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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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  #1  
Old 07-04-2013, 09:07 AM
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Andreas540i Andreas540i is offline
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Location: Lincoln, NE
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 540i
E39 Door Handles

I might have missed another topic, but does anyone else have problems with the exterior door handles. Lots of people talk about the interior ones, but I just broke my second metal door handle. Its my understanding that the new ones are plastic.

Is there any durability difference between the metal and plastic? My first metal one broke in 2010. So it was on the car for 13 years. The replacement was a u pull it part and broke yesterday. My experience is that they give, then the metal just continues to tear slowly.

I am trying to decide between a new $110 plastic or another used $60 metal.


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  #2  
Old 07-04-2013, 10:35 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
The used handle was probably of a similar vintage, and ready to break. If BMW switched to plastic, there may be a good reason.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:09 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Location: "Empire State" of Mind
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Mein Auto: 98 540i M62 3.15
My driver's handle broke in the winter of 2008 when the door was frozen to the rubber door seal as snow melted from the heat of the car and froze overnight.

Replaced with a plastic one from the dealer for $50 and still working fine.

The lesson learned is whether metal or plastic, don't try to force the door open when frozen in the winter. Since you live in Nebraska, I imagine that might be the case for you too. Pull gently if door is stuck or locked.

BTW, the plastic composite one comes in a grey primer so you'll need to paint that to match your car color. Of cos, if you pull a metal one from a junkyard with another color, you'll need to paint that too.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:19 PM
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Andreas540i Andreas540i is offline
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Location: Lincoln, NE
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 540i
E39 Door Handles

Both handles failed in the summer, and I don't usually pull hard.

I already have a can of paint to paint it. (Last one was black) I liked the feel of real metal handle, but I guess its time to try the plastic.


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Old 07-04-2013, 07:45 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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I replaced mine with the plastic one and so far so good. Too early to tell as far as reliability is concerned since the original one was 15 years old, and this one is only a year old. Try the plastic one, you already had bad experiences with the original one, besides your car will weigh less LOL.
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