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General BMW Model Discussion
All non E46 BMW model questions in here. Look below for E36, E90 and F30 specific forum. For additional model specific forums check out bimmerfest.com!

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:08 AM   #21
Richneerd
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E39 hands down for starting or small family. Reason why I got rid of my e46.

Plenty of room for the baby racaro seats and comfortable for the whole family regardless where you go. Maintenance is same as any other car, just maintaine it and regularly check up. The only major project I have done so far is change the thermal stat, mines a M but it was fun, I think I have a post about it here somewhere.

Test drive and hit up m5board, all adults and older crowd. We talk about DIY and maintenance a lot.

I recommend the 540 m package or m5 lol, aim for 2003 models! The last production years for us .
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richneerd View Post
E39 hands down for starting or small family. Reason why I got rid of my e46.

Plenty of room for the baby racaro seats and comfortable for the whole family regardless where you go. Maintenance is same as any other car, just maintaine it and regularly check up. The only major project I have done so far is change the thermal stat, mines a M but it was fun, I think I have a post about it here somewhere.

Test drive and hit up m5board, all adults and older crowd. We talk about DIY and maintenance a lot.

I recommend the 540 m package or m5 lol, aim for 2003 models! The last production years for us .
For someone who talks about "maintenance" a lot, I'm quite pleased that you've changed your thermal stat.

So that's all you changed???
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:42 AM   #23
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E39 M5 thermostat change is like adding fuel to to the car!! Something that is needed quite often as they fail open or open too early. Might as well just plan for replacing it every Sept!! On a stock 79C/174F stat that fails and opens too early you have a very frigid beast. Runs rich and oil will never heat up.

Many have moved to 82C/180F stat by Stant WAY cheaper than one from BMW and will keep the engine warmer in the Winter and if it fails and opens too early you have some headroom before you are caught with your pants down!

Actually the M5 is more reliable than the 530/540 in my opinion once you have everything sorted out.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Actually the car I was trying to purchase before my E46 was a 2002 530i 5-speed manual w/ sport package. It was jet black with black interior. It sold within minutes of the ad going up...
I ran into many cases like that. Posted just a few hours ago, call seller, already sold. Same thing happened with my Z4, but I was the first caller that time. 2 others tried to buy it with cash in hand while I was driving to look at the car, from 3 states away. I cheated with my E39 and bought it from a friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Actually the M5 is more reliable than the 530/540 in my opinion once you have everything sorted out.
Are you sure? I've spent um... $80 in unplanned maintenance in the last ~50k miles on my E46.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:57 PM   #25
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Finally a thread where I can talk about e39s without getting flamed geez .. anyways.....

Here are the following "tips" on maintenance to check for on an e39 your buying or to perform if you bought an e39 over a great deal and decide to do whatever maintenance there is to do on your own. What is written below is mostly applicable to the I6 chassis (525,528 and 530) and some if not, most of it is applied to the v8 platform as well:

#1 Cooling system

As you mentioned the cooling system is a must. If the car hasnt had a cooling system overhaul yet you have to go to town on it. Most things need to be changed to prevent failure. When performing the cooling system be sure to change the following :
- Radiator (Behr and Nissens are must popular)
- Expansion tank (again Behr is most popular)
- Water pump and gasket (metal impeller only not the composite. Reason being, the composite impeller has been known to disintegrate and poses a severe risk of getting sucked through the engine thus destroying it)
- Thermostat, housing and gasket
- Upper and lower radiator hoses
- Check fan clutch but definitely replace
- Radiator mounts
- Radiator overflow nipple** This is the biggest PITA for e39 owners as its removal requires using a 9mm socket under neath it (which access is granted by removing the upper radiator hose and draining/flushing coolant. There is no other way to replace this nipple without breaking the plastic tabs which keep it aligned. Breaking the tabs means big problems since they are connected to the radiator itself and will ruin the radiator)

Use OEM BMW coolant only 50% coolant 50% water evenly mixed.


#2 Basic issues


+Vanos
99+ have dual vanos you should get them replaced to restore:
- Power (low end torque and mid range)
- Mpg
- Cold start stumbling and stalling
- Did I mention power?

+ Oil filter housing gasket
- Tend to leak badly as the miles go higher (around 80k +). I paid about $200 for parts and labor to do mine. ** I highyl recommend doing a "bunch' of work at the same time to cut down on labor costs such as vanos, oil filter housing gasket, water pump and gasket, T-stat, t stat housing and t stat hosing gasket together)

+ CCV
- Tend to go when you see cold start stumbling and stalling after vanos seals were replaced and properly broken in (which takes approx 200-500 miles depending on how spirited you drive). If you live in a cooler climate use the cold weather ccv. ** I would recommend doing the CCV and vanos oil line at the same time**

+ Rear Ball joints
- Tend to wear out around 80K + and cause inner tire rear and negative camber issues. I'll explain a little later on what to replace at the same time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

#3 Basic maintenance

Replace the following

+Spark plugs
-If the PO cant remember when they were changed thats a good indication to change them. You could apply the "bunch" method here , doing the spark plugs, VCG (valve cover gasket) and checking the ignition coils for wear and replacing the boots accordingly

+ Fuel filter
- Restore power and MPG. Stick with Bosch if you can.

+ Air filter element
- Fram is a popular choice. Its a good idea to clean the MAF sensor as well. ONLY use MAF cleaner not electrical contact cleaner

+ Oil change
- I recommend Lubro-moly 5w- 30. My engine runs super smooth and strong. Change the filter as well stay with Mann .

+ Brakes
- Inspect rotors for excessive wear and pulsating effect when braking. Also inspect pads, lines and fluid. I use akebono dustless and have great stopping power and no dust. You could go with ATE or Balo rotors if you want OEM quality.

**+** Suspension bushings and ball joints
- If the rotors and brake pads are in good condition and you still get a pulsating/ vibrating effect through the brake pedals and/or steering wheel the thrust arm bushings are shot. For a suspension overhaul stick with Lemforerder or Meyle, but preferably the former for quality. Lems are OEM and will ensure the best quality you can get for a long time. FCP groton has an amazing GB (group buy) going on for Lem tie rods, thrust arms and control arms . Let me know if you want the info.

**+** Suspension
- Check for abnormalities in shock absorbtion and swaying excessively when cornering. You'd need new shocks if the ride is especially jarring. Id recommend doing the thrust arms, control arms (FR and RR), tie rods and sway bar links (FR and RR) at the same time. Be sure to change the strut mounts with lemforerders to prevent dismantling shocking to change them when they doing wear out fully later.
- Check for cracked bushings and ball joints. Check swaybar bushings especially.

+ Window regulator
- If you hear a thumping noise and the window wont go up or down or if it fails altogether (sometimes it makes the noise but wont go up because its off the track)

+ Belts
- Check for cracks and replace when doing the water pump/ cooling system overhaul

+ O2 sensors
- Restore lost MPG and even power in some cases. I pain $48 each for my precat o2 sensors from Bosch. I'll try to get the part number to you.

+ Intake boots
- If torn or cracked (due to age and heat) these boots will create a vacuum leak leading to loss of power and mpgs, misfiring and a check engine light

Forgive me Im missing somethings. I have finals so I gotta get back to studying. I was just in a typing mood since Im writing a physics paper If you need any more help/ info pm me and i'll provide some bimmerfest/bimmerforum links or answer to the best of my ability.

Last edited by Sofresh2Clean; 12-12-2012 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:10 PM   #26
trj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNyFinest View Post
Finally a thread where I can talk about e39s without getting flamed geez .. anyways.....

Here are the following "tips" on maintenance to check for on an e39 your buying or to perform if you bought an e39 over a great deal and decide to do whatever maintenance there is to do on your own. What is written below is mostly applicable to the I6 chassis (525,528 and 530) and some if not, most of it is applied to the v8 platform as well:

Cooling system

As you mentioned the cooling system is a must. If the car hasnt had a cooling system overhaul yet you have to go to town on it. Most things need to be changed to prevent failure. When performing the cooling system be sure to change the following :
- Radiator (Behr and Nissens are must popular)
- Expansion tank (again Behr is most popular)
- Water pump and gasket (metal impeller only not the composite. Reason being, the composite impeller has been known to disintegrate and poses a severe risk of getting sucked through the engine thus destroying it)
- Thermostat, housing and gasket
- Upper and lower radiator hoses
- Check fan clutch but definitely replace
- Radiator mounts
- Radiator overflow nipple** This is the biggest PITA for e39 owners as its removal requires using a 9mm socket under neath it (which access is granted by removing the upper radiator hose and draining/flushing coolant. There is no other way to replace this nipple without breaking the plastic tabs which keep it aligned. Breaking the tabs means big problems since they are connected to the radiator itself and will ruin the radiator)

Use OEM BMW coolant only 50% coolant 50% water evenly mixed.


Basic issues


+Vanos
99+ have dual vanos you should get them replaced to restore:
- Power (low end torque and mid range)
- Mpg
- Cold start stumbling and stalling
- Did I mention power?

+ Oil filter housing gasket
- Tend to leak badly as the miles go higher (around 80k +). I paid about $200 for parts and labor to do mine. ** I highyl recommend doing a "bunch' of work at the same time to cut down on labor costs such as vanos, oil filter housing gasket, water pump and gasket, T-stat, t stat housing and t stat hosing gasket together)

+ CCV
- Tend to go when you see cold start stumbling and stalling after vanos seals were replaced and properly broken in (which takes approx 200-500 miles depending on how spirited you drive). If you live in a cooler climate use the cold weather ccv. ** I would recommend doing the CCV and vanos oil line at the same time**

+ Rear Ball joints
- Tend to wear out around 80K + and cause inner tire rear and negative camber issues. I'll explain a little later on what to replace at the same time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Basic maintenance

Replace the following

+Spark plugs
-If the PO cant remember when they were changed thats a good indication to change them. You could apply the "bunch" method here , doing the spark plugs, VCG (valve cover gasket) and checking the ignition coils for wear and replacing the boots accordingly

+ Fuel filter
- Restore power and MPG. Stick with Bosch if you can.

+ Air filter element
- Fram is a popular choice. Its a good idea to clean the MAF sensor as well. ONLY use MAF cleaner not electrical contact cleaner

+ Oil change
- I recommend Lubro-moly 5w- 30. My engine runs super smooth and strong. Change the filter as well stay with Mann .

+ Brakes
- Inspect rotors for excessive wear and pulsating effect when braking. Also inspect pads, lines and fluid. I use akebono dustless and have great stopping power and no dust. You could go with ATE or Balo rotors if you want OEM quality.

**+** Suspension bushings and ball joints
- If the rotors and brake pads are in good condition and you still get a pulsating/ vibrating effect through the brake pedals and/or steering wheel the thrust arm bushings are shot. For a suspension overhaul stick with Lemforerder or Meyle, but preferably the former for quality. Lems are OEM and will ensure the best quality you can get for a long time. FCP groton has an amazing GB (group buy) going on for Lem tie rods, thrust arms and control arms . Let me know if you want the info.

**+** Suspension
- Check for abnormalities in shock absorbtion and swaying excessively when cornering. You'd need new shocks if the ride is especially jarring. Id recommend doing the thrust arms, control arms (FR and RR), tie rods and sway bar links (FR and RR) at the same time. Be sure to change the strut mounts with lemforerders to prevent dismantling shocking to change them when they doing wear out fully later.
- Check for cracked bushings and ball joints. Check swaybar bushings especially.

+ Window regulator
- If you hear a thumping noise and the window wont go up or down or if it fails altogether (sometimes it makes the noise but wont go up because its off the track)

+ Belts
- Check for cracks and replace when doing the water pump/ cooling system overhaul

+ O2 sensors
- Restore lost MPG and even power in some cases. I pain $48 each for my precat o2 sensors from Bosch. I'll try to get the part number to you.

+ Intake boots
- If torn or cracked (due to age and heat) these boots will create a vacuum leak leading to loss of power and mpgs, misfiring and a check engine light

Forgive me Im missing somethings. I have finals so I gotta get back to studying. I was just in a typing mood since Im writing a physics paper If you need any more help/ info pm me and i'll provide some bimmerfest/bimmerforum links or answer to the best of my ability.
Looks like a carbon copy of e46 maintenance but since I already did or planning to those on my e46, should not be an issue to do on e39. Plus the bigger space to work on under the hood is even better.

I am inclining more and more towards e39 now. Now to find the right car to pop up.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:15 PM   #27
ryannel2003
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Sounds like typical E46 maintenance to me. I've done just about all of that to mine.
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