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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 05-30-2010, 01:04 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Pictorial DIY: BMW E39 Engine Air Filter Remove & Replace

Pictorial DIY:
BMW E39 Engine Air Filter Remove & Replacement











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  #2  
Old 05-30-2010, 04:23 AM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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I'm lost. Why pull the clips at the air hose connection?
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2010, 09:06 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helpmyfive View Post
I'm lost. Why pull the clips at the air hose connection?
Good catch. I'll doublecheck the bentleys as I was following them (but they were wrong anyway, because they showed the V8 and not the I6).

I wonder if, while we're at this, we should clean the MAF (I don't know where it is so I'll check that out separately).
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2010, 09:22 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Man, I wish you would write a DIY for cleaning your engine bay.
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2010, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helpmyfive View Post
I'm lost. Why pull the clips at the air hose connection?
I just doublechecked the paper Bentleys. On page 020-15, the first step says "Release mass air flow sensor clips", and then "release upper air filter housing clips". At the end, it says "V-8 engine air filter assembly shown in illustration. 6-cylinder air filter assembly is similar but located at the left fron of the engine compartment".

There's no indication, in the paper Bentley, I should not release the MAF sensor clips.

BTW, once I release the MAF clips ... shouldn't I clean SOMETHING in that area (I've seen threads about that here and there ... )?

It doesn't say in the maintenance section of the Bentley so I'm not sure how to clean it (I will need to look that up, I guess).

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  #6  
Old 05-30-2010, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
Man, I wish you would write a DIY for cleaning your engine bay.
I thought my engine was pretty clean. I wipe it down with a paper towel whenever I touch something, e.g., I wipe the dipstick when I check it, I wipe the area around the filler cap when I pout oil into it, etc.

How clean is everyone elses' engine (pics please!). I'd be glad to do and write a DIY on how to clean the engine bay. I have a pressure washer. What else do I need?

Note: I'm afraid of washing the grease out of the bearings so I guess the most important question would be what to cover with baggies.

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  #7  
Old 05-30-2010, 11:06 AM
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After a bit of bimmergoogling, it appears the the BMW engine bay is not designed to resist water at pressure so we have to cover (at least) the following items.

Do you know where every one of these items is located?

Alternator (I can't imagine how to cover it)
Alarm Housing (where is that?)
Intercooler (what is that?)
Battery terminals (I can't see why they need to be covered)
Induction kit cone (what is that?)
Coil packs (aren't they covered already?)
Electronic control units (where is this ECU located?)
On-Board Diagnostics (I don't think the 2002 has an OBD port in the bay)
Air intake systems (I guess this is the cabin and engine air filters)
???What else needs to be covered???

REFERENCES:
- cleaning engine bay
- engine compartment detail
- jet wash
- engine bay crusade

Do you have a better DIY for cleaning the engine bay that covers how to protect the sensitive components?
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  #8  
Old 05-30-2010, 12:25 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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To clean my engine I spray the entire engine bay lightly with water just to wet it (set the nozzle to mist), then spray simple green, and rinse. The way you make it shine is to spray everything with armorall while it's still wet, then close the hood and in about an hour the armorall has everything glistening.

I don't cover anything, just use low water pressure and common sense.
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2010, 02:40 PM
CrushersBMW CrushersBMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Good catch. I'll doublecheck the bentleys as I was following them (but they were wrong anyway, because they showed the V8 and not the I6).

I wonder if, while we're at this, we should clean the MAF (I don't know where it is so I'll check that out separately).
The MAF sensor is downstream of the air filter towards the engine. The wireclip hooks into it.

The wireclip removes easily. The MAF sensor body less so. I had to loosen a nut with the air filter housing/MAF Inlet, loosen the MAF clamps, remove the nut holding the air filter housing to the chassis, and loosen the hose clamp and then apply a little force/twisting.

Once it's out, spray some MAF cleaner on it according to the instructions on the can. You are aiming at the little metal doo-hickey in the middle. Soak it down several times and then let it dry

Re-assemble in reverse. Looking at your pics, the air filter housing may come off and alleviate the loosening of the bolt holding the MAF clip piece.......

Hope that made sense. I just did it this morning when changing my spark plugs - but didn't take pics - sorry

Dave
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2010, 10:10 PM
guaping guaping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
After a bit of bimmergoogling, it appears the the BMW engine bay is not designed to resist water at pressure so we have to cover (at least) the following items.

Do you know where every one of these items is located?

Alternator (I can't imagine how to cover it)
Bluebee, I covered the alternator with aluminum foil. I did not cover anything else, although I have read somewhere to also cover the dipstick with plastic bag just in case. I just run shower stream from the hose. Then I spritz it down with P21S Total Auto wash (although I think you can use any degreaser), let it sit for few minutes. Then I used an old microfiber towel soaked in car wash soap and water to wipe down on the exposed surfaces. I also used old tooth brush for the hard to wipe areas (optional). Then rinse again using shower stream; DO NOT use pressure washer at all. Run the engine, drive around the block, then dry off. For finishing, I used 303 Space Protectant on all the covers. I also applied wax (I used Zaino) on the exposed paint surfaces. Here is a pic of my engine bay, although the sun was out too much when I took it.
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  #11  
Old 05-30-2010, 10:19 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Thanks for the info and pics. My bay is as clean as the interior and use the same good stuff on it,same plastic on the in as the out. Just my $0.01/2

Last edited by thecushion; 05-30-2010 at 10:26 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2010, 10:23 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guaping View Post
Bluebee, I covered the alternator with aluminum foil. I did not cover anything else, although I have read somewhere to also cover the dipstick with plastic bag just in case. I just run shower stream from the hose. Then I spritz it down with P21S Total Auto wash (although I think you can use any degreaser), let it sit for few minutes. Then I used an old microfiber towel soaked in car wash soap and water to wipe down on the exposed surfaces. I also used old tooth brush for the hard to wipe areas (optional). Then rinse again using shower stream; DO NOT use pressure washer at all. Run the engine, drive around the block, then dry off. For finishing, I used 303 Space Protectant on all the covers. I also applied wax (I used Zaino) on the exposed paint surfaces. Here is a pic of my engine bay, although the sun was out too much when I took it.
+++2
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2010, 10:29 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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I spray any grease or oil areas with WD-40, and leave it for a while to penetrate. Then mix up a bucket of hot water and Dawn dish washing soap (if you get this on your paint it won't hurt it BUT, it will strip all wax). I use a wash mitt to suds up everything in the engine bay, then rinse it down with very hot water. If I'm doing a car show and want it to look perfect, I mist it very lightly with WD-40 and let it set overnight.

And it looks like this:

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  #14  
Old 05-30-2010, 10:38 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Very nice ,looks just like mine++++100! This is how it should look. Just my $0.01/2
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  #15  
Old 05-30-2010, 10:59 PM
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first and last time i detailed the engine bay lol i just dont care enough i guess

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  #16  
Old 08-17-2010, 02:31 PM
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An interesting observation came out of a thread looking for after market filters:
- E39 K&N Air Filter - Size issue?

"
- Advance Auto might have the same part # but when you get the OEM filter from BMW dealer it's different.
- The E39 filter has an added sponge pad on top.
- The E46 M3 filter doesn't have the sponge pad on top.
- I (freddie) have both new and I can feel a difference between them.
- Not only is the E46 M3 filter louder it lets the motor rev faster.
- I read it has a 4hp (dyno) advantage over the stock one.
- E46 M3 air filter part # 13721730946

"

Last edited by bluebee; 08-18-2010 at 12:20 AM.
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2010, 08:22 AM
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Wow. Some sexy looking engine bays in here. Great info too!
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:47 AM
DrewCrewOf2 DrewCrewOf2 is offline
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Make me ill and embarrassed! These guys obviously have FAR too much free time on their hands! (giggle)

(Wish my love did look this nice!)
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  #19  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:58 AM
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You do not need to unclip the air hose clips to replace the air filter, unnecessary on the six cyl.

That is one sadazz lookin filter.
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2011, 07:38 AM
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Great thread. Worth a revisit. I swap my air filter often. They are so cheap and it's so easy to swap and a great way to keep our cars healthy and happy!
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  #21  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:48 AM
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For the crosslinked record, be careful when tugging on the engine air filter housing (especially when trying to get all the rubber boots in place).

Today I busted mine as shown below:


Without that attachment bolt, it's a little loose (and it puts a bit of pressure on the MAF which is probably not a good thing).

Any idea for a fix (other than replacing it)?
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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  #22  
Old 06-03-2012, 07:35 AM
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It should be OK. Drill a hole in the tap and zip tie it to the mounting bolt.
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  #23  
Old 10-08-2014, 10:52 AM
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The need for this thread came up today over here ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > What's next (Preventative Maintenance)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsrguy98 View Post
edjack, I know about the two cabin filters but where is the air intake? I can't believe I missed it.
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2014, 05:00 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guaping View Post
Bluebee, I covered the alternator with aluminum foil. I did not cover anything else, although I have read somewhere to also cover the dipstick with plastic bag just in case. I just run shower stream from the hose. Then I spritz it down with P21S Total Auto wash (although I think you can use any degreaser), let it sit for few minutes. Then I used an old microfiber towel soaked in car wash soap and water to wipe down on the exposed surfaces. I also used old tooth brush for the hard to wipe areas (optional). Then rinse again using shower stream; DO NOT use pressure washer at all. Run the engine, drive around the block, then dry off. For finishing, I used 303 Space Protectant on all the covers. I also applied wax (I used Zaino) on the exposed paint surfaces. Here is a pic of my engine bay, although the sun was out too much when I took it.
Any electrical concerns? ie. sensor connections, or the headlights (lots of electrical stuff there).
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