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E28 (1982 - 1988)

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:07 PM
mwardle mwardle is offline
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Location: Springfield
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 1986 535i
Unhappy 1986 535i Delayed Shifting and Speedo Not working

I just bought a 1986 BMW 535i. it is my first one and I love it. I got a great deal on it but I have a couple of small issues (I hope):

1. The Speedo and odometer are not working. I am not getting a signal from the Motronics unit to the speedo unit.

2. I just replaced the vehicle speed sensor and have a good signal to and from.

3. I was told the S-E-3/2/1 shift selector switch could be bad. I have no idea how to check this as I dont have a schematic.

4. The car goes into first gear but is delayed in moving. One the car gets rolling it will eventually go into second and so one. It will get into high gear after the car is rolling and I am not going up any hills.

Could the S-E-3/2/1 selector switch being bad cause the car to delay shifting and make the speedo not work?

Could the delayed shifting be a vacuum issue? if so, how do I address.

I went to a local dealership today and they told me it is not the selector switch above as it would default to "E" in case of failure. I talked to a dealer in ST louis and they told me it was definitely this switch and it would caus the transmission unit to not send signals to shift or feed the speedo.



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Old 03-27-2010, 06:27 AM
ramelloh ramelloh is offline
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Location: Cornish, NH
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 1987 535is
It may be time to send the instrument pod in for a rebuild. I recall that that was what I had to do to fix my speedo/odo issues, which I guess are not all that uncommon in E28s. The pod is simple to remove, if you have a Bentley manual as a guide.

The most important things to remember when pulling and reinstalling the pod are to have all the different connectors labled (there are many) and to drape a soft towel over the back of the steering wheel to protect the pod lense from damage as it is tilted out for removal and reinsertion.

When the pod is out, it is also the perfect time to fix any bad bulbs and address other pesky pod issues, and give the pod a thorough dusting.

The best thing I did for myself was to punch a tiny, round hole in a pieces of black electrician's tape and put it over the bright light indicator lense, on the inside face of the "indicator strip", so as to cut down the glare from the way too bright blue light. I hate how bright the blue light is in most vehicles. They ruin my nearsighted night vision with the extra glare on my glass lenses. I cut the illumination down by about 75%.

The other treat I gave myself was to put another little blackout piece of tape on the inside lense of the anti-lock brake indicator section of the "indicator strip". My anti-locks have not worked in a long, long time (thrown sensor segment on rear axel). It's a common problem in 23 yr old antilock brake systems. The yellow/orange indicator light, on all the time, is obnoxious during night driving, for all the same reasons as the bright indicator; too big, too bright.

If the axel ever comes off and one with a functioning sensor array goes back in, I pull the pod, peel the tape and I am good to go.

I recall I had to send the pod all the way to California. There was a two week turn-around. The vehicle was still driveable. They did a great job on the rebuild. I can't recall the name of the company, but it shouldn't be too hard to find on Google. I found one that has the E28 listed as serviced. Consult with DNA Speedometers on their website.

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Old 03-27-2010, 09:02 AM
south26 south26 is offline
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Location: Dayton, OH
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,509
Mein Auto: 535i 1989
I the other problem could be that your a-pack in the tranny is dieing, which is very common with the 4hp22. If that is it you will end up loosing all of the forward gears and only the reverse will work. The is a good write-up on what to do on mye28.com. Or you can do a manual swap for around 6 hundred, as long as you do the work.

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