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M54 6 Cylinder Engine DISA Valve Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

M54 6 Cylinder Engine DISA Valve Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets T40 Torx socket, flathead, Phillips screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

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

Parts Required:

DISA valve

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will run well

Complementary Modification:

Inspect the intake air ducts and replace if necessary and replace the air filter

On the 6-cylinder M54 engine installed in BMW E60 vehicles, the molded plastic intake manifold is configured as two sets of three runners with variable lengths. Low end torque and high end power are improved by varying the intake runner length according to a map stored in the ECM. Engine vacuum, load and ambient temperature are used by the ECM to determine the revolutions per minute at which to switch intake manifold configuration. The actuator used by the ECM to switch manifold configuration is a vacuum solenoid called the dual resonance intake system or DISA valve.

At low to mid-range engine speeds (up to about 3,750 rpm), engine torque is increased as the DISA valve closes a flap inside the manifold, effectively increasing the length of the intake runners.

From mid-range to high engine speeds (4,100 rpm and higher), DISA is de-energized. This opens the resonance flap inside the intake manifold and allows air to be drawn into cylinders through additional intake runners. This provides extra air for the power needed at higher rpms.

Another function of the design is that resonance waves inside the manifold pulse back and forth between opening and closing intake valves and help in cylinder filling.

A faulty DISA valve can cause a number of problems for your BMW E60 with a M54 6-cylinder engine, everything from a check engine light, rattling sounds from the engine to a rough idle. When the valve fails, the flap can leak engine vacuum if the seal or diaphragm fail. If the flap fails mechanically, it can come apart and get lodged in the intake manifold, and worst case scenario end up in the engine. In this tech article I will describe how to remove, test and replace the DISA valve.

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.

If you suspect your DISA valve is faulty, remove it to inspect it. Do not take any chances. If you have a rattling at the intake manifold, I would start the diagnosis by checking the valve. Information on checking the valve is listed below, after removing.

The DISA valve is located on the left side of the intake manifold, in the center (green arrow).
Figure 1

The DISA valve is located on the left side of the intake manifold, in the center (green arrow).

To remove the DISA valve, remove the air filter housing assembly (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

To remove the DISA valve, remove the air filter housing assembly (yellow arrow). Remove the two T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Then disconnect the airflow meter electrical connector (yellow arrow).
Figure 3

Then disconnect the airflow meter electrical connector (yellow arrow). Now loosen the air flow meter clamp (green arrow).

Next, unclip the three air filter lid clips (green arrows).
Figure 4

Next, unclip the three air filter lid clips (green arrows).

Once unclipped, lift the air filter housing lid out of the engine compartment.
Figure 5

Once unclipped, lift the air filter housing lid out of the engine compartment. 

Once the lid has been removed, lift the air filter housing out of the engine compartment.
Figure 6

Once the lid has been removed, lift the air filter housing out of the engine compartment. Lift the rear of the housing first, detaching it from the fresh air duct (red arrow).

Disconnect the DISA valve electrical connector by pressing the wire retainer (green arrow) and pulling it off the sensor.
Figure 7

Disconnect the DISA valve electrical connector by pressing the wire retainer (green arrow) and pulling it off the sensor.

Now, you can remove the two T40 Torx DISA valve fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 8

Now, you can remove the two T40 Torx DISA valve fasteners (green arrows).

Then, slide the DISA valve out of the intake manifold to remove it.
Figure 9

Then, slide the DISA valve out of the intake manifold to remove it. To install, reverse the removal steps.

The DISA valve flap (green arrow) rotates 90° to lengthen or shorten the intake manifold runner distance.
Figure 10

The DISA valve flap (green arrow) rotates 90° to lengthen or shorten the intake manifold runner distance. Engine vacuum is applied through the intake manifold to a small port (purple arrow) on the flap side of the valve. Rotate the flap 90° (blue arrow) to check for looseness or a faulty connection to the lever. Hold it in the closed position (blue arrow). Then cover the port on the solenoid (yellow arrow). The valve should hold at about the same position (90°) (red arrow). If it returns to the rest position (green arrow), the solenoid diaphragm is faulty.

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Comments and Suggestions:
pgreenx Comments: Hi - generally how long before a DISA needs replacement? I have 79k and no symptoms of a bad one. can I wait for a code?
Thanks
November 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: usually only when they fail. yes, you can wait. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jabz Comments: Does the Disa Valve makes misfire ?
September 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
o2eZy Comments: question I have just purchased the kit which includes the vacuum diaphragm but find it hard to seperate the vacuum top.any suggestions
September 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Where did you purchase it? Can you share a photo of the kit? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Steve Comments: On my E39/M54 my DISA valve moves freely and stays close to a closed position when I hold my finger on the vacuum hole. But, when I turn the key to the "ON" position, applying 12V to the DISA, the Valve does not move. Does this indicate a faulty DISA?
August 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, the valve also needs engine vacuum to open. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PDX530i Comments: So if I can not manually move the flap, then it needs to be replaced. Right now the flap is stuck in the open position.

~Paul
July 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The flap should move as shown in the article. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PDX530i Comments: Hi Nick, it is the M54 6 cylinder 530i, non turbo.

~Paul
July 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should be the same. The electrical solenoid changes the vacuum flow to valve that opens the flap, same as the model shown. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PDX530i Comments: My '07 E60 has an electronically controlled DISA valve. How do I preform the test you show in the DIY article to see if it might be faulty? Should I be able to manually move the flap back and forth?

~Paul
July 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When engine do you have? If a V8, you can't test it this way. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tshepo Comments: Hi. I want to replace my DISA on a 325 E90 N52 engine.
Will I need to program the new one?
May 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Larry Comments: The E46 DISA replacement looks very similar to this. The air box is a different shape. But you have to take it off and the air hose to easily get to the lower torx bolt. If the lower torx bolt were not where it is, taking it off would be much easier. But only so much space.
March 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
PaulyTX Comments: Hey thanks so much for these tutorials. I'm on an e46 325ci and have all the bolts off of the DISA but it doesn't seem to want to budge at all. Pulling straight out, wiggling, nothing seems to help. Any tips or suggestions?
February 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Make sure another component isn't blocking it. If not and all the fasteners are removed, it is stuck. Lever it out, gently as to not damage the intake. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mojo86 Comments: Great write up! My DISA valve pops open slightly when I tested it. However I'm not sure why I had to remove the air filter box? Thanks!
November 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On some vehicles, the air filter housing is in the way. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
SuperSoul Comments: My DISA tested that way stays in closed-open position opens about 30%. But it's not tending to open completely. Is this normal? Also I hear a very clearly whoosh around DISA. And my INPA shows the 5th cylinder is working quite rough green but close or sometimes into the red INPA's scale. May those by connected?
October 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The valve may be faulty. Confirm the cylinder isn't misfiring as well. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ununravelable Comments: Great manual. I have looked for ages to find something as simple and straight forward to understand and follow. Thanks Wayne an Nick.
August 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Adam Ritchie Comments: Hi Nick, Thank you for your assistance.
I re-installed the DISA and resealed the unit into the manifold with RTV. The error codes have gone and the engine is running well now. I will however look into the CC breather as well just to be sure.
Thanks again from Australia...
April 28, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Adam Ritchie Comments: Hi,

I have removed my DISA on E46 325i and the unit looks sound but the intake looks very dirty inside. Does this mean the intake has been drawing in dirty air. The DISA is also very dirty and was easy to pull out so maybe the seal is no good....

The reason I removed the DISA is I suspect a vacuum leak somewhere, rough idle and lack of power.

My main concern now is all this dirt inside the intake?

Thank you Adam.
April 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The dirt could be a faulty crankcase breather, if the dirt is oil residue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
xslickx Comments: Great write up! It helped me diagnose an incredibly lean idle. Turned out the DISA valve flap exploded! Now it's time for a replacement...
April 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:23:08 AM