535i stolen, recovered, replaced steering column... Won't start - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:02 AM
Billy535i Billy535i is offline
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Location: Danbury, CT
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 1989 535i
535i stolen, recovered, replaced steering column... Won't start

I have a 1989 535i 5 speed with a driver side airbag with 280k miles.

I installed a complete steering column with wheel (no airbag) from a 1990 525i automatic transmission model with no driver side airbag, and the car won't start. All the lights and gauges come on and everything has power but the engine won't turn over to start, and the battery is fully charged.

Back story:

I have been driving and maintaining it for a long time with minimal problems. The other nite, some junkie broke into my car and popped the ignition out of the steering column.

I got a used complete steering column with steering wheel, harness, ignition, and key from a junkyard. I had to fabricate 2 of the metal mounting brackets and I got the wheel bolted into position in the proper place.

I connected the 4 harness clips (2 black, 2 white). It wouldn't turn over. I tried reconnecting the 2 orange harness clips (by door mount on driver side... the original airbag wheel had one black wire going into the wheel with an orange clip). I also tried running 12V power to the single wire on the new non-airbag wheel. Still nothing.

The BMW specialist at Autotechnic who has been awesome before said I need to jump a wire to get power to the ignition. Another person said I have to get the key coded to the computer.

I'm spinning my wheels here but not in a good way. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:22 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
Location: earth
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,403
Mein Auto: car
I once elected to change my entire dashboard. Tge old one was badly warped and i suddenly found a good one at a great price. The indy did the change, but the car wouldnt start. The problem was solved by taking the wiring harness out of the old dashboard and using it in place of the harness in the new one.

I am not sure if this experience applies to you but please think if it does. If so, find a way to test drive this idea before performing actual work.

Also, check if your fusible link is ok. That could be busted.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:50 PM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
I'm from NJ. So What!?!
Location: Near "The Situation" sadly :(
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,232
Mein Auto: What they Drive
FWIW you may have to get keys cut for the ignition.(common situation for theft recovery auction cars. not saying yours falls in that catagory,but situation is similar)
or go back to that yard and grab the ECU and lock cylinders (doors,trunk) out of that car.

Last edited by MySatinDoll; 12-08-2012 at 09:52 PM.
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