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Your Friendly Hack Is Open For Business!

Discussion in 'The Hack Mechanic Goes Online' started by hackmechanic, Aug 5, 2014.

    • Member

    001405

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    Hi Rob,
    Thanks for the DIY in the Roundel on repairing the Z3's ABS control module!
    https://www.bmwcca.org/roundel/which-he-becomes-hack-electrician
    It was about the same as another DIY on Bimmerfest:
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7911350&postcount=11
    Only yours was better written, in more detail, and with photos.
    You concluded by saying you recommended most people send theirs away for a professional repair for a couple hundred dollars, like to ModuleMaster:
    http://modulemaster.com/rebuilds/
    As this person did:
    http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...C-Lights-On-DIY-sort-of&highlight=diy asc/abs
    I guess that is a prudent recommendation in case someone screws their module up, as that post says a new module is $1,000.
    Allan
    1997 Z3
    (also 1971 and 1974 2002's back in the day)
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    sealodge

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    Hi Rob,
    I have two 320i's. A 1980 stick and a 1983 auto and both are having overheating issues.
    On hot days and heavy traffic here in the Los Angeles area lately both cars just quit while I was on the freeways! The temperature got to just below the red mark before they both shutdown. Shouldn't the auxiliary fan come on before this happens? Is that a normal thing thats built in to shut the motor down in extreme heat? Never had this happen before until these past two weeks. Any ideas?
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Have you tested your aux. fan? It's probably triggered by a temp. sensor, but whatever triggers it also should be tested.

    How does this overheating manifest itself? Does it just go hot & stay that way, regardless of whether you're running at highway speeds, stop & go street driving, steady street cruising, or idling when stopped? Or does it vary, and if so, how? Have you looked at your coolant & checked your oil to see if looks like they're mixing (ie, possible blown/bad head gasket)? Losing any coolant? Any white smoke when starting up, when driving, or pulling away from a stop?

    Any variety of possibilities - see these for mentions of some of them:

    http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1679651-1982-320i-Overheating-issue
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=543600
    http://www.stanceworks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30385

    There's no overheating safety shut-down for your engines, and, with the aluminum cyl. heads, they typically don't tolerate overheating much or too many times without running risk of damage, such as warping cylinder heads. I don't know how likely it is that it could happen without there being so much damage that the engine could cool down and run afterwards, but I have to wonder if extreme overheating might cause an engine shutdown by piston seizure in the cylinder bore. That seems more like it would be a sudden, catastrophic, & disastrous occurrence, since sudden stops of all that reciprocating mass would seem likely to have engine internals bending or breaking. Since you're talking about similar occurrences on two different vehicles, it seems very unlikely indeed that you'd have two different cars with some sort of aftermarket home-rigged hot-shutdown mechanism that somebody created and installed (which also seems exceedingly unsafe, since a malfunction there could leave somebody instantly powerless). So, on the surface, to me it's both concerning & puzzling that you had both cars stop running after overheating. Wish I had some better idea why they just shut down.

    In any case, at a minimum, it sounds like you need to check every element of your cooling system, or have an experienced shop do it, and get your cooling issue diagnosed & solved. It might have to go so far as radiator, water pump, belts, hoses, thermostat, aux-fan. & temp sensors (& anything I'm not thinking of) - hopefully no head damage or cyl. head work, that would mean removing/reinstalling the cyl. head with a new head gasket, and possibly rebuilding the cyl. head, or if it's in bad shape, sourcing a good rebuilt one. The worse consequence of a blown head gasket might be the whole engine - if the oil gets substantially diluted with coolant, than can be a problem for the survival of the crankshaft & bottom end, coolant is a lousy lubricant.

    And, as in the case of any older BMW, if you start to overheat (hit the red on the gauge), unless you can't avoid it or bigger safety concerns preclude it, to avoid the risk of cyl. head damage, it's best to shut off the engine before fully overheating. By the same token, you don't want to risk your own safety and well being, which is worth far more than whatever you might have to pay to fix an overheated engine, even if it means having to buy a new engine. I don't know about you, but I'd trade $10k for an engine replacement if it meant not getting sideswiped by a semi, rear-ended by a behemoth pickup, etc. But, if there was a safe place to pull aside and then calmly shut the engine down, I'd do that to at least try to spare further repair expense. Whatever you do, don't panic and shut off the engine while moving and find that you've got the steering column locked and can no longer steer.
    • Member

    sealodge

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    sealodge

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    Thanks for the info. regarding these overheating issues. I'll start first by installing a fan shroud on both cars and checking that the auxiliary fans are working. Thanks for the speedy reply!
    • Member

    sealodge

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    Hey Rob, I have another Question about my 1980 320i. For years when I got down to a half tank of gas the car would miss/chug/cutout but not shutoff. So I just filled it up before I reached half left and I had no problems. Would the cause be the pump inside the tank from the top under the rear seat? This was like my overheating issue that caused this 1980 to miss/chug, but I had a full tank of gas that day it was very hot and in stop and go traffic. Very similar to the half tank issue. Another question I had is about my 1983 320i Automatic. When I bought this car last March the blower didn't work and neither does the cigarette lighter or the power mirror adjuster on the drivers side door. My mechanic did some testing and says the blower resistor or what is also known as the final stage unit might be the cause. Are these three things related in anyway to this blower resistor?
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    tonywaters

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    Hello Rob, thanks for all the great articles providing both knowledge and entertainment. I have a 01 330Ci convertible. During the summer the DSC light would flash for a few seconds (not a DSC situation though, dry road, steady speed) and then the right front brake would apply briefly (less than a second), then both the DSC and Brake warning lights come on steady. This would happen every evening on the way home. This appears to be temperature related as on cool mornings it doesn't happen. And as the weather here in SC got cold it has happened only when the ambient temp went back north of 75 degrees. Suggestions on where to look? The Bentley manual points to the box under the seat that senses yaw but I covet your thoughts on this. Thank you.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Sealodge, just so you don't think I'm impersonating Rob, you may have missed that I'm _not_ Rob (I'm kinda reminded of the Cheech & Chong "Dave's not here" bit...:) ) - Rob seems to pop in here somewhat irregularly (&, with all those cars & everything else needing tending, that seems perfectly understandable!) - but, rather than leave you waiting for an indeterminate time, thought I'd try to offer what insight I might that would hopefully be of help.

    I'm hardly intimately familiar with E21 circuit intricacies, but I'd be doubtful the blower resistor is in any way tied into the mirror or cigarette lighter (that doesn't mean it actually isn't, I just wouldn't expect that). The blower resistor allows for the blower fan to operate at different speeds, presumably by different electrical resistance levels that varies the voltage delivered to the fan, so I'd think it somewhat illogical if it's tied to any other functions other than the blower fan. My guess for the mirror & lighter socket would be the usual - ground, continuity, fuses, relays, switch(es), & so on. Given the age, I wouldn't be surprised at a dead mirror motor either.

    Mike Miller (of the Roundel's Tech Talk section) would be a good person to field all your questions on both 320i's - you might give him a shot at: techtalk@roundel.org. I'm not sure what to suggest about the seeming fuel-starvation at the half-tank level, although I imagine it's not unheard of to have sticking/inop/faulty fuel-level sensors, or maybe even a presumably less-likely bad/faulty indicator dash gauge.

    Tony - not my field of expertise, but I've seen E46's at track events suffer failure of some part of the ABS electronics, some module or the ABS ecu, something like that; you might be seeing early indications of failure. Another good question for Mike Miller if Rob doesn't pop back in here for awhile - also google & search bimmerforums.com, bimmerfest.com & E46fanatics.

    If you guys resolve your issues, please update us in your model's section of the forum, which will help others down the line search for similar issues & find solutions; here, it can get buried & difficult for others to find later.
    see:
    https://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?forums/e21-1977-1983.26/

    or

    https://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?forums/e46-1999-2006.23/
    • Member

    392850

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    392850

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    Rob: We met in Stillwater MN a few months ago at the NorthStar event. I really enjoyed your presentation. I too have a 72 Tii (Agave) that is currently in the process of restoration. I recall your blog post about acquiring a Suburban load of bumpers as part of a cache of parts. I am in need of a rear bumper for the 72--actually just the rubber beltline piece. Can I help clean up your yard and take one of the rear bumpers off your hands?
    Mike
    mrgesq@hotmail.com
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    You might want to also try emailing directly, I don't have a Roundel on hand, but his email addy should be with his Roundel column.
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    ahillie

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    Your articles are great stuff. You give me confidence to overcome the dumb mistakes I have made while working on my cars.
    86' E24. Intermittent power loss. Replaced fuel filter and fuel pressure is okay. I think it might be the air-flow unit. How would you check it?
    • Member

    22417

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    Hey Rob
    I've always enjoyed your columns as well. I'm a retired ER doc and lifelong amateur mechanic and fabricator. Glad to see that you've learned the power of the blue wrench...many friends are still awed when we pull down an exhaust system and get to the manifold (supposedly copper) nuts.

    I think we all have our thresholds for fixing or living with it, but I'd like to throw out into the ring the idea that certain parts of certain systems of a certain age are well worth replacing before failure. You might guess that brake and fuel lines / parts/, as noted in your recent article, fall into this category for me. I have had just one ruptured (metal) brake line, 30 years ago, to underscore the thought. Many ER visits, though not all of them of the "Hey y'all, watch this" category, are clearly the predictable result of avoidable actions or non-actions. Experience is a great teacher, but it's best to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the pain ourselves. The written word, e.g. your articles, is a great vehicle for such enlightenment.

    On the topic of welding, our local community college has several courses available...I'm sure this isn't unique. Even basic welding skills and equipment are a big step in the skills and project abilities of any mechanic.

    Paul Mele
    Tarheel Chapter
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    DonMcMahon

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    Regarding your cheapskate wiper mechanism project, couldn't the "ended" pivot arm be picked up from a "recycler?"

    Perhaps extricating the item and looking for the cheap kluge would be my way.

    Thanks for your articles - I look forward to them.

    Don McMahon, Okemos, MI
    • Member

    Ken.S.330

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    Bah, you guys are getting all fancy with your 2 wiper solutions, one wiper is enough. Especially since the left one is working. ;)
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    640ijims

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    Question for you or anyone, I own a 2014 f12/13 640i with std 18 inch rims/tires. I have two opportunities presenting themselves, 1. A set of new car take offs from a f01/02 - 2015 "m"- 19" wheels and tires; this set is square. 2. A a set on new car take offs from an f01/02, 2015 "m" 19" - staggered wheels/tires.
    My research tells me the only difference other than the obvious rim size is a 5-8 mm less positive offset, will thesis fit and clear everything on the f12/13?
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Didn't do a comprehensive model search for all possible 19" M-wheels for F01/02, but checking realoem.com for last-month production F01 740i & 760i, that shows 19" M wheels Front 8.5x19, et 25, & Rear 9.5x19, et 39. ( http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=YA61-EUR-04-2015-F01N-BMW-740i&diagId=36_1411 ) Guessing those might be the wheels you're looking at -

    The 2nd chart here ( http://www.bmwforums.info/bmw-wheel...e-sizes-wheel-et-offset-wheel-bolt-sizes.html ) shows similar-size wheels for non-M6 F12/13 as Front 8.5x19, et 33, & Rear 9x19, et 44, & a same-width-as-above rear 9.5x21, et 45

    Plugging in a stock 19" rear tire size for F12/13 (275/35R19) from the second chart on 19x9's, et 44 & comparing that to the M-wheels w/ same-size tires 275/35/19 on 19x9.5, et 39, shows the M-wheels stick out 5mm further - you'll have to compare the tire sizes you plan to run to see what it says for clearances. Looks like if you ran that size in the rear, probability is high the outboard edge of the tires wouldn't be rubbing the fenders.

    Fitment comparison tool: http://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.jsp

    Comparing front, 245/40R19 on 8.5x19, et 33 to 245/40R19 on 8.5x19, et 25, about the same as above - stick out 8mm further, widened track, says clearance likely ok - bumping up the front widths on the comparison tool, it says ok up to 255, but warns of potential clearance issues for tires over 255 width. How true any of these clearances actually are for the car, I wouldn't know - but, seems logical to me having clearance reduced or moved half-a-centimeter-or-so outboard likely wouldn't be a problem.

    You can also put together a wheel & tire package for your car on the Tire Rack website (tirerack.com) and compare wheels & offsets using the selection filters, or just do that individually for wheels to make comparisons or see what range of wheel offsets show for T.R.'s offerings for you car in 19" sizes.

    Looks like bolt battern & center-bore are the same, so presumably, no problem there.

    If the square setup is the wider of the 7'er rear size all around (275's), rubbing on the fronts would appear to be a question or possibility.
    • Member

    640ijims

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    Thanks very much...
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    rivermax

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    Rob, can you help me out?
    My check engine light keeps coming on in my 2007 760Li BMW. I bought it used in 2015 with 70,000 miles and the check engine light came on shortly after I bought it. I returned it to the dealer I bought it from who then took it to a BMW shop to diagnosed the problem as a "Fuel Mixture Adaptation" problem. When I got the car back the check engine light was not on so I assumed the problem was resolved. About a month later the check engine light came back on. I took it to my local BMW dealer and they said the same thing, that the problem was a "Fuel Mixture Adaptation" problem and they could not tell me how much it might cost to repair. They wanted to try to diagnose the problem without giving me any idea of how much it might cost. That was unacceptable to me so I looked for another solution. The car runs fine and I only use premium gas from brand name gas stations. But the check engine light continues to stay on and I want the problem fixed once and for all. I then found a local mechanic who specialize in foreign cars. He changed the spark plugs and did a smoke leak test and said he could not find a problem. My vacuum vent valves seemed to be in good shape. But the fault codes keep coming up as P2187 and P2189. He doesn't know how to fix this problem. Does anyone have a suggestion of how to resolve this problem?
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Rob hasn't been here in quite awhile, although he may not be able to help much with late-model electronic gremlins as you describe. Charlson may have some insight, unfortunately I can't tell you anything either!

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