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About rdl

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    Ontario Canada


  • Garage
    2003 530I
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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