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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 11-24-2010, 03:22 AM
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How bad is this mistake in putting my cooling system back together?

Break it to me gently.

I read every cooling system overhaul DIY and didn't make any of the mistakes the DIYs warned me about when doing my overhaul (just finished it this morning at 2am).

Unfortunately, I found a handful of new mistakes to make (which I'll warn other about in due time).

Right now, the biggest of the "new" mistakes is I think I routed the corrugated wire too close to the fan.

I'm not sure where the wire was "supposed" to go (I'm guessing behind the thermostat housing instead of in front of it).

How bad a mistake do you think this is?

If I have to re-route that wire that goes to the thermostat housing and then to both sides of the engine, do you think I can find an end to disconnect and fish it behind the thermostat housing instead of removing the thermostat housing?

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  #2  
Old 11-24-2010, 03:37 AM
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I can't tell from the picture but this does not look like a "bad" mistake. If you have adequate clearance (and it looks like you might based on where the thermostat housing ends) between the fan blade and the wiring harness, leave it be. As a precaution, you can zip tie the wiring harness to the housing to prevent any possible movement. Unless there is a major reason to reroute the harness (insufficient length to reach connector or interference with fan blades), I would just leave it be.
BTW, your lessons learned are extremely valuable and useful to those of us who are about to do this job. Hopefully, it will not result in an major rework for you.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:18 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:32 AM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I can't tell from the picture but this does not look like a "bad" mistake. If you have adequate clearance (and it looks like you might based on where the thermostat housing ends) between the fan blade and the wiring harness, leave it be. As a precaution, you can zip tie the wiring harness to the housing to prevent any possible movement. Unless there is a major reason to reroute the harness (insufficient length to reach connector or interference with fan blades), I would just leave it be.
BTW, your lessons learned are extremely valuable and useful to those of us who are about to do this job. Hopefully, it will not result in an major rework for you.
+1 Agreed. Like he said, be sure it is tied in place with a tie that will not cut into the line.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2010, 06:22 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Without running outside and looking at my engine I can't be certain but I believe I routed that harness wiring to the rear of the oil filter instead of in front like you have it. You might need to momentarily unplug the connector and remove the oil filter cap to do that (if the harness wire won't squeeze between it and the edge of the intake manifold....).
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2010, 07:45 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Bluebee,

The current location is no good, risk of touching the Fan Blade.

Nut no need to take anything apart. Just re-route it.

This Double Vanos has all the pics you need:
http://beisansystems.com/procedures/vanos_procedure.htm

Specifically this pic tells it all, note the wiring runs behind the oil filter housing cap and the behind the tstat housing:

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  #7  
Old 11-24-2010, 09:17 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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If you worked until 2 am on it, and this is your biggest problem, you're doing great.

Is it touching the fan? If not, ziptie it somewhere and call it a day. I suspect it's too short and not bendy enough to reroute without taking some stuff apart.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2010, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90
The current location is no good, risk of touching the Fan Blade.
Sadly, reluctantly, frustratingly [shakes head in resignation], I think I must agree.

I went back to the pics (I took over a thousand), and I see this is the step where I screwed up! It's when I put in the larger 13mm bolt of the four bolts of the thermostat housing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90
the wiring runs behind the oil filter housing cap and the behind the tstat housing
While I clearly see and understand your excellent wire-routing picture in the post I'm responding to, I wonder if the wire officially (originally) went between the oil filter housing and the power steering reservoir (and then in back of the thermostat housing large bolt).


I may be wrong, but I surmise the OEM wire routing was between the oil filter housing and the power steering reservoir partially because I had to cut a tie wrap (shown below) at that upper radiator bleed screw which held the corrugated wire hose.

So, I'm absolutely positive the wire was tie wrapped next to the bleed screw.

I'm less positive WHERE it came from (i.e., whether it was behind the oil filter housing or if it was in between the oil filter housing and the power steering reservoir). While I'd like to know that answer, it's less important whether it goes behind the OFH or between the OFH and the PS reservoir than the fact that it's now about a half inch (or less) from the fan.




Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90
no need to take anything apart. Just re-route it.
Don't I have to remove the fan shroud, again? Auuurrrrrrrgggghhh!

Tell me, please, (oh pretty please), that I can re-route the wire WITHOUT having to (yet again) remove that ferstugenuh radiator shroud?

Can't I just find a place to unclip it and send it through w/o removing the fan shroud (it seems to go to the thermostat and then on to somewhere near the VANOS); but I'm not sure where it comes from on the drivers side of the engine in back). The clips are too big to fit on the termination side; but maybe (oh please) I can unclip it from where ever it comes from on the drivers side in back of the engine? (looking up in real oem to see if that gives me a clue).
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Last edited by bluebee; 11-24-2010 at 10:23 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2010, 10:11 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Bluebee,

- Disconnect the wiring connector.
- If necessary, remove the Oil Filter Black Cap (36-mm socket) to create space and place Oil Filter Black Cap inside a ziploc bag for cleanliness.
- Then re-route the wiring behind the Oil Filter Housing.
- Then re-install the Oil Filter Black Cap.

Simple as 1-2-3.

Are you done with writing the cooling PhD thesis?

PS: I borrowed this pic from another thread, you can see that once the Oil Filter Black Cap is removed, you have a lot of space to work on:


Last edited by cn90; 11-24-2010 at 10:15 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2010, 03:31 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
remove the Oil Filter Black Cap (36-mm socket)
OMG! That's a great idea. I didn't think of that. Yes, it just might work. I'll try and report back.

BTW, I'm not sure if the wire "properly" goes behind the oil filter housing or between the OFH and the power steering reservoir.

I noticed in your first picture, it was routed behind the OFH; yet in that second picture you so kindly dug up, it's wired in between. I dug up one of the earlier pictures of this job and mine was routed in between also.

That doens't mean it's the right place; but it does mean that some of us have it behind and the others have it in between. I wonder what the OEM routing path is (I'll check realoem).

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  #11  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I wonder what the OEM routing path is (I'll check realoem).
Well, maybe I missed it; but I searched all of realoem and didn't ever even find that wire, let alone its proper routing path.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:19 PM
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My fiancée just got home from work; here's what mine looks like. Note the fan clutch in the corner to give perspective. Chances are pretty high that it's moved though, the car seems to have the cooling done 1.5 times
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Last edited by bmw_n00b13; 11-24-2010 at 04:49 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:34 PM
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This is OEM...




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  #14  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:48 PM
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Here's what mine looks like. I did not have a tie wrap on my cable harness. I believe cable harness goes into the wiring box that gets removed when you remove the wiring box to access the CCV. The harness tucks down behind what I believe is the Vanos oil hose. There is one of those large connectors on the wiring box end. The other end has two connectors and one comes off the middle. The middle connector is for the thermostat. The other two are for the CPS and the Vanos solenoid. See the Beisan procedure for better pictures. I don't think you'll be able to fit that connector in there without disassembling things. That's just a guess.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Here's what mine looks like.
Oh oh. While I see your thermostat/VANOS wire loom goes between the OFH and the PS reservoir, there's a problem if I interpret that picture correctly.

It appears (hard to tell though) that your loom is in FRONT of the thermostat, just like mine. That is a big mistake (if I interpret the pic correctly). If so, how long have you been driving that way? For me, it has been one day.

Someone else ... please take a look to confirm or deny that premise.



PS: You're missing this tie wrap; but that's no big deal.
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm635 View Post
This is OEM...
Wow. I don't know how you do it, but, those two pictures are perfect.
From them, we can see the VANOS/Thermostat loom goes UNDER the OFH bracket, then BETWEEN the OFH and the PS reservoir, and then gets tie wrapped by the bleed screw (no doubt to keep it in place), and then (it's a little hard to tell) and then it ducks UNDER the engine-hook/thermostat housing 13mm bolt.

The only part hard to tell in those pics is how it ducks under the thermostat bolt (I looked all over realoem and couldn't even find the loom, let alone where it is routed).

But, I think there's only one way it can duck under the thermostat housing 13mm bolt (which also holds the engine hook).
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  #17  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Here's what mine looks like.
Aha! This very clearly shows that the engine VANOS/Thermostat loom ducks UNDER the thermostat housing 13mm bolt. I'll fix mine now that we're totally sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I did not have a tie wrap on my cable harness.
I was gonna say that ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
There is one of those large connectors on the wiring box end. ... I don't think you'll be able to fit that connector in there
Drat. I was afraid of that.

I think I'll do as cn90 suggested and see if it works.

If that fails, I'll just bite the bullet and remove the fan shroud, yet again (that fan-shroud-removal is getting repetitive like a DICE battery reboot procedure).

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  #18  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:14 PM
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Three pictures show three different configurations! Those Bavarian elves must love to mix things up, just to break up the production line monotony. Even mmm635's doesn't go behind the Vanos oil screw, more like under it, but it's held in place with a tie wrap. Seeing as n00b13's harness goes where yours goes and he doesn't even have the tie wrap, I think you can save yourself some work and just tie wrap it in place. Use two to be safe. However, I totally understand if you want to "get it right".
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:14 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
1. It appears (hard to tell though) that your loom is in FRONT of the thermostat, just like mine. That is a big mistake (if I interpret the pic correctly). (Someone else take a look to confirm or deny that premise.)

2. You are missing the tie wrap connecting the loom to the hose at the bleeder screw location (see the realoem picture below of the tie wrap).

3. Your protective plastic loom looks like it was cut or that the electrical tape around the bare wires is mising (mine doesn't have bare wires showing and the loom appears continuous ... from memory ... but I'll check on that).

Anyway, #1 is the real problem. It's the same problem I have, if I interpret your picture correctly.
1. Could be. No problems after 5000km of driving.
2. Yeah. Noticed that, had a bunch of zip-tying to do, and forgot to do it before leaving.
3 Used car dealer hack job probably.
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Last edited by bmw_n00b13; 11-24-2010 at 05:17 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:32 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Interestingly, my M52 (1998 528i) has no wiring for that because it has only 1 CPS. M54 has 2 CPS's.

Here is my setup:

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  #21  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:53 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Bluebee--I deleted my first responce about this--but hell here goes--zip tie the sucker--mine is zip tied to the
engine host bracket--main thing is not to let the wires get to the fan blades--zip tie works fine
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  #22  
Old 11-24-2010, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
main thing is not to let the wires get to the fan blades
I don't disagree. What's important is the fan can't touch the wires.

However, it's interesting to see that some people have this (I think it's Vanos/CPS/Thermostat) loom in front of the thermostat housing, while others have it behind. Some route the loom between the PS reservoir and OFH, while others route it around the OFH. Some are zip tied, most are not.

Seems to me, no matter how we "choose" to route it, we should at least want to know the 'proper' way that BMW initially intended.

Too bad realoem failed me on that endeavor. I'll take a look to see if the Bentleys have a good pic of the intended routing.

Last edited by bluebee; 11-24-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-24-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Interestingly, my M52 (1998 528i) has no wiring for that because it has only 1 CPS. M54 has 2 CPS's.
What should we call this engine wire loom?

It seems to go to the VANOS, and the thermostat, and even the CPS.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I don't disagree. What's important is the fan can't touch the wires.

However, it's interesting to see that some people have this (I think it's Vanos/CPS/Thermostat) loom in front of the thermostat housing, while others have it behind. Some route the loom between the PS reservoir and OFH, while others route it around the OFH. Some are zip tied, most are not.

Seems to me, no matter how we "choose" to route it, we should at least want to know the 'proper' way that BMW initially intended.

Too bad realoem failed me on that endeavor. I'll take a look to see if the Bentleys have a good pic of the intended routing.
For the 2002 M54, my pictures show the exact oem configuration. My car was virgin when I got and I am the only one that has done any work on it other than the dealer that did the first three oil changes. I had to remove the oem zip tie and replaced it when I put everything back to the OEM configuration during the cooling system overhaul.

I have more pics. I will see about posting them up.
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  #25  
Old 11-24-2010, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm635 View Post
have more pics. I will see about posting them up.
Thanks Michel,
Yours seems to be the most pristine so far. No matter how we choose to route that engine top loom, we should know where BMW intended it to go.

The key point at the moment is precisely where it goes at the point of the engine hook. Some pictures look like it's just "under" the hook but IIRC, it can't go there, I think it has to go BEHIND the plate for the hook.

So that's the key area (it needs a side pic).
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