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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 11-17-2012, 03:03 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Ordering Starter Issue - Which one!?

My 1994 BMW 525i needs a new starter.

Problem: Type my car into any parts website, Threaded AND Non Threaded comes up. Realoem wasn't any help show's both. Autohausz shows up non threaded, rock auto shows non threaded, Autohausz phone call says threaded. Autohausz website says my car takes non threaded and if its a non bosch starter from the factory, some Italian sounding name, then I will need a new mounting plate made for the Bosch ones from a BMW dealer!

So basic question is, how do I know if I need a threaded starter or a non threaded starter?

I took it to my local mechanic who was kinda dumb founded and couldn't give me an answer. The shop I think is competent enough to change it was quite busy lately and didn't have time to look, I like to order my own parts so I know what I am getting and is going into MY car, would hate to just leave it at the mechanic who orders the wrong starter and it sits there while they re-order it so basically want to order it myself the right parts the first time.

Ordering intake manifold gaskets just in case they go that way.
Mounting plate in case I need one
Starter... Threaded or non threaded..

If some guidance can be given where the starter is in the vehicle if I have to look that would be helpful too, especially with a picture, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2012, 03:18 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Its not hard to find the starter on an m20 engine, but its a little harder on the m50. However, a good flashlight is all you need.

Stand at the driver's side of the engine bay with the throttle body directly in front of you. The starter is fixed to the engine block, roughly 2 feet down and 1 feet to the right of the throttle body. A large tube like thing. May be either black or silver in colour.

Removing the air hose that leads to the throttle body might help you see this more easily.

Hope that helps you in your threaded/non threaded question. This is the first time I've heard about this variation.


rgds,
Roberto
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:59 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Thanks for the reply, ill have a look tomorrow. Apparently it's a common issue. Type threaded unthreaded bmw and posts galore come with no real answer. I guess looking physically is the only sure way.

I guess both could work but then need the associated bolts etc too much hassle.
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:16 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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You could email pictures of your own starter to the parts shoppe, they should know which it is even if they can't tell from your vin number/realoem.com.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:20 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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I saw diagrams on real oem of both. Basically one has a mounting plate the other doesn't. One is also bit longer. Will take a look when the sun comes up and try to take a picture if I can see it!
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:25 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Oh.

Both will work on your car. One is a more modern version than the other...i believe the shorter one is the later version. But yes you'll have some hassle in recreating mounting brackets etc, which is not easy if you're unfamiliar with it.

As an alternative, you could simply send off your existing starter to be rebuilt. That has outstanding results, and may be cheaper than a new OEM starter (only buy oem, mission critical component that lasts for more than 10 years typically.) Of course, rebuilding your starter means you've got to deal with the downtime. You can use that time to put in a new fuel pump, crank sensor and fuel pump relay as well.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:30 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Where would I have it rebuilt at know any good places?

Rock auto sells a beck arnley one which is basically a rebadged bosch. I've noticed beck arnley is pretty good at getting quality products with cheap prices. Rock auto has it for $85. Can't beat that. Regular bosch ones are about 120. But I think they will literally be the same. So dunno if worth rebuilding something so cheap that's already rebuilt!
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2012, 02:03 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Did not realise its that cheap. Dont bother with rebuilding. If i were you i would get bosch. You will not be spending money on this component ever again. And you only need to top up $40 more! Thats an amazing deal.

Please check prices for bosch or piersburg fuel pumps and bmw, bosch or vdo crank sensors. Bosch fuel pump relay, and an oem throttle position sensor for safety reasons. Get the o ring with the fuel pump too. Lets see if the prices have come down since i checked last year.

If you dont mind
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:45 AM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Did not realise its that cheap. Dont bother with rebuilding. If i were you i would get bosch. You will not be spending money on this component ever again. And you only need to top up $40 more! Thats an amazing deal.

Please check prices for bosch or piersburg fuel pumps and bmw, bosch or vdo crank sensors. Bosch fuel pump relay, and an oem throttle position sensor for safety reasons. Get the o ring with the fuel pump too. Lets see if the prices have come down since i checked last year.

If you dont mind
Bosch fuel pump. $115-165 depending on which one you want
Sensors couldn't find crank one

I'm on iPad away from laptop so hard to search

I usually try to find part numbers then search all sites ie amazon, rock auto, and frugal mechanic. Also carpart.com is an excellent site!
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:59 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwblack82 View Post
Bosch fuel pump. $115-165 depending on which one you want
Sensors couldn't find crank one

I'm on iPad away from laptop so hard to search

I usually try to find part numbers then search all sites ie amazon, rock auto, and frugal mechanic. Also carpart.com is an excellent site!
A Bosch pump at $115 ? Makes me want to change mine all over again :

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,ca...,parttype,6256

They have mislabelled their Bosch pumps. The $115 one is use for plastic fuel tanks, and not (or not just) for metal ones.

Please purchase the fuel pump with the surrounding plastic bracket around it. Makes your life easier, and in this case, cheaper by $10.

That being said, realoem.com your car and just buy what is stated there.

If both pumps are listed and you need to determine what your tank is made of, well please crawl under your rear bumber and knock on the underside of the fuel tank with something.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 11-18-2012 at 09:03 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2012, 02:39 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Well my fuel pump is fine lol I don't need one. Changed the fuel tank straps though!
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2012, 04:57 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwblack82 View Post
Well my fuel pump is fine lol I don't need one. Changed the fuel tank straps though!
1. What are fuel tank straps ?

2. The e34 has a total of 3 common no start or no-crank issues (FP, FP relay, CPS) and 4 uncommon no-start or no-crank (starter, dme, EWS system, fusible link).

The former situations collectively account for 90% of the posts that we see, and the later collectively account for the remaining 10%. This can be verified by trawling through the archives.

Pretty much all these problems occur due to the E34's age and consequent mileage. This is why the components concerned are usually classified under repairs and not maintenance (short/mid/long term).

By needing to change the starter, you have beaten the wrong kind of odds Having beaten those odds, what are the chances that you're going to evade the common problems ?

Of the 3 common problems, only the fuel pump has any chance of giving you any realistic forewarning of failure at all. There's usually a buzzing sound that you can hear from the rear, during startups, idling, and sometimes during driving, from inside the cabin and sometimes while standing outside, and also with the boot open. Unfortunately, this warning seems to be present in only 1/4th of FP failures (as best as I can tell from the threads here, and I am adjusting upwards for people not recognising any sounds they may have heard as the fp). The FP generally just dies.

The three common no start/no crank issues can and usually do happen anytime, anywhere, without warning. It will cost you way more in towing charges, cab or rental charges, favours called in, extreme inconvenience, and costs at the workshop to run the gauntlet and see if you make it, than it would to get them all sorted out at one go, at a time and place of your convenience.

The cost of parts, especially after what you've pointed out, has gone down dramatically from a year back. I used to think that an OEM FP would cost around $200, now its 50% less :

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-BMW-E32-...ba3f19&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-518-520-...3a0780&vxp=mtr

Even if you need to get someone else to do this, OEM parts and indy labour should not exceed $400 total ($250 for parts shipped). Everything here would be marked up substantially if you need to do it in an emergency situation.

You gotta pay if you wanna play, but if you play the probability game, you will pay much more when you lose, and not just in terms of money.



rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 11-18-2012 at 07:20 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:53 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Fuel tank. In the rear. Very very common that they rust out and completely fall off. There was a website once I lost the link that had a list of the most common bmw items people buy, ie fuel tank straps, fuel door hinge, side molding clips, etc! Thought it was funny.

For now the car drives amazing no fuel pump issues. It's a hard one to justify changing until it actually goes bad and doesn't start. Right now my priority is the starter. And then the radiator leaks because the idiot owner put a cheap plastic one in it so will wait till next summer money saved up.

Fuel pump, fuel pump relay. If they are so bad it's likely the previous owner changed it already. Our 420sel mercedes everything the forums said to change turned out to already have been changed by a previous owner. Funny

You said CPS. What is CPS? Is that the camshaft position sensor. What are the symptoms of that going bad? How much is it for part and to change just curious.

And my car still starts. Makes a funny noise 35% of the time try to start it. After pull key out and go to start it starts up fine so for now its working but I assume it will only get worse. I pray it's not the flywheel. Can't afford to drop the tranny, plus that part is usually expensive too. But 90% chances its just the starter!
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:00 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwblack82 View Post
Fuel tank. In the rear. Very very common that they rust out and completely fall off. There was a website once I lost the link that had a list of the most common bmw items people buy, ie fuel tank straps, fuel door hinge, side molding clips, etc! Thought it was funny.

For now the car drives amazing no fuel pump issues. It's a hard one to justify changing until it actually goes bad and doesn't start. Right now my priority is the starter. And then the radiator leaks because the idiot owner put a cheap plastic one in it so will wait till next summer money saved up.

Fuel pump, fuel pump relay. If they are so bad it's likely the previous owner changed it already. Our 420sel mercedes everything the forums said to change turned out to already have been changed by a previous owner. Funny

You said CPS. What is CPS? Is that the camshaft position sensor. What are the symptoms of that going bad? How much is it for part and to change just curious.

And my car still starts. Makes a funny noise 35% of the time try to start it. After pull key out and go to start it starts up fine so for now its working but I assume it will only get worse. I pray it's not the flywheel. Can't afford to drop the tranny, plus that part is usually expensive too. But 90% chances its just the starter!
You starting issues could be the cps (yes, the crankshaft position sensor). Do you have this problem only when the car is cold? When the engine is already hot, does it start smoothly?

The crank sensor costs up to $90. And unless you have proof that it was done by your po, the chances are high that it wasn't. Just check all the no-start threads in the archive. The choice is yours.

Where does the radiator leak from ? The clear silicone sealant I mentioned in this thread here :

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=658842

...could prove useful for an effective patch. And since you're already planning to wait till summer to change the radiator, it would be a good test to see if this sealant can go the distance, as I expect it will.

Good luck.


rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 11-18-2012 at 08:05 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:04 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Nah it's random. Hot or cold. Turn the key, grinding hissing shearing noise. Car won't start. Sometimes horrible sound sometimes not so bad. Immediately stop trying to start it, try again. Starts fine. Take it to a mechanic to let him listen, try to start it five times, no issues. Sixth time, loud grinding noise. He said sounds like starter motor. I concur.

What are typical CPS Issues ?
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  #16  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:09 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwblack82 View Post
Nah it's random. Hot or cold. Turn the key, grinding hissing shearing noise. Car won't start. Sometimes horrible sound sometimes not so bad. Immediately stop trying to start it, try again. Starts fine. Take it to a mechanic to let him listen, try to start it five times, no issues. Sixth time, loud grinding noise. He said sounds like starter motor. I concur.

What are typical CPS Issues ?
No-start.
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:11 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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I'll be writing your advice down, next time have a no start issue will for sure have all three changed. Looked at your links, apparently there are two different fuel pumps even lol, thought the starter was the only issue lol.
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  #18  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:11 PM
bmwblack82 bmwblack82 is offline
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Next I'm buying the airbag reset tool on ebay. Heard with srs light on airbag won't work
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