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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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Old 02-15-2017, 02:17 PM
Rutland75 Rutland75 is offline
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Location: UK
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: E39 323i 2000
Starter clicking and head lights on.

Several months ago I purchased from a dealer, cheaply, (E39 2000 523i 80000 miles)the vehicle was running but had the head gasket changed twice to try to cure oil in the water, neither operations cured the problem hence the cheap price.
The car started and ran (after some work that the forum has already assisted me with).
I purchased a doner engine stripped the engine down and replaced any parts that were required I also stripped and cleaned the starter and tested it before refitting.
I refitted the engine and made sure the battery was fully charged, today I attempted to start the engine, on turning the key all the lights came on, on the dash but the starter did not turn the engine it just clicked and continued to click at about two second intervals, half the lights on the display went out and the headlights, side lights and flashers illuminated.
Thinking I had a battery problem I connected up an emergency battery pack to the battery this made no difference.
It is worth noting that when attempting this start the interior lights do not dim as you would expect with a bad battery, the earth from engine to frame is connected and making good contact.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:16 PM
mattmar1's Avatar
mattmar1 mattmar1 is online now
Location: Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,323
Mein Auto: 1999 5281 5 sp msport
check the grounding in the trunk as well...and the - terminal
99 528i 5sp sport
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:27 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,973
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Engine ground strap, too.

Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:33 AM
Rutland75 Rutland75 is offline
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Location: UK
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: E39 323i 2000
As stated above the earth/ground connection between the engine and frame has been checked.
I will check the earth connections in the rear and report back, as a matter of interest this vehicle is the touring model.
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