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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 05-26-2010, 10:30 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Yet another activated charcoal cabin air filter R&R DIY :)

Yeah, it's incredibly simple, but, believe it or not, I actually had to peruse the "mit einbauanleitung" (=== includes mounting instructions") that came with my CUK2736-2 adsotop Mann "innenraumfilter mit aktivkohle" (=== cabin filter with activated charcoal) purchased from Autohauz (P/N: 64.11.0.008.138) for $11.87 each ($23.74 for the set) with free shipping (because I added a dozen Mann $5.47 oil filters to bump the price over $50).

The new filter didn't look like the old filter (and it didn't have a one-way plastic tab), so I had to read the instructions that came with it.

Even then, I needlessly removed the cabin-filter housing spring clip and the three air-duct clips on the first of two exchanges.

So, I decided to write my own BMW E39 cabin-air filter DIY (if not for anyone else, at least for my own future reference).

NOTE: Also useful to remove air conditioning stink (see this thread).

Here goes ... (as always, please improve if needed).

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  #2  
Old 05-26-2010, 10:50 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Since summer is coming up, you should also check your two undercarriage drain hoses when you clean out the cabin air filter drains and replace the cabin air filters.

Otherwise, you may get the dreaded gym-sock air conditioning stink!

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  #3  
Old 05-26-2010, 11:12 AM
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And, if you REALLY want to kill the gym-sock ac stink, drill an acess hole in your driver-side right-foot kick panel to spray disinfectant on the a/c evaporator cooling fins!

Then do the one-time set up of your AC controls, and you're set for summer!

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  #4  
Old 05-26-2010, 04:19 PM
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weasel like weasel like is offline
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Bluebee, you rock. Everyone needs to do these simple things to keep their Bimmer smelling fresh.
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2011, 09:11 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Today, gunksny kindly posted a cabin air filter DIY PDF (e39 Cabin Filter DIY.pdf):
- E39 Cabin Filter Replacement DIY

I added his link above just now to the bestlinks for future reference:
- How to DIY replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) (2) & what cabin filter to buy (1) (2) & cn90's inexpensive cabin filter retrofit (1) (2) (3) & cabin air filter implications for stinky air conditioning (1) (2)

For convenience, here are the pictures reproduced from that thread, only shrunken to 640x480 pixels:



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Last edited by bluebee; 03-14-2011 at 09:13 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2011, 12:37 PM
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It feels good to know, that, at least today, this (simple) DIY helped someone:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Mann Cabin Filter Air Flow

Quote:
Originally Posted by chelseafc View Post
Ok searched again after posting, found a bluebee post with this link, appears confirmation of arrow pointing up (as in towards the underside of the hood)
Of course, as simple as this DIY is, it isn't without controversy:

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The air flows from top to bottom, and then into the car. Arrow points down. Ignore the writing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
The arrows on the microfilters should point upward...and Bluebee's as well as the other illustration confirms this.

Look again (closely) at the illustration...the air enters the microfilter compartment and flows UPWARD thru the filter, then the "fresh" air flows FROM the top of the microfilter into the car's HVAC system. The arrows near the microfilter are curved upwards to indicate that fresh air is drawn into the BOTTOM of the microfilter's plenum first...then UPWARD thru the micro & carbon filtering media, then into the car's HVAC fresh air intake. This allows HEAVY objects sucked into the plenum (or water) to fall to the bottom of the plenum otherwise it would have to fight gravity to enter into the system as the air is being drawn into the system. This is also why the water drains are at the bottom of the filter housing. If the directional flow was from TOP to BOTTOM then the filters would get soaking wet every time it rained or you washed the car:

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Last edited by bluebee; 07-03-2011 at 12:48 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2011, 09:19 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross-linked record, these cabin air filters were suggested in this thread:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cabin Airfilter Replacement...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrobby View Post
Not sure if anyone has found a good place for cabin air filters but I came across this..

http://www.filterheads.com/product/single/AQ1055C..

Seems like a good place to get them....
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2011, 09:43 PM
Blight67 Blight67 is offline
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Best deal I've found are the OEM Mann filters on Amazon for $18:

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  #9  
Old 02-13-2012, 04:56 PM
joebry joebry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blight67 View Post
Best deal I've found are the OEM Mann filters on Amazon for $18:

Have you got a DIY or a link to a DIY for removing the intake to the passenger side cabin filter housing? It will make it easier to replace plug #6. I think I have seen one but cannot remember where it is.
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  #10  
Old 06-02-2012, 11:17 PM
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I just accidentally realized a neat trick for helping get the cabin air filter housing back into the bimmer.

You can rotate left the snorkel on the side of the cabin air filter housing (and remove it if you need it out of the way).


Then, you put the cabin air filter housing back.

And, lastly, you rotate the snorkel back in place.
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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

Last edited by bluebee; 06-03-2012 at 10:21 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:24 PM
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Nicely timed wakeup Blue. I recently had to check brake fluid and may need new filters soon.

I checked the links and didn't see any mention of aFe filters. Anyone out there using? Cost more but claim lifetime, so you save in the end. I'm asking about the ProDry, not the oiled ones.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2012, 03:13 AM
Santorri84 Santorri84 is offline
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Hi fellas

I'm new to this forum so forgive me if this has been discussed before.

The passenger side center front a/c vent is spitting out bits of old grey foam.

What the hell is it and how can i fix it? I have that vent shut off for now but thats not ideal....

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2013, 02:42 PM
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bin01123 bin01123 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Since summer is coming up, you should also check your two undercarriage drain hoses when you clean out the cabin air filter drains and replace the cabin air filters.

Otherwise, you may get the dreaded gym-sock air conditioning stink!


I'm in Georgia and its going to get warm in about a month so thanks for these posts. Do you have a better picture for the drain hoses? And what should I be looking for with these hoses?
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2013, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Since summer is coming up, you should also check your two undercarriage drain hoses when you clean out the cabin air filter drains and replace the cabin air filters.

Otherwise, you may get the dreaded gym-sock air conditioning stink!

Sorry I'm slow. I just figured this out

Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Bimmer App
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2013, 12:28 AM
senser senser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
Nicely timed wakeup Blue. I recently had to check brake fluid and may need new filters soon.

I checked the links and didn't see any mention of aFe filters. Anyone out there using? Cost more but claim lifetime, so you save in the end. I'm asking about the ProDry, not the oiled ones.
For the engine air filter, they're great. I alternate between a ProDry and oiled between oil changes, but I haven't heard anything about aFe making cabin filters.

My butt dyno told me I lost some low end torque, but when you open 'er up it works extremely well. Also, stick with the dry filter, as the oiled one dirtied up my MAF quite a bit.
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2013, 08:04 PM
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bin01123 bin01123 is online now
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Senser,

Which oiled filter do you use? When it dirty up your MAF, did your dashboard throw out a message?

Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Bimmer App
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2013, 06:38 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was asked today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Allen View Post
I purchased Fram air cabin filters for my 528. They have arrows on the side (edges) and the advisory "direction of air flow". It is not obvious to me which way the air flows. Can anyone advise whether the air flows up or down?
See also:
- How to DIY replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) (2) & what cabin filter to buy (1) (2) & cn90's inexpensive cabin filter retrofit (1) (2) (3) & cabin air filter implications for stinky air conditioning (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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  #18  
Old 09-03-2013, 10:46 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here's an exhaustive list of replacement cabin air filters from today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Below is a list with the equivalent charcoal activated cabin filters, exact fit for BMW e39. Just pick the cheapest, I think:

Air Qualitee AQ1055C
ATP CF-105 RA-60
Beck Arnley 042-2076
BMW OEM 64 11 0 008 138
Bosch C3821
Champ CAF1722
Fram CF10369
G.K. Industries CF1067
Hengst E960LC-2
Mahle LAK 73/S
Mann CUK 2736-2
Micron-Air BM97130C
Purolator C35509
TYC 800048C2
Wix 49372

Personally, I used TYC for the last 5 years without an issue. Very good quality and very cheap.
EDIT: See also:
- How to replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) (2) (3) & what cabin filter to buy (1) (2) & cn90's inexpensive cabin filter retrofit (1) (2) (3)
__________________
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

Last edited by bluebee; 05-08-2014 at 11:13 PM.
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