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_Ethrty-Andy_ 09-23-2012 12:05 AM

318iS euro coupe
Hi Guys!

just picked up an E36 318iS M44 Motorsport (but alas Auto). The engine has a big ? over it at the moment, I got it as is and was told it overheated and potential headgasket failure. That stuff is all piece of cake to me. I do however need to faceup to learning about playing with OBD2 and later BMs though. My experience thus far is an M52B28 which i put into my E30, but ultimately ended up converting back to OBD1 we all know and love, mainly for EWS reasons.


turn key and all the lights on the dash come up like normal. turn key to start and engine clicks and then nothing. it can do it a few times, sometimes 2 sometimes 4 etc, but then eventually will not show any life at all until you disconnect the battery even for a moment, and then reconnect it and so the process continues.

The engine is not 100% assembled yet, but the basics are there, i just want to check the compression without manually winding the car over at this stage. has no MAF or radiator thermostat etc connected, is basically the block head intake etc. am i going to have to assemble the whole thing?

in a way i feel silly asking, but if this was an OBD1 car i know for a fact it would still crank etc.

thanks team

johnf 09-23-2012 03:23 AM

European E36s didn't get OBD-II (actually EOBD), except possibly in the last years of production when BMW was dropping in E46 engines, for example, a 1.9 liter engine in a 316i compact. I suspect not even possibly as EOBD was a 2001 requirement for which many manufacturers got waivers. (A few years later, a DEKRA engineer told me the list was still six pages long.)

What market comes up when you key in the VIN at

_Ethrty-Andy_ 09-25-2012 03:39 AM

managed to get life out of it by plugging in all the various plugs and putting the car together properly. then realised both the battery and my jumpstarted were flat so ill give the car another go at starting tomorrow, but the car does VERY slowly turn over now so i have life, just not enough juice to start the car. will post back if i cant get it started!

_Ethrty-Andy_ 10-03-2012 03:48 AM

wow this forum is busy! i had to go back three pages to find my thread!

Okay so iI got the car started and is drivable properly, have taken it around the block a few times, so worth fixing it up ive decided.

Today, i was working on it and left the key in the ignition and the wind caught the door and closed it, with key inside, and somehow the car locked in the process. My only key is stuck inside the vehicle. I do however have the boot open and have put a rag in there to stop it from closing overnight. But is there any way to acess the interior from the boot? this model does have fold down rear seats which so far as i can see are only acessable from inside the car, but is there a hidden lever in the boot somewhere that i can try? or any other ideas? Getting a locksmith in id rather not do, but even if i did, whats the story with the window having to drop down?

I may not like the E36 shape, but I'm eager to learn and expand my knowledge base. i know the E30 and E34 like the back of my hand, and the E36 and E34 are very similar in lots of ways.

Thanks team

crisscross 10-03-2012 05:34 AM

Wow, what a pickle :lmao:

I don't think there is a way into the car through the boot unless the seats are folded down. Your best bet would be to take the title and registration (if you guys have that in NZ) to the dealer and have them order you a new key. BMW will make up to 10 replacement keys for a vin number, and they usually overnight them from germany or new jersey. It usually takes about 1-2 days to get a key. Good luck!

miles_trail 10-03-2012 09:10 AM

Yeah, state side a replacement key runs about $50, probably about the same as a lock smith.

If you pay for my plane ticket I'll bring you a proper gearbox and pedals etc in my back pack and help install it :p.

Sent from my ADR6300 using Bimmer App

johnf 10-03-2012 09:53 AM

Assuming your boot is open and the car's central locking system still works (the boot lock locks and unlocks the front doors), you could remove the tool kit, remove the boot lid covering, unplug the boot lid switch and motor, apply 12V to the wires running to the central module (through, say, a 1K resistor) and unlock the car.

_Ethrty-Andy_ 10-04-2012 02:36 AM


Originally Posted by johnf (Post 7111028)
Assuming your boot is open and the car's central locking system still works (the boot lock locks and unlocks the front doors), you could remove the tool kit, remove the boot lid covering, unplug the boot lid switch and motor, apply 12V to the wires running to the central module (through, say, a 1K resistor) and unlock the car.

ahh good idea! i will give this a go and see what happens! I wont be ordering another key for the car, my locksmith will be able to open it if needed, but thanks for the headsup guys!

johnf 10-04-2012 06:01 AM

Just avoid the two thick wires that go to the lock motor. The central module shorts them to ground which is just the thing for causing sparks and blowing fuses. (Hence, my suggestion of the resistor.) Good luck!

_Ethrty-Andy_ 10-17-2012 12:49 AM

Sweet got into the car! I think I'm better off not saying exactly how i did it on a public forum like this, but ill just say that it is possible to reverse trip the central locking.

Right so next issue :thumbup:

As i may have mentioned above, the cooling system i found to be faulty, with both the thermostat failing to open at temperature, combined with a semi-wobbly water pump. I have replaced both of these today with genuine BMW replacements, and the car is running well now that it is actually drivable! While bleeding the cooling system however, air and steam continuously comes from the bleeder screw when i have it open to bleed. It is running a genuine radiator, but looks to be in newer-than-189xxxKMs-and-16-years-old. Which is odd because this car is a neglected car that i would put money on would never have seen service at a BMW dealership after arriving here in NZ second hand from Japan. In saying that, it also had a genuine thermostat, which again, would not have lasted anywhere near this long

Ive had about 10 E30s and 6 E34s at last count, but this is my first E36 and first M43. While most of it is cross compatable to my other experience, especially the E34s, ive never come across this issue before, on the E34s you crack the screw open, wait for air to come out and away you go.. Any ideas for this gents? something silly im missing?

thanks team! I would post photos of the car, but it has an M3 badge on the back and ricer as taillights, you dont want to see that lol.

BMW318i_ 10-17-2012 05:03 AM

Bleeding the coolant system goes something like this:

It's not a great way and gets messy but that's it. Hope the link worked, not sure with this phone :confused:

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