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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 06-30-2010, 09:57 PM
mwalam mwalam is offline
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Belt Replacement Mishap

Guys,

I think I created a bigger problem while trying to replace the belts in the car. Was trying to replace the AC and Main serpentine belt.

Looked online and did not find clear directions on how to remove the fan shroud and fan. I found c90's Diy, but he started with after removing the fan shroud. Anyway found Besian's instructions and was following those.

However, when I came to unhooking the clip from the radiator, I managed to break something ..

Pic 1 (A) Shows the clip / part I was trying to open
Pic 1 (B) shows the area which snaped / broke

Pic 2 (C) shows the part / area after it was broken.

This is on top of the radiator on the driver's side.

Any help on how to fix / resolve this greatly appreciated.

-Ron

P.S. The car is 2003 525 (incase that makes a difference)
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Last edited by mwalam; 06-30-2010 at 10:02 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2010, 10:15 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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Bad news, its part of the radiator. Maybe it's time for that cooling system overhaul you've been planning. Here is a good price on that new radiator.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2010, 10:31 PM
mwalam mwalam is offline
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I looked at the website (autohaus) ad searching for radiator shows a part , radiator hose.. is it possible to replace this part without replacing the whole radiator ? Part number shown is 0005000894 (Radiator Hose, 90 Degree Elbow Fitting on Top of Radiator for Drain).

How would get the broken piece out?

Also, how do I disconnect the expansion tank from the fan shroud? Is it attached via a screw or something to the fan shroud? I managed teo disconnect the fan shroud, but the expansion tank is still stuck to it (opened the bleeder screw already).

Thank for all you help guys..

Last edited by mwalam; 06-30-2010 at 10:59 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2010, 11:28 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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There are two little tabs, one on either side of the bleeder screw, when both are pushed GENTLY toward the screw, the clip that holds the expansion tank will lift off. As far as that elbow, my 540 is different, but it does indeed look like you may be able to just replace the small part. Quite a savings of time and money if it works. For $2, I would sure give it a try. I might even go to the dealer and pay full price to get the item right away. I checked my Bentleys and its no help on replacing this item, but once you have a new one in hand you should see how it was held in, and poss how to get the broken part out. Good Luck.

And if you have never done a cooling system overhaul this maybe the car's way of giving you a hint.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2010, 12:33 AM
mwalam mwalam is offline
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I did remove the cap around the bleeder screw. Also took it out of the small hole around the bleeder screw.

However, the bottom of the expansion tank seems to be attached to the fan shroud.. is there any attachments/ clips there?
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2010, 05:47 AM
poolman poolman is online now
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Go back to Besian's and reread what is there--what your searching for is there.
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2010, 08:20 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwalam View Post
I found c90's Diy, but he started with after removing the fan shroud.
I've been exhorting Cam to buy a newer E39 so that his instructions would exactly fit ours (mine is a 2002 525, yours a 2003). I think we later-model E39 owners need to gather up a fund to buy a junkyard 1999 to 2003 project car for Cam so he can write that DIY we need! The Bentleys are not enough or people like me (who don't have much experience)...

The point is, there is apparently a dearth of step-by-step DIYs for our model years (maybe it's time we write 'em!)...

Here are the best I could find (cut and pasted from the best-links thread):
- aioros (1999-2003)
- cn90 (1997-1998, not for my model or year - Cam get a new E39!)
- pelican (not for my model or year - nor yours)
- cn90 refill M52/M54 coolant

- Coolants recommended by BMW)
- E39 fan and shroud removal (Besian)

BTW, I tried, in text, to piece together all the dissimilar procedures, and gave up after a while because it was just a mess (here's proof below but don't follow it 'cuz it's a mess).

Description of system:
- BMW 2002 525i;M54 engine;A5S.325Z automatic transmission;
- belt-driven mechanical cooling fan with viscous clutch (controls fan speed)
- cooling cassette in front of the radiator (cools the ATF, PS, oil, & AC)
- air-cooled alternator with multi-function control (120 amp or 140 amp?)
- electrically-heated thermostat integral with the plastic housing (so you can't use the aluminum thermostat housing replacement)
- auxiliary electric cooling fan
- ??? is anything else important to note for a cooling system or belt DIY ???

- A couple days before the job, clean all white stains off radiator parts
- Before you do the job (days later), look for new white stains to pinpoint culprits
On the day of the cooling system overhaul (may as well do the belt drive system at the same time):
- Lift car & place jack stands (or drive up on ramps)
- Set parking brake, and chock rear wheels
- With a 10mm box wrench, remove battery negative cable
- Apply WD40 to fan clutch nut
- Follow besian fan shroud removal instructions
- From below, remove under-engine plastic shroud (9 Phillips head screws)
- Let the engine cool down.
- Draw a diagram of the belt pathways.
- Twirl fan blade; check that fan clutch spins it twice after you let it go (not sure the point???)
- Disconnect coolant hoses from fan shroud bottom
- Disconnect auxiliary water pump electrical connector at bottom corner.
- Remove upper radiator fan shroud
- Remove fan clutch
- Remove fan
- Check plastic expansion tank for white leakage residue stains
- Check thermostat housing edges for white leakage residue stains
- Check coolant level (why bother?)
- Drain radiator (if removing) ... not sure how to drain though ???
- Loosen radiator upper hose clamp & remove hose end from radiator
- Loosen radiator lower hose clamp & remove hose end from radiator
- Remove clips that hold the radiator
- Remove sensors from radiator (how many?)
- Put an oil catch pan under the transmission cooler
- Remove 2 automatic transmission connectors to the radiator
- Remove transmission thermostat
- Remove power steering reservoir hose end from expansion tank
- Remove coolant level sensor from the expansion tank
- Remove expansion tank
- Remove radiator
- Remove all pieces from old radiator onto new radiator
- Place allen wrench in alignment holes in mechanical tensioner
- T50 Torx (or allen?) on tensioner to loosen to remove belt
- Remove the four nuts on the water pump pulley
- Remove four 10mm bolts on water pump

Parts:
one gallon BMW antifreeze & 1 gallon distilled water ($25)
[ ] expansion tank with float and stick
[ ] fan blades ($25)
[ ] thermostat ($50)
[ ] thermostat housing & gasket (consider MTC brand with aluminum housing) ($30)
[ ] bleeder screws (consider brass at $10/set)
[ ] GMB is OE, Bosch, water pump with o-ring & composite impeller (consider metal impellers,
e.g., Hepu ($75), Geba (heavy cast metal impeller, bearings sometimes fail),
Graf welded steel impeller (occasional bearing failure), or Stewart (best).
- 1 fan
- 1 upper radiator hose ($10)
- 1 lower radiator hose ($10)
- 1 thermostat hose ($10)
- 1 radiator bypass hose ($10)
- 1 expansion tank ($50)
- 1 radiator, consider Nissens better than Behr ($175)
- 1 radiator cap ($10)
- 1 automatic-transmission thermostat (may break when removing expansion tank)
- 1 coolant level sensor (bottom of expansion tank); can re-use old one
- 1 coolant temp sensor (lower radiator hose)
- 1 coolant temp sensor O-ring (often fails in re-use of temp sensor)
- 1 radiator drain plug ($10)
- 1 engine block water drain plug ($5)
- 1 engine block water drain plug crush washer
- 1 coolant reservoir mounting clip ($5)
[ ] water pump
[ ] water pump gasket
[ ] water pump pulley
[ ] four water pump pulley bolts & nuts

Drive Belt System Overhaul:
[ ] idler roller
[ ] idler pulley
[ ] mechanical tensioners, includes roller (two)
[ ] fan clutch, consider Sachs ($100)

Tools to consider purchasing:
- 1 cooling fan counterhold wrench BMW 11.5.030; pulley holding tool (ZDMack)
- 1 thin 32 mm long box-crescent combination wrench (
- 1 heavy mallet to bang on 32mm combination wrench
- 1 alternator pulley nut removal tool BMW 12.7.110
- 1 can anti-sieze

Note: The 32mm wrench needs to be thin (e.g., SIR Tools 1032T, Samstag Sales).
Note: Wrench and pulley holder tool available from Samstag Sales in TN.


Last edited by bluebee; 07-01-2010 at 08:27 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2010, 08:32 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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mwalam,

For now, leave the broken plastic pieces inside the radiator, no harm, don't worry.
Buy the 90-degree elbow and fix it for now.

As I always tell people, a broken nipple (your case) is just the beginning. Many many plastic parts will fail very soon.
So time to gather a list of Parts and get moving on a cooling overhaul.

Combine these 2 DIYs and you should be OK. Contact Mark@EACTuning.com for help. They have good parts/prices.

1998 528i Info:
http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986

1999-2003 Info ("aioros" DIY):
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=442933


PS: Next time for belt replacement, no need to play with the radiator nipple.
- Remove the Fan Clutch and set it inside the fan shroud.
- Remove bottom splash shield to make access to AC belt easier (car on wood ramps).
- Change belts.

Last edited by cn90; 07-01-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2010, 01:02 PM
maher528 maher528 is offline
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The expansion tank fits into a slot on the fan shroud and and be removed by pulling it up towards you but ONLY after you disconnect the two hoses connected to the bottom of the tank. The hoses are held by metal clips which should be visible when you shine a light down towards them. If you are going to remove the expansion tank, have some coolant ready as you are going to loose a lot of it when removing the expansion tank.
Let me know if you need more help.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2010, 04:34 PM
mwalam mwalam is offline
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I am off hunting to see if the stealer or any of the indy's locally have the 90 degree part.. hoping someone locally has it as opposed to waiting to get it shipped..
once I get it.. Do i just shove it in ?? or is there a procedure for it ?

Already lost a lot of coolant from the broken nipple .. and I had just gotten a coolant flush done .. :-(
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2010, 08:27 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Put a little of grease on the nipple O-ring and slide it in.
When clamping the hose back (factory is "Oetiker" type clamp), you can use a standard clamp. Just clamp it snugly but remember to turn the screw side down, otherwise you won't be able to refit the fan shroud.

Basically it should look like this:


Last edited by cn90; 07-02-2010 at 07:16 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2010, 08:31 PM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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Um, this is a real bummer since I changed both belts in a matter of minutes with no more than a wrench or two to release the tensioners. I didn't take ANYTHING off and was able to do both belts just fine. Sorry to hear you caused more damage than good.
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2010, 08:33 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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True, but count it as a blessing the original poster discovered that he is sitting on a time bomb (broken nipple).
Things happen for a reason...
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2010, 09:19 PM
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supradupe supradupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwalam View Post
Guys,

I think I created a bigger problem while trying to replace the belts in the car. Was trying to replace the AC and Main serpentine belt.

Looked online and did not find clear directions on how to remove the fan shroud and fan. I found c90's Diy, but he started with after removing the fan shroud. Anyway found Besian's instructions and was following those.
Well, the belts can be changed without removing the fan and fan shroud. You can loop the accessory belt out through the existing opening/space. I did it that way, surprising easy. I have a 2003 525i also.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:41 PM
mwalam mwalam is offline
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Finally done.. found the replacement nipple at the dealership ($3.10) ... part # 17-11-0-419-132 .. does not show up in RealOEM or any of the pics the dealer has..

The AC belt can be easily done from the bottom .. next time around I will try the main belt without taking the fan shroud out ... This was first time replacing belts on any car.. hopefully next time things will be smoother..

Managed to break the nipple while trying to open the original Oetiker clamp .. did replace with the clamp shown in c90's pic

Thanks for all you help guys..
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2010, 04:12 AM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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Though I agree changing parts out can usually benefit a car, the entire car is a time bomb. I try to just drive it and not work on it. I'm bound to break something.
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  #17  
Old 07-02-2010, 07:14 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supradupe View Post
Well, the belts can be changed without removing the fan and fan shroud. You can loop the accessory belt out through the existing opening/space. I did it that way, surprising easy. I have a 2003 525i also.
Yes,

But if there is already anti-seize on the fan clutch, removing the fan cluth is a 30-second job.
Then the belt job is much much easier with the fan clutch off resting inside the fan shroud.

RE: Nipple PN 17-11-0-419-132. When you buy a new radiator (Behr or Nissens), the nipple is included with it.
This is why it is not found in realoem.com.

BTW, seriously check all service records and do a cooling overhaul.
Your broken nipple is basically the 1st "brush with death" experience.

Last edited by cn90; 07-02-2010 at 07:29 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2010, 07:52 AM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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Not to start a fire storm, but my 43 year old Austin Mini sat for 28 years on a shelf in a barn. I put the engine back in (from the barn basement) and drove it over 20,000 miles. Granted I replaced the water hoses and clutch plate, but why are these e39s like a Ming vase in an earthquake? Though they are far more technologically advanced, is the plastic really that delicate? Is the metal less quality?
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2010, 08:31 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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This is uncofrimed but appreantly there is some European government recycle law that says plastic has to be recycled blah blah blah.

OK if you build a chair out of recycle plastic but for a car, if they decide to use any plastic, it should be brand new plastic when used in a cooling system

FWIW, in the Volvo 850, S/V70 series, the Valeo radiator easily lasts 200K miles. The plastic used in Valeo radiator is probably different grade than the German plastic used in Behr.
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  #20  
Old 07-02-2010, 09:44 AM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
This is uncofrimed but appreantly there is some European government recycle law that says plastic has to be recycled blah blah blah.

OK if you build a chair out of recycle plastic but for a car, if they decide to use any plastic, it should be brand new plastic when used in a cooling system

FWIW, in the Volvo 850, S/V70 series, the Valeo radiator easily lasts 200K miles. The plastic used in Valeo radiator is probably different grade than the German plastic used in Behr.
Check the pressure cap on that Volvo, I doubt that they are running a 30 psi system like the BMW. I think that is the biggest contributing factor to cooling system woes in E39's.
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Last edited by chiefwej; 07-02-2010 at 09:46 AM.
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  #21  
Old 07-02-2010, 10:26 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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HA!
I did that!
Broke that little L piece!
I was installing the replacement vanos seals at the time, and was removing the fan and shroud.
I had to flush the expansion tank to get all the plastic bits out!

Good times!
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:30 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
Check the pressure cap on that Volvo, I doubt that they are running a 30 psi system like the BMW. I think that is the biggest contributing factor to cooling system woes in E39's.
Chief,

Volvo cap goes to 21 psi:
http://www.ipdusa.com/version.asp?st...=398&V_ID=7953

The key part is Valeo makes radiator for Volvo.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2010, 11:07 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwalam View Post
trying to replace the belts in the [2003 525i] ...
Looked online and did not find clear directions on how to remove the fan shroud and fan. I found c90's Diy, but he started with after removing the fan shroud. Anyway found Besian's instructions and was following those.
Just for the record, for my 2002 525i, today, with a LOT of ad-hoc help, I removed both belts and alternator without touching the fan shroud so it certainly can be done leaving the radiator components in place (despite what it says in the Bentleys).

I only removed the viscous fan clutch using the special 32mm thin long wrench and held the fan bolts with another special tool; but otherwise it didn't require anything special.

Details (with pics) here if you're interested.

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  #24  
Old 07-28-2010, 04:24 AM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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The belts, pulleys, and tensioners can be replaced with only the removal of the fan/clutch and resting it against the radiator. Nothing else needs to be removed.
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  #25  
Old 07-28-2010, 07:38 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm635 View Post
The belts, pulleys, and tensioners can be replaced with only the removal of the fan/clutch
BTW, how DO you replace the tensioner itself with the fan shroud in place?

I removed the fan (and placed it inside the radiator well); but I tried to remove the pulley on the lower mechanical tensioner but with the T50 Torx in place, the fan shroud lip was 1/8" away from the end of the socket, making it impossible to get a wrench on the T50 Torx.

With the fan shroud in place, how does one remove the mechanical tensioner pulley then?

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