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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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  #26  
Old 10-26-2009, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Financeman View Post
A new one is only $54 at EAC.......
That isn't the point at all. The point is to figure out what is going wrong with these FSUs.

One way to find out what is going wrong is to guess at what is going wrong, fix that, and then see if that cures the problem.

Then we'd know what the problem is and can advance our knowledge.

$54 in and of itself doesn't advance our knowledge (of course, it allows us to do other things ... but that other thing wasn't the point of this thread) ...

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  #27  
Old 03-08-2010, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft View Post
This a well know trouble with the A/C computer talking to a deaf unit, the final stage resistor.
Today i found something that you may find interesting, at least for those who have this issue, fan not working anymore or working for a moment and then stop or with a fan that is not that efficient as it should be.

My final stage resistor was allowing only 10 minutes of fan with cold car and btw cold resistor.
So the usual path is remove and replace the resistor with a new one...but curiosity didnt't killed the cat and i decided to have a look inside this piece of aluminium. First trying to identify or define of what is made the material covering all the electric things within the resistor. By experience i know it won't be removable with some solvents, so i thought for a post mortem studying, thermal gun (hot air gun) would be good enough to remove the plastic thing. moulded in the aluminium part. Started to heat the plastic but without letting temperature to raise enough to not melt the plastic. This help to make the plastic a bit more soft, i used blade to remove plastic carefully to not damage some electric parts under plastic, at this moment i had no idea of what is under the cover of plastic.

With patience i removed plastic bit after bit and a small part of circuit appeared. Bad luck i guess, the circuit is built with cms components. I tried to connect the final stage resistor back to it's circuit....and nothing.
I lost my time, i was on the way to remove it when i touched the capacity (the brown part in the middle of the circuit) with finger and in the same time the aluminium body of the final stage resistor.
The fan started blowing at 100%, so i tried to change speed from the A/C control but nothing was changing.
I removed the fsr with the idea to clean a bit more the circuit and refresh soldering.
I started cleaning more surface of the circuit and i remembered one thing from my Porsche experience, the 928 was known to have terminal ECU failures due to resin which retracts while getting old with the result of breaking hybrid circuits and removing soldering from some cms components from mainboard.
Bmw seems to have same issues, later i plugged back the fsr, tried and bingo.
I filled the space where was the plastic with some silicon paste designed to be used with heatsinks. The paste i used is the white one, never use silicon with metal particles in it, it would fry everything still valid in the fsr.
Silicon won't harden like resins and it will protect from dust. This solution is not the best but it's probably the most neutral at the mechanical point of view compared to resin.

Now my fan works as it never worked since i bought my car...fsr was probably faulty from the beginning but i wasn't in condition to notice it as i always thought that this smooth working fan was normal.

So it worked for me, if you heat gently the fsr without attempting to soften too much the plastic and use some patience with the blade to remove plastic without scratching the components or the circuit then you will probably get a good surprise.
If it doesn't work please don't complain i can't predict if it would fix your fsr but if you believe it is dead you can give a try.

Another successful FSR repair. My FSR was broken for several weeks and I had no blower motor at all for that time. I removed the FSR and all I did was use a heat gun and remove as much of the black resin as I could and put it back in my car and it has worked great for a couple weeks now. Thanks for the great info!
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  #28  
Old 07-18-2010, 07:22 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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I'll be trying this later today. Hope it works!! I'll just heat it a little with a blow dryer.
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  #29  
Old 07-18-2010, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jarhed1964 View Post
I'll be trying this later today. Hope it works!! I'll just heat it a little with a blow dryer.
It would be great to see a picture of the insides!
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  #30  
Old 07-18-2010, 01:43 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
It would be great to see a picture of the insides!
I would, but my digital cam is dead.

Be careful digging these out. I dislodged a resistor(?). Not sure if it will work or not. (tiny cylindrical part in the upper right corner).
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  #31  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:16 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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The new style FSR is potted with silicone, which does not get hard, flexes with temperature, and does not mechanically stress the components.

The old style was potted with epoxy: dumb!

Lockheed discovered silicone potting for missile electronics in the early '60s. Wonder why it took the Krauts so long?
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  #32  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:20 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Well, I tried, but the resistor will NOT go back on. Even went and got some .22 solder. Just didn't have a soldering iron and could not heat the points I wanted the solder on. No biggie. Now the fan just stays on constantly, even with the car is off. I'll just get another one.
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  #33  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarhed1964 View Post
Well, I tried, but the resistor will NOT go back on. Even went and got some .22 solder. Just didn't have a soldering iron and could not heat the points I wanted the solder on. No biggie. Now the fan just stays on constantly, even with the car is off. I'll just get another one.
I recommend getting the FSR/FSU from the dealer or from an online seller that sells the factory oem FSR/FSU. BMW went through several revisions, the last around 2005 or so. If you get the most recent version, you have the best assurance of no further issues. My car had a couple previous replacements (every 18 to 24 months from the dealer)...but once I got the most current one, around 2005 I have had no further problems (knock wood) (factory ones are $80 to $100 depending on the source)

If you get an aftermarket one for $54 or so...it may be of the older design, which may mean another replacement is in your future...
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 07-18-2010 at 03:31 PM.
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  #34  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:29 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
I recommend getting the FSR/FSU from the dealer or from an online seller that sells the factory oem FSR/FSU. BMW went through several revisions, the last around 2005 or so. If you get the most recent version, you have the best assurance of no further issues. My car had a couple previous replacements (every 18 to 24 months)...but once I got the most current one, around 2005 I have had no further problems (knock wood) (factory ones are $80 to $100 depending on the source)

If you get an aftermarket one for $54 or so...it may be of the older design, which may mean another replacement is in your future...

Yep. Not sure how long I'm going to keep the car, maybe another couple years or so, but there are some good aftermarket ones that are NOT from the dealer. If I can find a good OEM Manufactured one, I may just toss it in. Or just find a cheapy from a parting out car.
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  #35  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:32 PM
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Yeah, it would be nice to figure out which brands appear to be the most reliable....how long until Bluebee starts a poll on that?
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  #36  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:34 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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From what I've read in a couple forums, the Behr seems ok, but the Siemens seems much more reliable.
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  #37  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:50 PM
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The old style FSU has 12 cone-shaped spikes; the new one has 39 slender, sharp spikes. Much better heat dissipation.

As noted above, it's also potted with silicone.

P/N 64 11 6 923 204
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  #38  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:53 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Yep, careful though, even the "Ebay Cheapies" have the 39 spikes (heat sink) and LOOK right, but are pieces of crap. Cant tell you how many threads I've read of people complaining about those things dying.
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  #39  
Old 07-18-2010, 11:04 PM
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Anyone know who the oem manufacturer of the FSU is for BMW?
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  #40  
Old 07-19-2010, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Anyone know who the oem manufacturer of the FSU is for BMW?
Here is the sticker on a post from MatWiz.

What is the significance of the GKR logo next to the Siemens logo and then saying "Made in France" (hmmm... maybe that's why it surrenders so quickly).

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  #41  
Old 07-19-2010, 10:38 AM
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Googling, I see Behr is often sold for a replacement BMW FSR/FSU.

That doesn't tell us who the OE manufacturer is though ...

But wait ... notice the ECS manufacturer number (64116920365) for the "Genuine BMW" versus the Behr....

Hmmmmmm ...

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  #42  
Old 07-19-2010, 10:44 AM
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I just realized that "mfg" number might just be the part number to replace.

But, look'it here at the Autohauz site ...

Here they say the Behr is OES (original equipment supplier):

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  #43  
Old 07-19-2010, 10:54 AM
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Searching further, I see other people say that Behr is the manufacturer...

That doesn't mean Behr is the manufacturer ... but it's another vote for it.

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  #44  
Old 07-19-2010, 11:18 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Confusing, huh?
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  #45  
Old 07-19-2010, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jarhed1964 View Post
Confusing, huh?
It gets worse.

My original FSR says "Valeo" on it, in addition to "BMW" and "GKR" on the sticker. GKR is also stamped into the 12-pronged aluminum housing.

Anyone ever heard of Valeo?

Note: The "12/02" on the sticker might not be the date because my 2002 was made about a year before. Either that, or the FSU was replaced in its first year of warranty.

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  #46  
Old 07-19-2010, 01:03 PM
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With another google keyword (i.e., Valeo) available, things get even more confusing.

Some screenshots from these threads (0) (1) (2) (3) , etc.

So far, the 6 manufacturers mentioned for BMW FSUs are Behr, Valeo, Meyle, Siemens, Hella, and Uro.

The plot thickens ...

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  #47  
Old 07-19-2010, 01:06 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
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Hahahaha!!!

Don't let it drive you insane! (coming from someone who has already let BMW's drive him insane..... short drive, granted, but....)

I'm going with the EAC OEM one. He tells me that one is truly OEM and it's cheap. ($60.xx with cheap 2 day shipping)

Last edited by jarhed1964; 07-19-2010 at 01:08 PM.
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  #48  
Old 07-19-2010, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
With another google keyword (i.e., Valeo) available, things get even more confusing.

Some screenshots from these threads (0) (1) (2) (3) , etc.

So far, the 6 manufacturers mentioned for BMW FSUs are Behr, Valeo, Meyle, Siemens, Hella, and Uro.

The plot thickens ...

The "Denso" is a perfect example of a "rebranded" product...Denso wants to carry it, but not bother with making them, so they contract another company and put their sticker on it. It is very possible there is only two or three makers of the FSU, and everyone else simply gets it from one of them, and has their label applied...very easy to tell if you put them all next to each other...but hard, as you need to make sure they are all the latest, most current production to accurately compare.
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  #49  
Old 07-19-2010, 06:27 PM
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  #50  
Old 07-19-2010, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Denso wants to carry it, but not bother with making them, so they contract another company and put their sticker on it.
To add to the list of "branded" FSUs, MatWiz posted these pictures which show yet another brand (see photo below).

I totally don't understand why MatWiz' blower resistor shows both Valeo and Sitronic, but, that adds another name since we are assuming the goal is to find the right brand to buy for others to follow our advice.

The brand list is growing:
Behr, GKR, Valeo, Meyle, Siemens, Hella, Uro, Denso, & Sitronic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
For sale: French Army rifle, NATO 7.62 mm. Never fired, dropped once.
I hope the French aren't listening to our subtle humor ...

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