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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 11-21-2007, 09:13 AM
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bimmerd00d bimmerd00d is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i 6-speed
DIY: Power Steering Hoses on your 540i

Here's how I fixed my Power Steering hose leak. Make sure you use some brake cleaner down on your suspension components (maybe someone will chime in and say how to re-lubricate the bushings), and anything that has all the grime and gunk built up. The junk on my lower control arm bushings caused a 55mph vibration, and it's gone upon cleaning!!!!!! Here's how i did it.

RULES:

DO NOT start the car with the PS cap off, or you will spend an hour or two cleaning the fluid off your engine bay, and then getting it off your paint, which is even MORE fun.

Don't puncture a hose, these PS hoses are not cheap, about $100-150 from what i've found.

Tools and whatnot required:

22mm socket
philips screwdriver
flat blade screwdriver (always use this)
brake cleaner (brakleen seems to work better than the autozone brand for some reason)
10mm socket
turkey baster
drain pan
a good brand of Dexron III compatible fluid (i used Amsoil Synthetic ATF)
needle-nose pliers
assorted screw-type hose clamps (find the size you need by lookin at the hoses beforehand)
razor blade of some sort

* remove the lower engine shield so you can see everything
* remove power steering reservoir cap
* go back down below, and place a drain pan under the power steering pump area
* loosen the 22mm bolt FACING the back of the car, and PS fluid will drain out from the line. (alternately, extract from reservoir with a turkey baster), you don't have to remove the bolt, just enough to drain.
* ultimately you want most of your PS fluid to be removed, there will still be some in the steering gearbox, so you can flush it twice if you are switching to synthetic ATF, I did.
* remove the 10mm nuts holding the PS reservoir on
* pull the reservoir out from the mount
* Now that your fluid is all drained out (you did that right?), lets remove the hoses (make sure you know which line goes where on the reservoir, mark it if you want)
* BE CAREFUL, the reservoir nipples are plastic, and a lot of force will snap them
* Using your needlenose pliers and maybe the screwdriver, pry off the crappy crimp-on hose clamps BMW uses, then pull the hoses off and you should be able to walk off with the reservoir now. I flushed some cheap fluid through the reservoir to make sure it was clean, going backwards so the dirt and gunk caught by the internal filter gets flushed back out the top.
* Now, using your razor blade, take the 2 hoses you removed from the reservoir, and cut them just below where the clamps were, it should be about 3/8-1/2".
* Now, find the hose clamp that fits, make sure to align the screwhead towards the driver's side of the car in the inside so you can tighten up the clamps by just moving the reservoir up a few inches. (you will probably need to re-tighten afterwards)
* Now that your clamps are on the lines, install the lines back onto the reservoir just as they came off, push them up as far as they will go and tighten the clamps
* Go back down below and tighten that 22mm bolt on the pump (not TOO tight, just guess based on the force it took to remove. If someone wants to post the torque for it, feel free, i dont have a bentley or anything around.
* Take your super-fly synthetic ATF, and slowly pour it into the reservoir, and i mean slowly so you don't get any bubbles.
* fill it up to the MAX mark on the dipstick attached to the cap.
* Start the car, but DO NOT turn the wheel at all, turn it on for about a minute or so to get the fluid flowing. If you turn the wheel, the fluid will be sucked into the system too fast and you will get a huge air bubble and will have to start over.
* Here's where you decide if you want to flush ALL the old fluid out. If you don't, top off the reservoir to MAX, start the engine, and now drive around for a little bit and make a few turns each direction at full lock.
* IF you want to flush it, simply loosen the same 22mm bolt down below and let it drain into your drain pan, then when it's done tighten it up and refill to MAX. Follow the same fill steps as above and you should be in good shape.
* grab a beer if you haven't already.


Since the flush procedure is so easy, I think i'll be flushing my fluid once a year. I'm not sure if the synthetic is necessary, but I had it laying around and it was doing me no good sitting on the shelf, and the ZF 6-spd doesn't take ATF so I had no use for it.
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2004 Volvo S60R - The new ride!
1998 540i 6-spd. - Sold!
2000 528iA sport - Mom's ride, 308k!!!! and still drives like new
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins - 145k, 800lb/ft. John Coal Train.
2001 Volvo C70 Coupe T5 - The wife's car, 170k. Needs a timing belt soon

Last edited by bimmerd00d; 11-21-2007 at 09:16 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2007, 09:18 AM
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chivas chivas is offline
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pics or ban! lol...

nice writeup!

would you like to add it to the stickies above?
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2007, 02:43 PM
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bimmerd00d bimmerd00d is offline
just havin a heart attack
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i 6-speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by chivas View Post
pics or ban! lol...

nice writeup!

would you like to add it to the stickies above?
Haha, i actually tried to take pics but my camera broke when i dropped it on the stairs to start this whole project. I suppose i know what to ask for for christmas now Yah add i'll copy this into the DIY forum now actually.
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(as of 11/18/11)
2004 Volvo S60R - The new ride!
1998 540i 6-spd. - Sold!
2000 528iA sport - Mom's ride, 308k!!!! and still drives like new
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins - 145k, 800lb/ft. John Coal Train.
2001 Volvo C70 Coupe T5 - The wife's car, 170k. Needs a timing belt soon

Last edited by bimmerd00d; 11-21-2007 at 02:47 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:54 AM
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bimmerd00d bimmerd00d is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i 6-speed
Little update, i'm at 150k now with NO leaks whatsoever. I did the job around 144-145k.
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(as of 11/18/11)
2004 Volvo S60R - The new ride!
1998 540i 6-spd. - Sold!
2000 528iA sport - Mom's ride, 308k!!!! and still drives like new
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins - 145k, 800lb/ft. John Coal Train.
2001 Volvo C70 Coupe T5 - The wife's car, 170k. Needs a timing belt soon
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2008, 11:05 AM
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Vadim540i Vadim540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerd00d View Post
I'm not sure if the synthetic is necessary, but I had it laying around and it was doing me no good sitting on the shelf, and the ZF 6-spd doesn't take ATF so I had no use for it.
Our 540's doesn't have ZF 6-speed, it's getrag from m5(only difference in m5 they used more powerful clutch)
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2008, 02:36 PM
nicks1k nicks1k is offline
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Where is the drain screw for the power steering, i want to replace my leaking hoses tomorrow.
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2008, 02:42 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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There isn't. Disconnect the hoses at the bottom and drain the fluid into a pan.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:07 AM
nicks1k nicks1k is offline
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At the bottom where it connects to the pump? Also meanwhile im leakin atf from power steering, i ordered redline d4 atf from bavauto, can i fill up with dexron3 atf fluid from autozone meanwhile just to top off? Thank you.
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2008, 11:40 PM
energie energie is offline
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do you guys have the part number for the new hose needed for this job?
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2008, 09:37 AM
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msaleem msaleem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by energie View Post
do you guys have the part number for the new hose needed for this job?
bump
what is the part number??
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  #11  
Old 06-15-2010, 11:58 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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I have a '99 528i. My PS pump/hose attachment is leaking. The hose itself seems long enough that trimming and refitting should be enough. I didn't see a drain bolt on the pump itself, I'm guessing I would just want to empty the reservoir with a turkey baster as best I can, then remove the hose from the pump, re-trim, re-attach. Any problems with this approach? Any gaskets at the pump base I should consider replacing as well?

I have a couple quarts of Mobil 1 ATF sitting here I plan to use.

---Oops!-----

I missed the 540i-specific title during my DIY search.... sorry....

Last edited by pleiades; 06-15-2010 at 12:05 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-15-2010, 12:14 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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I wonder what ever happened to good ole Bimmerdood?
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:47 PM
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supradupe supradupe is offline
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A new hose is about $33. If you a cca member, 15% off on parts from your trusty dealer. For pete's sake, just go buy a new one. Your power steering hose is on borrowed time already.

While you are in there, check the radiator return line of the power steering hose, it is very well ready to leak at this vintage.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
I have a '99 528i. My PS pump/hose attachment is leaking. The hose itself seems long enough that trimming and refitting should be enough. I didn't see a drain bolt on the pump itself, I'm guessing I would just want to empty the reservoir with a turkey baster as best I can, then remove the hose from the pump, re-trim, re-attach. Any problems with this approach? Any gaskets at the pump base I should consider replacing as well?

I have a couple quarts of Mobil 1 ATF sitting here I plan to use.

---Oops!-----

I missed the 540i-specific title during my DIY search.... sorry....
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:52 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
I wonder what ever happened to good ole Bimmerdood?
+1. Haven't heard from him in a LONG time. Hope everything's well with him
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2010, 07:42 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supradupe View Post
A new hose is about $33. If you a cca member, 15% off on parts from your trusty dealer. For pete's sake, just go buy a new one. Your power steering hose is on borrowed time already.

While you are in there, check the radiator return line of the power steering hose, it is very well ready to leak at this vintage.
Will do! The price quote in the original post had me wondering .....
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  #16  
Old 04-15-2011, 08:51 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For reference, are some pictures of removing the hoses & cleaning the power steering filter on the 540 from JimLev today:
- How to clean the power steering fluid reservoir internal filter (1)


And, for the record, while we're at it, here is a picture of the classic drip from the lower power steering hose on my M54:


And, here is a pic of the cn90 method of fixing the upper hose drip:


And, here is a pic of me cleaning my power steering reservoir filter:


For the record, these threads from the VERY best of E39 Links are being updated ...
- How to clean the power steering fluid reservoir internal filter (1) & how to replace the cap o-ring (1) (2) & why you want to fix the power steering hose drip onto the alternator (1) (2) (3) & how to debug PSP power steering pump noises (1) (2) (3) or steering rack noises (1) & a nice power steering pump autopsy photo (1) & how to flush cloudy ATF fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & what PS fluid to use (1) (2-pdf) (3-volume) & what volume is needed to buy (1) & DIYs to replace the power steering hoses (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).


With the following recommendations:

  • Every oil change, suction out about 8 ounces (250 ml) of the power steering fluid and replace with Dexron VI ATF
  • Every five years (or so), when you replace the two lower oil-filter stem o-rings, also remove the T20 Torx bolt holding down the circular screen filter in the bottom of the power steering fluid reservoir and flush with gasoline (off the vehicle!) to clean the screen
  • Likewise, also replace the o-ring in the power steering fluid reservoir cap at the time you replace the two lower o-rings in the oil filter stem
  • And, of course, check/fix leaks in the hose below the power steering reservoir & at the bottom of the power steering pump, which is the topic of this thread.

Last edited by bluebee; 04-15-2011 at 10:25 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2011, 08:01 PM
didymos didymos is offline
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I did not see a drain plug in x3, it might be not accessible due to the undercarriage support bars, so suction is the only clean option,

I did it four times (must do at least three times to get significant improvement); hoses are holding up quite well at 63k so no change there, I would say about 30 particles in the filter so not a big obstacle really

I can feel extra ease than before, better feel for the road, very smooth turnig (before was almost like a workout); and less of the grinding noise too

Liftieme steering fluid is a lie. Definiatelly worth doing.

Last edited by didymos; 08-06-2011 at 09:56 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2011, 11:06 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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we have a parts list for the 540i and M5 e39 cars here:
http://www.eaceuroparts.com/content/...ng-parts-list/

You can search the web for an Oetiker clamp tool for around 20 dollars and use Oetiker clamps supplied from us for a factory like install for those who choose not to use traditional hose clamps.
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  #19  
Old 08-10-2011, 12:56 PM
z28forlife z28forlife is offline
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How many lines in the whole power steering system are there?
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  #20  
Old 08-10-2011, 05:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z28forlife View Post
How many lines in the whole power steering system are there?
This web site has good pictures of them:
- BMW Tech Tips - Power Steering Problems/Failure

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  #21  
Old 12-20-2011, 09:37 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross-linked record, there are good I6 & V8 power steering hose size & clamp tools DIY hints here today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Power steering hose replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrystu View Post
I am planning to change the two hoses that run from the reservoir to the pump and cooler, respectively. I purchased a roll of 1/2" ID high pressure power steering cooler hose, but when I look at the reservoir, it appears that one hose is slightly smaller than the other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
The hoses are different size IDs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Also the small ID hose has a ID restrictor in it. Helps to direct the hose away from the pullies too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
You didn't mention why you want to replace these hoses but assuming it's because the ends are leaky, so, if you want, you can .....

Unclamp the leaky end(s), remove from the reservoir/pump nipples, cleanly (sharp razor blade) cut an inch or so off the end, and re-clamp with new clamps and they'll be good to go. (Good idea to turkey-baster-remove the fluid in the res first....).

Others here will tell you that you should buy new BMW hoses, but this is just plain-old hose and it's not under any serious pressure, and the fat hose ain't worth the $35 and up. If it were a good setup it wouldn't be so prone to dripping fluid everywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blight67 View Post
The 530 just uses a regular bolt clamp, unlike the 540.
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:48 AM
Chrisp23 Chrisp23 is offline
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It this process the same for a 530i? Just replace the 2 rubber hoses or are they the metal ones.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2012, 10:01 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisp23 View Post
It this process the same for a 530i? Just replace the 2 rubber hoses or are they the metal ones.
Similar for the M54.
The 2 hoses that commonly leak are rubber.
Numbers 1 and 14.
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...23&hg=32&fg=20

I would also consider replacing the reservoir as well...
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:13 AM
Chrisp23 Chrisp23 is offline
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Thank you. Figures it would be a pain. My luck. I went under and couldn't even see the lines. My luck it is 14. Is there a easy way to get to them?
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:35 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Originally Posted by Chrisp23 View Post
Thank you. Figures it would be a pain. My luck. I went under and couldn't even see the lines. My luck it is 14. Is there a easy way to get to them?
It is not hard, just messy...
Make sure you have a drop pan and lots of blue shop towels...

Also watch this very helpful video from Bav Auto:
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