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From digest.v7.n325 Wed Sep 24 14:58:17 1997
From: "Tim" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 11:36:14 -0500
Subject: <E39> Door seals und Fahrvegnugen (long)

Last Tuesday (9/16) I took my new 528i (with less than 500 miles on it) to my BMW dealer for replacement of the driver-side door frame seal. The rubber had begun to fray exactly at the spot where your butt might brush against it when entering the car. (yes yes I know) The dealer acknowledged it was abnormal wear.

The car was made in June of 97 - the dealer suggested, but did not confirm, that yet another revision of the seal was released by BMW subsequent to this time. (Not certain, but I think this is rev. 3 - what someone called 'green dot' [?]) The installation took about 1 hour and was covered under warranty. The new seal looks and feels exactly like the one it replaced.

The following day the wife and I embarked on a a 1500 mile driving trip through northern Wisconsin and the Michigan Upper Peninsula. I had a certain amount of trepidation as the closest dealership would be several hundred miles away. We drove over a wide variety of road conditions, including a 39 mile stretch of wholly unimproved dirt road through a densely forested camping area. (yes, there are dirt roads and unimproved dirt roads <g>) There are some great twisty driving roads in the area, replete with beautiful scenery.

The car performed superbly for the entire trip. Needless to say, it has been quite a change of pace from the '95 M3 which it replaced. Although its comparing apples to oranges, in some respects the new 5 is a better car than the M3. The chassis is more rigid and the aluminum suspension reacts immediately to changing road conditions. I don't know if I'd say 'big go-kart' but it clung to all the dips and turns we go throw at it - and my driving style hasn't completly adjusted since the M3. ;-> (Won't surprise me to see this aluminum suspension on the new 3).

I'm not terribly pleased w/ the Contis - they tend to hunt on grooved payment and the grated steel of bridges. I suspect a 16" wheel with better tires and lower aspect ratio would improve things considerably, while making the turn-in a bit more crisp. Hopefully without sacrificing the wunderbar geezermobile ride quality the spousal unit loves so well.

We just got back and I did a thorough inspection of the door seal rubber. Everything appears to be as it should. The new seal looks fine and there is no wear on the passenger side either. We need to stay on top of the situation. (So far, I have not encountered any squeak/rattle problems which others report - knock on vavona redwood). If there are any problems associated with the latest seal revision these should be reported immediately to the dealer so they get recorded early on. If the same problems begin to reappear, I also agree its appropriate to sent a note to BMWNA in an effort to protect ourselves from any future replacement charges. I would encourage any E39 owners to report their experiences to the digest and/or to you and I.

Thanks for the update Dennis - I suggest we continue to stay in touch on this issue and any other E39 problems. I'll post this to the digest as well.

All the best,

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