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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 11-26-2012, 05:05 AM
Schwachster Schwachster is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 528i
Dreaded Trifecta ABS TSC BRAKE , ABS Module

Hello all, First post long time reader.
First off a HUGE THANK YOU to all who have posted. You make BMW owners lives easier by the info you have provided. This post is yet another more informational post on the repair of the dreaded Trifecta ABS TSC ABS module failure...
I have a 1997 BMW 528i. Within a week my ABS, TSC and Brake light came on. Lets start with wheel speed sensors. FIRST off, the Left rear controlls your speedo and odometer just to clarify. I replaced both fronts from ebay 44.00 for two sensors. I then tackled the rears. All sensors replaced to no remedy of the issues. So much for hope. Your speed sensors will probably break off in the Hub. Grab a drill and get to work. All I can say. I replaced both rear wheel bearings as they were starting to go bad as well so the sensors would read properly.Still nothing..
SO lets replace the ABS Module ! Much debate on used vs new. BMW Dealer wants an easy 1500.00 for a new one. No thanks! Lets try used. So I ordered a used ABS module and pump. Now does it have to be coded? Some say no some say yes. The majority of Bimmer forum says on the 97 528i the module is plug and play as long as its the same type transmission. This is where the follow up seems to fail. I have a bad module. I ordered a new one. Im going to plug in the new pump with no coding and see what happens. If need be ill go have it coded ( roughly 100.00 at the dealership) and we shall see. Pump should be here in a few days.
Ive used this forum to fix A LOT of stuff on my poor neglected Bimmer that the previous owner should be beaten for. Ive put time money and blood into my girl and shes getting better all the time Thanks to all the info here. I wanted to share more! Now someone please come change my Crankshaft sensor NOT FUN!
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:02 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Location: N.W. Indiana
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i sport
Guy, if you are an avid reader, then you know you can get NEW from our vendors and other aftermarket sources for less than BMW dealer. I would have gone with new module from discount warehouse, EAC, etc. You will still need re-coding and you just bought someone else's old unit when your own was 15 years old! If money is seriously tight, go re-build route with quality re-builder (BBA, Module masters) and you will still take your chances. These are tremendously delicate units to begin with and yours is 15 years old! Have fun!
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:30 AM
Schwachster Schwachster is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
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Mein Auto: 528i
Thanks

Thanks, yes as an avid reader i do see mention of wholesale parts places often. I have not used those recources. Before i send out a few hundred on a module that may or may not be repairable i decided to buy a cheaper used one that has been tested functional. I agree with you 100% on new modules. For 77.00 i cant help but scratch the itch of curiosity to buy install and answer what seems to be a common question in a lot of threads ive been reading as to the abs pump module replacement. Simply this is a cut and dry faq post. A lot of questions ive read on the subject always end with what all is necessary to replace the unit and does it need to be coded to avoid tamper dot. At that price even if the module fails soon as again i agree these older units do im not to bent around the axel about it. Replacing the whole unit is cheaper than a dealer diagnostic test. Thats my logic. A new module is coming just after the holidays
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:39 PM
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dUMpEdE39 dUMpEdE39 is offline
yee!
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Mein Auto: '01 740iL
It does have to be coded for the light to disappear...BBA rebuilds it for around $200 and has a life time warranty. Just make sure you place clear packing tape over the rebuild sticker, so the writing does not wear off
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'00 528i Sport, Premium, NAV, Depo headlights, M-style bumpers and mirrors, KW2 coilovers, Eisenmann Exhaust with resonator delete, 19-inch Axis Milano's (staggered), 2 12" Infinti subs, Power Slot rotors, and a trunk full of Dynamat.
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2012, 02:03 PM
Schwachster Schwachster is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
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That is excellent info. On my list of to dos. Better than playing with used parts. Guess i dont understand the confusion with recoding then. Im inclined to believe now its necessary regardless of year model and same drivetrain. Good work fellas
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2012, 12:05 PM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Location: New York
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 530i, 2001 325i
I used BBA Reman to rebuild - they offer a lifetime warranty, and (if I remember correctly) won't charge if they can't rebuild it. Turnaround was really quick - I had it back in 2 or 3 days.

I paid about $180a bout a year ago - they frequently now run sales through eBay for less than $100.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2012, 12:11 PM
Schwachster Schwachster is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Wow excellent news! Beats swallowing the 1500 dealer wants to charge. For now i will install and have coded the used module and any findings there to help answer some questions from other threads. The old one will be sent to BBA for a rebuild. Snows 4" in michigan right now. My 528 is loving not having traction control. Good posts fellas
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2012, 02:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Long ago, I too searched all the confusing threads on the ABS BRAKE DSC trifecta.

Many contained wrong information - most had partial information - and some were amusing in what they suggested (e.g., many suggested replacing all four wheel speed sensors as a matter of course).

However, thanks to 540iman, I was able to learn from the voice of reason well enough to personally test my wheel speed sensors, and, armed with that information, the most likely culprit was that the ABS control module was at fault in my case. It took me a long time to come to that sad realization, but, now, in hindsight, I realize 540iman had it right all along.

Following the advice to go with the top three rebuilders, I had mine repaired, within the week, for about $115 (IIRC) in toto. [In hindsight, I got lucky as I picked the worst of the three strictly on price - but nowadays you can get the best for less than I paid - so you win all around.]

Given that Bill's advice was spot on, and that his suggested procedures are just about the easiest cleanest and most well thought out around - I'd recommend you heed every word of his advice.

In addition, simply typing /abs F3 into the bestlinks comes up with a bunch of hits, three of which I would specifically recommend for the OP because they directly answer his questions, in detail:

- Summary of all known ABS control module rebuilder options & new suppliers with prices (1)

- All you need to know about recoding the VIN into a new-to-your-car ABS control module (1)

- ABS BRAKE DSC trifecta brake pressure sensor diagnostic test DIY (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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

Last edited by bluebee; 11-27-2012 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Added a third link to better assist the OP.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2012, 04:46 PM
Schwachster Schwachster is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
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Valuable advice from bluebee and 540man. Both noted and well understood. If it wasnt for this site half the problems on my 528 would still be a mystery. I see so so many e39 trifecta threads and it always ends cold or somewhat contradictory , other than call for a reman and send in your module.. No follow ups. Not until today was i able to narrow down where to send it and approximately how much. Im going to answer one continuous question in this thread on replacing an abs module that ive searched for and had mixed results. Tranny type A same year and make module different vehicle , is it compatible "plug n play" withought further coding on the 1997. Can not for the life of me find the answer to this but will know in a day or so. If 540 man says it needs coding ive read some of his posts in depth and am highly unlikely to contradict his opinions. 540mans thread on speed sensors is what got me this far.
If i may ask. Has anyone replaced the crank sensor? I ordered a crank sensor but there seems to be two different styles. Perhaps oem and aftermarket? One is L shaped with a harness plug directly on the sensor and one has the wires integrated into the sensor. A simple type in to google 97 bmw 528 crankshaft sensor will display my confusion. Im tackling this tomorrow along with my tie rod end.
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:05 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,012
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwachster View Post
No follow ups.
I'll give you a hint. You'll see followups if you read threads specifically from a host of people including (but not limited to) the following:
aioros BlackBMWs cn90 doru Fudman Jason5driver NNY528i pleiades QSilver7 bobdmac chivas DHoang DominguesE30 dvsgene edjack Flybot franka gtxragtop ill_kuma JimLev Josh P. KeithS Mack MatWiz mmm635 rdl Ryan M Takechan thecushion TheStig Whorse & of course 540iman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwachster View Post
is it compatible "plug n play" withought further coding on the 1997. Can not for the life of me find the answer to this
Are you sure that's not already covered, in detail, in the thread I already referenced for you on VIN recoding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwachster View Post
Has anyone replaced the crank sensor?
Type /CKP F3 in the bestlinks and you'll find this:
- How to replace the V8 CKP crankshaft pulse generator (1)

I didn't see an I6 DIY ... so ... maybe you can write one (or find a good one for us to reference in the bestlinks).
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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

Last edited by bluebee; 11-28-2012 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Added link for CKP.
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:12 AM
Schwachster Schwachster is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 528i
Thanks BlueBee ill make that my focus for a welcome contributional thread. Guess the information here can be a tad overwhelming. Thanks for the guidance. Read through almost all your links to users threads this morning at the office after a white knuckled drive to work through the snow. Life is more adventurous withought TCS ill finish my work on the I6 crank sensor including pics and post a small to the point thread on it. Youve been immensely helpfull with the abs module. Appreciated.
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