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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 08-24-2015, 01:19 PM
Nick528touring Nick528touring is offline
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Mein Auto: 528 98 touring auto
Noise from AC compressor

I hear a metallic, rattling sound from the engine, which goes when I turn off the AC. I've put a long screwdriver to my ear and the other end at the compressor. That's where the noise is coming from.

Anyone else experienced this? Is it DIY fixable- such as fitting new bearings
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2015, 02:24 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is online now
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 k75s
I only know of one DIY compressor repair. Flug540 did it on his car. Here's a photo of what he found:



Note the broken tab that's out of kilter in the lower left-hand corner. It had broken completely and was rattling around inside the compressor.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2015, 03:35 PM
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gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006-530xi; 1998-528i
It's the dreaded Denso compressor death rattle. Over time it gets worse and worse until finally it "explodes" and damages the cooling system. I bought the next version of the Denso from an online junkyard. To be sure, I put a new clutch bearing in and swapped it with the old one. No more rattle. They fixed the bug in the next generation.

I'm sure I posted about this somewhere. I'll go look.

It's located here in post #3. You probably have the 7SB14C compressor and the next model where the death rattle is fixed is 7SBU14C

Last edited by gmak2012; 08-24-2015 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:10 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
The AC compressor has 2 types of bearing:
- External bearing, which sits inside the pulley. This is the easy part.
- Internal bearings bathed in PAG oil.

With engine OFF:

- Remove the AC belt, then spin the pulley by hand, does it rattle? Any play in the bearing?
This happens in cars with 180K-200K miles.
See DIY below.
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...clutch-BEARING

- Find a way to energize the AC Clutch (apply the necessary voltage to engage the clutch).
Now spin the pulley, when doing so, the main shaft will spin: any noise, rattles?
If so, time for new Denso compressor.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:40 PM
Nick528touring Nick528touring is offline
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Location: Surrey UK
 
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Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 528 98 touring auto
Thanks for your replies. Much appreciated
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:41 AM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick528touring View Post
I hear a metallic, rattling sound from the engine, which goes when I turn off the AC. I've put a long screwdriver to my ear and the other end at the compressor. That's where the noise is coming from.



Anyone else experienced this? Is it DIY fixable- such as fitting new bearings

Had the same rattle .... Bought a new Denso AC compressor and dryer from Rockauto .... Easy install ..... $450
Later.... No rattle .
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2015, 04:05 AM
boostmaster boostmaster is offline
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I would look at the pulley first. If the pulley is fine, pull the compressor and tear it down. It may just need a good clean up and rebuild. It's way cheaper than buying a new one.
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