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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 09-11-2010, 07:29 PM
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530iman 530iman is offline
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front wheel bearings and hub

150000 miles and my front wheels make a humm noise i have searched the forum and found it to be the wheel bearings or hub its all one unit. i make a left turn and the sound goes away right turn and its still present straight ahead still there. I cannot find a DIY for the wheel bearings on a 2001 530i. Also the F.A.G brand is oem and highly recommended but i cannot get them for three to five days. Is it safe to still drive the car its my only vehicle I have found some readily available but not OEM and i dont want to install inferior parts. My drive to work is about 15 to 20 miles one way what should i do. Any asdvice is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2010, 07:58 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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- Search forum, and you will find DIY.
- Yes use F.A.G. brand, it is OEM.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2010, 11:06 PM
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I jacked up the car around midnight to check the front for play. I did the 12o clock to 6o clock and the 3 to 9 and felt no play wheel was tightly secured so I'm guessing the wheel bearing and hubs are good on the front. When checking the rear hub can the same techniques be applied? What else can make the growl hum type noise I'm hearing? I'm gonna call my indy tomorrow and ask him also. I have searched the forum with key words hub, wheel bearing, front hub DIY and also looked for cn90 post which I read about in another post. I'm confused and tired at this point but thought someone who has experienced this would chime in. My tires are good so that isn't it either I will start over tomorrow examining other possibility's.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2010, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iman View Post
I jacked up the car around midnight to check the front for play. I did the 12o clock to 6o clock and the 3 to 9 and felt no play wheel was tightly secured so I'm guessing the wheel bearing and hubs are good on the front. When checking the rear hub can the same techniques be applied? What else can make the growl hum type noise I'm hearing? I'm gonna call my indy tomorrow and ask him also. I have searched the forum with key words hub, wheel bearing, front hub DIY and also looked for cn90 post which I read about in another post. I'm confused and tired at this point but thought someone who has experienced this would chime in. My tires are good so that isn't it either I will start over tomorrow examining other possibility's.
Worn tires. I know you say your tires are good. But for tires to hum they don't need to be worn out. Just worn. They can be in their half life point, and make noise. And some brands are noisier than others.

Check the customer's feedback for your brand at tirerack.com.

mw
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Last edited by MatWiz; 09-12-2010 at 06:32 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2010, 05:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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This is the DIY for Front suspension overhaul. So just pay attention to steps that get you to bearing, if you get to Step#10, then once the steering knuckle is dropped down a bit from the Strut Tube, then the 4 bolts holding the wheel bearing are right there. They require a lot of force to remove, so get a 2-foot section of iron pipe (the one used for natural gas piping at hardware store) or impact gun:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=399580

Here is another good DIY:
http://www.zeckhausen.com/E39_Bearings.htm

PS: If you have not done any Front suspension work, time to do a front suspension overhaul and change the bearings at the same time.

At 150K miles, your bearing remaining life is limited, so it is not a bad idea to change them now, it is a common failure even at 90K. Then after changing the bearings, if the noise still persists then address the tire issues. Or you can reverse the order: address the tire issues first, either approach is fine: your choice.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2010, 05:31 AM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Any chance you have a Vanos problem.
Google Besian systems and search this site.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2010, 06:12 AM
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I had the exact same symptoms on my 528. You wont feel looseness on these bearings like an old 70's Ford. If you do , its way over due! My right front bearing was making a lot of noise, I think during right turns, and the only way to tell it was bad was to take the wheel off and swing the brake caliper off and feel it as the disc was rotated. There was a slight roughness and a crunching could be heard as it was being turned. You cant detect that with the tire on.

The replacement would be an easy job if it weren't for one of the four bolts that hold the hub on. One is hidden behind the shock tube. That one bolt causes you to have to take the shock tube out, and disconnect some of the suspension.
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2010, 08:57 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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The bearings should do you OK until you can arange to have them fixed--you would be advised to replace the front struts as well when doing this along with the control arms--rear shocks along with this. Your going to have t9o have the front end aligned again --so do the job correctly and get it over with--EAC Tuning can help with all the parts and ship in goo time to you.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2010, 11:19 AM
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Thanks guys much thanks to cn90 and poolman. I thought I should be able to wiggle the tire with the bad hub but one poster said thats not the case with his 528 and I swear its coming from the right front. I cant understand why the PO replaced the entire suspension but not the hubs I guess they were ok. Going to take the wheel off and listen for noise as i turn the rotor as one poster has suggested. I will update to let you guys know exactly what the problem was.
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2010, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
I had the exact same symptoms on my 528. You wont feel looseness on these bearings like an old 70's Ford. If you do , its way over due! My right front bearing was making a lot of noise, I think during right turns, and the only way to tell it was bad was to take the wheel off and swing the brake caliper off and feel it as the disc was rotated. There was a slight roughness and a crunching could be heard as it was being turned. You cant detect that with the tire on.

The replacement would be an easy job if it weren't for one of the four bolts that hold the hub on. One is hidden behind the shock tube. That one bolt causes you to have to take the shock tube out, and disconnect some of the suspension.
Im going outside to try this method know THANKS.
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  #11  
Old 09-12-2010, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
This is the DIY for Front suspension overhaul. So just pay attention to steps that get you to bearing, if you get to Step#10, then once the steering knuckle is dropped down a bit from the Strut Tube, then the 4 bolts holding the wheel bearing are right there. They require a lot of force to remove, so get a 2-foot section of iron pipe (the one used for natural gas piping at hardware store) or impact gun:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=399580

Here is another good DIY:
http://www.zeckhausen.com/E39_Bearings.htm

PS: If you have not done any Front suspension work, time to do a front suspension overhaul and change the bearings at the same time.

At 150K miles, your bearing remaining life is limited, so it is not a bad idea to change them now, it is a common failure even at 90K. Then after changing the bearings, if the noise still persists then address the tire issues. Or you can reverse the order: address the tire issues first, either approach is fine: your choice.
Changed my two front tires today. I purchased 6 contisport contact when i bought the style 42 rims. I just swapped out the front two for the new ones that were never installed and no difference so it must be the hub.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iman View Post
Changed my two front tires today. I purchased 6 contisport contact when i bought the style 42 rims. I just swapped out the front two for the new ones that were never installed and no difference so it must be the hub.
Right.

How was the result of that test you're doing?

mw
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  #13  
Old 09-12-2010, 01:48 PM
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checked all four still cant hear anything. Once i get past 10 or 15 MPH it sounds like what a bicycle rim with a card in it sounds. Im pretty sure most of us know what that sounds like. Guess I will replace the front two hubs and if it continues replace the rear as well as cn90 stated they are due for replacement anyway and i plan on keeping the car forever yes forever it will be with me when i need a rocking chair and then i will sit on the porch and admire its beauty.
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:41 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iman View Post
checked all four still cant hear anything. Once i get past 10 or 15 MPH it sounds like what a bicycle rim with a card in it sounds. Im pretty sure most of us know what that sounds like. Guess I will replace the front two hubs and if it continues replace the rear as well as cn90 stated they are due for replacement anyway and i plan on keeping the car forever yes forever it will be with me when i need a rocking chair and then i will sit on the porch and admire its beauty.
That is not a "hum" sound is it? You might try a search on your expression there, I think I recall seeing other posts about that kind of noise.... Maybe brake shield rubbing against something, or driveshaft or ...
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  #15  
Old 09-12-2010, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
That is not a "hum" sound is it? You might try a search on your expression there, I think I recall seeing other posts about that kind of noise.... Maybe brake shield rubbing against something, or driveshaft or ...
Maybe he has one of those in there?

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...68#post5421068

mw
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  #16  
Old 09-12-2010, 03:53 PM
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I posted a video on you tube "e39 wheel bearing" I drove probably a thousand miles with the hum. Not a great idea to let it go that long, but check it out and turn up the volume. I used my iPhone to record.
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2010, 04:35 AM
elambchops elambchops is offline
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Mein Auto: 530D E39 BMW
Hi Guys, hope you can help me, I am confident the front nearside wheel bearing on my E39 530D is on its way out as it clicks, I have bought one new bearing and intend to buy a second to fit to the offside, at the moment the weather has put it all on hold, however, while sat her thinking about it all it has crossed my mind on how does the ABS sensor pick up the signal as the bearing I have does not have a toothed ring as other vehicles do, I am unable to get under the car to see what the sensor does pick up a signal on at the moment, could anyone advise?

Also I have a whine from the rear of the car at 70 mph which I think could be the rear wheel bearings or maybe the tyres, has anybody had anything like this problem? it does not occur at lower speeds

Big Dave

Last edited by elambchops; 12-30-2010 at 04:36 AM.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2010, 09:37 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Here is another good DIY
Whenever someone quotes a good link, I try to add that to the bestlinks thread so that the next time, anyone can quote the same link (and newbies can find it themselves without asking).

Please check these links as I've never had this problem and so haven't done an exhaustive search on wheel bearing DIYs.

Here's what we have so far by way of tribal knowledge:
- Front axle suspension & wheel bearing installation (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
- Rear axle suspension & wheel bearing installation DIY (1)
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  #19  
Old 04-19-2013, 02:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here's one from today, by way of cross reference:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > e39 front wheel bearings pwn'd 2 1/2 hours
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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
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  #20  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:33 PM
Aussie528iT Aussie528iT is offline
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elambchops,
The speed sensor ring is inbuilt into the wheel bearing oil seal.

RonR
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  #21  
Old 04-20-2013, 03:39 AM
uncmozo uncmozo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie528iT View Post
elambchops,
The speed sensor ring is inbuilt into the wheel bearing oil seal.

RonR
Absolutely correct!
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