It's Over! Come get my 2001 530i - Needs Head Gasket - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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 08-13-2019, 12:54 PM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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It's Over! Come get my 2001 530i - Needs Head Gasket

(Pics coming soon)
It finally happened. The head gasket needs to be replaced and that's more than I want to do right now. Otherwise the car has been great. you can search my posts and see the things I've replaced over time. The relatively new xenon headlights alone are worth at least $500.

Some of the other benefits besides the headlights are; Newish Front Struts and control arms, new window regulators and door lock actuators, replaced the ABS module with a new one (not a rebuild), installed a media bridge for USB and Bluetooth capability. I'm sure there's more. I also have a diagnostic cable and software to run DIS and all the other associated diagnostic software.

Before the head gasket failed the car operated great. It's not cosmetically perfect but it's a great car. It still has that feel of the perfect balance between sport and luxury.

What happened? My daughter has been driving the car for a couple of years now. It overheated one day (close to the house). She wisely pulled over and called me. I drove over, swapped cars with her and was able to get the car home by waiting and adding coolant. The cause was the plastic heater pipes were cracked. In hindsight, was that the cause or was it a symptom of an already leaking head gasket failure leaking combustion gas into the coolant system? It was a big job to replace the heater pipes but it went well and the car was great again. A week or two later it overheated again. This time, waiting then filling it with coolant worked to get it home. So far, I haven't been the one driving it so I wasn't able to know where steam may have been leaking. I could see any obvious leaks. This time I spent more time bleeding air from the coolant. I took it on relatively long drives without any issues. All seemed good but it was still loosing coolant over several days (the pop-up float was low when cold). I planned to take it our for another long drive but on the day I planned to take it, my daughter took the keys with her. A few days later I get a call that the car's overheating again. This time when I get to the car, the bleeder screw cap was broken off. The hose was in good shape. I had the car towed home on a flatbed. I replaced the bleeder cap and filled the car with coolant. I attempted to start the car and it would crank fine but wouldn't start. At that point I knew it was over. The next day I it did start but ran very rough. I turned it off after 10 seconds. The engine was still cold but when I opened the expansion tank cap, cold coolant under pressure sprayed out. There were obviously combustion gasses getting into the coolant system. The head gasket needs to be replaced.

It's really a great car. Whether you fix it or use it for parts for your own E39. it would be a great asset to anyone who wants to take over ownership. Let me know. I'm in Thousand Oaks, CA 10 minutes off the 101 freeway.

I'm the original owner and still have the original sticker price that came on the car - I also have the 2001 BMW catalog from the dealer's showroom plus some other fun extras you can use. Currently the car has 187,700 miles on it. The transmission has always been great.


Last edited by geobrick; 08-13-2019 at 01:13 PM. Reason: some updates
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:52 PM
effduration effduration is offline
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slap a new used engine in there....If you can change heater pipes, you can put a new engine in on jackstands over the weekend.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:15 PM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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I'm sure I can but I think I'm done with this hobby. If I had unlimited time and space, I'd attempt it. Maybe it's because it came so soon after the heater pipe repair (which was not very difficult but I spread it out over a couple of weeks). They really are great cars and I'm sure someone out there will do some great things with this one. I want it to go to someone on this forum who knows it's value and will appreciate having it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:31 PM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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Here are the pictures

Note that it's been in a couple of fender and hood benders since I stopped driving it but it's all functional (hood mechanics and latches).

The front bumper is an unpainted aftermarket part that seems to fit well. Again, the purpose was functionality over beauty





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Old 08-13-2019, 04:24 PM
Asbradley21 Asbradley21 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geobrick View Post
What happened? My daughter has been driving the car for a couple of years now.
The number 1 way to ruin a perfectly good car. Looks like its been pretty badly neglected since she's had it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:10 PM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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That would be correct. Had I been driving it daily, I would have been able to identify the coolant leak before it was too late.

I'd think someone on this forum who's nearby would want the car. If there are no takers, I'll probably end up fixing it myself when I have more time. I'd rather not do it but I don't want to junk it. It's too good a car. I know what it's like to drive. I'm sure others here would agree. Hopefully someone who wants a project or needs some parts will find this thread.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:12 AM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geobrick View Post
That would be correct. Had I been driving it daily, I would have been able to identify the coolant leak before it was too late.

I'd think someone on this forum who's nearby would want the car. If there are no takers, I'll probably end up fixing it myself when I have more time. I'd rather not do it but I don't want to junk it. It's too good a car. I know what it's like to drive. I'm sure others here would agree. Hopefully someone who wants a project or needs some parts will find this thread.

Oh my gosh we have the same dilemma.
I gave my 97 528 to my daughter to take to college.
She thinks it is a tank. She stomped through all mines and pot holes. Two years later I can hear suspension cries from driving behind hers.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:34 AM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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It may not be a tank but it's a pretty tough car (except for the front bumper cover on the sports package models. That thing would get torn apart by driveways, speed bumps and the wheel stops in parking lots).
The condition of the car makes it the perfect car to take into the city and not worry about it. At the same time, before the head gasket failed, it drove like new. I'd regularly be surprised when I'd look at the speedometer and I'd be going more than 80 mph shortly after entering the freeway. Great acceleration, smooth and quiet inside the cabin. I will not junk this car but I will give it to anyone here who wants it because they know what it's worth. These cars are only worth while to someone who does their own repairs.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:35 AM
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Sorry geobrick. I had the same exact car, year, color etc. that I bought for my two sons when they got their license. The front end of yours looks exactly like theirs did after six months. I think I would call it a day as well if I were in your shoes.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:54 AM
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I'm interested; what are you expecting to get for this car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geobrick View Post

I'm the original owner and still have the original sticker price that came on the car - I also have the 2001 BMW catalog from the dealer's showroom plus some other fun extras you can use. Currently the car has 187,700 miles on it. The transmission has always been great.

I'm in california, and interested to get this car
have a 530i
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:32 PM
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Hitdog540 Hitdog540 is offline
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You need to close the hood before pulling out of the garage! Could of been a contenda!
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:06 PM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vc4 View Post
I'm in california, and interested to get this car
have a 530i
I'm discussing the same with someone in Ventura now but if that falls through, I'll PM you to let you know. Where in CA are you?
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:16 PM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitdog540 View Post
You need to close the hood before pulling out of the garage! Could of been a contenda!
Funny but of course that's not what happened. She was stopped behind an SUV with a trailer hitch and the cars to her left started to go so without looking in front of her, she started to go too. Probably hit that trailer hitch going a few miles an hour. It wasn't easy but I bent it back into place and had to replace one of the latch mechanisms to get it all functional again. It's the inner beauty of the car that counts (so hopefully someone will take it and fix the head gasket. Then post here when they've done it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:37 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Good lesson: don't give BMWs to young people!
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:23 AM
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Hitdog540 Hitdog540 is offline
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Had to when I saw the sticker in this thread. Great nostalgia.
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Old Today, 04:18 PM
geobrick geobrick is online now
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It's gone...

The car is now in the capable hands of ahmille4 (from this forum).
I hope he gets the car back on the road one day.
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