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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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  #201  
Old 02-24-2012, 01:32 AM
MJLavelle MJLavelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
Oh, here's the part I left out. I pushed the pin back in, flush. And then I was unable to pull it back out. The crud around the housing probably helps to keep it in.

I were to do it again, I'd simply pull out the DISA once in a while and check it. If the housing is not cracked, just push the pin back in, and see if it stays stuck in. If so, just keep using your DISA.
Maybe scrape out old gasket, and install new $2 o-ring while you're at it.
Good luck, depending on engine crud to hold a part together. There is a reason why someone has devoted so much time and effort to designing a permenent fix for this part. They are failing at a very high rate, some of them with catastrophic consequences. And this is true across multiple product lines. If your DISA looked so good, it is quite possible it has already been replaced once. I am assuming you are not the original owner. If I am wrong, then my apologies. The other thing is that these failures cause drivability problems, and sometimes SES codes. Not all failures are engine destroyers. The issue here is that people are tired of paying $250 for a part that they know is poorly designed, and has potential to destroy your engine. So, a low cost solution is cheap insurance and added reliability. You are giving out bad advice, and are ill informed about what can happen in a failure. You are guessing that the pin will be trapped, and not make its way into the intake. The people who are buying this kit already know what can happen, and have already experienced failures. Your shade tree analysis is an insult to the person who has put a lot of time and effort into studying the design, materials, and function of this device, and spent more time designing a solution. For you to come in and hand out advice based on your analysis of one unit, and post a determination that "all is well" is ridiculous. People don't spend time and effort fixing something that is not broken. And they don't get so many people supporting him if there was not an obvious, systemic problem. You are free to do what you want, based on your analysis, but it is just not responsible to advise others to do so, until you have spent even 1/4 of the time studying the situation that the OP has. It is just ignorance/arrogance/irresponsible.
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  #202  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:41 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Hey, to each his own.
I think other people might appreciate my analysis.
I am not a mechanic, so do whatever you want with your DISA.

If your DISA is flapping around all broken, or has cracks in it, by all means, replace it.
Mine wasn't. It was still solid after 120k.
If you want to throw money at stuff that isn't really broken, go for it.

In fact, that's just what I did.
I can afford it, and want to learn small repairs, so I just replaced it before I understood what was going on.
I believed whatever I read about this DISA issue, b/c I didn't know any better (I am just learning about BMWs)
To me, I probably spent $170 on a part that wasn't anywhere close to being broken.
(Like looking inside the intake, and seeing the pick goes right back with 1 push)

So, all I suggested was that people actually CHECK their DISA before just throwing money at a problem that doesn't exist in THEIR car. (Like I did!)
I am sure Gary would say the same. ANY expert BMW guy will tell you the #1 rule is not to throw money cluelessly at the car.
Also, I am fairly certain my DISA was original, as I have all the service papers from 65k to 120k.

I think this is a valuable contribution to this forum (whose main purpose is to save owners money, by spreading knowledge and experience)
That is what I have done. Frankly, you come off as slightly brainwashed, and just believing everything you read.
I spent the money and played it safe. Sounds like that's your plan as well. No hard feelings, and good luck.

Last edited by EconoBox; 02-24-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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  #203  
Old 02-24-2012, 06:16 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Econobox, OEM DISA = ticking timebomb, just like the cooling system.
Hope it won't catch you with your pants down on a long trip.
I have a new DISA in my car (changed last summer), and I will still buy the kit to retrofit the old unit, which was looking OK-ish. The flapper had about 1/8" turn slop, and the pin started to fall out. That's enough for me.
Looking on different forums (and I asked also on different forums) for the M54B30 engine, all the people who experienced the DISA failure, it happened at around the 90-100k mark.
If Gary would have been around earlier, I would have saved some $$ with his fix. Now, I will still buy the DISA kit, just like I changed the cooling system, which was looking great by eyballing it. Same with the Vanos - I changed the seals.
I never had CEL and I don't want to see those pesky lights.
As you said, to each its own. This is not throwing $$$ at problems that are not existing. This is throwing $$$ at problematic parts that will fail when you will need the car the most. And trust me: it's better to change a part that is known to fail, than to take the chance and wait until it fails. Because some of those failures can take - unfortunately - the engine with it.
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  #204  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:01 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Econobox, I agree that it's worth discussing the pro's and con's of replacing parts that might fail but haven't yet, but when we take a position, we should do our best to avoid spreading misconceptions. Here's the problem I, and maybe a few others in this thread have, with what you said in your post #186:
"I'm not even convinced it was a problem b/c of the pictured recess that would trap the pin.
If the pin fell out, there is nowhere for it to go...
If anything if may fall down when you remove the entire DISA, but it can easily be fished out, in that case.
Unless the entire plastic housing shatters, I don't see where the pin could go to....
To me, this sounds like you're discounting, if not dismissing, the possibility of the pin falling into the engine and that you're asserting it would just get trapped in some benign spot where it could easily be retrieved. You didn't qualify your statement as an inexpert opinion in any way. As you yourself later acknowledged, the pin has in fact fallen out of its housing and caused serious damage inside the cylinder. Maybe you didn't mean to dismiss the possibility originally, but that's kind of how it came across to me and why I posted the photos. I was concerned that others would draw an incorrect conclusion that the possibility was so remote that it was inconsequential, when in fact we have pretty good photographic evidence that it poses a serious risk.
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  #205  
Old 02-24-2012, 09:45 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
To me, this sounds like you're discounting, if not dismissing, the possibility of the pin falling into the engine and that you're asserting it would just get trapped in some benign spot where it could easily be retrieved. .
Correct, I am indeed discounting the possibility of the pin falling into the engine. The picture speaks for itself.
In my amateur opinion, it would take a lot more than a loose pinhead at the end of a sturdy DISA b/c it has nowhere to go.
I'd love to see the actual DISA unit of those who experienced catastrophic failure with the pin.
I bet they all had disintegrated DISA housings, in addition to a loose pin.

Also, I don't need to qualify myself as this or that. This is an internet forum.
Everything is an opinion and it is up to the reader to decide what he believes, and what is delirious rubbish.
You can claim you are Buddah, for all anyone cares. Doesn't mean you are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
This is not throwing $$$ at problems that are not existing. This is throwing $$$ at problematic parts that will fail when you will need the car the most. And trust me: it's better to change a part that is known to fail, than to take the chance and wait until it fails. Because some of those failures can take - unfortunately - the engine with it.
We are in agreement. I am just saying that it's impossible to truly ascertain how likely this failure is.
The entire DISA panic of 2012 is based on, say, 15 internet examples? 20? Is that fair? The same ONE photo of the pitted piston keeps getting passed around.
Well, you need to look at proportions. Hypothetically speaking, what if 20 out of 1,500,000 DISAs failed, and all 20 reported it on this internet forum?
Hypothetically speaking, that would be an actual failure rate of .001%. The reader should be aware of such a hypothetical percentage when making his decision.
Do you see where I am coming from? Not the 100% self-reported failures in a forum.

Last edited by EconoBox; 02-24-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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  #206  
Old 02-24-2012, 10:14 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Where did all the love go?

Actually Econobox has a good point regarding the pin. It is held captive unless either the pin it self breaks, or the valve support frameworks breaks, both of which are probably pretty rare. The reason I designed the kit was because of the OEM design's poor choice of materials which cause self destructive wear. The kit was designed to be a one time fix for the wear problem at a cost less than that of a new unit that would just fail again. I figured as long as I was doing a redesign, why not make it impossible for even the unlikely to occur. That is why the new design has everything secured from outside the housing and is just a little added icing on the cake.

Thanks again everyone!

gary

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  #207  
Old 02-24-2012, 11:54 PM
MJLavelle MJLavelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
Correct, I am indeed discounting the possibility of the pin falling into the engine. The picture speaks for itself.
In my amateur opinion, it would take a lot more than a loose pinhead at the end of a sturdy DISA b/c it has nowhere to go.
I'd love to see the actual DISA unit of those who experienced catastrophic failure with the pin.
I bet they all had disintegrated DISA housings, in addition to a loose pin.

Also, I don't need to qualify myself as this or that. This is an internet forum.
Everything is an opinion and it is up to the reader to decide what he believes, and what is delirious rubbish.
You can claim you are Buddah, for all anyone cares. Doesn't mean you are.



We are in agreement. I am just saying that it's impossible to truly ascertain how likely this failure is.
The entire DISA panic of 2012 is based on, say, 15 internet examples? 20? Is that fair? The same ONE photo of the pitted piston keeps getting passed around.
Well, you need to look at proportions. Hypothetically speaking, what if 20 out of 1,500,000 DISAs failed, and all 20 reported it on this internet forum?
Hypothetically speaking, that would be an actual failure rate of .001%. The reader should be aware of such a hypothetical percentage when making his decision.
Do you see where I am coming from? Not the 100% self-reported failures in a forum.
If you go back in the history of the forums, the DISA has been an issue since cars started hitting the 40k mile mark. This is not the DISA scare of 2012, it has been an ongoing weap spot. And there may only be 15 or so examples of it causing engine failure on the Internet, but you are making the assumption that the millions of others are probably fine. But the truth is that probably less than 1% of BMW drivers even ever bother to look at, let alone join a forum. So, the sample size is already small. I can tell you from my own personal experience of looking at used e46's, the majority of ones I looked at has a malfunctioning DISA, and we're being sold because the owners were aware that the engine had lost power, and we're just afraid that they were looking at expensive repairs. We also have no way of knowing how many engine failures this has caused, because the owner would have to go to the trouble of having the engine torn down for a diagnosis, their mechanic would have to determined the cause of the failure, and then the owner would have to have been a BMW forum reader/member who then went online and posted his experience. That would be an incrediblely small portion of the BMW owners that met all of that criteria. The majority of owners would find out that there was major damage to the engine, and either sell the car for parts, or drop a used or rebuilt engine in the car. They won't pay extra for a tear down and analysis. So, when something happens a few times to active forum members, you have to extrapolate that out to the larger population (the other 99%), and you have to start paying attention. You can't base it on the quantity reported, since the majority of failures never make it to the forums.
As you said, you are new to this. Some of us are not (I am newly registered on this Forum, but I have read it for years). You will learn over time that when a problem starts getting reported on here, it is highly likely that it is a widespread issue. you are free to ignore the advice, but it is a bit out of line to dismiss it altogether. You have a new DISA now. Your old unit was working, but honestly, you were at risk. For some of us, spending money to have some peace of mind is not a problem. In fact, it is welcome knowledge. You seem to be slightly pissed that you read a few posts, and bought a new DISA based on that advice. The truth is, you should have looked at yours before buying. Not to mention, your description makes it sound like you were in the early stages of failure. You should be happy that you now have some peace of mind for the next 40-60k miles, and not dismissing this as a non-issue. You will learn these things over time, possibly the hard way. I do hope you have listened to the advice to get a complete cooling system averhaul, if you are not sure it has already been done. I have read many threads written by people who wished they had listened to that advice. Just be happy that you own a car whose problem areas have been so well documented and have the benefit of years of previous experience to refer to. Owners of other brands don't have anything close to what is available to BMW owners.
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  #208  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:09 AM
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glaz1281 glaz1281 is offline
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Well put!
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  #209  
Old 02-25-2012, 07:31 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Glad we have this debate. We are all the wiser for it.
And yes, I have a new cooling system in my car (installed 30k miles ago)
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  #210  
Old 02-25-2012, 09:59 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
Just be happy that you own a car whose problem areas have been so well documented and have the benefit of years of previous experience to refer to. Owners of other brands don't have anything close to what is available to BMW owners.
That is truly what makes owning and maintaining this car a pleasure (driving it speaks for itself). The collective knowledge of this forum allows us all to preempt problems before they get severe. This particular model (E39) has an extremely well documented service history as well as most DIY procedures for correcting the problems. The spirited debate just makes for interesting reading!
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  #211  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:26 PM
George16 George16 is offline
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Ordered the improved DISA from Gary. Just waiting for it to arrive so I can install it. I will be cleaning the ICV and replacing the CVV and hoses as well.
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  #212  
Old 02-25-2012, 05:10 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Yeah, when I pulled my DISA there was no DISA hype on this or any other forums. It was sporadically brought up here and there - then somebody made a connection that 2 distinct lean codes have a chance bigger than 50% to be a failed DISA (codes are P0171 & P0174). These codes point to failed O2 sensors - both. But here is the deal: it's very rare for BOTH O2 sensors to fail simultanously.

So back on topic - I pulled my DISA, had some flop in the flapper and the pin was sticking out. To me that's not normal. Could that unit still work? sure. Not like a new one, but once some wear is there (the flop) this will help in self distructing the DISA. Once the arch that holds the flapper breaks, or the bottom plastic part (plastic "guide"), the steel pin will end up in the engine. The plastic pieces probably will not damage too bad the pistons or cylinders. The steel pin will.
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  #213  
Old 02-26-2012, 01:11 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
The plastic pieces probably will not damage too bad the pistons or cylinders. The steel pin will.
I wonder if an alternative fix could have been to replace the steel pin with a plastic one. Then, if it ever breaks, it won't damage the engine...
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  #214  
Old 02-26-2012, 02:09 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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Quote:
I wonder if an alternative fix could have been to replace the steel pin with a plastic one. Then, if it ever breaks, it won't damage the engine...
Econobox, where are we losing you?

The main problem, and main reason for the kit is this:
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The pin has nothing to do with anything unless there is a total failure that causes pieces to go through the motor. How would replacing the pin solve the loose flapper valve that fails to close, causes SES codes to be set, rough idle and decreased low end torque?

Discounting the above, the are several reasons why a plastic pin wouldn't be a good idea. If you would really like me to post them I will; but the more I read your posts the more I can't help but get the opinion that your ojective is to be negative for the sake of being negative, rather than engaging in a meaningful conversation.
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  #215  
Old 02-28-2012, 10:57 PM
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Sorry for the last post, I broke my own rule about making negative posts. After hundreds of hours invested in this project, design reviews, custom fixturing, sourcing titanium, fatigue testing, etc, having someone suggest that a plastic pin would accomplish the same thing kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Sorry Econobox.

OK now for an update:

Everyone that ordered a 3.0L kit, your kit will ship Wed the 29th. Thanks to the leap year I still made it by the end of the month.

The 2.5L kits still need to have the fixturing made and will ship probably 1st of next week. I'm not sure if I have any pre-orders on them, if I do I apologize that they will be a few days late.

Anyone who has been waiting to order until the titanium hardware was ready can now order.

Thanks again everyone for the support. It's been a lot of work and extra hours but I am proud of how it all turned out. I would feel as comfortable putting the finished parts in a display case as I do putting them into a dirty intake manifold.

Gary
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  #216  
Old 02-29-2012, 12:19 AM
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Just ordered a 3.0 kit. Not sure if I made the cut for the batch to be shipped tomo...err today.

I had no idea the DISA valve could ruin your motor until tonight. I decided to order one quickly.

My car has 120k miles and I have never checked out the DISA valve. I might go pull it tomorrow. I've been spooked by the posts here.
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  #217  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:55 AM
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Albo Albo is offline
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Originally Posted by newton22 View Post
Just ordered a 3.0 kit. Not sure if I made the cut for the batch to be shipped tomo...err today.

I had no idea the DISA valve could ruin your motor until tonight. I decided to order one quickly.

My car has 120k miles and I have never checked out the DISA valve. I might go pull it tomorrow. I've been spooked by the posts here.
It's well worth the effort and peace fo mind.
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  #218  
Old 02-29-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newton22 View Post
Just ordered a 3.0 kit. Not sure if I made the cut for the batch to be shipped tomo...err today.

I had no idea the DISA valve could ruin your motor until tonight. I decided to order one quickly.

My car has 120k miles and I have never checked out the DISA valve. I might go pull it tomorrow. I've been spooked by the posts here.
Wow!
Where have you been?
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  #219  
Old 02-29-2012, 11:18 AM
George16 George16 is offline
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I can't wait to receive mine so I can install it along with a new CCV and hoses. I'll be busy once all my parts arrive.
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  #220  
Old 02-29-2012, 09:21 PM
fortunateson fortunateson is offline
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Ordered mine last night. The product looks great and the R&R seems to be of high quality. I'll be glad if it's all that it appears. Just posted a reply re: last year's debacle and the "ultimate cup-holder" by that Janos goof; check out group buy thread. I'll re and re the valve cover gasket, plugs, Disa up-grade, and hands free phone up-grade once spring break arrives in 2 weeks! Oh, have to develop a more eloquent repair for the stressed trunk wiring harness that was designed no doubt by an BMW intern engineer!
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  #221  
Old 02-29-2012, 10:11 PM
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Wow!
Where have you been?
Hey Jason! I was in China and Japan for six weeks at the beginning of this year. During that time, I let my little brother "take the E39 for a walk" here and there. He ended up driving it several times a week and now he tries to borrow my car whenever he can.

I told him to get his own E39.
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  #222  
Old 03-03-2012, 05:19 PM
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Hey everyone I need to clarify a problem with our Paypal email address:

I have received two phone calls this week complaining that I have not responded to email messages that were sent to me using the email address imbedded in the 'Paypal payment confirmation' email message. Unfortunately I never received the messages because that address has not been used for two years due to a change in service providers. I had deleted the address from our Paypal profile a long time ago but it was somehow still attached to our outgoing messages generated from within Paypal. The problem has been corrected and I apologize to anyone who may have tried to contact me through that address and did not get a reply. It makes me wonder how many messages I have missed over the last two years.

Thanks,

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  #223  
Old 03-03-2012, 05:29 PM
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gary@germanautosolutions gary@germanautosolutions is offline
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One more thing:

I have received several emails asking whether the 3.0L kits were sold out after filling the back orders. I have also received several emails asking how much the kit costs and where to purchase it.

  • 3.0L kits are in stock and ready to ship. 2.5L kits are still in production.
  • The kits can be purchased at: http://germanautosolutions.com/BMW_Solutions.html
  • Complete instructions are also available on the site for those that may want to preview the proceedure.
Thanks again everyone,

Gary
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  #224  
Old 03-04-2012, 10:36 AM
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How long until the modified CCV is ready?
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  #225  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:16 AM
mcung13 mcung13 is offline
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Location: ireland
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: e39 530i 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
How long until the modified CCV is ready?
+1

Would really like to see, how it looks like and how easy it will be to service.
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