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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 03-26-2013, 08:20 PM
sgregor sgregor is offline
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Hello all! I just purchased a 2004 545i, and am very happy with it! I'm the Parts Manager for McLaren San Francisco and will be taking advantage of our service bay to do complete fluid changes. A couple of questions:

1. What do you all recommend for differential oil. I have purchased Royal Purple 75w90, is this a good choice?
2. I don't subscribe to the "lubed for life" deal. I have Pentosin AF1, is this correct for the auto trans? The car 123,000 on it.
3. Will also be replacing the timing chain tensioner. Having read many of the posts, I think this is a prudent move!

Thanks for the feedback in advance,

Stuart
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:48 PM
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AndrewZ AndrewZ is offline
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2013, 10:05 PM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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I agree on 2 and 3, very prudent, especially 3.
Will let others comment on 1.
My timing chain tensioner on my 99 540 broke at 125k miles. HUGE rebuild required. Almost sent the car to salvage. Luckily it is still running with new owner who babes it.
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2013, 08:56 AM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Welcome and congrats on the ride.
On 1) I used Royal Purple in my old 530 - 75W90 as well. I like Royal Purple products
2) Agree completely about the "liftime" trans fluid, however, most mechanics will recommend that if the fluid isn't changed before 100k miles then don't bother. Fresh fluid after that may do more harm than good.
3) All maintenance is prudent, it will always be cheaper to properly maintain a car than repair it, this is especially true with BMWs and every other high end car.
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2013, 12:24 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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Welcome Stuart!
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2013, 12:28 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgregor View Post
Hello all! I just purchased a 2004 545i, and am very happy with it! I'm the Parts Manager for McLaren San Francisco and will be taking advantage of our service bay to do complete fluid changes. A couple of questions:

1. What do you all recommend for differential oil. I have purchased Royal Purple 75w90, is this a good choice?
2. I don't subscribe to the "lubed for life" deal. I have Pentosin AF1, is this correct for the auto trans? The car 123,000 on it.
3. Will also be replacing the timing chain tensioner. Having read many of the posts, I think this is a prudent move!

Thanks for the feedback in advance,

Stuart
1 - that's probably fine. I haven't seen many people change the diff fluid (although it should be changed I'm sure
2 - agreed. RESET TRANSMISSION ADAPTATIONS AFTER YOU CHANGE THE FLUID I personally would (and have) only used ZF's transmission fluid. I don't think mixing it with other kinds is a good idea (you cannot get all of the fluid out by draining alone as the torque converter has quite a bit in it)
3 - that's a good bit of work I'd think, and I've never seen one break. I do know they had a design change on that part later on, so there is probably a good reason that it changed (and that alone may be a good reason to change it). Do you have any reason to change it other than just to be sure it doesn't give out?
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2013, 05:33 PM
sgregor sgregor is offline
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Location: Stockton, CA
 
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Thanks!

Thanks for the input, most appreciated! Replaced the diff oil, Royal Purple! Replaced the transmission fluid, it had not been changed ever! Put in Pentosin ATF1, seems to shift more smoothly, maybe just me wanting it too.

On the tensioners, yes, tensioners. There are 2 timing chains on the 2004 545i N62 motor, thus two tensioners. One for each bank. One is on the top of the motor by the right (from the front) cylinder head. The other on the left side of the motor (from the front) beneath the left clyinder head. Am planning on doing that tonight. I'm doing it mainly because I work at McLaren San Francisco and liive is Stockton, CA, a 160 mile round trip every day, and two, we just sold two cars, both 03 and an 04 545i that lost timing chains in a short amount of time. Sooooo! Wish me luck!
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2013, 05:40 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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That is a long commute Stuart!

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2013, 05:55 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgregor View Post
Thanks for the input, most appreciated! Replaced the diff oil, Royal Purple! Replaced the transmission fluid, it had not been changed ever! Put in Pentosin ATF1, seems to shift more smoothly, maybe just me wanting it too.

On the tensioners, yes, tensioners. There are 2 timing chains on the 2004 545i N62 motor, thus two tensioners. One for each bank. One is on the top of the motor by the right (from the front) cylinder head. The other on the left side of the motor (from the front) beneath the left clyinder head. Am planning on doing that tonight. I'm doing it mainly because I work at McLaren San Francisco and liive is Stockton, CA, a 160 mile round trip every day, and two, we just sold two cars, both 03 and an 04 545i that lost timing chains in a short amount of time. Sooooo! Wish me luck!
Didn't know they made a 2003 545i..

How many miles were on them? I'm at 190K, but if this is a common failure at high miles then I'll change mine as well.
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2013, 06:16 PM
racooper3 racooper3 is offline
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Location: Tampa
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Didn't know they made a 2003 545i..

How many miles were on them? I'm at 190K, but if this is a common failure at high miles then I'll change mine as well.
2004 MY were likely started in Sep/Oct 2003 and some of the earliest of the N62 e60. I'll be looking into this job in about 60K mi.
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2013, 04:28 PM
sgregor sgregor is offline
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Location: Stockton, CA
 
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Top tensioner done!

OK, did the top tensioner last night, right bank, took me 20 minutes! Would have done the bottom but engine too hot. Will try the bottom, left bank, tonight. Will let you know how it goes. I'll probably have to go in from underneath. Will rack it up and let you know. By the way the other tensioner/guide rail that failed was a 2003 X5. Sorry about the misunderstanding!
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2013, 04:52 PM
sgregor sgregor is offline
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Location: Stockton, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Miles

Mine has 126,000. Folks I've talked with seem to think that anywhere from 100,00 to 140,00 is good. After that probably too late. I don't know guys, with this stuff and all the oipinons, hard to know. What I do know is they are cheap enough, probably good to do for peace of mind.

Stuart
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2013, 05:47 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgregor View Post
OK, did the top tensioner last night, right bank, took me 20 minutes! Would have done the bottom but engine too hot. Will try the bottom, left bank, tonight. Will let you know how it goes. I'll probably have to go in from underneath. Will rack it up and let you know. By the way the other tensioner/guide rail that failed was a 2003 X5. Sorry about the misunderstanding!
I would be interested in a little more info about what all you had to do to change it.. if it can be done that quick, I'm changing mine too
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2013, 09:21 PM
sgregor sgregor is offline
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Location: Stockton, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Tensioner Change and Trans service

OK, I did service the transmission. Removed the pan and installed new one OEM BMW. Took me about an hour. Used Pentosin ATF1. All good, shifts great. On the tensioners. As of my last post, did top tensioner, right bank from the front, 20 mins, the bottom tensioner, side left bank front, is NOT possible without dropping the front cross member and dropping the motor down on that side. Not sure how much twist the exhaust system would take. Huge job, have not yet done it! Wasted 2 hours trying! Will probably need three to four hours, even then I'm not sure it's the way to go. I do know I do NOT want to take the motor out! If anyone has done it, love to know how you did it!

Did a muffler delete! Tried it for a week . . . too loud. Heavy harmonics from 1,500 to 2,100 RPM. Took back to shop, added a magnaflow . . . nice!

Software update! Is there anyway to know if the car has the latest updates?

Thanks all,

Stuart
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:39 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,296
Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgregor View Post
OK, I did service the transmission. Removed the pan and installed new one OEM BMW. Took me about an hour. Used Pentosin ATF1. All good, shifts great. On the tensioners. As of my last post, did top tensioner, right bank from the front, 20 mins, the bottom tensioner, side left bank front, is NOT possible without dropping the front cross member and dropping the motor down on that side. Not sure how much twist the exhaust system would take. Huge job, have not yet done it! Wasted 2 hours trying! Will probably need three to four hours, even then I'm not sure it's the way to go. I do know I do NOT want to take the motor out! If anyone has done it, love to know how you did it!

Did a muffler delete! Tried it for a week . . . too loud. Heavy harmonics from 1,500 to 2,100 RPM. Took back to shop, added a magnaflow . . . nice!

Software update! Is there anyway to know if the car has the latest updates?

Thanks all,

Stuart
What did you have to pull to do the right bank tensioner?

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=417251&page=5 is a pretty decent thread on pulling the motor apart
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