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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 10-20-2012, 01:46 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 E34 M60 540I
Unhappy NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

New user here and fairly new owner (bought car in June) and need some major help.
Bought the car in June and it had been sitting for about 4 years according to the last time it was inspected. Put a new battery in it and put new tires on it (the old ones were dry rotted)
Put plugs in and a new air filter. The car was running rough when I bought it. When I put the plugs in I noticed oil in the valve covers, so I knew I would have to replace those.
I was also getting a O2 code and changed that (only one). Put new oil and filter on. The car would run idle rough and when at a light or stop sign, the "check engine" light would come on. On acceleration, the light would go out and car would take off fine. I assumed this was from the new plugs being fouled from the oil getting into the area where the coils are.

I recently did the following:
Changed oil and filter (again)
New Plugs
New A/C belt (dry rotted from sitting)
New valve cover gaskets and grommets

I really expected the car to run better, and unfortunately it did not. I did notice some slight cracking a the tips of the boots on the coils, but nothing major. "Check Engine" light stayed on the whole time I drove it home. Idle was rough, but accelerated normally.
When I got home, I hit A/C on to check the new belt and the car stalled. Now I have the
"Trans Program" light and the car will not start???

About 1 hour ago (10/20/2012) I just put a new Crankshaft Position Sensor in.
Still no start??
WTF??? I have plug/coil boots on the way and a DME relay. Am I missing something????

ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. I LOVE THIS CAR (Well, I Did)


THANKS!!!!!
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:02 PM
MINI+BMWtek MINI+BMWtek is offline
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drain the old gas, replaced fuel pump,fuel filter,flush lines and removed injectors to have them bench clean. 4 year old gas kills fuel system components. are you getting fault code 10 or 12 for 02 sensor? check lambda controller at idle and 2500rpm most likely air leaks.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:07 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 E34 M60 540I
NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

drain the old gas, replaced fuel pump,fuel filter,flush lines and removed injectors to have them bench clean. 4 year old gas kills fuel system components. are you getting fault code 10 or 12 for 02 sensor?


We have had the car for 4 months and have put new gas in it many times and it never stalled before. The car alway accelerated fine and would only idle rough. This is the first time it stalled and now it will not restart.


check lambda controller at idle and 2500rpm most likely air leaks.
How can I check anything at idle if the car won' start?
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:28 PM
driveright driveright is offline
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Mein Auto: 520i e34
coil

Although I own a 520i now I had the same prob with my civic, I had a bad habit of turning over the engine with the plugs out to remove any dirt, doing this blew my coil, replaced coil and worked. Good luck
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:44 PM
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Check the CPS, see if you installed it correctly. It should be 5mm from the harmonic balancer
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2012, 04:02 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

It is a 1994 E34 540

The CPS can only go in one way. It only has one bolt. I could not have messed that up even if I tried.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2012, 04:18 PM
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Did you torque it properly? You can mess it up.. That can be why you have a no start. Also Check fuel pump - relay, and fuse
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2012, 05:48 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 E34 M60 540I
NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

The bolt has a allen head. Not sure how I could torque this. It is pretty tight, any tighter and I would have stripped the head more. Almost stripped it taking it out. I had to keep spraying a WD-40 type product and waiting for it to soak.

The CPS tube slides down into a hole and there is only this one allen head bolt holding it in.

I checked the fuel pump fuse and it looks good. I have a new fuel pump relay coming on Monday.

When you look for spark, do you have to ground the end of the plug against the block like you used to do on an old car with points and condenser?

My friend was under the impression that since these use coils for each plug and it is an electronic system, that all you have to do it pull the plug and put it in the coil and turn the key to look for spark without grounding it against anything. This is what he did on his Mazda.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2012, 05:57 PM
ThoreauHD ThoreauHD is offline
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O2 sensor x 2
Fuel filter x 2
Possible Mass Air Flow meter an issue(MAF)- if it dies on you in the middle of the street.
Transmission fluid, Gear oil, and transmission filter kit(if it's an automatic). Use red line or amsoil d4atf & 75w90.

This is all stuff you need a lift to do, so get chummy with a BMW Independent mechanic and bring in the parts via autohausaz.com or bavauto.com.

4 years idle means rubber, fluid, and filters have rotted. If rotted is a word, that is. Since the O2 sensors are bad, odds are there wasn't much maintenance done before the idle either. Once you do this, it's done, so don't fret about it.

This engine prefers 5w-40 in summer snd 0w-40 in winter. Use synthetic if possible. Maintenance drops to 7500 mile intervals. Good luck bud.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:04 PM
MINI+BMWtek MINI+BMWtek is offline
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point and condenser that is 60`s technology. did you replaced CKP sensor with OEM? Chinese sensor are notorious for been faulty brand new. checking for faults and checking spark will be a good start than from there go check fuel system. you need good fuel/oxygen ratio need to induced into combustion to be ignited and compressed at the correct time and pump out from engine for the engine the engine to start.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:15 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 E34 M60 540I
NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

O2 sensor x 2
If I needed the second one, it would have thrown a code

Fuel filter x 2
I thought about this, but it always accelerated fine.

Possible Mass Air Flow meter an issue(MAF)- if it dies on you in the middle of the street.
It did not die in the street. It died when I was parked and running. I put the A/C on to test the new belt that was installed. The idle kicked up as it should. I hit the gas several times and it stalled.

Transmission fluid, Gear oil, and transmission filter kit(if it's an automatic). Use red line or amsoil d4atf & 75w90.
I am pretty sure that I need the Shell ATF fluid since I have the "lifetime" tranny.

Did you replaced CKP sensor with OEM? Chinese sensor are notorious for been faulty brand new.
I got the CPS from Bavauto. I hope they use good stuff
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:38 PM
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supertech777 supertech777 is offline
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Fuel filters need to be replaced regardless on acceleration , specially if it was sitting for a few years do the obvious first or you are going to be chasing your tale , so far you have done the plugs and oil + filter . dont stop there do the fuel filters !!!
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2012, 07:30 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 E34 M60 540I
NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

Are the CPS from Bavauto and Pelican notoriously bad?

I did notice that the OEM had a 1/4" pickup and the new one only has a little dot for the pickup.

If I just spent 80.00 for a POS I am going to be really pissed. How do I test this?
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2012, 08:11 PM
MINI+BMWtek MINI+BMWtek is offline
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I love those cheap sensors as they usually come to the shop after an owner has spent countless hours diagnosing, I usually swap those sensor with oem dont spend to much time diagnosing those sensors, to test them you need a DSO to check signal signature it should be a sine wave
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2012, 09:51 PM
ThoreauHD ThoreauHD is offline
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I get proper fluid flow through a broken rubber, but that doesn't mean it's working.

Paper and rubber/petroleum, even your physically impossible lifetime fluid, degrades.

Blow off what we're saying, and we'll be reading your "parting out my baby" post 6 months from now. We ain't guessing. You are. Take what we say into consideration or don't, but don't get upset at us when it goes sideways. Good luck.

Last edited by ThoreauHD; 10-20-2012 at 09:56 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2012, 10:17 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Hi mate,

Well, you do have an obvious and common problem, so let me explain the correct workflow for you to solve it easily.

1. Download something called the bentley manual for E34s, Google for the links. Its essential for the DIYer. Everything about the car is explained in detail. There are compiled troubleshooting charts at the back of each chapter to help you quickly track down and solve problems as well.

2. Read the relevant sticky threads at the top of this list, in full. They contain the forum's distilled wisdom on many E34 issues, including stuff that you've mentioned.

3. Read the list of suggested to-do stuff I've listed in the following threads :

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...talian+tune+up

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=641002

4. Stand in front of the car with a zen mind, aka a beginner's mind, and start from scratch with perfect observation of everything.

All of this will take you the better part of a day to read, understand, strategise and begin implementation, and if you don't have that time or patience, you'll need to tow your car to a mechanic, cause you're not going to get your instincts tuned to the E34's repairs quickly enough.

In short, the E34's highly common no-start issues (95% of the time) are :

1. Fuel pump.
2. Fuel pump's relay, and fuse.
3. Crankshaft position sensor.

The Bentley manual will show you how to test all of the above on your car before you go on to replacing them. Regardless, I advise everyone who just bought the car to change all those out to new parts (OEM only) even if everything is working fine now, unless they have reliable proof that those parts were changed in the past few years. Otherwise, they fail after 10-20 years, and often suddenly and without impending warning, leaving you stranded literally anywhere, and at some workshop's mercy.

Uncommon E34 no-start issues (5% of the time) :

1. DME relay. (Actually never heard of a no-start issue due to this, but I recommend that your change the fp, dme, o2 sensor and abs relays as the OEM relays are only like $12 each so why take the chance on important components like these? The old relays are kept as spares).

2. The starter. The only solution to this is rebuilding your existing starter or plonking in a new one.

3. The DME. If you have something called the EWS system (BMW's early version of the immobiliser security system), fixing this issue will not be as simple as buying a spare DME and plugging it in. Please see http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=536505

That being said, considering that spare working DMEs are like $60-$100 off ebay, and its compact enough to keep in the car, and can be resold off anytime in the future for the same price or higher, I would suggest that you pick up a spare one and keep it in the trunk anyway. [ In fact, the best idea would be to purchase a spare dme AND a performance chip clone with EWS delete off ebay, install the chip in your new spare dme, install the dme in your car, and keep your existing dme as the spare. Always turn a repair into an upgrade where possible, even if it costs you a little more. )

4. A flat battery.

5. A busted/disconnected fusible link.

Your specific questions :

1. The crank sensor does not need to be torqued down specifically, it just needs to be tight. The distance from the sensor's head to the vibration damper is fixed through design. As long as the sensor sits in tightly and without impediment in its bracket, and as long as the sensor is functioning, you are fine. Your no start-issue is not related to this. Don't worry, changing the CPS is something you need to do anyway.

2. The spark plug in the ignition coil needs to be grounded to the car with a jumper cable or some other wire, before you crank it to see if there is spark. Of course, the plug needs to be tightly in the coil as well, which will require some positioning since you're doing this out of the engine.

3. A bad MAF will not lead to a no-start situation that has no maf code.

4. After you've found the problem and the car has started, clear off all the stored error codes, they may interfere with optimal driving. Note the codes first. A few days later, check for codes again. Take action on old codes that have reappeared. Codes can be cleared through the stomp test or by disconnecting the DME for 5 minutes.

5. Oil filled spark plug sockets will lead to poor running and its unlikely to cause a no-start issue. When you fix your vcg (valve cover gaskets), it is also likely that your car's performance will be improved, as its common for leaky vcgs to result in vacuum leaks as well.

6. This is an obvious point but check all the fuses in your fuse box, regardless of component. You might find stuff in that which helps you corroborate issues.

My money is on either your fuel pump or your fuel pump's relay. If you use the Bentley manual's suggestions to jump your fuel pump's relay, and the relay was the problem, you can get your car running immediately.

It will be a waste of your time if you don't do what I've recommended above and you come back here to try and fix this via a to and fro with the forums micromanaging you.
You are always going to be the best person to fix problems because you're standing in front of the engine and we are behind computers. I've shown you the path. Eventually, when you are done with this, come back to the forums and start looking through the archives....you'll see MANY no-start threads and you'll understand why I speak thus.

That being said, let us know immediately if you don't understand any of these recommendations or methods that you read about in the manual or elsewhere, or if you're read, understood and done everything and are truly stumped.

No pressure, no pressure, really You are a short distance from getting your car running again, and eventually ensuring that it runs like even more like a champ than it did before. It always works itself out that way, especially when the owner cares about the car, which you clearly do. When you do everything you need to at one go instead of piecemeal, your car will not generate so much stress that you fall out of love with it either. Yes, I know the feeling my friend. So once again, no pressure, no pressure. Good luck.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-20-2012 at 10:45 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2012, 10:30 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINI+BMWtek View Post
I love those cheap sensors as they usually come to the shop after an owner has spent countless hours diagnosing, I usually swap those sensor with oem dont spend to much time diagnosing those sensors, to test them you need a DSO to check signal signature it should be a sine wave
Well, usually if the thing has continuity, it is working perfectly fine. The DME does not depend on the intermediate variations afforded by a sine curve to determine when to fire the plugs, so precise sine curve transmissions are unnecessary.

That being said, only purchase OEM for key components like the CPS, and have a professional install it properly if you're unsure about it, even if it sounds like something simple to do (consider it as buying insurance). A poorly made or installed cps will, at a minimum, lead to poor running, and more likely, suddenly fail.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-21-2012 at 01:05 AM.
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2012, 11:05 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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After you've tackled all the common no-start issues, you should tackle the common engine overheat issues. Don't worry, on their own, overheating issues are not all that common. However, it is always smart to do the following, especially if this car is your daily driver :

1. Double check your auxiliary fan's functions. Make sure it works on two settings by jumping the relevant terminals at the coolant sensor/aux fan connection. The manual has the details.
2. Change the aux's fan's 20 yr old resistor to a new, modern solid-state resistor.
3. Remove your coolant temperature sensor at the side of the radiator and lightly sand off any corrosion that has built up on the probe. This is nice but not essential.
4. Having done the above, you can delete your clutch fan and its shroud if you wish. The engine will be fine at idle, on a hot day, in a traffic jam, with the a/c on - the aux fan will take care of things. Or you can remove it and install an electric fan. Or you can keep the clutch fan, in which case its you need to test it for firmness first and replace if you're not thoroughly happy with it (please check google, the manual and these forums for advise on how to do that). Most people keep the clutch fan. BMW's latest cars come with 2 electric fans. [ At this point, the fan clutch delete with no replacement applies to M50 engines only).
5. Ensure that you've got a new, composite impeller water pump in there. Reject plastic, stainless steel and cast iron impellers. Only purchase pumps with a lifetime warranty or the original BMW pump ($110 at turner motorsports) with the composite impeller. Inspect any new water pumps for free play in their bearings etc before installation.
5.1 If you change your water pump, purchase a new thermoplastic water pump pulley, if your existing pulley is made of aluminium. Less stress on the wp's bearings, and just a tad, just a tad bit more oomph for the engine.
6. Get a new thermostat.
7. If your upper and lower radiator hoses are hard to the touch, change them to new ones. About $20 each. Hard hoses crack more easily. Hoses do crack.
8. Purchase a new radiator cap and a new bleed screw. $15 total for both. Keep the old bleed screw as a spare in your car.
9. Flush your radiator twice one week apart. Bleed it properly each time. Follow the Bentley manual's instructions on bleeding the radiator. It is simple, and if you're finding it difficult, you're doing it wrong. I say this only because of what we've observed here and been through ourselves. There was alot of misinformation about this on the net.
10. Use non-oem cheap brightly coloured sweet smelling coolant from walmart. If there are any leaks anywhere, the bright colour will be easier to spot and for you to diagnose. If any coolant hose ruptures while driving, the sweet smell from the escaping coolant will invade your cabin and alert you long before your engine overheats. OEM coolant is faint blue and nearly colourless. Any differences between generic and the oem coolants are too minor to be relevant for our car at this age.
11. You can also use water-wetter from redline and mix it with water in your radiator, either with or without coolant as well, which helps your system run a little cooler while reducing water/steam's surface tension and thus reducing the risk of vapour-based hot spots in your cylinder head.
12. Monitor your coolant levels weekly for the first 2 months. Coolant levels naturally drop from full but your radiator should only require a topup once every 6-8 weeks. If you are topping up more often, you need to get your radiator checked via a pressure test. If I were you, I would do that anyway because its an old radiator, and peace of mind is priceless. If its suspect, get a new radiator and don't stress yourself about it radiators are awesome. Plenty of companies selling them with lifetime warranties. $200. No need to buy the enhanced all-aluminium one that retails for like 3 times more.
13. If you do replace your radiator, most definitely, do your wp, thermostat, fan clutch and rad hoses, if you haven't done them recently. Having to replace a radiator without damaging it in an accident is in the E34's very bad luck category of things that could go wrong, so refresh your entire cooling system to restore total faith to your car.

Yawn !

rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-21-2012 at 01:03 AM.
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  #19  
Old 10-21-2012, 01:28 AM
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Check for a spark. That OK's the CPS, EMU and some fuses. If spark tests OK go for fuel.
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  #20  
Old 10-21-2012, 05:47 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 E34 M60 540I
NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

OK everyone, here is where I am at right now:

The original CPS that came out was caked with oil and grease at the tip facing the crank.
I just replaced it with the new one even after noticing the new one was a different design.
Today I decided to borrow a neighbors Fluke meter and test continuity on the original CPS.
It measures .540-.550, which if I understand correctly, is OK and the Bentley manual was wrong originally. I don' feel real comfortable with the new one since reading a lot of horror stories in the forums. The base is plastic, but of more concern is the little dimple of a pickup for the sensor. Since the original one tested fine, I think I am just going to clean the ends and re-install it to see what happens.

I am supposed to receive a new DME relay and fuel pump relay as well as new spark plug boots tomorrow. I will install on Tuesday and see what happens

I also bought a spark plug ignition tester today, and will try that out to look for spark the correct way. It has a ground wire to clip to the engine and plugs into the boot. There is a coil inside glass/plastic that will allow me to actually see if there is spark.

Of course I appreciate all the help. I will start with the above and we will see where this gets me.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:01 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by meb1970 View Post
OK everyone, here is where I am at right now:

The original CPS that came out was caked with oil and grease at the tip facing the crank.
I just replaced it with the new one even after noticing the new one was a different design.
Today I decided to borrow a neighbors Fluke meter and test continuity on the original CPS.
It measures .540-.550, which if I understand correctly, is OK and the Bentley manual was wrong originally. I don' feel real comfortable with the new one since reading a lot of horror stories in the forums. The base is plastic, but of more concern is the little dimple of a pickup for the sensor. Since the original one tested fine, I think I am just going to clean the ends and re-install it to see what happens.

I am supposed to receive a new DME relay and fuel pump relay as well as new spark plug boots tomorrow. I will install on Tuesday and see what happens

I also bought a spark plug ignition tester today, and will try that out to look for spark the correct way. It has a ground wire to clip to the engine and plugs into the boot. There is a coil inside glass/plastic that will allow me to actually see if there is spark.

Of course I appreciate all the help. I will start with the above and we will see where this gets me.

Check your fuel pump for continuity. That's probably the problem. Cracked spark plug boots won't lead to these issues. Jump the fuel pump's relay in accordance with Bentley's instructions. That might be it as well.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:43 PM
meb1970 meb1970 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 E34 M60 540I
NEED HELP!!!! 1994 E34 540 Wont Start

MY BABY IS BACK !!!!

Changed the coil boots on Monday and installed the new DME/ECU Relay. No Change.

Received the fuel pump relay today and a friend from work came over to help. When he was in the back seat area to undo the battery so I could install the relay safely, he noticed a fusible link off of the positive connector at the battery that looked cooked. The fuse inside looked OK, but the link was melted. So he ran to Advanced Auto and picked up a new one. I cut the wires and spliced in the new link then installed the Fuel Pump Relay. After connecting the battery....WHAMMO, she fired right up.

Still running rough, but runs. Check engine light comes on at idle but goes out when the gas pedal is hit. I AM taking everyone's advice and installing new fuel filters on Saturday. I am also going to clean the M.A.F. with some cleaner from C.R.C. If this does not resolve the rough idle, I will spray some carb cleaner around the intake to check for leaks.

The idle seems really low to, like 500 rpm or even a little lower. If the fuel filters are not the culprit, maybe the Idle Speed Control Valve?

In any event, she runs. And since the spark plugs are new and I have new tight boots AND the valve cover gaskets were done so no oil gets in the wells, she is fast a F$%^^ when I mash the gas. Probably will just get better I hope.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:42 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Ah. Fusible link. Forgot that. You would have picked it up if you read the stickies.

Bad idle - clean the throttle position switch and its connection. Clean the idle control valve. Adjust the slack on your throttle cable. Check for vacuum leaks doing the vcg is a good move. Clear off all the other no start issues you have not done (cps and fuel pump) and this will probably never happen again.

p.s. Took another look. Indeed I had included the fusible link as a suspect, but under the uncommon no-start situations. Perhaps we should include it in the common list since its so easy to check this....just 15 minutes turnaround time.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-25-2012 at 04:25 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-25-2012, 04:26 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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If you fusible link is busted, nothing electrical in your car should work as the primary circuit from the battery has been cut. The symptoms would be exactly the same as a totally dead/disconnected battery. Could you crank your engine ? Were any dashboard lights active? Or was your car completely dead ?
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  #25  
Old 10-25-2012, 11:46 AM
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 717
Mein Auto: 1995 540I/6
Wow some posters here should not give out suggestions if they do not know how the car works. Jesus, talk about online mechanics.
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