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E36General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.
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Your Ride: 1995, 328i (Auto)
Dear All. My 1995 BMW 328i (Auto), the ignition key is locked on on. it does not move to OFF or Starting the engine. The dashboard is on whilest the key can be pulled out and in with not change whatsoever to the ON and or ignition. How do I remove the ingnition ? I hear I open it in such a way I can drive it keyless, whilest the key is in the ignition.
The response to the original thread - if you have an automatic, you have to pull the intake manifold off to get the starter out. If you have a manual transmission, I have heard it can be done from the bottom, but I have not tried it.
Make careful note of where all the wires and hoses go when you take it apart. You will probably want to clean or replace the PVC valve and replace the hose that drains the PVC down to the oil pan while you have that side of the engine exposed. If your power steering hoses leak, now would be a good time to do them as well.
In response to the second question that got inadvertently posted within this thread, your key cylinder is shot. This eventually happens to ALL e36s. I have replaced the locks in both my '97s.
In theory, you can release the lock cylinder by pushing a thick paper clip wire or a very thin drill bit into the little hole in the face of the lock and turning the lock to the correct position (instructions and photos are posted in various places on the web). If you can do this, it is a five minute job and all you have to buy is the lock cylinder (and maybe a new key)
In practice, even if you lube it up with light oil, these things never come apart when they are old. Therefore, you end up buying the lock cylinder AND the housing from the dealer. When you get the new lock, you will find that you can pop it apart easily with a stiff wire, but even after practicing with a new lock, you won't be able to get the old lock apart. By the time you buy the lock and the housing and a new key (your main key is likely worn out as well, you will be out around $300 - $350. Ouch.
To remove the housing, you have to pull the steering wheel (disconnect the battery several minutes before unpluging the air bag!!). Pay attention to the location and orientation of the two spacer rings. People often put them back wrong and end up with a squeaky steering wheel. Also lube the top steering column bearing when you are transferring it from the old lock housing to the new lock housing.
With the steering wheel off and the plastic shroud off the steering column, you need a dremel tool with a cutting wheel to cut slots in the tops of the security bolts that hold the lock housing on. Then use a very short straight blade screwdriver bit and a small wrench (preferably a small ratcheting box end wrench) to remove those security screws.
One housing that I got from the BMW dealer was missing the threads in a hole where the wiring clip is supposed to bolt on. I did not have a metric thread tap that size, so I ended up attaching the wiring harness to the steering column with a zip tie.
Finally, when you put the steering wheel back on, the easiest way to get the circlip back on the steering shaft is to cut a short piece of 3/4" PVC pipe about an inch and a half long. Then put the circlip in place, slide the PVC on the shaft above it, then put the nut on the end of the shaft and crank it down until the PVC pipe pushes the circlip into its notch.