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About rdl

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Ontario Canada


  • Garage
    2003 530I
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. I had similar symptoms. I also found that the seat memory switch would not make the seats adjust. I eventually found the cause to be a break in the P-bus between the driver's door module and the GM. The P-bus is a 0.35 mm2 (~22 AWG) wire, blue with red stripe. In my case the wire break was inside the tubular boot/snorkel between the door and A-post. However, I found signs of old corrosion in the A-post plug and a kludge of a repair on the P-bus which probably stressed the wire causing it to flex and break as the door was opened and closed over time. I've never seen reports of failure in this joint in the 7 years I've been following with E39 forums; it's an unusual problem. Unlike wire breaks in the trunk (boot, to you) lid wiring in the boot/snorkel. As a first step, I'd check continuity on the P-bus between the door module and the GM since those two ends are the easiest to get access. Assuming a failure is found, have a look at the A-post connector. BTW, the standard practice recommendation would be to remove the door for access to the A-post connector. If you have patience and correct tools, you can separate this connector with the door wide open. By correct tools I mean L-shaped keys or short 1/4 drive bits to remove the two bolts holding the connector to the A-post. I vaguely recall Torx but sorry I'm not sure of that; it may be socket head hex (allen). Definitely not phillips or conventional hex head. Once the connector is free, you'll find a typical lever lock to separate the two halves on the back, car side, of the connector. Regards RDL
  7. I recall reading an article describing one or more post-E39 engines being prone to carbon buildup on the valves. BMW developed a process to clean the valves without removing the head - blast off the carbon with I think walnut shell, while vacuuming out the residue. It may be that E39 engines aren't suitable for some reason or other. But a query at the dealer might be worth a few minutes? Or someone else's memory is better than mine and can offer more details or even a reference to technical documents. Regards RDL
  8. E39 530i oil leaks

    The only reason to remove the timing cover would be to improve access to the seal for removal and replacement. TIS does not call for cover removal. It lists only my (abbreviated) points 1 - 3 for seal R&R. I've never had to do the job so can't comment on the need for BMW tool set vs common hand tools. Perhaps because there is a key on the crankshaft nose for the damper/pulley & there is concern at nicking something. Or perhaps not enough room to pry the old seal out without scratching something. With luck, someone who has done the job will chime in with advice. EDIT: I played the youtube video. Parts sure came apart easily, especially the 410 Nm bolt holding the damper to the crankshaft. But it does show the seal being replaced without the BMW tool kit. Regards RDL
  9. E39 530i oil leaks

    I notice Mashmanu's post describes Haynes as specifying special tools for the 2 piece damper. I rechecked TIS & no mention of those. I can't explain the difference. I've never done this job, but TIS (BMW's shop manual) makes the following points. 1 there are two styles of vibration damper & TIS isn't explicit as to which is found on an M54. The 2 part style with 6 bolt attachment requires no special tools, but seems to be used on M52 engines, not your M54. The other, one part style, has 3 slots in an inner circumference & requires a special holding tool for the 410 Nm torque for the center bolt. BMW tool pt#s 11 8 190 & 11 8 200 2 If the 3 slot vibration damper doesn't then come off the crankshaft by hand, a special puller that engages the 3 slots is required to remove it. BMW tool pt#s 11 8 190 & 11 8 210. 3 A special tool set is specified to remove the old seal with the timing cover in place. Another special tool is specified to install the new seal. BMW tool #s 11 2 283, 11 2 385, 11 2 380 & 11 3 280. If the timing cover is removed, which would probably make possible seal replacement with common hand tools, the following issues arise. 4 sump to be removed, a miserable job further requiring an engine support bar 5 the VANOS must be removed 6 there is a warning to check for damage to the cylinder head gasket, presumably where the front timing cover contacts the head. If so, TIS says to remove head & replace gasket Although one has to wonder if RTV wouldn't suffice?? Regards RDL
  10. BMW e39 530i - Power Loss

    65 => intake cam position sensor fault 83 => crank shaft position sensor fault Either or both will radically degrade engine performance. It would be worthwhile checking wiring and plug connections for dirt or corrosion interfering with their signals, but most likely both sensor need to be replaced. Many, many folks have reported either DOA or premature failure of generic sensors. The common wisdom is to bite the bullet and buy BMW logo or original equipment supplier only. I believe that VDO was the OES, but stand to be corrected. 123 => Map Cooling Thermostat Control Circuit Means that the DME's ability to manipulate coolant temperature is impaired or absent. Not so urgent as the two faults above. When the engine is under maximum load the coolant temperature is artificially reduced by the DME in order to prevent detonation which would require retarding spark to avoid engine damage, which in turn reduces maximum power. But the two faults above will have already taken care of that. Regards RDL
  11. Wiring help

    I've suffered from broken wires in this trunk harness too. The problem is caused by flexing as the lid is opened and closed - eventually the flexing causes fractures in the strands. By all appearances it wasn't vibration causing the failures. BMW uses very thin strand wiring for these leads: at least twice the # of strands compared to "standard" wiring of the same gauge. The thin strands tolerate flexing much better. But I found that in both open circuit wires the break point coincided with cracks in the insulation jacket which then seemed to have concentrated the the flex to a sharp radius and accelerated the strand fatigue. I also found several other insulation breaks where the wires strands hadn't yet all broken, but were close. So I strongly suspect the jacket cracked first which then concentrated the flex point to a sharp radius and concentrated flexing broke the strands. Probably a case of plastic aging and losing flexibility. I suspect that Ontario winter temperatures that makes the plastic insulation hard & more brittle played a part too. I first looked at specialized high flex wire which comes with crack resistant silicone rubber insulation. But everything I could find had quite a thick insulation jacket with too large an OD; I wouldn't have been able to get the 13 (IIRC) leads through the boot/snorkel. I rejected the idea of any repair joints (crimped or soldered) inside the boot since both ends of each would become flex concentration points and led to premature failure again. In the end I salvaged a complete harness from an auto wrecker. The repair has lasted 4 years to date ... & I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If I'd been aware of the repair kit listed above I'd have probably gone that way on the notion that new insulation would tolerate flex better than older, recycled wire. Regards RDL
  12. Replaced alternator still not charging???

    Running the alternator while it is disconnected from the battery risks damaging the alternator. Every source for auto electrics diagnosis and repairs that I've ever seen very specifically warns against this. With no amps flowing, the regulator may/will not be able to respond quickly enough to avoid voltage spikes that could damage windings, diodes or the regulator itself. The battery acts as an accumulator that smooths out voltage spikes and gives the regulator time to adjust before damage.
  13. Replaced alternator still not charging???

    It's got to be either another bad alternator or the car is drawing more amps than the alternator can supply (since the battery has been eliminated with your test of a known good battery.) What RPM is the engine running while you test? How many electrical loads in the car do you have turned on? Do you have a 100 DC amp meter available? In-line or clamp-on style? I can think of two ways to check between the alternatives. If you're lucky enough to have a DC ammeter, measure current in the cable labelled "B+ to car's electrics" in this image of the battery (ignore the white text, it's left over from the image I borrowed for this post) With the engine running, of course. With everything else in the car turned off, it shouldn't be drawing more than 20 or 30 amps. If no ammeter, there is a backyard mechanic alternative that isn't fully conclusive but almost so. Disconnect the "B+ to car's electrics" cable from the battery terminal. Take your spare battery and use jumper cables to connect -ve post to the car's -ve terminal. Leave the -ve terminal connected to the car battery -ve post. Again with jumper cable, connect the spare battery's +ve post to the "B+ to car's electrics" cable. Now the alternator is connected to the car's battery only, while the spare battery supplies the car's electrics, including the DME, fuel pump, etc. so the engine can run. Start the engine and check voltage. If voltage stays ~14V, something in the car is consuming more amps than the alternator can supply. If the voltage drops to 12.4V, the alternator is the likely problem. This test doesn't actually prove the alternator is good or bad. The alternator might simply be weak and able to maintain battery voltage but not supply the car's electrical load. But that means you've had 3 weak alternators in a row. It's much more reasonable to conclude the car is the problem, not the alternator. Regards RDL
  14. Replaced alternator still not charging???

    Checked with a voltmeter?
  15. Replaced alternator still not charging???

    Three consecutive bad alternators certainly would be bad luck. More plausible are: 1) bad battery sinking amp that overwhelm the alternator 2) a module or component that starts drawing excess amps after the engine is started, again overwhelming the alternator 3) a bad connection or frayed cable that increases resistance as it it heated by I2R losses and therefore increases resistance, which would result in the voltage drop you're measuring ... at the points you're measuring. One wonders what the voltage is at the alternator terminals when you see 12.4 V downstream in the circuit. 4) a variation on 2) & 3) above -> modules turn on after a few minutes of running & the increased amp draw increases the voltage drop across the excess resistance in either the ground strap or alternator to battery cable. Regards RDL