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E21, E30 General discussion and technical help for 1975-1991 3 series cars.

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Old 02-14-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
mmihacsi

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Question E30 318i Will Not Start


Hello- I am a newbie to this Forum and appreciate any help as my rig is sitting in the driveway - dead!

so this is a familair theme to other members and after reading past posts their guidance feel short of advising me on my engines problem. Short of towing to the local BMW garage I would like to try it here:

1. 318i 1983 unmodified engine (stock)
2. Battery charged, spark plug wires have a heathy spark (so it cranks fine)
3. Gas flowing from gas filter hose in a good stream
4. Power (+12Vdc) from Fuel Pump Relay outputs while cranking
5. No gas in cylinders upon removing plugs

Background: Started car several days ago in the morning to warm it up. After about 5 minutes it died on its own and refuses to start sounding like its gas-starved but I suspect electrics since that is 80% of all car failurs in one form or another.

What next should I try/test?

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:30 PM   #2
Big Evil
 
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Ok, first things first. While you're cranking does the check engine light stay lit? If so you're not getting a crank signal and the car will never start. If it's sounding like its starved for fuel, when was the last time you replaced the fuel filter? (over a year, do it). You may want to do a volume test on the fuel, just because you're getting it doesn't mean you're getting enough. Not enough volume = bad pump. Finally the injectors. There is a test light called a "noid" light. It plugs into the injector harness and flashes every time the computer commands the injector to fire. Get one, if it flashes your electrics are working and your injectors/fuel system is clogged. Beyond that I'd need more info to give you anything else
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
mmihacsi

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Big Evil....
Thanks for replying. You win the Prize for being the first.
Ok so I will take your suggestions and try them out.
1. I am missing the service indicator board - arrives today to install and check codes. This should tell me more things.
2. I placed a large container on the aft end of the fuel filter line and it pumped alot in only a few cranks. (Subjective I know but WTH)
3. I'lll search for a "noid" Light and see if I can get one fedex'd. I suspect electrical since the stats are high that fails first.

M
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:01 PM   #4
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"noid" lights are made by bosch they are basically an led in a plastic housing with a plug in that mimics the plug in on the back of the fuel injector. Unplug the injector, plug in the light, crank it over you will know immediately if its getting a signal. When you say "aft" end of the filter is that the pump side or the injector side which would be the discharge from the filter to the injectors? Also when you start it does the battery light on the dash come on momentarily? If not replace it. That is the fusible link in the charging system and your alternator will not supply any voltage the cars electrical system otherwise.....giving you a hinky electrical problem. Hopefully your motronic unit didn't get cooked but lack of an si board can cause weird things to happen. Good luck

K
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
mmihacsi

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More on this this after spending 5 hrs on it

1. Check engine Light refuses to light at any time through all cycles (Power, Start). Replaced cluster board (service indicator board) in Instrument cluster and still no Check Engine light). Hmmm. Maybe someone knows what triggers the lamp....or the conditions needed before it does come on.
2. Performed Fuel Pump, Fuel relay, Cold start Fuel valve, solennoid test, and Fuel Rail disphram test. The last produced 32oz in 30sec.
3. Rung out (12vdc, and continuity) on Jetonicc connector as recommended by Bendix manual- fine
4. Removed Air flow inlet and tested throat valve for Ohms (closed 400 - 1000 open) though it was not very linear and had some plateaus from one to the other. There was excess gas in the bottom of the neophrene air inlet neck in the bottom which I sopped up. No cracks (air) to the elboe.
5. Replaced ECU previously.
6. Rechecked Throttle control potentiometer (connected to accelerator) and it is zero ohms throttle closed and opens to infinity.
7. Car wants to start. Crank it and it kicks and runs for 1 sec then quits.

I am a bit flabergasted and leaning towards a blown Jetonic
mayne
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:55 AM   #6
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Obviously make sure the bulbs are good in the dash cluster. The MAF (mass air flow) sensor should be linear if its not, the potentiometer in the housing may be worn out and giving the computer conflicting info, your TPS (throttle position sensor) however sounds suspect (should have a resistance value open, infinity means an open/beak in the circuit). They also wear out, and if it too is sending erroneous info to the computer your car will try to start, maybe run then choke out (when you hit the gas). Check all the connectors, probably look at replacing the TPS and/or MAF and double check all the vacuum lines as a big leak in one of them will also cause that same type of issue. Does your car have a vac boost on the brakes? Bad booster could mean HUGE vac leak, undetectable under the hood. If its trying to start and actually firing for a minute then chances are your computers are functional. The check engine light should come on as soon as you turn the key (self check) then go out once the car starts. Again like the battery light, it needs to work or other stuff doesn't. If you were in Phoenix I'd swing past and take a look.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:33 PM   #7
mmihacsi

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Check Engine Light is laughing at me!!!

I swapped out the bulb with the brake bulb - and low and behold the bulb was good (it lit). So Check engine Light remains off at all times.....are you sure this means the ECU is ok?

I must have had things backwards on describing the TPS behaviour. Its been replaced and shows zero ohms peddle up and open wehen depressed.

Hmmm Brake vacume booster huh? I will check.

Ok if I send the car to you? Appreciate the offer - I am sure if I tow it to the local BMW place they will sock me with just about anything they feel like...

Mayne
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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As far as the light is concerned, I'm not sure why its not working but, lack of an si board can cause weird stuff to happen. But if the car starts then the computer HAS to be working at least a bit. The thing is your TPS is a keystone sensor. EVERYTHING gets its marching orders from that signal. With the key on engine off and a DMM (digital multi meter) attached to ground, backprobe the signal wire (most likely the center wire) with the positive lead, use a long sewing needle as a probe. (This is in the car with the sensor plugged in). Full closed (idle) you should read about .5 volts DC. Full open (wide open throttle) will be around 4.5 volts DC. If you get any other read or the voltage drops out your sensor is bad and is most likely your main problem (lack of a signal from the TPS MAY be causing the check light issue as well). A bad TPS can cause ALL kinds of expensive replace and repair events (transmissions, computers, blah blah blah.......seen it) and none of them will ever fix the problem until the TPS itself is repaired and sending a good signal. As far as the beemer shop, if they're good, it shouldn't be a BIG deal, but.....well that's a call you get to make. If you do take it make sure they test the sensors first (TPS, CKP, and MAF) before they move on to components like the computers etc. Maybe a 150 dollar fix vs. pushing a 2000 dollar fix and doesn't fix it, most Techs I know like the quick 10 minute out the door kind of job anyway. Less to bite you in the butt :-)
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:50 PM   #9
mmihacsi

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Ok Ok Ok......I'll check the TPS again. I think I have a old Simpson 260 laying around here from Elec Engr'g days.....(just kidding I have a DMM too). I orignally checked it while installed and off as well testing the resistance across both sides of the pot. But I did not check under power. Will do and report.
Thank you Sir.....mucho help you have been.
Mayne
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:22 PM   #10
Big Evil
 
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I'm just hoping it works and the silly thing starts and runs normally (yeah, you too huh) :-)
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:35 PM   #11
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Any luck with the 4 banger beast? I'm anxiously awaiting a successful, hell yeah its running great............
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
mmihacsi

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Got back from Vacation and the darn thing did not fix itsself.

So I swapped out to a new Fuel Pump relay after finding out the 12V was not there assuming the coil was bad...no luck. And there it sits being a pain in the a__. I rung out the lines into the Jetronic (with it disconnected of course) and found no opens.

so I guess I will have to pop foir a Jetronic module from someone that offers a money back exchange in case that does not fix on swap out. I am at the rip out and replace stage of this effort since it is logic defying. and since I dont have a schematic for the Jetronic module nor want to oipen it up.....then here I am wondering if I should continue to invest in time and money or just have AAA tow it to the jobber.

Mayne
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #13
Big Evil
 
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I kinda hate to say it, but that may actually be your best option at this point. If they can't find anything wrong with it and say that's what you need, then you can always just pay them for the diagnostic and then swap it yourself.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:47 AM   #14
mmihacsi

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You may be right. Thanks for your support - your time to reply is appreciated.
I went ahead and ordered another used exact-match Jetronic from Bavarian Auto REcycling and Used Parts and should be here Tuesday then I will know if I am cracked or not. I saw a Boach Tester was available sometimes on E-Bay - but I have only one use for it then would sell it. Might as well get the Jetronic. I will post a reply either way.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:48 PM   #15
mmihacsi

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318i Starts Now

Yay.......
New DME was the solution - tested everything else so it had to be it. Car leaped to be started after installing and is purring like a kitten. Thanks to BIG EVIL and his guidance plus his offer to look at the car though it was 3 states from him. Got an exact match from Bavaian Recycling for resonable price - but who cares the car runs and its out of the front of the house so I dont look like a Jeff Foxworthy Red Neck.
m
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