Originally Posted by Mesbo
Thanks to everyone for the input.
The pulley tensioner has been replaced plus alternator and i think only 1 of the idler pulleys.
So you have a similar condition - I hope we can both get this solved! As for the recommendations on cooling system, I've read this everywhere else too and it freaks me out that is going to happen to every e39. I only have 104,000km on the car - should I still make all the replacements? I've done a visual (no leaks) and "felt" the hoses and seem ok, but I really know nothing in the end. My best friend is a mechanic, so I would be saving most of the labour, but I'll have to work out the part costs.
Love this site...great feedback!
As for the cooling system... I replaced the rad, water pump, thermostat, and expansion tank in the first month of ownership. The car had 138,000 Km and I didn't want to chance it. Many people think it won't happen to them, but it will happen and you really can't check to see how close you are to going "boom.... ssssssss"
Also you should change your CCV (crankcase vent valve) before the winter. They tend to ice up if you make a few short trips, and this can cause oil to be sucked from the oil pan directly into the intake. Best case: you burn oil, worst case: the cylinder can fill with oil, and the connecting rod punches a hole in the block when it tries to compress oil. It happened to a guy here who has an X5. (same engine, M54) Make sure you get the "cold climate" CCV and hoses. They are insulated to keep in any heat to reduce icing.
The E39s are great cars to drive, but it does come at a cost.