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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 04-17-2013, 09:07 PM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540i6, E36 M3/4/5
So my osv was strugglin'... (photos)

So I bought a 2000 540i 6 speed, and it's an amazing machine. I had this car for two days (first car, and I'm 17 ) when it suddenly begins plumin' smoke. I did some research (I used the search function!!!!!!! ) and some preliminary investigations uncovered an ocean of oil in the intake manifold. Based on what I found, I determined that the cause of the smoke plumes was a broken oil separator for the crancase ventilation system. I've never taken an auto shop class or had any formal education in the area, but since book labor for the job was only 23 hours, I figured it would be pretty easy so I gave it a shot. Since this job involves a lot of labor that overlaps with other repairs, I decided to replace some other stuff as well as the osv. I replaced the timing chain guide rails, tensioner, vanos seals, valley pan, and just about every damn gasket I came across. In the process of checking the oil pan for plastic and other debris, I discovered that some moron cross threaded a random bolt in my oil pan in place of the drain plug. I re-tapped the threads and fixed that without any issue. I also got the valve covers powdercoated as they just simply looked like crap. So far it's taken me over a week since I have very limited time to work on the car and had to order some parts I overlooked initially, but I should be done with it this weekend. Hopefully the car will run well for a while after this. I'll try to post up some photos in the next day or two if you guys would like me to.

I bought this:

And found that this was full of oil:

As were these:

So this was the result:


Last edited by Mjölnir; 04-18-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2013, 09:12 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540i auto
Good job! I'm hoping to do all that stuff soon too. I'm still weary about doing the vanos seals though.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2013, 09:24 PM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540i6, E36 M3/4/5
Yeah the vanos seals were a bit of a pain to manuever in the housing due to space constraints, but overall it wasn't very complicated and once I got the first one done the second was a breeze. Do you mind if I ask how I would go about deleting a thread? It appears as though this post was posted twice for some reason.
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2013, 10:57 PM
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collardgreens collardgreens is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
I've never taken an auto shop class or had any formal education in the area, but since book labor for the job was only 23 hours, I figured it would be pretty easy so I gave it a shot.

My hats off to you sir! Good job.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:38 PM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540i6, E36 M3/4/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by collardgreens View Post
My hats off to you sir! Good job.
Thanks bro.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:54 PM
kutcht1 kutcht1 is offline
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Yep, you should be just fine owning that car, which looks nice by the way. If you had done very little prior to this you sure jumped in with both feet. Hope all is well when you get it buttoned back up.
TomK
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2013, 02:59 PM
esilvas esilvas is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i
At 17, I did not even own a car. Finally, at 42, I bought my first BMW. Great job on your repairs as they definitely would have given me pause. With every new code or weird sound, I find out a little bit more about my car.
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2013, 04:07 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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"osv?"

Truly an ambitious project. I assume you have the Bentley's and the timing tool set.

Be sure to replace the oil separator inside the timing case.
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Last edited by edjack; 05-07-2013 at 04:11 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2013, 08:15 PM
Biasvoltage Biasvoltage is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i Touring
Way to go! Now you know that no matter what happens with your car, you're going to be able to handle it. Get that thing running in time for Bimmerfest!
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2013, 11:33 PM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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Simply WoW!! and you say you have no training ?
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2013, 05:27 AM
Dragan Dragan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esilvas View Post
At 17, I did not even own a car. Finally, at 42, I bought my first BMW. Great job on your repairs as they definitely would have given me pause. With every new code or weird sound, I find out a little bit more about my car.
+1. I bought my first car just before I turned 19. It was a 99 Honda Civic. 4 years later, I upgrade to the E39 which I bought in December of last year. I'm 23 now and I thought that was young for someone to own a BMW. I'm glad I'm a licensed mechanic. Otherwise, I don't think I'd own a BMW right now.

OP, hats off to you. Well done.
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2013, 02:20 PM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
"osv?"

Truly an ambitious project. I assume you have the Bentley's and the timing tool set.

Be sure to replace the oil separator inside the timing case.
Yes, by "osv" I was refering to the oil seperator. Some sources refer to it with that acronym which I believe represents "oil seperator valve." Although it isn't technically correct since it isn't a valve, that is what I meant. I rented the timing tools from bimmertoolrental.com, which I would recommend to anyone who is planning to do this job.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2013, 02:35 PM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Here are some additional photographs that illustrate the oil separator failure. I apologize in advance for the low quality of the images, I didn't have access to a dedicated camera at the time...
This is the plastic neck that connects the main body of the oil separator to the metal fitting connected to the pipe that leads to the ccv on the back of the manifold.

Here you can see where the plastic hose should be. After cracking and falling off, it allowed the ccv system to suck oil in directly, which results in the pools of oil in the intake manifold.

Last edited by Mjölnir; 05-09-2013 at 02:42 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2013, 09:24 AM
tja623 tja623 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 540i Sedan
wow, nice detail. i just got my first BMW. also a 99 e39 540i. parts arrived yesterday, i intend to to everything but the separator itself, only because i dont have smoke or excess oil consumption, just a lean code and a howling CCV valve. i am doing the valley pan, intake, throttle body, and valve cover gaskets as well. Hoping this will be enough. The time involved to do the actual separator would take up too much time i really don't have right now.
Really impressed though....nice looking ride!!!
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2013, 10:23 AM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Yeah and replacing the separator requires removing the timing chain so it can become a bigger project. You would have to source timing tools and you're probably gonna want to replace timing chain guide rails at the same time. Even though it doesn't seem like they should cost much, those timing chain guides weren't cheap and finding the tools adds more expense to the equation. If you don't need to mess with the separator it's probably best to leave it alone. Good luck with your new purchase.
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2013, 10:26 AM
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kevbot13 kevbot13 is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 525i
Wow, great job on everything. Major props for the dedication and ability. I need to find more friends like you!
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2013, 10:38 AM
haolibird haolibird is online now
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Mein Auto: E39 540i, E39 M5, E34 535
All I have to say is, "Thank God for the people who raised you!"
They obviously raised a man.

You should be sure to thank them as well.
They sure as hell passed on some great genes to boot.

Incredible project, and very well documented.
Private school?

Thank you for sharing the DIY.
Are you available to work on my car?
I live in San Diego.

Aloha,
T
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  #18  
Old 11-24-2013, 09:24 AM
ghost88 ghost88 is offline
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I am having this done to my car next week and need to figure out what parts i need. I replaced my CCV valve but don't have the time/place or tools to tackle the OSV. Would you happen to have a parts list or picture of the invoice of what you ordered? The car's at my mechanic's shop now being disassembled so I'd really appreciate it!
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2013, 09:44 AM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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nm
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Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 214k (daily driver) Timing chain guides just failed. In the middle of a full rebuild instead of repair. I wonder how much longer it would of gone if i just repaired it.

Last edited by Whorse; 11-24-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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  #20  
Old 11-24-2013, 09:47 AM
ghost88 ghost88 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i Sport
Also my car is a 2000 So i would be replacing my vanos seals as well
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  #21  
Old 11-24-2013, 12:33 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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So when know that the oil separator inside the engine block can cause oil to be dumped inside the intake manifold.

We know that a howling noise is the rear intake manifold cover CCV valve. Can this one also cause oil to be dumped in the intake manifold if it is defective?
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  #22  
Old 11-25-2013, 11:30 AM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540i6, E36 M3/4/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by haolibird View Post
All I have to say is, "Thank God for the people who raised you!"
They obviously raised a man.

You should be sure to thank them as well.
They sure as hell passed on some great genes to boot.

Incredible project, and very well documented.
Private school?

Thank you for sharing the DIY.
Are you available to work on my car?
I live in San Diego.

Aloha,
T
Thank you for the compliments. I have attended public school, and most recently graduated from Foothill Tech in Ventura. It's a magnet school with an emphasis on electronics and modern technology... And although San Diego is pretty far, my grandfather lives there so if I'm ever down there I would love the opportunity to work on more BMWs. Oh and I also ended up purchasing M62 timing tools because I needed them for another car I was working on, so if anybody needs these tools I could maybe rent them to you for cost of shipping plus deposit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost88 View Post
I am having this done to my car next week and need to figure out what parts i need. I replaced my CCV valve but don't have the time/place or tools to tackle the OSV. Would you happen to have a parts list or picture of the invoice of what you ordered? The car's at my mechanic's shop now being disassembled so I'd really appreciate it!
I have records and receipts for everything that I have purchased for the car. I don't currently have access to the folder of documents but I will later today. For now I can list the things that I remember off the top of my head. You don't necessarily need every part listed (ex: intake manifold gaskets) but they're all things that are convenient too replace while doing the OSV/VANOS job.

IGNORE THE LIST BELOW AND REFERENCE THE ONE IN POST #25
oil separator
center timing chain guide rail (U-shaped)
left/right timing chain guide rail
qty 4 cam chain tensioner guide rails
timing chain tensioner
intake manifold gaskets
valve cover gaskets
timing cover gaskets
VANOS solenoid gaskets
2 small orings for coolant pipes under manifold
2 large orings for coolant pipes under manifold
valley pan
valley pan plasit cover (tabs n old cover are brittle and will break off easily)
maybe a water pump gasket

That's all I've got for now, I will amend this list later this afternoon or tonight with a complete list of all parts.

Last edited by Mjölnir; 11-25-2013 at 10:16 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-25-2013, 12:17 PM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540i6, E36 M3/4/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenTiger View Post
So when know that the oil separator inside the engine block can cause oil to be dumped inside the intake manifold.

We know that a howling noise is the rear intake manifold cover CCV valve. Can this one also cause oil to be dumped in the intake manifold if it is defective?
I don't know for sure but my thoughts are that if the oil separator is functioning properly, oil shouldn't ever reach the CCV. Considering this, I would say that CCV failure alone should not flood the intake manifold with oil.
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  #24  
Old 11-25-2013, 06:30 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Damn impressive for a first car, first DIY, etc.
Did you have anyone helping you?
You sound pretty experienced.
N00bs don't just retap threads.
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  #25  
Old 11-25-2013, 10:13 PM
Mjölnir Mjölnir is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540i6, E36 M3/4/5
My father had showed me how to use a tap, and he gives me advice on problems whenever I ask for it. A couple of friends helped me along the way, but none of us had any experience working on BMWs at the time. I had done some stuff on other cars before, most notably replacing the timing belt on a pt cruiser. The pt timing belt wasn't as much work as the oil separator project but was much more of a hassle than working on any BMW I have touched. The FWD layout is really not conducive to easy timing belt replacement, or anything really for that matter...

Anyways here are the parts that I ordered when I did the job:

oil separator valve
11 15 1 705 272
timing chain guide rail (U-shaped)
11 31 1 741 777
timing chain guide rail (right)
11 31 1 741 236
timing chain guide rail (left)
11 31 1 745 406
timing chain guide rail (upper) (QTY 4)
11 31 1 435 028
timing chain tensioner
11 31 7 531 813
lower timing chain cover gasket set
11 14 1 436 978
water pump gasket
11 51 1 731 372
valley pan
11 14 1 742 042
valley pan plastic cover
11 14 1 736 106
upper timing cover gasket 1-4
11 14 1 741 532
upper timing cover gasket 5-8
11 14 1 741 533
timing cover gasket for VANOS solenoids (QTY 2)
11 14 1 435 023
small coolant pipe orings (QTY 2)
11 53 1 710 055
large coolant pipe orings (QTY 2)
11 53 1 710 048

It is recommended to get a new upper oil pan gasket (11 13 1 742 109), as the front of it is exposed when lower timing chain covered is removed. It is made of the "asbestos free" thick green papery material and will likely crumble in the process of removing the timing cover. The procedure I followed was to precisely cut off the part of the new gasket needed to replace the exposed part of the old gasket. You then use sealant to attach the piece of new gasket onto the old one. This procedure is recommended as opposed to replacing the whole gasket because removing the upper oil pan is a huge hassle. It sounds odd to cut and mend gaskets but it works.

Optional if doing VANOS:
Beisan VANOS kit
VANOS solenoid gasket 1-4
11 36 1 705 578
VANOS solenoid gasket 5-8
11 36 1 705 579

Optional if valve cover gaskets are leaking oil:
valve cover gasket set right
11 12 0 034 104
valve cover gasket set left
11 12 0 034 105
valve cover seal washer (QTY 16)
11 12 1 721 879
valve cover seal washer front (QTY 6)
11 12 1 721 879


I think that's everything. If anyone notices something missing let me know and I will add it to the list.

Last edited by Mjölnir; 11-25-2013 at 10:25 PM.
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