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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 11-10-2012, 02:17 PM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 525i
2001 525i No Defrost Air

A friend's 2001 E39 with a "dial" for controlling vent, defrost, foot ari flow has lost any air coming through the defrost vents. Dash and heat vents work fine. When the dial is rotated to defrost, the dash and heat vents close but the defrost vents do not open, or at least do not blow air. Can anyone offer an idea on where to start looking? Obviously a fuse would be a thing of beauty. That and other ideas are welcome.
Many thanks.
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2002 525i 164k
1988 911 Cabrio
1986 911 Coupe (track car)
Greater Boston, MA
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2012, 02:21 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Sounds like a cable has broken or slipped off. I assume the car has a manual HVAC.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:50 AM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 525i
Thanks Ed. Probably right. If manual HVAC means the control in a three position dial and heat control is manual (versus LED), yes, manual. I do believe the defrost redirect is electronic as the dial switch does not have the "feel" of manually operating cables. So, now I need to figure out how to open the dash and center console to debug this.
Any ideas anyone on this?
Thanks. Chris
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2002 525i 164k
1988 911 Cabrio
1986 911 Coupe (track car)
Greater Boston, MA
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:33 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Chris:

Your bud has the IHKR panel. We had the IHKA, which used motors to control air distribution. For the IHKR, per the Bentley, it says "Bowden cables attach it to the air distribution flaps in the IHKR housing". Hence, he may have a cable failure or it has disconnected somehow. The instructions for removing the IHKR panel are:

"1. Remove switch panel below IHKR panel
2. Push out IHKR control panel by reaching through switch panel opening
3. Disconnect electrical harness connectors
4. Disconnect Bowden cables from back of panel

CAUTION - Note color coding of Bowden cables. When reinstalling, reattach cables to correct control levers."

However, info on the IHKR housing is not available. Hence, if the problem is not behind the panel, then I can't provide any info on the housing. If you want to talk about this, give me a shout. I'm home most of today. If your bud wants to swing by, we can take a look together.
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:01 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Ditto what has been mentioned above. If you have the manual IHKR control unit...then bowden cables are used to actuate the HVAC flaps instead of the electronic stepper motors used on e39s with the IHKA control panel.

If the defrost dial doesn't seem to "feel" manual...then the implication that the bowden cable has become disconnected is even greater:

manually adjusting IHKR control panel


item #10 is the bowden cable...1 each for the defroster, dash, and floor vent flaps
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 11-11-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:50 PM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 525i
Fud and Quick,
You guys are simply tremendous. As Fud knows, my 525 went away and was replaced by a Tacoma truck. There is not a day when I do not miss that E39. Not one. The truck is fine and serves the purpose, but no comparison.
It looks like finding and checking the bowden cable is not beyond my capabilities. I will check out the car and get back to you.
Many thanks.
Chris
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2002 525i 164k
1988 911 Cabrio
1986 911 Coupe (track car)
Greater Boston, MA
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2013, 02:57 PM
wiredawg100 wiredawg100 is offline
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Location: USA, Georgia
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: 2001 525i (E-39)
How to properly remove?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Chris:

Your bud has the IHKR panel. We had the IHKA, which used motors to control air distribution. For the IHKR, per the Bentley, it says "Bowden cables attach it to the air distribution flaps in the IHKR housing". Hence, he may have a cable failure or it has disconnected somehow. The instructions for removing the IHKR panel are:

"1. Remove switch panel below IHKR panel
2. Push out IHKR control panel by reaching through switch panel opening
3. Disconnect electrical harness connectors
4. Disconnect Bowden cables from back of panel

CAUTION - Note color coding of Bowden cables. When reinstalling, reattach cables to correct control levers."

However, info on the IHKR housing is not available. Hence, if the problem is not behind the panel, then I can't provide any info on the housing. If you want to talk about this, give me a shout. I'm home most of today. If your bud wants to swing by, we can take a look together.
I need to look behind my switch panel (the 3 knobs temp/vents/blower) to check the bowden cable to the vent control. I would appreciate some instructions or video to do this. I feel like every time I do something like this I break it...
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2013, 06:55 PM
wiredawg100 wiredawg100 is offline
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Location: USA, Georgia
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: 2001 525i (E-39)
Defrost Not Blowing Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiredawg100 View Post
I need to look behind my switch panel (the 3 knobs temp/vents/blower) to check the bowden cable to the vent control. I would appreciate some instructions or video to do this. I feel like every time I do something like this I break it...
Since I had no responses regarding the removal to the vent control panel, I venture out and figured it out. To re-iterate the problem, I was basically having the problem as described at the beginning of this thread. I have the manual vent/climate control knobs. My heating and AC is working fine it simply would not come out of the defrost when switched to the defrost position. Pics below...
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2013, 11:55 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
great follow up & resolution. I'm sure some one in the future looking for this info will appreciate it.
__________________
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2014, 05:08 PM
zybanuser zybanuser is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 80
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 525
Thanks guys for this thread. Have the same problems for over 4 years now and finally found the culprit and solution to it.

wire, that's some serious demolition lol. Any other way to get to that cable with less hassle?

Many thanks!!!!
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2014, 08:31 PM
wiredawg100 wiredawg100 is offline
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Location: USA, Georgia
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: 2001 525i (E-39)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zybanuser View Post
Thanks guys for this thread. Have the same problems for over 4 years now and finally found the culprit and solution to it.

wire, that's some serious demolition lol. Any other way to get to that cable with less hassle?

Many thanks!!!!
Sorry, I don't think so. I started with just the middle console area. But soon realized, the way all the molding is overlaying, I needed to work back to the glove box just to get the middle console off. One simply needs the space to visually see and physically work the cable.
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