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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:28 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 528I
Tune up on 1994 530i

I am attempting to tune up the beemer this weekend. Had some really hard starts in the winter time and again this morning. To tune up, I should replace the coil as well? Should I get an aftermarket coil like the one Bav Auto has for $250 or will that make a difference. Also, besides the coils and plugs what else should I do?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:38 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
On the hard start, why have you ruled out the alternator, starter or battery and gone right to the plugs?

I was having idling issues a few months ago (low idle and some hesitation during accelerations) and I replaced the plugs with the ones you're supposed to put it. Bosch F7 something. pre-gapped. I did not replace the coils. 170k on the coils. Coils were fine.

But what you want to look for when you open the valve cover is look to see if there is any oil seeping through the valve cover because even a small amount of oil will seep into the spark plug holes and plugs and foul the plugs. If you have a leak there, then you could do a valve cover gasket replacement as part of the tune up.

I would just look at the coils when you open the valve cover and if they look good and unfouled, I would just do the plugs while looking for any small oil leaks in the valve cover gasket. FYI, I got significant improvement and completely fixed the low idle and acceleration problems by replacing just the spark plugs. I have a '94 530i. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:56 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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Thanks! I had them check the plugs a while back and they said they were fouled but fine. They want to charge me $300 for a tune up, including coils. Coils are original.
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2013, 04:34 PM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
I had to borrow the tools from somebody and go slow and I used the Bentley's manual but other than that, the spark plugs cost me about $28 and I am not really a very handy person but was able to do this. It only took me a few hours and that's cause I went really slow.

You could do the plugs and if you're still having problems, think about the coils and you also get to inspect the coils while you're doing the plugs as well. But otherwise I don't know why you would just need new coils on a tune-up, you should get at least 250k out of those coils if they look good.
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2013, 05:15 PM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
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Location: Orange County , CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i SPORT /6 spd
Do your plugs.. You only need a 13mm for the covers, 10mm for the two nuts on each coil. And a spark plug socket on an extention to get the plugs out.
I bought all 8 new plugs for 2$ each 18$ w/ tax and installed in 30 min while screwing around.

I also took time clean every possible spot i could as i had washes under my hood at a self serve car wash and ran all the oil and water into my plug holes..

Dumb, i know better!

If u buy the tools at HF and plugs it will cost under 50$.

Any one here will bet your coils are fine.. They dont all go bad at once!

I suggest fresh oil/ filter and plugs. Check n replace air filter.
Is the coolant clean? Hows the fuel filter, hoses, and belts?

Maybe do that so called prevenitive maintanice no one does till its too late.

As far i am conserned, the Tune up died with carborators and point type ignition sytems

Its all computer controled now no more dialing in your motor by hand.

Now we are just slaves to our car's with our sole purpose being maintinance/repairs

Last edited by imae34driver; 03-22-2013 at 05:17 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2013, 06:50 PM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 528I
Oil/filter yes, hoses and belts, yes, coolant yes, fuel filter no. Maybe I will do that. So no to the coils then? I'll change the plugs and see how it runs. Thanks peeps!
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Last edited by Bull City BMW; 03-22-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:09 PM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i SPORT /6 spd
I can not think of a better way to get to know your car.
Its easy, quick, lets you see your vcg's and the plugs tell a story of what each cylinder has been through.

You will be working on your car as long as you own an e34 so id say its a perfect starting point!

A car will almost always thank you for fresh plugs
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2013, 10:47 AM
Lapin 229 Lapin 229 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 e34
Have you done your stomp test? Vacuum leaks are usually the culprit.
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1995 e34 530i 164,000
1990 e34 525 junked
1984 e30 325 junked
1990 GS N8303
1980 928 gone
1998 740 gone
1986 535 gone
1984 533 gone
1980 320 gone
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2013, 12:10 PM
markfothebeast markfothebeast is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 540i
The plugs and coils are so simple to replace and anyone can do it. It's as simple as removing the two bolts in the center of the valve cover covers. From there it is completely self explanatory. I probably would not replace the coils unless you knew for sure there is a bad coil. Like mentioned above, if you see oil in the spark plug housing area, you're going to want to do that valve cover gasket. A set is $40+. There's also other annoying culprits in these vehicles that can cause a hard start. Typically I usually point to the fuel pressure regulator beginning to fail. But then again, I usually work on domestics.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2013, 03:26 PM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
yeah, I should add again that the reason it took me 3 hours is cause I went really, really slowly and I am not very mechanically inclined, at all. And I looked around at stuff and cleaned out some of the holes where the oil had seeped in the most.

The engine in this car is tilted back slightly towards the windshield side of the engine compartment so that when oil does seep into the valve cover, it seeps mostly into the two holes (the two spark plug holes closest to windshield) and those are the ones that were fouled on me. I should say though, that as badly as the plugs were fouled, the car was still driving pretty darn well for having bad spark plugs.

by any chance, does anybody know if the vcg on this particular model is a problem area cause I've had a bunch of other BMWs and never a problem with a a vcg?

Last edited by manuelwindows; 03-23-2013 at 03:28 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2013, 11:05 PM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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Mein Auto: '95 540i, '87 325ic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
I am attempting to tune up the beemer this weekend. Had some really hard starts in the winter time and again this morning. To tune up, I should replace the coil as well? Should I get an aftermarket coil like the one Bav Auto has for $250 or will that make a difference. Also, besides the coils and plugs what else should I do?

Thanks!
Hard starts can be a sign of a failing fuel pump (ask me how I know). The coolant temperature sensor can also fool the fuel delivery system into thinking the engine is very warm when it's not. That problem can show up with cold starts. You can tell a bad temp sensor by measuring the sensor's electrical resistance at specific temperatures, like 2500 ohms at 60 degrees F. There are tables on the Internet that match ohmmages at different temps -- they should turn up with a google (or forum) search.
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2013, 11:36 PM
cohen5230 cohen5230 is offline
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Location: indiana
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i
do the performance coils make that big of a difference on these cars? I was thinking about changing my plugs and valve covers, and I have been throwing around the idea of getting a set of performance coils.
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2013, 12:06 AM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
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Location: Orange County , CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i SPORT /6 spd
No not really, these cars came with coils that are more than capable of supplying adequate Spark far beyond stock hp..

Unless you are already running a intake, exhaust, chip at least i do not recommend it. I bet our coils will support 450+ hp easy..

Guys with big ass turbo's use them then there good enough for me!

Its forced induction that tends to blow sparks out like a candle a tiny bit so ignition increases are more needed.

Our cars have coil on plug ignition aka plane and simple the best kind. Very well engineered and coils can last 2-300k

I bet i can index your spark plugs for free and gain more power than b.a.s performance coils get you..

And dual tip spark plugs/quad tip plugs..

Path of least resistance = spark jumping to closest/hottest ground..

I like to take dual tip plugs clean them, cut 1 tip off and side gap them to 30 thousandths..

Just imho

Last edited by imae34driver; 03-24-2013 at 12:09 AM.
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