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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 01-22-2011, 10:51 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Off to change water pump

Ok well I am gonna attempt my first water pump job including new t-stat and pulley today on my 540. Purchased Graf Water pump, 105 degree tstat , pulley and coolant from EAC and was delivered in less than 18hrs!

Mark was very informative on the parts that I needed and did not try to sell me anything that I did not need according to my budget. I will try to take some pics and maybe try to add to the DIY for the 540 but I am very limited on time.

I am in a hurry but I am not going to take any shortcuts or assume anything.I just hope I can get the car to the garage that is heated before anything major happens. I know its a gamble but house isnt too far away and hope for the best.

WISH ME LUCK!!!
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:55 AM
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POof540i POof540i is offline
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Good luck!!!
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2011, 12:14 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Ok well the 4 mile drive seemed to be an eternity! Needle was a tad bit over 12 o'clock but made it. Letting car cool down now and gonna get dirty. In a bit of a rut. Could not access 32mm wrench for fan clutch. Perhaps Autozone will have on to rent??
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:54 PM
crs555 crs555 is offline
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I just used a large adjustable wrench and a flat piece of steel to wedge between 2 of the 4 bolts on the sides of the nut and it worked great.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:13 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Well I am confident about a few things. There is no way in hell this car has been accident free ( will post video after job is complete). Positive cooling system has been done due to several different non oem backyard mechanic replacement bolts. Last but not least, I am confident on doing this job again. Well at least with removing everything!
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
Positive cooling system has been done due to several different non oem backyard mechanic replacement bolts.
There are a dozen "hints" at a cooling system replacement here:
- Cooling system date stickers & radiator date codes & markings (1) (2)

The list of stuff most of us agree on to replace is here:
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)

And a great summary of the 32mm wrench & counterhold techniques is here:
- Tools necessary for a cooling system overhaul

Notice the pictures below are different ways to implement the 32mm (1 1/4") open-end wrench, most of which you can get at a local store.




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Last edited by bluebee; 01-24-2011 at 01:39 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2011, 06:48 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Use plenty of plain household detergent on ends of under-manifold pipes when doing a 540. I went ahead and pulled both coolant pipes, cleaned the ends and applied dish soap to re-seat them in the rear coolant manifold. I see a lot of DIYs on the 6 cylinders, but few on the 540s. I just did mine, and the things that I found essential- use a mirror and a flashlight to re-seat with coolant tubes into their corresponding holes in rear coolant manifold. Clean both ends with 1500 grit sandpaper and apply soap. Remove the 10mm bolt that holds the air tube at the passenger side head and remove one hex head screw holding air pipe which runs directly in front of WP. It is hard enough to get the new WP to line up with the coolant tubes and land on the two locating pins which accommodate the two 100mm long bolts holding the WP. Torque to 90 in. #. I used the Graf WP, but did not really care for the gasket they include with their kit. It is 100% just a paper gasket. I bought a couple from Autohauz that have an integral O-ring built into the gasket. Use Permatex spray adhesive to hold gasket in place. I also ordered new stainless steel bolts for the WP. On the 540, the WP is held in place with about 5 6mm x 35mm bolts and 2 6mm x 100mm bolts. Should you over-torque one of the 6mm x 100mm bolts and break one, you will have a helluva time finding replacements. This is one damn long bolt for the diameter it is. I broke one off and so I chose to replace all of them new with stainless. If you need you car to drive and have only allowed yourself a weekend or a day to do this job, well...that is fine if all goes right. If it doesn't, the parts you will have trouble sourcing quickly would be the WP gasket, the 100mm bolts, thermostat O-ring, Temperature sensor O-ring (if you replace lower rad. hose) 3mm x 14mm. In a pinch, a 9/16" OD x .125" thick O-ring will work and is available at any good big box hardware store. Strongly suggest you replace all hoses that connect to any nipple-type fittings on rad or expansion tank. Cut the old ones off first so that you don't break the plastic nipples or you will be sorry :-( Slit the rubber off these fittings so you exert little force on fragile nipples. Again, use a tad of household detergent on nipple and hose, slide on, and re-tighten with worm-gear clamps. Do not try to re-use cheap factory crimp clamps. Just not worth the hassle and potential leak. That's about it! I'm going to start car and check for leaks today and plan on leaving fan shroud off until I'm sure I have no leaks. G/L!

Last edited by 540iman; 01-23-2011 at 06:52 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2011, 04:05 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Well after about an hour or so of bleeding the air , all seems to be ok. I am wishing I would have went ahead and replaced the belt tensioners and belts but that will be soon. I started the job around 3:33pm and was finished around 12:30 am. I am positive I can do it all in under 3hrs now (correctly) . I was just careful to not break any of the nipples on the cooling system. I did not use the gasket inculded with the Graf water pump and purchased a better quality gasket. ASF was the manufactuer I believe. Also replaced the orings on the new t-stat and water pump. Hoses are not leaking but will be replacing them soon as well.

I checked the radiator and it was a BERH with a manufactuers date of 2007. Expansion tank new as well. I replaced the wp pulley but positive I would have been ok with the old one. I am still having a rough take off from 750rpm to 1500rpm. This all started when I replaced the aux fan sensor. I removed the air box so I could get my hands enough clearance to replace it. In all honestly, I am thinking I just had air in the line from replacing the sensor because the old water pump and t-stat were in good shape. Perhaps with air in the cooling system it would cas the knocking sound in side the motor? Car made same sound after starting the engine last night when I was done with the job. After bleeding the air out, the sound went away. If this was the case, I am not going to tell my wife!!!

I did take note that I will probably have to relace all the plastic under the car because most of it was cracked and or broken. I need to get the rubber mount on the left side of the radiator upper fan shroud because it was no where in site and the radiator has some play in it.

Back to the air box, am I missing any possible vaccum lines that may have fell off? I cannot seem to locate anything. MAF boot seems to be in good shape with no cracks in it. Only thing I can even imagine is that when I dissconnected the air box from the MAF , I may have dropped a seal and not have noticed it??

For thr most part, the engine looked like it should with the mileage on the car. I did notice that my power steering pump is covered in fluid and traced the leak to the resevoir. Maybe I just need to replace the seals on the lines. Only other thing that appears that needs to be done is the valve cover gaskets . The drivers side more than the other. I did clean the motor up as much as I could and will check later this week to see if any new fluids are detected and have a better idea what needs to be replaced. Other than the items mentioned above, next stop, VANOSville.

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:22 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
I am wishing I would have went ahead and replaced the belt tensioners and belts but that will be soon.
Happened to me also. Hindsight is so wonderful!

I had an emergency alternator repair in August at about 91K miles ... so I researched the parts for the belt-drive system and replaced them all ... but I had wished I had done the cooling system at the same time because ... in November ... at 94K miles, the cooling system sprung a leak.

So I had to take the entire thing apart, again.

Hindsight: I would have done both at the same time, plus the power steering hose leaks and the oil filter housing leaks - and maybe even the valve cover gasket leaks.

REFERENCES:
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) (2)
- How to tell if you have spring-drive or hydraulic belt tensioners or both (1)
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)
- Typical tandem DIY repair jobs combined while you're already there (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
I was just careful to not break any of the nipples on the cooling system.
We've analyzed methods of removing the nipple, intact, without destroying it over here:
- WANTED: An ingenious method of removing radiator nipple

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
This all started when I replaced the aux fan sensor.
The o-ring to replace the lower-hose thermoswitch sensor is here:
- Where can we get a replacement o-ring for the lower-hose thermoswitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
my power steering pump is covered in fluid and traced the leak to the resevoir.
It's also leaking on your expensive alternator; so it's a good idea to fix. Cn90 has a power steering hose fix DIY. And the o-ring on the reservoir should be replaced. Both have DIYs.
- Power steering hose DIY
- Fixing the always-wet reservoir cap (magnum, others)
- Power Steering noise (bbmw528i, bluebee,maxout2008,
- Power steering leak (nc530i-2003)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
needs to be done is the valve cover gaskets
Keep us informed. My passenger side is all messy. I have no clue how to replace a valve cover gasket. But, in time, I'll try it (after watching what you do).
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2011, 11:24 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
I started the job around 3:33pm and was finished around 12:30 am.
What did you use for the 32mm (1 1/4") fan nut wrench and counterhold tool?

A big fine hammer?

A plumbing tool (as shown above)?

???
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2011, 11:48 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Actaully I lucked out on the 32mm wrench. My brother in law thought he didnt have one and with the grace of god, the first wrench he pulled out was it! I ended up buying a pulley holder tool from napa. It worked wonders taking the clutch off. Now putting it back on was a different story. I drove the car to work which is about a 20 minute drive. I was worse than a teenager texting due to the fact that it seemed my eyes never left the temp gauge. Stayed at 12 the whole time. Still a tad paranoid but each day will get better....hopefully
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
Actually I lucked out on the 32mm wrench.
Good for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
I ended up buying a pulley holder tool from napa.
I didn't know they sold 'em. Is it the kind that I used (see pic below)?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
putting it back on was a different story.
Did you use the cn90 rawhide trick to replace the fan clutch nut?
- cn90 fan clutch nut replacement trick




Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
my eyes never left the temp gauge. Stayed at 12 the whole time.
Do you have the high cluster?

When my cooling system blew 15 miles from home, I let it cool, then filled with water, and then unlocked the high OBC and just watched the actual degrees (there are two different readings it turns out) on the OBC.

With the actual temperature, it's much easier to tell exactly what is going on than waiting for the integrator in the gauge to move past midway.

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Old 01-24-2011, 05:19 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Yes, but I have yet to do the pixel repair. What made the issue with the puller along with the wrench was the wrench was too fat. If it would have been slimmer, there would have been alot less troubles.


$22 for the tool
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:09 AM
wjrichards wjrichards is offline
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What do you think it would cost for a certified BMW repair tech to replace the thermostat and water pump?
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:24 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Sorry I missed this one Tom, I was out of town for the weekend. Let me know when you work on it again.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:05 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjrichards View Post
What do you think it would cost for a certified BMW repair tech to replace the thermostat and water pump?
Richards, Not a very difficult job . Just requiers patience , a few common tools. Do it yourself and take some of the money you saved by doing it yourself and set that aside for the rest of the cooling system if it has not been overhauled yet. Plenty of good DIY threads on here and I am pretty sure bluebee will chime in to help out as well.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:14 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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PM sent Richards
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:04 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
I have yet to do the pixel repair
For the cluster pixel repair, this the VERY best of E39 Links link should be useful:
- CLUSTER PIXELS FAIL LINE BY LINE: press-fit pink connection tape lifts up over time on the instrument cluster causing dead pixels (1) [cluster removal instructions (1) (2)]
- MID PIXELS SLOWLY DIE: press-fit pink connection tape lifts up over time on MID causing dead pixels (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) [MID removal instructions (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)] [MID pixel test sequence (1) ]


As for the thickenss of the 32mm wrench, mine from Ebay is 4mm thick and worked fine with the 4mm thick counterhold tool.


Last edited by bluebee; 01-24-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjrichards View Post
What do you think it would cost for a certified BMW repair tech to replace the thermostat and water pump?
If you don't get a specific answer, this will answer it for you:
- BMW part numbers (1) (2) labor rates (1) (2) (3) & where to find a good repair mechanic (1) (2)
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:23 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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That's helpful bluebee -
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:57 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Replacing my WP this weekend, I was told that the crank pulley needs to be removed to get to a bottom WP bolt, is this true?
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:54 PM
540nj 540nj is offline
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Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
Replacing my WP this weekend, I was told that the crank pulley needs to be removed to get to a bottom WP bolt, is this true?
You can get it by removing air pipe (easy) but needs some limber fingers (or perfect tool, maybe flexhead ratchet?). I did it that way a month ago, as per JimLev's instructions. No need to remove the crank pulley, but it may make a few bolts easier to get to.

dave
03 540i6
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:20 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Thanks for that info. I will look up Jimlev's write up as well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:10 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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And found out my exactly 1 year old radiator is leaking on the sides where the metal crimps to the aluminum! WTF with the cooling systems on this car? Ordered what's supposed to be a premium radiator brand name Spectrum.... at least this one has a 2 year warranty. The Behr that its replacing had a 1 year and i purchased on 1/03/12!
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