View Full Version : Anyone with an E39 ever had to change out their radiator?

10-22-2005, 09:12 PM
I have a 2000 E39 M5. I loaned it to my wife Friday as I was dropping her minivan off at the shop, and she call me in tears at lunchtime. Seems she was at the bank a mile from the house, and let the car roll into a parking curb. She busted a fitting to the radiator and the coolant was running out. I told her to wait 30 minutes to let the car completely cool down, then drive straight, no other errands, I mean straight home and park it. When I got home I checked the radiator and the bottom hose fitting is cracked - water pours out of as fast as you can pour it in. I have to fix it in the driveway or get it towed, can't limp to my mechanic, that's for sure.

Two questions for the group. Has anyone ever changed out an E39 radiator? All of the stuff is tight in the front, but it looks doable. Also, has anyone had a similar situation? The front air dam is just scratched on the bottom, there's no evidence of collision, but the fragility of the radiator is just shocking.

While I've thought about divorce, the amout of leverage this will give me is too sweet to pass up.


David Hicks
10-23-2005, 10:00 AM
The e39 rads are pretty weak - plastic necks. Although I'm not sure from your description if that's where yours broke. It's not too tough to do yourself, but you will need a big wrench and a fan-holding tool to remove the cooling fan. The wrench is probably 32 mm, and you can use a strap wrench to hold the fan. The fan nut is reverse threaded.

10-25-2005, 07:01 PM
covers the entire cooling system in an e39 540i, including the radiator.

Good Luck,


10-28-2005, 10:02 PM

You might want to contact them and see about an alloy radiator. A guy I know just put one in his 528it and the radiator cost around $600. At least then you do not have to worry about the plastic cracking.