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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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Old 05-10-2007, 11:14 AM
Jetlag7 Jetlag7 is offline
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Location: Lakewood
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 30
Mein Auto: E39
Need help with cylinder head removal..

Hey Guys,

I have a 1997 528i and my car recently suffered a rapid coolant lose during my drive to work. The buzzer came on and the temp gauge shot up to the red. Shut the car off asap. Popped the hood open and found steam coming from the back of the driver's side of the headlight area, the end tank from the radiator had separated from the main core.
Took it to an indy shop and had them do a leak down test. Hours later came the horrible news. Blown head gasket!
The mechanic at the indy shop told me to get a new head, as resurfacing the head will change the compression and therefore effect NOX on the emission. At this point, I couldn't even hold my head up, like a dog with its' tail between his leg. I had the car towed home and started tearing her down.

I got as far as taking the fan blade, fan shroud, drain the remaining coolant, and pulled the valve cover. And yes, it shows sign of oil/coolant cocktail. I'm still waiting on my Bentley manual but will probably go ahead and pull the intake/exhaust manifold.

I've already got a machine shop that I will be using to rebuilt my cylinder head. If I'm going through the drama of pulling the head out, might as well rebuilt it too.

If anyone have any tips or suggestion on how to remove, set the VANOS, tools used/needed. Did you guys use the tools special VANOS tools mentioned in the manual, can I perform a head gasket replacement without the VANOS diode tool, cam lock tool, or the time chain tensioner tool? I'm not thrilled about spending $400+ on tools that I'll used once.

Thank you, Jay
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:19 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Location: Omaha NE
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 14,344
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
It is a tough job, here is info on E36 which is very similar to E39:



Browse through here:
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:23 PM
Jetlag7 Jetlag7 is offline
Registered User
Location: Lakewood
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 30
Mein Auto: E39
Yep, I read all the articals listed above and more. I can't seem to find TDC mark off the crank pully. There are two arrow marks on the cam sproket each at 180 apart? When I look at the crank, there are not indentation or marking for TDC?
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