Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 02-10-2010, 09:22 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
The third picture is a 540 bleeder (there is only one).
Oh, I see. There is only one bleeder and it's on the expansion tank for the V8 but on the inlet hose of the thermostat housing for the I6.

Is that right?

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2002_I6_bleeder.jpg
Views:	1877
Size:	198.5 KB
ID:	217859  
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:52 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I was wrong!

After reading the attached documents, I now realize that the thermostat in my E39 operates totally differently than a "conventional" thermostat.

Specifically, it keeps the engine hotter at lower loads than it otherwise would be and it keeps the engine artificially cooler at high loads (for smog reasons).

To to that, they put in a thermostat that is directly controlled by 0 to 12 volts instead of coolant temperature (directly anyway).

The formula they use to control the thermostat is non-intuitive (to me anyway) as they actually have a WIDE RANGE of temperature from 80C to 103C in which the thermostat is artificially manipulating the flow (hence the temperature).

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	characteristic.gif
Views:	1821
Size:	82.8 KB
ID:	219010   Click image for larger version

Name:	operation.gif
Views:	132
Size:	50.2 KB
ID:	219011  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW_M62_Thermostat_Details.pdf (329.0 KB, 311 views)
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 02-19-2010, 02:33 AM
aca84's Avatar
aca84 aca84 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Australia
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 161
Mein Auto: E39 530i
As I've been having coolant problems recently, every time I drive, I've had the digital readout of the coolant temperature showing on my OBC. This has indeed shown the unusual operation of the thermostat.

Basically, when stationary in heavy traffic, I've had the coolant temperature down at 84 C at times. On the open road doing 60, I've had it consistently around 96 C (where theoretically, it should probably be cooler since more air is being taken through the radiator than when stationary) probably indicating that the thermostat is actually not always fully open at higher loads (depending on other variables too ofcourse).

Last edited by aca84; 02-19-2010 at 02:38 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 02-24-2010, 07:06 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Just for the record, here's a thread where the bleeder valve (near the thermostat) turned to mush.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 02-24-2010, 08:22 AM
doru's Avatar
doru doru is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Calgary
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4,461
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
Hello Blue.
As Mack said, and I know from other sources as well:
Usually the first thing to go is the thermostat. Mine went 2 years ago at around 60k miles.
I am still with the original cooling system at around 80k miles (128,000 Km).
Also, that bleeder screw you pointed out - that one turned to mush on my car last summer, when I did the Vanos seals. So I think the entire cooling system is not far behind.
Change that plastic bleeder screw withan aftermarked brass screw. I know I changed mine. They come with the rubber O-ring, but make sure it's on it.
__________________
Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 04-01-2010, 06:44 AM
etc etc is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 160
Mein Auto: 528i
The design is garbage. The parts seem to be made from recycled plastic milk jugs. It's just astounding that the QC team let something this big slip through, or is it the engineering team, or both. There is no way a non-moving part like this should wear out or be damaged by heat. If they can put a man on the moon, for sure they can build a radiator that doesn't blow up at 80K miles.

However in BMW's defense, many modern cars have weak cooling systems that need to be overhauled at 100K miles. I had another make vehicle, that nearly stranded me at night on I-95. The radiator exploded right at the same point as shown above. I was able to slip the radiator hose a bit further on it and made it home but thought for sure it's towing truck time.
__________________
1999 BMW 528iT. Station wagons are back.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:14 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by etc View Post
The parts seem to be made from recycled plastic milk jugs. The radiator exploded right at the same point as shown above.
Here's another exploded radiator upper milk-jug plastic hose that happened in this thread today.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	upper_hose_explosion.jpg
Views:	143
Size:	128.8 KB
ID:	230493  

Last edited by bluebee; 05-17-2010 at 12:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:27 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
It looks like there are two main failure modes:
1. The upper plastic connection to the engine
2. The upper plastic neck of the radiator
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	classic_leak_with_jb_weld.jpg
Views:	219
Size:	102.5 KB
ID:	230495  

Last edited by bluebee; 05-17-2010 at 12:30 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:29 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
And here's another BMW E39 radiator explosion from today.

This one was more classic at the upper neck instead of the last one which was nearer the engine on the upper connection to the thermostat.

The funky stuff is JB Weld.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	classic_leak_with_jb_weld_small.jpg
Views:	7225
Size:	213.3 KB
ID:	230496  
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 05-29-2010, 06:51 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
In keeping with the pictorial nature of this thread, here's a picture of an expansion tank with white deposits along the side ...

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	expansion_tank.jpg
Views:	1777
Size:	104.0 KB
ID:	235579  

Last edited by bluebee; 06-22-2010 at 03:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 05-29-2010, 07:51 PM
namys1 namys1 is offline
Registered User
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 42
Mein Auto: 2002 525i
My two cents to the discussion. My car has 115K miles (184000km). I`ve replaced the rad today. Car was loosing about 100 grams (3 ounces) of coolant every three-four days of city driving. A hair-wide crack was on the upper plastic corner on the driver`s side. Crack was almost invisible, there was no leak when the car was parked, although you could smell coolant and see white spots all over. When my mechanic applied air pressure on the rad, the crack erupted with a small fountaint. Four hoses were replaced as well. But now I found that the expansion tank has its on crack - one of the necks linked to a hose is cracked. That is my next project.
I ordered BEHR rad via Bimmerspecialists at c$213 (with import taxes)- compared to c$650 asked by local BMW dealership, that was a good deal. Parts were delivered very fast, air S&H was very reasonable).
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 05-29-2010, 08:14 PM
namys1 namys1 is offline
Registered User
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 42
Mein Auto: 2002 525i
@Bluebee:
I`ve got exactly the same looking residue on the expansion tank, not much, but alarming. In my case, the upper neck of the expansion tank, which is beneath the shroud next to the bleeder screw, has a crack. You can`t see it unless the plastic cover around bleeder screw is removed. I was wondering what consequences that crack may have - besides the need to add coolant. My mechanic told that the tank has to be replaced.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 05-29-2010, 08:19 PM
5er2er8er 5er2er8er is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: S.Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 125
Mein Auto: 98 528ia premium
all hose connections
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 06-22-2010, 03:27 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Here's an autopsy of a failed BMW E39 expansion tank and another DIY.

The failure-mode sequence of events was:
- Sensor stick fell off sensor float (may have already been deteriorated or the cap put on wrongly)
- Float mechanism puts even more stress on the bottom of the expansion tank
- Expansion tank leaks at connect to level sensor at the bottom of the float mechanism

Lots of good pictures of the INSIDE of the expansion tank here ...

Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 06-22-2010, 07:58 PM
dms540i's Avatar
dms540i dms540i is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 539
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540iA
You don't fix the problem by putting another OEM Behr radiator in. That just ensures you will go through the problem again. The plastic is the problem. Whether it cracks at one hose fitting or another, or across the expansion tank, or somewhere else is not the point. If you keep the car it will continue to eat radiators. After you put the third one in the Zionsville math starts to look different.
__________________
BMWCCA#401441
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 06-22-2010, 08:12 PM
chiefwej's Avatar
chiefwej chiefwej is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,298
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6 //m-tech
Quote:
Originally Posted by dms540i View Post
You don't fix the problem by putting another OEM Behr radiator in. That just ensures you will go through the problem again. The plastic is the problem. Whether it cracks at one hose fitting or another, or across the expansion tank, or somewhere else is not the point. If you keep the car it will continue to eat radiators. After you put the third one in the Zionsville math starts to look different.
That's why I went to a zero pressure system w/ NPG+.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...877&highlight=
__________________
chiefwej 2003 540i ///m-tech 6-speed
Black Sapphire Metallic w/gray
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 06-22-2010, 08:14 PM
Mack's Avatar
Mack Mack is offline
Thebizzy.com
Location: Atlanta
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 6,428
Send a message via AIM to Mack
Mein Auto: '02 525i
Behr (OES) rad - $138 to the door from Autohausaz
Zionsville alloy rad - $690 + shipping.


I was ALL about to go Zionsville but at that price it will take approximately 5 rad failures to make your $$ back if my math is correct. It just doesn't make sense in the end. And my car made it to 120k before I replaced the rad just for general maintenance.
__________________


Mods: Shark Injected | Magnaflow Exhaust + Resonator | H&R Springs | Bilstein SP Shocks + Struts | TMS Power Pulleys
Eibach F+R Sways | BeastPower Brackets | M-Tech bumpers | Predator ICE V3 + HID Fogs | Eurodyne CF Hood | BSW Sub + Dice + spec dock


[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
You can warranty a turd, that way when you have a problem you can exchange it for a new turd.---End Quote---

Last edited by Mack; 06-22-2010 at 08:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 06-26-2010, 10:52 PM
repcapale repcapale is offline
Registered User
Location: edmonton, canada
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: '01 530 Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
In keeping with the pictorial nature of this thread, here's a picture of an expansion tank with white deposits along the side ...

In this case, where exactly is the coolant leaking from?
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 06-26-2010, 11:14 PM
chiefwej's Avatar
chiefwej chiefwej is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,298
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6 //m-tech
Quote:
Originally Posted by repcapale View Post
In this case, where exactly is the coolant leaking from?
If that is a 540 I would first look at the bleeder screw, next see if it could be coming from the cap.
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 06-27-2010, 09:57 AM
repcapale repcapale is offline
Registered User
Location: edmonton, canada
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: '01 530 Sport
I have some of that coolant residue in the exact spot. Should I be worried? It dosent look like its coming from the cap, so it must be from the bleeder screw. I replaced the water pump and thermostat a couple of months ago, will replace the rest soon. Is this residue common? Or does it mean the expansion tank is going to blow.
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 06-27-2010, 03:54 PM
chiefwej's Avatar
chiefwej chiefwej is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,298
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6 //m-tech
Quote:
Originally Posted by repcapale View Post
I have some of that coolant residue in the exact spot. Should I be worried? It dosent look like its coming from the cap, so it must be from the bleeder screw. I replaced the water pump and thermostat a couple of months ago, will replace the rest soon. Is this residue common? Or does it mean the expansion tank is going to blow.
It could be just left from the last time you opened the bleeder. Rinse it away, then see if it comes back. If it does something is leaking somewhere.
__________________
chiefwej 2003 540i ///m-tech 6-speed
Black Sapphire Metallic w/gray
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 07-03-2010, 10:15 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
In this canonical fan-clutch fan blade failure thread are some pretty gruesome pictures of what happens when the cooling system fan blades spin around in the engine compartment!

"in general the fan blades ... fail when being overtaxed by a bad fan clutch causing the fan to spin too fast and fail to disengage at high speeds"

"most often ... a fan clutch will go bad by NOT spinning fast enough ... and thus not cooling sufficiently at low speed or idle. One give-away sign of this is that the aux fan will kick in at high speed when at idle"

"Fan Clutch fails in two ways:
1. Does not operate as it should (the design is COLD: spin slowly, HOT spins faster close to engine speed to dissipate heat).
2. Becoming loose "wobble".

In the case #2, recall that the fan blade is attached to the Fan Clutch, which in turn is attached to the WP shaft.
So a bad WP bearing or a wobble fan clutch can cause the fan blade to wobble, HITTING the Fan Shroud."





Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1000468gm6.jpg
Views:	226
Size:	93.4 KB
ID:	236831   Click image for larger version

Name:	1000469dp2.jpg
Views:	221
Size:	99.9 KB
ID:	236832   Click image for larger version

Name:	1000470rr7.jpg
Views:	195
Size:	96.7 KB
ID:	236833   Click image for larger version

Name:	1000471jn5.jpg
Views:	230
Size:	99.3 KB
ID:	236834   Click image for larger version

Name:	somepix020yg5.jpg
Views:	1066
Size:	76.8 KB
ID:	236835  

Click image for larger version

Name:	somepix022zj2.jpg
Views:	1425
Size:	91.6 KB
ID:	236836   Click image for larger version

Name:	somepix025kj1.jpg
Views:	229
Size:	96.0 KB
ID:	236837   Click image for larger version

Name:	somepix025kj1_a.jpg
Views:	207
Size:	96.0 KB
ID:	236838  
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 07-05-2010, 05:33 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
In keeping with the picture nature of this thread showing BMW E39 radiator failures, here's one I found today looking for a solution for someone else...

The crack is right in the bend of the neck as it comes backwards from the radiator.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC00551.jpg
Views:	2867
Size:	242.6 KB
ID:	237021   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC00553.jpg
Views:	2214
Size:	238.7 KB
ID:	237022  
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 07-05-2010, 05:42 PM
chiefwej's Avatar
chiefwej chiefwej is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,298
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6 //m-tech
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
In keeping with the picture nature of this thread showing BMW E39 radiator failures, here's one I found today looking for a solution for someone else...

The crack is right in the bend of the neck as it comes backwards from the radiator.
That is a CLASSIC radiator failure. Exactly where mine cracked.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 07-05-2010, 05:58 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Here is a pic of a radiator that leaked from the cap and was replaced with a Zionsville.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2547.JPG
Views:	1639
Size:	164.8 KB
ID:	237027   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2540.JPG
Views:	155
Size:	56.4 KB
ID:	237029   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2552.JPG
Views:	252
Size:	88.4 KB
ID:	237030  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms