Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


About rdl

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Ontario Canada


  • Garage
    2003 530I

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. rdl

    Rear brake overhaul

    Hmm, interesting. I'll have to try that next time I have to do a caliper. It sure does look easier than the method I described. Thanks for the suggestion - fully up to your usual level of excellence. Regards RDL
  2. rdl

    Rear brake overhaul

    There is a trick to fitting the boots. It's a very fiddly procedure & one wishes for a third hand to hold things in position. But it seems to be the only way to get the boot in position. Once in place, the small clearance between the piston and caliper bore outside the groove for the boot prevents the boot's lip being pulled out; unless the piston develops rust and is able to "grip" the boot and distort/pull it out of the caliper as the piston is extended due to pad wear. I have seen threads with pictures describing the method, but unfortunately can't locate any of them. I'll look & if they turn up I'll post a link(s). It will help greatly if you're able to secure the caliper upright so the piston will be pushed straight down into the caliper cylinder. 1 fit the boot over the piston, but not seated in the groove in the piston. The caliper end of the boot will overhang the piston with the piston end of the boot near the bottom the piston, i.e. not seated in the piston groove as shown in your pictures 2 fit the lip on the caliper end of the boot into the groove in the caliper. The piston is "free", not engaged in the caliper cylinder's pressure seal & must be held in one hand while the other manipulates the boot lip into the caliper's groove. 3 now push the piston through the pressure seal and well into the cylinder. One must be careful to keep the piston centered on the cylinder so the boot isn't dislodged from the caliper groove. 4 finally, once the piston is well into the caliper cylinder, slide the piston end of the boot outward so the lip seats in the piston's groove I have tried to fit the boot into the caliper while "free", i.e. not fitted over the piston, then slip the piston into the boot. I couldn't make it work. The caliper end lip was always pulled out of it's groove. BTW, there seem to be two styles of caliper used on E39s. The other style that I've seen in threads, has a raised lip on the caliper and the boot slides over this lip into a groove - which would surely be much easier to fit than the style that the two of us have. Regards RDL
  3. I'm late to the party as well. I'd have checked the knock sensors. The tech docs on the MS43 DME describe that it continually advances spark timing until it detects pinging, backs off until quiet, then advances again, and so on. It's an endless cycle of searching for maximum safe advance so to maximize fuel economy and power. Regards RDL
  4. rdl

    Central locking

    I've no personal experience with this issue, but threads on E39 forums I track say the only solution is to replace the lock actuators. I've never seen a report that any kind of lubrication helped. There are also reports that once one gets to the point that the actuator won't unlock a door, the "double lock" position when using central locking makes it impossible to open that door even from the inside. One then has to drill through the trim panel to get the door unlocked and open for actuator replacement. OTOH, some details of the double lock implementation has varied over the years. It would be wise to do a test to determine how your car operates to decide if you are a risk for the worst case. Aside from the repair difficulty, there could be a safety issue if the car is ever involved in an accident and passengers are unable to open doors. Regards RDL
  5. rdl

    Good/best E39 brake brands

    I have 125k km on rear brakes: Brembo discs, Jurid pads. Pads are now at ~5mm Both discs and pads will need replacement in 15 - 20k km . Fronts have 80k km: Zimmermann coated discs, Jurid pads replaced 10k km ago with Jurid when at ~4.5mm. Discs were near wear limit but still in spec, so I re-used them. I've had no problems with these combinations and recommend them. I'm not familiar with UK prices, but here a kit those discs and pads, front and rear, would be ~US$400 if one shops around. It's a relatively easy DIY if you're at all handy with tools. OTOH, labour for all 4 brakes at 100 euros would be a screaming good deal here, assuming the work was well done. I do virtually all my own work, but would be tempted at that price. I believe that factory original pads were Jurid 571873J &/or 571873J-AS front and Textar T4071 rear. Jurid part # is currently available, Textar now offers a different pt #. I've never seen reliable reports of who supplied discs to the factory for E39s. As mentioned above, "warped" discs are almost always uneven pad deposits on the discs. (warped discs do occur, but is quite rare) Don't be fooled by reports of machining discs correcting vibration - all that's done is remove the uneven deposits. And usually uneven deposits are a result of: - sticky pistons due to corrosion, a result of failed dust boots - guide pins sticky in the bushings, usually corrosion - pads stuck/jammed in the brake bracket by brake dust, road dirt or corrosion Therefore it's worthwhile to check the condition of caliper dust boots and the piston. Also check guide pins and replace them if they are not spotless; ATE pins have done well for me, aftermarket trial went bad in 6 months, 15k km. When installing pads, follow ATE/BMW recommendations to clean and apply a smear of anti-seize to contact points. Before the current discs and pads, I had problems with all these issues ... and the symptoms were uneven braking with vibration, i.e. "warped" discs. The original to me (unknown brand) discs recovered once I corrected the problems. Regards, RDL
  6. rdl

    E39 dash cam wiring

    Sorry for the late reply, I forgot to tick the box to be notified of follow-up posts. It's probably possible to use the harness supplied. Crimp a male spade terminal on the end of the harness and insert it into an empty slot in the gloved box fuse block from the front, sort of as though it were half a fuse. The wire can be bent up over the fuse block and fished through to the back to pick up the connection to your in-line fuse for the dash cam. The method in the links in my original post is simply a little "cleaner looking" No difference in functionality so long as you use an in-line fuse for the dash cam. Fusing into the fuse block (via the fuse block in the front floor) will be 80A or more. Much too large to protect wiring in the event of a short in the dash cam circuit. EDIT: I should have said that the adapter in your post's picture will probably work too. But I think it would have to be inserted the right way round. I.e. so the take off to the dash cam is on the protected side of the fuse slot. I can't recall off hand if the lower or upper side of the E39 fuse block is source or load side. Regards RDL
  7. rdl

    wiper intermittant problem

    By "magic wipers" I assume you mean the rain sense, automatic style? Anyway, the wipers can be converted to timed intermittent, i.e. disable the rain sense, by changing coding in the General Module. You'll need NCS Expert to do this. I can provide details of the coding changes required if you wish to do that. Problematic rain sense is reasonably common after installing a new windshield. The cause is a problem with the prism, which is the plastic panel stuck to the glass; the part that the RLS module is attached to. Your current prism could be replaced and probably get the rain sense working properly. I've been there, done that. It's also possible that the RLS module is defective. A fault scan with INPA, DIS or ISTA would determine this. If needed, you could buy a replacement RLS from the dealer or used one from ebay, auto recycler, etc. The replacement RLS would then have to be coded to the car. (The same RLS module is used on many different BMW models and they vary in the manner in which the wiper park position is signaled. Coding sets the RLS module to know which variant is present) Ally in his/her post above is correct; with a new windshield, new prism or new/used RLS module one must re-initialize the rain sense system. INPA, DIS or ISTA will do this. Regards RDL
  8. rdl

    E39 dash cam wiring

    See this thread for suggestions https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6983699#post6983699 Post #5 for fuse slot suggestions and "double leaf spring contact" part #
  9. rdl

    Brake fluid volumes.

    Way back when, i.e. when I bought the car, I did a SWAG of volume I'd need for a flush and roughly how much to do at each caliper. See the attached PDF. Anyway, the results summary: Front caliper 80 to 140 ml depending on pad wear Rear caliper 90 to 115 ml depending on pad wear I've not been anal enough to measure in a graduated beaker, but it seems to be roughly accurate based on a (second) SWAG of how much winds up in the 500 ml bottle I uses to catch the expelled fluid. If you follow the TIS procedure with a pressure bleeder, it specifies: 1) straight flush as above ~ 350 to 500 ml 2) then use DIS or ISTA to exercise the ABS for each caliper - which I've found expels roughly 50 to 75 ml at each caliper. So another 200 to 300 ml 3) finish each caliper with 5 pedal pushes after 2) above which pushes ~80 ml and is enough to ensure the very last micro bubble shaken loose is pushed to its caliper and expelled. So another 320 ml Grand total: 870 ml to 1,120 ml. I start with a litre & a half just to be sure. Clauveron's trick makes the 800 to 900 ml a sure thing - no need for the just in case extra 1/2 liter. I would add though it's a good idea to depress and prop the brake pedal down a couple of inches so that when you compress the caliper piston with the bleeder open there is no chance of forcing fluid backwards into the master cylinder reservoir. Pedal released once you start the bleeding of course. Regards RDL BrakeFlushVolume.pdf
  10. rdl

    plastic headlight lenses

    Sharkfan If RichardP's offer doesn't work out, see this thread for some points on lens options. https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1257070 Note the link in post #1 to this site selling: "Genuine parts with the high level of the quality provided by BMW. The lens covers are made from highly durable molded polycarbonate" https://www.bimmerjakes.com/en/home/44-85-bmw-5-e39-new-headlight-lens-plastic-cover-facelift.html#/114-left_right-pair regards RDL
  11. rdl

    Battery issues :'(

    I assume this is with engine off? If so, a little low but not terribly so. The last time I checked with cluster test 9 it returned 11.9 V engine off. I normally see 13.7V or so in the cluster test with engine running & 14.1 V at the jump posts in the engine bay with a multi-meter. Keep in mind that with the key in run position to enable access to the hidden menu tests the entire car and all modules are drawing amps - 20 or 30 A, more if say the cabin blower &/or other high amp loads are active. Therefore the voltage at the battery terminals will be somewhat lower than the 12.65 V expected of a fully charged battery in open circuit (zero amp drain.) This graph of a "typical" lead acid battery gives an indication of volts vs state of charge. The "C" in the graph is the battery's amp-hr rating. So for example a 90 Amp-hr battery supplying 30 A would follow the C/3 curve. Regards RDL
  12. rdl

    E39 530i mysterious coolant loss

    I have, but was somewhat lucky. The mini/micro leak was in a fairly visible location. There are lots of spots where it would be very difficult to spot the UV dye flair. Especially because tiny leaks can leave a UV trace so fine that's almost impossible to pick out. I'd first try this, which has worked better for me on small to tiny leaks. 1 wait until after dark, or work in a garage with the door closed and any windows covered. 2 get the engine up to full operating temperature, not thermostat just open, but lower rad hose hot. Sometimes leaks, especially from plastic parts, open only when hot &/or under pressure. Besides you'll want lots of heat in the engine so it doesn't cool down quickly and has lots of temperature to make a little jet of steam at the leak point. 3 turn the engine off, the point being to stop the fan so air in the engine bay is still. 4 with a flashlight (torch, to you I think) look around every nook and cranny of the cooling system for a fine jet of steam. Even a tiny jet of steam will be quite visible in the light beam against the dark background. 5 if you haven't found anything in 3 or 4 minutes, start the engine to get it up to heat again and continue the search. If no joy, then try the UV dye or get ready to consider a leak in the heater core. Regards RDL
  13. Thanks for the reply. A shop has managed to remove the studs from the manifolds and weld bushes on the badly rusted muffler side flanges. The bushes are hardly solid but it's bolted up and silent. We know it's only a temporary repair. I'm hoping it buys me enough time to assemble bits and pieces to do a proper repair: remove the rusty remnants of the flanges and weld new flanges onto the pipes for a robust joint.
  14. I've got a pretty ugly problem at the joints between the catalytic converters and pipes to the front mufflers. The flanges on the muffler pipes are badly rusted away. One of the repair options would involve welding new flanges onto the exhaust side pipe. But I've had someone suggest that it may be double wall. And if so, a lot more difficult to make a good, robust weld joint. Apparently some manufactures use double wall pipe between the catalytic converter and the first muffler to reduce surface temperature and reduce noise.Does anyone know for a fact if the E39 M54 used single or double wall in these runs? Regards RDL
  15. 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