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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 02-17-2013, 01:00 PM
bddcustoms bddcustoms is online now
Bimmer Dave
Location: Bowie, MD
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
LCM - 97e39528i

Hey Board,

I'm pretty sure I need to replace the Light Control Module on my 1997 528i (halogen, non-angel eyes, 147,xxx). About two week ago, the pass side high beam wouldn't go off even with switch off. I removed the bulb as temp fix (not preferable, obviously). Suspecting it might be LCM, I began a little research and pricing. Meanwhile, two days ago the pass side low beam goes out and won't come on even though the bulb is good.

I need to move forward with replacing the LCM. My first inclination is always DIY, but I'm also not foolish. I'd love to hear some opinions and experiences from the board. Some basic questions I might have to start are:
  • Is swapping out the LCM essentially plug-n-play? I've read references to having it programmed after install. By whom and for what?
  • Also, in order to get the correct LCM unit, do I need to pull my current unit first? Do I need to match any model numbers, etc?
I'm sure other question will occur as I read feedback.

Thanks in advance for any help.

DTT
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Now Showing: 1997 E39 528i arctic silver on black 5sp
RIP: 1994 E34 530i oxford green on tan 5sp
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2013, 01:35 PM
JimLev JimLev is online now
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
Technically you need to get a new one and have it programmed so the tamper dot to the left of the odometer won't come on. Programming will put your mileage, VIN number and what ever lighting/alarm options that you want into its memory.
A used LCM should be of the same HD and SW as yours, you will need to find someone that has the sorriest software to reprogram it, the dealer won't do it on a used LCM. Your other option is to repair your LCM, however if you drive the car without is and go over ~100 (??) miles when the repaired LCM is installed the tamper light will come on.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2013, 02:29 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Location: Finland
 
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Mein Auto: E39 540i
You can change the mileage and VIN with BMW Scanner 1.4 on a used LCM. I'm not sure can BMW Scanner code it, but NCS Expert can. So you can definately DIY, if you want.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:09 PM
bddcustoms bddcustoms is online now
Bimmer Dave
Location: Bowie, MD
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
thanks for the feedback. I'm looking for all the experiences I can get. Anyone ever gone the used route?
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Now Showing: 1997 E39 528i arctic silver on black 5sp
RIP: 1994 E34 530i oxford green on tan 5sp
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2013, 11:21 PM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 528i 1999 MB c240
Accttualy i DIY the LCM twice for the low beams leaft and right, easy to take apart and repair and you can put in a stronger part that will not fail.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:30 AM
bddcustoms bddcustoms is online now
Bimmer Dave
Location: Bowie, MD
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjalloul11 View Post
Accttualy i DIY the LCM twice for the low beams leaft and right, easy to take apart and repair and you can put in a stronger part that will not fail.
Mind giving me a bit more about your experience? parts used and sources? time and skill?
I'd really appreciate it.

Thx.

DTT
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Now Showing: 1997 E39 528i arctic silver on black 5sp
RIP: 1994 E34 530i oxford green on tan 5sp
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:31 AM
bddcustoms bddcustoms is online now
Bimmer Dave
Location: Bowie, MD
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
I found a company that services LCM's with quick turn-around and reasonable cost. Wondering if anybody's used them before.

http://circuitboardmedics.com/1997-2...FUXf4AodNSwAFw

let me know.

DTT
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Now Showing: 1997 E39 528i arctic silver on black 5sp
RIP: 1994 E34 530i oxford green on tan 5sp
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:37 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Go to ebay and buy "BTS426L1" (search forum for it).
You need 2 chips, about $7/each.
Remove the LCM and solder the new chips in.
Again, search forum.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2013, 08:41 AM
bddcustoms bddcustoms is online now
Bimmer Dave
Location: Bowie, MD
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Got 'em. Thanks!

cn90,

received the chips, thanks! If I could just trouble you with one additional question: my indy sort of hesitated at the idea of repairing the LCM -- hadn't done before, was willing to give it a try but would be straight time because he'd need time to fish around the circuit board at $125 per hr to find the right chips (transitor, he called them) to replace. First; yep. I'm getting a new indy. Second, do you have an image of the circuit board -- mine is a '97 528i, non-hid, non-angel eye -- that labels which chip to replace? my problem right now is the passenger side high beam. I thought earlier that other lights were failing too, but it turns out that the bulbs had simply blown (H7's have no useful lifespan, it seems). Also, if different chips govern different lights/sides of the car, should I swap out the driver's lights chip while I'm in there?

With that info, I'm going to pull the LCM myself and take it to an electronics shop.

Thanks again for supporting enthusiasts as you do.

David
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Now Showing: 1997 E39 528i arctic silver on black 5sp
RIP: 1994 E34 530i oxford green on tan 5sp
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2013, 12:37 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Location: N.W. Indiana
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i sport
DO NOT take your bad LCM and new chips to your mechanic. That is like asking a plumber to fix the control module in your furnace. If you don't know an electronic shop or ham radio operator as they know about such repairs, find one. Do not ask a mechanic to do a delicate IC replacement. It's not difficult, but no reason for a mechanic to have such skills.
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2013, 12:50 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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bddcustoms,

540iman is correct, fix this yourself.

Here was the original thread from 2007, take your time to go through it.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=209896

1. The procedure (how to remove the LCM) is in the first link pdf file.
YES, replace BOTH chips!

2. Once you open the LCM, it is very very easy if you have ever soldered before.
If you do not have any soldering experience, I think you should learn it, it is very simple and fun.
But use a junk radio circuit board to practise soldering first.

3. The soldering gun (buy the one with fine tip) is about $10 at Radio Shack:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2062758

4. This is a good video to watch, if you can cook spaghetti, you can solder:



PS: Of course, you can bring it to a local electronic repair shop to have it done for $10-$20.
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