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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 09-17-2012, 08:26 AM
rdc8118 rdc8118 is offline
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Replacing steering angle sensor

Here's the steps I took to replace my steering angle sensor. Do so at your own
risk. I'm not a mechanic.
The process took about half an hour. My DSC light was on, so I scanned the
codes and got a 90 degree difference of wiper too large steering angle sensor
error. The error wouldn't clear and always came back.

The first step was to remove the lower drivers side dash and floor panel.
I forgot to take pics of this, I'll see if I can add them later.

The next step is to crawl underneath the dash and look up. You'll see the
coupler that joins the two steering columns together. Mark where the coupler
joint is with respect to the steering column shaft attached to the steering
wheel. If you don't your steering wheel could be at a slight angle when you put
it back together.
Undo the nut and bold that clamps the coupler to the shaft. Grab the lower
shaft and push it into the floor (on it's axis). It will push into the socket
shaft on the floor.

Take a note how the steering angle sensor is situated. Unplug the steering angle
sensor and slide it of the shaft.

I took my steering angle sensor apart and removed the spindle. I noticed that
one of the sweeper arms on the spindle was broken or worn down (careful
they're fragile). This most likely explained the 90 degree error.
I picked up a working steering angle sensor from the junk yard, swapped out
the spindle and re-assembled mine. I figured this would save the coding step.

I slid the fixed steering angle sensor back on the shaft, plugged it in and
pulled the two steering shafts together noting where I previously marked them.
Put the nut and bolt back in and tightened it. Plugged in the laptop, clear the
codes and took it for a spin.
The 90 degree error went away and now I had a plausibility error. I ran a lew
adaption. Started the car and while slowly rolling forward turned the wheel
fully in one direction then the other. Took the car out for a spin, dcs light
stayed off and no errors. I took out the steering shaft coupler nut, added some
locktite before re-tightening the nut then assembled the lower dash. I've put
2000 klm on the car since then and no DSC issues.

On a side note it took me longer to remove/replace the lower dash then it did to
separate the two steering shafts, remove/replace the steering angle sensor.
I didn't need to remove the steering wheel or drop the whole steering column.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2012, 08:48 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Good write-up. Thanks for sharing.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2012, 09:43 AM
SeanPhang SeanPhang is online now
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good write-up. the previous owner spent $540 doing this on my car at an indy-shop.
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09/11: auto transmission drain & refill
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2012, 10:17 AM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 528i, '82 323i
learned something new today.
thx for sharing.
now im glad my car's not equiped w/ that contraption.
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2012, 10:39 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
1+,

I have a 1998 528i too. DHoang, are you sure your and my 1998 528i do not have that Steering Angle Sensor?
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2012, 11:53 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
1+,

I have a 1998 528i too. DHoang, are you sure your and my 1998 528i do not have that Steering Angle Sensor?
Item #9 in realoem
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TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2012, 12:14 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Well,

Realoem says #9 is for "vehicles equipped with DSC".

Mine has "ASC".
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2012, 05:24 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
While the ABS trifecta DIYs have sections on the steering angle sensor, I looked in the bestlinks for /steering angle F3 and found nothing.

So I'll add this so others find it in the future, long after we're gone:
- How to test and replace the steering angle sensor (1)

Quote:
TEST STEERING ANGLE SENSOR:
Note: The steering angle sensor, mounted at the bottom of the steering column near the flexible coupling, utilizes two potentiometers to determine the steering angle and the rate of steering angle change, which are are the two raw signals the CAN bus microprocessor utilizes to create the steering angle signal for broadcast over the CAN bus. The DSC III logic compares the stored plausibility of the steering angle sensor against other DSC III inputs (front wheel speeds, rotation rate and lateral acceleration sensors).

STEERING ANGLE SENSOR:
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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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  #9  
Old 09-18-2012, 03:36 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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cool thread , thanks for sharing !
I removed my lower dash one day and it took like 30 min
So you are saying that to remove lower dash is no more complicated than to remove steering shaft ?
Also no need to remove the steering wheel or drop the whole steering column
Interesting ... this makes this job very attractive

I am also wandering if there are any bearings in steering shaft which can be replaced at the same time
so you basically can get a car with a new steering feeling like a factory
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Last edited by champaign777; 09-18-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2012, 06:35 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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I once took a look at this thing and said how the hell you supposed to remove it??? Glad I didn't have too.

Great thread, and thank you for sharing..
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2012, 11:07 AM
jtperkins jtperkins is offline
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Location: Detroit Burbs, MI, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 525i/auto Silver/Blk
Cool DSC Light

My DSC light came on and stayed on about two years ago. On a rainy day I discovered that the anti-slip feature was not functioning when I spun the tires at a light. Other than that I've experienced no performance problems.

I took it to the dealer for diagnostics and nearly choked on my cup of Starbucks when the service guy quoted me $4,000+ to repair the "steering angle sensor". I passed on the offer and they charged me $125 for their time! Vampires!

I fixed the chronic light problem with a 1" piece of electrician's tape on the dash panel in front of the light. Seriously.

Can a real fix of this problem be as simple as you describe? Amazing!

Thanks.
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2012, 03:07 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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DSC can save your life
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BMW E38/E39 Rear Axle/Differential Bush Tool

Last edited by champaign777; 02-12-2014 at 08:50 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:01 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
DSC can save your life
Seriously
It can also kill you.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2012, 01:08 PM
nezarnuaimat nezarnuaimat is offline
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Very helpful, thanks
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:32 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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+1 Outstanding write-up. I'm glad you cleared up the difference between the steer angle sensor and what I call the "YAW" sensor. You can tell me if I have the terminology correct. There is a potentiometer of sorts that connects to a linkage (at least on my 540) that is then mounted with a half-ass clamp (that looks like a hose clamp) that secures the bottom of the shaft to passenger-side lower control arm. There are two flat spots in the control arm to help in orienting the bottom of the linkage. This is what I call the YAW sensor and I don't know if they are unique to DSC cars compared to ASC cars.

Does this fall into your area of expertise as well? Want to make sure I call things by the right name....or at least what we all call 'em here! Excellent write-up. Needs to be a sticky for sure.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2012, 06:48 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Bill:
The Yaw sensor you refer to is the headlamp leveling sensor. I think it is only on HID headlamp cars. Mine is mounted to the passenger side control arm.
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2014, 03:03 PM
rakeshv rakeshv is offline
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I am currently trying to get the steering angle sensor out to see if cleaning the wires etc will fix the issue with traction control not working on my car. The instructions could not have been simpler, however I am having a hell of a time with "Grab the lower shaft and push it into the floor" part. I have been trying to push it, but it does not budge (okay, I am not a big person, but still...). How much force did you have to exert to push the lower shaft into the socket shaft on the floor?

Here are a few pictures of the current disassembled state of the lower dash




Thanks
Rakesh
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2014, 01:06 PM
rplecty rplecty is online now
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Bump
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2014, 08:48 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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have y disassemble steering rack from the lower shaft ?
there is one 12-13 MM bolt which connect both
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Last edited by champaign777; 02-12-2014 at 08:49 AM.
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  #20  
Old 02-12-2014, 08:55 AM
rakeshv rakeshv is offline
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Yes, I removed the 13mm bolt which was shown in the first picture of the OP (which was termed the coupler), and the hole in my first picture (next to the 43 marked) is after the bolt was removed. Did not see/notice any other 13mm bolt, but maybe there is one more that I need to remove.

Thanks
Rakesh
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  #21  
Old 02-12-2014, 09:32 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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I had a look at the procedure written up in BMW's TIS document and that's the only bolt mentioned.

I'd venture few people with e39s have had to do this, so that's probably why you aren't getting much help.

I haven't done it either so I'm no help. I can see from the location that it's probably not easy to get your weight down on that lower shaft. If it were me, I'd probably try shaking the shaft a little as I tried pressing it into the floor.

I have no clue how -far in- the shaft is supposed to go, either, but I'd think just far enough to give you the space to slide the sensor down and out would be all that's needed.

Good luck. If you discover anything not mentioned in any of the write-ups, please share.
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  #22  
Old 02-12-2014, 12:15 PM
rakeshv rakeshv is offline
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Thanks for the hint about shaking the shaft while pushing it down. Next time I get under there to try I will try that. I had briefly considered placing something on top of the bushing and gently hammering to see if it will break any stuck on lubricant or whatever is holding the two together. Since it is my daily driver and I need to go to work, I decided against it :P. I shall certainly follow up if I succeed in getting it out.
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  #23  
Old 02-23-2014, 03:32 PM
rakeshv rakeshv is offline
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Had another go at it yesterday. I thought the issue may have been that the steering was at its lowest position (since I needed to removed the trim around steering as well as expose enough of the coupler bolt) which may have prevented the lower shaft from going any further down. However, even with the steering all the way up I could not get the coupler to come off the lower shaft. I moved the steering up and down a few times while trying to hold on to the lower shaft to see if that would disengage the coupler, but no luck. I briefly tried sticking in a flat head into the gap that the bolt tightens to see if could loosen it, but since it is aluminum all I succeeded in was denting the edges a bit.

It is looking like a job for the local indie mechanic
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