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528e won't start

Discussion in 'E28 (1982-1988)' started by scottpe, May 12, 2008.

    scottpe guest

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    I have a 83 528e that has been in my family for quite some time. My middle son is about to start his driver's ED. He has been stalking this car since he was a kid. I would really like to get it running for him and make him a proud new BMWCCA memer :) any suggestions on where to start to track down the problem. I have check the battery, replaced the coil and spark plugs, before storing the car 3 years ago. Thansk in advance.

    Patrick
    NJ
    • Member

    BMWCCA1

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    Lots of potential problem areas on a car that old sitting that long, in addition to what took it off the road in the first place. I'd do some searching and look for how to test the flywheel position sensors and I'd also suspect the DME control unit for the ignition/injection located in the top of your glove box. If you can be a bit more descriptive of what it is doing and what it did when it quit years ago, you might post some specifics at MyE28.com where there are a lot more E28 enthusiasts. An Eta-engined E28 the age of yours might also have a front position sensor on the crank hub. I'm not that familiar with the Eta engines but many on that board are. Give it a try, and good luck.

    scottpe guest

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    Thanks, for the quick follow-up. The car was broken into at my friend’s house and they ripped out the radio, stole the battery, etc. My friend put another batter in to try to get it started and it wouldn’t start. He then tried to jump the car, but I'm not sure if it was done correctly. I then trailer the car back to my house and started working to try to get it started. I have been worried if the ECU was damaged when it tried to jump it but I thought I would try to replace some of the cheaper parts since the car needed the maintenance anyway. I tried check or replace everything I could by following the Bentley manual. It has been a while so I don't even remember everything that we check. I most likely will have to start dig from scratch. I do remember that it would turn over by would not start. My next steps were going to be to check ECU, fuel and starter. I could not get the starter out because where it was located, that's where I stop because of other time commitments. I had another 535i at the time, so I still had a daily driver. I post on Mye28.com to see if anyone can help me get this thing running again. Do you know how I could get the ECU CHECKED?

    Russianblue guest

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    Join mye28.com and PM a guy named Bimmerguy2002.

    He's got loads of ECUs and will be able to get you a working one with a 30-day warranty for less than $100. Can probably tell you what the problem is right off the bat too. I doubt it's the starter.

    how old was the gas in the car? 3 years?
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    jimoreno

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    I would start by replacing the main and fuel relays since they are cheap and tend to be maintenance items anyway. After that I would check the ECU inputs at the plug per the Bentley's. Also, since the problem started when they stole the radio maybe they disconnected/broke some other wires in the dash when they pulled/ripped out the radio (I hate when they do this! It happened to me in college) Is probably a good idea to remove the ECU cover in the glovebox and probably the dash section where the radio sits so you have a better view of all the wires in the area. Try to find someone with the same car to lend you their ECU for testing if all of the above fails. Also, the ETM is key for tracing this kind of electrical gremlins!
    Good Luck!

    scottpe guest

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    Thanks for the response. I have been traveling for the past few weeks but my son and I will begin working on the car. I will contact Bimmerguy2002 on mye28.com to see if he can help with testing/replacing the ECU.
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    jmc1590

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    I currently own 2 528e's, an '82 and an '87. At a point a while back, I had a similar problem with the engine turning but not starting. The first time it turned out to be the ECU. A quick swap and it fired right up. The second time it was the crankshaft position sensor, located in the bellhousing. That required changing the sensor.

    The earlier statement of checking the ECU connections per the Bentley is a very good starting point. Specifically, check the Engine Speed sensor and the Crankshaft Position Sensor. (Btw - if someone has been fooling around in the engine bay and swapped these two, the car will not start!)

    If it turns out that everything is ok up to the ECU, drop me a line. I have a spare I am willing to loan you, if you'll pay shipping to / from.

    James

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