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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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  #1  
Old 11-27-2014, 02:37 PM
plmadding01e39 plmadding01e39 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 540i/6
The Fun goes on-Water pump edition

After my car gave me four loyal days of service after I replaced the CCV (and cleaned MAF) it decided that it was all done. I drove to a gun show 40 minutes away (bought a Glock 17 ) and on the way home, fortunately about 50 yards from the entrance to my neighborhood I noticed the battery light was on. I quickly check the temp gauge and its still in the middle. Next I think, I sure hope my alternator didn't just crap out, but I decided that it also could be a broken belt. I turn into the neighborhood and the steering is unassisted. I sigh with relief that it is just a broken belt...no noises or anything from under the hood... I can make it the few blocks to my house. Then comes the noise....I pull over, shut off, get out and see steam coming from under the hood. I realize this is no broken belt situation. I open the hood and coolant is blasting everywhere and the fan is crooked. Water pump.

I had a water pump on hand but for some reason hadn't bought a thermostat when I bought the water pump so I waited a few days for that and both belts to show up. Finally got everything replaced last night and start the car and...holy crap it sounds like a serious exhaust blow near the front passenger side of the engine.

When replacing the water pump I removed the harmonic balancer for clearance but still lacked some clearance. Maybe I just wasn't very cleaver because most people seem to be able to without removing the secondary air pipe. I released one side of the pipe so I could flex it that little bit to get clearance. No problem, the pump comes right out. On reinstall I apparently didn't have the secondary air pipe seated properly and when I tightened the bolt up I broke the mounting bracket weld. Oh boy. That is the cause of my noise.

It is one thing after another with this car. Now I am trying to decide whether to buy a new pipe or try and find someone to weld the bracket back on. Either way I'm ordering new O-rings for it as the ones on there are like rock.

Has anyone else ever had a hard time seating the Secondary Air pipe? Should I replace the EGR valve mounted to it? I'm tempted to just so I don't have to deal with that pipe again.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2014, 03:38 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 BMW k75s
I had this noise from the secondary air pump tube when I did my cooling system a few years ago. I thought the exhaust manifold was cracked, and so I took it to my indy, who reattached it. I don't remember whether they did anything else at the time. How old (in years or mileage) was your water pump when it went out?
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2014, 03:41 PM
plmadding01e39 plmadding01e39 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 540i/6
I am not sure how old the water pump was. It is not the original thats quite certain. From the date on the thermostat I'd guess both were replaced in 2008. I bought this car with no record...I know probably bad decision. Now it has 148,xxx miles. I think that my premature fan clutch failure was a sign of the water pump nearing failure. As the water pump bearing went it probably increased the stress on the fan clutch.
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:41 PM
Wgosma Wgosma is online now
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Mein Auto: 98 528i 5-spd sport pkg
cooling system stuff

Take a look at P-4 of the attached article. PM on the cooling system on these cars is mandatory unless you want to drive with one eye glued to your temp. gauge.

Thermostat....next time you change it, you might want to replace the plastic housing with an aluminum version; they're available. I've owned 3 E39's and had a housing split open on one of my cars many years ago. Food for thought and maybe action.

Best of luck /Bill
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW E39 Apr 08 Buyers Guide001.pdf (2.74 MB, 10 views)
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2014, 10:01 PM
plmadding01e39 plmadding01e39 is offline
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Location: USA-Kansas-Wichita
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 540i/6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wgosma View Post
Take a look at P-4 of the attached article. PM on the cooling system on these cars is mandatory unless you want to drive with one eye glued to your temp. gauge.

Thermostat....next time you change it, you might want to replace the plastic housing with an aluminum version; they're available. I've owned 3 E39's and had a housing split open on one of my cars many years ago. Food for thought and maybe action.

Best of luck /Bill
Thanks for the pdf Bill! On the 540 the thermostat is aluminum and mounts directly to the water pump. I probably should have replaced both of the main hoses as well, they feel quite soft. Well I have to order more parts...so I'll probably buy those as well.
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