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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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  #1  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:26 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Location: Ellicott City, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
My new project - 2000 540iA - progress thread (lots of pics)

I just finished my previous project - 2001 330ci 6 speed manual swap (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=901286) and I was thinking to get another project, something like Z3 or maybe even Mini. Or, e39 touring (I still want it, btw). So, on last Sunday I was browsing the local craigslist when I found this:
2000 BMW 540i - $1900
Quote:
2000 BMW 540i. Orient Blue/Tan Leather 128K miles. Engine needs timing chain guides - car does not run - estimated cost to repair engine is $2,800.00.
Newer tires/brakes, cold a/c - car is in good condition . For sale $1,900.00 obo.
I immediately contacted the seller via email (he didn't put his cell in the ad) - I thought it would be a great deal, if engine survived (timing chain didn't snap and valves are not hit), even if this is automatic. He replied pretty fast:

Quote:
I do not believe that the chains slipped or any valves have been hit as the car has not been run since it started making the unusual sound caused by the chain running over the damaged plastic guides - the car was shut down immediately. According to the BMW mechanic who will not let it be run it apppears that the plastic covering on the chain guide(s) have shattered and they need to be replaced.

The car is a Orient Blue on Tan Leather 2000 540i automatic with heated seats, 6 disc CD changer with DSP sound. 128,000 miles. The engine ran very strong until this happened. It had synthetic oil changes every 7,500 miles. The mechanic noted that the chain sprocket teeth were not even worn - square shoulders and very clean.

This car had a rebuilt automatic transmission installed by BMW of Towson at 71,000 miles (trans would not shift into reverse gear - a common BMW auto trans. problem).

No tears on the seats (they had sheepskin covers so they are in very good shape for the age of the car). Moderate tint on windows. Brakes and tires have about 10K highway miles. Some minor dings/scratches on body, paint is good.

All lights work. The moonroof does not tilt up but does retract. Non-smoker car.

Also the Alternator was replaced about 2 yrs ago and the ABS module was rebuilt abt 3 yrs ago with a lifetime warranty from BBA Manufacturing.
He also gave me VIN and Autocheck came out clean. Wow. He sent me pics also:









Of course I set an appointment to look at the car as soon as I could (today) and made more pics and inspected the car as hard as I could (I had unlimited time since car is parked at the shop (the one that estimated 2800 for TC guides job) and nobody watched me either).
















So, here is the 'inspection report':
Good:
1) engine really looks clean inside
2) body looks good, not much of the dents, paint is in ok shape for the age
3) almost every electric thing works

Expected:
1) oil leaks here and there (valve cover gaskets, power steering)
2) dim headlight lenses due to age
3) interior requires a lot of cleaning

Bad:
1) rear driver's side door's power window doesn't work
2) some cracks on interior parts
3) condensation inside driver's side headlight
4) some cracked parts in engine compartment (not critical though)
5) windshield rubber gasket is completely dried, cracked and destroyed
6) tranny pan leaks some oil (seems to me, but I admit I didn't lift the car)
7) and the worst thing I found (besides all the timing chain guides thing) - I was completely unable to communicate with the car via OBD-II interface. I have several scanners and neither of them was able to connect to the onboard computer. This is what bothers me the most, since there is nothing worst than trying to fix electrical issues in cars.

So, the only issue that bothers me is the #7, I tried to connect PASoft 1.4.0 and INPA (which work fine with my E46) and nada. Maybe, need to reset everything by disconnecting battery, maybe battery didn't have enough juice, maybe something else. Unfortunately, I didn't take a regular ELM327 cable that time. Anyway, will see.

And more over, I started her! She is actually alive! See video of the engine running:


And I moved it a bit (a couple fit on R and then back to the spot) - it works!

I contacted the guy by email, sent him my report and he called me back. Considering all negative stuff I found (aside the TC guides issue) we settled the price at $1600! For really good car with really clean engine and plus I found a lot of receipts in the glove box! I definitely wanted to seal the deal tonight and couldn't allow the deal to slip if tomorrow/tonight another potential buyer calls. This happened in the past where I missed 2002 530i 134Kmi with blown auto tranny: I offered 2200, another buyer offered 2300, I offered 2500, he offered 2600 and I passed (and I am glad, since the engine sounded really bad and the owner admitted it was overheated in the past). So, I said we need to do it today and we met at 9pm, signed the title and the car is mine! For just 16 hundred! The ex-owner is a really nice guy, btw.

Need to tow it to my house (15 miles apart), since even though it is driveable I don't think it is a good idea to drive it with broken tc guides, right? And I'll post my progress here with pics and the first what I will do - I'll clean/wash the car. Then - tc guides, vanos, all seals, CCV, etc. Then all fluids (incl tranny and diff) and all other required maintenance (I have yet to learn a lot about e39s). I do not plan 6 spd swap for now (however, I see a deal on 6 spd tranny and driveshaft on CL, I still will try to get them, probably.... For future 540it ). I do not plan any mods at the moment (well, may be I'll retrofit steptronic EGS/shifter, will see).

Last edited by Nervous; 08-01-2012 at 09:31 PM. Reason: title
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:56 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Location: Ellicott City, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention: my wife doesn't know about this purchase yet.... I have to prepare her for the news.....
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:54 PM
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NoWayJose NoWayJose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervous View Post
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention: my wife doesn't know about this purchase yet.... I have to prepare her for the news.....
good luck
can't wait to see what you will do.
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2012, 06:23 AM
nsogiba nsogiba is offline
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Wow, wonderful deal. Even if you just repaired the engine and resold it, you'd make quite a profit. Congrats on the purchase.

Want to sell it to me for 2500?!
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2012, 07:48 AM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
Ha-ha, thanks, guys, for chime in! No, no plans on selling it at the moment As to my wife.... Yeah, she is out of the country right now, so I can delay the explanation of appearance of 4th car in our family....
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2012, 09:04 AM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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congrats on the fixer-upper! anyway you can update about the communication issue with obd, very curious about what solution you may find.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2012, 09:12 AM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
There is an idea to try under hood 20 pin round connector instead of 16 pin OBD2 one. I'll let you know.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2012, 10:45 AM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
So, I brought the car to my house today. Towing cost me $20 (tips to a driver), since I have a road side assistance plan with my insurance. Need to wash the car and then I make new pics.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:52 AM
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the540wgn the540wgn is offline
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wow that's a great find! good luck!
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2012, 01:04 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Washed it:






Have yet to clean messy interior.
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2012, 01:23 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
So, my plan:
1) wait till my 20-pin-to-16-pin adapter arrives to read codes.
2) start to disassemble the engine (will be able to start next weekend, I hope)
3) after disassembling is complete I'll figure out which parts do I need. At the moment I know for sure that I'd need VANOS kit, all rubber seals, oil pan gasket, autotranny filter kit. Also will need to rent timing tools.
4) when engine is done, will need to take care about maintenance (fluids, need to check how old is the cooling system, fuel filter, etc: everything was already done on my 330ci, so, no difficulties here)
5) will need to take care about some interior parts, like dim cluster (bulbs), some cracked parts need to be replaced.

As to mods. Even though I don't want at the moment to heavily modify the car, I am already planning to do some minor mods, such as:
1) steptronic shifter retrofit, $100 (I can reprogram EGS myself).
2) Business CD MP3 + aux input cable retrofit. $240 + $135 (EAC PlugPak) + $30 (aux input cable). I've done the same to my 330ci.
3) auto headlights retrofit. My car already has a rain sensor, so need to replace it with RLS, plus light switch and maybe LCM (need to check via NCS Expert if my current LCM supports it already or not). $200+. I've done it to my 330ci
4) might consider to replace orange tail and side lights by clear/smoked ones. As to headlights - will try to polish them first. But maybe will replace with facelifted ones/depo (are there DEPO headlights for e39?)

Last edited by Nervous; 08-05-2012 at 01:35 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2012, 04:14 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Hmm.... I contacted Beisan Systems regarding to M62TU VANOS seal kit and they told me it will be available only in ~3 months.... Oh, well.... No rush in repairing the engine then!
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:40 PM
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NoWayJose NoWayJose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervous View Post
But maybe will replace with facelifted ones/depo (are there DEPO headlights for e39?)
they have depo, dj auto and if you can get a good price on some 01+ oem headlights much better build quality.
i paid 140 for my 01 oem headlights and then i retrofitted FX-R low beam projectors giving me a d2s bulb base.
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M5 F+R Bumpers, M5 Mirrors with OEM setup, M5 rear sway bar, Cluster Rings, 03 Business player with AUX input, HID fogs slim, OEM 01+ Hella headlights, Euro Lens, EAC Aluminum Adjusters, FX-R low beam retrofit, Umnitza Orion halos, Hella Euro Celis Retrofit Kit, Koni yellow shocks with H&R Sport Springs, 19" M6 Reps, Full LEDs.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:03 AM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Thanks! Or, I just may end up with changing lenses to 'euro' ones (with clear/smoked corners), since my car already has xenons. Will see.
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  #15  
Old 08-09-2012, 06:33 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervous View Post
Hmm.... I contacted Beisan Systems regarding to M62TU VANOS seal kit and they told me it will be available only in ~3 months.... Oh, well.... No rush in repairing the engine then!
Hmm.. I went through their forum and Raj has been saying 'it will be ready in 2-3 months' since May 2011 (at least). Sucks, but true. So maybe we never see it in production.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:55 AM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
A small update. Whole last week I was in a business trip, so, not much was done. I've got 20-pin-to-16-pin adapter and, thank God, PASoft works now (didn't try INPA yet, but don't see why it shouldn't). I read the codes and there are some but nothing serious. This is DME codes:



So, the code 0x21 (33) may be a result of broken timing chain guides and indicate the fact that TC jumped a tooth on bank 1.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:48 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
Updated DME and EGS sw today. Both had original firmwares from 1999. DME was 7505035, now - 7539306; EGS was 7505503, now - 7508396. Car still starts after DME/EGS update

Last edited by Nervous; 08-12-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-17-2012, 09:40 AM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
A small update. Just started to disassemble the engine, not much done yet. Believe it or not, but fan doesn't was to go off the water pump (yes, I know it is left handed thread, yes I have hit the 32mm wrench with a 4lbs hammer - nada). So, waiting for the clutch fan tool to be deliverered ($25 off ebay).



In a meantime, I retrofitted automatic headlights. I didn't want to do any mods before I am done with the engine, but I just couldn't miss good deals on LCM, switch and RLS on ebay, so I got them. And since I needed to test them - I installed them:

New LCM:


My old LCM:


New switch:


RLS (not glued to the windshield yet, just hanging on a wire for now):


New LCM installed:



Once new LCM is installed, I got a 'tamper dot' (of course):


But using PASoft the tamper dot was removed in matter of minutes: programmed my VIN and mileage, restored all the options I had in my original LCM. Using NCS Expert I also enabled fog lights to be lit together with high beams (as on my E46).
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:40 PM
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NoWayJose NoWayJose is offline
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i need to that program so much you can do, so jealous
but over all keep us updated.
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M5 F+R Bumpers, M5 Mirrors with OEM setup, M5 rear sway bar, Cluster Rings, 03 Business player with AUX input, HID fogs slim, OEM 01+ Hella headlights, Euro Lens, EAC Aluminum Adjusters, FX-R low beam retrofit, Umnitza Orion halos, Hella Euro Celis Retrofit Kit, Koni yellow shocks with H&R Sport Springs, 19" M6 Reps, Full LEDs.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:09 PM
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Payback Payback is offline
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Ha! I read that Craigslist ad and ignored it because (1) it didn't have a phone number (2) I had just put money out for my 540i. Congrats on the purchase. Let me know what parts you need and prices. I live in the Baltimore metro and I can get some parts (OEM & 2nd String) at good prices. Save you $$$.
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  #21  
Old 08-18-2012, 11:52 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Thanks for the offer, Payback!

A small update: lower oil pan is off. No surprise there: plastic debris/parts of the tensioner/tc guides are there:



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  #22  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:18 PM
GSXRYDER GSXRYDER is offline
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wow...great work! manual swap?
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:22 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
Today I started to remove parts from engine compartment. Drained coolant from rad and engine block (one side), removed radiator, expansion tank, hoses, both cabin air filters. I still can't get the fan off, waiting for the tool to arrive soon. In a meantime I retrofitted amd programmed the homelink garage opener:



This is the one with rolling codes support, p/n 6919879. Works like a charm. Next stop - valve covers.
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:24 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Mein Auto: 01' 330CI 6MT / 00' 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXRYDER View Post
wow...great work! manual swap?
No plans to do this. I already have done it on my steptronic 330ci (now it is 6 speed manual) and one manual car in the household is enough for now (my wife doesn't drive it). However, I am planning to retrofit steptronic shifter + reprogram EGS.
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2012, 06:54 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Keep up the good works. I like threads with progress and pictures like thtis. The car is in good hand.
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