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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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  #26  
Old 11-15-2007, 05:58 PM
aceswerling aceswerling is offline
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Could I tell if the mounts were blown out by looking through the access holes?
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2007, 08:58 PM
big x big x is offline
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To check the bushes jack the car up on the diff and it's easy to see if the rubber is aged and cracked. The front pair seem to age the worse.The rubber hardens and big cracks let the oil out. The whole subframe also drops down a bit more than usual.

adam
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  #28  
Old 11-15-2007, 09:27 PM
big x big x is offline
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Here's a photo by Peter who's bushes where in some what better shape than mine with only hairline cracks in the bottom rubber but still KO in holding the subframe securely.
Mine had corrosion inside a sure sign water was getting in and the oil was long gone.



adam
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  #29  
Old 11-17-2007, 12:17 PM
big x big x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wright View Post
I replaced the bushes in mine with the saloon ones to allow me to fit the m5 braces back to the centre exhaust. It feels far more solid and no more noisy than the original bushes.
Steve you mentioned in your reshell thread fitting stiffer M5 rear subframe bushes but there is no such thing !
According to the realoem parts catalogue the humble 520i uses the same part no. as the M5 33311091422.
I'm a bit confused by what you are currently running ? You show saloon bushes fitted then show the touring ones fitted. Easy to tell as the Hydraulic Tourings are 58mm longer and extend down further.
BTW fitting bushes is a very easy 10 minute job per bush if you have the expensive hydraulic Klann tool.
Failing that Franklin tools on Ebay.co.uk sell a tool specifically for the longer Touring bushes which uses the threaded bolt method. Part no ATF47. It's still expensive mind you at 200 !
(the saloon E39 tool is ATF45 at 160 although there are several other companies like Baum doing the saloon ones)

adam
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  #30  
Old 11-17-2007, 01:48 PM
big x big x is offline
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Touring bush tool



Sedan bush tool



http://franklin-tools.co.uk/acatalog/index.html


adam
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  #31  
Old 11-17-2007, 07:30 PM
aceswerling aceswerling is offline
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I think I'll let the dealer buy the expensive tool. :-) I'm scheduled to see them on November 26.
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  #32  
Old 11-19-2007, 10:37 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
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Quote:
Big X Steve you mentioned in your reshell thread fitting stiffer M5 rear subframe bushes but there is no such thing !
According to the realoem parts catalogue the humble 520i uses the same part no. as the M5 33311091422.
I'm a bit confused by what you are currently running ? You show saloon bushes fitted then show the touring ones fitted. Easy to tell as the Hydraulic Tourings are 58mm longer and extend down further.
I have fitted the saloon bushes as per M5, i did not realise to begin with they were the same as other saloons. I fitted them begause i needed to get the braces that run forward to the middle of the car. I was not worried about the noise issues, the subframe seems very solid.
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  #33  
Old 11-19-2007, 12:27 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Adam:

Thanks for the links to the tools. Over the years I've acquired quite a few from Baum, and ZDMak, etc.. that were either Porsche or BMW specific. Well worth the $ for the tool versus giving $$$ to the dealer... and not having the tool for the next job. Have used puller type tools for "BMW" on multiple other German / Euro makes.

FYI: Try to see if you can read recent copy of "Roundel" BMW CCA monthly magazine with article on new non-US M5 Touring trip from Germany to UK. [Believe Jeremy Walton is author of column]. Some discussion of engineers redesigning and moving the rear air springs outwards to have them interact / react more quickly and progressively on lateral weight transfer / roll. Interesting what the engineers said / did to make the air springs "up to speed" for the M5 Touring. Would love the chance to Q&A with them.

Wonder if the M5 Touring RSF bushings are backwards compatable for E39 tourings ...?

Might have to investigate that
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  #34  
Old 11-20-2007, 11:55 AM
big x big x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase007 View Post
Adam:

Thanks for the links to the tools. Over the years I've acquired quite a few from Baum, and ZDMak, etc.. that were either Porsche or BMW specific. Well worth the $ for the tool versus giving $$$ to the dealer... and not having the tool for the next job. Have used puller type tools for "BMW" on multiple other German / Euro makes.

FYI: Try to see if you can read recent copy of "Roundel" BMW CCA monthly magazine with article on new non-US M5 Touring trip from Germany to UK. [Believe Jeremy Walton is author of column]. Some discussion of engineers redesigning and moving the rear air springs outwards to have them interact / react more quickly and progressively on lateral weight transfer / roll. Interesting what the engineers said / did to make the air springs "up to speed" for the M5 Touring. Would love the chance to Q&A with them.

Wonder if the M5 Touring RSF bushings are backwards compatable for E39 tourings ...?

Might have to investigate that
As I understand it the rear E39 shocks were laid at 45% to free up space in the load space area. Even so the width is less than the Mercedes E-class bay. Having the shocks like this and attached to the subframe rather than the cars body shell is surely less than an optimum design, in fact it might be the reason BMW never marketed an M version.
The current E61 Touring subframe does not have the shock towers so I assume BMW have gone back to a conventional arrangement whilst retaining the air springs idea.

E61


E39


I'd be interested in reading that article if anyone has it and can scan. I'm in England so don't subscribe.

adam
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  #35  
Old 11-21-2007, 06:30 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Here are pics of the pages of the article [scanner not hooked up].

Let me know if you can't read it.

The article refers to the "auxillary springs" in one sentence (2nd column p2) and in the next says the "air suspension with self levelling [sic] is more progressive in its response, keeping body dive and squat to a minimum under all load conditions"].

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  #36  
Old 11-26-2007, 04:48 PM
big x big x is offline
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Thanx Jason.

adam
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  #37  
Old 11-26-2007, 08:56 PM
aceswerling aceswerling is offline
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I went to the mechanic today to have my suspension wobble diagnosed. They found extra play in the rearmost bushings. They definitely bounce up and down when the car is bounced. The mechanic called it a "shot in the dark" whether replacing them would solve the problem. They just don't see enough tourings to know if that's the problem. They estimated replacing them would cost $1800. My aftermarket warranty company says it's not covered. Typical. I think I'll have to live with it or sell the car.
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  #38  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:15 AM
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$1800??? Dang.

One way to alter the problem (make it less bad) is to make some hard rubber washers, and fit them between the top of the bushing and the bottom of the unibody. Perhaps also put a washer between the bottom of the bushing and that big flared washer. I think that you could call these "snubbing washers".

I made and installed these, and my experience is that while it keeps the subframe from flopping around, it seems to make the interior a little louder.

The hard part is sourcing the rubber sheet, and then cutting it to shape. Make a donut shape, then slice one side so that you can slip it into place without removing the big thru-the-bushing bolt.

I made mine with an external tab on either side of the slice, and a hole each tab. Once in place, I put a tie-wrap thru the holes, to keep the washer slice from opening up.

Beware: if the subframe bushings are really shot, and there's significant radial play, then that will still be there. Tramlining, alignment issues, etc.

Another note: it's important to shim (snub?) all bushings the same, otherwise you can introduce more alignment / toe-in issues.

I put the washers in so that they were hand-tight. A better way would be to loosen up the bolt, fit extra-thick washers in, then tighten up the bolt. If my theory is right, I still get a little vertical play in the system.

Final note: I'm also working on a removal and install tool. So far, my parts list is up to $70. No welding/machining required, though one would have to buy the $80/ea bushings. If it works, I'll gladly share the details.
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  #39  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:24 AM
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There are no bushings on your car that will cause it to bounce as you have descibed nor should any of them cost $1800 to repair. Your mechanic is a fool and assumes the same of you.
The only thing that is going to cause your car to bounce is a lack of damping on the springs or air bags. That means "shocks" as we Americans colloquially refer to them.
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  #40  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:27 AM
aceswerling aceswerling is offline
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The play appears to be on the bottom of the bushings. I don't think a snubbing washer like you described would help. I'd be installing them on the end of the bushings. The play appears to be between parts 2 and 4 on the e39 picture above.

The dealer quoted $125 for each bushing. They charge a labor rate of $179/hour. I know dealers are expensive but this is by far the most I've ever heard of. I'd definitely be interested in a removal tool.
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  #41  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:52 AM
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re - play only on the bottom. Check out how the system works. It took me a while to understand it. When you hit a bump, the whole subframe wants to go up (if the shocks are good). If the bushings are shot, the subframe will vibrate momentarily after a short, harsh bump. It's a "du-du-du", not a big wallow like with worn-out shocks.

BTW, BMW makes a removal / install tool that should take a mechanic about ten minutes per bushing. figure an hour of work. The "book" says it's a 10? hour job, as the book says that you need to pull the wheels, driveshaft, exhaust, then whole subframe, and then put each subframe corner on a press. I actually talked to a good local indy shop, and the indy shop says that BMW won't sell them the special tool. Perhaps BMW is thinking about profit margins.
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'88 R100GS - and yeah, it's been offroad

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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  #42  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:54 AM
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cpatstone cpatstone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
There are no bushings on your car that will cause it to bounce as you have descibed nor should any of them cost $1800 to repair. Your mechanic is a fool and assumes the same of you.
The only thing that is going to cause your car to bounce is a lack of damping on the springs or air bags. That means "shocks" as we Americans colloquially refer to them.
OK. So what's the purpose of the BIG subframe bushings on E39 tourings?

Hey, feel free to add me to your "ignore list".
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'88 R100GS - and yeah, it's been offroad

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  #43  
Old 11-27-2007, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpatstone View Post
OK. So what's the purpose of the BIG subframe bushings on E39 tourings?

Hey, feel free to add me to your "ignore list".
He's talking about the horizon moving in the mirror when coming to a stop. How much movement do you think he's talking about?
I know what subframe bushings are for and binding them up defeats their purpose.
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  #44  
Old 11-27-2007, 11:15 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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cpat:

I'll give you one for creativity but I don't think the rubber washers will work that well unless you release the center bolt, insert washers and then re-tighten. Even then ... I would watch the rubber discs as the circular opening of the subframe cuts into them over time ... I would hate to have the discs get cut & fall out mid corner, maneuver, whatever ... Not knocking your solution as I have used far crazier to keep a race car going but just thinking of failure points.

I'm planning on getting the R&R RSF tool for tourings from Franklin that Adam posted a link to [find on eBay.co.uk]. After I use it .... I may rent it out if you are interested. 1st want to see how much coaxing [heat / lube] the old bushings will need to be removed in-situ. I do NOT plan on removing the differential, exhaust, driveshaft, etc... unless absolutely necessary.

Aces:

Crossmember bushing #33311094036 @ $98 USD each from various online BMW dealers [need four] = ~$400 USD

AFT47 Rear subframe bushing removal tool @ ~$500 USD [need one]. Shipping = ?

So .. Total ~$1,000 [that is ~$800 back in your pocket]

BTW, if you haven't already, then join BMW CCA for the 10-15% discount that almost all dealers offer on parts. The prices quoted above aren't even with any additional BMW CCA discount.

Just some thoughts.
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  #45  
Old 11-27-2007, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
He's talking about the horizon moving in the mirror when coming to a stop. How much movement do you think he's talking about?
Sure would be nice to measure it... ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
I know what subframe bushings are for and binding them up defeats their purpose.
-- agreed. The snubbing washer concept is really just to confirm (or deny) that the subframe bushings are toast. More of a diagnostic step, but they can be left in if one is cheap, cashless, whatever.
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  #46  
Old 11-27-2007, 12:15 PM
aceswerling aceswerling is offline
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The bouncing is only a couple of degrees. It's not deviating 10* or anything. It a very subtle wobble. I don't perceive any radial play. It's just bouncing up and down. I originally thought it was the dampers and springs too. I looked yesterday when it was on the lift. When we bounced the car the springs and dampers came to a rest immediately. There was an up-and-down wobble on the rearmost subframe bushings. They were acting a lot like springs. I couldn't tell anything about the forward mounted subframe bushings.

I'm disinclined to buy a $500 tool that'll be hard to acquire and I'll only use once. I'd be happy to borrow/rent yours, Jason.
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  #47  
Old 11-27-2007, 12:37 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Adam:

Want to purchase a tool for me in the UK [with my $$]?

Repsonse on request for shipping cost of RSF AFT47 tool to USA:

Quote:
HI,

Unfortunately Franlin have stated im not allowed to ship there items to the USA. Something to do with them not having liability cover in the USA.

Many thanks

XXX
Me-thinks it has something more to do with licensing agreements with BMW NA so as not to make available the tool the dealer uses to indys or individuals. I call BS.
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  #48  
Old 11-27-2007, 02:36 PM
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cpatstone cpatstone is offline
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FYI, a while back, pelicanparts listed a tool that would do the E39 wagons. First it wasn't available, then maybe, then they said that they weren't sure if it would work but they'd let me try. Mfr of the tool was SIR Tools. Anyway, it didn't work, and I got my $400 back. Sure was a nice tool. Can post pix if anyone is interested.
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Wife's: 325iT/5M; Premium, Cold Weather,
Stereo that doesn't suck, Xenons, Sport Package, ZHP shift knob, PDC, DSC still working.

'88 R100GS - and yeah, it's been offroad

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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  #49  
Old 11-27-2007, 04:24 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Cpat:

I have the Sir Tools Master bearing changer kit which works for lots of BMWs and some Porsches [sealed *** type bearings]. Think I'll give that a try and or order some more "pucks" after getting needed measurements of ID of subframe bushing hole on the 528iT, OD of bushings, etc...

It has most of the components shown in the Franklin tools AFT47 kit. Cast iron Pipe caps and such from home despot might fill in the missing pieces.
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  #50  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:34 PM
big x big x is offline
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Toolbox37 sell the ATF47 Touring tool.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Franklin-Rear-...QQcmdZViewItem

They had one up recently slightly more expensive than the saloon one.

You don't need to remove the drive shafts or anything else just drop the subframe enough to get the tool in. The job books at 3 hours.
The hydraulic Klann tool any specialist worth his salt should have makes the job a breeze.
As I said in a previous post I can't vouch for how long the Franklin tool might last.
Anyone priced up the equivalent BMW tool set ?
The BMW tools like their balljoint splitter are very good quality.

adam
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