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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2012, 10:29 AM
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97 740iL - No start

Hi All,
I have been a bad forum user as i have not been around for the last couple of months due to work schedule and travel.. However I hope that does not discourage all the mechanically creative minds from lending some advice... I have googled my problem and found very little in regards to the symptoms i experienced prior to the no start issue..

Symptoms - Began on 07/03/2012 (yep yesterday) as I was driving home from work. I dropped the gear selector into sport mode at a light, and when the light turned green i punched it to make the turn and get past a slower moving car. The Bimmer didn't up shift the way i felt it would have it had what seemed like over revved and then suddenly it seemed like it changed into normal driving mode. Not Sport... the battery light kicked on and the D on the dash where the drive indicator lights are started flashing.. 3 at a time then it would stop for 5 seconds or so and blink again 3 times and stop this continued for about 20 seconds until i could get to a safe place to stop... All of This happened within a total of 45 seconds from light to stopping.. Not sure what the issue was, i pulled the car over into a safe area, and shut the car off... I let it sit for a few moments and then attempted to restart the car. At which point, all dash lights turned on AC went on, radio, everything. However the car would not turn over at all. Nothing, not a cranking sound, not even a ticking sound.

Note - The car drove fine and shifted fine once the Dash D started blinking (albeit for 20 seconds until i pulled over afraid of damaging anything else)

Possibilities - In my mind at this point, i thought maybe it was the Neutral Switch (tried shifting it back and forth to see if it got out of whack, no luck, rocked the car while it was in park and retried the above steps, no luck) , EWS got jacked up , Engine Control fuse (checked and it wasn't blown).. Went to the trunk and checked the fuses there didn't see any blown, maybe a sensor...

I now have the car in my driveway and sitting there.. I disconnected the battery when i got home and it has been sitting this way over night. I haven't attempted to restart yet, wanted to post first, as i feel if it happened once, it will happen again even if i get it restarted...

So I am turning to the Wizards of Bimmerfest and looking for what you all feel it could possibly be...

Thanks again to all of you in advance...

Regards
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:10 PM
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First, lets get clear : You turn the key and nothing happens. The engine does not turn over.
to rule out the neutral switch : check the gear selector lever : when you switch to gears, it is showing properly on the instrument cluster ? Also get a multimeter for further testing.
Check the alternator positive terminal. Do you get a a voltage reading ?
Have you ever had problems with the ignition switch?
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:02 AM
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1) No the engine does not turn over when attempting to start car. NADA, ZILCH, ZERO, Not a peep other than the electric components in the vehicle coming to life (dash lights, ac, radio, i believe i hear the fuel pump whir for a second or two, the windows work, etc etc..) But no Crank at all.

2)I need to double check the instrument cluster gear selection to see if they light up as i dont remember off the top of my head, will do that tonight.

3) Will check the alternator terminal as well

4) Never had an issue with the ignition switch before...

Ahhh the JOY of owning a 15 year old piece of fine german engineering... LOL
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:12 PM
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So i went out to the car and reconnected fhe battery.key in the ignition in the starting position..the dash lights up..i can see the gear indicators on the dash.but they are faintly lit..when i shift the gear shifter.the do not light up bright from one position to the next.as you expect under normal operation..i havent had the chance to check the alternator positive...

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Old 07-05-2012, 09:20 PM
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Crawl under the car and check the connection on the transmission too.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:14 AM
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Ill get it up on jackstands tommorow morning and see what i can find. Didnt have time last night to do it, was running out of daylight..
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:57 PM
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I think you have a transmission power supply issue somewhere.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:14 AM
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So you dont feel that the neutral safety switch has an issue even though it isnt displaying on the intrument xkuster correctly when i shift gears? Or is it part of the same system?

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Old 07-07-2012, 08:32 AM
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So you dont feel that the neutral safety switch has an issue even though it isnt displaying on the intrument xkuster correctly when i shift gears? Or is it part of the same system?

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If the lights are faint I think is the power source. If is not displaying correctly def. is the transmission neutral safety switch, not sending signal to DME for the engine to turn. Check Al/data for the safety switch, they should mention the location and maybe a better testing procedure. I'm thinking if there is a way to test if is getting power supply...
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:54 PM
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Update on the 740...
So today the weather finally gave me some room to actually take a look at the car.. I started in the trunk and checked the fuses again. Found that anti thief system had a blown fuse.. Replaced that. No others blown back there.
Proceeded to the front fuse box. Went thru each one and replaced all the old ones with new ones. Found a few blown on my way thru. One of which was the engine control fuse.. It was so hard to tell it was blown i had to put on a tester and that identified it was no good. Under a magnifying glass i could see that it was blown, It was one of the new ATC fuses with the Z in the window. In any event i replaced that and fuse 19 (which even alldata doesnt say what its for).... Now instead of complete silence when i turn the key, I can here the tick but no crank... Also the Gear identifiers on the dash now actually register correctly when i shift from one gear to the next. So that is a plus.. Now i just have to figure out why it ticks but doesnt crank...

Also I checked the battery with the multimeter, and it showed 10.37 volts with no load on it. I hooked my truck up to it and let the truck run for about 10 minutes and checked the battery again and it registered 11.98 volts with no load on it.. However when i attempt to start the car i still just get the click, no crank....
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:30 PM
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Did you check the fuel pump working correctly or not?
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:57 PM
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Yeah, there isn't even crank. The engine isn't attempting to even turn over. As if the starter isnt engaged and then attempting to turn the motor...
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:32 PM
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Sounds like a power source problem. I would check the big cables from alternator to the jump terminal (bank2) and from there to the starter, ground wire from the pass side engine mount, I would even put the jump cables to the engine bay to see if starter engages, or jump the starter to see if is turning. Either way all the main cables need a close attention, even if you start the engine. That sounds like is the issue with the car not starting now. Check if you get 12 V @ the starter...Check the starter relay. You might find the diagram on your computer. From there you might be able to jump start it. If not remove that big connector put 2 wires straight from the battery and see what happens.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:32 AM
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okay so went out there this am to check the jump point on the top of the engine block to alternator. Registered 11.1 volts.
In an effort to better describe what Im hearing, i loaded up this video I did this AM of me turning the ignition key... At the battery it registers 11.8 volts with no load on it..Not to oversimplify, not attempting to start.. Hooked up the truck to the car again, tightened everything down. Took the wire brush to the ground on the passenger side at the engine mount as it was gunked up. And she started up....Such a simple issue, fuses and some other crap. I tell you though that engine control fuse was tuff to see it was blown... Now I have this ticking noise in the engine. Im gonna let her sit for a while and check the oil. I still have that annoying bmw oil leak. I think its time to get down to the lower tc and gaskets and might as well replace timing chains and all the guids while im in there.



Engine Ticking noise once it was started, didnt have that noise before the problem with the starting...

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Old 07-15-2012, 03:30 PM
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So after further reading and digging around on the boards. It appears that I have a stuck hydraulic lifter.
Is there a consensus of yes that is what it sounds like. If so, I have read using CD2 or Lucas Oil treatment can help resolve the problem...
Any thoughts on the two above remedies....

Here is the ticking noise again

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Old 07-15-2012, 08:38 PM
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Try bleeding the lifters like described in the TSB:

2001 BMW 740i
HYDRAULIC BUCKET TAPPETS (HVA) TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS
2001 BMW 740i
HYDRAULIC BUCKET TAPPETS (HVA) TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS
HYDRAULIC BUCKET TAPPETS (HVA) TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS
TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN


Reference Number(s): 11 01 01, Date of Issue: June, 2001
BMW All with M42, M44, M50, M52, M54, M60, M62, S50, S52 and S62 engines
GROUP 11 -Engine
11 05 90 (3058), Date of Issue: May, 1990

SUBJECT

NOTE:
This Service Information bulletins supersedes S.I. 11 05 90 (3058) dated May,
1990.


Hydraulic Bucket Tappets (HVA) Troubleshooting Tips

SITUATION

Two common reasons for the replacement of hydraulic bucket tappets (HVA) are:

1. Tapping / rattling noise from the valve train area or
2. Binding HVA element
CAUSE

Tapping / rattling noise from the valve train area may have various different causes depending on engine oil level, engine / oil temperature, when the noise is heard (cold start, engine hot), etc.

The following Complaint, Cause and Correction scenarios will assist in troubleshooting for HVA element noise:

SITUATION 1A

Tapping / rattling noises from the area of the valve train up to 20 seconds after a cold start.

CAUSE

These noises can be traced back to the higher viscosity of cold mineral based engine oil.

For a brief moment insufficient oil reaches the high pressure chamber of the HVA element via the high pressure valve after start up. This results in clearance between the HVA element and the camshaft lobe which then causes a tapping / rattling noise.

Influencing factors for this complaint:

Viscosity of engine oil used
Ambient temperature


This condition is not caused by mechanical damage to any engine components and has no damaging effect on the service life of the engine.

CORRECTION

Check that oil viscosity is matched to ambient temperature range at which the vehicle is being operated. Refer to Owners Manual or Operating Fluids Manual (Temperature -Viscosity chart) for further information.

SITUATION 1B

Tapping / rattling noises in the area of the valve train for the first 8 -10 consecutive cold starts.

This condition usually occurs after the engine has been turned off at normal operating temperature and then not
warmed up to full operating temperature during the next series of cold starts.

This operating condition can occur, for example, on new vehicles which have been delivered to your BMW
center (due to loading and unloading from the transport trucks, etc.).

CAUSE

Hot engine oil initially escapes from the oil galley of the HVA elements when the engine is stopped. A small amount of oil also escapes through the gaps between the HVA elements and the HVA housings in the cylinder head.

The oil then contracts while the engine is cooling down and allows air to enter the oil system. During the subsequent cold start, this air can be forced into the HVA elements (causing air pockets) through the build up of engine oil pressure. The resulting clearance between the HVA elements and the camshaft lobes causes the tapping / rattling noises.
This HVA tapping / rattling noise is not dependent on the amount of time the engine is off, but rather on:
The temperature of the engine when it was turned off (operating temperature -hot)
The number of subsequent cold starts without the engine being warmed up to operating temperature.


CORRECTION

Run the engine to dissipate (bleed) the air trapped in the high pressure chamber of the HVA elements.
Refer to the HVA bleeding procedure described below.

SITUATION 1C

Tapping / rattling noises in the area of the valve train after extreme cornering/lateral acceleration (engine oil
level at or below minimum).

NOTE: These valve train noises will not stop until the engine is run for approximately
10 -15 minutes at an engine speed of at least 2,500 rpm with the oil at the
proper level.
CAUSE

During extreme cornering/lateral acceleration with the engine oil level at or below minimum, air can be drawn in by the oil pump (oil foaming). The air which is drawn into the oil system can enter the HVA elements. The resulting clearance between the HVA elements and the camshaft lobes causes the tapping / rattling noises.

CORRECTION

Run the engine to dissipate (bleed) the air trapped in the high pressure chamber of the HVA elements.
Refer to the HVA bleeding procedure described below.

HVA BLEEDING PROCEDURE

-Check oil level -correct if necessary.

-Let engine idle at operating temperature with the hood open to verify valve train tapping / rattling noise.

-If a tapping / rattling noise can be heard from the valve train, run the engine for 3 minutes without load at approximately 2,500 to 3,000 rpm (bleeding procedure).

-Then with the engine at idle listen for valve train noises again.


NOTE: Only listen for noises when the engine has reached minimum oil pressure, i.e. after a waiting period (at idle) of approximately 15 -30 seconds.

-If no more noises can be heard, the test procedure is complete. No further action is necessary, the engine is working properly.

-If the tapping / rattling noises can still be heard, the bleeding procedure must be repeated (run the engine for 3 minutes at 2,500 -3,000 rpm).


If necessary, repeat this procedure up to five times.


-If the tapping / rattling noises can still be heard, the bleeding procedure must be performed one final time for approximately 15 minutes.

-If no more noises can be heard, the test procedure is complete. No further action is necessary, the engine is working properly.


If the tapping / rattling noise is still heard after performing the above HVA Bleeding Procedure the following scenarios will assist in further troubleshooting for HVA element noise:

If the noise is coming from all HVA elements an oil supply problem is the most likely cause.

Check engine oil pressure as outlined in the appropriate repair manual, group 11.

If the oil pump pressure (at idle = minimum pressure or regulated = maximum pressure) is below specification a visual inspection of the oil pump and oil pump pick up in the oil pan should be performed with emphasis on the pick up gasket and control valve O ring were applicable. See repair manual group 11, section 11 41 000 for further oil pump information.

NOTE:
A faulty oil pump control valve O ring or oil pump pick up gasket (slight tear in
O ring or gasket) may not always result in a low oil pressure indication when
performing an oil pressure check.


The air drawn in to the lubrication system via a defective gasket or O ring will cause oil foaming and HVA tapping / rattling noises.

If the noise is still coming from an individual HVA element after performing the above HVA Bleeding Procedure the suspected element(s) can be isolated as follows:

-Remove cylinder head cover.


-Turn the engine over (normal direction of rotation) until the camshaft lobe of the HVA element to be
checked is pointing away from the HVA element. (engine valve completely closed)

-Repeatedly apply a force of approximately 10N (2.25 lb.f.) to the HVA element with your thumb or using a folding arm tool BMW special tool number 90 88 6 009 321 (included in the BMW assembly wedge kit P/N 90 88 6 009 310) or a hard wood wedge.
If the HVA element collapses slightly as though it is spring loaded, this is a sign that air is trapped in the high pressure chamber.

-Apply a force of approximately 20 -30N (4.50 -6.75 lb.f.) for 10 -15 seconds to the HVA element using your thumb, folding arm tool or a hard wood wedge.

If clearance between the camshaft lobe and the HVA element is created when the force is applied, this indicates that the check valve incorporated in the HVA element is not closing / sealing properly due to contamination.


-Release the applied force from the HVA element and using a feeler gauge measure the clearance between the HVA element and the camshaft lobe.

If any clearance is detected this indicates that the HVA element is sticking.

-Conduct the checks as described above on all HVA elements.
-Mark any suspect "soft" HVA element(s) for further examination.


Remove HVA elements as outlined in the appropriate repair manual, group 11 and visually inspect. Replace any suspect "soft" HVA element(s) and check others for extreme wear (deep grooves, scratches, etc.) which may also need to be replaced.


NOTE:
Always reinstall used HVA elements in the same bore which they were removed
from. This avoids possible binding due to different wear patterns between the
bore in the HVA housing and HVA element.

SITUATION 2

Binding HVA element.

CAUSE

An HVA element which is binding (element stuck in the extended position) will not allow a valve (intake or exhaust) to seat properly causing valve seat leakage.

This type of HVA failure may not cause a tapping / rattling noise but the customer complaint may be: "engine runs rough during the warm up phase and runs good when warmed up" and/or the "Check Engine" lamp is on.

If the "Check Engine" lamp is illuminated due to a binding HVA element(s) one or more misfire fault codes
may be set in the Engine Control Module (ECM/DME).

NOTE:
Basic troubleshooting should be performed first before checking for a binding
HVA element to eliminate all other possible factors / components which could
set the misfire faults such as low fuel level, a faulty spark plug, etc.


Refer to TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 12 02 97 for further misfire fault information.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS

-If there is a binding HVA element in one or more cylinders as described above a misfire fault can typically be reproduced in the affected cylinder(s) by duplicating the conditions in which the misfire occurred according to the DME/ECM fault code description i.e., at engine temperature = X, engine speed = X, etc.

-A binding HVA element which is causing a misfire in one specific cylinder will not "move" to an other cylinder and will always cause a misfire fault in the affected cylinder.

-Performing the "Smooth-Running" test (found in the DME control unit functions section of DIS) will assist in pin pointing a cylinder with a binding HVA element.

A cylinder with a binding HVA element will indicate a high reading when compared to the other good
cylinders.


-Since a binding HVA element may in some cases be intermittent (engine only runs rough when cold) if a cylinder leak down check is used for troubleshooting this should be performed when the problem exists, for example: compare the cylinder leakage rates to each other with a cold engine to determine the cylinder with the extreme leakage rate.


A cylinder with a binding HVA element will indicate a leakage rate above 15%.


Remove suspected HVA elements as outlined in the appropriate repair manual group 11 and visually inspect.

-A binding HVA element will typically have a high pressure piston (located in the center of the HVA element body) which extends out approximately 3mm further when compared to the other HVA elements removed from the cylinder head.

Replace any binding HVA element(s) and check others for extreme wear (deep grooves, scratches, etc.) which may also need to be replaced.

NOTE:
Always reinstall used HVA elements in the same bore which they were removed
from. This avoids possible binding due to different wear patterns between the
bore in the HVA housing and HVA element.
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I just hope is not bend. Sounds like a hydraulic lifter. If you want to locate the noise better buy a mechanics stethoscope ($13 @ NAPA) , it helps a lot.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:32 AM
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Ill give this a go later on when i get home.

A few questions for you Joy...

1) how hard was it for you to pull your engine out of your car. Im seriously contemplating this. For the following reasons
a. to fix all the oil leaks in this car. replace all the seals and gaskets including the upper oil pan gasket
b. to do the timing chains etc

2) what oil do you use in your e38. Type and weight?
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:30 AM
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1) I can't say it was hard. I would say easier than few domestic cars actually. But you do need engine hoist and engine balancer. If you want to do timing and upper oil pan gasket, I would recommend to pull it out. It's much much easier to set the timing tools and work on the oil pan and also you can change the rear main seal which is common to fail. I've done a DIY :



2) Before the valve job, I used Mobil1 20w-50. Yes, heavy oil but engine noise and oil consumption were reduced a lot. After the valve job I start to use 10w-30. If I were down there with hot weather all the time I would use only 20w-50. My opinion is that once the engine is worn (after 100k) this oil will seal better and stick better than the "recommend" one 0w. It's worth a try.

I once put Castrol full syntetic 5w-30 and right after that I went to a trip. Coming back I drove the car 450 miles without stopping the engine and this happen't:


I would never use that Castrol again in the E38.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:31 AM
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Sounds good. All i can get my hands on down here was 15W - 50. Couldnt locate at 20W - 50 at the local shops...

When you say engine balancer. Are you refering to an ENGINE STAND. i just went and googled engine balancer and all it pulls up is the enginer harmonic balancer...
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:17 PM
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Sounds good. All i can get my hands on down here was 15W - 50. Couldnt locate at 20W - 50 at the local shops...

When you say engine balancer. Are you refering to an ENGINE STAND. i just went and googled engine balancer and all it pulls up is the enginer harmonic balancer...
I was referring at equalizer actually, not balancer. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...ct_19889_19889

The Mobil1 20w-50 I used to buy from O'reilly. Ussually $8.99/qt often discounted for $4.99.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:15 PM
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Well I topped off the Oil with the 15W 50 I was able to get my hands on. And did the bleed test. After about the 3rd round of it, the tick went away. Thanks for the process.

I think I am going to pull the engine out of the car to be honest. I think it will be far easier to do all the work i want to on it replacing all the gaskets and what not... So i think that is going to be my next move on this car. Im actually looking forward to it to be honest. It is somewhat daunting but I think Im ready to dig into my engine and take on the task at hand...

Woot Woot
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:23 PM
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Mein Auto: '99 740IL, K75RT
Glad you fix it! Yeah engine out is fun. With the engine out is easier to remove the Jesus bolt of the harmonic balancer (around 200# some say...). You need an old bed frame ...
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