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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 11-04-2008, 12:53 PM
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Redshift Redshift is offline
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Touring liftgate struts failed - many others?

I have a 2003 touring and only about 43K miles on it. The lift gate/tail gate struts won't hold the door open any more. I realize there is a lot of labor to replace the relatively cheap parts. Have many of you had this happen and if so, replaced it yourself or had a shop do it, and what was the cost?
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2008, 06:19 PM
handyman john handyman john is offline
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Tailgate

Hello, I have a 2003 525iT as well, mine has 80K miles. Your timing is perfect 2 weeks ago I had my local dealer in North Carolina (no indy mechanic wanted to do the job). Performance BMW in Chapel Hill, NC agreed to do it for only the book time labor of 2 hours even if the job took longer, which they said it generally does. They kept their word. Their labor rate is a steep $120 an hour !. So I got it done for $240 plus tax, plus the part (gas strut) that was another $60. Perhaps you can use this to persuade your local dealer to do the same.

Apparently the job takes a tool that is very hard to find and very expensive. Details on that:

tailgate strut tool The TIS shows special tool number 51 2 151

strut part# 51-24-8-220-072

Let us know what you decide to do and what it costs.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2008, 06:21 PM
pinkslip1 pinkslip1 is offline
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my hood struts an trunk struts went at 120k dont know if theve been replaced before that
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2008, 12:01 PM
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Redshift Redshift is offline
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After asking my dealer if CPO would cover it (car is under CPO until next Feb), they said it would not. I let the issue go for a while but finally contacted BMWNA who, on my behalf, talked to the dealer and now they are covering the entire repair as a goodwill. Since the car has barely more than 40K miles and has been garaged and the hatch hardly used, it seemed to me something that they should cover, and they have made good on that, so I salute BMWNA for the help and of course my dealer for working with them. I have always gotten fantastic service there (Leith BMW in Raleigh, NC).

Now the hatch willl stop smacking us in the head when we are loading the cargo bay, which will come in handy when our first baby is born in February 2009!
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Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

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  #5  
Old 11-06-2008, 01:10 PM
jdt10768 jdt10768 is offline
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Redshift,
You can't keep that baby in the cargo bay! It's against the law. Well, maybe not in NC. Kidding. Congrats on baby and on free stuff. Wish I could trade wagons with you.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2008, 01:12 PM
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Redshift Redshift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdt10768 View Post
Redshift,
You can't keep that baby in the cargo bay! It's against the law. Well, maybe not in NC. Kidding. Congrats on baby and on free stuff. Wish I could trade wagons with you.
Well, I try not to...I do drive it the most out of all of my cars, but with the M5, 330Cic, and M3 and also my new BMW motorcycle begging for attention, it's really hard to drive them all much. It doesn't help that me and my wife both work at home now.
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Brian
Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

For Sale:
*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #7  
Old 11-06-2008, 01:14 PM
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Redshift Redshift is offline
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Here's the motorcycle, I know this is a car forum but I'm the OP so I can hijack, no?

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Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

For Sale:
*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #8  
Old 11-07-2008, 05:56 AM
jdt10768 jdt10768 is offline
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Nice bike. I just sold my '01 R1200C with the arrival of baby #2. Will get another in a few years. If you ever decide to sell your wagon, please let me know. I like!
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jdt10768 View Post
Nice bike. I just sold my '01 R1200C with the arrival of baby #2. Will get another in a few years. If you ever decide to sell your wagon, please let me know. I like!
With what I paid for the wagon, and the fact that I'm still paying the loan off, I doubt it would ever make sense to sell her Plus all the mods I have done - M5 front brakes, M5 mirrors, M5 wheels all around, full Dinan stage 3 suspension, Magnaflow exhaust, Conforti CAI, Dinan stage 2 software, ICE angel eye rings, blacked out front grilles, removed T-bar on front grille, stainless brake lines all around. I bet she wouldn't be worth even $20K at this point and she only has 43K miles and is still under CPO
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Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

For Sale:
*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #10  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:54 AM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Damn. I haven't really had anything fail on my E39, and that is (hood struts) is NOT something that I have even considered.

I suppose that there is not any way to prevent this failure. How would you service the struts without simply replacing them?


.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Damn. I haven't really had anything fail on my E39, and that is (hood struts) is NOT something that I have even considered.

I suppose that there is not any way to prevent this failure. How would you service the struts without simply replacing them?


.
No, we're talking about the tail gate struts. The hood struts are 5 minute replacements and easy to do at home. The tail gate struts on a wagon are hidden beneath the headliner and require hours of work to get to the part, then a special tool to use to replace the struts themselves, then more hours to put it all back together. Huge pain in the bum.
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Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

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*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #12  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:27 AM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
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Here is a picture and price for ref.

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/catalo...28/6484298.htm
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by oembimmerparts View Post
Here is a picture and price for ref.

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/catalo...28/6484298.htm
Thanks, good to see the part photo. Is that price for one or two? Or does it take just one? What's the typical life of one of these? 43K seems a bit low, especially when I use the glass hatch itself without opening the main door probably 80% of the time.
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Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

For Sale:
*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #14  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:42 AM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
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They are sold each, Sadly there are 2 of them. That does seem like low mileage for them to have failed on your since you are not using the hatch much.
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:51 AM
jdt10768 jdt10768 is offline
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your "removal of the t-bar on the front grill" . . . . can you talk about that a bit? pics? Thanks, jt
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:52 AM
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Redshift Redshift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdt10768 View Post
your "removal of the t-bar on the front grill" . . . . can you talk about that a bit? pics? Thanks, jt
Bought an M5 front lower grille and had it swapped out with the one that came standard on the 540 with T-bar. Just the new grille and labor is all you need.
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Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

For Sale:
*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #17  
Old 11-10-2008, 03:34 PM
handyman john handyman john is offline
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I think there is just one tailgate strut <eom>

I bought one, and I think there is just one on the left side. That may be part of the problem, all of the weight on one gas strut.
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2008, 04:44 AM
Jo@EuroDyne Jo@EuroDyne is offline
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2008, 06:27 AM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
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I bought one, and I think there is just one on the left side. That may be part of the problem, all of the weight on one gas strut.
The bmw etk shows 2 but it has been wrong before so it is very possible that there is only 1.
Max
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  #20  
Old 11-11-2008, 07:21 AM
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Feedback: My strut is failing too. 99 540it, 79k miles. Now that is colder in the evenings (<50 degrees), the tailgate tends to drop on its own. When it's warmer, (>70 degrees) it does manage to stay open.
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2008, 08:11 PM
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Got the car back Tuesday. Wow, what a difference. I didn't quite realize just how dead those struts were until I got the car back. Now, when I lift the tailgate to somewhere just below horizontal, it simply lifts itself up (smoothly) to full open and stays there. It's a joyous thing!

Putting baby gear in the back will be much easier now for my wife if she happens to be out alone with the baby.

Special kudos to Leith BMW and BMWNA for taking care of this as a goodwill deal for me.
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Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

For Sale:
*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #22  
Old 01-04-2009, 11:56 AM
bmcsubdude bmcsubdude is offline
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Thumbs up After The new Struts ...

Hey,

Sounds like I need this fix also for our 540it sport wagon.
Question:
Did the new struts make the GLASS door open faster and easier too? Or are there separate ones for that?

Thanks
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  #23  
Old 01-04-2009, 11:59 AM
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Redshift Redshift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcsubdude View Post
Hey,

Sounds like I need this fix also for our 540it sport wagon.
Question:
Did the new struts make the GLASS door open faster and easier too? Or are there separate ones for that?

Thanks
Answering here since you PMed me the same exact thing

The glass seems the same, so I think they are different.
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Brian
Coming soon: 2003 M5iT Sapphire Black (E39) - 2001 M5 LeMans Blue (E39) - 2002 330Cic Orient Blue (E46) - 2010 BMW K1300GT - 2002 Suzuki DR650

For Sale:
*** Parting out entire 2003 E39 M5 *** - TONS OF PARTS AVAILABLE


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  #24  
Old 01-04-2009, 01:01 PM
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BlackBMWs BlackBMWs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcsubdude View Post
Hey,

Sounds like I need this fix also for our 540it sport wagon.
Question:
Did the new struts make the GLASS door open faster and easier too? Or are there separate ones for that?

Thanks
There are four struts. Two for the glass and two for the hatch. Combined they assist the hatch, the two for the glass lift the glass. Had mine changed too... Big difference...
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1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

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  #25  
Old 03-19-2009, 06:09 PM
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xpcgamer xpcgamer is offline
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Guys I need DIY on replaceing them. I was goin to do it my self but now..............
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