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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been trying to R&R the starter in my 98'540i. The bolt on the top is in a nasty location. It appears that I have to remove the exhaust manifold to get to the top bolt. Is there a special tool that will give me better access or do I just have to remove the Exhaust manifold?

Any quick advise would help as I need to get the job done this weekend.
Thanks
 

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Do you have any pics? Although, I'm not sure it would help.... What about a thin wrench or a stubby wrench?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply,
A picture wouldn't show anything of merit. A stubby might work if I could pull on it will something that would produce enough force to loosen the bolt, which is an inverted torx.Other than that I am afraid I'll have to remove the exhaust manifold.
I am surprised that there wasn't more replies to this question. Is it a rare occasion for a starter to go bad in a 540?
 

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Charlie Brown said:
Thanks for your reply,
A picture wouldn't show anything of merit. A stubby might work if I could pull on it will something that would produce enough force to loosen the bolt, which is an inverted torx.Other than that I am afraid I'll have to remove the exhaust manifold.
I am surprised that there wasn't more replies to this question. Is it a rare occasion for a starter to go bad in a 540?
I don't know how common the starter failure is on the 540's, but I haven't seen it mentioned on this or other forums as a common failure, so maybe that's a good indication that the starter is not a problem piece.

RE the tools, without crawling under mine and looking, I can only suggest using u-joints and extensions of varying lengths to come up with a tool that will snake through tight spots. Even a high quality 1/4" drive u-joint can take quite a bit of torque without breaking, and if you only use it for this R&R and it works but is damaged, it might be worth it.

And if you haven't done it already, check bmwtips.com. Good luck!
 

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Assuming it's similar to the e36 configuration, you can get to that nasty bellhousing bolt by doing a couple things:

- lower the transmission mount cross brace to give yourself some extra room up top, allowing the drivetrain to rotate to the rear

- several extensions on the torx socket should allow you to get to it fom the rear.


Nick may recall more from his clutch job.

Alex
 

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Removing starter

I just removed the starter and it took less than an hour

The top bolt is a tite spot so the dealie was like this--(all 3/8 drive)

deepwell E12(female torx)
2.5" extension
universal
5.5" extension
breaker bar

Using the extensions, universal and breaker bar proved very tough with the limited swing range but few tries and I heard the first creak of the bolt breaking - success.

Be careful to make sure the socket is all the way down on the bolt head - It may tend to wabble with the universal and all. I would not suggest anything except an E12 reverse torx to undo this with. Some spline sockets claim to fit torx others may fit around it, but, I really had to bear down on it to get it to pop and I don't know if they would work. If you bung up this bolt head, you will be in a jam - bigtime.

A few times back and forth on the torx head and I could get the spot I needed to hit it with the torque to pop it. I tapped the bolt head with a hammer to make it ready to break loose too ( it was real tite.)

Also, it was a few small twists with the breaker bar before I could get the ratchet on it.

I broke the bottom one first to make me happy - it was easy.
 

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I just removed the starter and it took less than an hour
I'll make sure these hints get to others via the bestlinks:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)
 

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Just in case JimLev's site goes down, here are his pictures from that thread, which was updated today.
 

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wondering if you guys had any insight on a problem im having. i have a 97 540i 6 speed manual. and the starter recently just stopped turning over. all lights in car work so i went underneath the car to look at the starter and noticed that the white rubber coated wire/cable that goes from the starter to the solenoid is disconnected on the solenoid where it clipped down. the wire is pretty crusty where it broken. is there a way to strip the wire and add another piece of wire to it to make it longer. or does the starter need to be replaced. any help is appreciated thanks
 

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I just replaced the starter in my 540 yesterday... not too bad a job, all told actual wrenching time was about three hours. Of course, actual time in the air was much more because I had to wait on the remanned unit to show up at my local NAPA. I did a little research on here to see what kind of problems I might encounter, and utilized my trusty Bentley book. I did have to pull the passenger O2 sensor for clearance purposes, but that only took about five minutes.
The new starter sounds WAY quieter than the stocker that I pulled out. I didn't realize it until I heard how smooth the remanned unit is, but I think the stock starter was pretty much on it's way out when I bought the car. I now have just over 147K on the car, I suppose that's not bad for the original Bosch.

wondering if you guys had any insight on a problem im having. i have a 97 540i 6 speed manual. and the starter recently just stopped turning over. all lights in car work so i went underneath the car to look at the starter and noticed that the white rubber coated wire/cable that goes from the starter to the solenoid is disconnected on the solenoid where it clipped down. the wire is pretty crusty where it broken. is there a way to strip the wire and add another piece of wire to it to make it longer. or does the starter need to be replaced. any help is appreciated thanks
I suppose it depends on your budget... you're going to have to pull the starter out to replace that wire. If it were me, I'd probably just replace it.
 

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The question of how to remove a stuck 540i starter motor came up today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > 540i starter removal problems
First let me startoff by saying I know the procedure and tools for removal of the starter on a 99 540i. I have already loosened and removed the 2 e12 torx starter bolts, but the starter is not budging. Im wondering if anybody out there has had any problems removing their starter after taking out the bolts. I broke loose the 3rd 4th and fifth bolt from the bottom of the case on the right on the picture I attached-am I correct. My friend thinks its just stuck but I only have a small hammer to hit it with till tomorrow.

See also:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & removing the 540i starter motor in one hour (1) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)

- BMW_E39_Starting_Systems_Starter_Motor_And_Solenoi d_Operation.pdf (357.6 KB, 543 views)
 

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After changing the starter, did it fix the problem

I just removed the starter and it took less than an hour

The top bolt is a tite spot so the dealie was like this--(all 3/8 drive)

deepwell E12(female torx)
2.5" extension
universal
5.5" extension
breaker bar

Using the extensions, universal and breaker bar proved very tough with the limited swing range but few tries and I heard the first creak of the bolt breaking - success.

Be careful to make sure the socket is all the way down on the bolt head - It may tend to wabble with the universal and all. I would not suggest anything except an E12 reverse torx to undo this with. Some spline sockets claim to fit torx others may fit around it, but, I really had to bear down on it to get it to pop and I don't know if they would work. If you bung up this bolt head, you will be in a jam - bigtime.

A few times back and forth on the torx head and I could get the spot I needed to hit it with the torque to pop it. I tapped the bolt head with a hammer to make it ready to break loose too ( it was real tite.)

Also, it was a few small twists with the breaker bar before I could get the ratchet on it.

I broke the bottom one first to make me happy - it was easy.
After you change the starter did it fix the problem or was it something else
 

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This works

Thanks for he tips - we replaced the starter on 2003 540i using your tools/method - it wasn't easy but the tools you listed did the trick. thanks

I just removed the starter and it took less than an hour

The top bolt is a tite spot so the dealie was like this--(all 3/8 drive)

deepwell E12(female torx)
2.5" extension
universal
5.5" extension
breaker bar

Using the extensions, universal and breaker bar proved very tough with the limited swing range but few tries and I heard the first creak of the bolt breaking - success.

Be careful to make sure the socket is all the way down on the bolt head - It may tend to wabble with the universal and all. I would not suggest anything except an E12 reverse torx to undo this with. Some spline sockets claim to fit torx others may fit around it, but, I really had to bear down on it to get it to pop and I don't know if they would work. If you bung up this bolt head, you will be in a jam - bigtime.

A few times back and forth on the torx head and I could get the spot I needed to hit it with the torque to pop it. I tapped the bolt head with a hammer to make it ready to break loose too ( it was real tite.)

Also, it was a few small twists with the breaker bar before I could get the ratchet on it.

I broke the bottom one first to make me happy - it was easy.
 
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