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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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  #26  
Old 09-08-2011, 12:28 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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new bearings is the way to gooooo


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  #27  
Old 09-08-2011, 12:34 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Another cute little trick that I learned from another forum when removing/installing the Large 36-mm axle nut:

- If you don't have a 2nd person to help, then place a Jack Stand to support the 1/2" extension to prevent sagging.

- Don't forget to apply firm inward pressure to prevent the Socket from falling off.


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  #28  
Old 09-08-2011, 12:57 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Another cute little trick that I learned from another forum when removing/installing the Large 36-mm axle nut:

- If you don't have a 2nd person to help, then place a Jack Stand to support the 1/2" extension to prevent sagging.

- Don't forget to apply firm inward pressure to prevent the Socket from falling off.
This one is a great trick. Fits nicely in the groove of the jack stand.
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  #29  
Old 09-09-2011, 09:31 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
...Another tip for putting the splined flange back on the axle. I'm not big on beating parts on so when you do get it apart take a small jewelers file and clean out all of the splines on both the wheel flange and the end of the axle. Clean and then lube and they will go together easier, still a tight fit, but you won't be making up new words as you try to get it in all the way...
Jim,

Nice job with that tool.

However, there is a much easier tool to make.

- Notice that when the axle barely engages the hub, the outer end of the axle is flushed with the hub in your picture. The "Smooth part" of the Axle is about 6-7mm in width.

- Now notice the anatomy of the Axle Nut:
* Smooth Part = 7mm
* 12-Point Part = 6mm
* Washer Part = 2mm

- During install, I reversed the new 36-mm nut but it barely caught the threads on the axle.

- BTW, the BMW tool that champaign777 showed you costs some $300 from BMW dealer, not worth it IMHO for something you may (or may not) need every 10 years.

- So here is a ghetto tool that everyone should try for cheap:
* New 36-mm Nut: $6-10 at dealer (I guess you can use the old nut, just break off the "staked parts")
* Spark Plug (or appropriate size) Socket: $2-3
* Take it to muffler shop and ask them to weld them together as shown. This probably costs you some $10 (or free if your buddy has welding equipment).
* Bring it home and use a Bench Grinder to reduce the "12-Point" Part of the Nut so it has the same (or a bit thicker) diameter than the "Smooth Part" of the nut. This is essential so the tool can slide in the hub.
* Now you have a tool that can reach 13mm inward, plenty to catch the first few threads.


Sounds good? Someone should try this and report back the result:


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Last edited by cn90; 09-09-2011 at 09:33 AM.
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  #30  
Old 09-09-2011, 09:57 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Good idea, what about just grinding down the axle nut washer side to flush with the 12 pts part too then using the 36mm socket to tighten down?

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-09-2011 at 10:00 AM.
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  #31  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:02 AM
Schitzo Schitzo is offline
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No need for expensive tools. Here is my simple tool that works very well. However the importance of cleaning the axle and hub splines cannot be over emphasized. As mentioned above, grab a pointed object and go through each single spline/groove ensuring it is clean and free of rust or other particles.

With proper cleaning and the tool below, installing both axles for me is a 10 - 15 minute job.

To make it I just ground off the "washer" part of the old axle nut


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Last edited by Schitzo; 09-09-2011 at 10:07 AM.
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  #32  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:05 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *****zo View Post
To make it I just ground off the "washer" part of the old axle nut
Yeah, this is what I meant, grind down the washer part, carefully.
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  #33  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:15 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
Good idea, what about just grinding down the axle nut washer side to flush with the 12 pts part then using the 36mm socket to tighten down?
Your suggestion would not work. The problem is with clearance, once you have done this job, you will know what I mean. Notice that in my trick with this ghetto tool, the nut is used in a reverse manner with the Smooth Part of nut going inside the hub, but in order to do that, the 12-point part needs to be machined (grind down) smooth.

Come and think about this Special BMW tool to install the Hub that costs some $300 at dealer (which I never needed), I hate to criticize BMW engineers, but they turn simple things into complex issue! All they have to do is create a "Special nut" with a long "Smooth Part", maybe 15-20 mm or so, then you simply tighten the nut to draw the axle into the Hub.
- Then remove this "Special nut" and install with the usual nut, simple isn't it?
- Man, I should have been an engineer, too late now LOL!


This is my suggestion to BMW engineers LOL:


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Last edited by cn90; 09-09-2011 at 10:26 AM.
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  #34  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:19 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sch-itzo View Post
...To make it I just ground off the "washer" part of the old axle nut
Thanks Sch-itzo,

Interesting, so the 12-point part of the nut can slide inside the hub?
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  #35  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:24 AM
Schitzo Schitzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Thanks Sch-itzo,

Interesting, so the 12-point part of the nut can slide inside the hub?
Not quite. Give me a sec. I will take some sweet pics for ya.
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  #36  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:24 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Your suggestion would not work. The problem is with clearance, once you have done this job, you will know what I mean. Notice that in my trick with this ghetto tool, the nut is used in a reverse manner with the Smooth Part of nut going inside the hub, but in order to do that, the 12-point part needs to be machined (grind down) smooth.

I think we are saying the same thing but mis-communicating in the original explanation. It's just like SChizo's ghetto tool above.

1) Grind down the washer to make it a 12pt,
2) Then use a piece of wood with a hammer to get the hub in about 6-7mm to pass the smooth part to catch the thread
3) Reverse the axle nut that's been ground down and use the 36mm socket to tighten down

I'll experiment when I do my bearings and report back.

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-09-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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  #37  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:41 AM
Schitzo Schitzo is offline
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Lets simulate and axle install on the kitchen counter (girlfriend is gone for the weekend )

Collect parts including the super special tool


Clean your axle and hub spline thoroughly and insert the axle into the hub. You don't need to force it. Just let it go as far as it will. (this is why is it important to clean the spline)




Insert your special tool into the hub and turn until you feel the threads grab. Notice the the flat side that was formally the "washer" is facing outside


Insert your 36 mm socket and turn to tighten. The special tool will draw in the axle.


Part yourself on the back when done
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  #38  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:43 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *****zo View Post
Insert your special tool into the hub and turn until you feel the threads grab. Notice the the flat side that was formally the "washer" is facing outside


Insert your 36 mm socket and turn to tighten. The special tool will draw in the axle.


Part yourself on the back when done


This is EXACTLY what I meant. Schizo, is this the original axle nut ground down or an axle nut from another car that doesn't have the washer part?

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-09-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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  #39  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:48 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Cool Sch-itzo, Thanks!

What I tried your technique (the nut reversed), I could not even thread it in, maybe I did not tap the hub in enough for the first thread to catch.

Last edited by cn90; 09-09-2011 at 10:50 AM.
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  #40  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:52 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Cool Sch-itzo, Thanks!

What I tried your technique (the nut reversed), I could not even thread it in, maybe I did not tap the hub in enough for the first thread to catch.
Yep, I think as long as you can tap the hub in just a few mm to catch the thread, it should work.

However, I know you are probably concerned with damaging the race. I think potholes and bumps put more pressure on the race than one or two taps with a piece of wood and hammer.

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-09-2011 at 10:57 AM.
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  #41  
Old 09-09-2011, 11:01 AM
Schitzo Schitzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Cool Sch-itzo, Thanks!

What I tried your technique (the nut reversed), I could not even thread it in, maybe I did not tap the hub in enough for the first thread to catch.
Yes the hub has to be all the way in. The axle should need very minimal persuasion to stick out enough so that the the threads can catch. If you have to tap, the axle in, dont do it on inner CV as this may damage the metal cup and cause a leak. Instead, hold the axle shaft at its mid point and push it in towards the back side of the hub.
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Last edited by Schitzo; 09-09-2011 at 11:05 AM.
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  #42  
Old 09-11-2011, 07:05 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Alright,

I made the Special Axle Tool just for fun, it costs me exactly $7 to make it:

* 27-mm Impact Socket from Harbor Freight: $2.00.
Get the Impact Socket, not the usual Chrome-Finish Socket because welding shop says it is difficult to weld anything that is chrome-plated.

* Went to local muffler shop, they welded the 27-mm Socket to my old 36-mm nut for $5.00!
I was too busy and did not have time to go dealer to get new nut, so I re-used the old nut. But you should get a new 36-mm nut.

* Went home and ground down the 12-point part with an Angle Grinder; 15 minutes later I have the BMW Axle Tool.

NOTE that I include the plumbing fitting to give you another idea: the brass plumbing 3/4-inch FIP male fitting fits inside the 36-mm nut for about 2.0 mm (compared with 1.5mm for the 36-mm nut). In theory, you can get 3/4-inch FIP female fitting with a reducer: such as 3/4-inch female FIP and 1/2-inch female FIP end; and fit a bolt to the 1/2" end to be used with the gear puller. The plumbing brass fitting has different thread pitch, about 2.0 mm between threads, so it fits about 8mm inward then it stops. Not a perfect fit but good enough to pull the Axle through.

* FYI, I think the Axle Splines part is slightly tapered, this is why it usually stops when the end barely sticks out of the Hub during install. With this tool, it is a breeze to pull the Axle into the Hub.

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Last edited by cn90; 09-11-2011 at 07:08 AM.
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  #43  
Old 09-11-2011, 06:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I use the standard old-fashioned "Paint" program
Oh my! You do keep it simple and down to the absolute basics!

And you do it well!

BTW, would someone kindly skim this E46 article from today which also proposes to show an easier way to do the rear wheel bearings:
- E46 (1999 - 2006) > Rear Wheel Bearing DIY (only used a slide hammer)

Does that proposed easier slide-hammer method work well on the E39?

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  #44  
Old 09-11-2011, 06:36 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
...BTW, would someone kindly skim this E46 article from today which also proposes to show an easier way to do the rear wheel bearings...
Bluebee,

The E46 REAR bearing setup is exactly the same as in the first diagram of this DIY thread: The Outer Race is held by press-fit (into the carrier) + circlip. This makes the job much more labor-intensive when compared with E39 Rear bearing. Virtually all Honda FWD axles use the same setup of press-fit and circlip!

So for the E46 REAR Bearing:

1- Half Shaft comes off: 30-45 minutes right there.

2- Press the Hub out (in that link, they showed a video using a Large Bearing Separator as backing material and used the wheel lugs to push the Hub Out).

3- Using appropriate Bearing Adaptors (can be rented from Advance Atuoparts parts for free), press out the Outer Race from the carrier.

The E39 REAR bearing is easier because the Outer Race is mounted by 4 bolts (in stead of press-fit + circlip). The E39 design is way more intelligent than the E46 design!


-------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
...However, I know you are probably concerned with damaging the race. I think potholes and bumps put more pressure on the race than one or two taps with a piece of wood and hammer.
Actually, if you look at the Picture where I hammer the 36-mm socket, the Bearing Inner Race did not get hammered at all.
The force is transferred in the following manner:

Hammer ---> 36-mm socket ---> Hub ---> Axle Splines

because I:
- Held the Axle Shaft with my Left Hand while pushing it outward against the Hub.
- The Bearing is held very loosely by the bolts, which are 1/2 way in. This way the bearing can move in and out so there is no stress on the Inner Race.

Just look at the very first Picture of this DIY and you will see what I mean.

Last edited by cn90; 09-12-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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  #45  
Old 09-27-2011, 09:05 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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In this DIY by cdb3113, the Hub was slightly damaged when the Inner Race was removed. I think this happened because the Large Bearing Separator clamps too much and bit a piece of the Hub:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1225385

This is why I still prefer using the Angle Grinder to make 2 opposing grooves (see original thread) so the Bearing Separator can bite on these grooves, instead of biting at the Inner Race/Hub Interface.

Here is the damaged Hub seen in DIY by cdb3113:


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  #46  
Old 10-13-2011, 11:13 AM
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By way of cross reference, this rear wheel noise turned out to be rear wheel bearings:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Brake noise from right rear. SOLVED

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof View Post
He confirmed the bearing is toast and $310 later all is well in bimmer land.
For reference, this may help with the wheel bearing tools:
- How to make your own BMW rear wheel bearing tools (1)

And this may help with the DIY rear wheel bearing R&R procedures:
- How to replace rear wheel bearings (1) (2) (3) & a rear axle suspension & wheel bearing installation DIY by mmm635 (1) (2) & rear bearings done the cn90 easy way (1) or the Smolck slide-hammer way (1)
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  #47  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:01 PM
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Hi folks!

Thanks to the OP for this great DIYer thread!
I'm in the middle of replacing my left rear bearing. Taking a break to celebrate that my inner race stayed in the bearing when I pressed out the hub! Woohoo!

I hope this resolves my 528i rear end grinding noise. I thought it was a rear diff. After a torturous swap, it wasn't the problem. Curious, has anyone had a rear axle fail? Seems rare and I don't even find replacement axles at most online sources.

Well, back to the rear bearing. I just wanted to add that I didn't need a 1/4" drive industrial E14 socket as suggested in the first post.
Once the bolts were broken free with the 3/8" drive E14 socket (Harbor Freight Impact E socket set: $8.99), I switched to a 6-point 1/4" drive 11 mm socket and 1/4" drive extensions to spin off the bolts. The 11 mm socket fits snugly and since no torque is required during this step, it worked superbly.

BTW, I purchased my bearings from the cheap source posted originally. Their price has dropped to $28 each! BUT when I received them, they are no longer Timken branded bearings. They are unknown Made In China bearings. The unit looks fine, but only time will tell if this turns out to be a short-term savings.


Addendum:

I ran into a snag when my gear puller was too short for assembling the hub to new bearing as per instructions. Hmmmm. Light bulb went on above head!!!

I used a length of threaded rod that was part of a set of spring compressors. Ideal length and size with a pinned nut at one end. I had the right spacers needed, but the old inner race would've worked as suggested.
I pressed the hub in successfully with this set up.



I proceeded with the install as instructed, and everything went back together without drama. Thanks again to the OP.

Unfortunately,
Insult to injury, a test drive proved the new bearing didn't correct my rear end noise and vibration. Damn!
Back to the drawing board!
Repairing BMWs are proving to be just as much a PITA as repairing Audis.
Don't ask.
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Last edited by WNG; 02-29-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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  #48  
Old 03-07-2012, 07:42 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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CNN :
- Now before you get all excited and slap on the new bearing, STOP! It is very very easy to install it wrong. If you don't pay attention, you get 50-50 chance of doing it right LOL. Nothing worse than installing it wrong, because you will ruin an otherwise brand new bearing.

so true



pay attention on the WRONG WAY i installed them , i was not in a good mood today
ended up i need 1 new rear bearing now ...



and for people who think good bearing can cost 28$ please don't do it
I think 40-50$ shipped still an excellent price for it

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  #49  
Old 03-07-2012, 10:08 AM
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Champaign,
I don't see how you installed the rear bearings the Wrong way...
Please explain what you did that was wrong.
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  #50  
Old 03-07-2012, 10:13 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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It is the orientation of the new bearing.
The flange (where the 4 bolts go into) needs to point away from the hub itself.

In the pictures posted by champaign777, he installed it backward, thus destroying the brand-new bearing.
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