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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 04-23-2009, 11:08 AM
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E39 540i - M62TU Timing Chain plastic guide disintegration

540i Brethren,
We are discussing on one of the boards the frequency of repairs that are starting to show up related to the plastic timing chain rails starting to disintegrate at around 100-120k miles.


(Photo from unknown in the original thread)

I searched Fest to look for similar threads, and while there are, none seemed to be a pointed question to this particular failure situation. So, I thought to consolidate some observations and pose the question in this thread.

Aside discussing BMW using plastic in this key area, , we are talking about how to repair, is there a preventitive action and is there a pattern as far as time or usage that contributes to this type of failure. Other factors like oil additives may impact internal plastic as well.

If anyone knows of a M62 specific DIY for the repair or maintenance, please share it. We've searched and only found DIYs for E36 models. A number of us will sort out how problematic this actually is for our motors and assemble a parts list and DIY to help folks out.

BTW, if someone has replaced the main chain tensioner on the M62TU, do you recall what the torque spec is for that tensioner? Bentley dosen't cover the Vanos V8 and I could not find it in TIS.

(Photo courtesey of plik)

If you're interested in reading more about this, here's the thread. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1216256

Thanks in advance for any information you all may have to share with us. Another potential 100k maintenance item for our cars...

Mo 540i fun....
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1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:21 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Here you go BlackBMWs.

V8 M62 Vanos DIY:
http://tech.bentleypublishers.com/se...E39.Vanos2.pdf
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:30 PM
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You're the man! Thank you...

Do you have any source for the required Torque settings for this DIY by any chance?
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1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

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Last edited by BlackBMWs; 04-23-2009 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:26 PM
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Torque settings for e36 tensioner replacement

Pelican Parts technical article site has this for e36 torque settings:

Hand tighten the tensioner to start, and then use a torque wrench to tighten the tensioner to 50 N-m (37 ft-lbs) for the early-style tensioner and 40 N-m (30 ft-lbs) for the new-style tensioner. Use a new aluminum sealing ring between the tensioner and the engine block when reinstalling the tensioner.


http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...er-Upgrade.htm
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Here you go BlackBMWs.

V8 M62 Vanos DIY:
http://tech.bentleypublishers.com/se...E39.Vanos2.pdf
good link but very annoying to follow, I miss my old turbo dodge manuals!!!
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:18 PM
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I'm over 200K miles on my 540 and was concerned about the life of the chains that drive the cams. I was told by the service guys at the dealer that there are no maint procedures for it. That it should last as long as the engine does.
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:41 PM
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Yes, and the auto trans lasts as long as the fluid!

BTW, my wife had a 450SL, with a chain as long as in the M62. When we had a valve job done at 175K, the mechanic said that the chain was fine.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
I'm over 200K miles on my 540 and was concerned about the life of the chains that drive the cams. I was told by the service guys at the dealer that there are no maint procedures for it. That it should last as long as the engine does.
What year/engine do you have? Thanks! Feedback has been that the chains don't really fail. It's the tensioner and guides that do and more specifically for the M62TU motors.
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1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

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Old 04-23-2009, 06:52 PM
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Knocking on 200K miles and no problems on Timing Chain. Just as a note I am still on all orginal fluids in transmission as it is a lifetime fill and if I change it I void my warranty which runs out at 256,000 miles

2003 540iA

Last edited by Fat Tuesday; 04-23-2009 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Tuesday View Post
Knocking on 200K miles and no problems on Timing Chain. Just as a note I am still on all orginal fluids in transmission as it is a lifetime fill and if I change it I void my warranty which runs out at 256,000 miles

2003 540iA
WTF warranty is that? a) 256k miles b) requires original fill which is eating the tranny at 200k. At this point, though, you're better off leaving it in…
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:28 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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BlackBMWs,

Best is to call my cousin in Los Angeles. He has been fixing bimmers since 1980's so he knows all these issues of TC guide etc.
Southbay Independent BMW
18020 S. Vermont Ave.
Gardena, CA
(310)-532-3145
Talk to Hoa, he has 20+ years of experience!
Talk to him and if he says don't worry about the guide until 200K then leave it alone.
I can tell you are itchy to do this open-heart surgery but if it is not broken don't fix it.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:09 PM
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You know me... Actually, I'm not wanting to pull it apart unless I had to. replacing the tensioner is the extent I'd like to do for the next 150k miles or so.

I think I'm ok at this point, I think some other folks are already in a spot where they are prolly way more concerned than I am and hopefully they'll get some answers via these threads. Learning about what causes this is as interesting for me.

Thanks for Hoa contact info! I'll keep it handy for future questions...
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1999 540it - Jet Black/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Zionsville Cooling kit
1984 533i - Schwarz/Schwarz, 17" style 65 reps
1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 68 rims
1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
1994 325i Sedan - Bostongrau/Tan
1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff
1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold
1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

BMWCCA# 160411
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:13 PM
Fat Tuesday Fat Tuesday is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
WTF warranty is that? a) 256k miles b) requires original fill which is eating the tranny at 200k. At this point, though, you're better off leaving it in….
I was the second owner bought the car with 156,000 miles and dealer threw in additional 5 year 100K mile warranty on drivetrain, expires 2012 or 256,000 miles whichever happens first.

No Cash limit on repairs with 100 deductible.....
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:58 PM
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We just pulled apart an m62 this week with 150k on it and the plastic was just fine. Ithere must be a reason why the plastic goes. Maybe use of non synthetic oil or additives? Running engine hotter then usual?
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:58 AM
franka franka is offline
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Originally Posted by blackbmws View Post
what year/engine do you have? Thanks! Feedback has been that the chains don't really fail. It's the tensioner and guides that do and more specifically for the m62tu motors.
.

A 1997 540/6
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Last edited by PropellerHead; 04-24-2009 at 08:07 AM. Reason: requested
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Tuesday View Post
I was the second owner bought the car with 156,000 miles and dealer threw in additional 5 year 100K mile warranty on drivetrain, expires 2012 or 256,000 miles whichever happens first.

No Cash limit on repairs with 100 deductible.....
Well, that ain't fair! Try to blow your tranny though.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:40 AM
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Well, that ain't fair! Try to blow your tranny though.
I notice that Fat Tuesday lives in North Cuba.....maybe this is North Cuba warranty???
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I notice that Fat Tuesday lives in North Cuba.....maybe this is North Cuba warranty???
I don't care; I still want that warranty!

I agree with gumbi, there's probably an issue with overheating (the V8 handles it better, except really it just melts these bits perhaps) or oil/oil additives.

*goes to change his oil*
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
I don't care; I still want that warranty!

I agree with gumbi, there's probably an issue with overheating (the V8 handles it better, except really it just melts these bits perhaps) or oil/oil additives.

*goes to change his oil*
v8 has alum block, vs iron cast on i6s. u tell me how v8s handle heat better
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
v8 has alum block, vs iron cast on i6s. u tell me how v8s handle heat better

In the real world of passenger cars it doesn't much matter if alum or iron when it comes to cooling.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I notice that Fat Tuesday lives in North Cuba.....maybe this is North Cuba warranty???


North Cuba aka Miami, but I bought the car from a BMW dealership in Virginia Beach, VA
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:10 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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North Cuba aka Miami, but I bought the car from a BMW dealership in Virginia Beach, VA
Hehe I thought so too because I know for fact Fidel Castro offers no warranty...(j/k)....
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:39 AM
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Aluminum dissipates heat faster than cast iron. Also, the V8 is a closed-deck design, whereas the six is open-deck. I'm not an automotive engineer, but I gotta believe that a closed deck is inherently stronger.

I vaguely remember that the Chevy Vega had an open-deck 4-banger. Some at the time blamed cooling issues on that design.

Go figure.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Aluminum dissipates heat faster than cast iron. Also, the V8 is a closed-deck design, whereas the six is open-deck. I'm not an automotive engineer, but I gotta believe that a closed deck is inherently stronger.

I vaguely remember that the Chevy Vega had an open-deck 4-banger. Some at the time blamed cooling issues on that design.

Go figure.
Stronger under normal conditions, maybe. But if the cooling system fails and there's nowhere for the excess heat to go, the iron block is going to withstand a much higher temperature without deforming than the aluminum.

Not that it matters, because the heads on both are aluminum, and that's what's going to warp.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
v8 has alum block, vs iron cast on i6s. u tell me how v8s handle heat better
Aluminium dissipates heat so well that when the cooling system breaks it cools unevenly, leading to warped head. That's why professional cookware is layered with iron and aluminium—the Al works great for temperature control, but the Fe works great for spreading the heat.

Note, of course, that I'm guessing about most of this based on the number of warped V8 heads (few) and the number of warped I6 heads (several). Also, my grandfather's put about 150km on his car without a properly functioning cooling system without a warped head (very, very, very lucky man, he is)
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