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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 06-02-2020, 08:04 PM
bwingnutt bwingnutt is offline
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New brakes

I have a 01 540 and just did complete brake job. I am using a power bleeder and have bled calipers twice . Have tried inpa 5.0 but when I try to enter abs portion I get a error code can't communicate with control unit. Engine off pedal is good and firm. Engine on and I get mushy feel with a lot ( 2 to 3 inches ) of pedal travel. Have cycled abs but by mashing foot to floor then bled again. Is not being able to cycle the abs Preventing me from a good bleed?
Also no codes or lights after test drive. How much pedal travel till brake lock and abs cycles on a stock bmw? Think I will go and do break in on the pads per their directions. Thanks for the replies

Last edited by bwingnutt; 06-02-2020 at 09:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2020, 09:36 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Do the brakes work as well as before the rebuild job?

Did you replace the hoses?

What do you mean by a "complete brake job?"

A classic E39 ABS recycle is to find a gravel road and do several panic stops at low-to-medium speed to provoke the ABS.
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Last edited by edjack; 06-02-2020 at 09:43 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2020, 09:59 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 E39 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwingnutt View Post
I have a 01 540 and just did complete brake job. I am using a power bleeder and have bled calipers twice . Have tried inpa 5.0 but when I try to enter abs portion I get a error code can't communicate with control unit.

.....
So, your INPA cannot communicate with the ABS module, but does communicate with the engine or transmission module : I mean you can enter the engine or transmission modules to read their error codes ? If so, you probably have a *bad* INPA cable. Or your INPA is not installed and configured right.
(*bad* cable here means a cable with a knock-off ftdi chip)

And yes, you do need INPA to communicate bleed and recycle the ABS module.
Otherwise, you'd have to try stomping on the brakes on a gravel road or an empty parking lot. I have never done it though.
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Last edited by Chedley; 06-02-2020 at 11:01 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2020, 05:21 AM
effduration effduration is offline
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Someone will correct me me, but if you are just changing fluid or you have just replaced brake lines, you shouldn't NEED to bleed the ABS pump with INPA or other scanner.

If you replaced the ABS pump, or air otherwise entered the ABS pump (when you bled did you keep fluid topped off?), you would need to bleed the ABS pump.

I flush brake fluid all the time with a motive bleeder without bleeding the ABS.
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2020, 06:41 AM
rlordjr rlordjr is offline
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Gravel road, wet parking lot (empty so you can brake across oily parking spots) are both good. If you've never activated ABS you should see how it feels and practice steering while its pulsing. Then disable it and try steering while locked up. It'll cycle the pump and teach you something.

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  #6  
Old 06-03-2020, 07:34 AM
bwingnutt bwingnutt is offline
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Update

Guess with Akebono pads there is no pad break in. I did the empty lot thing and mashed the brakes and used the abs unit. I went with a set of SS lines so system was open and needed a complete bleed. The pedal is firm with engine off still need to cycle abs to eliminate the air that still might be in abs unit. After that the brakes will be bled and performance will be what it is.The performance will improve with use.
I think the car is now ready for a lil auto x action . With the 14 mm bar in the rear and a 27 or 27.5 mm M5 bar up front , the car should stay pretty flat now and not pick up the inside rear tire. We still need to replace the shocks and struts just donít have the cash right now. Plans are for a coil over with adjustable dampening , Bilstein units are great but stiffen the ride a little too much for my needs. Still want a nice ride but after adjusting the dampening for my track days is all I will need. Thanks for the replies.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2020, 03:45 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by effduration View Post
Someone will correct me me, but if you are just changing fluid or you have just replaced brake lines, you shouldn't NEED to bleed the ABS pump with INPA or other scanner.

If you replaced the ABS pump, or air otherwise entered the ABS pump (when you bled did you keep fluid topped off?), you would need to bleed the ABS pump.

I flush brake fluid all the time with a motive bleeder without bleeding the ABS.

Absolutely correct.
However, if you have INPA or other scanner for ABS, it is recommended to bleed the ABS pump anyway, when you do do the "complete brake service"...
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2020, 05:07 PM
bwingnutt bwingnutt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chedley View Post
Absolutely correct.
However, if you have INPA or other scanner for ABS, it is recommended to bleed the ABS pump anyway, when you do do the "complete brake service"...
We went to SS lines so lines right by abs were opened , I would like to be sure all air is out. My pedal with car running seams to feel mushy but I can get lock up with it.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2020, 05:54 PM
CSMBlack-540i CSMBlack-540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by effduration View Post
Someone will correct me me, but if you are just changing fluid or you have just replaced brake lines, you shouldn't NEED to bleed the ABS pump with INPA or other scanner.

If you replaced the ABS pump, or air otherwise entered the ABS pump (when you bled did you keep fluid topped off?), you would need to bleed the ABS pump.

I flush brake fluid all the time with a motive bleeder without bleeding the ABS.
Correct. Not sure what OPs doing wrong. I've bleeded the brakes in the E39 nearly 9 times now using my Motive every 2 years like clockwork and replaced the brake lines with SS Goodridge years ago. Never had to cycle the ABS, never had mushy brakes and 20 yrs later, stops on a dime when needed. And yes, occasionally I stomp on the brakes in the winter when it snows to cycle the ABS for fun. It's like cycling the AC in the winter just to keep the compressor lubricated. No harm no foul.

Last edited by CSMBlack-540i; 06-03-2020 at 06:34 PM.
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