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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 10-09-2012, 04:58 AM
rrtec's Avatar
rrtec rrtec is offline
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Mein Auto: 540i/6 4/99
1998 540i PROJECT- Threw a Rod, so... Motor Swap.

While patiently waiting for my father to give up the ghost on his 6 speed 99 540i M Sport so I can put it on Track Duty I stumbled across a 1998 Auto 540i Sport with 145k and a reported transmission failure. Odd the car wouldnt start at all.. curious... After a few emails passed back and forth I arranged to take a look at the car at a local transmission shop. The transmission shop put the car on the lift and looked it over, promptly they discovered a gaping hole in the upper oil pan and have diagnosed the car with a thrown rod. Through the oil pan...

I looked the car over and it was very clean no dings or dents, no tears on the inside. The car has style 5's with new staggered tires, new control arms, expansion tank, and new brakes. It has the cold weather package, and no history of damage.

Now on to the hard part.. I have never done an engine swap in a BMW before (done tons on other cars like rx7's, mustangs, etc) I figure I can figure this out. Due to the thrown rod I am not even going to try and rebuild the engine, just going to try and put in a used engine and drive it to keep some of the miles off my 740i. I have a buddy who has rebuilt his entire top end in his 740il so I have someone to help but any threads (especially with pictures) would be great to read. I plan to pull the engine and transmission together, and re-use all my original electronics on the used engine I purchase.

I am going to document the process via photos and perhaps time lapse if I can figure that function out. Should be a fairly comprehensive HOW TO on pulling an engine... Anyway here are the photos taken by the previous owner. I will have plenty more to share along the way.



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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
FC3S LS1/6Speed
1992 BMW K75s Cafe build

Last edited by rrtec; 10-09-2012 at 05:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2012, 06:21 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Location: Carlisle,PA.
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540i auto
I heard the 4.6 from the X5 will fit. Not sure how it matches up withe the electronics though.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 06:31 AM
Ed Cheung Ed Cheung is offline
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Mein Auto: E39
I would say within 10 post someone will mention a LS swap...
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96 528i AT w/steptronic. => 97 540i w/ steptronic. =>steptronic deleted, 6MT installed.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2012, 06:57 AM
rrtec's Avatar
rrtec rrtec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Cheung View Post
I would say within 10 post someone will mention a LS swap...
Considered that, but I think they are overpriced.. I can buy a good used engine for $1800 or less with a warranty and be back on the road... If I wanted 4 door vette I would buy a G8.
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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
FC3S LS1/6Speed
1992 BMW K75s Cafe build
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:21 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Get a copy of the Bentley E39 service manual. At least one person removed the entire grille and front sheet metal.

BTW, no such thing as a '99 M-sport.
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Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2012, 10:41 AM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
BTW, no such thing as a '99 M-sport.
Lets try not do that in this thread.... His is a 99 Sport with all the OEM ///M emblems on the wheels, steering wheel, 6 speed with ///M shifter knob etc.. So yes technically it is only a "Sport" and not a 2003 M sport... I am aware that the only year for an M sport was 2003... But common terminology is M sport throughout the Net..

On topic-

I am looking at removing the entire front end to access the engine/tranny combo easier. Will all depend on what is easiest.
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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
FC3S LS1/6Speed
1992 BMW K75s Cafe build
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2012, 04:41 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Had it towed home today, leaked out the rest of it's oil all over the flat bed of the truck, but I found a couple peices of engine metal on the flatbed, so that was cool... Battery was dead. Pictures will be up shortly.
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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
FC3S LS1/6Speed
1992 BMW K75s Cafe build
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2012, 04:52 PM
nsogiba nsogiba is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6
looking forward to progress, subscribed! good luck! these cars are not that hard to work on.
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6.0L LSx/T56 Swap



2001 BMW 540i/6 Sport, under the knife
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2012, 05:50 PM
josemedeiros007 josemedeiros007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtec View Post
Had it towed home today, leaked out the rest of it's oil all over the flat bed of the truck, but I found a couple pieces of engine metal on the flatbed, so that was cool... Battery was dead. Pictures will be up shortly.
Since you seem to not be in a hurry, before buying a new battery, I read that Genius chargers use a slightly higher voltage charge, and pulses to Desulfate the battery plates, and get them to hold a charge again.


And another that suggests using Epsom salt to Desulfate a dead battery and trickle charging it for several days, I haven't tried either method yet.


Jose F. Medeiros
San Jose, Calif

Last edited by josemedeiros007; 10-09-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:22 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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A little progress.. Can anyone identify these chunks? HA! Just moved into my house so I need to organize the garage before I tear it into 100 peices. Going to pull the engine first and see if it is salvageable..




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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
FC3S LS1/6Speed
1992 BMW K75s Cafe build
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:37 PM
josemedeiros007 josemedeiros007 is offline
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Nice looking BMW. Off the top of my head that looks like part of the plastic timing chain guide rail. I am looking forward to your Blog, with pictures of your engine swap, and or rebuild.
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:39 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Mein Auto: 7/98 NonVanos 540iA
They look like timing chain guide rails? Not really sure. Very nice find and looking forward to the progress in this thread.
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:44 PM
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LaCrosse540i6 LaCrosse540i6 is offline
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Location: WI
 
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Mein Auto: '03 540i M-sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtec View Post
Lets try not do that in this thread.... His is a 99 Sport with all the OEM ///M emblems on the wheels, steering wheel, 6 speed with ///M shifter knob etc.. So yes technically it is only a "Sport" and not a 2003 M sport... I am aware that the only year for an M sport was 2003... But common terminology is M sport throughout the Net..

On topic-

I am looking at removing the entire front end to access the engine/tranny combo easier. Will all depend on what is easiest.
I'm not nit picking or trying to be a tool here, but is that even a sport?

Besides the the style 5's everything else looks standard, including the wheel gap. I realize that '97 sports really only came with different wheels and suspension, but I thought that by '98 they got the sport steering wheel, seats, etc.

I also wonder why you put staggered tires on non-staggered wheels?

Good luck with the swap!
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:51 AM
rrtec's Avatar
rrtec rrtec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaCrosse540i6 View Post
I'm not nit picking or trying to be a tool here, but is that even a sport?

Besides the the style 5's everything else looks standard, including the wheel gap.
Good question, I am not sure what the 98's came with, but I thought that the 98's still had the boat wheel and standard seats.. I did a quick search online and came up with similar pictures of the interior. I just assumed from the style 5's, and the options included inside... But I still have the window sticker so I will check to see how it was optioned. I really can't explain why they put staggered tires on these wheels I laughed a little when they told me..

My dad's is for sure a sport though.. That is the one I really want when he is ready to sell..
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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
FC3S LS1/6Speed
1992 BMW K75s Cafe build

Last edited by rrtec; 10-10-2012 at 05:00 AM.
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:40 AM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 528i, '82 323i
Im pretty sure The style 5 wheels did not exist on any 1997 e39s. it came into existence starting w/ the '98 528i sport pkg, plus the style 5 wheel was only available for the i6 engine sport e39. The 540i from '97-'03 got the style 19 wheels on the sport pkg, per below
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:45 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Will only 1996-1998 fit in the car without major modification? Of can I run a 1999+ block without problems.?
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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
FC3S LS1/6Speed
1992 BMW K75s Cafe build
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2012, 02:10 PM
4given 4given is offline
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I believe the blocks are the same.
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:03 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Originally Posted by King540i View Post
They look like timing chain guide rails? Not really sure. Very nice find and looking forward to the progress in this thread.
Nope, looks like pieces of engine block.
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:07 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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Originally Posted by rrtec View Post
Will only 1996-1998 fit in the car without major modification? Of can I run a 1999+ block without problems.?
Physically, 99+ engine will fit. But electrically not. You'll need to transfer wire harness and DME.
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:20 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Mein Auto: 540i/6 4/99
So, I have put together my shopping list and budget:

Used Engine or components to rebuild current engine: $1500 place holder
Lowering springs: $300
Various incidentals (tint, lenses, shop materials): $500
Oil change items: $100

Total: $2400 investment in getting it on the road plus the purchase price..

If the motor is replaced vs/ rebuilt I can part out the blown motor (heads, accessories, sensors, covers, intake, throttle body, MAF, harness etc) and recoup a chunk of the investment ($500+ the scrap value of the block)
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1992 BMW K75s Cafe build
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