just wanted to make a thread to update the progress of my 2001 540i/6. bought it September 22nd, 2011, completely stock.
bought this to replace my beloved '06 blue Spec V. that was a great car but i was ready for something more mature and nicer.
i have always wanted a BMW ever since seeing the new E39 and E36 models as a kid in Europe. i decided to finally fulfill a dream.
copied and pasted from the P.O.'s for sale ad. I have made my own personal notes too.
Make: Bayerische Motoren Werke
Model: E39 540i
Mileage: 100,800 (75K on the new motor)
Location: Buffalo NY
Transmission: 6 Speed
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Options that this includes are:
Power Moon Roof
All automatic windows
Dual power seats / Steering wheel with memory
///M Seats, steering wheel and shifter
17" ///M Wheels (Style 66). I just replaced all 5 tires on the vehicle in July (full sized spare).
New Battery in February.
Interior is great. There is no rips or tears and only minimal wear on the leather. Basically the drivers seat has rub wear on the bolster. Dash is not cracked and is in perfect condition and the carpets are great. One of the mats is missing the velcro backing.
New Coils/ Boots
New CCV Valve (and all attached hoses)
New front brake pads
Newer rear brake pads
New (used) Motor.
New Clutch & Flywheel
(previous motor had a blown headgasket)
We ordered a comparable motor, upon inspection it was no good. He finally caved in and got me a motor with about 73K on the clock. I have added about 2K since having it installed. This motor has been nothing but strong and reliable. I have had ZERO motor issues since the swap.
There is one missing button and a couple of loose buttons on the hvac controls. This is a common issue and the buttons are readily available online.
I do plan on fixing these eventually, but not too worried about it now.
Both sides of the car have a line of dings in the door. It almost looks like someone shot a bb gun at it or something. It is not a horrible thing but it could use a good smoothing.
Willie, you will have to work your expertise here. There is also a fair amount of swirling throughout the whole front end of the car. front bumper and hood could use a respray as well. Just standard highway rock chips, not a big deal. I also want to buff out the headlights.
The dash has the common dead pixel syndrome. It is not as bad as most and the mid is good, but there are dead spots and it is hard to read. I found no justification to spend $250 on a fix that is only guaranteed for 1 year.
Don't really give a ****…no car is perfect
The rear sunshade tabs are broken. The motor still works so all that needs to be replaced is two little plastic tabs on the control arms. I didn't care enough to deal with it and I can't imagine that you will either. Rip it out and call it weight reduction.
I will actually be fixing this, because the repair is to replace tiny little plastic clips that break with age, and it's cheap to do so. Unfortunately they don't sell just the clips, so I will be sketching up my own on AutoCad, and maybe I'll have someone machine them out of aluminum or even ABS plastic (might have a source for this). Might even be able to sell these in bulk to all the tards that want to fix theirs too.
My personal plans for it:
Front plate delete blockoff strip (in the process of painting it)
Rear trunk lip spoiler (M5 style)
Minor maintenance under the hood (oil sep. valve, common problem, cheap fix)
New front LCA's
QTP Cutout (already have it, need to find time to weld it in myself)
yellow fogs because cool kids do it
i already removed the CDV (Clutch Delay Valve). this is a small hydraulic fitting with a tiny orfice in it that restricts how fast the clutch can engage. basically, it stops you from dumping the clutch and shifting more aggressively, and was installed because BMW thought that every person that bought the car was never going to drive it hard. now you know why i removed it.
Sometime in the future I want to put 3.15 rear diff in it, as the stock one is a 2.81 and is a little too long-legged for my taste. Bolt in, easy mod.
****ty ****ty pictures the PO took. i will have my own up in a bit. some are on FB already.
235 width all around. they can fit much much wider in the rear, but the previous owner got a good deal on 4 tires and got the same size. the factory rims on this car are already staggered (8" front, 9" rear), so there's plenty of room.
removed the retarded clutch delay valve last night.
random picture that i took, that came out oddly cool.
one of my favorites
super colorful, the headlights are all washed out because they're so bright, and because the lenses could use work, they need wetsanding
also one of my favs, has an old feel to it.
clutch delay valve is gone
still chasing down a cooling system bug (maybe needs bleeding)
i will be doing the OSV today (oil separator valve, on the back of the manifold). mine went bad and causes smoking and a howling noise.
the car has factory staggered wheels...8" wide front, 9" rear. i had old tires left over from the Sentra (215s) that i wanted to waste, so i put the wide rears on the front, and put the 8" fronts on the rear. turns out the wide rears are too wide for the front and hit the strut body, so i put on some high offset 16" Borbets i picked up for the winter up front (they fit perfect). i now have narrow baby tires in the rear, makes for TONS of fun being able to spin tires all the time and not feeling guilty about destroying expensive tires that came on the car!
also bought 17.5mm ECS Tuning spacers/lugs for the front so i can run those wide 9" rears on the front with no rubbing issues.
i will try to GoPro some burnouts soon.
off to the garage! maybe i'll snap some pics
17.5 mm spacers went on in the front last night along with extended lug bolts.
FRONT:9 in wide rims with big beefy 235s (great tread, Ventus V12s), along with spacers.
REAR: 8 in wide rims with very very worn 215s (old sentra tires)
i set it up like this on purpose. fun times.
everything went very well last night. i am super happy because i resolved more than one problem that had been bugging the **** out of me.
1. the belts were squeaking (probably original) so those were replaced. i didn't have any kind of repair manual, and only a vague text only DIY online, so i had to spend a few minutes figuring out how the hydraulic belt tensioners (2) worked. it's a weird bracket on a pivot system with 4 bolts, 1 of which is the pivot, another of which is on the pivot axis, but is cast as part of the bracket, and is used to turn the bracket. anyhow, i actually put the belts on last night, but was unhappy with the tension, so i went back over it today and figured out the right way. it's weird because it's not retard-proof like the sentra's belt was, but it is still effective. the original belts were badly cracked and the new ones are silent.
2. obviously the coolant leak. originally i was told it was the radiator overflow tank (pressurized), and this was replaced as part of the deal from the PO. turned out not to fix it and i had been adding coolant every 2 days since i bought it. not fun. finally had it pressure tested by a nice guy on NYSPEED, and found that there was a sizeable leak coming from the driver's side area (only the side of the radiator and the upper coolant hose can be problems in that area. the weirdest part was that sometimes, when you added coolant, you could drive the piss out of it for a while and it wouldn't lose any coolant. it was as if the high pressure kept the coolant from coming out. i have a feeling that the heat from a long drive made certain parts expand, and this held the coolant in. for example, i drove to Toronto on Sunday with the girl, and had a great day, no misbehaving by the car...not so much as a low coolant warning. got home that evening and parked it, the next morning came out to go to work, and found a huge puddle of coolant (green, wrong kind) puked all over the driveway underneath the front. the contracting parts finally let all the coolant leak out in that area.
when the radiator went in, i had to disassemble the fan clutch, shroud, overflow tank, and the whole intake up to the throttle body. i noticed a few problems while all this **** was out, but long story short, the rad went in fine (after a good amount of finagling), i did a coolant flush, and bleed. no more problems. took it out last night and heat was strong in cabin. no leaks this morning. verrrrrrry niceeeeeee!
3. while i had all the aforementioned **** apart, i noticed the source of a small oil leak that i had been looking for and could NOT find. it was weird--oil around the valve cover gaskets (known to leak on this car, and yet the actual gaskets weren't leaking. i couldn't figure out where it was coming from until i took apart the intake and fan shroud area. the oil was pissing ALL over the intake tubing, pooling on the intake silencer, splattering on the air filter and fenderwell, etc.
on each head, on the front of the timing cover, there is a Cam Position Sensor--very very similar in design to the Spec ones, for those of you who have changed them. a sensor bung that inserts into the head, and a small nub with a mounting hole next to it that the bolt goes through, into threads machined into the head, that holds the CPS in place. these threads go all the way into the head/valvetrain where oil is circulating. directly next to this CPS, but not in any way related, is a small protruding threaded port (still on the head) that is drilled all the way through into the valvetrain area, so oil can pass through and leak to atmosphere if the required bolt isn't in place. i have no idea of the purpose of this port, but it's plugged up with a Torx head fastener (M8x1.25) from the factory. you might see where i'm going with this.
on the driver's side head, the CPS mounting hole AND random mystery threaded port were both secured with factory Torx hardware. no leaks, duh. on the passenger's side head, hidden by the intake and such, BOTH pieces were randomly missing. the CPS was only held into the head by the friction of the sealing O-ring, and the threaded port was open and free to leak oil. picked up some hardware from Lowe's and threw it in, i think this solved my problem. i will have to check if this actually solved it over the next few days as i JUST cleaned up the area, but i'm fairly confident that was it.
4. wires going to the MAF are insulated with a nice sheath going all the way from the harness to the sensor, except for a 2" portion where the sheath was gone, and the wires had rubbed through (2 of 6). quick electrical tape job on each wire, and then then whole bundle, made sure it's sealed.
very very happy that i found and fixed each problem, i can drive without the annoying warnings now.
NEXT UP: QTP ELECTRIC CUTOUT
will be tackling that first thing saturday morning.
started to cut apart the exhaust to weld in the cutout, haven't actually welded it in yet. i removed the rear section of the exhaust (resonator and twin can mufflers) so i'm running pretty much open pipes right now (cats are still there, and will stay there). not SUPER SUPER loud, but pretty damn loud. i LOVE it. almost sounds like NASCAR, but has a more refined european tone to it, instead of a big angry mad pounding 2 valve/cyl american V8. the plan is to weld in the cutout and have it all done sometime this week.
but here's where this weekend got really ****ing interesting...
when i had the radiator out, i replaced both accessory belts. the tensioner was a little weird to operate but i figured them out. the "left" belt operates just the AC compressor, and the "right" belt operates power steering, alternator, water pump, and 2 idler/tensioner pulleys. got them both on no problem, everything ran great.
today i'm driving around downtown Buffalo with the girlfran, and as i look down at the dash, i see the battery light come on. ok, no big deal, it's an older car and maybe the alternator has gone bad. 30 seconds later, the steering gets SUPER hard to turn, power steering is gone. i'm like WTF, how can 2 items break within seconds of each other? i start to slow down to pull over and check under the hood, and RIGHT as i do, the temp gauge starts to rise towards the red very quickly.
shut off the car, check under the hood, and it's obvious that the 'right' belt has come off the pulleys. ok, no big deal, it's not damaged. i had my buddy bring me my tools, and i dove right in and started taking apart stuff to get to the tensioner. included taking off the intake, the fan (big ass 32mm fan clutch nut), etc. get it all apart, figure out the routing (i forgot how it went), tension it up, reinstall intake and big fan, start the car, and IMMEDIATELY the belt comes off again. what the ****, maybe i didn't tension it enough. let's do it again. take apart all that **** again, put the belt on, tension it HARD this time (pain in the ass, 2 wrenches at the same time), put fan and intake back on. i stand by the engine while Melissa starts it, and BOOM, again belt comes off.
at this point i'm livid because i have done this twice now and something is obviously wrong, more serious than i think.
i inspect each pulley and they all seem fine. however, when i loop the belt around them right and pull hard on it, it's still somewhat not tight (has a BIT of slack in it). as i'm tugging on it, i see one of the pulleys MOVING (not rotating, but actually wiggling in and out, and rotating around the wrong axis. it's the power steering pump pulley, so i figure a bearing has gone bad and now we have shaft play. i get under the car and inspect closer, and i look at the mounting points for the pump where it bolts to the engine block....
AND THE ****ING BOLTS ARE GONE.
there are only 2 or so (couldn't see well) holding it to the motor, and at least 2 are clearly gone. the whole pump is rotating and moving, no wonder the belt won't stay on.
my friend calls AAA and we get it towed home. tomorrow i have to find out how many bolts are missing and their thread/pitch, so i can get it back on there.
long story short--the shop that did the motor replacement ****ed up SO BAD, didn't torque things down, and now i'm paying for it. ALSO, when i did the CDV delete on the car, i also noticed that out of the 10 or whatever bolts holding the motor to the tranny, 1 had completely backed out and had fallen into a smaller crevice that held a wiring harness, 3-4 were only finger tight. i had to go around the retorque all of them.
put in an alternator and new battery this past month. i think when i replaced the radiator, they may have sent a defective one as it is leaking in the same spot the last one was.
besides that the car runs like a raped ape.
just put the winter wheels and tires on. 16" borbet aluminum 5 spokes, and some Dunlop snow tires. had the car washed last night and i'm ready for winter.
i absolutely love spinning the tires and getting sideways in this car, so rather than buy new tires all the time($$$$$$$), i keep my eyes open on local forums and CL for used tires that have decent life left for super cheap. just picked up a set of 17" Contis for $40 with about 40% life left. i also grabbed my mom's old tires off her Lincoln LS (16" Dunlop) which will go on the winter wheels this summer for burnout tires.
it works nicely because i can do burnouts and slide all the time without feeling guilty about shredding tires, and it costs me very little. i just pulled off the most recent victims (17" Kuhmos off the old sentra) and they were down to the cords.
i have the 4 very good Dunlop snows on the car right now, and in the garage: 4x 17" burnout tires, 4x 16" burnout tires, and of course the 4 very very good Eagle F1 (i think) 17" tires that came with the car. i will be running the ///M-i'll save those for long trips like to Florida and when i visit preston.
car is still straight piped. i have not gotten around to finishing the cutout, but it sounds so good that i'm tempted to leave it "open". i might even sell the cutout and just weld a new exhaust all the way to the back of the car. right now i terminate under the rear seats. i have a few videos on my phone but quality is meh. it doesn't do it justice. i need to fix my camcorder under warranty and then record it. it crackles and backfires a lot on decel, sounds awesome. once in a while when beating on it and upshifting, i will get a BIG booming backfire, i'm hoping it's flames.
took the car to rochester a few weekends back to visit some friends and go to some bars. took it up on the Ontario Expressway, a mostly deserted secondary highway right by lake ontario. hit 155 for the first time, solid as a rock.
from that trip; dirty, but so much fun. these are my summer wheels, the ///M Style 66's.