just by pulling the cover on the radiator/condenser and don't actually have to pull the condenser, so it wouldn't be bad to change if needed.

Last edited by schpenxel; 03-10-2013 at 03:24 PM.
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  #21  
Old 05-06-2014, 09:26 PM
mojoekai mojoekai is offline
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NOOOO!!!
I can't see any pictures now!
i'm wanting to change out my compressor...well I don't have cold air and my ac guy says the ac is in the car..nothing get cold...sometimes it gets cold but most the time it's nutural
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  #22  
Old 05-06-2014, 10:36 PM
H F H F is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojoekai View Post
NOOOO!!!
I can't see any pictures now!
i'm wanting to change out my compressor...well I don't have cold air and my ac guy says the ac is in the car..nothing get cold...sometimes it gets cold but most the time it's nutural
Here check it out ,, just did mine a few weeks ago
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=755620
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  #23  
Old 05-06-2014, 11:08 PM
mojoekai mojoekai is offline
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Ok... Looked through it... Wow look little too hard for me... And I've been know to strip bolts before (sr20 block, head gasket bolts)
Soo if I was gonna do anything at BMW... Think this might be a BMW thing... I just don't know what exactly gonna need to replace... Couple be a easy cheap part... It gets cold sometimes... Mainly at speed cruisen
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  #24  
Old 05-07-2014, 05:12 AM
aber57 aber57 is online now
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You need someone with more a/c knowledge to check it. The compressor has no clutch so listening for it to come on does not apply to this car.
You may not need a compressor.
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  #25  
Old 05-07-2014, 05:23 AM
mojoekai mojoekai is offline
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Think it's worth to just have BMW look at it??
The way everyone talks about the dealership... Makes me think they gonna steel my first born... Haha
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