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E28 (1982 - 1988)

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010, 10:20 AM
Dude325i Dude325i is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Mein Auto: 1992 325i - Green
1984 528e - Can't get her started!!! Help!!

Well, I am no newbie to BMWs but at the same time I am no expert. The back story of the car (which is a little long) is in regular font, if you don't want to read this information scroll to the bottom and read the bold text. I have a 1984 528e that I rescued from south Georgia early this year. Going down there, I was under the impression that the car was in running condition and I was prepared to pay $400 for the car which I though was a steal. When I opened the hood of the car, running condition was not the situation. Field mice/squirrels had nested under the hood of the car and the engine bay was full of sticks, acorns, and other debris. After seeing this, I was prepared to throw in the towel because paying for a car in this condition was not a good idea. I called the owner (who was living in missouri) and informed him of the condition of the car and let him know that I was not willing to pay anything for the car. At this point, he gave me the car for free. Now I am realizing that free is not always "free."



So I got the car home and started cleaning out the engine bay so that i could fully assess the condition. I installed a new battery and tried to start it but the started was frozen. I removed the starter and got it broken free. Once it was reinstalled, she still would not start. I replaced the 2 reference sensors on the bell housing, changed out the fuel filter and whalah! she started right up! Smooth idle and all. I drove her on a 5 mile test drive and everything seemed to be go pretty well (considering the car had not been driven in 5 years). I live in atlanta and the car is stored at my parents house which is an hour south so I figured that next time I would pick up where I left off.



The next time I was at home, I got her started again pretty easily but there was very limited throttle response. When I would rev up the engine, it would bog down and stall. I made an attempt to drive her up to the gas station for fresh fuel but this turned out to be much more of an experience than a fuel run. On the 1 mile drive to the gas station, she wasbogging down really badly which I believe is attributed to a bad air/fuel ratio. At full throttle the car was only going 35-40mph. Just before I pulled into the gas station, the undercoating of the car around the exhaust ignited ultimately catching the undercarriage of the car on fire. I assume that this happend because she was running with too much fuel and the exhaust spontaneously combusted. We got the fire put out quickly and there was no apparent damage other than some charred undercoating. We had to tow her home from the gas station and she hasn't started since.



Since the gas station extravaganza, I have made mulitple attempts to get her running again and I am starting to run out of ideas. I replaced the main relay (which was kind of finnicky to start with). This did help b/c now i can hear the fuel pump turn on again. That being said, when I checked for fuel just before the fuel rail, it was abundant. Going from here I was assuming that it had to be something with the ignition system so I replaced the spark plugs and the plug wires. Sill no start. She turns over fine but I cant get her started.



In my past experiences with my first car (1984 533i) I learned that there is a mulitude of gremlins that can prevent these cars from starting. Can anyone help!!!???
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Adam Dudenhoeffer
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1992 BMW 325i
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2010, 10:53 AM
south26 south26 is offline
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Location: Dayton, OH
 
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Mein Auto: 535i 1989
Have you done a fuel pressure test? You may not be getting the right pressure, which would be the FPR on the fuel rail. With running it on 5 year old gas you might have clogged all 6 of the injectors. Have you tried cleaning up all of the fuses/connections? are you getting spark? could be a bad coil. Were the reference sensors damaged in the fire? How is your O2 sensor? Have you bought the Bentley?


Andy
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2010, 02:38 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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Location: in the sticks you piney
 
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Mein Auto: rescued bmw's
wow...pics or it didn't happen...

seriously, though, that's an awful thing to have happen...

have you verified spark to the cylinders?? (use a spark plug tester, not the 'screwdriver trick) and pulse to the injectors?? (this can be checked with a 194 bulb)

if spark, then verify fuel pressure (2 pumps on these cars...) and i would suggest replacing the fuel filter anyway due to sitting for so long.

if spark and fuel, then you are looking compression. if compression checks out ok, then i would suspect a restricted exhaust.

you could try to remove the o2 sensor (probably a good thing to replace given the driving performance stated) and see if it runs. if so, then repair the restriction (most likely the cat, but may be the muffler, you'll need to check)

let us know what you find.

good luck.


df
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2010, 03:24 PM
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catso catso is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,958
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude325i View Post
Well, I am no newbie to BMWs but at the same time I am no expert. The back story of the car (which is a little long) is in regular font, if you don't want to read this information scroll to the bottom and read the bold text. I have a 1984 528e that I rescued from south Georgia early this year. Going down there, I was under the impression that the car was in running condition and I was prepared to pay $400 for the car which I though was a steal. When I opened the hood of the car, running condition was not the situation. Field mice/squirrels had nested under the hood of the car and the engine bay was full of sticks, acorns, and other debris. After seeing this, I was prepared to throw in the towel because paying for a car in this condition was not a good idea. I called the owner (who was living in missouri) and informed him of the condition of the car and let him know that I was not willing to pay anything for the car. At this point, he gave me the car for free. Now I am realizing that free is not always "free."



So I got the car home and started cleaning out the engine bay so that i could fully assess the condition. I installed a new battery and tried to start it but the started was frozen. I removed the starter and got it broken free. Once it was reinstalled, she still would not start. I replaced the 2 reference sensors on the bell housing, changed out the fuel filter and whalah! she started right up! Smooth idle and all. I drove her on a 5 mile test drive and everything seemed to be go pretty well (considering the car had not been driven in 5 years). I live in atlanta and the car is stored at my parents house which is an hour south so I figured that next time I would pick up where I left off.



The next time I was at home, I got her started again pretty easily but there was very limited throttle response. When I would rev up the engine, it would bog down and stall. I made an attempt to drive her up to the gas station for fresh fuel but this turned out to be much more of an experience than a fuel run. On the 1 mile drive to the gas station, she wasbogging down really badly which I believe is attributed to a bad air/fuel ratio. At full throttle the car was only going 35-40mph. Just before I pulled into the gas station, the undercoating of the car around the exhaust ignited ultimately catching the undercarriage of the car on fire. I assume that this happend because she was running with too much fuel and the exhaust spontaneously combusted. We got the fire put out quickly and there was no apparent damage other than some charred undercoating. We had to tow her home from the gas station and she hasn't started since.



Since the gas station extravaganza, I have made mulitple attempts to get her running again and I am starting to run out of ideas. I replaced the main relay (which was kind of finnicky to start with). This did help b/c now i can hear the fuel pump turn on again. That being said, when I checked for fuel just before the fuel rail, it was abundant. Going from here I was assuming that it had to be something with the ignition system so I replaced the spark plugs and the plug wires. Sill no start. She turns over fine but I cant get her started.



In my past experiences with my first car (1984 533i) I learned that there is a mulitude of gremlins that can prevent these cars from starting. Can anyone help!!!???
When an older car sits for a long time and gets resurrected, the new ethanol containing fuel has a tendency to dissolve/stir up lots of gunk, debris, etc. That's what I would concentrate on. Fuel pressure test, maybe a new fuel pressure regulator, clogged injectors, maybe the rodents chewed one of the vacuum or fuel return lines, etc. Try using some starting fluid spray (ether). That may help pinpoint a fuel system issue. I just replaced my injectors, a PITA, but not hard if you know exactly what to do.
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