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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 02-07-2008, 07:56 PM
PJB. PJB. is offline
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Best time to replace thermostat during Vanos seals repair?

I'm doing the Vanos seals repair this weekend. I'm also taking the time to replace my thermostat due to the engine cooling down when driving fast. I should've had it replaced when I had the VC gasket and rest of my cooling system replaced but oh well that's in the past. Since maybe 1/4 of the Vanos job requires removing the valve cover, the radiator and the fan blade and various Mickey Mouse cooling bits, obviously that's when I'll be doing the thermostat replacement, but when exactly is the best time in the process to do it, and how much coolant will I have to replace?

I'm thinking I get the Vanos all done and while waiting for the RTV sealant to dry on the valve cover gasket (for 1 hour), that's when I do the thermostat. Sounds good?

Also, how much coolant will I lose and what's the best way to fill it back up? I read the cooling procedure by cn90 and will have it printed out with me this weekend. I know he says to fill it up using the bleed hole on the new thermostat housing but I'm afraid that's for the old style thermostat. I've included pictures of them both.

OLD style thermostat, note bleed hole for fill


NEW style thermostat, how to fill?
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2008, 04:30 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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If you have the new style stat the bleed hole for filling will be in the hose section right beside the stat. I changed my complete cooling system when I had mine down for the Vanos seals-changed the seals then went straight for the cooling system-replaced spark plugs and o2 sensors as well.
Hope that helps
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2008, 10:53 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu...s/image004.jpg

Mechanical fan removal tools (not needed if electric fan):
32mm combo wrench, BMW ST water pump pulley holder (83-30-0-491-046) $46.36/each

PJB:
Are you using this tool/ wrench for the Vanos repair?

Thanks!
Jason
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2008, 07:29 PM
PJB. PJB. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
If you have the new style stat the bleed hole for filling will be in the hose section right beside the stat. I changed my complete cooling system when I had mine down for the Vanos seals-changed the seals then went straight for the cooling system-replaced spark plugs and o2 sensors as well.
Hope that helps
Thank you poolman that helps a lot; it kinda verifies my inquiry as to when to change the thermostat. I'll do it when the Vanos is all wrapped up and the RTV Sealant is drying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu...s/image004.jpg

Mechanical fan removal tools (not needed if electric fan):
32mm combo wrench, BMW ST water pump pulley holder (83-30-0-491-046) $46.36/each

PJB:
Are you using this tool/ wrench for the Vanos repair?

Thanks!
Jason
Nope. I'm using one of three alternative methods, in the following order until one works:

1. Belt Static Friction Method:

From Rajae: "Belt static friction method:
Remove fan / fan clutch from water pump shaft.
Place open wrench on fan clutch nut (32mm combo wrench). Place wrench forward on nut to avoid hitting vanos body and thermostat hose connector. Strongly strike wrench side at top with heavy hammer to break nut seize (sledge hammer); left hand thread.
Note: Nut is left hand thread, thus unscrew by hitting wrench top from left to right (car front orientation). Serpentine belt static friction on water pump pulley facilitates large enough opposing force to break nut seize. It is important to use a heavy hammer to produce a high instantaneous jerk. Several attempts will be needed before nut seize breaks. Rotate open wrench to reposition for better access.
"

2. Screwdriver Trick: I'm sure you've heard of this one; wedging a screw driver in between the various nuts that hold on the fan to hold them in place. CN90 from here does and and so does e39dream from "the other forum," so hopefully that'll work. There are some schematics/drawings floating around on how to do it but like I said I'm sure you've heard of it before.

3. Fashion makeshift fan removal tool: If the above two methods don't work I have some pieces of steel lying around and a dremel. I've seen some directions on how to make the tool floating around here somewhere (Jason5driver, your question reminded me to find the link in case I need it, thanks!). Hopefully it won't come to this but it's an option.

I guess option number 4 would be to go to the dealer, defeated, and get the tool. Hopefully the parts guy is open tomorrow. This would suck, but it's viable.
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2008, 07:36 PM
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Black 840Ci Black 840Ci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJB. View Post
Thank you poolman that helps a lot; it kinda verifies my inquiry as to when to change the thermostat. I'll do it when the Vanos is all wrapped up and the RTV Sealant is drying.



Nope. I'm using one of three alternative methods, in the following order until one works:

1. Belt Static Friction Method:

From Rajae: "Belt static friction method:
Remove fan / fan clutch from water pump shaft.
Place open wrench on fan clutch nut (32mm combo wrench). Place wrench forward on nut to avoid hitting vanos body and thermostat hose connector. Strongly strike wrench side at top with heavy hammer to break nut seize (sledge hammer); left hand thread.
Note: Nut is left hand thread, thus unscrew by hitting wrench top from left to right (car front orientation). Serpentine belt static friction on water pump pulley facilitates large enough opposing force to break nut seize. It is important to use a heavy hammer to produce a high instantaneous jerk. Several attempts will be needed before nut seize breaks. Rotate open wrench to reposition for better access.
"

2. Screwdriver Trick: I'm sure you've heard of this one; wedging a screw driver in between the various nuts that hold on the fan to hold them in place. CN90 from here does and and so does e39dream from "the other forum," so hopefully that'll work. There are some schematics/drawings floating around on how to do it but like I said I'm sure you've heard of it before.

3. Fashion makeshift fan removal tool: If the above two methods don't work I have some pieces of steel lying around and a dremel. I've seen some directions on how to make the tool floating around here somewhere (Jason5driver, your question reminded me to find the link in case I need it, thanks!). Hopefully it won't come to this but it's an option.

I guess option number 4 would be to go to the dealer, defeated, and get the tool. Hopefully the parts guy is open tomorrow. This would suck, but it's viable.
Thats how we do it at BMW LOL!!!
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2008, 07:58 PM
PJB. PJB. is offline
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Originally Posted by Black 840Ci View Post
Thats how we do it at BMW LOL!!!
You WHACK it?? Tell me you guys have the tool? You have to have the tool!


It's just easier to whack then get the tool if you really need it, huh?
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2008, 08:18 PM
PL Dodd PL Dodd is offline
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thermostat replacement

That is definitely the time to replace the stat housing. It will be wide open. Also, It is much easier & cleaner to put the rtv sealer on the engine not the valve cover gasket. It only needs about 10 min. to "skin" then it`s ready to be installed. The rad fan is usually not very tight. Because of the left hand threads, It cannot come loose while the engine is running therefore the nut is not much more than hand tight & once broken loose will unscrew just by spinning the fan blade.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2008, 08:55 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJB. View Post
Thank you poolman that helps a lot; it kinda verifies my inquiry as to when to change the thermostat. I'll do it when the Vanos is all wrapped up and the RTV Sealant is drying.



Nope. I'm using one of three alternative methods, in the following order until one works:

1. Belt Static Friction Method:

From Rajae: "Belt static friction method:
Remove fan / fan clutch from water pump shaft.
Place open wrench on fan clutch nut (32mm combo wrench). Place wrench forward on nut to avoid hitting vanos body and thermostat hose connector. Strongly strike wrench side at top with heavy hammer to break nut seize (sledge hammer); left hand thread.
Note: Nut is left hand thread, thus unscrew by hitting wrench top from left to right (car front orientation). Serpentine belt static friction on water pump pulley facilitates large enough opposing force to break nut seize. It is important to use a heavy hammer to produce a high instantaneous jerk. Several attempts will be needed before nut seize breaks. Rotate open wrench to reposition for better access.
"

2. Screwdriver Trick: I'm sure you've heard of this one; wedging a screw driver in between the various nuts that hold on the fan to hold them in place. CN90 from here does and and so does e39dream from "the other forum," so hopefully that'll work. There are some schematics/drawings floating around on how to do it but like I said I'm sure you've heard of it before.

3. Fashion makeshift fan removal tool: If the above two methods don't work I have some pieces of steel lying around and a dremel. I've seen some directions on how to make the tool floating around here somewhere (Jason5driver, your question reminded me to find the link in case I need it, thanks!). Hopefully it won't come to this but it's an option.

I guess option number 4 would be to go to the dealer, defeated, and get the tool. Hopefully the parts guy is open tomorrow. This would suck, but it's viable.
I talked to Rajae today on the phone and asked him about the Fan....

He said it just like you described in option #1!

32mm wrench, and smacking the damn thing...

My vanos seals are on their way, I just need to order my gasket, and whatever else was listed in Raj's write-up...

Raj says to really drive aggressive after the install, to help break-in the seals....
I told him I never stop driving aggressive...

Thanks for the info "PJB"!

Jason
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2008, 11:01 PM
PJB. PJB. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I talked to Rajae today on the phone and asked him about the Fan....

He said it just like you described in option #1!

32mm wrench, and smacking the damn thing...

My vanos seals are on their way, I just need to order my gasket, and whatever else was listed in Raj's write-up...

Raj says to really drive aggressive after the install, to help break-in the seals....
I told him I never stop driving aggressive...

Thanks for the info "PJB"!

Jason
Rajae's a real great guy. I called at 10 pm Pacific time to expecting to leave a message for him about my shipping address, and the guy answers the phone at 1 a.m. HIS time! I was like WTF, I'm all "Uhhhh, am I calling Virginia?" He told me about his research and that guys are getting excited over peanuts; that the real benefit kicks in at the 500 mile mark. I told him I'll be ecstatic if it takes care of my cold engine idle. If it gets better after 500 miles then that would be icing on the cake. And at only $65, may very well be the best repair I will have done to my car... fingers crossed!

FYI Jason5driver, if you're ordering your washers for the Vanos oil line through Pelican Parts, they don't list the part number for an e39, ONLY for an e36, but RealOEM shows the washers on like 10 different vehicles, and those vehicles match the list on Rajae's website for BMWs that use the Vanos in question. I have yet to inform Pelican about this potential website error.

Last edited by PJB.; 02-08-2008 at 11:04 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2008, 08:54 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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+1 on the best thing I've ever done for the car--ever since the new seals installation the cars just great---on refilling the coolent after the stat change --make sure you have the front end jacked up about 6" or so to help bleed off any air pockets--just in case.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2008, 09:13 AM
PJB. PJB. is offline
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Thanks poolman
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2008, 03:53 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJB. View Post
I guess option number 4 would be to go to the dealer, defeated, and get the tool. Hopefully the parts guy is open tomorrow. This would suck, but it's viable.
Option Number 5 is to visit the plumbing department of a Home Depot, Lowes, or your local hardware store for the tool between the fan and the large combo wrench. I believe it is called a flange wrench or something like that.

I think probably $7 IIRC.
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2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
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Last edited by Ågent99; 02-13-2008 at 03:55 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2008, 07:19 PM
PJB. PJB. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la528it View Post
success?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99 View Post
Option Number 5 is to visit the plumbing department of a Home Depot, Lowes, or your local hardware store for the tool between the fan and the large combo wrench. I believe it is called a flange wrench or something like that.

I think probably $7 IIRC.
Success.

I used a combination of options 1 and 2 after option 1 didn't work, and the fan came off on the first try with that method.

I wanted to reserve judgment on the job until my ABS module came back and I could install it, but right away I could feel a little more power and my cold start issue was GONE!. I got my module back from Module Masters and in the car last night and once again, it's driving bliss. I've only had my car about a year and a half and read about the Vanos issues right away and experienced my first engine stall a few weeks later. The car runs better than it has ever run during my ownership. The job is not that difficult, just long. Rajae's procedure is laid out very well, and everything was straight forward. I had a few small hiccups while working, but they worked themselves out. Overall, I'm very satisfied.
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2008, 08:37 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Wonderful!! Isn't 'Fest da Best?!
__________________
2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
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  #16  
Old 02-14-2008, 07:50 PM
PJB. PJB. is offline
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Originally Posted by Ågent99 View Post
Wonderful!! Isn't 'Fest da Best?!
You said it! If it wasn't for this forum I wouldn't have known where to start or even WHAT the problem was, and I damn sure couldn't have gotten it fixed for $60
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2008, 09:20 PM
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I love it here! The fest is like my 2nd home... haha. to bad the bimmerfest DIY doesn't hand out ASE certs. I learn something new everyday. Thanks again.
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:35 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As a cross reference, here is a thread on making the BMW specialized tools that Ågent99 bought at the plumbing department at Lowes.

- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)
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