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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 04-27-2013, 08:34 AM
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BM109R BM109R is online now
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Mein Auto: BMW E39
Who here does DIY on their e60/61?

Just curious who here does at least 70% DIY. The e39 has plenty of DIYers. I'm one. Is the e60 catching up to be the same as they are now aging with models starting from 2004?
Thanks,
BM109R

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Last edited by BM109R; 04-27-2013 at 09:20 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2013, 08:56 AM
DJtoad DJtoad is online now
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I was a little intimidated at first, but it's actually a very easy car to work on for basic maintenance items -- oil / filter, plugs, coils, brake pads / rotors, air and cabin filters, brake fluid, etc. You just need a few specialized but low-cost tools like a thin-walled deep socket for the spark plugs. Even replacing injectors is very straight-forward as long as you have INPA to code them properly afterwards. But there are a few things I probably wouldn't try to tackle myself on my 535i, for example, replacing turbos or installing downpipes. The clearances in the E60 are even tighter than the E9x despite having a larger engine bay.
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2013, 11:25 AM
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Vapiano Vapiano is offline
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Mein Auto: Dinan E60 M5 & 545i
Yes, I enjoy working on my car. I have replaced the tranny solenoids, spark plugs, sunroof window gasket, thermostat, added Dinan exhaust, intake, throttle body, suspension, strut brace, M5 trunk finisher and Beltronics radar detector. This has saved me tons of cash!
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  #4  
Old 04-27-2013, 02:03 PM
Phoenix1 Phoenix1 is offline
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You guys are maniacs!!!

I am NOT a DIY guy, but have a great relationship with the local service manager (post nice reviews on their web site) and he always matches or beats local Indie prices. Oil change - $79...

Helps there are 4 dealers within 30 mins...
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2013, 06:04 PM
UltimateDriving UltimateDriving is offline
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I usually do the simple stuff such as changing fluid, brakes, bleeding brakes, spark plugs etc. Nothing serious.
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2013, 07:13 PM
racooper3 racooper3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJtoad View Post
I was a little intimidated at first, but it's actually a very easy car to work on for basic maintenance items -- oil / filter, plugs, coils, brake pads / rotors, air and cabin filters, brake fluid, etc. You just need a few specialized but low-cost tools like a thin-walled deep socket for the spark plugs. Even replacing injectors is very straight-forward as long as you have INPA to code them properly afterwards. But there are a few things I probably wouldn't try to tackle myself on my 535i, for example, replacing turbos or installing downpipes. The clearances in the E60 are even tighter than the E9x despite having a larger engine bay.
pretty tight space with my V8 but love working on my car when I can. I don't do the oil as I have an indy who only charges me $15 to change it. I buy my own oil. I did my own valve/timing cover gaskets a while back. Just did front brake pads/rotors about 2 months ago. The alternator bracket gasket was leaking and that job I didn't want to do. Needed to remove one of the engine mounts to replace the gasket. If it has to go on a lift, I take it to my indy.

Last edited by racooper3; 04-27-2013 at 07:15 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2013, 07:25 PM
whoever whoever is offline
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I tried, but couldn't even open the engine air filter cover, damn!
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2013, 08:03 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Mein Auto: 545i
Oil & Filter
air filter
clean MAF sensor
cabin air filter
spark plugs
transmission drain and fill
rear differential fluid
alternator
water pump
vent tube
serpentine and AC belts
brakes
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2013, 08:08 PM
boss22 boss22 is offline
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Does anybody have INPA ? I need recalibrate my Rain Sensor. I am from CT and I am willing to travel to NYC or NJ or MA to somebody that has INPA
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2013, 08:47 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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No doubt E60 are more complicated cars than E39 this why many people still keep E39
Another thing - as more problems car has as more DIY available
To be honest E39 are great cars but they have tons of problems , this why so many DIY
545i are also problematic cars this why you have tons of DIY as well
From another side 550i is much better design, more new cars, so less problems and us result less DIY available

Filters / Oil should not be considered as DIY even IMAO
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Last edited by champaign777; 04-28-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:21 AM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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I DIY everything I possibly can. Either in my garage or at a friend's house (he has a lift). At the end of the day these are just cars and can be fixed at home if you have the tools, knowledge (and there's TONS on the internet) and the nerve. Go for it, dive right in.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:47 AM
limeykraut limeykraut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjinca View Post
I DIY everything I possibly can. Either in my garage or at a friend's house (he has a lift). At the end of the day these are just cars and can be fixed at home if you have the tools, knowledge (and there's TONS on the internet) and the nerve. Go for it, dive right in.
I'm the same way. I come from Jaguars, and have done all my own work, plus work for other people, up to and include swapping engines and/or trannies. Although there is an intimidation factor, and a fear of making things worse through ignorance, when the time comes for my new-to-me wagon to need something, it'll be me doing it.

Admittedly, the correct tools, good parts sources, and the correct information are critical, as pjinca says.
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:51 AM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limeykraut View Post
I'm the same way. I come from Jaguars, and have done all my own work, plus work for other people, up to and include swapping engines and/or trannies. Although there is an intimidation factor, and a fear of making things worse through ignorance, when the time comes for my new-to-me wagon to need something, it'll be me doing it.

Admittedly, the correct tools, good parts sources, and the correct information are critical, as pjinca says.
Exactly, I have done so much work to my car. Normally, my only rule is I prefer to do something to my car first before attempting it on anyone else's car. The only things I didn't do that with were the common 545 issues that I helped friends with (gaskets leaking oil).
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Previous 3 cars (the 550 is my 38th car):
2005 530i - Prem, Sport, NAV
2006 Jeep SRT-8
2003 Infiniti G35 coupe
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:40 PM
limeykraut limeykraut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjinca View Post
Exactly, I have done so much work to my car. Normally, my only rule is I prefer to do something to my car first before attempting it on anyone else's car. The only things I didn't do that with were the common 545 issues that I helped friends with (gaskets leaking oil).
A little different for me..I had done a few of the basic jobs (brakes, gaskets), and then had one of my regulars hound me into doing his timing chain tensioners on his 'R'. So I learned that on his car, which was intimidating...but profitable
My DD is a '98 XJ8 that I bought for $700 and fixed the transmission on 80K miles ago. It's been pretty solid...which is a relative term for a Jag.

Usually I go by that same rule, though...don't do unto another car what thou hasn't first done unto thine own
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  #15  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:14 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
I do a little.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=692673
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  #16  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:23 PM
limeykraut limeykraut is offline
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Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Does your car use a ZF transmisison? I know some BMW's do (maybe all?). The Jags do. The 5HP24 is the one I know best, the HP26 has a plastic pan (like my E60, but not the same pan), and they like to crack in the corner and leak slowly until the gearbox fault light comes on and people think they have to buy a trans. Is that a BMW issue too??? Haven't read much about tranny issues, although I see the thread on the 545.
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  #17  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:46 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limeykraut View Post
Does your car use a ZF transmisison? I know some BMW's do (maybe all?). The Jags do. The 5HP24 is the one I know best, the HP26 has a plastic pan (like my E60, but not the same pan), and they like to crack in the corner and leak slowly until the gearbox fault light comes on and people think they have to buy a trans. Is that a BMW issue too??? Haven't read much about tranny issues, although I see the thread on the 545.
The 545i uses a ZF 6HP26 transmission in the early years. I think there are some other variants for other BMW models. I thought at one point BMW went back to GM transmissions, but that may have just been a random incorrect piece of information that I remembered for some reason.

Anyways, yes, the 545i has the plastic pan. I have not heard any reports of it leaking or of it being a common problem, however, the "mechatronics sleeve" does tend to leak and has some erratic symptoms once it loses enough fluid. This is the sealing sleeve that the electrical connectors go through--the o-rings on the earlier versions tend to fail and start leaking out fluid.

The other problem is the solenoids, per the thread I had linked to in my summary thread. Replacing those and keeping the fluid fresh / topped up seems to fix most problems. IMO the hard parts of the transmission are well built.

Last edited by schpenxel; 04-29-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:57 PM
limeykraut limeykraut is offline
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Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
The 545i uses a ZF 6HP26 transmission in the early years. I think there are some other variants for other BMW models. I thought at one point BMW went back to GM transmissions, but that may have just been a random incorrect piece of information that I remembered for some reason.

Anyways, yes, the 545i has the plastic pan. I have not heard any reports of it leaking or of it being a common problem, however, the "mechatronics sleeve" does tend to leak and has some erratic symptoms once it loses enough fluid. This is the sealing sleeve that the electrical connectors go through--the o-rings on the earlier versions tend to fail and start leaking out fluid.

The other problem is the solenoids, per the thread I had linked to in my summary thread. Replacing those and keeping the fluid fresh / topped up seems to fix most problems. IMO the hard parts of the transmission are well built.
OK, makes sense, I've changed the sleeve as a 'while I'm there, not because it's leaking' thing before. I've had some calls on the Jag's for the mechatronic unit, but they're beyond ridiculously priced.
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2013, 06:55 PM
myates3 myates3 is offline
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I think if anyone has a some solid mechanical ability and a general understanding of the engine components then it's just like working on any other vehicle. Biggest difference I've noticed is that you have to remove 5-10 other parts in order to get to whatever it is you're after...particularly with the V8's. To oversimplify, you're just unbolting stuff and bolting it back together. lol
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  #20  
Old 04-29-2013, 08:09 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myates3 View Post
I think if anyone has a some solid mechanical ability and a general understanding of the engine components then it's just like working on any other vehicle. Biggest difference I've noticed is that you have to remove 5-10 other parts in order to get to whatever it is you're after...particularly with the V8's. To oversimplify, you're just unbolting stuff and bolting it back together. lol
LOL, yup, unbolt/bolt is all there really is to it. I have worked on every car I have ever owned. Dealt with my own busted knuckles and crawled out from under more than one car with a trans on my chest. It's only as hard as your nerve allows it to be.
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2006 Jeep SRT-8
2003 Infiniti G35 coupe
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2013, 09:21 PM
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BM109R BM109R is online now
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Good to know. Thanks for all the feedback. An e60 is definetely on the horizon and closing in. Just need to decide on which year and engine. 550s get good reviews here I see but I would be happy with a 530 as well for better gas mileage and a good combination of performance and comfort. Not sure I want to deal with the 525/535/545 at all.

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  #22  
Old 04-29-2013, 09:36 PM
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gcvt gcvt is offline
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I do as much as I can. My car hasn't been to any shop for anything not covered by warranty for the past 2-1/2 years. I just wish I had a lift!

Wait, I lied. Paid $100 to have the exhaust system installed. Or, did I lie? That's was a birthday gift from the GF. Hmm

I don't do tires either, of course. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot more as time goes on. I look forward to it. Even if I struggle with a project, just knowing I'm not paying someone else a fortune makes me happy. Did front brakes a few weeks ago. Rear brakes and another oil change are my upcoming projects.
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Last edited by gcvt; 04-29-2013 at 09:38 PM.
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2013, 06:15 AM
limeykraut limeykraut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myates3 View Post
I think if anyone has a some solid mechanical ability and a general understanding of the engine components then it's just like working on any other vehicle. Biggest difference I've noticed is that you have to remove 5-10 other parts in order to get to whatever it is you're after...particularly with the V8's. To oversimplify, you're just unbolting stuff and bolting it back together. lol
Ah, the old 'They built the car around the (insert name of part your currently trying to get to here)' trick??
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  #24  
Old 04-30-2013, 06:42 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limeykraut View Post
Ah, the old 'They built the car around the (insert name of part your currently trying to get to here)' trick??
I've learned that once you pull the "acoustic cover", coil pack covers, radiator cover, intake tubing and airbox, it starts to look like a normal engine again

(As I'm sure most people here have already noticed)
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  #25  
Old 04-30-2013, 11:20 AM
Texas_Vol Texas_Vol is offline
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I've done some simple things, BMS intake, blow off valve, grille, emblems, and such. We have a lift here at work, so I'll do oil changes as well.
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