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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 07-26-2014, 06:50 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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Mein Auto: 00 540i MSpor-06 X5 4.4i
2000 540i A/c stink. A NEW APPROACH I THINK

So i havent seen this approach yet, i hope it helps, its relatively easy,

it started with hunting down why my a/c doesnt cool as good as my x5s does...i replaced the condenser/compressor/dryer/expansion valve,...fanclutch, nothing worked well in the heat.. finally i got a kit that uses an 80C thermostat...that did the trick, the only i can guess is that the reduced heat of the radiator meant reduced heat soak for the condensor..once it started gettiong really cold, i noticed the smell getting worse..i noticed the drain lines were not realling putting anything out, so i cleaned them out and got lots of water out.. On a side note...my car has always made racket on th eright side of the motor and the front even though i replaced the sliders tensioners and chains .... for some reason, the racket has gone away after the install of the 80c thermostat..weird but awesome

then i cutu the hole in the box and used a friend endoscope and saw the problem, it was covered in green looking crap in there....after the folling procedure it fwas spotless...and it got even colder output from the vents on max, its just about as cold as the x5 now, althought the condensor fan seems to be working overtime, next im replacing the fan clutch with an electronic variable output fan control and fan..

next im going to do the procedure once more time with that klima stuff, i used it in the truck and it worked great.

i took about 1.5 hours taking my time... i was looking at for a ball joint seperator and ran accross something called an engine cleaner.. that uses air and has siphon feed for cleaning solution..and its almost long enough to reach the other side of the core..



1. removed the left side center kick panel to get to the evaporator core box...
2. made a hole as you see in the pics(nothing new here)
3. i used an engine cleaniner thingy i found at northerntool, about a 1 gallon of boiling water , 1 liter of rubbing alcohol, 2 capfuls of bleach. do not let this get on you..or drip anywhere in your car...not to mention boiling water
4. i just started from the close end and worked it in a fanning mottion to the top and bottom and slowly working in and repeating the fanning procedure each time i moved it iin about 5mm..it takes a while, then i justarted working it around the inside of the box, the top, the floor etc etc. .






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Last edited by 1hander; 07-26-2014 at 07:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2014, 06:56 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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Mein Auto: 00 540i MSpor-06 X5 4.4i
i forgot to mention, the grip part of the tool, gets super hot from the boiled water... LMAO, you can see the remnants of my drain cleaning adventure, when my arm touched the exhaust pipe

also to cover the hole in the box, i used a master cylinder cap gasket and sized the hole appropriately..it fits in with a little [pressure and does not come out....

soprry for the typos gys, i have only my right hand and when i get going i make mistakes

anyway thanks all of you for your input and guidance, without this place i would far more skiddish of working on my bimmers, with yalls help, i do all of my own maintenance, even the hard stuff.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2014, 10:18 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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Mein Auto: 00 540i MSpor-06 X5 4.4i
i alo want to add that my center temp control knob got stuck like alot of peoples, i took the dash apart and pulled out the center vent and the cable at the end where it connects to the flapper i noticed was really hard to push in and pull out by hand .... finally i looked at the very top where the cable connect to the arm on the temp contro knob and saw that the cable itself was kinked and vbecame bent..thats why it wouldnt push the cable back in and got suck... i pulled it apart and used some needle nose pliers to bend it back straight again and the problem is fixed but now i use more caution when i turn the knob and give it a little time to turn instead of cranking on it like i did when i screwed it up
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2014, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hander View Post
So i havent seen this approach yet
What was the time period between your cleaning and the elimination of the stink?
Was it instantaneous?
Or did you do other work in between?

The reason I ask is that I'm not convinced the stink is due to the evap coils (it might be the cabin air filters); but you're the first (IMHO) who said they've seen the evaporator fins and plastic box being green with mold.

It would be nice if you can add value to the canonicial thread on the subject, which I found simply by typing /stink f3 in the bestlinks, which nets this, among others:
- How to eliminate air conditioner stink and gym sock AC odors (1)

See also:
- How to correctly measure cockpit AC temperature (1) & where is the HVAC/IHKA solar sensor located (1) & where to find your low pressure airconditioning recharge port (1) & how to recharge or refill your A/C system for $20 (1) & what refrigerant PAG oil to use (1) & how to diagnose A / C compressor knocking sounds (1) & how to learn about (1) and set up your air conditioning (1) & how to replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) & what cabin filter to buy (1) & cn90's inexpensive cabin filter retrofit (1) & everything there is to know about stinky gym sock AC odors (1) & R134a conversion information (1) & air conditioner compressor replacement DIYs (1) or compressor rebuilds (1) or ac hose rebuilding services (1) & how to remove the trim and bracket holding the MID & HVAC/IHKA panels (1) & how to replace just the IHKA button (1) & how to change OBC MID IHKA KTMP temperature from degrees Celcius to Fahrenheit (1) & how to diagnose lack of HVAC/IHKA heater core heat with cooling system (auxiliary pump) at idle (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 08-02-2014 at 06:44 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2014, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hander View Post
you can see the remnants of my drain cleaning adventure, when my arm touched the exhaust pipe
What did you use to clean the drain hoses?
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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
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2014, 01:47 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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i can definately agree that the smell is probably due to more than one thing happening at different times for different people .... in my case, it was definately the evaporator coil and the inside of the evaporator box... the smell was gone from one day to the next... it was that noticable,

to clean the drain tubes, first i used the air method which opened them more but didnt get them clean...

i used the info from someone elses post to take it apart there at the evaporator box..then i used a piece of wire that i curled the end up on it... and fished it from the top down... please dont think it was easy i think i gave up at least 7 seven times in a 2 hour period, but i twisted and twisted and twisted until my son finally saw the damn thing emerge from the side of the outlet under the car... then i tied a piece of twine to the end of the wire and pulled the twine all the way through... then i used a pipe cleaner type thingy thatr is made for cleaning paint guns ...and tied it to the twine so i could pull it throiugh one way... then the other ... it was super frustrating but its done...
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2014, 07:34 PM
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Hmm I may have to cut thing thing apart some day.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:38 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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its super easy to do... the cleaning is a bit more time consuming but cutting it open is very easy.. man im so happy with my clean air right now... if i had a left arm that worked id pat myself on the back LOL... but ive got so much other crap to work on that i dont want to jinx myself...
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:42 PM
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Hey this is a little off topic but still in the wheel house, my refidgerant leaks out every winter. Is this normal? A recharge seems to last all summer but every new summer its gone?
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:10 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Originally Posted by JDeGraff89 View Post
Hey this is a little off topic but still in the wheel house, my refidgerant leaks out every winter. Is this normal? A recharge seems to last all summer but every new summer its gone?
I haven't had to recharge my refrigerant in the three years I've owned the car, but the climate here is pretty mild, and I don't know whether that makes any difference..
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:46 PM
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I haven't had to recharge my refrigerant in the three years I've owned the car, but the climate here is pretty mild, and I don't know whether that makes any difference..
Winters here have been really cold. I think we hit like -15 once or something. But that was in a week of negative temps. I'm thinking maybe the o rings shrink in these cold cold snaps and the charge leaves.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:51 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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your dead on.... the seals are shrinking in the cold once it warms up they expand..time to replace them all i would think..

i had the same problem with misfire codes and it idling really crappy wgen it got cold here, i had a hell of atime finding the leak, it turned out to be the vacuum line to the booster, where the bend in its, it was crackedm in cold weather the crack would open up, once the under hood temps went up, the hose expanded and sealed the leak...
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:42 PM
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One more question while we're on the topic of AC. When I turn mine on it causes more engine noise. Now I accept this because its putting more load on the engine. But recently that extra noise has alsocome with a vibration at the bottom of the steering wheel. Yes only the bottom quarter unless I turn my wheel upside down then its on top lol.. Anyway. I was just in there doing my OFHG and the belts were in amazing condition. So is this a sign that the AC clutch is dying or maybe its the tensioner pully? Any ideas there's only 2 moving parts there so I figure its 50/50 but one is much cheaper than the other.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:55 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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do you think maybe the extra noise is coming from the a/c compressor itself.. i read a thread on here where the owner opened up the compressor he repkaced and found a broken reed valve that was making noise..

i know mine does make a little more noise with the a.c compressor on...but not really noticable...

as far as the steering wheel vibration, maybe the idle is dropping to low when you turn on the a/c, it should idle up to compensate for the extra load..maybe the idleair control...im not sure if yours hasd one...its my underatanding that some e39s have it and the drive by wire throttles dont have it .... im not sure... check if your rpm is staying about the same without the a/c and with it on..

or it could be as easy as a loose bolt or nut ib the steering column
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:08 PM
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Hmmm the RPMs stay the same.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:12 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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you mean it stays the same as in it idles up to compensate for the extra load from the a/c coming on... if so then thats definately right...

the engine does move around normally....you might check the engine mounts, ifd they are bad, they could be transaferring more vibration to the rest of the car than it normally could, the fluid comes out of them when they die...i replaced both of mine at the same time rather than waiting for the other to go bad
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Last edited by 1hander; 08-03-2014 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:16 PM
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No. Let's say I'm idleing at 1500 rpm in the parking spot with AC off. Then turn it on it stays at 1500rpm. So idler control is not right? I'm riding in a 97 528i so I don't have drive by wire.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:18 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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hmmmmm... when you turn the a/c on.... can you hear the engine rpm momentarily dip then rise above the previous rpm it was at then stabilize again ... so when you switch it on,,,the rpm dips---rises--then stabilizes

you definately have and IAC valve..
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Last edited by 1hander; 08-03-2014 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:31 PM
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Hey Hander, I replaced my fan clutch today. And in the test driving afterwards to make sure the new one works and the old one was bad, I've noticed that vibration on the underside of the steering wheel is gone now. So some how the bad fan clutch was causing it methinks.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:41 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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holy crap man....you just dodged a bullet...that was the bearings in the fan clutch itself.... i think the fan was actually coming off of center while spinning it was just days away from locking up and sending blades through your hood,ac liines,brake ducts,power steering lines etc etc... i learned that the hard way, i would definately take a look at the motor mounts though thety may be capoot
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:44 PM
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holy crap man....you just dodged a bullet...that was the bearings in the fan clutch itself.... i think the fan was actually coming off of center while spinning it was just days away from locking up and sending blades through your hood,ac liines,brake ducts,power steering lines etc etc... i learned that the hard way, i would definately take a look at the motor mounts though thety may be capoot
Luckily my fan clutch had failed by not locking up. Causing overheats at idle and causing me to park the car.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:45 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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man im so glad i got rid of that damn fan clutch... glad you caught in time man
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:04 PM
yersole yersole is online now
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OP- Thanks for sharing this!
This gun is exactly what I am looking for.
AC started stinking this summer and I first tried spraying einszett klima-cleaner onto the evaporator through the cut hole. That didn't work.
I also read the custom cooper wand fabrication with a garden sprayer but this is much easier.
I found a bunch of brands for this engine cleaning gun.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...27-345263534-2
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A25DVOZOPBFMAN

Last edited by yersole; 08-11-2014 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:06 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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im glad i could add something to the forum.... thanks for reading...
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:41 PM
yersole yersole is online now
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So this OBC's aux venting feature was brought up and first time I've heard about it. Haven't verified but will tomorrow. Going to leave it here for others dealing with this issue.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...6#post27882426

BTW, the gun worked great! Left some real dirty looking stains on my driveway from the drained out fluid, and the smell is almost all gone.
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