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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 01-11-2014, 06:00 AM
krekers krekers is offline
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Location: Latvia
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Mein Auto: 528
Water pump repair?


I have a question about water pump. I know that it should be replaced, but I was just wondering - since the water pump is mechanical and in my case only the bearing has gone bad (the cooling system still works, there is only noise and the WP shaft is moving sideways), is it possible to repair water pump by changing only the bearing? I haven't had the chance yet to remove and take a look at the water pump so I don't know whether it is possible or not.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:28 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
You can't just replace the bearing, you need a new pump.
Don't wait until its too late!
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:48 AM
ricratcat ricratcat is offline
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I learned that the hard way! When my water pump went out, it sent the fan blade into the radiator. I endeded up having to replace the pump fan, and radiador all at the same time!

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Last edited by ricratcat; 01-11-2014 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:20 AM
krekers krekers is offline
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Ok then, thanks for answers and advices. I'm gonna replace the water pump without hesitation.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:39 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
You can't just replace the bearing, you need a new pump.
Hi Jim,
I fully agree with your assessment as to what all we users always do (which is replace the water pump); but, it 'is' just a spinning impeller, so, ... thinking a bit ... and thinking 'smore ... and, not having thought about it before ... but not knowing the answer ... I must also wonder ... why not just replace the impeller, pulley, and bearings?

I mean, what goes wrong with the thing anyway?

Anecdotally, I've seen impellers fly apart in the threads, and, I've seen bearings siezed - but what else goes wrong with them?
- Pictorial look at typical E39 cooling system failure modes (1)

If it is just the impellers and bearings, why not just rebuild the waterpump, just like we do with alternators?

See also:
- What brand of waterpump to buy (1)

EDIT: I'm guessing what can go wrong are bearings seizing, impellers exploding, pulleys cracking, shafts bending, seals tearing, etc.
Impeller failure:

Impeller failure:

Impeller failure:

Bearing failure:

Bearing failure:

Pulley failure:
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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; 01-12-2014 at 01:06 AM.
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