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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 05-20-2016, 05:38 AM
davisenvy davisenvy is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i Sport
300K mi 540i Sport

I know BMW says not to use any oil additives, but my car has 308,000 miles on it. Recently, when the car is warmed up I hear a slight knocking in the front end of my engine. When the engine is cold I don't hear it. I was wondering if an oil additive might increase viscosity and fix my knocking problem. I have been using Mobil 0w-40 for the last 250,000 mi at a 10,000 mi interval. The car burns 1/2 qt between oil changes.

Should I try an additive or thicker oil?

BTW, I'm the original owner.
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2016, 06:25 AM
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Cabover1000 Cabover1000 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 bmw 540i
Have your timing chain guides been done? Try shell rotella 15w-40
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2016, 06:27 AM
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Brandon002 Brandon002 is offline
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An additive or thicker oil is only going to mask the mechanical problem that's causing the knock. Its a band-aid. You need to take a mechanics stethoscope and pinpoint where the noise is coming from. Could be something in the belt system, could be internal. You need to find the source. There's no such thing as a mechanical repair in a bottle.
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2016, 06:32 AM
davisenvy davisenvy is offline
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The timing chain guides have not been done, but from the videos I've seen, the knock doesn't sound anything like any of the videos. Shell Rotella 15-40? You mean the same Shell Rotella I put in my Duramax?
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2016, 06:47 AM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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It could be a timing chain tensioner.
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  #6  
Old 05-20-2016, 07:01 AM
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Cabover1000 Cabover1000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davisenvy View Post
The timing chain guides have not been done, but from the videos I've seen, the knock doesn't sound anything like any of the videos. Shell Rotella 15-40? You mean the same Shell Rotella I put in my Duramax?

With that many miles it's due for chain guides. Yeah that's it
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  #7  
Old 05-20-2016, 07:58 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Do a bottem end... slap a set of rod bearings in it
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  #8  
Old 05-20-2016, 10:30 AM
davisenvy davisenvy is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i Sport
The tensioner was done about 8k miles ago.

I understand there isn't a miracle in a bottle type thing, but the car does have over 300,000 miles on it. Don't the rules change a tad bit at that mileage?

I'm not going to replace the timing chain guides as a preventive measure. I won't be replacing the guides until I am for sure that is the problem. I may not even replace them at all. I've been waiting for this engine to poop out, but it just keeps going. I'm wanting to do an LS swap. I think that would be fun.

It doesn't sound like rod knocking either. I'm not too worried about it. It almost sounds like a VANOS, but my car doesn't have VANOS. I guess time will tell.

Thanks for the help
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  #9  
Old 05-20-2016, 10:37 AM
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Brandon002 Brandon002 is offline
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If it sounds like vanos, is coming from the front of the engine and you don't have vanos it's your chain guides.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2016, 11:09 AM
777-300ER 777-300ER is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport
Drop the oil pan and look for plastic.
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  #11  
Old 05-20-2016, 11:16 AM
bobdmac bobdmac is online now
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If you haven't changed the timing chain guides, I think you hold the record for the highest mileage M62 on the original guides. These usually fail between 140,000-200,000 miles. I replaced mine at 185,000, and the U-shaped reversing rail was badly worn. Once they wear or disintegrate enough to create slack in the timing chain, it can slip a cog and drive the valves into the pistons, lunching your engine. Here's what mine looked like (from my thread Around the M62TU in 80 Hours, More or Less).




Old vs new:

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  #12  
Old 05-23-2016, 11:59 AM
davisenvy davisenvy is offline
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I definitely have not replaced the timing chain guides. I am due for an oil change in 1,000 mi or so, I'll drop the oil pan again and see what's there. The car doesn't burn much oil at all, but its just hard to justify putting $1000 in parts and another $2,000 in labor or 20 plus hours of my time into a 308,000 mile motor. I guess its cheaper than dropping in another one or even a swap.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2016, 01:39 PM
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540 Hammer 540 Hammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davisenvy View Post
I definitely have not replaced the timing chain guides. I am due for an oil change in 1,000 mi or so, I'll drop the oil pan again and see what's there. The car doesn't burn much oil at all, but its just hard to justify putting $1000 in parts and another $2,000 in labor or 20 plus hours of my time into a 308,000 mile motor. I guess its cheaper than dropping in another one or even a swap.
Even though it's more of a band-aid, I can understand you not waanting to do anything major to fix it, especially if you're going to do an LS swap. They're awesome engines - see my signature.

Anyway, I would definetely not be using any 0W-XX oils, no need to, unless you live where it's less than 0*F. I would bump up the oil to a 10W-30 or 40. It cannot hurt. It will also provide a bit more cushion for the worn parts in the engine and may help that knock too. Skip the additives for now. Good Luck!!
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  #14  
Old 05-23-2016, 01:41 PM
jbwbhs jbwbhs is offline
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I have a '97 540i 6 w/ 110,000, not far away, Graham. Working on some leak issues on mine. Would like to talk sometime and hear abut putting those miles on, what problems, etc. Will be replacing Timing cover gaskets before too long, considering guides at the same time. Have you done most of your maint. ?
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  #15  
Old 05-23-2016, 03:31 PM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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OP should really post a video or save Bandwidth and simply upload an audio recording using vocaroo
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  #16  
Old 05-23-2016, 04:38 PM
davisenvy davisenvy is offline
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The noise has definitely gotten louder today. It does sound like the timing chain guides. Guess I'll be dropping the oil pan in the next few days to confirm. I'm torn between a swap and seeing how much longer the M62 will go.
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2016, 06:26 PM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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Mein Auto: 135i, 540i, 528i, r53
If its got good compression why not guides and drive it!
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:33 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Im confused...

you guys are just putting new guides on old chains? or doing a full timing job
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  #19  
Old 05-24-2016, 03:16 AM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Im confused...

you guys are just putting new guides on old chains? or doing a full timing job
I did a chain too but I don't think it was needed,. There is no diff in labor the old chain has to come off to get to the guides
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2016, 04:18 AM
davisenvy davisenvy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Im confused...

you guys are just putting new guides on old chains? or doing a full timing job
To me, it only makes sense to do a full timing job along with new water pump, oil separator, etc. I don't want to go that deep into the engine again if I don't have to.
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  #21  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:35 PM
davisenvy davisenvy is offline
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I got a quote from a shop today for $900 parts and $1,300 labor. They said if it got done sooner, they would charge me less. I'm usually a DIY guy, but I think I'm going to sub this one out. Summer is here and almost lake time. I'll update when I have more info.
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  #22  
Old 05-24-2016, 02:52 PM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisenvy View Post
I got a quote from a shop today for $900 parts and $1,300 labor. They said if it got done sooner, they would charge me less. I'm usually a DIY guy, but I think I'm going to sub this one out. Summer is here and almost lake time. I'll update when I have more info.
id walk away from them...

there is no difference in labor... or difficulty of job depending on how bad the guides are

they have to do the same thing either way..

basically what they are saying is cause your in a tight spot we are going to hit you over the head,
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  #23  
Old 05-24-2016, 02:54 PM
mrblahh mrblahh is offline
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Huh? Seems reasonable they want the work soon so they are giving a discount
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  #24  
Old 05-24-2016, 03:13 PM
berkeleydojah berkeleydojah is offline
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1,300 in labor? That sounds too good to be true. Do they know what they are doing...?
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  #25  
Old 05-24-2016, 03:23 PM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisenvy View Post
I got a quote from a shop today for $900 parts and $1,300 labor. They said if it got done sooner, they would charge me less.


Am i reading that wrong...

that says they would have charged less, if it had done soon....


implying that because you waited and your in a jam.. they are going to charge you more..

that doesnt cover everything im sure...

its about 12-1300 for the parts alone
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Last edited by Burning2nd; 05-24-2016 at 03:28 PM.
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