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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 07-30-2011, 12:27 PM
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mfisher0000 mfisher0000 is offline
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Lightning

House was hit with lightning last night...ground in the basement and blew chunks of concrete every where. BMW was hooked to a trickle charger in the garage...came out the blinkers were on and windshield wipers were in the upper position. All seemed ok...took it out of the garage and the instrument cluster is not working. Everything works but the gas gauge, odometer, tack, etc. Cant find a blown fuse anywhere. When checking numbers from the fuse lid...nothing seems to match e.g. says fuse 23, but I cannot find any number up to 23. Any ideas...I got insurance, but would rather not make a claim.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2011, 12:46 PM
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Numbering

Ok...I figured out the numbering from the fuse lid, checked all fuses and all are good, but still nothing works on the instrument cluster. It lights up but not gauges work. Any input would be helpful. Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2011, 01:11 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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replug the cluster

usually its just bad connections
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2011, 01:16 PM
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mfisher0000 mfisher0000 is offline
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Where is that located? Behind the instrument panel?

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  #5  
Old 07-30-2011, 01:17 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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yeah just unplug an plug it back in.. see if that helps
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2011, 01:42 PM
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Thirty...so to get to that conection do I take the cluster out or can I get to it from under the steering?

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  #7  
Old 07-30-2011, 01:50 PM
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You gotta take the cluster out.

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  #8  
Old 07-30-2011, 01:55 PM
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And make sure you disconnect the battery when you do remove it. Takes about 10 minutes, but requires a torx bit for the two retaining screws.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2011, 06:03 PM
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Question

I took the two retaining screws out and nothing seemed to loosen. I didn't want to use much force and destroy anything. Is there a trick to popping it loose? I will search for a video. I have some major lightning damage so I am gonna have to make a claim with insurance so hopefully this would be covered considering it was in my garage at the time. Does unplugging and plugging it back reset something...or is this done to reconnect possibly because of the surge? It is weird...the lighter socket that the charger was plugged into is fine...as is everything else on the car. FYI...lightning is a bad mofo...hit the side of our house where the roof meets the siding then ran into the basement and blew chunks of concrete out of the wall. Concrete flew 17ft across the basement and made powder marks on the opposite wall! Fried phones, modem, router, tv's, sound system, receiver, cell tower, two switches, both garage door motors and more knocked pictures off the wall. Also electrocuted the neighbors dog in the middle of their yard!
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2011, 06:15 PM
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Wow... That's pretty crazy. I have a friend that has a shed that got struck my lightning and half of it was completely charred. Lightning can do some serious damage.

I would see if the insurance company will pay for the cluster to be replaced before messing with it. The chances are slim that it's just a loose connection right after something like that happened to your electrical system.

By the way, to get the cluster out, you sometimes have to wedge a small flathead under the tabs where the screw holes are to get it loose. Also, if you have a good suction cup, that may help you pull the cluster out. It was very hard for me to get my first cluster out, but my second one came out a lot easier. It depends how much it's stuck in there.
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2011, 07:26 PM
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I agree about the insurance...I am gonna wait and see what the adjuster has to say. Crazy...I had just put the charger on it earlier that day cause it has been too hot to drive a convertible in Indiana for the last few weeks...and then BAM!

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  #12  
Old 08-09-2011, 06:37 PM
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update Question

So it's day 12 and the adjuster on the home policy still has not made a visit! I'm in good hands with Allstate...Right? The auto adjuster, however is great, and has moved along quickly. A reputable independent shop is doing the work. They took out the instrument cluster and are sending it to the east coast to be rebuilt which will maintain the integrity of the car as it only has 54,000 miles on it. Will have a lifetime warranty and they will replace all bulbs. The other issue...which I discovered the morning I took it in for service was an issue with the front driver's window. I had the top down in the garage with the cover on it...took the cover off, got in and shut the door. I noticed the window went up a notch like it does when you shut the door with the top up. Weird I thought. I tried to raise the window up and it wouldn't go, but went back down. The shop assessed and indicated the windows work through the vehicles body control computer which only a dealer has the needed software to diagnose. Good new is they will do a supplemental work order for the additional repair at the dealer and I will not pay another deductible, but still a PITA, as my dealer is a 120 miles away. I can't believe they would not have the needed software...this is a big time shop that works on BMW, Mercedes, Porsche etc. Is this something BMW keeps to themselves?
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Last edited by mfisher0000; 08-09-2011 at 06:40 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2011, 06:50 PM
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wow thats an odd thing to happen, hopefully it didint cause more damage to wierd electrical stuff
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2011, 07:15 PM
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Crazy story. Sounds like your insurance is taking care of it, though. Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:30 AM
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And yet some people can be hit by lightning and nothing happens to them. Crazy.

What happened too the neighbors dog?
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  #16  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:34 AM
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Well, they usually end up a little off.
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  #17  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Well, they usually end up a little off.
Ive been hit by lightning.
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  #18  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:45 AM
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Do words now have flavors associated with them?
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  #19  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Do words now have flavors associated with them?
Purple
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  #20  
Old 08-10-2011, 11:00 AM
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411

Fiveohwblow...dropped their black lab in the backyard! They didn't actually see it but lightning was the only explanation. Cost to rebuild and replace the original cluster was $898.96. It will go to the dealer next week for the window issue. Who knows what that will cost?
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  #21  
Old 08-10-2011, 01:13 PM
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That's quite a bill. You could've bought 9 new clusters with that kind of money.

I guess it doesn't matter since insurance is paying...
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  #22  
Old 08-10-2011, 05:55 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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holy **** thats expensive....
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2011, 06:24 PM
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My girlfriend's Uncle was hit by lighting and lived, he was supposed to have an interview with some news anchor on 9/11 about the incidient, then the planes hit. Some crazy sh!te.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2011, 06:52 PM
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Wow, Matt that must be one of the errie-est stories in the family. Lightning interview then 9/11 in the same say?
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:01 PM
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Yup, I'm not sure when he was hit by lighting, but the scheduled date for the interview was 9/11/2001, definitely weird.
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