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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 08-21-2009, 08:54 AM
hockenheim hockenheim is offline
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Missing underbody panel?

Noob question:

on the new-to-me 2003 530i/5spd there is no plastic panel below the oil pan and transmission. Is this the way the cars came from the factory or did this panel go missing?

Thanks in advance.

/alex
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2009, 09:02 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Check realoem dot com.
The Plastic Panel should be there.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:31 AM
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paferri paferri is offline
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Interesting, I cannot locate the part for a '98 528i....Should it be there for all e39's or just newer models? CN, you have the same year as I do and I am only seeing an engine cover...nothing under the tranny.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2009, 12:14 PM
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doru doru is offline
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The plastic undercover is only under the engine bay for the i6. Also, you have a plastic cover for the gas filter (under driver seat and left). A tad different than the v8.
You should reach the oil drain plug without having to open the lid - like the v8 models (because there is none). Also no panel to cover the tranny.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2009, 12:36 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paferri View Post
Interesting, I cannot locate the part for a '98 528i....Should it be there for all e39's or just newer models? CN, you have the same year as I do and I am only seeing an engine cover...nothing under the tranny.
Correct, Splashguard only for engine, not for trans.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2009, 01:21 PM
dondenver dondenver is offline
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Interesting as I just replaced the front lower bumper trim spoiler (5118216706) to the lower edge of the front bumper which went missing after a large curb parking incident . It is the lip of that new spoiler which is what the lower plastic [forward engine bay] shelding rests upon in front…holding the sheild higher and tightening up the fit with the stock bumper.

While my 00 28i has the plastic sheilding under the engine bay, ahead of the drain pan, and fortunately in good order including the securing rivits, I cannot locate that particular part on Realoem.

OP, do you still have the lower bumper trim spoiler?
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2009, 01:26 PM
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They actually make a plastic pannel to cover the tranny and oil plug. I bought from the dealer once, but was unable to install it because the car did not have the mounting points needed to attach it.

However, it is correct that the cars did NOT come with this cover from the factory.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2009, 07:15 PM
hockenheim hockenheim is offline
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P/n ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Check realoem dot com.
The Plastic Panel should be there.
Thank you.

Would you happen to know the part number and / or the realoem.com URL that shows it. I am having no luck trying to locate it in "Body Panels" or "Engine".

Thanks

/alex
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:39 PM
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My car DOES have the mounts for the plastic trans shield, but its missing. I checked RealOem and the car should have it. (FYI I think its found under the 'front bumper' or 'trim' section in RealOem- I have found it in there listed for my car)

I think because my car was built for export to Australia, it got the tranny shield, whereas other markets didnt get them. The price of the shield is horrendous from my dealer, so I'm getting my Dad to pick a second hand one up off a wrecked E39 while he's in Japan
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2009, 09:14 AM
hockenheim hockenheim is offline
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Interesting topic.

Just to clarify my original post - I am wondering about the ENGINE undertray, rather than the transmission undertray. I understand that the engine undertray is supposed to be installed at the factory for a US-spec 530i. It seems that somewhere along its life mine has lost its tray. I doubt it is due to damage as I see no evidence of damage on the undercarriage, but rather due to negligence when servicing the vehicle.
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  #11  
Old 08-24-2009, 09:27 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Then time get a replacement plastic splashguard, which is not absolutely essential for the car but it will keep most of the debris out of the drivebelt area.
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2009, 06:10 PM
sidneyj sidneyj is offline
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Lots of confusion here. I have an '03 and it did not come with a plastic guard cover for the transmission but yes realoem.com does show one being available. I wouldn't bother. If you have any fluid leaks this cover can potentially keep the fluid leak hidden.
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2009, 07:34 PM
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M///Chook M///Chook is offline
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Ah. You were talking about the engine compartment plastic underbody shield
Getting one would probably save your pulleys and idlers (and front of engine) from the road grit and debris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidneyj View Post
Lots of confusion here. I have an '03 and it did not come with a plastic guard cover for the transmission but yes realoem.com does show one being available. I wouldn't bother. If you have any fluid leaks this cover can potentially keep the fluid leak hidden.
Yeah, but there's a big transmission electronic control plug right in front of the trans oil pan- I know from experience that if you have any unplanned "offroad excursions" this plug is unprotected and vulnerable to get hit by debris without the trans shield pan.
Its a big round black connector plug. Goes to the tranny & looks rather important...
Thats why I want that pan.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:55 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dondenver View Post
... I cannot locate that particular part on Realoem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hockenheim View Post
...Would you happen to know the part number and / or the realoem.com URL that shows it. I am having no luck trying to locate it in "Body Panels" or "Engine".

Thanks

/alex

The body panel that goes under the engine (engine compartment screening) is #9 in the diagram...click this link that is the diagram/part nbr index for a 1999 528i..scroll down to item #9 in the part nbr index to get the BMW part nbr for this item: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...27&hg=51&fg=75


When you click on the link above...look at the top of the page and you will see the "path" to the diagram below...it is located in VEHICLE TRIM (main group) MOUNTING PARTS, ENGINE COMPARTMENT (sub group) AIR DUCT (diagram)


BTW: if you have the V8...item #13 is the little trap door that covers the oil pan's drain bolt.
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2011, 10:13 AM
Kali Kali is offline
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Sorry to bring up an old thread but I have some issues with real oem as well. The lower engine screening part shown in the diagram is actually incorrect, or maybe it's BMW that sends out incorrect parts. I found this all out the hard way. I ordered both the lower screening and the transmission cover/ underfloor coating and was able to fit the screening (with the oil drain cover) and couldn't seem to fit the transmission cover/ underfloor coating. I found out that this is because looking at the diagram it seems that they would hook right in, however the part that you actually get is different than the screening part shown in the diagram and doesn't fit in properly with the underfloor coating. If you notice there is a little asymmetrical grove at the exhaust end of part 9, that groove seems to fit in nicely with part number 19 to protect your whole underside. However, when you look up the part numbers for 9 online or order them, that grove is not there and instead is flattened out to fit snug against the body. Furthermore, it seems that the oil drain spot is not present in the diagram but it is clearly there in the actual part. I believe that the transmission cover also contains the oil drain spot according to the diagram. So if you ordered both parts, like I did, then there would be overlap of those panels. What is going on here? Anybody care to shed some light on the situation.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E92-335...77/PriceAlert/

Link showing what the part actually looks like.

Last edited by Kali; 05-07-2011 at 10:27 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:00 AM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
The plastic undercover is only under the engine bay for the i6.
Au contraire, my Canadian friend. My car has a belly pan.




Edit: Aargh never mind. Tripped up again by not realizing this was an old thread and the issue had sort of been covered.
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Last edited by bobdmac; 05-07-2011 at 11:06 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2011, 02:27 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post
Sorry to bring up an old thread but ... it seems that the oil drain spot is not present in the diagram but it is clearly there in the actual part. I believe that the transmission cover also contains the oil drain spot according to the diagram. So if you ordered both parts, like I did, then there would be overlap of those panels. What is going on here? Anybody care to shed some light on the situation.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E92-335...77/PriceAlert/

Link showing what the part actually looks like.
First, BMW will many times use the SAME illustration for multiple models that have similar configurations...so you will sometimes find that the diagram is not like a detailed photo-finish. For example, if you look up the part by your car's VIN, or look up an e39 by a particular model, option pkg, & year...you will see the same diagram but may also find a different BMW part nbr for the under panel (#9).

Check these BMW part nbrs out and you'll see what I mean...they are all the front under panel for various e39 models sold in the USA, the illustration is the same, but the part may not be "physically" the same...that's the reason for the different part nbrs (but again, the illustration in the diagram is the same):
  • (528i/iT) 51 71 8 188 806
  • (528i/iT/525i/iT/530i) 51 71 8 159 980
  • (540i/M5) 51 71 2 498 988
  • (540i/iT/iP) 51 71 8 159 981
  • (525i/528i/iT/530i) 51 71 2 695 680

You linked us to the underpanel for the N54 e92 3 series. If you go back to my last post above yours and look at the very last sentence...I wrote in RED TEXT that item #13 is the "trap door" for the e39 V8 that covers the oil pan drain bolt. The trap door is listed and sold as a separate item in case you loose your original...but that doesn't mean that the trap door doesn't come with the panel...note how #13 is just sitting above the diagram and not in the illustration as you would assume it to be. Again, this is probably due to that the trap door can be purchased separately from the larger (#9) piece if one needs just to replace the trap door.

I believe you also need #28 to hold up the right rear of the front underpanel. I've never seen the rear panel (#19) before...but I wouldn't be surprised if you needed #28 and other hardware to mount the rear under panel.

Another thing to consider is...when you look up #9 & #19 in the part database...there is a notation in the supplemental column that explains that this panel may need to be MODIFIED to fit (indicating that the various engine configurations creates different fitment issues).

And again, you may need #28 and other pieces of hardware (the encircled numbers) to install the rear panel.

(this is the under panel for the e92 3 series)

The front under panel for my 99 540iT part nbr is 51 71 8 159 981 ...and this is the image ECS Tuning has for the under panel when you search using the e39 part nbr:

(this is the under panel for the e39 5 series)

Hopefully this will help clarify some things for you about the BMW part database. Although you may mistrust it...it probably more that you didn't quite understand how it works. As you can see from the examples I listed...it is still the best way to shop for parts if not using a BMW dealership. You should always check using your car's VIN or be specific about your car's model & year & options...then make sure that you read the part nbr index carefully and check the supplemental columns for any notation that may indicate differences or other important info.
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http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 05-07-2011 at 02:57 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-07-2011, 04:01 PM
Kali Kali is offline
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Your reply is MUCH appreciated, however you seemed to have misunderstood what I was trying to say. I do see your point about those parts being different. However, check the part number on that link and compare it with the part numbers in this link http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...27&hg=51&fg=75 . Yes, that would be correct, the part number matches up. Furthermore, the point of attachment to part number 19 is exactly the same on both of those parts. They are flat and snug against the car. So neither of those would hook up with 19. My point, was that the part numbers that they list at Real OEM don't match up to the physical item. None of the part numbers listed in the real oem site match up to that diagram. In order to attach that transmission cover portion you need that EXACT lower engine screening/ cover in the diagram. Notice how it doesn't have an oil panel attachment in the diagram? That is because the transmission cover actually contains that. And they hook right into each other right before the oil drain bolt on your car. You have to look very carefully at the real oem diagram to see that those diagrammed parts fit right into each other. Furthermore, unless you COMPLETELY sawed off major portions of part number 19 then there is no way to fit it with the ACTUAL part supplied by BMW for those part numbers in real oem. Trust me, I've had the car up with my mechanic and we could only see small attachment points but they all point to that panel on part number 19 being placed right over the oil drain bolt.

By the way, YES, I searched by VIN and the same results show up. And I bought some of the brackets etc, but the main issue is the incorrect lower engine screening supplied by BMW.

EDIT: I found a pic of an M5 undercarriage http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...mg7901ja7.jpg/ . It's a similar lower engine screening as the regular 5-series V8 but the transmission cover/ part 19 is different, it seems to tuck right into that part, interesting. Seeing as the end of the M5 screening cover and end of 540 cover look exactly the same, this might be the part that we actually need. However, I don't get many results when I google M5 underfloor coating. If I can find that piece I think I can put it together with the pieces I already have. So there seems to be two sets of part 9 and 19 for the regular 5-series. One that looks like the REAL OEM diagram for I-6 models and one that looks like what the M5 has, which is what I believe my setup must be in my 540.

Last edited by Kali; 05-07-2011 at 04:39 PM.
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  #19  
Old 05-07-2011, 04:47 PM
franka franka is offline
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I still have mine on my 97 540/6.

Its main purpose is to control the air flow inside the engine compartment.

It will also protect debris from getting into the belt and fan as cn90 mentioned.

It will also prevent snow from packing up into the compartment.

It is not for protection a la skid pan.
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:04 PM
Kali Kali is offline
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Ok, I think the mystery is solved. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1080900. That looks like it would go perfectly with our 540i engine screening/ belly pan/ # 9. There is no way that it could possibly be the part in the diagram that I don't have a real picture of right now. I have the part in my garage back home and won't be able to get to it before the the 20th. I believe that this mystery will be solved by then though. I am very confident that the part I seek is or is very similar to that used for the M5. I was guessing that I might need the one that is listed for cars with manual transmission, but I couldn't find a pic of this to verify. Any insight or comments are appreciated.

Last edited by Kali; 05-07-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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  #21  
Old 05-10-2011, 10:25 AM
Kali Kali is offline
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Update

I'm still looking into this and have found a similar picture to what I received from BMW using the REAL OEM parts catalog. http://www.schmiedmann.com/5_series/...age1.htm#18981 . It's the transmission cover for the 530i with the asymmetrical construction (only one with a picture). Now ask yourself, how the heck will that fit with the symmetrical bellypan/ lower engine screening in our 540is? It won't, REAL OEM is wrong for listing that part number. I'll send someone an email when I confirm this by ordering the M5 or other ACTUALLY compatible part.

Last edited by Kali; 05-10-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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  #22  
Old 05-10-2011, 05:10 PM
franka franka is offline
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I called the dealer. That M5 pan is $ 283. With taxes its around 300 bucks.

That's a lot of cash for a piece you will not see and will not help your mileage enough to be worth it, unless you are running in a mileage contest and looking for the last 1/100 mile/gal.

Do yourself a favor. Forget screwing with REAL OEM. Get your VIN # and call a dealer. You will get the correct info and pricing for your exact car.
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  #23  
Old 05-10-2011, 06:19 PM
Kali Kali is offline
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Franka, I am in contact with the parts department at BMW and they were the ones that actually messed up in the first place. So, this seems to be a problem with BMW and with REAL OEM. Hopefully my cover isn't as expensive as that of the M5. I'm hoping that this cover will provide additional protection to the undercarriage of my car ( I plan on keeping this thing til it dies or is totaled) and lower cabin noise. I also get a big discount at the BMW parts department near me and I already bought the incorrect transmission panel so it will be a simple exchange.

I hope that my experience and documentation shed light on an area for which I could not find any information previously. Can you believe that I could not find a single picture of the underside of a 540i with this cover installed? I will be sure to post pictures when I get this up on the lift. I just want to add to the expansive base of knowledge that already exists for our vehicles. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Kali; 05-10-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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  #24  
Old 05-10-2011, 07:28 PM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post
I'm hoping that this cover will provide additional protection to the undercarriage of my car
I understand and get your post. Regarding the panel, its not a skid plate.

If I was serious about protection I would fit a pc of 16 ga (0.060" apprx) galvanized sheet steel and cover a larger area at the same time.

Use 14 ga (0.075" apprx) for even more protection.

Its easy to hammer areas into it for part clearance. Hammer it on grass or dirt. And you can cut holes wherever wanted.
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  #25  
Old 05-10-2011, 07:51 PM
Kali Kali is offline
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Haha, I was actually considering something very similar to that made by this company, I lost the link, but it was basically the same idea: sheet metal with a custom fit. Anyway, yeah, I'm not lookinf for skid pad type protection but more splash small abrasion protection from salty water, small rocks, etc. I live on an island between a bay and ocean. The high salinity of the sand and flood water remanance on the roads makes for a highly oxidative environment.
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