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BMW E39 Engine Exhaust Manifold Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Engine Exhaust Manifold Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

6 hours6 hrs

Tab:

$35

Talent:

*****

Tools:

12mm flex socket w/ratchet

Applicable Models:

BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Exhaust downpipe, exhaust manifold

Hot Tip:

Spray the exhaust down with penetrating oil and let soak to loosen corrosion

Performance Gain:

Repairs leaking exhaust manifold gaskets

Complementary Modification:

Replace nuts with new copper nuts

Please note that this article does not apply to the V8 M5.

No one thinks about their exhaust manifolds much until the exhaust gasket is blown out and the exhaust starts to leak. Then we start thinking about how the exhaust has to handle combustion gases that can reach over a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Your exhaust manifold may be in the single digits after a cold winter night and then have to expand under these incredibly high temperatures. All this expansion and contraction can cause gaskets to fail and leak. You may have to remove the exhaust manifold to replace the gaskets and exhaust outlet flanges can become damaged by corrosion and previous service work. In this tech article we will show you how to remove and install the exhaust manifolds.

We do have some advice on how to service the exhaust manifolds. Rust and corrosion can make the fasteners difficult to remove. We suggest you remove some components to get greater access the area. The exhaust manifolds are in a tough spot. Follow these directions and you should be able to complete the task.

In order to perform this tech procedure you will need to lift and support your vehicle. See our tech article on lifting and supporting your vehicle.

You do not have to remove the valve covers and alternator but they will give you more room to work. See our tech article on removing valve covers. Also, loosening the motor mounts will also allow you to jack up the motor and give you more access to the exhaust manifolds. See our tech articles on removing the motor mounts.

Here we are underneath the vehicle.
Figure 1

Here we are underneath the vehicle. Remove the four fasteners (green arrows) that hold the exhaust manifolds to the exhaust downpipes. Do this only for the exhaust manifolds that you are servicing. Here the right side manifolds arePictured.

If you chose to give yourself more room to work, remove the engine coil cover, coils and valve cover fasteners (green arrows) of the exhaust manifold you are trying to replace.
Figure 2

If you chose to give yourself more room to work, remove the engine coil cover, coils and valve cover fasteners (green arrows) of the exhaust manifold you are trying to replace. Here the left side isPictured.

If you are doing the left side exhaust manifolds remove the left side motor mount upper mounting bolt (green arrow) isPictured.
Figure 3

If you are doing the left side exhaust manifolds remove the left side motor mount upper mounting bolt (green arrow) isPictured. You do not have to remove the alternator but it does give you more room to work and see what you are doing. Here we have removed the alternator for photographic purposes. If you do decide to remove the alternator then you will need to disconnect the battery first. See our tech article on battery removal. You do not have to remove the battery, simply disconnect one of its terminals. If you are doing the right side exhaust manifold then remove the upper motor mount bolt on the right side. Here the left side isPictured.

This photo illustrates the front of the engine looking down at the oil pan.
Figure 4

This photo illustrates the front of the engine looking down at the oil pan. With a block of wood on the jack (to not damage the oil pan) jack up the left side of the motor. If you are doing the right side manifold and have removed the upper mounting bolt of the right side mount then jack up from the right side of the oil pan about an inch to 2 inches. Here the left side mount isPictured. You do not have to remove the power steering pump but we have done this for photographic purposes.

This photo illustrates the motor mount stud with the left side of the engine jacked up an inch to 2 inches.
Figure 5

This photo illustrates the motor mount stud with the left side of the engine jacked up an inch to 2 inches. This gives you more access to the left side exhaust manifold. If you are doing the right side manifold then the right side mount should look like this. Here the left side isPictured.

This photo illustrates the front of the left side manifold.
Figure 6

This photo illustrates the front of the left side manifold. Use a 12mm socket or wrench to loosen the fasteners (green arrow). Here only one fastener isPictured.

This photo illustrates the exhaust manifold side of the left side cylinder head.
Figure 7

This photo illustrates the exhaust manifold side of the left side cylinder head. You will have to loosen and remove the eight 12mm fasteners that mount the exhaust manifold onto the engine. This can be done with the cylinder head in the car. We are just showing you an illustration of where they are so you can feel for them. The left side exhaust manifolds are split into two groups. Four 12mm fasteners hold on the manifold for the front two cylinders (green arrows) and four 12mm fasteners hold on the rear two cylinders manifold (yellow arrows). You should remove the fasteners from the front manifold first.

This photo illustrates the left side front of the engine compartment.
Figure 8

This photo illustrates the left side front of the engine compartment. To fully remove the left side front manifold you will need to remove the ASC actuator. Remove the 10mm fastener (green arrow) and move the actuator out of the way. You do not have to disconnect and cables or electrical connectors, just flip it out of the way. You do not have to remove the power steering reservoir but it does give you more room to work.

With all four fasteners removed from the front left side exhaust manifold lower it off the exhaust mounting studs by moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 9

With all four fasteners removed from the front left side exhaust manifold lower it off the exhaust mounting studs by moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.

Pull the manifold out of the engine compartment by the front.
Figure 10

Pull the manifold out of the engine compartment by the front. You will have to twist and maneuver the manifold to fully remove it. Removing it does make it easier to remove the rear cylinders exhaust manifold.

If you are removing the right side manifold the layout of the manifolds are different.
Figure 11

If you are removing the right side manifold the layout of the manifolds are different. Here we are at the right side manifold with the right side motor mount removed and the right side of the engine is jacked up and inch to two inches. This will give you greater access to the mounting fasteners.

you have to remove.
Figure 12

This photo illustrates the layout of the right side manifold and the fasteners you have to remove. Here the first and third cylinders form one manifold and the second and fourth cylinders form the second manifold. Remove the four 12mm fasteners that mount the second and fourth cylinders manifold (green arrows) and remove the manifold by lifting it out of the engine compartment. Then remove the four 12mm fasteners (yellow arrows) that mount the first and third cylinders manifold and remove it. One of the mounting fasteners for the first and third cylinders manifold is hidden behind the second and fourth cylinders manifoldPictured. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. On the right side install the first and third manifold first followed by the second and fourth cylinders manifold. On the left side install the rear two cylinders manifold first followed by the front exhaust manifold. Position the engine on its mounts and tighten the mounting bolts. Fit the exhaust downpipes to the exhaust manifolds and tighten clamps. Install any components you removed to do the job such as the alternator, power steering line, ASC actuator and the battery. Start the engine and carefully check for exhaust leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Ram Comments: Hi, great write up! However I have a 2003 540i with the m62TU engine different headers with one pipe connecting all 4 cylinders with integrated precats. Do you know if this method will apply to my car, or am I looking at dropping the subframe?
April 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will likely have to drop the subframe. I forget is it is absolutely necessary. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:06:20 AM