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About rdl

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    Ontario Canada


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    2003 530I

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  1. rdl

    Which service do I need?

    In BMW's service schedule for North America at least, the only difference between Insp 1 and Insp 2 is engine air filter and fuel filter replacement. More important though is the usual interval between an Insp 1 and Insp 2 is ~30k miles while the Oil Service interval is ~15k miles which is combined with Insp 1 or 2 when they come due together. Given you've had an Insp 1 only 4k miles ago (and an Insp 2 only 6k before that!!) there's no need now, exactly as Clavurion mentioned above. (If you don't know yet, the instrument cluster counts toward warnings for Oil Service, Insp 1 & Insp 2 based on fuel consumption. These intervals are approximations.) So going forward you might expect: OS @ 99K, Insp 2 + OS @ 114k, OS only @ 129k, Insp 1 + OS @ 144k, etc., etc. Many folks are queasy at the idea of a 15k oil change interval and do an oil & filter change only (not the other few items on the OS list) half way through the 15k. Do you have a copy of BMW's E39 service schedule, i.e. the list of items for Oil Service, Insp 1, Insp 2 and 100k mile service? If not, a search will turn up download sites. If you're at all handy you can do most or all of them yourself. When the time comes, browse the list, do what you can and pay only for the items you don't wish to do yourself. Clavurion mentioned a brake fluid flush every two years. Similarly, BMW's schedule also calls for a coolant flush every 4 years, so you ought to check if that's been done. You'll see in the E39 forums that many long term E39 owners recommend preemptive replacement or at least a very careful inspection of the cooling system every 100k miles. This based on bitter experience. Cooling system service is not in BMW's published schedule. The list of items includes: radiator, upper and lower rad hoses, expansion tank, water pump, fan and fan clutch, serpentine belts. Regards RDL
  2. I had a walking speed parking lot accident on the front bumper left corner at about 45 degrees. The bumper is now shifted sideways 1/4 to 3/8" and backward at the left side about the same amount where the bumper lines up to the fender at the wheel well arch. I've not taken the bumper off yet to measure. I know everything is speculation until I get things apart but am on tenderhooks wondering just how bad this will turn out to be so I have a couple of questions. Are the bumper supports springy and supposed bounce back or "one time only" and supposed stay compressed? Anyone with the experience to estimate if the bumper supports are bent sideways or more likely the frame rail at the mounting point? I have the TIS frame straightening control dimensions but haven't yet puzzled through exactly how I'd be able to verify this. TIA Regards RDL
  3. A heads up that those are the part #s for models without rear door side air bags. With rear side airbags (option code S261) left side is 51 48 8 230 221, right 51 48 8 230 222 RealOEM lists the airbag variety as less expensive than "regular" - worth checking out at your vendor. Also, in North America any auto parts store will sell butyl tape by the roll. I've used 8mm (5/16") square with success. Price here for a 15 ft roll, enough for 2 doors, coverts to less than GBP 10. Likely less than BMW's price. Regards RDL
  4. A tip on fitting the vapour barrier to the door that should improve the chances of long term success. A few years ago I went through a series of 3 repairs each failing after just a few months with the foam panel the pulling away from the butyl adhesive at a lower corner. And this with a new vapour barrier after the second failure. Talk about annoying and frustrating! I finally figured out that the door pocket protrusion was likely pushing on the foam barrier with just enough force to make it "creep" on the butyl and release over time. I then tried stepping the panel's sealing flange inward from its natural, relaxed state (with full overlap on the door's steel flange) along the bottom edge and up ~30 cm. Not by much; the setback was just a centimeter or so to allow a little more depth when the door's trim panel was installed. There is still lots of overlap for the butyl tape to have a good wide contact strip once compressed during installation. A year and a half later the door is still water tight and the rear footwell dry. Regards RDL
  5. rdl

    EML anyone know what this means??

    This looks to me as a message that INPA has failed rather than reporting an error in the EML. Is you INPA installation complete? Regards RDL
  6. rdl

    Winter tyres on 16" alloys

    You'll find 215/60R16 to be closer to stock rolling diameter and therefore a better choice. FWIW, I found Blizzak WS80s in that size to reduce the speedo error to only a couple of kph vs the 5-6 with 225/55R16 All Season tires. 215/55R16 will be smaller diameter than stock and increase the speedo error, but perfectly workable so long as the load rating is OK. Regards RDL
  7. Bushing end 110 Nm Ball joint end 80 Nm Regards RDL
  8. BMW's TIS (dealer service manual) says to replace self-locking nuts on both the bushing end and ball joint end. Most DIYs re-use the nuts, some with Loctite, some without. I've never seen a report of re-used nuts coming loose in service. FWIW, I've seen other references that state re-using compressed/squeezed self locking nuts (as these are) up to 5 times is perfectly acceptable practice. Folks who tightened the bushing end with the suspension in full droop have reported premature bushing failure in as few as 10k miles. The theory goes that the bushings are permanently in a twisted state while subjected to driving loads & this causes failure. This sounds sensible since the spec for orienting the bushing in the thrust arm is +/- 3 degrees. TIS says the car should be in "normal position" which involves putting the car on the ground and adding weights to the car's seats and trunk. However that sinks the front suspension by ~5mm compared to let's call it "usual position" which works out to a change of ~1/2 degree. Compared to the orientation spec that's not a significant difference. I've done mine with the front strut at unweighted height (see next paragraph) with no failure in several years and over 100k miles. Torquing the bushing end with the car on the ground is very difficult even using ramps. Many folks leave the car on jack stands and use a floor jack with a wood or rubber pad carefully positioned under the upright to jack the strut up to typical/usual ride height. Then torque the bushing end. I should note that the rear suspension is a different matter. Weighting to normal position drops the rear by 25 to 30 mm over shorter arms than the trust link, so the angular change is larger. There I would use the TIS recommendation. Regards RDL
  9. rdl

    Headlight movement

    I've replaced adjusters in half a dozen lights so unfortunately have lots of experience with the difference between good & failed. The lateral adjuster is definitely broken. Given the way the light moves I'd guess that the vertical is OK, but could be wrong. Good adjusters will move ~ 1/2 cm with the force you were using; and they have more a feeling of flexing rather than the loose flopping seen in the video. Your 2001 will have the "bakeable" lights which makes renewing the adjusters much easier. A search in E39 forums and youtube will turn up lots of DIYs. The adjuster design changed around 1999, so be sure to buy the correct ones for your headlights. EDIT: I should have mentioned. I have the HID lights which cycle up/down/up when started. Even with broken vertical adjusters they would cycle properly. So operation of the vertical control is not a valid test for broken adjusters. Regards RDL
  10. +1 on that. A few years ago I carefully installed a new Zimmermann rotor after wirebrushing the hub and carefully cleaning both the hub & rotor seating surfaces. I then checked runout and got 0.005". So much for Zimmermann quality I thought. However when I removed the "defective" rotor I spotted a barely visible flyspeck of black something crud. After wiping it off, re-cleaning surfaces and checking runout again my dial indicator said less than 0.001". Where that black flyspec came from I have no idea. But if I hadn't checked I'd have had a brake shudder without a doubt. Now 2 years and 30k miles later my brakes are still silky smooth. And BTW, it's vital to clamp the rotor to the hub firmly with at least 3 bolts to get an accurate measurement. I've checked a rotors with only the set screw installed and got over 0.010". Then disturbing nothing else other than snugging the rotor down with 3 bolts, measured less than 0.001" Regards RDL
  11. rdl

    Vapor barrier or not

    There is an easier way than removing the panel. Open the door and run a stream of water down the window (on the outside ) for several minutes. Immediately you start, you should see water draining from the door through the drains at the bottom hem. If after a few minutes there is no sign of water on the bottom edge of the trim panel the vapour barrier is tight. If you find any drips at all, the V-B seal has released. It's drips off the trim panel that are just inside the sill cap that get inside and soak the carpet. Since your floor is dry it's almost a certainty you're OK. The puddle light on the bottom of the trim panel has a "springy" clip on one end and a solid, fixed lug on the other. Push on the light to slide it toward the rear of the door and then try to pivot the front edge downward. If it won't pivot out, try the other direction. Regards RDL
  12. rdl

    Vapor barrier or not

    I've done the vapour barrier reseal too many times over the 8 years owning the car: right side once, left side several! New butyl tape seems to work better than simply heating and re-attaching with the old butyl. For me though, the trick to long term success was the positioning of the barrier panel on the door structure. In earlier attempts I'd pulled the vapour barrier sealing lip downward for maximum overlap on the door - it seemed to be how it was meant to be fitted given the barrier's profile. I then suspected that the door pocket was pushing on the vapour barrier and the constant pressure causing the butyl to creep and eventually separate. Last time I didn't pull it down and left more slack for the barrier panel to accommodate the door pocket. Four years later I've not had a recurrence. Regards RDL
  13. rdl

    E39 seat cushion foam

    I used Leatherique with good results on my then 10 year old seats. I'd previously tried Lexol without noticeable improvement. The front seat leather in particular was pretty stiff; the rear not so much. I did two treatments several months apart and the improvement was quite remarkable. The rears are now what I imagine was "as new" while the fronts are not quite as soft but much improved. And I do annual treatments which has maintained the softer feel. Be sure to follow their directions and don't skimp. Instructions call for 16 oz of Rejuvenator to be slathered on the front and read seats and door leather which seemed excessive. But, amazingly nearly all of it was absorbed. Which I suspect explains the improvement. And the Pristine Cleaner used to remove the sticky residue left after soaking for a day came away with an amazing amount of dirt. Regards RDL
  14. rdl

    Air conditioning stopped working

    If you're a bit handy & a DIYer, you might start the engine and jumper the A/C compressor clutch to force engagement to determine if the problem is the HVAC control system or a mechanical fault. Make sure the cabin heat control is turned down so that the heater core doesn't overwhelm any A/C cooling. First - does the clutch actually engage? Next, do you get cold to icy air out the dash vents within a dozen or so seconds? If yes to both, there is reasonable confidence that the mechanical side is OK and the problem is the control system. If no to either, then it's mechanical & you'll be best off going to an A/C specialist as diagnosis and repairs need specialized knowledge, tools and equipment. And a result of "somewhat cool but not really cold" &/or "it took minutes to get cool" would count as a "no." After that, the first thing needed is the car's model and model year, and ideally the build date. We'll also need the type of HVAC control: automatic or manual. The A/C control system varied over the years. For instance, in later year cars a failed electric aux fan in front of the A/C condenser can prevent A/C operation; earlier years, not. In some variants, the DME (engine controller) has the circuit to engage the A/C compressor clutch; in others the HVAC control module does that. etc., etc. Then you'll probably need to get INPA working in order to track down the signals controlling A/C operation in order to find root cause. For instance, the A/C pressure sensor returning a "too low" value and HVAC control won't try to enable A/C. Or the control module is trying to engage the compressor clutch, but a broken wire or corroded contact prevents its operation. etc., etc. Unfortunately, the INPA troubles you describe suggest larger issues and A/C inop may simply be one of the symptoms. Regards RDL
  15. The Hunter machine can reduce the effect of an out of round tire (oops tyre) within limits. If the technician runs the complete diagnostic cycle, both tyres and wheels are measured. The program embedded in the Hunter machine then calculates a swapping routine, including indexing, for each tire onto a recommended wheel. After the swapping, the tyre/wheel is balanced with weights. For instance, a tire with 1 mm out of round mounted on a wheel with 0.5 mm radial runout with the correct indexing/orientation would then wind up with 0.5 mm runout mounted on the car - a much improved result. And after weights, be very smooth on the road. But one can also imagine that one might optimize say 3 tyre/wheels and be left with a hopeless fourth pair. Further, as I read the Hunter manual tires or wheels too far out of spec result in a "do not use" flag so there is a limit to the algorithm's ability to cope with tyre & wheel variation. Apparently the machine can recommend adjusted weight placement to reduce the vibration from out of round &/or variation in tyre belt stiffness - but within limits. If the tyre is too much egg shaped there is no tire weighting that will compensate as the (perfectly balanced) 50 or so lbs of tire/wheel is bounced up and down as it rolls down the road. I've see reports that many shops with Hunter machines don't run the full cycle of diagnostics since they're not willing to take the extra time measuring plus dismounting and remounting tyres. Instead they balance each, as received, and do the best possible, which is better than conventional balancers, but not best possible. So one shop might give you great results, another only OK. I don't mean to dismiss the capabilities of the Hunter machine. Within the limits of physics it does a great job. The limits being how much the belt stiffness varies and how much "egg shape" there is in the tyres and wheels. I've read many reports of people extremely satisfied with the improvement versus conventional balancing. And FWIW, my neighbour manages service in a Ford dealership & Calvin tells me the machine is far and away the best he has seen after decades in the business - but only if used properly. Regards RDL