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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:12 AM
lobe29 lobe29 is offline
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Location: australia
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 94 bmw 318i e36
94 318i. How does electric valve,non return valve & vac control box work. Cold idle?


94 318i euro model, M43 engine (apologies for the long post)

Can anyone tell me how the following set up works together and symptoms of in not working - i.e vacuum control set up, found near/under the charcoal canister:-

Item from realoem dot com are :-

Electric valve item no. 5, part number 17302243804
No return valve item no 6. Part 11611312737
found on


Vacuum box item no 6. Part 11611734472
found on

I replaced the plastic water outlets on the back of the head & under the in/manifold due to embrittlement - failure and piece of mind, hence removed in.manifold for access (fit new gasket).
I marked all connectors whilst doing this and refit in correct sequence.
Cleaned out the ICV whilst i was in there - was spotless (i've done this in the past & read about these & crankcase vent'n valve or pcv as some call it. Have done this work in the past, although i had no probs, i still cleaned it out whilst in there for piece of mind.

Bled coolant, as per countless times i've done this, using correct procedure outlined in DIY's etc.
In doing this car started, run very well - a little surging on idle for a minute until it settling down ( batt had been off for days & in/manifold etc had all been off, then reassembled ) , then all fine. Had the thing running from cold whilst bleeding coolant etc - all good no idle'ing problems.

Drove it around in 35c heat for 30mins, motorway, hills etc - all good. Ran really nice. No cooling probs and no leaks.

Started the car this morning, wouldn't idle at all. Had to use the accelerator until it got warm. Idle is ok when hot and will idle un assisted.

Got to work, had a quick look, could see the small vacuum pipe between (see above) elec valve item # 5 & the vacuum box had cracked/torn off one of the vacuum control box. Hose very perished so i just trimmed it back then refit.
Put a new bit of pipe on tonight but car still wont idle from cold. When hot car will idle on its own, although it does quite feel right, feels a very very slight shudder/or miss. This wasn't there when i test drove car night before after bleeding cooling sys etc.

I have checked it see if i had a leak overnight, which had run into an elec connector of something but found no probs.

1. Any ideas ??? If i'd had the problem after reassembling car i'd assume something was connected or sealed properly, causing vac leak etc but i didnt, car ran fine.
2. Done usual tricks of find vac leak around manifold, using easy start / throttle cleaner but no pick up in revs ???
3. What controls the idle when the car is cold ???
4. Am still thinking vac leak. Maybe i should re tighten the main lower inlet manifold nuts, in case the new gasket has squashed down a little with the heat, after car has been run from re-assembly?

Note : crankcase vent valve is approx 2 yrs old.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:58 AM
lobe29 lobe29 is offline
Registered User
Location: australia
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 94 bmw 318i e36
Update - fixed it.


The poor idle was an easy fix this time. For some reason the o ring seals on the injectors had become a very loose fit, allowing air to bypass. They were ok when i installed them and a firm fit. Not when i removed them.

Had some old ones lying around from an inj service and ultrasonic clean 2 yrs ago. They did the trick and were a nice snug fit.

car ran perfect after re-assembly.

Lesson learned - I guess re tracing my steps and looking for the simple things worked dividends this time.
This didnt show up when spraying easy start directly around the injectors although did raise revs slightly when sprayed in the area of the injectors.
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