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M54 6 Cylinder Engine Water Pump Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

M54 6 Cylinder Engine Water Pump Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets 10, 11mm, wrenches, screwdrivers, two M6x1 bolts

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 530i Sedan (2004-05)

Parts Required:

Water pump, hoses, engine coolant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again

Complementary Modification:

Change serpentine belt, radiator hoses

BMW E60 cooling system components include:

  • Radiator and coolant overflow tank.
  • M54 and 8-cylinder engines: Belt driven coolant pump bolted to the front of the engine block.
  • N52 and N54 engines: Electric coolant pump bolted to the right front of the engine block.
  • Electric cooling fan attached to rear of radiator. The cooling fan is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) via an output final stage.
  • Electrically heated thermostat.
  • Automatic transmission cooler (heat exchanger).
  • Heater valve and heater core (for climate control).
  • Coolant level sensor inside expansion tank.
  • Coolant temperature sensor at cylinder head.
  • Radiator outlet temperature sensor
  • Coolant hose and lines.

When a water pump begins to fail, you'll notice that the car tends to overheat at low engine speed, such as sitting at a stoplight. When you accelerate, the engine temperature will drop. Now, this is not always indicative of a broken water pump, but a good starting point. You may also want to try squeezing the top radiator hose with the engine warmed up and running. You should feel pressure build up on the back of the hose and surge once it is released. If you feel no pressure, it's a fair bet that the water pump is failing. On the belt-driven water pump, sometimes you can also see a slight drip coming from the water pump housing itself. These weep holes are cast into the pump housing and allow excess coolant to drain out if it has leaked past the various seals in the pump. The bearing can fail creating a grinding noise or creating free-play in the shaft, also resulting in a coolant leak.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the belt-driven water pump on BMW E60 6-cylinder M54 engine models.

Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening the cooling system.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Before doing any work on the cooling system, wait until the engine has cooled off.

Drain the cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling. 

Remove the engine cooling fan. See our tech article on radiator cooling fan replacing.

The water pump (green arrow) on M54 6-cylinder engine models is located at the front of the engine.
Figure 1

The water pump (green arrow) on M54 6-cylinder engine models is located at the front of the engine. It is a belt driven water pump, unlike the late model E60s with electric water pumps. A faulty water pump may cause noise or a leak from the weep hole (yellow arrow). Pressure test the cooling system to be sure the pump is faulty. See our tech article on cooling system leak testing.

Before removing the engine drive belt, loosen the four 10mm water pump pulley fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 2

Before removing the engine drive belt, loosen the four 10mm water pump pulley fasteners (green arrows). Do not remove them yet.

Locate the accessory drive belt tensioner and remove the dust cap (green arrow) using a flathead screwdriver.
Figure 3

Locate the accessory drive belt tensioner and remove the dust cap (green arrow) using a flathead screwdriver.

Using a ratchet with a long handle and an 8mmm Allen bit (green arrow), rotate the drive belt tensioner clockwise to release the tension and slide the belt off the pulleys (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

Using a ratchet with a long handle and an 8mmm Allen bit (green arrow), rotate the drive belt tensioner clockwise to release the tension and slide the belt off the pulleys (yellow arrow). Remove the engine drive belt. See our tech article on engine drive belt replacing for detailed information.

Now you can remove the four 10mm water pump pulley fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 5

Now you can remove the four 10mm water pump pulley fasteners (green arrows).

Next, remove the water pump pulley from the water pump.
Figure 6

Next, remove the water pump pulley from the water pump. While the pulley is off, inspect it for small cracks or damage. The pulleys can fail, although not that often, usually least when we expect it.

Remove the four 10mm water pump mounting nuts (green arrows).
Figure 7

Remove the four 10mm water pump mounting nuts (green arrows).

Remove the water pump from the engine by pulling it straight out in the direction of the green arrow.
Figure 8

Remove the water pump from the engine by pulling it straight out in the direction of the green arrow.

The water pump sits deep in the timing cover and it can be tough to get the sealing O-ring to pass through.
Figure 9

The water pump sits deep in the timing cover and it can be tough to get the sealing O-ring to pass through. There are two threaded holes you can install M6x1 bolts in to extract the water pump (green arrows). To remove the water pump from the timing cover, thread the two M6x1 bolts into the sides of the water pump. Use a ratchet to evenly tighten a few turns per side. Then switch and tighten the opposite side. Repeat until the water pump O-ring has cleared the timing cover. Once the water pump O-ring has cleared the timing cover, you can remove it by hand. Before installing the new water pump, thoroughly clean the water pump mounting surface and check for debris inside the water pump cavity (inside timing cover). Lubricate the water pump O-ring with new coolant and install it in the engine. Hand tighten the fasteners in a crisscross pattern slowly. Tighten one a few turns, then the next and so on. The water pump will slowly draw into the engine. Be careful not to work too quickly. You could strip the stud threads. Install the water pump pulley and tighten the fasteners. Install the engine drive belt, cooling fan, and fill and bleed the cooling system. Once complete, check the cooling system for leaks and top up the cooling system. 

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Comments and Suggestions:
Tez Comments: Thaaaaaaank You for this thread. I don't know what I would have done without it......maybe paid bmw 1200 to change the thermostat and water pump. But, with the help of this thread, I was able to finish the job without any issues in 2 hours. This was easy and I'm not too mechanically inclined.
November 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Komatsu Comments: I have a 2005 530i M54 belt driven water pump. I have replaced the pump and thermostat housing. What is the procedure to bleed the coolant system. The responses i have read refer to bleed screws don't have or an electric pump don't have. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
June 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this article: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/23-WATER-Draining_Filling_Cooling_System/23-WATER-Draining_Filling_Cooling_System.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:24:40 AM