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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 03-05-2011, 10:30 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the E39, what is the metal for the short block, cylinder liners, & camshaft head?

Today, in the typical overheat repercussion thread, I tried to make sense of the various E39 engines' short block, cylinder liners, and camshaft heads by year and model:
- Replace head gasket or replace engine

What came out was a confusing jumble because nobody seems to have a table listing just the metal used for those three critical areas.
  • Short block
  • Cylinder sleeves
  • Camshaft head(s)
In addition, RDL posted two fine documents explaining the M52 and M54 engine that we should preserve and make easy to locate for future use (see attachments below).

Here's what I have so far: [Please correct as needed!]

V8 M62 ENGINE:
Quote:
The M62 block does not use cast iron liners, which are less able to dissipate heat than aluminum. The aluminum alloy used to manufacture the M62 block contains high levels of silicon (called Alusil). The block is etched to expose the silica, creating a bearing surface in the cylinder. ... All M62 engines produced for the US market were built using Alusil only, which is not subject to the corrosion problem associated with Nikasil. Other countries did get the Nikasil M62 engine though.
I6 M54 ENGINE:
Confusingly, some E39 M52's appear to be "all-alloy with Al-Sil block" while others seem to have "an all-alloy engine with Al-Sil block". So, the incomplete chart below necessarily suffers by my confusion.

I6 M52 ENGINE:
Quote:
The world market engine used Nikasil lined aluminium cylinders instead of a cast iron sleeves used in the American market engine. The reason for this is Nikasil is eroded by the higher sulfur content fuel used in America.... Sulfur acts as a corrosive agent against Nikasil and led to a lot of the early engines having premature bore-liner wear.... introduction of steel cylinder liners, with the designation M52 TU-3 ... The American market M52 used iron sleeves from the beginning
RDL helped greatly with the attached PDFs but still mired in confusion, I gave up on this partially completed table below.

I wonder if we can flesh out this table for future use when people have overheating problem and they need to consider the seriousness of the damage?

METALLURGY BY YEAR AND MODEL:
  • 1994-2005 US 540i engine=M62, block=aluminum, liners=aluminum, head=aluminum
  • 1996-2003 US 535i engine=M62B35 block=?, liners=?, head=aluminum
  • 1996-1998 US 540i engine=M62B44, block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 1998-2003 US 540i engine=M62TUB44, block=? liners=?, head=?
  • 1998-2003 US M5 engine=S62, block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 2001-2003 US 520i engine=M54B22 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 2001-2004 US 525i engine=M54B25 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 2000-2003 EU 530i engine=M54B30 block=AlSil, liners=? head=?
  • 1998-2001 US 523i engine=M52TUB25 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 1998-2003 US 520i engine=M52TUB20 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 1995-1999 US 520i engine=M52B20 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • 2003-2005 US 530i engine=M53B30 block=?, liners=?, head=?
  • ? what is missing ?
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	M62_Nikasil_1.jpg
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ID:	268927   Click image for larger version

Name:	M62_Nikasil_2.jpg
Views:	219
Size:	83.9 KB
ID:	268928  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf M52_technical_information.pdf (977.8 KB, 224 views)
File Type: pdf M54_technical_information.pdf (2.52 MB, 167 views)
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2011, 11:20 AM
pangolin pangolin is offline
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I'm pretty sure you'll find what you need here: http://www.e38.org/e39/

The above link contains the M62 information. You already have the M52 and M54. That should cover all of e39.

Mxx is the block family, the Bxx is the displacement.. M54B25 the 2.5 liter version of the M54 engine.. vs M52B25 .. the 2.5L version of the M52 engine.


For historical perspective... the all aluminum engine with high silicon content liners/block was pioneered by GM in the '70s for the Cosworth Vega. Mercedes purchased this technology, and, at that time Mercedes engines had their entire block cast with this material (maybe it was called Reynolds 390, also only the Mercedes V8s). The eventual result of all this is the Alu-Sil liner, as only the cylinder liners needed the silicon surface.

Also: You should note, that most likely...somewhere along the way, these documents were originally german. I mean translational errors will exist, more so, than an equivalent document from Ford or GM.

Last edited by pangolin; 03-05-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2011, 12:23 PM
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Rustyzipper Rustyzipper is offline
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I thought I read some where that the cylinder liners (m52) are Nickel, or Nickel plated..... could be wrong....now if I knew where I read that.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2011, 05:05 PM
JFern JFern is offline
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M54 engines are Alu block with Iron cylinder liners, heads are Alu.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2011, 08:46 PM
pangolin pangolin is offline
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Maybe my first post wasn't that helpful ... try this one
http://www.meeknet.co.uk/E38/M62 Engine Details.pdf

In regards to my earlier post, I think its Mercedes that has transitioned to a liner that is made from a high silicon aluminum, while the rest of the block is 'normal' aluminum. The M62 for the US (and some other markets, see link) is made entirely of a high silicon content aluminum (that is, it's homogeneous).

Last edited by pangolin; 03-05-2011 at 08:47 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pangolin View Post
try this one
Nice. Very nice.

I added it to the bestlinks along with the M52 and M54 technical information for future reference:

- All the BMW E39 engine technical information you want to know about the M52 engine (1) and the M54 engine (1) & the M62 engine (1)
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:20 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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By way of cross reference, this resurrected post today asks similar questions for the E46 engines:
- E46 (1999 - 2006) > Engine Internals of the 2.5L e46 motor?
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