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About rdl

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Ontario Canada


  • Garage
    2003 530I
  1. Bl**dy handbrake adjustment

    FYI, here is a paraphrasing of TIS procedure for parking brake adjustment. I've used this method for several years and while the parking brake is not wonderfully effective (and very definitely not an emergency brake) it is adequate. Perform procedure after fitting new rotors, shoes or if 10 hand lever notches are required for braking effect TIS assumes use of a roller dynamometer to measure braking force at the tire Lacking this piece of equipment I instead jack the car until the tire is clear of the ground and use a torque wrench on the 36 mm axle collar nut (12 point socket required) to convert braking force at the tire to torque on the axle/wheel loosen bowden nuts cable at handbrake lever tighten parking shoe adjuster until the wheel is immobilized loosen adjuster 12 notches, which works out to 1 full revolution snug the nuts on the Bowden cables at handbrake lever until finger tight pull on lever ~400 N (~90 lb.) 5 times with button pressed with the hand brake lever at 0 position, the TIS specified force @ tire <150 N calculates to 48 Nm or 35 lb-ft - if higher, correct problem, which would most likely be a seized Bowden cable then raise lever to 3rd tooth/notch - adjust nut on bowden cable at handbrake lever - specified force @ tire 500 +/- 50 N calculates to 160 Nm +/- 16 Nm or 117 lb-ft +/- 12 lb-ft Note the the 500N x 2 = 1,000N isn't the maximum braking force the parking brake can apply. After adjusting it with this procedure, I'm able to raise the lever to the 5th or so notch without a great deal of effort. But I've never bothered to try measuring braking force with this increased lever lift - it's way beyond my torque wrench range. Wear / use conditions - braking force difference side to side 30% maximum. Seating parking brake shoes - new rotors &/or shoes - ineffective parking brake effect at ~40 kph apply handbrake lever until braking effect noticed lift lever one more notch drive ~ 400 m, ~ 1/4 mile repeat if necessary after allowing time for cooldown EDIT: even with new shoes and rotors, the parking brake would not immobilize my 530 automatic transmisison with the parking brake applied as tightly as I could manage. It did though take a fair bit of throttle to move the car - a bit more than I would use pulling away from a stop sign. And FWIW, I'm about 200 lb and (still) fairly strong - far from a 98 lb weakling. Regards RDL
  2. Battery Life?

    If your battery won't last a week it's on its last legs anyway. Assuming of course that there isn't excess parasitic drain from a defective module(s) not going to sleep properly. The spec for E39s is maximum 25 mA. Anything more indicates a problem. BMW standard procedure at the time E39s were current models was (perhaps still is?) that cars being stored must be recharged every 6 weeks. And apparently this time was conservative - set so that batteries were never discharged enough to risk damaging them and reducing life. Regards RDL
  3. Another headlight question....

    Grounding will be handled by the low beam plug, i.e. connection to the ballast from the car's harness. One pin will be +ve and the other ground/-ve. Similarly, the thick high voltage lead from ballast to bulb has both +ve and ground (-ve) circuits.
  4. Another headlight question....

    I'm not familiar with this brand, but I'd be leery. Based on reports and reviews over the years I'd stick with known manufacturer brands such Philips or OSRAM or other well known brands such as Hella with a reputation to protect. No-names are reported to have problems with lumen output, short life and dimensional errors that create a poor light pattern and aiming problems.These will cost more than the Lunex but not all that much. For instance, last year I bought a pair of Philips D2S for C$100 + C$10 shipping, so roughly GBP 65. But you must shop around and make sure it's a reputable seller who isn't peddling counterfeits, which can be a problem. I know that Philips has an online system to verify authenticity from security codes on the box. I believe that OSRAM has a similar system. FWIW, I'd stick to OEM 4300K colour temperature (maybe stretch to 5000K) Higher colour temperature bulbs generally have lower lumen output. The claims of "enhanced vision due to higher colour temp" are male cow droppings; by definition lumen measurement uses a curve of the human eye's response to colours from red to violet. Elevated colour temperatures are a matter of cosmetics rather than improved illumination and vision down the road. But of course it's your money, your priorities, your choice. Regards coding the LCM for HID low beams, see the attached image from NCS for Dummies from my LCM for the halogen vs HID option. The highlighted parameter is the one that BMW software NCS Expert uses to code the LCM for Xenon bulbs. Regards RDL
  5. Another headlight question....

    These are good points. I'd thought that bimme39 had had the car re-coded for the Xenons by his local garage, but scanning the thread just now I see no mention of that explicitly. Should also check the DRL setting in the LCM coding. I'm not familiar with UK conventions but my LCM has various DRL options, including one for DRL by low beam. Regards RDL
  6. Another headlight question....

    Failure to start but eventually ignite after repeated attempts is one symptom of a failing bulb. The LCM's bulb checking routine will not affect this symptom. It's a good plan to replace bulbs first and suspect the ballasts only if symptoms persist. I trust that the new bulbs are a confirmed good brand and not counterfeit or el cheapo no- names. I neglected to mention earlier that you might also have a look at the contact lugs in the plug that attaches to the bulb. It's possible that there are burns from arcing if they've not been fully rotated into the locked position by the previous owner. If you do find this, it's a matter of judgement whether to carefully clean up the contacts or replace the plugs (which are available as replacement kits, ebay for instance) Regards RDL
  7. Another headlight question....

    I'd guess it's more likely a weak bulb. Intermittent failure to light &/or drop outs are classic symptoms of an HID bulb on its last legs. And IIRC from prior posts these are not brand new. HID bulbs do lose lumens with age, but even old HIDs are brighter than standard H7s. So these being better than the original halogens is not proof of good HIDs. You might try changing one of the HIDs with a new (good brand) and checking if that is brighter than the other side as a sort of "proof of age." When I did this check with aged bulbs the difference was obvious. Regaards RDL
  8. wheel alignment camber toe with weights?

    Perhaps not intentionally. There is a lot of BS floating around that the unwary or naive pick up and adopt as an article of faith. But certainly possible - there is a fair amount of sharp practice in the auto repair business. At least here in North America. My recommendation is to figure out the loading needed to bring the car to "normal position" yourself. I use 20kg bag of water softener salt (which I then use up over the coming months.) Other folks have used gas (petrol to you?) cans filled with water, but anything heavy will do. Best to do this on a flat surface such as a garage floor to avoid the effect equivalent to one tire/wheel "jacked up" as though resting on a curb. It needn't be level, only flat is necessary. FWIW, given the sagging in my 15 year old springs I needed only 60 or 80 kg vs the ~220 odd kg described in TIS. Then take the car to the alignment shop with those weights in place and ask them to align it "as is" ... without any correction or adjustment for weighting, or lack of, in the alignment rack. The "after" results should be within published BMW specs. Regards RDL
  9. wheel alignment camber toe with weights?

    I'd like to offer a couple of comments on this topic According to TIS, the point of weighting the car is to bring it to what BMW terms "normal position". TIS goes on to say that once weights are in place one should then measure ride height. If not within spec make any repairs necessary. Only then perform the alignment. The crucial issue is that every suspension angle changes as the car is loaded. The alignment angles BMW provides are based on the car's suspension being in a particular position, i.e. normal position. I recall reading a post by a reliable person on B-fest and B-forums in North America that he found rear camber changed by ~1 degree from weighted to unweighted. Another post, purportedly by an ex-BMW R&D tech, recommended weighting the car on the shock towers and trunk until car was a spec ride height. The idea being that getting angles right is more important than the actual weight needed to achieve a particular ride height. The chassis designers had ensured the car would handle well at all loadings, i.e. through the range of ride heights expected in normal use. Assuming it was aligned at specified angles and ride height. And note that in most cases one would be driving the car with less than the weight specified in TIS for "normal." So, if a shop says it "compensates" for not weighting the car, is that done after measuring ride height and therefore applying just the correct amount of correction? Regards RDL
  10. TIS says a 530d would have the 220K differential and the data for that is: BMW OSP synthetic differential oil. Two alternatives I am familiar with: CASTROL SAF-XO 75W-90 or Land Rover part # LRN 7591 TIS lists too many others to list. fill quantity 1.4 litres torque for drain & fill plugs: with seal ring 65 Nm, with O-ring 60 Nm. Other E39 I6 engines use the 188K differential. Data all the same except fill volume of 1.0 litres. Regards RDL
  11. EBay key fob

    Another thought. Around here, some folks have portable generators (gasoline or diesel) either for special events or to plug into the house during electricity outages. Could you beg, borrow or steal one? Regards RDL
  12. EBay key fob

    What about an inverter (12V DC to 240V AC). It would have to be a large watt inverter and smallest watt heat gun possible. Around here at least the inverter would be around the same price as a new window, to say nothing of saving the mess and grief of a smash job. You'd probably somewhat drain the battery of the helper vehicle, even with the alternator helping out. But that would be OK so long as you didn't turn off the engine until the alternator had recharged - after one hopes, freeing up . Second thought, Around here some of the larger tow trucks have 120V AC auxillary power for lights and tools. Even their fees would be less than the time, expense & trouble of a new window. If you could find one. Regards RDL
  13. EBay key fob

    A last gasp suggestion before you smash the window with all the grief to follow. Any chance of getting a hair drier or heat gun on the door around the lock. If it is frozen, as in iced, that might well free it up. Good luck Regards RDL
  14. EBay key fob

    Have you used the key in the door before the remote fob stopped working? If not, it may seized rather than frozen. These cars have a reputation for the lock mechanism seizing up if not kept free with periodic usage and lubrication. That was the case with my car when I bought it. Lots of thin lubricant and ~ 15 minutes of working the key back and forth in the lock finally freed mine up. In the 7 plus years since, I've made a habit of lubing the lock and exercising it once or twice a year & I've never have a recurrence. Also, I've never have either one of mine freeze; nor seen a single report of a frozen lock either. I use a product named "SuperLube" It's a bit of a hokey name but a good product recommended by GM for locks. I've used it for 20 years with excellent results. I wouldn't use WD-40, which is primarily a moisture displacer with limited lubrication. And any lubrication properties WD-40 does have dissipates in a day or two. Regards RDL
  15. Auto Transmission on a 1997 BMW E39 523i

    Based on the attached reference, GM THM-R1 (BMW designation A4S 270R) is likely. As you'll see a 523 isn't listed, but I'd guess that all I6 engines for a particular model in a date range would use the same transmission. SD92-113.pdf