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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 03-05-2011, 12:48 PM
    Craig in Canada

    Re: Update on the knock ...

    IMO, M1 5W30 isn't the correct grade for a BMW. IMO, you should look for a 30 that carries ACEA A3 if you want to run a 30 weight or move into the 40s.

    There are probably syns out there compatible with Auto-RX but the problem is knowing which ones they are. A group III/III+ syn should work fine with ARX but who is to say that the blender doesn't have some group IV or V in there as part of their package? Accidentally using an oil with group V in it can have pretty serious consequences with the best case being that the cleaning agents in neither ARX or the oil do their job (I think this happened with me and maint dose ARX in GC). I also read a secondhand story about someone who cooked a turbo running full dose ARX in a high group V oil - I think it might have been Motul 300V.

    Anyways - I would not "fear" Rotella T in the 530. The M50/M52/TU/M54/M62/TU engines are really easy on oil. Other than achieving the magic combo of simultaneously being thin in deep cold but thick at operating temperature (like GC 0W30) "full syn" really isn't required at all in these engines with the high performing dinos available today. I timed my family's ARX treatments with summer weather so that we could run dino 40 weight HDEOs ("diesel oil") and return to syn oils for our winter weather. Rotella T6 is considered syn and *might* be exclusively III/III+ but I don't know for sure. Really, I don't care what my oil made out of these days as long as the final result gives excellent wear protection, cleaning, contaminant isolation etc... There are some who won't run anything but group so-and-so. I honestly don't see the point in 2011, there's lots of great oil out there.

    If you're past any brutally cold winter weather (you're in MD?) I would recommend T for both cars and get the ARX job done right. Apparently dino 15W40 is OK down into the teens F but my rule of thumb is that if you're typical coldest temp is around freezing or higher then you're OK for the 15W. My dad (M62TU) and I (M52) have both run T into the fall where overnight temps are around freezing with no issues - subjective or objective. Keep in mind that most of the commercial/industrial diesel machinery on the road around you is probably running 15W40 all year round.

    My 528 manual recommends dino 15W40 unless the temp reaches around -18C and the car won't start any more (!!!!). Then you're supposed to switch to "BMW Special Oil" (which is the dealer/Castrol 5W30). Go figure.
  • 03-05-2011, 11:13 AM

    Update on the knock ...

    OK, first, many thanks to Craig. Changed the M1 0w40 (that only had about 2k miles on it) two days ago. Put in 2 bottles of Auto Rx and changed the oil to 15w40 Rotella T dino.

    Immediate observations - knock is quieter, has changed pitch (not as metallic a knocking noise) and maybe it's just wishful thinking but mid-range response and torque seems improved. Only have about 100 miles on the oil but will update as the summer goes along. I'm going to keep this in for about 5k miles (I drive a lot and that will only take about 4 months or less, we have some trips planned this summer with the wagon). Then will change to just the Rotella for the next go-round. Have already ordered another bottle of Rx for the 530i. It has 94k on it and until I got involved with the car and it's owner a couple of years ago maintenance was spotty.

    Question for Craig - the 530 has always had M1 5-30 in it. Should I switch it to Rotella for the bottle or is there a synthetic that is compatible with the Rx? I'd like to stay syn if I can as that is what has always been in it. Currently runs great and doesn't seem to have any problems but I never drove it when it had 25-30 k on it so don't have a reference. Car is a 2002 5spd with the M Sport.

    Thanks again for your help, Vaughan
  • 03-05-2011, 11:01 AM
    Craig in Canada


    I didn't deny a design flaw. I asked how your $3000 to $4500 is FIXING the DESIGN flaw versus tearing everything down and replacing it with the same parts which still have the SAME flaw.

    If you're doing that, you aren't fixing any design flaw, just buying 1-2 years of rattle free operation until it starts again.

  • 03-04-2011, 03:12 PM

    Design flaw, period.....

    if it was not a flaw, this wouldnt happen to this motor so frequently. just like the coolant transfer tubing inside to newer model motors. another design flaw.

    this is why someone is modifying (changing the design) to prevent this design "flaw" from re-occuring.

    there is so much talk here about vanos. to no admit it is a design flaw is ludicrus.....

    2000 540i Sport in Houston, TX
  • 03-04-2011, 03:06 PM

    hear ya.......

    2000 540i Sport in Houston, TX
  • 03-04-2011, 03:03 PM

    Re: Opinions - Is It Worth Repairing?

    2000 540i Sport in Houston, TX
  • 03-03-2011, 07:18 PM
    Craig in Canada

    Who says you're fixing the design flaw?

    You're installing a new copy of the same part, with the same design flaw as far as I know. Same issue with I6 VANOS/double VANOS. It's better for "a while" and then it will probably come back.

    Until the mechanism of degradation is understood and updated (or retrofitted by someone like Beisan) I don't see a point unless yours is really, really bad.

    Since someone here said Beisan is working on it, I would just see if it can be improved by oil choice and see what Beisan has to say.

  • 03-03-2011, 07:13 PM

    Re: Opinions - Is It Worth Repairing?

    Did yours totally fail? Or you just worried about the noise?

    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)
  • 03-03-2011, 04:43 PM

    If you spent that much spend some more

    It's only money. I mean, what's the car worth to you in propper running condition? Are you ready to buy a new or different used car to start all over again. I do believe that the e39 will be an iconic classic to some extent. It will still run with some pretty big dogs out there and outgun them if properly prepped. It is a beutilfully behaved 4 door saloon (Brit Top Gear). It still does everything it was designred to do very well. I have thought of selling the car and getting a hot rod but funny thing is it is faster in the 1/8 th mile than my friends hot rods and they don't have air conditioning or CD Changers. Breaking and handling...they won't even think about an autocross against me. Their brakes are adequate up to maybe 60mph, the E39 sport pkg cars will stop so hard you can be weightless. So actually I have a better hotrod now than they do. I know it's not a 49 olds, or 57 Chevy, or whatever is a propper hotrod but my build date 10/99 12 year old BMW has matured with grace and like Chuck Norris it has settled a bit and it's reflexes are not quite what they were but Who here would call Chuck Norris a sissy? Huh?

    If you like the car fix it, if you hate it or want a change, don't fix it. Mine is paid for and that make her more beautiful than before and if I have to spend a little money on her I will because she still does what I need her to do. And it will cost less than buying a new car for sure and another used car is just a crap shoot. KnowwhatImean?

    00 540 Sport 6 spd 153,000 miles
  • 03-03-2011, 01:20 PM

    Opinions - Is It Worth Repairing?

    I've gotten 2 quotes.
    $3000 and $4500 to repair this design flaw.
    For about $5500, I can get a used motor installed.

    The car must be worth about $6-7k.

    I just spent $3k in suspension.


    2000 540i Sport in Houston, TX
  • 03-03-2011, 01:16 PM

    Re: Better off replacing the motor.

    $4500 is the price of the motor that I found.

    I thought of doing that but there is no warranty that the new motor wont do the same.

    I am wondering if it is even worth repairing it or am I better off part it?!?!?!

    2000 540i Sport in Houston, TX
  • 03-02-2011, 10:11 PM

    Better off replacing the motor.

    My friend got a m65tu with 60k miles for $3000 shipped and installed for another $1000 on his 740. Im sure you can even find a better deal on the motor if you had time to shop around and get a warranty too.

    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)
  • 02-28-2011, 10:21 PM

    $4500 quote at

    Seems like a clean place. Includes all seals, vanos gears and chains, water pump, thermostat, oil, coolant, VC gasket, Top and Bottom cover gaskets.

    The only difference from the $3k quote is the Tsta and water pump (~$300).

    Both offer 12/12000. Both ASE master BMW Techs.

    One has a nice shop off a major highway and one just built a huge shop in his own land.
  • 02-28-2011, 09:38 PM

    I just replaced it. It's a good amount of work.

    There is no way to get it out with the cam to cam chain and both sprockets on. I suggest getting at it by removing the sprocket on the exhaust cam, to avoid messing around with VANOS. You'll want to put one of the cam locks on the cam before you remove the sprocket. And remember the bolt on that sprocket is reverse threaded.
  • 02-28-2011, 07:49 PM

    Is this tensioner a big job to replace?

    Part #5 in the diagram

    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)
  • 02-28-2011, 01:09 AM

    Re: THATS IT!

    From what I can remember he wasn't a wrencher, he was a check cutter and had a private shop doing the work.

    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)
  • 02-27-2011, 04:57 PM

    Re: THATS IT!

    Well I'm in the UK, but didn't spend that much on the fix. 500 ($800) on the two vanos units. Valve covers and upper timing cover gaskets - optional, though recommended, but cheap enough. 48 ($78) on a new main chain tensioner, the new one has an upgraded longer spring, No19:

    And 20($32) on the two oil check valves that sit behind the vanos solenoids, No8:

    I've done about 3,000 miles on the new vanos units and she's still quiet. Who knows when the noise will come back, if at all! At least we know what the problem is now.

    I'm using Fuchs Titan Race 5w40 full synthetic.

    You will also need the timing tools I'm afraid:

    Hope this helps.
  • 02-27-2011, 01:04 AM

    Re: belts, fan, plugs & WP no charge? UR paying 4 it (

    When I looked at the block in the back of the shop, that cover looked like 1 piece. The lower pan and VC sanwiched the front cover.

    Oh, I am getting a second opinion but not until monday.

    He suggested I swapped the pump as well and all the rest has to come off ayway. He said no charge (TO INSTALL) if i decide to get all them new parts.

  • 02-26-2011, 03:59 PM

    belts, fan, plugs & WP no charge? UR paying 4 it (

    Lift the motor to replace the vanos?? I could be wrong, but I'm almost certain only the upper timing case covers need to be removed.
    All of the cooling stuff can be removed in about 1 hr.
    I'd get another estimate from a different shop.

    The exhaust chain is tensioned by oil pressure, IIRC there is a check valve inside it, yours may be leaking and not holding pressure when the engine is off.
  • 02-26-2011, 02:47 PM

    $3000 Parts and Labor is the estimate I got.....

    He will replace the belts, fan, plugs and water pump at no charge.

    It is pretty labor intensive since all the front cooling has to be removed.
    The oil pan (block) also has to be removed. This will require to lift the motor.

    There are about 12 bolts that also have to be removed. Quoted me $700 just on parts.

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