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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 09-28-2013, 10:03 AM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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Secondary Air System Delete / SAS Simulator Install E39 528 M52

This is a DIY for a Secondary Air System (SAS) delete and installation of a SAS simulator.

The Secondary Air Pump (SAP) on my 528 went bad years ago. I didn't want to replace it because of several reasons: 1) Cost, $400 for the pump and a new valve, 2) The SAS has no performance value. It is for cold start emissions purposes only. 3) It's a very poor design. The only down side to this is living with a continuous CEL. My fix was to simply cover the CEL with black tape. Cheap, but (sort of) effective. I would do a code check whenever I was under the hood, just to make sure there were no legitimate codes. The "Secondary Air System flow too low" code for bank one and two were always there.



Last week I learned of a simulator for the E39 I6 (M52) that would fool the ECU into thinking the SAS was just fine. It meets the requirement of faking the expected output of the precat O2 sensors during open loop operations when the SAP is called on to operate. See this link for sourcing the SAS Sim: http://e36-electronic.com/ The parts and build quality all seem very good. Note that this sim is not available for all E39 engine types. Make sure you verify before you order.



So began my project for the afternoon- Install the SAS Simulator and remove the dead weight of the SAS. Both were pretty easy. You can leave the SAS in place and just install the SAS Sim, if you so desire. SAS removal requires a few additional parts. You need to make a valve block-off plate as well as install a vacuum line cap. I suppose instead of making the block-off plate you could leave the SAP valve in place so long as it is in the closed position. However, failed valves are usually the cause of failed pumps.

You have a choice when ordering the Simulator of a plug and play version or splicing the wires. The PnP version is naturally more expensive because it has OEM plugs for the O2 sensors and SAP power plug. So in the interest of time, I chose the PnP version.

I will discuss this as if it were two topics- SAS Sim install and SAS delete, for those interested.

SAS Simulator install:

The simulator installation could easily be done in less than an hour. But for me, I always get distracted and start looking at other things as Im working. Tools are minimal: 10mm socket and ratchet with 3" extension, small flat head screwdriver.



- Start by removing the fuel rail cover. Pop off the decorative bolt covers and remove the two bolts holding the cover on.



- Mount the Sim. The mounting flange on the sim is for mounting only, and does not need to be grounded. I used a stud for ground located under the passenger side cabin air filter that provides a perfect location for the sim mount. Remove the 10mm nut on the ground terminal and mount the sim. NOTE: I had to drill the hole larger on the flange to match the stud (1/4" or 6 mm). Route the wires for the O2 connections over to the Os plugs. Keep the wiring high and away from the exhaust pipes.







- Connect the plugs to the O2 sensors. Unplug the O2 sensors and plug them into the simulator harness. It doesn't matter which O2 sensor goes to which plugs on the harness, except don't cross the harness from one O2 sensor to the next. Easier to see it than explain it. Secure with zip-ties.



- Plug in the SAP lead. The Pnp Sim version comes with a plug that will mate with the power connector going into the Secondary Air Pump (SAP). If you don't have the PnP version you could chose to splice into the SAP wires from the engine compartment. However, I find that trying to unwrap the wire bundles is a pain. It is easier to just gain access to the SAP.
-Remove the front right wheel.
-Detach the outside air temp sensor on underside. Remove the forward wheel well plastic.
-Squeeze sides of cannon plug going into the SAP and pull. Plug the SAS Sim harness into the SAP power supply. Note: When I was at this step my cannon plug completely crumbled into dust. I ended up cutting the remains of the power plug off and splicing the wires into the Simulator harness. Brown is ground, black, red yellow stripe is Pos.









-Reinstall wheel well plastic and temp sensor. Or, while you're in there, relocate the temp sensor to the brake cooling duct like it did. Much better temp reading and doesn't get ripped off from road hazards.
-Install and retorque your wheel.
-Install the fuel rail cover.
-Clear any engine codes. Start engine, and enjoy a no Check Engine Light day!

How to delete the dead weight of the Secondary Air System

- Remove/cut the two hoses going into the pump. The pump is held in with three 10mm bolts. You can get pretty good access with an extension and ratchet. One hose goes out to the engine compartment and valve. The other just goes to the pump intake filter visible next to the pump.
- Unplug the pump power supply.
- Remove air hose. Pull the big ugly air hose out from the engine side. Detach it from the valve.
- The valve. At this point you need to either remove the valve and cover the port with a block-off plate, or ensure the valve is closed and leave it in place, or figure out a way to cap off the valve port where the hose connected. If you leave it in place and it is not closed, you will hear the exhaust leak. In either case, detach the vac line and cap it off with a 5/32 vac cap. I made a crude block-off with some scrap 1/8" aluminum (you can get it at a hobby shop), using the valve flange as a template. Try and save the valve mounting gasket, or get a new one. My dealer wanted $25 for that gasket. Pelican was only $5, but had to be shipped. Fortunately, I was able to reuse my old one.







Give the 6-7 pounds of junk an appropriate spot in the trash can, and admire the leaner and meaner look of your engine compartment.



I confirmed the operation of the sim this morning when I had a cold start. I had my scanner hooked up, and while warming up, the system was in Open Loop and the SAS read "Upstream Air". After a minute or so the ECU went to Closed Loop and the SAS read "Atmospheric" Im pretty sure that means its doing what it should. No codes in the pending pile. Im happy.



Legal Stuff: It is illegal to remove emissions equipment. That's why now I only drive my 528 on the farm to check the fences. Im pretty sure with this sim installed the car would pass an emissions test, but that's illegal too.


.

Last edited by Flybot; 10-04-2013 at 08:38 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2013, 11:11 AM
edjack edjack is online now
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Great writeup, and a sanitary job. The cost of the PnP version is easily offset by the included OEM connectors!

Unless your state requires a visual inspection (and the tech is sharp), I'm sure you'll not be bothered; the SAP only engages at cold startup.
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Last edited by edjack; 09-28-2013 at 11:22 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2013, 12:53 PM
dvdlkd dvdlkd is offline
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What a fantastic writeup with pictures. First time I've seen the outside temp sensor relocation. Another great idea. What year is your 528?
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2013, 07:04 AM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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Originally Posted by dvdlkd View Post
What a fantastic writeup with pictures. First time I've seen the outside temp sensor relocation. Another great idea. What year is your 528?
Its a '98.

Yes, with the temp sensor relocation, I just drilled a hole and glued the sensor in with some black gasket maker.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Nice. So that others find this easily in the future, I'll cross reference to these found by typing /sas delete f3 in the VERY best of E39 Links:
- How to maintain the secondary air system (1) (2) (3) & how to troubleshoot the SAS (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to do an SAS delete (1) & how to replace the (SAP) secondary air pump (1) & an SAP valve group buy (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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 09-30-2013, 05:23 PM
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16valex 16valex is online now
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Quote:
That's why now I only drive my 528 on the farm to check the fences.
picture of action? How many inches lift?

Good job and thank for a nice post. I'm going to look for a farm to buy first then I will integrate the MOD.
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2013, 05:43 PM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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Ha, yea I still need the lift kit!

I checked for codes today after about 4-5 cold starts. None pending or otherwise. Im so psyched to have the CEL finaly out. The sim is the real deal, at least for the M52 engine. And Im sure all the other engine types its advertised for.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:51 AM
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16valex 16valex is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
Ha, yea I still need the lift kit!

I checked for codes today after about 4-5 cold starts. None pending or otherwise. Im so psyched to have the CEL finaly out. The sim is the real deal, at least for the M52 engine. And Im sure all the other engine types its advertised for.
Well, this is very good to hear, a legit member review not some paid worker from another continent! Ha ha...

I have a question for you Flybot. In the morning during a cold start. Does your engine RPM raise up above 1000 RPM or not? I thank you in advance.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:10 AM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
... In the morning during a cold start. Does your engine RPM raise up above 1000 RPM or not? I thank you in advance.
Just checked. Yes, it goes to about 12-1300 rpm. Then settles down to normal after a few seconds.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:26 AM
gpeterson gpeterson is offline
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Thanks for the great write-up and photos! I'll make sure that the mounting hole on all E39 sims is drilled to 1/4".

There is a BMW part for the block-off plate/gasket, I may keep those on hand and sell as an option.
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2013, 12:35 PM
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16valex 16valex is online now
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Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
Just checked. Yes, it goes to about 12-1300 rpm. Then settles down to normal after a few seconds.
Ah! Thanks Flybot. Now, with that answer the cold start will run a little rich without the SAP pumping air in. I wonder in long term effect it will make any difference to the longevity of the CATS. I think it is negligible... What do you think?
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:38 PM
gpeterson gpeterson is offline
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Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
I wonder in long term effect it will make any difference to the longevity of the CATS. I think it is negligible... What do you think?
Shouldn't be an issue... look at all of the pre-OBD2 BMWs that have cats and no secondary air system.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:48 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Ah! Thanks Flybot. Now, with that answer the cold start will run a little rich without the SAP pumping air in. I wonder in long term effect it will make any difference to the longevity of the CATS. I think it is negligible... What do you think?
Once the cold cycle is done, the cats warm up pretty darn hot, and I would expect them to burn off any combustible residue left in the honeycombs. Tainting them steady with unburnt engine oil is another matter.
Maybe I'm wrong?
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:12 PM
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Im pretty sure my SAP has been out for at least 4-5 years. Seems to be going good without issue.
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