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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 02-26-2012, 07:02 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Battery is 7 months old. It is a Mopar battery. Don't know model number. Was installed by selling dealer prior to my purchase.
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  #27  
Old 02-26-2012, 08:58 PM
Nakiagandy Nakiagandy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy4trains View Post
Dealer isn't convenient. Do you think those are available on-line or at my local parts store? I will find out soon.
I brought mines at advance auto parts and it worked great.get the Bosh 1!
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  #28  
Old 02-27-2012, 04:27 AM
BMR01530 BMR01530 is offline
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I just had my alt. rebuild $170... I did it without taking off the fan, etc.. I already had an hydraulic tensioner on it. I then went back a week later and replaced the Idler pulley, that would have been done in 10 mins, if I didnt spend 45 mins fishing the pulley cap out of the fan shroud.. which now that I have done that, is really very easy to do, just prying space on the bottom between the shroud and the aluminum trim lets the stuck pieces fall out, then bend back.

The most diffcult part was getting the alt bolts back in the holes.. do the top first, since you can see the bolt come through, and align from the back side with a large allen wrench, then the bottom slides in very easily. It took all my wieght to push the alt back into its mounting slot, tight fit. But the alt. seems not to be too bad, if you prepare for tight fits (mentally)...

I also use a rachet closed end wrench on the top bolt, once I broke it with a bar. Like I say, metally prepare for tight quarters and you can do this without taking anything out of hte way, but the air intake.

Last edited by BMR01530; 02-27-2012 at 04:30 AM.
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  #29  
Old 02-27-2012, 04:44 AM
BMR01530 BMR01530 is offline
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I was just thinking about the 'dumb' mechanic holding the fan, while someone starts the engine.

If I remember correctly. If this fan is a viscous coupling type, it dosen't engage until the fan fluid gets hot. so you can actually hold the blades stopped while the fan itself is cool. I use to test the fan on my Range Rover classic, by knowing that once its hot and the engine is off the fan will not turn, but if not working, the blades will spin.

This idea, doesnt put stress on the engine until the engine is hot enough to need the fan, same theory as the electric fan, only on when needed.

IF someone was interested I still have my shop manual for the Rover, I could copy the fan diagram that shows this.

I still won't do what is being discribed... scares me just to thing of it.
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  #30  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:33 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Voltage was down to 12.15 volts this morning, 48 hours after a full charge. Will be purchasing a battery in the next day or two, time permitting.
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  #31  
Old 02-27-2012, 11:27 AM
Nakiagandy Nakiagandy is online now
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I had the same problem.but my alt.was bad.so i got another 1 & charged the battery up.i also bought a voltage stablizer to help with the drainage.i suggest u buy 1 too,it works for me.i wont drive my car for dayz & still no drainage!!!
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  #32  
Old 02-27-2012, 06:29 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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So much good information here, I'm not sure what else the OP needs.

In an attempt to help, I point the OP to the alternator test thread:
- DIY how to test a BMW E39 battery & alternator

And, I concur that, while it may be possible, it's definitely handy to remove the shroud & fan when replacing belts and/or tensioners.

Here's the procedure, for example:
- DIY for replacing the E39 I6 alternator (1) (2) (3) (4) or E39 V8 alternator (1) (2) (3) (4)

I also point the OP to this post to show how to tell which alternator you're replacing:
- How to determine exactly what alternator you have (1)

If Bosch, this lesser-known part-number hint may help:
- How to tell from the part number if the alternator is rebuilt "by" Bosch (1)

As for the battery, I too had trouble hefting the huge thing out of the trunk as shown here (hint: Don't do what I did!):
- A simple battery replacement DIY (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #33  
Old 02-27-2012, 06:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
I heard it's a nightmare to get the fan back on the threads with so little room to maneuver.
Cn90 already posted the 'right' answer.

Here's the wrong answer:
- How I managed to install the fan on crooked

In addition, these should help the OP:
- E39 Fan shroud removal DIY (Besian) (M54)
- Removal instructions for the alternator & drive belt system of a 2002 525i
- Removal instructions for the fan shroud of a 2002 525i
- Tools necessary for a cooling system overhaul
etc.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #34  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:26 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
So much good information here, I'm not sure what else the OP needs.

In an attempt to help, I point the OP to the alternator test thread:
- DIY how to test a BMW E39 battery & alternator

And, I concur that, while it may be possible, it's definitely handy to remove the shroud & fan when replacing belts and/or tensioners.

Here's the procedure, for example:
- DIY for replacing the E39 I6 alternator (1) (2) (3) (4) or E39 V8 alternator (1) (2) (3) (4)

I also point the OP to this post to show how to tell which alternator you're replacing:
- How to determine exactly what alternator you have (1)

If Bosch, this lesser-known part-number hint may help:
- How to tell from the part number if the alternator is rebuilt "by" Bosch (1)

As for the battery, I too had trouble hefting the huge thing out of the trunk as shown here (hint: Don't do what I did!):
- A simple battery replacement DIY (1)
I'm not sure if you are scolding me or just stating that there is some good information in this thread!!??

I read them all. I felt my results were anomalous from most of the referenced information as the alternator would register 13.6 +/- volts at startup but then drop quickly to 11.6 +/- volts. I couldn't find that discussed anywhere, but one can always look deeper. In my mind, and many others, the alternator was at fault and also explained the low voltage readings on the battery. 10 year old alternator vs. 6 month old battery also had me leaning toward the alternator.

Hindsight is 20/20. I should have charged the battery first prior to removing the alternator. That much I acknowledge. I had access to my tools and my hands. I did not have access to a battery charger so I dove into the alternator removal. I learned a lot in the process and would not hesitate to tackle it again if necessary. I would also be much more efficient.

I have a new Duralast 49-DL in the back of my Tahoe awaiting the charger and installation into the car.

I will report back after i put it all back together.
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Last edited by crazy4trains; 02-28-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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  #35  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:41 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Is the car driven regularly? If not, that can cause short battery life. If you do not drive the car at least a couple times per week, and for 30 to 40 minutes minimum, you may not be keep the battery charged sufficiently. I would highly recommend the purchase of a battery charger that includes a cigarette lighter adapter. This makes for an easy and convenient way to keep your battery topped up. Even though I drive my car regularly, I still use a battery tender once or twice per week. My battery is over 5 years old an still load tests above its rated 900CCA!

You can find battery tenders for about $20 to $30 at many big box stores...if it doesn't include the cigarette lighter adapter, you can buy one with an 8 ft cord at Radio Shack and splice it on yourself.
The key feature in any battery tender is that it is microprocessor controlled and shuts off at full charge, rather than continuing to charge and boil off the electrolyte. Most 'trickle chargers' are of the latter type and not recommended.

If you want to go "all out" you can get one of these fancy ones from Griot's Garage: http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...+manager+iv.do
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  #36  
Old 02-28-2012, 01:31 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Yes, car is driven regularly.

I think i just got a POS Mopar battery. I will have it tested when I drop it off for my core. If, for some unforeseen reason the battery test out OK, which I now doubt, I will just hang onto it.
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  #37  
Old 03-01-2012, 08:04 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Update:

Installed a new Duralast 49-DL two days ago. I fully charged the battery prior to install. I leave the house this morning and am monitoring the voltage on the cluster. Voltage on cluster varies between 12.2 and 12.4 volts and is independent of engine RPM. Doesn't make me feel too good. Three miles from home and suddenly boom; it feels like i've run over a piece of 1x lumber. I get the DSC and ABS lights (maybe others too). The battery light is also now on and the cluster reads "transmission failsafe mode". Car is now stuck in either 3rd or 4th gear. I debate taking car to my local parts store to scan but am concerned that I will not be able to get home afterward so I turn around and drive home while stuck in either 3rd or 4th gear.

I get home and read with my DMM a voltage of 12.12 volts at the battery. I start the car and now it reads 11.8 volts at the battery. The battery light is still on but I take it for a short drive through the neighborhood. It is no longer stuck in 3rd or 4th gear.

All arrows point to the alternator, that was previously bench tested as OK.

Short of buying a new alternator are there any other things I can check? Also, what was the boom that occurred? Was this the transmission locking into gear?

The saga continues!

Thanks again for any help!!!
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Last edited by crazy4trains; 03-01-2012 at 08:05 AM.
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  #38  
Old 03-01-2012, 08:12 AM
Nakiagandy Nakiagandy is online now
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Smile

Naw just go back and fully charge your battery & go to the auto parts store & buy a new Bosh alternater.i had the sam problem......it was the alternater.the trans is electrical.so any drop in the volts,it defaults the tranny & the whole car.let me know !!!
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  #39  
Old 03-04-2012, 10:45 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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To close this one out, I put on a new alternator and all is well. Frustrated that when I had to original alternator bench tested it checked out OK so I put it back on and looked toward the battery. That was an exercise in futility. I think the most difficult part was re-installing the existing alternator. The lower mounting shoe was an extremely tight fit. At least now I have a new battery and alternator.

I also have to stand corrected. It is possible to remove the existing alternator and install the new alternator without removing the fan shroud. I did have to remove the fan. Not removing the shroud made re-installing the fan more of a challenge. Also, reinstallation of the serpentine belt was a challenge but ultimately do-able.
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  #40  
Old 03-04-2012, 03:34 PM
simt simt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy4trains View Post
To close this one out, I put on a new alternator and all is well. Frustrated that when I had to original alternator bench tested it checked out OK so I put it back on and looked toward the battery. That was an exercise in futility. I think the most difficult part was re-installing the existing alternator. The lower mounting shoe was an extremely tight fit. At least now I have a new battery and alternator.

I also have to stand corrected. It is possible to remove the existing alternator and install the new alternator without removing the fan shroud. I did have to remove the fan. Not removing the shroud made re-installing the fan more of a challenge. Also, reinstallation of the serpentine belt was a challenge but ultimately do-able.

Wow what a saga. Congratulations on having it all sorted now. That boom and then the transmission going into failsafe mode could not have been a pleasant experience to say the least.
Also, I appreciate how annoyed you were about having the alternator bench tested as okay, and then it turns out to be faulty anyway.
I've just replaced my aux fan and I paid an hours labour to an auto electrician to make sure the fan was failing and not another part of the system. It didn't seem like he spent very long on it and I was thinking about how annoyed I'd be if he was wrong. That said, he was right though, the new fan is working just fine.
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  #41  
Old 03-04-2012, 06:23 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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A great well documented tale of diagnosing and resolving a problem. Good lessons learned for all that follow. Appreciate your time and effort to document your experience. I am sure that it will be hepful to someone. And glad to see you resolved your problem!
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  #42  
Old 03-04-2012, 07:47 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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It's always great to hear a resolution like this, with an actual solution to a problem. Glad you were able to persevere and fill us in on the gory details. Nice work, and thanks.
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  #43  
Old 03-05-2012, 09:06 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simt View Post
Wow what a saga. Congratulations on having it all sorted now. That boom and then the transmission going into failsafe mode could not have been a pleasant experience to say the least.
Also, I appreciate how annoyed you were about having the alternator bench tested as okay, and then it turns out to be faulty anyway.
I've just replaced my aux fan and I paid an hours labour to an auto electrician to make sure the fan was failing and not another part of the system. It didn't seem like he spent very long on it and I was thinking about how annoyed I'd be if he was wrong. That said, he was right though, the new fan is working just fine.
Yes, the lockdown (as I call it) into failsafe mode was rather shocking. Hopefully there will be no long term effects.

I know the initial tester was not trying to hose me. I was not charged for the test. When I took the alternator into my local store to purchase the replacement, the tech said "I have to test this one". I thought you can test it all you want, I'm not walking out of here with it.

Now if it would just stop snowing!!!!
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  #44  
Old 02-04-2013, 07:54 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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To the OP, thanks for pointing me here as it's interesting to note an alternator that tests good but which is bad.

I'm having my own diagnostic issues right now - over here:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > It's my turn again: Dead battery ... two days in a row ... (yeah, I know what to do)

So, we'll just have to keep in touch!
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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