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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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Old 10-13-2012, 08:45 PM
Pucho Pucho is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: Y2K 528i
Engine Noise? Did you only change your pulleys and not your idler arm?

This is just for the benefit of those that have an engine noise and can't seem to find the problem. I had a noise just like the one in this post http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=511169

I used a hose as a stethoscope and was convinced the noise was coming from the WP. Since I was doing a complete cooling overhaul I figured the noise would be gone once I replaced the WP. Not so. At the same time I replaced both the AC and WP pulley as well as the main idler tensioner. I have the mechanical idler arms and figured they were okay and would not need to be changed. Well, I was wrong. The "cricket" noise prevailed especially when in gear at the lights.

Just today, I got under the car, took off all belts, put a 16mm on the idler nut and rocked the arm back and forth. Gotcha! the squeak was there as I rocked back and forth.

Hope this helps some of you, as it drove me crazy for months.

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:21 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,054
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Originally Posted by Pucho View Post
put a 16mm on the idler nut and rocked the arm back and forth. Gotcha! the squeak was there as I rocked back and forth
What I like about Dan's post is that he used basic diagnostic procedures to identify the problem!

Kudos to you.

The mechanical tensioner has known noise problems, by the way:
- How to tell if you have mechanical or hydraulic belt tensioners (1) & how to switch from mechanical to hydraulic (1) and what is the difference between the two types (1) (2) & how to rebuild your hydraulic tensioners (1) & how to re-grease your pulleys and rollers (1) & the answer to the question of adjusting the 540i hydraulic tensioners' belt tension (1) (2)
Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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