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Major maintenance to be done

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, Apr 21, 2008.

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    MGarrison

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    well, having a convenient, secure, covered area, or garage for car work is an advantage. Your car may or may not have to pull the crank nut. I'm not sure I know anyone w/ a 400 ft-lb torque wrench. When I _did_ have to pull the nut to replace the front crank seal, I marked the nut's position, and tightened it until the marks lined up again, figuring that was close enough. Had to use a length of pipe something like 4 ft. long over my large 1/2" breaker bar to get the leverage to break it free and re-tighten. A torque wrench w/ that capacity is on of those tools-you-hope-you-can-borrow-because-you-made-your-mechanic-your-best-friend.

    I would ask for a gas allowance or reimbursement or see if there's anything they're willing to do, considering gas prices lately. It never hurts to ask, as long as you ask politely.
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    az3579

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    Well seeing as the service is due for Wednesday at the shop (there goes another paycheck), it's too late to back out now. I'd love to save myself the $200 but I lack in courage to perform the task(s) at hand. Not only that, but my car stalled a good 6 times today and almost stalled 3 times. I can't wait 'till the weekend. In fact, I can't wait 'till Wednesday, but what am I gonna do for $200.



    I'll probably get the reimbursement, but that's another courage that I lack. :eek:





    Is the really anything else that I should consider before I head on into "financial recovery" mode? I really want to get as much service done in this time frame as possible so that I'd have an easier time tracking what maintenance needs to be done at what mileage. Sooooo easy to replace all the 30k items when the mileage is at a certain point rather than having to replace this at this mileage and a few thousand later replace this one, despite both being 30k items. I can't mentally stand things being all over the place. Hell, if one little thing is out of place when I'm putting something back to together, I'd rather take it all apart and make it right than to just finish because I like everything nice, neat, and organized (and the same, mind you).
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    hmmm.. timing belt, tensioner, water pump, distributor cap & rotor, coolant flush, valve adjust - possible you might need an accessory belt or cooling hose as they get into things and get a closer look, but that's not absolute unless they're shot, or nearly so.

    To do a water pump, you have to do the timing belt - as I recall you said your water pump had been replaced that you knew of? In any case, if you're strapped for cash and the water pump tests ok (excessive play in the shaft is not what you want, for instance), then you can just do the timing belth and tensioner.

    My mechanic always suggests just doing a water pump while you're at it for peace of mind (assuming the _new_ water pump doesn't leak; thus the importance of quality parts).

    I think on your car you have to unplug the wire from the oil pressure sender, that connector may have a metal wire you have to pry off, in order to pull off the connector; otherwise it'll be a metal wire that you push in I think, to be able to pull the connector.

    But, for the basics you're tackling, I think you got it covered.
    • Member

    az3579

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    No, the water pump in the car was there from the previous owner's 'rule' over the car. I bought the following items for the shop to replace tomorrow:

    * Timing belt
    * Timing belt tensioner (checked and is marked Z 127)
    * Water pump
    * Distributor cap
    * Rotor
    * Valve cover gasket



    Sorry for asking so many questions but I usually self sufficient. Unfortunately, I don't have the knowledge to answer my own questions, so here goes:

    I hear that on the newer cars, there is no distributor (e.g. E39 540i). I hear that the timings are electronically controlled instead. When I replaced my ignition coil to (hopefully) fix my stalling issue, I noticed that my ignition coil is a cylindrical object mounted to the firewall on the passenger compartment. I've seen pics of the ignition coil(s) on an E36 and noticed that these are 6 separate 'box' looking units that look like they would go where my spark plugs are current located. Are these units like that because the E36 doesn't have a distributor as well and instead the timings are administered through these "box" units directly to the spark plug instead of going through a distributor/wires?
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    cj morgan guest

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    it's probably a good idea to replace power steering, air conditioning (if you have it) alternator belts and all the hoses. these are very cheap parts that we'll be easy to replace while your getting the timing belt, water pump etc changed.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Those have already been replaced some time ago within half a year.

    Besides, the car's sitting in their garage right now. I can pick it up right before I go to work tomorrow morning.

    Autohaus guest

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    When/where did you top out at 150mph+???!!!!!
    • Member

    az3579

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    In my bedroom. :D


    I took apart my cluster to replace some gauges and thought "Wouldn't it be nice if my car wouldn't wimp out at only 115?" so I took a pic with the needle topping out...
    (notice the 0's on the odometer - replacing the broken odometer)


    ... reminds me of when my brother had his 540i. 150+mph before the limiter threw us forward from the massive torque. Sold it for $7500 because he desparately needed money. :(

    Autohaus guest

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    Did you get your car back from the shop?
    • Member

    az3579

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    No. I was pissed that I had to hitch a ride this morning. Someone's coming to pick me up around lunch time to take me home so I can go get my car (right across the street). If it's not ready, then I'm afraid I'm gonna have to walk back to work and back home because nobody will be available to pick me up in the afternoon.


    I figured it would be done in one day; it's not something that takes a mechanic more than a day, is it? My brother says the job "would take up the whole day"; I figured maybe a 7-8 hour job. Oh well.

    Can't complain for the price.
    • Member

    az3579

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    No, I can.



    Went to pick it up today... $450, out of nowhere.

    Not only that. I get in the car and STALL. I try to pull out of the parking lot, STALL. I try to make the left at that intersection and STALL in the middle of the intersection. I go up the street and the engine hesitates big time and STALL, TWICE going up the hill. I turned around and let it coast all the way back down and had to leave it.



    Looks like the distributor cap/rotor was NOT the issue. Now I'm really nervous because the next likely culprit is the crank sensor, which is a ***** to get to because you have to remove the whole front end again, which is another x2 for the labor. I just CAN'T AFFORD THIS DAMNED CAR ANYMORE.



    In total, I have spent over $2500 on this car in the last 1.5 year and only a QUARTER of that was in maintenance. I'm at an absolute loss for words; over 285,000 mile and it runs like a champ... when it runs. It's as though I get all of the complicated problems that can never be solved immediately and without multiple visits.

    I can't sell it because I can't afford any other BMW, and I will not drive anything else because the drive to/from work is the ONLY thing in my day that I enjoy. I cannot have that in any other car, at least what's available to me. Why spend so much if I can never afford it? Because I never have the lump sum to spend on buying a car at once. Can't buy on credit because then I have to get full insurance, which is suicide if you're male and under 25.



    Somebody shoot me... :mad:

    Autohaus guest

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    Your problem may not be that serious. Since money is the concern, try asking for a raise or take out a small personal loan and get your car to a real independant BMW shop. If only you could get your car to my shop, my mechanic could probably pinpoint the problem in no time.......Don't give up :)
    • Member

    az3579

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    Well the crank sensor is the likely culprit, as per the shop I took it to. My brother was saying this a while back but for some reason I ignored him. I should have paid attention...


    The last time I had the car serviced about a month and a half ago, I paid a hefty $1700 bill out of my own savings money. This was for them to fix a transmission leak. I was having problems with hesitation at the time, but it would rear its ugly head maybe once every week and the engine wouldn't really stall but instead hesitate for a second or two before resuming operation. As a result, they tested the fuel pump and it checked out OK. Since then, the hesitation has gotten to a stall about 3-5 times in a 10 minute trip. Amazingly, the one day there were no problems, not a single hesitation or stall, was the day I attended the Driver's School and for that I am infinitely grateful...

    Regarding the crank sensor, the Bentley manual showed the radiator and fan removed in order to access the sensor, and as a result, would require extensive labor again to get to it.

    Autohaus guest

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    Too bad the shop couldn't have just replaced the part while they were around it. Is this something you are willing to tackle at home?
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    • Member

    az3579

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    Reference the previous page for what was done.

    I was going to do the whole job myself with the supervision of my brother, but he, for the second week in a row, has let me down by not being 'available'. So I had the shop do it for me.


    Every time I stalled, I always had a hard time starting the car again without opening the hood. Every time I got into the engine bay, I unplugged and plugged back in some of the spark plug wires into the distributor. Then the car would start. As a result, I thought that the distributor cap/rotor because of how the car would start up right after messing with it. Also, at my last tune-up, I didn't replace the cap/rotor like I should have and figured that has finally caught up with me. So, everything that the shop did yesterday had to be done, regardless of whether or not my car stalls. It just so happens that this stalling thing became critical right after I wanted to take the car from the shop. They have done whatever I requested of them and diagnosing was not one of them. I was *hoping* that the cap/rotor would be the cause of my aggravation, but that wasn't the case. The stalling now really isn't their fault; it's mine. :(
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    MGarrison

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    I don't have my Bentley manual here to look at it, but if the crank sensor is similar to the 325i's, you may not have to go to all that much hassle to replace it.

    This thread seems to suggest that -
    http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/3-series-e21-e30/crank-angle-sensor-wiring-diagram-15248.html

    If the realoem diagram roughly corresponds to how it's actually installed, looks like you get to it from underneath the car. Might be able to do it without jacking it up if you're skinny, I don't know... you'd still be jammed under the car tho.

    I think they can be tested using a multimeter, but I don't have those specs at the moment.

    Check this pelican parts page, and click your part to see the larger pic - looks like it's secured w/ one bolt, probably an allen head machine screw/bolt.

    http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/catalog/shopcart/BE30/POR_BE30_ELignt_pg3.htm

    That page shows a timing sensor as well, I'm not exactly sure where that mounts on your engine - I wonder if it could be related to your stalling issue.

    Presumably the construction of the 325e crank sensor isn't much different from the 325i crank sensor - the wire insulation gets brittle after 20 years, and the wires can break. On 325i's though, if the ecu isn't getting the pulse signal, it won't run. I'd think 325e's would be similar, but I don't know for sure.

    Go here, check picture 6 - shows the crankshaft sensor, according to the article.
    http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tec...ming-Belt/101-Projects-20-E30-Timing-Belt.htm

    Since that sensor is held in w/ a clip, and the other one is bolted, it appears there's two ignition-related sensors on 325e's. Sorry not to be more specific, my experience is w/ the 'i' motors.

    Running problems certainly can be a hassle to diagnose; do everything you can to narrow it down before your next spending decision -

    good luck!
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    • Member

    az3579

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    Well what angered me is that I suffered today without a car and being stuck to someone else's schedule only to find out they haven't touched my car since yesterday due to a lack of time... as though I have the time to merrily sit around, going insane that I can't drive, waiting for them to look at the car... right.


    On Monday, the diagnosis better begin. I'm not spending another dime 'till they can tell me with all certainty what the problem is. They tell me it's a pain in the arse to get to the sensor and I tend to agree. I looked at that Pelican article a few days ago and saw that not only do you have to take out the radiator and fan assembly, but also the sensor wire goes under or into the engine area, where I may not be able to work on it. Keep in mind I have no work space; I park the car on the street and definitely don't have a car lift. I've got maybe one jackstand in the garage with a floor jack, but the only places I could jack the car up are spots where the pavement slopes. I don't feel like getting crushed by the very car that's causing my misery.




    I am going through serious withdrawal symptoms here; if I don't get my hands on my M-Tech steering wheel soon I'm gonna probably end up in the hospital... :(

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