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Norseman

e39 purchase

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I've just purchased a 1998 523i auto from a independent dealer (stealer?)

The car has covered 144k but has a documented FSH up to 2017 after which it was garaged & comes with a new MOT. I'm basically very happy with the car but have two concerns that hopefully forum members will share their thoughts.

# 1>  the tyres, having not taken my 'close-up' glasses (doh!) when I first inspected/test drove the car I saw that all 4 tyres had excellent treads, the spare seemed unused so I left it at that but having got the car home yesterday, armed with the right glasses, I discover to my horror that despite the good tread depth & a lack of sidewall cracking the tyres' ages vary from 12 to 19 years !  Naturally I was straight on to the dealer who has denied any legal responsibility on the grounds that the car passed it's MOT therefore the tyres are totally legal & in this respect he is correct in that, despite ever tightening roadworthiness regulations there is still no legal limit on the age of a tyre (don't get me started on the min. 1.6mm of tread).

I've decided to replace all 4 tyres as a matter of safety, so my question(s) are do I stick with the 225/60RX15 size that's currently on the car or will these alloys accept 205/65x15?

We are pensioners, so spirited driving let alone track days are not applicable !

#2>  the car drove impeccably on the journey home (30 miles on a hot day, inc. some idling in traffic) & the coolant temperature remained steadfastly on the 'normal' sector of the gauge, but when checking the engine bay once the car had been standing for about 3 hours the top coolant hose had collapsed & only returned to shape when I released the pressure. Is this indicative of a hose simply weakened by age, or something more sinister?

Thank you all for reading such a long post - sorry :(

 

 

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Top hose needs replacing; it’s perished.

 

I’d personally do that & the bottom hose for peace of mind and get the coolant flushed & refilled also :) These don’t need to be OEM BMW, Meyle or Febi Bilstein will be more than sufficient, but see what your local Indy mechanic can source for you 

 

Re tyres, yes, they need replacing ASAP. Stick with the OEM sizes that are on currently for the optimum ride. Cam skill generally offer the best prices, you just need someone to fit them for you. I’d highly recommend Nexen N’fera SU1 tyres and Uniroyal Rainsport 3 tyres... For me personally, they’re as cheap as I’d be preserved to go on a heavy’ish RWD car. However, it’s your car and your money.

 

Tyres are a very personal choice and one area that I’d never skimp on; the give tyres are top end ‘budget’ range tyres, you can spend a lot more on tyres, but will you see that added expense from them? Worth doing some research IMO

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Many thanks for such a prompt reply, much appreciated. I will heed your advice & have the car serviced at the same time as a coolant service/hoses. The service record reveals that the same two BM indys' serviced the car over it's 20 years, covering around 10k per year until 2004. Since then the cars' continued to  be serviced annually with the mileage dropped to an average of 2k, the last being in mid 2017.

I shall be browsing for tyres, starting with your recommendations, over the weekend … thanks again for your help.

 

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16 minutes ago, Norseman said:

Many thanks for such a prompt reply, much appreciated. I will heed your advice & have the car serviced at the same time as a coolant service/hoses. The service record reveals that the same two BM indys' serviced the car over it's 20 years, covering around 10k per year until 2004. Since then the cars' continued to  be serviced annually with the mileage dropped to an average of 2k, the last being in mid 2017.

I shall be browsing for tyres, starting with your recommendations, over the weekend … thanks again for your help.

 

 

‘Have you record/paperwork to show when the cooling system was last refreshed? This is an Achilles heel of the E39s, so well worth sorting if not.

 

At a minimum, top/bottom hoses, water pump and stat need replacing, along with that coolant flush and refil

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The BM service record book displays ticks against the appropriate attention ie oil/insp.1/insp.2, together with the agent's stamp, date & mileage. The last service entry was for oil & micro-filter, which unfortunately although signed off does no show a mileage, was carried out in July '17 at (I would guess) at around 135k. but I might try calling the agent to ask if they have records. The last coolant service (insp. 2) was in July '14 at 132k & the car is now at 145k.

nb. I have read there is also a small hose at the back of the block that's important to renew (?)

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34 minutes ago, Norseman said:

The BM service record book displays ticks against the appropriate attention ie oil/insp.1/insp.2, together with the agent's stamp, date & mileage. The last service entry was for oil & micro-filter, which unfortunately although signed off does no show a mileage, was carried out in July '17 at (I would guess) at around 135k. but I might try calling the agent to ask if they have records. The last coolant service (insp. 2) was in July '14 at 132k & the car is now at 145k.

nb. I have read there is also a small hose at the back of the block that's important to renew (?)

 

Not that I know of, but get it all inspected

 

Sounds like it needs a cooling system refresh; I’d get that done sooner rather than later. I’d also add a new rad into it too; the Behr or Nissens one can be sourced for less than £100 on eBay (as can all the other parts); so if you’re savvy with the internet and eBay, get buying and then get a decent Indy to fit it all for you :)

 

RealOEM website is perfect for part numbers; enter the last 7 digits of the cars VIN into the box at the top of the page and it’ll bring up your exact car; all the diagrams will show you the parts and their numbers you need; it’s fairly easy to navigate :) 

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17 minutes ago, Norseman said:

Thanks again my friend, seems my fingers will be doing some walking :rolleyes:

 

No worries

 

Youll see in projects that I’ve just done all this to my touring (and more); just one of those things.

 

Id highly recommend C3BMW and BMWmotormec for resellers of parts on eBay.

 

Meyle water pump

Walher stat

Febi or Meyle for top & bottom hoses

Behr or Nissens for the rad

May as well change the aux belts too whilst that’s all off and there’s easy access

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BMW coolant hoses are not that much more than some of the other manufacturers ... But you know the hoses will last another 80k :D  

  Behr or Nissens  are a good bet for radiators ... The Nissen rad in our old E34 had done 50k when sold and was still fine.  

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Ok folks, this is where we're at.

I'm having four 'quality' budget tyre from Black-circles fitted on Thursday. Being  pensioners we can't afford top-end rubber & the low annual mileage we're likely to do together with our driving style (definitely not like a hearse, but no track-days!) doesn't warrant the cost. The deal coming with a warranty to replace any irreparably damaged tyre during it's lifetime is attractive, seeing as how we've had to replace two tyres over the past 18 months due to so-called tradesman dropping screws on the road near us. I'll have a good service done (inc. coolant) together with the replacement of the hoses & rad cap at my local garage, but things like water pump/rad/etc. will have to wait a little longer. We may have to invest in a new battery as well, a receipt shows it to be only two years old but the car standing idle plus umpteen 'jump starts by the dealer probably hasn't done it a power of good … it's currently on an overnight bench charge.

Lastly (for the moment) please don't anybody think I'm ignoring any of the good advice received on the ground of that 'I know better, it's just a question of priorities.

Edited by Norseman

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On 25/05/2019 at 19:37, Norseman said:

I have read there is also a small hose at the back of the block that's important to renew (?)

Yep, had that one tear off on me spectacularly one day on my old E39 M52. I thought the engine was kaput when I saw where the steam was coming from. 

Made it home stop wait start, go for a bit and repeat. Luckily the hose blew close to the join on the block and I ended up cutting and shortening it. Didn't bother replacing as sold the car for parts some months later. 

 

Keliuss 

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10 hours ago, Norseman said:

Ok folks, this is where we're at.

I'm having four 'quality' budget tyre from Black-circles fitted on Thursday. Being  pensioners we can't afford top-end rubber & the low annual mileage we're likely to do together with our driving style (definitely not like a hearse, but no track-days!) doesn't warrant the cost. The deal coming with a warranty to replace any irreparably damaged tyre during it's lifetime is attractive, seeing as how we've had to replace two tyres over the past 18 months due to so-called tradesman dropping screws on the road near us. I'll have a good service done (inc. coolant) together with the replacement of the hoses & rad cap at my local garage, but things like water pump/rad/etc. will have to wait a little longer. We may have to invest in a new battery as well, a receipt shows it to be only two years old but the car standing idle plus umpteen 'jump starts by the dealer probably hasn't done it a power of good … it's currently on an overnight bench charge.

Lastly (for the moment) please don't anybody think I'm ignoring any of the good advice received on the ground of that 'I know better, it's just a question of priorities.

 

All sounds pretty sensible. Is the battery giving any signs of failing like sluggish starting? I'd be tempted to run it for a while before condemning it, same with the rad and pump, keep an eye on things and see how you go.

 

 

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The battery appeared to respond favourably to an overnight bench charge & started the car instantly. The battery is a Numax premium 019 that's 26 months old but one slight concern is that being a sealed unit (I assume?) the small round window remained clear after the re-charge whereas I thought it would then show green?

With the help of such knowledgeable forum members I'm slowly trying to get to know my car, hopefully without p.....g anyone off :( To this end my car is fitted with a BM car-phone in the centre console & a XTRONS system embedded in the dash in place of the normal audio system. The 'phone still has a Sim card though I doubt it's valid now & I have the user manual for the Xtrons, but if anyone has any thoughts on these fitments I'd appreciate any comments, be they favourable or otherwise :rolleyes:

Thanks again for all the help so far everyone.

 

Edited by Norseman

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23 minutes ago, Norseman said:

The battery appeared to respond favourably to an overnight bench charge & started the car instantly. The battery is a Nuvomat premium 019 that's 26 months old but one slight concern is that being a sealed unit (I assume?) the small round window remained clear after the re-charge whereas I thought it would then show green?

With the help of such knowledgeable forum members I'm slowly trying to get to know my car, hopefully without p.....g anyone off :( To this end my car is fitted with a BM car-phone in the centre console & a XTRONS system embedded in the dash in place of the normal audio system. The 'phone still has a Sim card though I doubt it's valid now & I have the user manual for the Xtrons, but if anyone has any thoughts on these fitments I'd appreciate any comments, be they favourable or otherwise :rolleyes:

Thanks again for all the help so far everyone.

 

 

Absolutely no concern.. always find it interesting when someone new signs up and begins the journey with their E39, learning the quirks and (hopefully) getting on top of the various issues they uncover! :) Keep posting; we'll keep helping. Depending on your location, there is a pretty well regarded independent round in Dartford who knows E39's inside out if you get stuck with your local garage. 

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If you look in the Audio and Navigation section you will find plenty of comments about Android head units. Some of the purists hate them and there have undoubtedly been reliability problems in the past and difficulty in getting these remedied. However I have had an Xtrons system in my car for about 21 months and I have been very pleased with it. The sound is better than the original BMW unit and after downloading a different GPS system I am happy with the SatNav. Also the unit looks like an original fitment and is much more visually appealing then some of "better" single DIN units I have seen in rather odd housing units..

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Thanks for that, I should mention that there's a CD stacker in the boot as well. Also the car's battery is a Numax  as opposed to the rubbish spelling in my last post !

I'll be studying the A & N section.

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My optimism regarding the battery was misplaced when, despite an 18 hour bench charge, it wouldn't turn the engine over 24 hours later (I thought the lack of a 'green indicator' wasn't a good omen) so I've bought a new battery which seems fine.

The service indicator has started working today & shows two green bars, but I'm going to have the car serviced next Thurs. as planned, that way I'll know what's been done & start with a clean slate.

 

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On ‎6‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 12:18 AM, duncan-uk said:

Aah well. A new battery is not the end of the world for peace of mind.

 

That's certainly true Duncan, now yet another question, if you don't mind … are BM auto-boxes & final drives really 'sealed for life'?

The hand-book says so, but then I am one of life's greatest cynics !

NB: Interesting subject this, my old RangeRover classic has a ZF 'box & there are at least two schools of thought, one says 'change the oil/filter every 50k (ZF themselves) the other (from a leading name in the autobox repair industry states ' if the 'box is working ok leave it alone as changing the fluid can disturb particles that can subsequently cause related problems'  As far as I know my RR has never had the 'box serviced in 57k/33 years & functions perfectly.


 

 

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9 hours ago, Norseman said:

 

 

Sealed for life means c100k miles IIRC

 

Think the recommendation is for every 60-80k miles; so yours will be due for a change :) 

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Reply much appreciated, now to ask my local garage if they can accommodate this within the forthcoming service, or if not, seek a local transmission specialist ?

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8 hours ago, Norseman said:

Reply much appreciated, now to ask my local garage if they can accommodate this within the forthcoming service, or if not, seek a local transmission specialist ?

A decent BMW indie should have the capability and kit to extract all the old fluid properly, from all around the system, not just from the main storage area. 

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Again I'll say, If you're in Essex, you're not a million miles away from Dartford Transmissions... very well regarded BMW (E39 especially) indie and particularly knowledgeable about gearboxes and does a comprehensive auto gearbox fluid change. 

 

http://www.dartfordtransmissions.co.uk/

 

Never used the guy but I know a whole lot of people who have and think he's excellent. 

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On 28/05/2019 at 01:19, Norseman said:

but things like water pump/rad/etc. will have to wait a little longer. 

 

Just keep an ear open for anything that sounds like a bearing starting to go with the bonnet up. I was sure I could hear one on ours & had a long period of messing about with the belt tensioner pulleys thinking it was one of those (I could hear with a long screwdriver held to my ear it wasn’t the PAS pump or alternator). I found to my dismay it was actually the water pump bearing when it finally failed, loosing all pressure, spraying coolant everywhere & sending the temperature sky rocketing. Luckily I managed to pull over before cooking the engine. There was no steam to warn me, but my later car (2002) has a red light on the temperature gauge that caught my eye, I don’t know if the earlier dash has that. 

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