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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 02-12-2011, 02:13 PM
MReichman MReichman is offline
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Location: Los Angeles, Ca
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: Black 2000 528i
Major Decision - replace head or buy "new" engine

I just blew my head (gasket?) -- not certain what happened, except it probably happened in an instant when some hoses under the engine cover blew while driving uphill to my home. Pulled into my driveway and found oil in my coolant as well. I never saw the engine overheat. But my mech flushed out the cooling system and within two days it was filled with oil. He couldn't tell me whether the engine block had been damaged, but recommended best option would be to replace aluminum head. -- $5k job according to him.

I took it elsewhere for a second opinion and they said they'd never replace the head because they couldn't guarantee the block was ok. $5k job according to him.

I've a problem with orig mech because I bought the car through him and asked him to make sure to replace anything on engine at the time that would cause problems. But the didn't check the hoses under the engine cover. And he rcommended I replace all the burst hoses before he could determine how serious the damage was ($2k investment for nothing it seems). How common is it that the head cracks and the rest of the engine is good. This mech says likely.

So, I love the car, I've replaced a lot of the parts and a couple interior parts -- and I'm really unhappy to let go of the car, but an additional $5K investment is very steep for me at the moment and i can't even justify putting $ away if I can't fathom the investment would get me another 100k -- I bought car with mileage 60k and ran it for 2 years to 104k.

Desperate for sane opinions on next step (aside from my wife's sell it for whatever I can get).

Anyone care to put their 2 cents in? New Head + gasket vs "new" engine vs too risky to fix it.

Thanks in advance.

Matthew Reichman
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:31 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Location: NYC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15,814
Mein Auto: 528
Common sense: Replace the whole engine. That's 1 cent.

Based on previous members' experience: Many times replacing the head or the head gasket does not go well. Conclusion: Replace the whole engine. That's 1 cent.

Total: Replace the engine. That's 2 cents.

BTW..... You're wife might be accidentally right. You can get these cars for $7k. .... So if you sell for $2k you are already at the same cost. That's a more difficult decision since you know what you put in it. But if you can part the car out, you might keep the parts you put in it? But that's going into the 3 cents category already, and you only asked for a 2 cents advice.

mw
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:33 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Mein Auto: 528
Don't forget that there might be other things that caused that. You'll find them when you take the engine apart, or when you take the engine out. It might end up costing you more than $5k.

mw
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:47 PM
DrewCrewOf2 DrewCrewOf2 is offline
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Location: Camarillo CA
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 203
Mein Auto: 1998 528i
I think it is worth a try. Maybe we could talk 1 on 1 since I am in LA area and know of some good ways to finagle things in our town. My machine shop guy got a head for $500 (mine was cracked) and redid all the valves etc. for about $800 I think. Santiago's in Oxnard. Was in 2007 and car is still purrrrring fine. I also have a fantastic Indy up my way in Camarillo - Brad's Motor Werke's. A BMW Master Tech trained at BMW. Guy is truly a genius - only works on BMW's. I am just shooting my mouth off but If the car was here in Camarillo I bet we could put you back on the road - safely and with a good engine - for half that 5K. drewcrewof2@yahoo if you wanna talk.

Brad's link [http://www.bimmershops.com/californi...-motor-werkes]

Here is a reman'd head for a 325 for $400 [http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-C...tem1e618beee3]

Another one for $350 [http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-5...tem483ed5571d]

My machine shop pressure checks them and rebuilds them with a guarantee - 'course no one yet has said you need to replace yours... but if you do, these are some prices.
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Last edited by DrewCrewOf2; 02-12-2011 at 03:22 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2011, 02:26 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I'm gonna start collecting all the "head gasket should I replace the engine links" together so the next people with the same problem can read the anguished threads. It's sad. Very sad. Most due to a cooling system failure gone worse.

Anyway, if you fix it yourself, look here:
- Fixing a head gasket coolant leak (1) (2) (3)

But, getting the car checked by more than one mechanic seems wise given the costs involved:
- BMW phantom diagrams (1) & nominal prices by part number (1) labor rates by zip code (1) (2) (3) where to find a good mechanic (1) (2) & finding a specialty BMW indy in your area (1)

Last edited by bluebee; 02-21-2011 at 12:03 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2011, 07:02 AM
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ross1 ross1 is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL. USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,153
Mein Auto: Pretty much had 'em all
A lot here suggest replacing the engine without knowing what is wrong with the original.
If a hose failed and it didn't overheat it is likely from overpressurization of the cooling system from exhaust gasses passing the fire ring of the head gasket.
If you are confident it's not been overheated chances are good that a simple gasket replacement is all you need.
If it was severely overheated you stand a good chance of a warped or cracked head and having the headbolt threads in the block damaged.
It needs to be properly diagnosed. Nobody here with a keyboard is going to do it and no speculation from the "mechanics" you've spoken to is helpful either.
Only you know how hot it got.
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Last edited by ross1; 02-19-2011 at 07:05 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:59 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Location: Beech Grove Indiana
 
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Posts: 1,723
Mein Auto: 2000 540i Sport
http://www.dinancars.com/shop/D850-1...ne.aspx#page=1
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2011, 03:38 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
You are in L.A., call my cousin place or come there and speak to Hoa (the owner), he knows his stuff!!!!

http://www.yelp.com/biz/south-bay-independent-gardena-2
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2011, 04:23 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Location: Thousand Oaks CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 844
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
No way should you spend 5K to replace the head. You can get one for $750 and install labor I'm thinking would be about 1K. I've done the work myself on two 528's and it's not so mysterious.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2013, 10:17 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
For cross reference, another engine died today ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecreator88 View Post
hello
last night when i was driving at around 4-5k revs the engine died and a piston or rod went through the engine block. the car is a 525i m54 double vanos engine with 150k miles on it.
my question is what caused this , i know i had a compression problem on cyl 6 it was 9 and the other cylinder where 11.5 , could this be the cause
and what do you think i should buy another m54b25 engine or a m54b30
is the swap easy , on realoem it says that the clutch is different and the gearbox also
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #11  
Old 12-08-2013, 08:24 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
This was a gut-wrenching decision, made recently:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Burnt Valve #5 Cylinder--Goodbye
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #12  
Old 12-17-2013, 02:18 AM
Themysterye39 Themysterye39 is offline
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Location: Santa Barbara
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 107
Mein Auto: 1997 m3 manual
First things first , check to see if the head bolts pull. If they do then heli coil them. If there not the buy a rebuilt head for 500 on ebay and a head gasket kit around 200 and then buy a cooling system overhaul kit from turner and your done, easy ****. If you do it your self you'll save a lot of money
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2013, 03:12 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Location: martinsville va
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,865
Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
To Help with this--I vote another engine--and have CN90's people install it for you--you dude is robbing you. I'm having the same work being performed because of a burnt exhaust valve--engine with 270k miles on her--time for a new engine
Good luck ,,what ever you do
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  #14  
Old 08-17-2014, 11:19 PM
BaliDawg BaliDawg is offline
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Location: Riverside, CA
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: 325Ci 530i 750iL
Get a low or mid mileage engine from car-part.com. The ones I just saw for a 2000 528i ranged from $2k to $2.5k. That's a lot less than $5,000!

I got a 3.0L motor with 45k miles on it off there for my E46 last year and am very happy I did.

Last edited by BaliDawg; 08-17-2014 at 11:20 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2014, 04:10 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,076
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
Get a low or mid mileage engine from car-part.com. The ones I just saw for a 2000 528i ranged from $2k to $2.5k. That's a lot less than $5,000!
This is good information, as I have been collecting stories of what people did when their engines were blown, so that the next person would have the information easily at hand.

- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to test an engine for a blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, stripped head bolt threads, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & what are the major factors in deciding whether to rebuild the engine, replace the engine, or sell the car (1) & a DIY for replacing the I6 M54 head gasket (1) (2) & replacing the V8 M62TU head gasket (1) & why these engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & welding the crack between cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side (1) & what engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt head (1) replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & the most recent real-world results from the last 50 people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36) (37) (38) (39) (40) (41) (42) (43) (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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