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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 08-04-2011, 05:19 PM
my2275bug my2275bug is offline
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Location: Lost Angeles
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Mein Auto: 98' 540i 56'vw bug 01'CBR
Is this a good deal for a 540i motor?

Hello everyone. I'll try to keep this short. I have a 98' 540i with 250,000 miles. This motor was running good n strong, til I blew a head gasket. Or even worse, warped a head. My plan was to fix this motor. But out of curiosity, I stopped at a BMW wrecking yard down my street. I asked about a complete motor for my 540i. They said they had a couple. $1200 for motor. And if I wanted them to install it would be +$500 for labor. They also offered 3months warranty on motor and labor. Would this be a better way to go?? Thanks in advance....
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2011, 05:26 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
How many miles on the engines? Sounds a lot cheaper than rebuilding yours.

However, I would hesitate having a junk yard swap my engine.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2011, 08:15 PM
my2275bug my2275bug is offline
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Mein Auto: 98' 540i 56'vw bug 01'CBR
Hello edjack..... The motor I saw said 98' 103k miles on tag. This junk yard is also a repair shop for BMW n mbz. And they alway seem to be busy with customer cars. Or I can save $500 and install it myself.... Just being lazy
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2011, 09:33 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Cambridge, ON
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,372
Mein Auto: 99 528iA
There's computer aspects to this too. While they may do it right, junkyards aren't known for telling the WHOLE truth. OTOH having them do it is easier and if they do it right (I'd have a Gt1 plugged in soon after) it will be worth it.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2011, 10:00 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by my2275bug View Post
motor was running good n strong, til I blew a head gasket
I've never taken an engine anywhere near 250K miles so, I'm in unfamiliar territory here. Most blown head gasket threads appear to be the result of overheating (e.g., see these threads (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)).

Was that the case with this engine?

Or, do they (at high mileage) ... just spontaneously blow the head gasket (presumably due to long term normal wear and tear)?
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2011, 09:39 AM
edjack edjack is online now
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
my2275bug,

Before they install the engine, consider having them replace the CCV valve, the following gaskets: valve cover, upper timing chain covers (intake manifold?); water pump, t'stat, engine mounts.

While they have the upper timing case open, ask them to inspect what they can see of the chain guides.

Can anyone add to this list?

$500 sounds like a bargain. I wouldn't DIY to save that small amount.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2011, 01:04 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
engine ... CCV ... valve cover, upper timing chain covers (intake manifold?); water pump, t'stat, engine mounts... inspect ... chain guides.
I'll add this to the tandem jobs thread:
- Typical tandem DIY repair jobs combined while you're already there (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Can anyone add to this list?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee
- If you're replacing the engine, consider also replacing
- Necessary suspension components
- Motor and transmission mounts
- CCV & hoses
- Cooling system components
- Belt drive system components
- Clutch (if warranted)
- ?What else?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman
If you are replacing the CCV, you should also replace the hoses. Just blow the dipstick tube clean.
If you are replacing the radiator and water pump, you should also do the expansion tank, fan clutch, various pulleys and belts.
If you are redoing the front suspension, you should consider replacing the struts, thrust arms, sway bar links and tie rods.
If you're replacing the engine, replace your Vanos seals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
$500 sounds like a bargain
In the early days, it cost me $450 just to get a battery replaced at Stevenscreek BMW in San Jose!
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2011, 02:34 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Location: Under the lift arms
 
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
i would buy it swap it and rebuild the one that you blew from fresh and be ready to swap it back
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2011, 02:58 PM
franka franka is offline
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Location: Lakewood
 
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Mein Auto: E39 540i Sport
Sounds like a good deal with a warranty.

Mileage will not wear out a head gasket. Overheating is why head gaskets go. That is assuming the engine had never had the head(s) off since new.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2011, 07:41 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
Overheating is why head gaskets go
Thanks for clarifying that as I was wondering if the head gasket just pops at some mileage (he's at 250K so that's a LOT!).

If overheating was the reason, then these links may help the OP:

Quote:
- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) & how to test an engine for blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & a well researched reusable response to a particular user with a blown engine (1) & what questions to ask when severe heating-related damage is initially suspected (1) & welding the crack between cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side (1) & what E39 engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & why the E39 engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1)
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2011, 10:13 AM
franka franka is offline
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Location: Lakewood
 
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Mein Auto: E39 540i Sport
I've got 230k+ miles and I'm running syn 20w50 in this Dallas heat and its running very, very well.

I was having to add a little oil between changes when running 0w30 or 0w40 but not now.
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