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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 05-07-2010, 02:19 PM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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Tires, struts and shocks, oh my

I have a 2003 540 Touring with 69,000 miles on it. I made the mistake of buying Sumitomo tires (they suck) and after a whopping 10,000 miles on them. They have feathered and I have bad steering wheel vibration between 45-65 mph.

I've been told I need new tires and am due to replace the struts and shocks. Just wondering how long struts and shocks are supposed to last. They said it wasn't urgent, but something I should do (along with buying tires and replacing my brakes). This is a pretty expensive situation so want to make sure I'm not getting bad advice.

Seems like it all makes sense. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2010, 03:27 PM
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E36Shikara E36Shikara is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 540i6, '05 330Cic6
This sounds like you need some Thrust Arm Bushings.. I have the same car and when I used to brake from 70-45 - The steering wheel would shudder uncontrollably... Once the bushings were replaced, all was returned to normal... As for your Sumis - (they make more than one model) - also premature wear could be over/under inflation, not having an alignment done properly..

As for new suspension... well your springs will be good for 200K and well your shocks/struts depends on your preference...

So what kind of driving do you do?
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2010, 04:16 PM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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Bushings

The bushings have been replaced, and I keep the tires inflated properly. Alignment and new tires (and brakes) are what I'll do next and see how it goes I guess.
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2010, 03:08 AM
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E36Shikara E36Shikara is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 540i6, '05 330Cic6
That's good to know... try bedding in your brakes again.. i used to have a crazy shudder a day or two after autocross events...because as a noob - I would come off the autocross run(ours are 90-110 seconds) and after a sesssion of HEAVY braking where the pads would be HOT and the rotors would be too - I would pull up the ebrake - as such the pads would cool on teh rotors... when i would be ready to go for the second run and every run thereafter... more and more pad material would get stuck on the rotor.. i didnt notice the pulsating in the wheel during the runs - because my heavy braking would remove the pad material left on from the previous cool down... However, when i would get back on the road for teh drive back home... the last run's brake pad material deposit would have cooled on the rotor and make for a scary braking experience on the ride back home...

The only way I was able to rid myself of this madness, was to Re-bed the brake pads

I do this at night... on the highway... Brake from 70 to 20mph about 8-10 times about 1 minute apart.... After doing this - I drive for about 15 minutes at normal highway speeds(without applying the brakes) to cool down the brake rotors and pads...

Try this - seriously - before getting new brakes... especially if your brake sensors have triggered yet...

as for the tires... well which ones do you have?? you may just need a less sporty alignment...I always go to the $tealership for this... yeah it costs more... but my tires are evenly worn....

Hope this helps... let us know what works!
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Current Bimmers
2005 E46 330Cic 6MT Koni Sport Struts/Shocks, Eibach F&R Sways
2003 E39 540i6 M-Sport - Bilstein PSS Coilovers, Dinan Exhaust, aFe Intake, E60 SSK w/ZHP knob, M5 Rear Sway Bar, Rogue Engineering Camber Plates
1995 E36 M3 - TMS Chip, Bilstein Sport/Eibach Sportline Suspension, UUC SwayBarbarian F&R, Dinan Strut Tower Brace

Indy: Alvin@Import Autowerks (Braintree, MA)
http://www.iautowerks.com - (781)-818-3830

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  #5  
Old 05-08-2010, 05:20 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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FYI - The parking brake system is a separate drum type braking system on the e39 that uses the inside of the rear disc as the drum. It does not use the brake discs for parking. Hence, there should be no deposits left on your discs and rebedding your brake disc pads should not impact any deposits.

Your steering wheel vibration could be due to any number of factors to include unbalanced wheels, bushings, etc.
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2010, 03:51 PM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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The solution to the shaking and shimmying

After several misdiagnosis's, it turns out I have a slightly bent front wheel. This explains why the front tires are feathering and the back tires are fine.

One repair shop (Curry Auto in Vienna, VA) wanted me to spend $5K on all kinds of crap and didn't even mention the tires and an alignment.

So now I need to either repair the wheels or find 4 new ones that will better match the tires I need to buy. I currently have summer tires and need to go to All-Season.
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2010, 03:55 PM
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bmw1453 bmw1453 is offline
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for e39, it is good to keep the original wheel and tire size...
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2010, 04:16 PM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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wheels

Yes, that is what I'd like to do. I bought it used and someone put after market wheels on. I am looking to go back to original sizes. Who's got some free ones to send my way?
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2010, 07:15 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Location: nova
 
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Mein Auto: e39 528it
Hi phog:

Are you in Lawrence or Northern VA?

I know of several good shops in Northern VA for your BMW is you are not DIY inclined.

Curry's has a not so good reputation ... I know Matt Curry through his generous support of the local PCA club but most report having "unsatisfactory" repair experiences there.
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