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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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  #51  
Old 08-12-2012, 10:18 PM
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doru doru is offline
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I'm in no rush for brakes.
As with everything, I noticed it's very good to weigh your options waaay ahead of time, and once your mind is set, just start hunting for best price. At least that's what I did for the last year and 1/2.
Doing this, got me a OEM MAF @ 144 bux (VDO Siemens) which for the 3l is one of the most expensive. Same with the alternator regulator - OEM Bosch, got it for 44 bux (If I lived in the US, it would have been 38...). The list goes on.

I noticed that if a part (which you would expect to) fails, you're kinda in a bind, and either you shop in a hurry, or you go to the dealer. There's no room to wiggle and you're had....

Thanks for the links Jason.
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  #52  
Old 09-26-2012, 08:12 PM
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Hints were kindly added today by RDL to the following brake bleeding thread that should be referenced in this, the canonical brake bleeding thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
I visited a friend to scrounge an old style plain (no level sensor) ATE master cylinder cap for my homebrew pressure bleeding project. We started trading stories, shortcuts and tips and I picked up a couple of clever tips; new to me at least. It wasn't all business though, a brewski or three were involved as well.

Avoid draining the master cylinder reservoir while bleeding
With a narrow neck bottle of your favourite brake fluid, turn the bottle upside down in the reservoir. Contrary to "common sense" the bottle will not empty. Rather the brake fluid will stay in the bottle until the reservoir level falls below the bottle's mouth. Then only enough will flow to submerge the mouth of the bottle again. So, you can bleed away with a one quart reserve automatically refilling the reservoir as required.
It would be good practive to wrap the master cylinder opening around the bottle of brake fluid with a clean, lint free rag or plastic wrap to minimize access of moist air to the brake fluid. Also surround the reservoir with catch rags to absorb any spills as you invert the bottle - unless you are very fast and very good.

You can verify the physics behind this effect with a bowl or sink and say a plastic bottle of drinking water. Fill the sink, fill the plastic water bottle. Quickly invert the bottle and stick the neck underwater in the sink; perhaps hold a finger over the bottle mouth until it is submerged. You will see a bubble of air in the bottom (now top) of the bottle. But the bottle will not empty itself until you lift the bottle clear of the water level in the sink. And flow will stop if you re-submerge the mouth.

Prevent loss of fluid while changing calipers, etc.
I've always cringed at the common habit of pinching rubber flex brake hoses to prevent draining the reservoir and "airing" the master cylinder. My friend had a solution. Before opening the brake circuit, depress the brake pedal and prop a stick against the seat to hold the pedal down. The master cylinder seals are now past the ports from the reservoir and there is no flow path from the reservoir through the master cylinder to the caliper. You will get a few initial drips from the open line, but not a steady dribble or stream.

BTW, I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence, but this trick does NOT eliminate the need for bleeding after the repair. But you won't have to worry about bleeding air out of the master cylinder and ABS/DSC block. And your brake hoses won't be crushed, possibly damaged.

Avoid setting DTCs when pressure bleeding with EasyDIS
DIS has a service function to run the ABS pump and cycle the ABS block valves to flush any micro-bubbles off the fine ports and passages out into the brake lines to be expelled in further bleeding. However, it also wants the reservoir pressurized for this cycle. Pressurizing the reservoir, means the car's master cylinder cap must be removed for the pressure cap. And the ignition must be turned on for EasyDIS to communicate with the DSC/ABS module.
Don't do as I did and simply lay the car's cap aside. The level sensing float will fall to the bottom and set a couple of DTCs. Instead, place the cap upside down so the float falls toward the cap, i.e. the high/full position. No DTCs will be set.
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  #53  
Old 02-23-2013, 03:09 PM
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For the record, this was posted today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Not unusual for the six to take 2-3 bleeding operations (from cold) to get all the air out.

Compare this method with the one you are using.

TIS M54 Bleed Procedure edited version

It's very difficult to remove the air in the cooling system of the six. Try this procedure from the TIS. It assumes you have already topped up the system. You may have to do this 2-3 times. Some even jack up the front of the car by a foot or so.

TIS M54 Bleed Procedure.

To ensure the cooling system is properly vented, it is absolutely essential to follow the steps below:

1. Undo cap but do not remove from expansion tank. This prevent excessive discharge of coolant from the expansion tank.

2. Turn on ignition.

3. Set heating controller to max. temperature.

4. Set blower to low level. This opens the heating valves and sets the auxiliary water pump in operation.

5. Run engine and briefly press accelerator pedal three to four times (approx. 4500 to 5000 rpm) to flush engine cooling circuit.

6. In doing so, do not run engine for longer than approx. 30 seconds; otherwise coolant will heat up and expand.

7. If the coolant level in the expansion tank drops in the process, top up the expansion tank to the max. cold fill level.

8. Screw on cap tightly and allow engine to warm up until thermostat opens.

9. Check coolant level. Pay attention to differing expansion tank designs.

Transparent expansion tank:

Allow engine to cool down before checking coolant level. Coolant temperature must not exceed 30 deg C. If ambient temperature exceeds 30 deg C, allow engine to cool down at least to ambient temperature.
Check coolant level and if necessary top up coolant to max. cold fill level (see marking on expansion tank).

Note:

The tank mark indicates the fluid level at approx. 20 deg C. Use recommended coolant only.


Black expansion tank:

Allow engine to cool down before checking coolant level. Coolant temperature must not exceed 30 deg C. If ambient temperature exceeds 30 deg C, allow engine to cool down at least to ambient temperature.
Check coolant level and if necessary top up coolant to max. cold fill level (the ball on the float needle is on the same level as the top edge of the expansion tank).

Note:

The tank mark indicates the fluid level at approx. 20 deg C. Use recommended coolant only.
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  #54  
Old 09-24-2013, 06:13 AM
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For the record, a user replacing brake pipes obviously has air in the system, to which Doru posted this DIY for bleeding out the air today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
Yes, you can still bleed it without going to the dealer.

1) If you have a laptop with GT-1 installed you can cycle the ABS module

2) IF you do not have a laptop, you will need 2 or 3 liters of brake fluid to bleed it.

a) Fill the master cylinder and bleed normally at each corner starting with the furthest caliper ending with the driver side.

b) Take the car to a parking lot or closed area and active the ABS by making a few hard stops to cycle the ABS module

c) Drive back and bled the system again with another liter or until you stop seeing bubbles at the caliper bleed hose.

It can be done, just more time consuming with more fluid and requires activating the ABS somewhere SAFE !
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  #55  
Old 05-08-2015, 02:23 PM
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For the record, this bleeding question after an overhaul was asked today.
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Can someone tell me the proper procedure for brake hose replacement?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerodynamic View Post
Hello all,

I'm going to replace the stock rubber brake hoses with stainless lines, and I searched for a DIY and found Flug540's ss lines thread, but I'm curious to know:

Can I replace a line on a caliper and bleed it one at at time, or should I replace all the lines then bleed? I'm thinking in terms of efficiency and to save time, but I don't want to cut corners. I suppose what I'm asking here is if I have one caliper all buttoned up and I open another line, could air travel up the brake line and get into my other lines?

Also, what size flare wrench do we need for the hose? Do you even need a flare wrench for this? The Bentley doesn't specify this. Otherwise, I'm off to my local Harbor Freight to purchase a new set.

Thanks for the help!
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  #56  
Old 06-22-2015, 10:35 AM
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The question came up today as for a step-by-step procedure for bleeding the ABS...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > ABS Fluid - Drain and Fill
Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Doing a DIY brake bleed will not exchange fluid in ABS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
You are correct, sir. It requires a BMW computer to exercise the ABS pump and valves. However, it is claimed that the ABS can be bled by exercising it on a gravel or dirt road. Best to do after the rest of the system has been flushed.

The anal among us will then re-flush the rest of the system.
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  #57  
Old 06-23-2015, 07:12 AM
rdl rdl is online now
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I've never been concerned about flushing the ABS unit unless there is reason to think the brake fluid has been contaminated with oil or some other foreign fluid. Or the lines have been opened and air has found its way into the ABS block or the pre-charge pump - which is more a case of bleeding rather than flushing. Flushing brake systems is recommended to expel fluid with absorbed water, which will cause corrosion and boiling in the calipers resulting in loss of braking. I've never seen any reports or specs to indicate that brake fluid itself deteriorates the way that say engine oil does.

Over time, water trapped in the ABS will diffuse throughout the brake fluid volume. And since the volume of fluid in the ABS valve body is a small % of the total system, the concentration of water left in the entire brake system after a flush is well below any level of concern.
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  #58  
Old 06-23-2015, 07:21 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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the only 2 places where water can potentially enter the system are:
1. Caliper pistons
2. Reservoir.

The ABS Modulator, sitting in the middle of the circuit, is generally not contaminated with water.

This is why during routine brake fluid flushing, I always remove the old fluid in the reservoir using a Turkey Baster until it is down to the very bottom of the reservoir, then fill it with fresh brake fluid.

And I do this on a dry sunny day for obvious reasons.
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  #59  
Old 06-23-2015, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
I've never been concerned about flushing the ABS unit unless there is reason to think the brake fluid has been contaminated with oil or some other foreign fluid.
I had never thought about this, until now, so, I may be asking the wrong question ... but ... to get a fundamental foundation on flushing, I ask:

Assuming contamination:
- What I would "normally" want to do is EMPTY out the lines, CLEAN them (somehow, perhaps with a solvent), and only after they were cleaned, then "REFILL", and, of course "BLEED".

Now, assuming I didn't want to get air in the lines, that knocks out emptying them. So what would I do?
- What I'd do if I didn't want to introduce air, is bleed 'till the cows came home. I normally use less than a jug of the blue stuff during bleeding. In this case, I'd run as many jugs through as I felt like running through (maybe two or three or four?).

But, my question is, what is flushing?
To me, having never flushed a brake line before, flushing is just bleeding. Lots and lots of bleeding maybe. But isn't it just bleeding?

Or, is flushing something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Or the lines have been opened and air has found its way into the ABS block or the pre-charge pump - which is more a case of bleeding rather than flushing.
I don't inherently see the difference.
Bleeding is to get rid of the last (oh, say) three feet of fluid in the lines.
Flushing is to get rid of all the fluid in the lines.
But, it's the exact same process, isn't it?
The only difference, I see, is the amount of fluid used.
Or, is flushing a different process than bleeding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Flushing brake systems is recommended to expel fluid
It seems to me, the only difference between the meaning of "flushing" versus the meaning of "bleeding" is that the amount of fluid is such that flushing replaces all the fluid, while bleeding only replaces the last few linear feet.

Is that right?

DISCLAIMER: I had never even considered the concept of flushing a brake system until your post above, so, pardon my ignorance.
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  #60  
Old 06-23-2015, 09:08 AM
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BB
Semantics, semantics!
Really though, better to be precise and exact rather than assume & turn out to be wrong.

In my mind bleeding & (routine PM) flushing are done the same way, but different amounts of brake fluid.

I suppose there is a type of flushing one would have to do if there was oil, antifreeze, or anything other than brake fluid poured into the reservoir. (Not common, but I've heard of instances.) In that case, every rubber seal & hose must be replaced. ABS/DSC valve block opened and cleaned. Hard lines blown out with air and then flushed with new brake fluid to expel all of the foreign substance. Then the system re-filled and bled. An expensive & time consuming job. I've never heard of a cleaner flushing fluid, but perhaps there is. The rule I'm used to is ONLY brake fluid in a brake system.

I think of bleeding as pumping fluid through the system to expel air bubbles introduced by opening a brake line. In the case of replacing a caliper, only a fairly small amount of fluid has to be pumped to accomplish the objective. But if one had replaced the flex hose between the ABS/DSC valve body and rear brake, more fluid needs to be pumped to push air bubbles all the way down the line to the caliper. (If replacing a master cylinder, one can often get away with compressing caliper pistons to push fluid & bubbles backward into the master cylinder and up into the reservoir.)

Routine flushing is pumping enough brake fluid through the system so that all (or virtually all - there will be a bit of mixing old and new) the old fluid is expelled at the calipers leaving only new fluid in the system. The idea is to expel brake fluid that has picked up water over the years. Here Cam's idea of first emptying the reservoir is a good idea since it then starts the flushing with new fluid & the reservoir fluid is the most heavily water saturated of any in the system.

I've done a rough SWAG of flushing volumes while assuming the pads are well worn so the caliper pistons are extended and volume in the caliper cylinder is large. It worked out to ~225 ml each front caliper and ~160 ml each rear. (cylinder volumes are large compared to brake line volumes, so more at front in spite of line length to rear.)
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  #61  
Old 06-23-2015, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Routine flushing is pumping enough brake fluid through the system so that all (or virtually all - there will be a bit of mixing old and new) the old fluid is expelled
That's what I did when I "bled" my brakes.
I used about a liter (IIRC) until everything was blue.
Then, in the next bleed a few years later, coinciding with a brake job, I switched to brown, and "bled" until everything was brown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
I've done a rough SWAG of flushing volumes while assuming the pads are well worn so the caliper pistons are extended and volume in the caliper cylinder is large. It worked out to ~225 ml each front caliper and ~160 ml each rear. (cylinder volumes are large compared to brake line volumes, so more at front in spite of line length to rear.)
Would you agree that this works out to just about a liter (give or take)?

See also:
- Brake & clutch fluid: Brake & clutch hydraulic fluid (1) & recommended E39 brake job "fluids" (1) & how brake bleeding DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
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  #62  
Old 06-23-2015, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
That's what I did when I "bled" my brakes.
I used about a liter (IIRC) until everything was blue.
Then, in the next bleed a few years later, coinciding with a brake job, I switched to brown, and "bled" until everything was brown.

Would you agree that this works out to just about a liter (give or take)?
...
Yes, one litre.
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  #63  
Old 07-02-2015, 07:54 PM
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Apparently bleeding the ABS at home didn't work this time...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Figured I would go ahead and blow an ABS hose today
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarhed1964 View Post
Touring Car knocked it out for $166 and some change. Those guys are awesome and QUICK. They cycled the ABS, went ahead and bled all four wheels again (apparently, I left a lot of bubbles in there), and even installed both of my hoses on for me. I was right, the threads on one of the new hoses were defective, but they fixed that too. Then, we all had a laugh at my horribly worn tires (ridiculous wear, almost a LIP, on the inside edge of all of them, a nail in three of the tires, and the two rears were slicks) , so I ran up to Discount Tire and had them toss on four new Continentals. Went bigger this time. 245/45 R17's. Found out three of my wheels were bent (time for a $125/tire wheel straightening), then almost burst into laughter when they tried to sell me a set of chinese aftermarket ghetto wheels as replacements. Sorry, I'm a purist. Only BMW wheels for me.

$98 alignment is set for Monday afternoon. Almost went to the dealer at $159.95, but this guy was recommended by both Touring Car and McNeely Motorsports.
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