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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 09-06-2011, 06:23 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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Unhappy New Member: PLEASE help me. M50 Engine Swap Issues!

Hello everyone. I joined about 30 seconds ago because I am new to the BMW community and really need some guidance. I just recently I purchased a 1995 e36 325is. Long story short, the head gasket was blown. I picked up a used M50 from a 1992 325i for a good price, and got to work with the swap. This was a month ago. Since then, I have completed the mechanical rebuild of the car, however upon trying to start it, it just doesn't want to come back to life. Here's some details.


-The 1992 engine came with the 1992 harness and ECU (A red label 402 or 403. Can't quite recall which). Therefore, the 1995 chassis has the correct engine (Non Vanos), the correct DME, and the correct harness.

First question: Do the body electronics of my 1995 mesh with the wiring harness of the 1992? If not, am I able to switch body electronics?

-Once my mechanic and I were done with the rebuild, we attempted to start the car. The car cranks (and sounds like it wants to fire), but doesnt turn over. My vehicle was made in 12/94, and according to my research, means that the vehicle had EWS I. (1/95 and newer being EWS II) After a little research (and reference to my Bentley manual), I see that my version of EWS has a starter immobilization.

Second question: If my 1995 has a starter immobilization feature, how is my starter able to crank the engine? I was under the impression that EWS wont allow the starter to crank the engine at all. Is this the case? Perhaps EWS was once bypassed? Should i pull the relay under the glove box to check? This confuses me.


-Based upon what my mechanic is telling me, the issue at hand may be a lack of fuel delivery. The car has a half tank, the original injectors from the 1992 engine and a new fuel filter. After a few hours of attempting to start the car, you would think the whole garage smelled of fuel, however that wasn't the case. I am thinking fuel pump relay (because I cant fathom that my fuel pump stopped working while the car was sitting in the shop for a month, although I am not ruling this out)

Third question: Should I even worry about EWS if my car is cranking? Should I go ahead and do the bypass under the glove box as suggested, or proceed to check for fuel, spark, and compression?


-When I brought the car in, my windows worked fine. In fact, all of the electronics in the cabin did (minus my OBC, which for some reason doesnt work at all). Upon attempting to start the car the other day, the windows were down and I wanted to put them up. Neither of my switches work inside the car. That's weird, I thought. All other electronics are still functioning normal; doors lock, headlights, etc. What I will say is this however: The windows open and close slightly when the door is open and shut (as they should), and the windows closecompletely ONLY when I turn the key in the lock all the way right.

Fourth question: Is it possible that both of my window switches died at the same exact time even though they have not been touched for a month or is there a relay for the switches that I'm missing? I am thinking a lot of the issues are coming from the relay and fuse box in the engine bay. All new fuses, just to be sure? Any ideas?


-According to my mechanic, the 92 M50 Non-Vanos was not equipped with ACS although my 1995 is, therefore he removed it completely and is planning on placing a resistor in the wiring in its place.


Fifth question: Is this safe? Will this work okay? Just recently, I have become more attune with cars (after doing this swap), so I am not 100% on what should, and shouldn't be done.



All in all, yes I am a "noob", so please bear with me if my terminology isn't perfect. I have worked on this car nearly everyday for the past month and am so close to getting this thing running I can taste it. My mechanic really bent over backward to get this far, and at this point, I am pretty much on my own. (I either pay him $100 an hour for him to get it running within 8 hours, or I pay him $20 an hour as a consultation fee, and I do the work myself). I'd really like to get this thing running myself, and am more inclined to do the $20 an hour option. Any help/advice that anyone can offer is EXTREMELY appreciated. Thank you everyone for reading my dissertation lol

Forgot to add this tidbit: I did the "stomp test" a few times, and the only code I am throwing is a "1". It will flash only once, then long pause, and flash once again. It does this over and over. So is this a "1" code, or a "1111"? Does anyone have a CORRECT list of OBD1 codes for the e36? I have seen a few online however they all have conflicting info.
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2011, 06:49 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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i do not understand, why would you replace a vanos motor with a non-vanos unit??

most people swap the other way around, but regardless...this is going to be a mess.

iirc, the red label 403 in non-ews, and, iirc, would be a plug-n-play proceedure. i do not know for certain, however, if this will work with vanos to non-vanos, or vice-versa.

have you researched through the stickies?? there's lots of info and input from members in regards to things that they themselves have done (or can link to) that may offer clarity on doing a swap such as this.

i believe, though, that this is a classic case of being shot in the foot by your own ambition. this may require so much more additional work to 'repair' (a'la resistor in asc circuit) that you will either get to the point that you are tired of throwing money at a frankenstein of a vehicle to try to get it running properly, tow it to a junkyard and be done with it, or possibly part it out and try to regain some of the money invested.

any way you look at it, though, you will probably not be able to sell it, even if you did get it to run properly. at least not to someone who is familiar with bmw's.

but hey, my opinion and $1.70 will but me a coffee @ wawa all day long...


df
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:01 PM
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I had the same exact problem as you after my swap. The fix is really easy, luckily.


There's the connector on the fusebox that you plug the engine wire harness into. It's a big round one with 20-30 pins. Underneath the connector, you need to snip the small light green wire that's on the outer circle of wires. She should fire right up after you do that.
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:13 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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Drivinfaster,


From my understanding, non vanos is a lot easier to run stand alone and forced induction on. My primary reasoning was just because I got a good deal on the engine however

Cj. Surr,


Are you referencing the #7 wire that runs from the EWS to the body electronics? I thought about cutting that wire however my thought process is this: If EWSI has an engine immobilizer, then my starter will not even crank; is this correct? If so, then cutting that green wire wouldn't do me much help because my starter is cranking the engine just fine. Shoot, at this point I'd try anything. And I have 2 circle connectors that the harness plugs into; is the green wire on the one closest to me (standing at the front of the car) or is it the one at the rear of the compartment?
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:22 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
I had the same exact problem as you after my swap. The fix is really easy, luckily.


There's the connector on the fusebox that you plug the engine wire harness into. It's a big round one with 20-30 pins. Underneath the connector, you need to snip the small light green wire that's on the outer circle of wires. She should fire right up after you do that.
that may go around the ews, but what about his vanos, or lack thereof?? or am i mistaken in regards to there being a different program for the dme irt vanos vs non-vanos?? now i'm getting confused...but then that's because i do not understand the reasoning behind putting a non-vanos motor in place of a vanos motor.

as for the things like window switches not working, i would check the switches for poor connections. if the windows go up w/the key the motors and the powers/grounds of the window motor circuits are ok.


df

edit, i understand from a financial aspect, but really, if given the chance to start over, would you continue to proceed, or look forthe correct replacement?? and going fi is not a problem on vanos, there are a few guys here that have done so. i think the e30 guys like the non vanos units for their cars. at least i think that was how i understood it...
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  #6  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldierofhope View Post
Drivinfaster,


From my understanding, non vanos is a lot easier to run stand alone and forced induction on. My primary reasoning was just because I got a good deal on the engine however

Cj. Surr,


Are you referencing the #7 wire that runs from the EWS to the body electronics? I thought about cutting that wire however my thought process is this: If EWSI has an engine immobilizer, then my starter will not even crank; is this correct? If so, then cutting that green wire wouldn't do me much help because my starter is cranking the engine just fine. Shoot, at this point I'd try anything. And I have 2 circle connectors that the harness plugs into; is the green wire on the one closest to me (standing at the front of the car) or is it the one at the rear of the compartment?
Nope, the immobilizer still allows the car to crank, it just stops the fuel and spark. I believe it's the connector closest to the front. I know it's the connector that has more pins total.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drivinfaster View Post
that may go around the ews, but what about his vanos, or lack thereof?? or am i mistaken in regards to there being a different program for the dme irt vanos vs non-vanos?? now i'm getting confused...but then that's because i do not understand the reasoning behind putting a non-vanos motor in place of a vanos motor.

as for the things like window switches not working, i would check the switches for poor connections. if the windows go up w/the key the motors and the powers/grounds of the window motor circuits are ok.


df
I thought he said that he was using the red label DME from the '92? That's what he says in the first post...
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:32 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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Search and read my thread about EWS and how to bypass it.


my thread is VERY detailed...
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Eight Thirty View Post
Search and read my thread about EWS and how to bypass it.


my thread is VERY detailed...
He shouldn't have to do the whole disable since he has a '95. I didn't have to. I think it's different for OBDII.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post

I thought he said that he was using the red label DME from the '92? That's what he says in the first post...
i thought the red label dme didn't need ews??

see, this is what 15 years of wrenching does to you...ya tend to stick with what the factory intended (unless it was a stoopid idea, then you would 'fix it', so to speak. i would also do some work with a few buddies of mine that would retrofit older vehicles with newer technology, so i'm used to thinking along those line. this just sounds backwards to me.

i mean, what happens if the op decides to either sell the car, or happens to find himself in need of another motor. will he be able to go *back* to a vanos, or will he have to go and re-unengineer all of what he is doing now?? (i know, i know...old age is creepong up on me and i'm getting curmudgeonly ...)

hopefully this will be the fix to get the op rolling, though.


df
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:40 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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Drivinfaster,


To be 100% honest, I was in a time crunch and the engine I requested was for an exact match....however I was provided a slightly different one.....consequently, I am having these issues. To compensate, I was provided the harness and dme from the donor car for free......So I basically gutted the '92 and placed everything in my 95 for a clean swap, therefore I know the harness, DME, and engine are all perfect fits. As far as VANOS vs. NON VANOS, I just recently began to learn about cars and the pros and cons of each. To be frank, I don't really care which I have lol. I just need my car to run. It's been in the shop a month and a half now and I'm ready for the road.


Cj.Surr,


Well that explains why the car cranks and why I didn't smell fuel at all....even after attempting to start the car for a whole hour. Hopefully the starter wasn't damaged.


Eight thirty,


Thanks for the heads up mate. I will search that in a moment....I figured it was EWS giving me these issues.....or a relay. Will going Cj.Surr's way be the easiest and most noob friendly route for this bypass?
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivinfaster View Post
i thought the red label dme didn't need ews??

see, this is what 15 years of wrenching does to you...ya tend to stick with what the factory intended (unless it was a stoopid idea, then you would 'fix it', so to speak. i would also do some work with a few buddies of mine that would retrofit older vehicles with newer technology, so i'm used to thinking along those line. this just sounds backwards to me.

i mean, what happens if the op decides to either sell the car, or happens to find himself in need of another motor. will he be able to go *back* to a vanos, or will he have to go and re-unengineer all of what he is doing now?? (i know, i know...old age is creepong up on me and i'm getting curmudgeonly ...)

hopefully this will be the fix to get the op rolling, though.


df
That's right, he doesn't need EWS, but he still needs to cut that wire so that the EWS doesn't send the immobilization signal to the DME.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:42 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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that is part of it which is covered in my thread.


you also need to bridge wires 1/3 which makes the starter work. then the green wire being cut makes the RED LABEL dmes work.

i think thats it...

check the thread for details.. diagrams and so on..
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldierofhope View Post
Thanks for the heads up mate. I will search that in a moment....I figured it was EWS giving me these issues.....or a relay. Will going Cj.Surr's way be the easiest and most noob friendly route for this bypass?
You don't need to disable the EWS, trust me. Just cut that wire, I did an engine swap that was almost exactly the same ('93 M50 into '95 body).
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
You don't need to disable the EWS, trust me. Just cut that wire, I did an engine swap that was almost exactly the same ('93 M50 into '95 body).
as long as you're neither politician nor car salesman...


df
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:03 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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Well....I'm an insurance salesman. Does that make me [/I]as[/I] hated?? haha.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:25 PM
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Well....I'm an insurance salesman. Does that make me [/I]as[/I] hated?? haha.
here's the breakdown according to df...

politicians:
lawyers:
libruls:
neocons:
car salesman:
professors (with tenure):
taxi drivers:
insurance salesman:
walmart workers:
the cutie that sat in front of me in jr year high school:
artists:
musicians:
me:
my brother:


df
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:28 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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Eh I only do it part time so at least I'm not 100% evil. Anyhow......so bypass EWS is first place of business. That should get me up and running then hopefully. Thanks everyone for the quick responses and VERY valuable information.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:31 PM
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When you say bypass it, I hope you mean you're just gonna cut the wire at the harness connector...

I only say this because I don't want you to waste your time/risk screwing something up if you mess with physically bypassing the EWS, since you don't need to do that.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:34 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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That is the very first thing I'm doing when I get to the shop tomorrow; snip that damn wire. So you took a 93 motor and swapped it into a 95 chassis.....does that make yours an OBDII, or an OBDI like mine, CJ.Surr?
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:36 PM
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OBDI. OBDII is 96-on
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:47 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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Cj.Surr,



Bentley Manual states "Starting with models built since January 1995, E36 cars come equipped with a sophisticated coded electronic immobilization system called EWSII." According to my door sill, my car had a production date of 12/94 (although the title states 1995), therefore it is EWSI. Is this correct, or is my title wrong and my car is actually a 94?
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldierofhope View Post
Cj.Surr,



Bentley Manual states "Starting with models built since January 1995, E36 cars come equipped with a sophisticated coded electronic immobilization system called EWSII." According to my door sill, my car had a production date of 12/94 (although the title states 1995), therefore it is EWSI. Is this correct, or is my title wrong and my car is actually a 94?
Mine says 12/95 but its a 96 and obd2... and has the face-lift on it too...
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:51 PM
Soldierofhope Soldierofhope is offline
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I'm sure it some type of thing BMW has going where if it's within one month of the new production year they just go with the newer year.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:57 PM
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it's a 95 model year. there are 2012 models out, even though they were built in 2011. it's whatever designation the factory put on the vin, and it varies by car maker.


df
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldierofhope View Post
Cj.Surr,



Bentley Manual states "Starting with models built since January 1995, E36 cars come equipped with a sophisticated coded electronic immobilization system called EWSII." According to my door sill, my car had a production date of 12/94 (although the title states 1995), therefore it is EWSI. Is this correct, or is my title wrong and my car is actually a 94?
I guess you could call your car a '94, but most dealers would call it a '95 since it was built in the last few months of the year. I don't really know how to tell if you have EWSI or EWSII. I don't really suppose it matters since you won't be using it anyway.
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