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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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Old 01-25-2013, 09:10 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Complete list of E39 stuff (parts, fluids, tools) to stock for handy eventual use

This thread about the 441 (61610154441) wiper blade inserts being discontinued by BMW plus this thread about all the o-rings to buy got me thinking that we should probably have a list of cheap "stuff" (parts, fluids, bearings, o-rings, gaskets, tools, etc.) to stock up on, that we'll all eventually use, within the next year or two anyway.


Well, in the case of the wiper blades, you want to get them now before everyone runs out; and in the case of the o-rings, it's a little tiny something that you can replace while you're doing an oil change or a spark plug refresh or a CCV repair, that you wouldn't otherwise do because of the effort in ordering & waiting for a 50 part to arrive; and in the case of fluids, you'll eventually use all of them anyway - so better to have them when needed; and in the case of tools, well, that one is obvious. The tool that you don't have handy is useless.

Since these lists probably already exist individually, this thread may simply end up referring to other threads containing the specific lists.

To start it off, here are some lists of lists of standard maintenance parts for the E39 that I'm aware of:
  1. O-rings to stock up on (1)
  2. Wiper blade inserts to stock up on (1)
  3. Bulbs to stock up on (1)
  4. Vacuum hoses to stock up on (1)
  5. Gaskets to stock up on (1)
  6. Cooling system parts that you will always need (1)
  7. Fuses to stock up on (1) (2)
  8. Belt-drive system parts to stock up on (1)
  9. Alternator rebuilding bearings & diodes to stock up on (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
  10. Brake pads (1) & rotors (1)
  11. FSU/FSR (1)
  12. Oil filters (1) , cabin air filters (1), engine air filters (1) (2)
  13. Parts suppliers (1)
Here is a starter list of lists for standard fluids to stock:
  1. Glovebox printout: BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)
  2. Motor oil: BMW approved motor oils (pdf) & tribal motor oil recommendations (1) (2) (3) & gravity oil change DIY (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & vacuum extraction DIY (1) (2) (3) & drill pump DIY (1)
  3. Gasoline: Engine fuel & octane (1) & "The Gasoline FAQ" & top-tier gas stations (1) & Techron additives (1) & how to clean your gas gauge sending unit (1) & mpg calculations (1) how large is the fuel tank and reserve in the E39 (1) & what gasoline to use (1) & how much gas should be left to cool the fuel pump (1) & how to siphon the fuel out of the tank (1) & what is the cost differential between 87 & 91 octane AKI (1)
  4. MTF: Manual transmission fluid (1) (2) & manual transmission fluid-change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
  5. ATF: Automatic transmission fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) & automatic transmission fluid & filter DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & torque values (1) & how to find the hidden E39 transmission fluid level dipstick (1) & why ATF gushes out of the fill hole (1) & ZF 5HP19 facts (1)
  6. PSF: Power steering fluid (1) (2) & power steering fluid flush DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) & volumes (1)
  7. Coolant: Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1) & bleeding (1) (2) (3) or refilling DIYs (1)
  8. Brake & clutch fluid: Brake & clutch hydraulic fluid (1) & recommended E39 brake job "fluids" (1) & how brake bleeding DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  9. A/C: Air conditioner refrigerant & PAG oil (1) & how to refill your A/C system (1) (2) (3) (4) & what to use to rid yourself of the BMW gym sock stink (1)
  10. Differential: Rear differential hypoid gear oil (1) & differential fluid change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
  11. Battery: What battery (1) & what battery maintenance (1) & battery electrolyte (1) & battery replacement DIY (1) (2) (3) & how NOT to change the battery (1) (2) (3)
  12. Windshield fluid: Windshield washer fluid (1)
  13. Intensive cleaner: Intensive cleaning system fluid (1)
  14. Windows: Window glass cleaner fluids & cloths for the inside window & windshield glass (1)
  15. Tire air: Recommended tire pressures (1) (2) (3) & the claimed benefits of nitrogen gas (1) (2)
  16. Wheels: Best product for cleaning wheels (1)
  17. Interior: Interior cockpit & dashboard cleaners (1)
  18. Carpets: Suggested carpet cleaners (1)
  19. Floormats: Suggested floor mat cleaning & shampooing (1)
  20. Headliner: Solvent for cleaning the headliner fabric (1)
  21. Vapor barriers: Sealant for door panel vapor barriers (1) & sizes for the adhesive (1)
  22. Engine cleaner: External engine degreaser, engine bay cleaning & engine compartment detailing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
  23. BMW list of lubricants, sealants, & thread lockers (pdf) (shrunk gif) (original-size jpg)

Likewise, here's a list of lists for special tools to keep on hand (that you will both need and want to have on hand that you might not have already):
  1. Basic tools for working on the E39 (1) (2) (3)
  2. Basic scanning tools for the E39, OBD (1), SRS (1)
  3. Precision measuring tools such as dial gauges & calipers (1)
  4. Advanced scanning tools for the E39 (1)
  5. Tools for a cooling system overhaul (1)
  6. Stocking the trunk BMW toolkit (1) (2)
  7. Emergency items in the trunk (1) (2) (3)
The hope is that others add what's missing - so that we can all order "stuff", ahead of time, that we'll eventually use, and they'll be waiting on the shelf when we tear things apart.

The end result will be better maintained bimmers, at only a fraction of the additional effort & cost.
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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

Last edited by bluebee; 01-25-2013 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Added detail...
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:20 PM
Crutzy Crutzy is offline
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Location: California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 102
Mein Auto: BMW 5-series E39
I don't know if anyone has suggested this yet, but for the DISA, you can get square-cross-section o-rings of almost any material you like.

For example

And, of course, you can get round-cross-section o-rings at lots of places too, for the VANOS or for other parts
1. (easy to use oring warehouse calculator)
2. the o-ring store
3. mfp seals
4. orings usa

What we need is a list of the "trade sizes" for each of the replacement orings, and the material.
1. http://www.allorings.com/size_cross_...nce_framed.htm
2. http://www.marcorubber.com/sizingchart.htm
3. http://www.broadleyjames.com/o-rings-size-chart.html
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