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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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  #1  
Old 12-07-2013, 06:59 AM
blewbyu318ti blewbyu318ti is offline
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couple of questions on a 99 318ti (newbie)

ok so I got this car its a 99 318ti, I have not owned a bmw since the late 80's so my knowledge base is limited and I need help. I bought this car from the previous owner who had a kid help him jump start this car and for what ever reason put the battery cables on opposite of what they should have been. The guy states they were on for the amt of time it took him to get from drivers seat to battery and disconnect them. The car will now not run no fuel no fire all the other things ie lights etc work as they should but when the car is being rolled over to start there is no attempt at all to fire. I am not willing to just throw money at this car to get it going I am trying to educate myself on the car and wanted to ask people who might have some idea of the extent of the damage this may have caused and what I can do about it. If the cost is too great I will just have to cut my losses as I have more important things ie family that require my time and money. Any help is greatly appreciated


I've asked specifically what the po has done and ;

The previous owner stated that he thought the ecm was damaged and purchased another from ebay and installed it only to have the same issue. He stated that from his research the ecm would need reflashed ?

I have been able to power up the fuel pump with the relay but cannot get the car to generate spark

I wondered if the security system may have been damaged when the power was appled incorrectly not sure how I would test this theory

The issue causing the battery to be low has been corrected (improperly installed aftermarket stereo ) the car ran great after stereo install but poor connection allowed a drain on the battery (cheap black electrical tape on pwr connection)

The battery is new and fully charged rolls car like it should and all the obvious grounds have been checked and in good shape

Last edited by blewbyu318ti; 12-07-2013 at 08:28 AM. Reason: added info
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2013, 11:25 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Welcome to the fest!

The ECU is toast. Likely the security system, too. Yes, the ECU has to be matched to the car, but I don't know exactly how you go about that. Someone else here will know. If it's an automatic it may have killed the transmission control computer, too.Not good.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:27 AM
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If your battery was really drained then there's a good chance of polarity reversal on the 12v supply to all your electronics. It could be a fried DME module. If the EWS was cooked I don't think you'd get the engine to turn over. If you get it running I suspect you'll find other control modules that have been damaged. If your windows still work then at least the ZKE module didn't get cooked.
This is one of those things that could be a simple fix or you could wind up having to replace a bunch of stuff......there's not much precedent for giving you advice on this one unfortunately.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:43 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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I once made a similar mistake in my younger days while working on an old MG Midget. Although I still don't accept full blame... They have reverse polarity electrical systems, just to make things "interesting".
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:01 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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So does my 1963 John Deere 2010 tractor. There have been several "Oh SH!T!" moments when trying to jump it off.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:04 PM
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There were a lot of older cars that were positive ground. VWs up through the early '60s were 6V systems and we got a lot of them into the shop where someone had installed a 12V battery by mistake. It usually blew all the indicator bulbs, tail/brake light bulbs, and all the filaments on the vacuum tubes in the radio. The starter did spin the engine over quite briskly though.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
There were a lot of older cars that were positive ground. VWs up through the early '60s were 6V systems and we got a lot of them into the shop where someone had installed a 12V battery by mistake. It usually blew all the indicator bulbs, tail/brake light bulbs, and all the filaments on the vacuum tubes in the radio. The starter did spin the engine over quite briskly though.
no doubt!!


yeah, i have had the pleasure of working on 6v positive ground vehicles.....stoopid electrical gremmlins....




to the op, yeah, this sounds like a bunch of issues that may or may not be self inflicted. the first thing to do is check for blown fuses, then go from there with basic electrical diagnostics.

you need to check the wiring diagram for your powers and grounds, and then check for the proper power supply to the correct pins.


tedious work.




very tedious work....




df
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:04 PM
blewbyu318ti blewbyu318ti is offline
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questions

thank you gentlemen I have been dreading this for obvious reasons time being the biggest issue but I have checked the fuses that I know about I will be getting a manual and digging out the meter for more fun. I am grateful for the replies and will post my progress in hopes of getting this car going again back to the man cave
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2013, 07:42 AM
blewbyu318ti blewbyu318ti is offline
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update

still working on this it seems odd to me the only way I can obtain a ground is by hooking my meter to the neg terminal on the battery. normally I would say just not getting a good connection but nothing even on the ground strap itselF. Now if I hook up the battery ground it then immediately completes the circuit. Logic dictates the ground is the culprit however I cannot find any damaged wires so heres the newbie question is there a fuse in the ground wire and if so where is it ?
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:14 PM
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no fuses in the ground side of the circuit.

if the cables arc when hooking them up, then something is causing a short to ground directly.

i would verify that the cables are hooked up correctly, and that the power cable(s) are not crossed with the ground. if all of the main power supply cables (thick heavy ones) are where they are supposed to be, then i would suggest unplugging connectors on the harnesses to see which harness is causing the issue and narrow it down from there.


other than that, i am unable to come up with anything else.




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