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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum) is the premier BMW Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Car: bmw 523i se auto,black in colour
Posts: 2
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I have just bought a bmw e39,with a suspected head gasket problem , it will overheat but when this starts to happen the bottom hose is still cold ,but the heaters are hot ,then slowly the heaters start to turn colder, at that piont i switch the engine off , and leave it to cool down .when i picked up the car the previous owner said it would not start,and had no compression, i checked this when the car was dropped off at my place, and sure enough there was no compression on any of the 6 cylinders ,or at least nothing to brag about, and so i injected some engine oil down the bores , cleaned the plugs which were soaking wet with petrol, refitted them and turned the key ,hey presto, it started up first time ,smoked a bit but that soon went when the oil burnt off from inside the cylinders,starts first time now every time,read somewhere that a start and stop is the cause of this [washdown ]problem ,start from cold and switch the engine of quickly is supposed to do this and this is exactly what the last owner did,moved the car 6 feet to allow access to his garage , the car never ran again for him , the reason he said the head gasket had gone is his wife blew a hose and drove it home 1.5 miles ,the car over heated ,the hose was replaced but it still overheated,until the day of the stop start ,i think my next port of call will be the thermostat , then if that makes no difference the water pump,followed by the viscus fan , but i would ask for advice in case i have missed something ,look forward to hearing anyone's comments , oh by the way i forgot to mention what size it is ,it is a 523i se auto in black ,when i get to know how to use the forum correctly i will post some pictures of it ,well thats about it for now , will let you know how i get on ,thanks for reading this ,it is a bit long but there you go ---Karl
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
Help from over the pond
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IPSWICH. U.K.
Car: E38 1997 728i Individual
Posts: 3,242
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I would go thermostat, as the bottom pipe stays cold the stat is not opening, if it continues to stay cold after the new stat then its the test the viscous coupling roll up a newspaper and put it in the fan gently if the fan stops then the coupling dead, if it shred's the paper to bits then its fine.

I stepped in a plate of Pasta the other day - now I have to worry about my Carbonara footprint!
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
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Location: Miami FL
Car: 89 E30 325i, 2007 Honda
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witeshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nice
Wishing you good luck,

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Old 09-20-2009, 03:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Car: bmw 523i se auto,black in colour
Posts: 2
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Today i started on the thermostat, i removed it and as it was Sunday and no car parts shops were opened near me i decided to strip the inside of the stat .I cut the two main strips of metal and it fell to bits ,but i had the bits that i needed , i had the car facing up a hill and after replacing the rubber o ring and the part of the stat that was left [the outer casing] using gasket seal for a tester [it will be replaced with a new gasket tomorrow] i reinstalled my makeshift stat,i then refitted the bottom hose nipped up the clamp, and put the top hose on so as the hole in the pipe was facing at its highest point,i then nipped up the clamp on the plastic side, leaving the other side to fill up the engine,i used warm water and filled via the coolant pipe until the water started to come out of the top of the radiator, i then blocked this with my left hand and continued to fill until the pipe was full,i then quickly twisted the pipe onto the radiator ,loosened the side that was on the plastic part[thermostat side]and twisted it around so to remove the slight kink then i tightened up both sides of the hose,i squeezed the bottom hose and with the radiator cap removed, i could see the water rising and falling when i did this ,i also did it with the top hose with the same result.I then turned the temp on the heaters to max [32 degrees] and with the radiator cap replaced i started her up ,she fired first time,and i let her tick over for about 20 mins , the heaters were quite warm and the temp was just at the top of the blue, i then ran the car up the road at hi revs ,pulled like a train ,did this 5 or 6 times the temp went up to just under half way and stayed there , i then put it in the garage, and let it run for another 10 mins, with the doors open ,the temp started to fall slightly, but not much, but before this job was done if i had let the car run at tick over for this amount of time ,even without the runs up the road, it would have overheated, in half the time and the pipes would have been pressurized ,there was no abnormal pressure in the pipes and the bottom hose was now warm ,where before it was clay cold , i can only come to one conclusion and that is, the thermostat was no good , i do not ask anyone to follow or copy what i have done , i am only explaining what i did ,it may not be the correct method ,but it seems to have worked for me, if in doubt take it to a garage, i have worked on cars for 30 years and feel confident in my abilities,you may not ,well that seems to be it for the moment car is running great ----Karl
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