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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2007, 09:53 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
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Location: Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: 87 325
87 325 fuel problems?

Ok well first off I'm new to the form and I just wanted to say thank you for any help a head of time.

I did some searching and didn't really find the answer i'm looking for. I recently purchased a car for my g/f. BMW 325, no engine the person who owned it before me decided the engine was tired, and pulled it out to rebuild it. Lost interest in the project, and I happen to have a engine from a 87 325 I pulled from a running car 3 years ago. Guy asked for 200 for the car clean title. I bought it up and started the work, this car... sadly is falling apart, he really abused it and I'm workin gon restoring it.

I got the engine install and replaced a fuel pump relay and a ignition switch relay under the dash, had 4 comletely bad injectors, luckly he saved his and out of 12 I got 6. Put the new injectors in and wam bam fires right up, did a water pump timing belt. I've got no smoke everything works great. A little terdish but I figured its a auto and its not a drag car so no big deal. However I did notice that on the free way foot to the floor there is a small pulsing like lack of fuel, I also have a fuel sending unit issue(unrelated very possible).

she called me today stranded on her way to work the car was spiting and sputtering with long pulses of up and down. So I went out took it for a drive not much of a problem at first seemed normal. Then, it started, acted like a fuel filter at first. Then the pauses in the engine accelerating got longer, and longer, then it would run perfect with no problem. Also noticed the car fuel gauge was all over the place between half full and full. I'm lost I don't really want to start throwing money at it with out a proper diagnoises(spell). I'm thinkin fuel filter, maybe fuel pump. Thought about it being bad fuel but thats not possible I drained it all out and replaced with 87 octane.

I looked around on the forum and didn't find anything about fuel pressure spec. The manual just had me to bypass the fuel pump and let it run for 30seconds and check for a certain amount of fuel. This doesn't tell me if I'm loosing pressure at a higher RPM.

The idol would also randomly go high, so i replaced the idol air control motor, now the RPM is just higher all the time. I'm SOOOOO lost any info would be great, I have got alot of testing equitment, just not sure what the fuel pressure should be. Confused it ifs electrical or mechanical. I think its a filter and pump combo, my brother who is much more of a European performace kinda guy thinks possibly a Vane meter. ANY INFO WOULD BE GREAT! Thank you.
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2007, 08:06 AM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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Mein Auto: '88 325i vert
What does the gas in the tank look like? Depending on how long it sat, it could have varnished in the tank. My wife's '88 325i had about a half inch of varnish on the bottom of the tank.

I'm not sure which year used a seperate pump to shoot contents of one side of the tank to the other either, but if that pump is working intermittently, that could possibly cause problems with level readings. Like my wife's car has a float on the driver's side and the passenger side and figures out the gas tank level by taking a differential from both sides. When I had the fuel tank hooked up incorrectly though, I showed a 1/4 of a tank when the low fuel light came on and started sputtering, but it was because the side the fuel pump was on was almost empty, and the other side was half full. I only figured it out because whenever it would start to die, I could jerk the wheel to left hard and it would work fine when the gas sloshed over.
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2007, 09:44 AM
325E30 325E30 is offline
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When I first put it back together the fuel gauge said half full. But it was not getting much at the rail on the pressure regulator side, so I just let it flow out all the fuel in the tank about 1.5 - 2.0 gallons, one it was all out I put 10gallons of 89 octanea(I said 87 before but it was plus not regular) Also a bottle of injector cleaner. Then, it ran great took it to the gas statioin filled it up and runs like crap. Took another 5 gallons to top it off... I'm not sure how big the tank is but 15 gallons would seem about right. Then thats when the trouble happened.

Like i said just started spittin and sputtering i'm goin to get a fuel filter today first thing since i'm sure it is the original and it can't hurt and is prob in expensive.

Do you by any chance know what pressure the fuel pump should be under load? I'm goin to more then likly drain the gas tonight and drop the tank (I was told you had to do this to get to the fuel pump.)
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2007, 09:53 AM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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Mein Auto: '88 325i vert
Most street cars I've seen are in the 35-42 area, but the BMW may be different. That'll probably be good enough to get you started, because I couldn't see it being any lower than 32 psi - if you're getting cutout, you're probably going to be noticably lower than that. Does it do it in Neutral? Stopped under load (left foot on brake, right foot on gas (make sure you're parked in a wide open space to try that one!), or only under load when the car is moving?

You might pull the covers off the fuel tank and see what you find, they're very easy to get to in this car, the back seat just pops up, then pull the pad back and unscrew the two covers. Use a screwdriver and a hammer to unseat the ring and pull the pump out - then you can check the in tank filter and make sure the little red rubber pieces on the fuel pickup above the pump aren't leaking.

edit: My bad, I speed-read through the above. Unless it's way different from mine, you should be able to pull the fuel pump from taking out the rear seat cushion. I know the '91 hardtops are this way too, but there was a model change from '87 to '88, so I don't know for sure. Dropping the tank however is a huge pain in the ass, so I'd pull the back seat cushion out first to be sure (grab the front of it and just pull straight up, it should just pop out.)

If you have to drop the tank, I wish you well. You'll have to put the car up on jackstands, put a jack under the tranny and remove the tranny crossbrace, the heat shields, the driveshaft, the exhaust, then I had to lower the rear subframe and diff by about two-three inches to get enough clearance to get the fuel tank down. Don't forget to remove (and label!!!!) all those hoses before you drop the tank down - there were 4 iirc on mine - 3 that went to the front (fuel supply and return, then vent to the charcoal canister) and the fuel filler hose on the passenger side. For some reason on mine, when I put it back together they looked like they could only go on one way but it was wrong, which is why it's important to label. I had to actually stretch the return line to make it fit again and clamped it down. If you get the vent line and the return line backwards at the tank, the car will still run, but it will hemorrhage fuel through the charcoal filter.

Last edited by Richter12x2; 04-09-2007 at 10:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2007, 07:19 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
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Location: Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: 87 325
I've luckly got a auto lift, thank god. So it woulden't be as bad. It cuts out under load idle I can rev it up all day long, power brake it and it also cuts out then. Go around corners sometimes it will come back. Its very very weird.

I hope your right about the fuel pump the back seat would be worlds easier to pull then draining the FULL tank... I'm goin to do the fuel filter in about 5 min.

I called to get a price on a pump they want 175. Which is a good price from what i've been told. But im debating going with a aftermarket high flow like Walbro 255. I know its over kill but the 90 bucks compared to 175 is a little bit of a diffrence. Any idea's here?!?
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2007, 07:29 PM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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After buying a used OEM pump for $80 and having it last a day, I went with an ebay 255lph Walbro and never looked back. It's not exactly plug and play, but it's not too hard to work out either - you'll have to unsolder the leads from the old pump and solder in the leads for the new one, then I used a dremel tool to cut the hole in the bottom of the mount bigger so that the base of the walbro would fit through and mount the filter on the other side, and used two big band clamps to hold it in place, then a short length of fuel line from the top of the pump to the bottom of the pump housing. The screw on the band clamps just barely fits through the hole, if you **** it sideways and slide it real easy.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2007, 08:32 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
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Ok so swapped the fuel filter, Coulden't even blow through the other one. And fired right up. Still got bad I mean HORRIBLE surge that can be felt at high RPM, low RPM, or idle, at idle its bad enough to lock the torque converter up and lurch the car foward. Took the idol air control motor moved the screw all the way in and all the way out nothing, doesn't make a bit of diffrence. I'm beyound frusterated and confused. Its got alot more power then it did before. But the surge is scary unsafe.
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2007, 10:58 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
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Location: Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: 87 325
Ok So, i decided I wanted to check for codes, maybe the previouse owner remove the check engine light, pulled off the wheels pulled out the cluster which was containing nothing that would have been fatory screws. If i'm correct the check engine light says "check enigne" on the left had side on the bottom in red right? Well no buld for one.

Also My tach wasn't working did some searching found that the tach used batteries or they work using the batteries, so I figured i'd check them. I did. to my suprise go figure last owner solder energizers in there!!! THEN siliconed them. Ok so I got them removed and taken out. I red the messages however I've yet to find pics showing the polatary. These batteries looked really bad when i finaly got them off. Hope nothing is fried. Any info on either battery polarity and check engine light would be great thank you.
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #9  
Old 04-11-2007, 11:10 PM
Sharktrainer Sharktrainer is offline
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Is this an i/is ? Or an e ?
The check light should be dead center. To obtain codes,set the key to the on position and floor the accelerator pedal 3 times kinda slow like. Then count the flashes and report back
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2007, 07:41 AM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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Mein Auto: '88 325i vert
According to the local BMW mechanic, The CHECK light on the I cabrio that's dead center just tells you if there's a red light on the computer cluster (brake light, coolant light) and there's another one that should light if there's an engine problem.

Also, apparently if your TPS isn't adjusted properly, then you can't get the codes that way. At least I hope that's the reason.
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2007, 08:37 AM
Mike_Check Mike_Check is offline
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First of all...the fuel pump you should be checking on is just in front of the drivers side rear wheel. The car has 2 fuel pumps...the in tank (low pressure), and in line (high pressure). The in tank pump is less likely to cause an issue...replace the in line fuel pump. I had the same issue with my old 325e. I also had the surging issue...where it feels like it rhythmicly loses power through the rpm range. Almost like you are lifting off the throttle, every....few....seconds...and....it...gets...annoy ing...

I never solved that issue.
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2007, 08:49 AM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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That's true, they apparently changed that in 1988, at least for the Cabrio. :P I forget that some of them had two fuel pumps.
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2007, 08:54 AM
Mike_Check Mike_Check is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richter12x2 View Post
That's true, they apparently changed that in 1988, at least for the Cabrio. :P I forget that some of them had two fuel pumps.
My 86 has 2 pumps. I believe all e30's have 2 pumps. 318's 325's verts...
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:05 AM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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That's odd - I just had to rebuild the entire fuel system basically except the injectors because of the varnish in my tank - under my driver's side, in the hollow next to the tank, I just had a little check valve, and a big fuel filter. There's not even a connector or anything. I had to drop the tank, and rerun all the fuel lines, so unless someone removed it and did an incredibly good job of it, this car didn't have one.
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  #15  
Old 04-12-2007, 09:07 AM
Mike_Check Mike_Check is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richter12x2 View Post
That's odd - I just had to rebuild the entire fuel system basically except the injectors because of the varnish in my tank - under my driver's side, in the hollow next to the tank, I just had a little check valve, and a big fuel filter. There's not even a connector or anything. I had to drop the tank, and rerun all the fuel lines, so unless someone removed it and did an incredibly good job of it, this car didn't have one.
That is odd. I could be wrong with the vert's...I have been wrong before. Let me do some investigation.
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  #16  
Old 04-12-2007, 09:52 AM
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bluebimmerman bluebimmerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Check View Post
That is odd. I could be wrong with the vert's...I have been wrong before. Let me do some investigation.
My vert only has one....when I had fuel delv. problems I traced the line and I think the only thing that was in-line was a filter....but I have missed things before
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2007, 09:58 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
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Ok I will check this, but I changed the filter like i said, the car runs LOTS better this is just a plain 325 no I no E. I swapped the fuel filter that is behind driver side door, on the driver side. (2 dr car) The car has a ton of power this needed to be replaced bottom line. At wide open throttle there is not more hesitation(spell) runs great So, i don't think its a fuel pump if at WOT it runs ok.

Also any news on the polarities of the of the batterys? Also the check engine light in the center I thought was ONLY telling you to check the red LEDs top by rearview. Once you press the check button in the corner(if you have any leds showing) the check light on the dash goes away. The check light in the center if all LEDs (brake lights, coolant, etc...) is ok the light isn't on.

I just wanted to say I appreciate your guys help. any more info?
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #18  
Old 04-13-2007, 07:40 AM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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Also, you might check out the TechInfo at Pelicanparts.com for BMWs. There's a section under fuel injection that talks about questing idle, it points out all the vac lines that usually fail and tells you in detail how to check your TPS and that other sensor. One thing they didn't mention that fixed my questing idle problem was recrimping all those little Oetiker clamps tighter that run into the throttle body and down to the brake booster. When I pulled the throttle body, I found out I could turn the hoses really easily by hand, so I took a 6-in-one tool and pinched the clamps tighter. Let's just say I'm not a fan of Oetiker or his work. :P

Oh yeah - the orange check light in the center of the dash doesn't speak to engine problems, it just tells you to check that other panel, you're right. The ACTUAL check engine light should be in the panel across the bottom (like where your headlight light is) of the cluster. However! On my car it was on a seperate little wire next to the plug that goes to that side of the cluster, so it's possible that it fell out or got stuck in the wrong hole. Mine actually lights up a little green **** light that apparently is a European trailer connector light or something. Now that I know that's what it is, I'm fine with it being there, because when inspection time comes, they don't check to see if your European trailer connector light is on.

Last edited by Richter12x2; 04-13-2007 at 07:43 AM.
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  #19  
Old 04-13-2007, 12:24 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richter12x2 View Post
Mine actually lights up a little green **** light that apparently is a European trailer connector light or something. Now that I know that's what it is, I'm fine with it being there, because when inspection time comes, they don't check to see if your European trailer connector light is on.
Thats awesome! :-) Hey makes total sence to me I only had one light stuck in the back of the dash for the Antilock brakes(which is on) So I don't know if its just sitting around back there or what but I'm goin to try to find it... Unless my antilock brake light is my check engine light... errrr... I hate getting cars that people rip apart and put back together in such a horrible manner then be to one to have to change it all and do it right!
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #20  
Old 04-13-2007, 12:48 PM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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Seriously! I just rewired the entire engine harness and front dash harness on my Rx7. Someone put a big nasty looking push button start in there. It would have been cool, if it had been done correctly. I actually didn't wire it back to the keyswitch, I just wired it to the cigarette lighter, so now you push the button where the cigarette lighter goes to start the car.
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  #21  
Old 04-13-2007, 04:24 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
I hate liking german cars
Location: Oregon
 
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Ya, this is the 3rd BMW I've owned, I swear I will never own another one(I said that last time too) I think I got my g/f talkin into a 4x4 94ish Ranger Extended cab, she wants to sell her BMW now and get a Audi Quatro or a 4x4 Toyota Tacoma. I told her I'm done with buying what she wants since every time we do that its somthing I HATE working on. I love the e30 and Audi's, I HATE WORKING ON THEM. And its not just german cares its any forien car. Being I've owned over 8 Diffrent Ranger pick ups I'd rather work on somthing I know inside out and backwards. The toyota woulden't be to bad I'm sure I woulden't have to work on it much but they are VERY pricey, and I still woulden't wanna work on one.
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #22  
Old 04-14-2007, 05:14 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
I hate liking german cars
Location: Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: 87 325
Ok so I've tried everything I can think of for this idle issue, changed the idle air control motor. Didn't make a diffrence. Unplug it complete still surges. Under high RPM/acceleration doesn't surge. ONLY IDLE. I've also redone my grounds, using 8ga. leaving the factory ones in place. I need more idea's. If I unplug the vain air meter it dies instantly. I can't pull codes since the dash is taken out and is damaged since the guy before me did his nice energizer battery install and they leaked acid all over the circuit board. I have no his from vacuum leaks, I'm so lost at what it could be ANY suggestions?

I thought the fuel pump before but thats not possible since its great under WOT. HELP!
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2007, 05:49 PM
johnnyscott johnnyscott is offline
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There are a couple things that could be causing your problem. Sometimes the AFM can go on the fritz. If you want to know how to test it, I've got a website that has a complete write up on it. Also, simply replacing the idle control valve isn't gonna do it. The idle control valve is actually controlled by it's own "mini" ECU, of sorts, call the idle control unit. This will be a little green plastic box that will be mounted under your passenger side dash, above the glove box. It's pretty easy to get to. If you ICU isn't working properly or if the wiring harness has come loose, etc... the entire Idle control system would not function properly. Also, just a suggestion, invest in a Bentley Manual. It will be one of your best resources. Anyway, good luck!
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  #24  
Old 04-19-2007, 06:04 AM
Richter12x2 Richter12x2 is offline
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Actually, if he has the car warm, and unplugged the idle air control motor (we call it a bypass air control solenoid in Mazda world) then it wouldn't fluctuate, if that's the problem, and that's the only way that the car can consciously regulate the idle.

I'm actually betting it's a vacuum leak. On my '88, all those Oettiker clamps going up the firewall side of the air intake were so loose that I could twist them by hand. I grabbed a 6-in-1 tool and pinched them tighter, and now my idle's smoothed out dramatically. Check your other small vacuum lines too, there aren't very many, and that little accordion looking bend in the intake, they're bad for getting cracks down deep in the grooves. Luckily, new ones aren't very expensive.

There's also a little solenoid valve under the throttle body that lets air in from the charcoal cannister - that could cause it, if it was opening at the wrong times.
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  #25  
Old 04-20-2007, 06:41 PM
325E30 325E30 is offline
I hate liking german cars
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Just wanted to post a closing comment and say thank you guys for the help turns out I found it to be the idle control computer, its funny I wish I would of checked the forum one last time it would of saved me alot of testing.

The winsheild was leaking the previous owner never put the center peice of the seal in so the glove boxed filled with water. the idle control computer I found sitting in the glove box, in water, so i opened it up it was corroded and rusted, there was a couple (looked like resisters) that were so black i coulden't make out what they were or ohm them. Went to u-pull it 5 bucks later, runs and drives great.

I replaced the cluster with a new u-pull it one(got lucky found one that is had the batteryies replaced looked like a completely new SI board) replaced the clogged fuel filter, and NO PROBLEMS to report!
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1987 BMW 325 - Girl Friends car and my current NIGHTMARE!

1992 Ford Ranger - 2.3 Turbo Charged, 16psi, full 3in exhaust out the pass side. For Sale

1987 Ford Ranger - 351w, full built and balanced gt40, c6 manual valve body, B&M Rachet shifter.
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