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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 05-17-2011, 06:16 PM
jimass jimass is offline
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Stripped threads on expansion tank/bleeder screw

2002 530i just noticed a small amount of coolant coming out on my expansion tank bleeder screw. I stripped the threads a couple of months back but wasn't leaking then.

My question: Can a put teflon tape around the bleeder screw to hopefully stop the leaking? If not what is my other option other than replacing the expansion tank?

Thank you, from San Jose Ca
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimass View Post
2002 530i just noticed a small amount of coolant coming out on my expansion tank bleeder screw
How old is the cooling system?
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2011, 07:02 PM
jimass jimass is offline
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Did an overhaul on the cooling system almost a year ago.
Replaced water pump, belts, tensioner, radiator and when the nipple on the expansion tank broke, replaced that too.

My idea is to replace the expansion tank because of the stripped threads. Do I have other options?

Thank you in advance.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2011, 07:02 PM
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CoreyMNK CoreyMNK is offline
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Many wouldn't agree with my fix.. but it does work! My expansion tank always leaked at the bleed screw. So I bought a new bleed screw and it still leaked.... so I bought another one.. and it leaked. So I took a bolt that was just a little bit bigger than the bleed screw and stuck it in the whole. Works great, no longer leaking

But if I were you I'd try some tape.. see what happens.
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2011, 07:11 PM
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Teflon tape is often successfully used to stop leaks in the aux thermoswitch in the lower radiator hose (although I'd just replace the o-ring myself); so, I 'guess' it would work in the expansion tank.

Your OP intimates you stripped the threads in the expansion tank, and not on the bleeder screw itself. Is that right?

If so, you really 'should' buy a new expansion tank but I understand your dilemma if it's new.

How did you strip it?

Note: I've broken mine in half because I didn't realize it only take a single turn to do the job of bleeding.
- How not to bleed your E39 cooling system (1) (broken bleeder screw)


Last edited by bluebee; 05-30-2011 at 10:02 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2011, 07:12 PM
ThePharaoh! ThePharaoh! is offline
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I had the same issue with a plastic bleeder screw, threads stripped. I swapped it out for the brass type and it worked fine. I think the brass type has a bit deeper thread than the plastic type so it seats a bit better.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2011, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePharaoh! View Post
I think the brass type has a bit deeper thread than the plastic type so it seats a bit better.
Hmmm.... if the brass screw is actually longer than the plastic screw, it isn't long by much judging from this picture from the thread I referenced prior.

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  #8  
Old 05-18-2011, 03:52 AM
uncmozo uncmozo is offline
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Keep in mind that if you wrap the screw in teflon tape, it may no longer 'bleed', you'll be filling the slot that goes along the threads. This slot allows the screw to bleed when you turn it.

Jerry
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2011, 07:46 PM
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My bleeder screw on top of the expansion tank just went bad. Anyone got a line on where to get the brass replacement?
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2011, 07:51 PM
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Nevermind. I found it thanks to Bluebee!
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[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:58 PM
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Nevermind. I found it thanks to Bluebee!
Glad you found it. I don't have the brass bleed screws but they seem to be only a few bucks so they seem worth the price.

When you get yours, would you kindly compare the length.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePharaoh!
I think the brass type has a bit deeper thread than the plastic type so it seats a bit better.
I suspect the length is exactly the same ... as the problem isn't 'seating' at all; the problem is that we torque them down too much or the plastic turns to mush ... but it would be nice for someone to confirm that the length is the same (or not).


Last edited by bluebee; 05-30-2011 at 10:01 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2011, 12:56 AM
danielz40 danielz40 is offline
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Did you strip the threads on the bleeder screw or the female threads on the tank? As a last resort I would do the brass bleeder screw or take a metric bolt of the same thread, drill and tap that bolt so you can use another smaller bolt to bleed with. But on ebay that tank only costs $29 and seems worth the $ and saves you the trouble.
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2011, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Glad you found it. I don't have the brass bleed screws but they seem to be only a few bucks so they seem worth the price.

When you get yours, would you kindly compare the length.
That will be hard to do as my bleed screw came apart about halfway down so the top is completely gone while the bottom is still screwed in there but spewing coolant. Going to have my Indy install the brass screws in it tomorrow and refill with the proper coolant also. Bluebee do you know how many bleeder screws there are for the 525i total? I'm thinking it might be a good idea to replace all of them.
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[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
You can warranty a turd, that way when you have a problem you can exchange it for a new turd.---End Quote---
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  #14  
Old 05-30-2011, 04:07 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
That will be hard to do as my bleed screw came apart about halfway down so the top is completely gone while the bottom is still screwed in there but spewing coolant. Going to have my Indy install the brass screws in it tomorrow and refill with the proper coolant also. Bluebee do you know how many bleeder screws there are for the 525i total? I'm thinking it might be a good idea to replace all of them.
There are only two. Why not heat up a screw driver until it is hot, push it into the remaining part of the screw, let the screw driver cool off, then unscrew the remaining part of the screw out. That is what I do when a customer comes in with a broken screw or I break one. Works every time.
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  #15  
Old 05-30-2011, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmys 530i View Post
There are only two. Why not heat up a screw driver until it is hot, push it into the remaining part of the screw, let the screw driver cool off, then unscrew the remaining part of the screw out. That is what I do when a customer comes in with a broken screw or I break one. Works every time.
Definitely a great idea and I appreciate the info. But this will be free work at the indy as it'll be warrantied. They'll probably charge me for the brass screws though LOL. Thanks!
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[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
You can warranty a turd, that way when you have a problem you can exchange it for a new turd.---End Quote---
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  #16  
Old 05-30-2011, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
my bleed screw came apart about halfway down so the top is completely gone while the bottom is still screwed in there but spewing coolant.
I know the feeling!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
Bluebee do you know how many bleeder screws there are for the 525i total?
I see you already got the right answer on that.

Personally, I don't know what works to remove the other half, but, tell your mechanic NOT to use anything that will expand the bleeder screw as the plastic housing around it will crack (resulting in the need for a new upper hose or expansion tank).

Ask me how I know:
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  #17  
Old 05-31-2011, 06:14 AM
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LOL that doesn't look so good. So I show up at my Indy first thing bright and early and tell them the deal. It's almost like they expect this stuff with a specialized cooling system pit crew on stand by LOL. They reach into a box to grab a new bleeder screw and have me all fixed up in about 5 minutes. Didn't even pull it into the shop and didn't even charge me. This is why I love my indy. Anywho I think I'm still gonna pickup the brass screws. I know it's probably in this thread or another Bluebee but did you swap out your plastic ones for brass also? Maybe I should start a new thread specifically regarding use of the brass bleeder screw?
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[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
You can warranty a turd, that way when you have a problem you can exchange it for a new turd.---End Quote---
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  #18  
Old 05-31-2011, 12:56 PM
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Ok Turner wanted $9.95 to ship two of these things. Ridiculous. I went with Oembimmerparts.com and they only charged $4.64 to ship. Also they only charged $4.85 for the screw itself. Over $6 less to the door. Sweet deal.
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[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
You can warranty a turd, that way when you have a problem you can exchange it for a new turd.---End Quote---
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  #19  
Old 06-05-2011, 11:13 AM
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Here ya go BB - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...75#post6111875
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[---Quote (Originally by Tex330i)---
You can warranty a turd, that way when you have a problem you can exchange it for a new turd.---End Quote---
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  #20  
Old 04-23-2013, 01:49 AM
dhangjr dhangjr is offline
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may be late, but the brass screw sux! WEll DON"T over tighten it any way! You will need teflon tape or new expansion tank, and you WILL leak coolant on long drives at high revs (under pressure) I did this today!
Would suck if you did not pay attention and blow HG.
Thank me I pay attention! lol
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