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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 12-09-2010, 03:11 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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m54 help

Have a 2002 530i here and lost compression on number 3 cyl for no apparent reason, codes are coming back misfire, what could be the cause of this? No water in the oil, no evidence of overheating.

I had a valve spring suddenly break on my truck one time, out of nowhere, does this engine have any issues like this? It's my friend's car, 140k miles.

Guess it's time for exploratory surgery?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2010, 03:36 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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One or more valves may have hung up on #3.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2010, 03:39 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
One or more valves may have hung up on #3.
Someone local mentioned this to me, is it a common problem?

When I say low compression, it's almost 0, I could see a hung valve. Is there an easy fix, or does the head have to be pulled? Usually if the HG is blown, water/iol will mix and there's at least some compression.

Thanks for the fast response!
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2010, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
One or more valves may have hung up on #3.
Yup! Put a leak down tester on, 100% leakage, took the o2 out of the manifold and can hear the air escaping - took the cam cover off to make sure the valves should be in the closed position. Not sure the the intakes are as well, don't have the intake mani off. Hopefully it's (they) not bent - car ran a little hot, never overheated, the waterpump was leaking as I found out from the car owner.

Gonna try stuffing some rope in the cylinder and turning it over by hand real slow to see if I can free it - same method I use to change valve springs without pulling the head.

The guy is giving me a super clean 87 e30 sedan plus some cash for fixing it, would be nice if the valve can be freed
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2010, 05:35 PM
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Unfortunately I feel one or both of the exhaust valves are bent

Used rope to push the valves up, tried depressing the buckets and they were solid specifying the valves were in the closed position, backed the motor up a little, pulled the rope and tried another leak-down test and the air is still releasing through the exhaust manifold with all the valves in the closed position. It's not at 100% leak-down anymore, though, but 80% is still enough to make the engine misfire.

Guess the head has to come off, sucks, book time calls for 30hrs plus parts to replace a valve.
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2010, 07:20 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Looking for a vanos tool kit, he's gonna pay for it

Will keep you posted with results of procedure.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2010, 02:43 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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check out zdmak.com for tools.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2010, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark@EACTuning View Post
check out zdmak.com for tools.
Thanks! Yeah that's where I ordered them from a after the last post. Got the 5 tool set for $150, killer deal considering they retail for ~$400.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
Got the 5 tool set for $150, killer deal considering they retail for ~$400.
Wow. Those are complicated looking tools.

I will need to do my VANOS some day soon ... I thought all I needed was a 'round tuit ... but it looks like I'll need a bit more than just that ...

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  #10  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:46 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Bluebee,

Your engine is a M54, so it is double vanos and therefore no needs for any special tool whasoever.
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2010, 06:17 AM
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True! I did mine with my own tools. Simple but time consuming.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2010, 06:22 AM
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I think the valve(s) is burnt rather than bent unless something let loose in the cylinder. Either way, it doesn't appear to be a common issue. Good luck with the repair and let us know how it goes.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2010, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Bluebee,

Your engine is a M54, so it is double vanos and therefore no needs for any special tool whasoever.
We are discussing m54 here as well, see title of thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by menhir View Post
True! I did mine with my own tools. Simple but time consuming.
How did you time the cams? The head has to be disassembled. Also did you make a pressure fitting to lock the cams to thier original position?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TemporarySanity View Post
I think the valve(s) is burnt rather than bent unless something let loose in the cylinder. Either way, it doesn't appear to be a common issue. Good luck with the repair and let us know how it goes.

Burnt valve will save me a few bucks since they can be lapped, but generally, wouldn't burnt valves show at least a little pressure on a leak-down? I am getting 80-90% leak.

EDIT: I was hoping to pull the e39 into the shop tonight, but I have this stupid Mercury Cougar that needed a new engine. Well the engine I got was from an auto car, this car is manual. Go it all back together and couldn't find a crank signal, turns out the housing that holds the CPS is different for auto/manual so now the trans and flywheel has to come out to swap the sensor. Stupid engineers must have had a brain fart when they ran across an issue. 7 hours to change one torx bolt w00t!

Last edited by ForcedFirebird; 12-15-2010 at 04:44 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-16-2010, 09:31 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Burnt valve would still have some compression--what I'm wondering about is that it seems like you have a bent valve--how does that happen on one cylinder--you said the guy overheated the car a time or two but
not bad--#3 cylinder is one thats known to fail and develop a crack in the head at that one spot--have read of many on different forums about having to find a new head for the engine because of #3 cylinder cracking and there's not enough material there to make a good weild possable.
Keep with us on this--interesting to find whats gone wrong---
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  #15  
Old 12-16-2010, 10:46 AM
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I am guessing perhaps the valve got hung up and tapped the piston, if it is bent. If it's burnt, it's gotta be looking like Swiss cheese with the amount of leak-down and lack of compression.

Worked from 9pm-1am and got the trans out of the Merc, did I mention ho much I LOVE FWD lol. Have to tear the car apart just to get the trans out, axles, subframe rack, struts blah blah blah, looks funny with just the engine hanging in there without even a frame under it.

I will definitely post up the findings and will take pics for everyone for future reference...

Thanks for all the support so far, all you guys looking out for the measly e30 owner
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  #16  
Old 12-16-2010, 01:26 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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timing tools are absolutely critical in any instance where the head is removed. Why anyone would play russian roulette VS spending on a couple hundred worth of tools or renting them is beyond me.
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  #17  
Old 12-16-2010, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark@EACTuning View Post
timing tools are absolutely critical in any instance where the head is removed. Why anyone would play russian roulette VS spending on a couple hundred worth of tools or renting them is beyond me.
QFT! Specially seeing this is a $2500 job (including parts), skimping a few hundred on tools and risking having to take it back apart isn't an option. Book calls for 25hrs to replace a valve on the m54.

Last edited by ForcedFirebird; 12-16-2010 at 03:19 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-16-2010, 07:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Your engine is a M54... no need for ... special tools
Whew! (But then, didn't I see that the OP, who also has the I6, bought the VANOS tools for $150? I guess he said someone else paid for it, but it doesn't make sense that they'd buy tools that are not needed for the I6.).

Here's apparently what's needed for the V8:
- How to make your own VANOS solenoid socket tool

BTW, this "special" tool helps with the fan clutch nut on both the I6 and the V8, although I do realize many do without it.
- How to make your own fan clutch nut tools

EDIT: I see now that the "tools" needed are for TIMING (not for the VANOS, per se).


Last edited by bluebee; 12-16-2010 at 07:20 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-16-2010, 07:36 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Hi! I'm the OP, and my name is John by the way lol.

I use a 1 1/4 wrench and a hammer to remove the fan clutch on any BMW. Have never had a problem getting them out. Even stubborn ones only require a small mechanic's pry bar between 2 of the bolts that hold the fan on, but that's rare even. Put the open end of the wrench on the clutch (20" long wrench) and give it a good smack.

Yes, I bought the tools and added it to the job. The head is getting disassembled and I want to be sure it's done right the first time. All too many times I see guys on the e30 boards that have cam timing issues when they try to tackle them without the tools, this isn't just working on the Vanos unit.
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  #20  
Old 12-16-2010, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
I use a 1 1/4 wrench and a hammer to remove the fan clutch on any BMW.
Hi John,

Yes, a lot of people use the BFH method; like this!


Others, resort to Atlas-like leverage; like this.


Me? I prefer the more subtle approach; like this.
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  #21  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:08 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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BTW, I don't know WHICH of these tools are needed for your TIMING problem here, but, this home-made tool DIY compendium may help you.

- How to make your own BMW upper timing chain locking tool (1)
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  #22  
Old 12-17-2010, 12:21 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Hi John,

Yes, a lot of people use the BFH method; like this!
**pic**
Others, resort to Atlas-like leverage; like this.
**pic**

Me? I prefer the more subtle approach; like this.
**pic*
HAHA! No BFH here, just a 14oz ball peen works for me. And WHAT is all that leverage needed for? I have never come across a fan clutch that couldn't be removed with the wrench and occasional screwdriver wedged on the pulley bolts as you showed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
BTW, I don't know WHICH of these tools are needed for your TIMING problem here, but, this home-made tool DIY compendium may help you.

- How to make your own BMW upper timing chain locking tool (1)
I needed the fitting for compressed air and the cam locks for the most part, the others came in the kit. I didn't get all the tools in the pic someone posted, just the 5 tool kit.

Trust me, no stranger to fabrication here as that's what I do primarily at my shop. I program CNC machines for a friend and he allows me to use it.

Here's a crank holder I made for removing BMW crank bolts using a drill press and the band saw with about 20 mins of time...




Here's the true merge collectors I made so far for the custom 6-3-1 headers I am making for my m20...



and a few other random tidbits (some you can see on my site http//:60inclusive.com)...

My home made flowbench being calibrated

custom alternator bracket

headers

Wet flow adapters for my friend's flow bench

and another one


and a customer's car at my shop that is being rebuilt from ground up...
http://s158.photobucket.com/albums/t...ods/?start=all


It's not that the tool couldn't be made, but for $165 shipped, I couldn't resist. I have 6 cars at the shop now, in the process of making 8 sets of headers, just finished another batch of big brake adapters for Fiero's, have a stack of heads to port, parts to powdercoat etc etc etc. For me to take the time to make the proper tools, I could have already had several other things done - have to pick and choose your battles sometimes. Perhaps if I had the mill machine in house, I would make them. The machines are in another city that I program and they haven't needed any new programs written lately.

Thanks for all the info so far, just wanted to post pics like everyone else is lol. The owner just called me and was going to have me put the car back together and get rid of it, but I'm glad I was able to build his confidence that it can be repaired. He has heard horror stories about the all aluminum engine.

I don't do repairs on a normal basis, this is a friend who I am helping out and gave him a huge discount on shop labor - just like the Merc that I finished last night. Fabrication, welding, tuning etc is what I enjoy, but repair jobs trickle in (specially the more complicated ones) and the local BMW crowd have seen the work at the shop.

It's a part-time thing as I have a construction company as well, have to do something to support the 4 kids, wife and cancerous mother in law all living under the roof.

Anyways enough of the long wind, heading to the shop now to put the e39 in and pull the cylinder head to see what's what.

-John
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:34 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Sweet work, John!
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Wow John,
You're going to be a great asset to this forum!

For example, if you can make headlight adjusters for us, you'll be a zillionaire!
- A list of your options when your headlight adjusters are broken (1)
- How to make your own headlight adjusters (0) (1) (2) (3)

You might be interested in adding to these threads I've compiled on making your own tools for working on our beloved E39s in the bestlinks thread:
How to make your own E39 specialized tools:
- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)
- How to make your own BMW thrust bushing (or thrust bearing) tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW car ramps (1)
- How to make your own BMW subframe & differential bushings tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW oxygen sensor removal tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW single-VANOS solonoid socket tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW camber & toe-in alignment tools (1)
- How to make your own BMW hella headlight adjusters (1) (2)
- How to make your own BMW rtab removal tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW upper timing chain locking tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW flywheel locking tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW cylinder head bolt removal tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW cam locking nut tool (1)
etc.
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  #25  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:08 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Thanks for the links, and did you happen to see my join date? lol Been here for a while, just don't venture outside the e30 forum much...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=187598

Again, this isn't my e39, it's a friends and knows how things get handled in the shop, have a pretty good e30 group, tho. There's always cars in and out of here, there was 15 bimmers in the parking lot two weeks ago (we g2g Tuesdays), not counting the parts car or client's cars.

Almost got the shop back in order, gonna pull it in soon and see what's the word.

Last edited by ForcedFirebird; 12-17-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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