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BMW E39 Starter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Starter Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

8mm, 10mm, 13mm socket with ratchet, long extension, T14 Torx socket or wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Starter, fasteners, wiring terminals

Hot Tip:

On six cylinder use long extensions to reach underneath intake manifold

Performance Gain:

A car that starts

Complementary Modification:

Replace starter terminals

Every time you get in your car to go somewhere you use to ignition key to turn the ignition switch to the start position to start the car. The ignition switch supplies voltage to the "S" terminal on your starter. The starter solenoid will energize and do two things. One it applies a high amperage contact to apply power to the starter motor itself and also kicks out a starter drive gear that engages the flywheel. The spinning starter motor also spins the starter drive gear to spin the engine. This is how your engine is started. If either the starter motor or the solenoid fail you will not be able to start the car.

In this tech article we will go over all the steps to remove the starter/solenoid assembly for both the six and eight cylinder engines. You do not need to remove the intake manifold to change the starter but we have removed it for photographic purposes.

Engine Starter Removal Six Cylinder Engine:
Here we are on the right side of the trunk; disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
Figure 1

Here we are on the right side of the trunk; disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.

Here we are on the leftÃÆ'ÂÆ'‚'s side of the engine block underneath the intake manifold.
Figure 2

Here we are on the left side of the engine block underneath the intake manifold. You do not have to remove the intake manifold, but we have done so for photographic purposes. Remove the 13mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the battery cable onto the starter solenoid terminal. You can reach this fastener with a long extension underneath the intake manifold.

Underneath the 13mm fastener, remove the 10mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the starter solenoid signal wire.
Figure 3

Underneath the 13mm fastener, remove the 10mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the starter solenoid signal wire.

On the starter solenoid, remove the 8mm fastener (green arrow) that mounts the solenoid ground wire.
Figure 4

On the starter solenoid, remove the 8mm fastener (green arrow) that mounts the solenoid ground wire.

Working where the starter mounts to the transmission bell housing, remove the two E14 Torx fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 5

Working where the starter mounts to the transmission bell housing, remove the two E14 Torx fasteners (green arrows).

Remove starter by pulling it away from the transmission bell housing.
Figure 6

Remove starter by pulling it away from the transmission bell housing. You will probably remove the starter downward through the bottom of the car in the direction of the blue arrow. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the starter into the transmission bell housing and tighten the mounting bolts. Install the 3 wire terminals and tighten the mounting fasteners. Reconnect the battery and verify that the vehicle starts. 

Engine Starter Removal Eight Cylinder Engine:
Working underneath the car on the right side locate the starter solenoid on the right side of the block above the oil pan.
Figure 7

Working underneath the car on the right side locate the starter solenoid on the right side of the block above the oil pan.

Remove the 13mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the battery cable to the starter solenoid.
Figure 8

Remove the 13mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the battery cable to the starter solenoid.

Remove the 10mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the starter signal to the solenoid.
Figure 9

Remove the 10mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the starter signal to the solenoid.

Remove the 8mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the ground wire to the starter solenoid.
Figure 10

Remove the 8mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the ground wire to the starter solenoid.

Remove the wiring terminals for the battery cable (green arrow), starter signal (yellow arrow) and solenoid ground (red arrow) from the starter solenoid.
Figure 11

Remove the wiring terminals for the battery cable (green arrow), starter signal (yellow arrow) and solenoid ground (red arrow) from the starter solenoid.

At the back of the transmission on the right side, remove the two E14 Torx bolts (green arrow) that mount the starter to the transmission bell housing.
Figure 12

At the back of the transmission on the right side, remove the two E14 Torx bolts (green arrow) that mount the starter to the transmission bell housing. Here we have removed the exhaust system for photographic purposes. You do not have to remove the exhaust system bur if you do, it will give you more room to work. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Position the starter in the transmission bell housing and tighten the two mounting bolts. Install the three wiring terminals on the starter solenoid and tighten the mounting fasteners. Reconnect the battery and verify that the engine starts.

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Comments and Suggestions:
kella Comments: well explained thks i am looking for a parts list of the starter for bmw 528 i somethng call eccentric housing
July 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Johnny Comments: I'm confused as to why it says this takes 4 hours and requires the highest level of talent... Is this really 6 simple steps of simply removing 5 nuts/bolts or is there more work required that is not listed here? Can I really remove the starter without having to do any work to gain access to it?
July 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On the 8-cylinder, it is not so bad. On the 6-cylinder it takes much more time, little harder. The items you mentioned are worse case scenario. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
coopster Comments: Hmm. I'm either 'special' or these instructions are confusing. It appears there is how-to for a second model pasted onto the bottom of the E39 how-to.
March 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: After step six it should switch a different engine. Thanks for catching that, I will have it fixed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sroor9001 Comments: How to remove rusty solenoid 3 screws not those 13 mm and 8 km there is on the back of solenoid to take it off
September 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If they are rusty, you can try vise-grips or drill them out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:06:15 AM