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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 06-27-2014, 07:11 PM
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cdawg246 cdawg246 is offline
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540i starter removal problems

First let me startoff by saying I know the procedure and tools for removal of the starter on a 99 540i. I have already loosened and removed the 2 e12 torx starter bolts, but the starter is not budging. Im wondering if anybody out there has had any problems removing their starter after taking out the bolts. I broke loose the 3rd 4th and fifth bolt from the bottom of the case on the right on the picture I attached-am I correct. My friend thinks its just stuck but I only have a small hammer to hit it with till tomorrow. Hope to hear from somebody soon since im so close in putting in the new one. Thanks in advance.

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  #2  
Old 06-27-2014, 07:44 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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That's my pic. I didn't have any problem removing the starter, it pretty much fell out after the two bolts were removed.
Wack it to loosen it.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:27 PM
GSXRYDER GSXRYDER is online now
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Jim is right

Same deal here...just make sure the 2 you loosened are the right 2...all I can think of...mine fell out almost after those were out too...if you're gonna whack it do it w a rubber mallet...
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:59 PM
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cdawg246 cdawg246 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
That's my pic. I didn't have any problem removing the starter, it pretty much fell out after the two bolts were removed.
Wack it to loosen it.
I know I followed your procedure, it helped alot lol. I was actually hoping you would respond, I live in buffalo ny and I chalk it up to the original starter and our wonderful climate. The replacement is do to the braided wire from the solonoid to the body corroded and no longer making a connection. Im betting the original still works if it wasn't for that wire. So the consensus is get a BIGGER HAMMER then, ok ill report back tomorrow-thanks again.

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  #5  
Old 06-27-2014, 11:08 PM
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cdawg246 cdawg246 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXRYDER View Post
Same deal here...just make sure the 2 you loosened are the right 2...all I can think of...mine fell out almost after those were out too...if you're gonna whack it do it w a rubber mallet...
I loosened the right 2 e12 torx, actually 3 on the right. The one above the top starter bolt in the pic just in case I loosed the wrong one. I got a big rubber mallet coming tomorrow! Fingers crossed its coming out.

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Old 06-28-2014, 08:15 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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The starter doesn't often go bad on the E39.
What happened?

BTW, I realize the OP may already have found the canonical 540i starter motor reference, so I just post what I found by typing /starter F3 in the bestlinks here, so that others, looking to this thread in the future, can just jump to it:
- Removing the 540i starter motor in one hour (1)

See also:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & removing the 540i starter motor in one hour (1) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)

- BMW_E39_Starting_Systems_Starter_Motor_And_Solenoi d_Operation.pdf (357.6 KB, 543 views)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-28-2014 at 08:23 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2014, 09:02 AM
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cdawg246 cdawg246 is offline
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Victory is mine!!! And the pics to prove it-3 good whacks knocked it loose. Thanks for all your help. Any questions or help pm me or post back. By the way it was the original starter 142,000 miles with braided wire from solonoid to motor failure.

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Old 06-29-2014, 01:16 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdawg246 View Post
it was the original starter 142,000 miles with braided wire from solonoid to motor failure
Pictures are always appreciated, so thanks for posting them.
Did I see a Bosch logo? Is that the OEM starter or solenoid manufacturer?

With respect to the failure autopsy, was it just the wire that failed?
Not the solenoid itself? Just the wire between the solenoid to the motor?

Could you, once you knew that, have replaced the wire alone?
Just curious.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2014, 03:16 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Drive over to Anchor Bar and order some of their famous Buffalo Wings as a victory meal.
I did a friends starter 2 years ago, same problem, the link was corroded thru.
He already had a new starter so that when it. The old one would have worked if we fixed the braid.
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2014, 08:09 AM
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cdawg246 cdawg246 is offline
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Jimlev your the man, your bmw mechanical knowledge is much appreciated. I purchased a new tyc starter from rockauto for $65 so we will see how it goes since I didnt have time yesterday to install the new one. I am going to hold onto the bosch originial and maybe rebuild it as a project. All this bs for a corroded braided wire.

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  #11  
Old 06-30-2014, 08:14 AM
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cdawg246 cdawg246 is offline
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Jimllev one more quick question since my car has been sitting over a year not starting. Do you think I should pull the fuel pump fuse and crank her over a few times to lubricate the cylinder walls with oil since they are probably dry. Before she wouldnt start I had changed the oil
(Castrol euro 0w30) and she ran great.

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Last edited by cdawg246; 06-30-2014 at 01:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2014, 09:06 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Don't know if the v8 starters have it but the starters on most of the sixes are aligned with a small guide pin at their base. The pin is in the bell housing and the starters have a hole that it fits into. That thing gets rusted and very stubborn. Many people trying to remove the starter or the trans the first time get stuck on that little pin.

Good thought to rebuild the old one. Not hard at all. I believe you might be able to get a replacement braided line. I can't remember whether it is a single part or part of the brush assembly. When I took my old starter apart, it had years of brush dust and dried out lube on the planetary gears and the solenoid piston/cylinder was sticky (main cause of failure on mine).Cleaned all that out and applied a thin amount of CV grease where needed. Thought I had installed new brushes but now remember I intended to purchase from a place like Smith Co Electric yet ended up reinstalling the originals as they were surprisingly not that worn. Only snag I had rebuilding was that the thin torx screws on the back of the solenoid mount were corroded and the head on one crumbled, had to use an extractor for that one.

Last edited by pleiades; 06-30-2014 at 09:31 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2014, 01:07 PM
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cdawg246 cdawg246 is offline
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Update-shes running again, strong and powerful. At first there was a tapping noise then I remembered the motor has hydraulic lifters, so I let her warm up since the motor was not running for over a year and then she started sputtering and stalled out. So I then went to sunoco and got 2 gallons of fresh 93 octane and dumped it in the tank. Turned the key and she fired right up so I let her idle for 15 minutes while I checked tire pressures and rinsed off the dust-20 minutes later no more noise, quiet as a mouse and ac still blowing cold. Just have to put the heat shields back on and fill the tank. Oh yeah I want put a bottle of chevron techron fuel cleaner before I fill the tank. Waiting till later for this humidity to die down to finish since its hot as balls working on the pavement.

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Last edited by cdawg246; 06-30-2014 at 01:10 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2014, 06:59 AM
MuscleWagon MuscleWagon is offline
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Congrats on getting your ride running again. Question for you regarding the starter removal & replacement. On a scale of 10 how would you rate the difficulty of this DIY? I've read all the threads on the subject and it sounds like getting the top E12 torx bolt off is the hardest part due to limited work space. TIA.
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