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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2013, 07:53 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1987 325i, 410K
Coil test 325i (no spark) --> anti theft device malfunction?

The manuals and other help online all say that the coil should register 0.5 ohms between the terminals and 5K ohms between positive and the main tower. I get the latter but consistently get 0.8 between the terminals. It's enough off such that I'm guessing it means something but I'm not sure. 0.8 is the figure given for the 318 IIRC.

I also hooked a test light on each the pos and neg terminals and each lights up connected to ground. One online source recommended cranking the engine while hooked to negative, a flickering test light means faulty coil. I did that and I'm getting some flicker but it's light, seems as though most electric items do a little bit of a fade when running the starter motor.

And thus I continue my barely informed searching.
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2013, 06:03 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
The manuals and other help online all say that the coil should register 0.5 ohms between the terminals and 5K ohms between positive and the main tower. I get the latter but consistently get 0.8 between the terminals. It's enough off such that I'm guessing it means something but I'm not sure. 0.8 is the figure given for the 318 IIRC.

I also hooked a test light on each the pos and neg terminals and each lights up connected to ground. One online source recommended cranking the engine while hooked to negative, a flickering test light means faulty coil. I did that and I'm getting some flicker but it's light, seems as though most electric items do a little bit of a fade when running the starter motor.

And thus I continue my barely informed searching.
There is not much difference between 0.8 and 0.5 ohms...the manual should state something like "in the order of 0.5 ohms". I do not think that is your problem but you should not rule out swapping the coil out maybe.

What is happening? Are you getting fuel delivered, are the plugs wet with fuel?
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:34 AM
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I was skeptical that the difference between 0.5 and 0.8 would be the problem. It's close to double the specified but then it's a very small figure. If something was supposed to be 5K ohms but was 8K instead, that would probably be an actual problem.

I haven't checked plug wetness. I have heard the pump run when I jumped the circuit. My neighbor's idea was to shoot starter fluid into the air intake and crank the starter. I did and got not a trace of fire up. I originally thought it was a fuel problem but I'm thinking it probably isn't.

But speaking of plugs, they were really fouled with deposits and those did have a sort of wet, greasy look. About 30K ago, I bought the Bosch +4. I'm not suggesting that all 6 plugs stopped working at once, it had run smoothly hours before it died but it is curious. I've only had two of them out, on both of them it was hard to see a gap on any of the 4 electrodes, or whatever the metal parts are referred to. I believe the electrode is the post in the middle. With a magnifying glass I could see there was some gap - I cleaned and sanded them and put them back. I hadn't been burning that much oil but I am burning some, I suspect that's the source.

Cap, rotor, and plug wires are all fairly new, about 30K also. I checked cap and rotor just in case, no red flags.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:52 PM
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change the plugs with coppers. and change the coil. they are one of the lesser expenses to change out.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2013, 01:01 AM
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You gotta be right. Those platinum or something +4s are way dirty. What I can't figure is how could it perform like normal with plugs like that? I'm wondering if badly fouled plugs tax some part of the electrical system such that it breaks all at once. I would think fouled plugs would stop working intermittently.

On the coil, went to Pick n Pull today. Found 4 coils in E30. Every one of them checked as mine did: 0.8 ohms between the terminals and approx. 5.5K pos. to main tower. Probably not the coil.
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2013, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
change the plugs with coppers

Those Bosch super 4 do not work in some cars
I replace them, as a matter of course before Dyno-tuning any car so equipped with them. It is just not worth the hassle
If your coil resistance becomes too low, it can overload the coil-driver.
But .5 to .8 is fine on these cars
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:17 PM
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I figured .8 would be OK. I was dreaming of some easy fix - replace the coil and off you go. I'll take the rest of the plugs out, the 2 I looked at were seriously fouled but I just can't imagine all 6 going terminal bad at once. I'm in a predicament - I'm reluctant to buy any parts for this car until I think it will actually run again.

One weird thing that worries me. When first it wouldn't start, when I'd stop cranking, whether the key was on or off, I could hear a weird tick-tocking sound under the dash could barely hear it under the hood. Slower than the average turn signal clicking, had a distinct hi-low sort of tone. It would last for about 20 seconds and stop. Sounds like some bizarre electronic gremlin. I've seen such things send rigs to the boneyard before.
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:39 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
I figured .8 would be OK. I was dreaming of some easy fix - replace the coil and off you go. I'll take the rest of the plugs out, the 2 I looked at were seriously fouled but I just can't imagine all 6 going terminal bad at once. I'm in a predicament - I'm reluctant to buy any parts for this car until I think it will actually run again.

One weird thing that worries me. When first it wouldn't start, when I'd stop cranking, whether the key was on or off, I could hear a weird tick-tocking sound under the dash could barely hear it under the hood. Slower than the average turn signal clicking, had a distinct hi-low sort of tone. It would last for about 20 seconds and stop. Sounds like some bizarre electronic gremlin. I've seen such things send rigs to the boneyard before.

You sure there is not some after-market immobilisor behind the dash making this noise?
Maybe why the car does not start.

Or it could be one of the standard relays clicking....there are some located behind the dash mainly for the air-con.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2013, 01:19 PM
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There was a security device added by the 2nd owner (I am the third) - if the battery is disconnected, it disallows starting of the car until a small white button, accessible inside the glovebox, is pushed. It's aftermarket (of course), it's never been a problem. Not sure the advantage of no-start after battery disconnect, not sure if a thief would disconnect the battery for any reason. The system still appears to work. When I disconnected the battery in hopes of clearing the resistance to pulling diagnostic codes, the same sequence occurred after reconnecting, that is the rear running lights slowly flashed and when I pushed the button, the flashing stopped and I could then turn the engine over.

Could be the tick-tocking is some harmless relay. I'm sorta grasping at straws. I'm stymied at this point. I might inquire locally about anyone good at dealing with the electrics of this model. It's a tough one. I like the car but I'm reluctant to put serious funds into it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:42 AM
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First thing you need to do is get the "security system" out of there. Then put new plugs in it and check your CPS it sounds like that might be your problem. (Crank Position Sensor )
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:59 AM
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^ I think you're on to something with the security system business. Dang this is a vexing problem. I'll try to recap (briefly):

It just went to another spell of intermittency. I thought I had found the problem. I replace the CPS, coil, and ECU, all from a boneyard 325i, same year as mine, with 108K on the odo. Looks real, seats are in decent shape, original leather. The ECU had the same part # as mine. Complicating the matter, I discovered that I had left the main relay (next to the two fuel relays near the left shock tower) unplugged after an earlier check (someone oughta just put me outta my misery, I swear). After I plugged it back in, the car started. I know it was plugged in when I had my first no start episode. Anyway, way relieved, I got some copper NGKs and cleaned it thoroughly, sort of like make up sex.

So, I wasn't sure what particular fix pulled it back from the brink, the abyss, the boneyard. Crap. Oh well, I drove it around the next day, fast and peppy as ever which astonishes me somewhat as it has 380K approx. Then, the next morning (Wed.) it wouldn't start, tick-tocking back again. I took the lower dash trim off (should have done that the first day . . . DOH!) and when I'd provoke the noise with a key turn and no start, I could feel another computer device emitting the tick-tock. I got one at a boneyard and prepared to put it in that night. Oops, I find out it's the ABS computer, this from a search on the part#. As I'm taking the old one out, I finally see the anti-theft device for the first time - it's a Derringer brand and was zip-tied to the ABS mount.

And here's the real PITA, I turned the key to look more closely at where the tick-tocking was coming from, and the damn thing started! Normally would be good news but I'm not keen on driving it around until it decides to die again.

Long story short (too late for that), I can't imagine that the ABS computer is the problem, I can only guess the anti-theft thingy was tick-tocking through it, as it sits on top of it. Sits, present tense, as I'm wondering if there's any crucial bit of info one should know before removing it. It seems to go to its own harness and I haven't the barest clue about where those wires go, what they do. I'm almost tempted to cut every wire leading to the Derringer box and dipping the ends of the remaining wires, those heading to parts unknown in the car, in Sikaflex which dries like a semi-hard, tough rubber.

It's confusing because the anti-theft thingy prevented the car from even cranking the engine [this I know (post9)] until the secret button is pressed. Perhaps it has a feature that also disables the computer and that part is still working while somehow the part that dis-enables cranking of the engine has malfunctioned allowing the motor to turn over. More grasping at straws.

So my question, is there any trick to uninstalling an anti-theft headache?
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2013, 02:26 AM
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Unhappy Immobilisers are my nightmare

I hate immobilisers & anti-theft devices
Luckily Dr Google can point you in the right direction here

I use one of these huge mechanical arm steering lock devices that work with a key
Firstly most thieves do not like sitting in public view struggling with a bright yellow piece of steel
2'ndly I can transfer this from vehicle to vehicle, though I have just decided to buy one for each car.

Southern Africa must be the car-theft capital of the world
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:58 AM
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Dr. Google seems to be pretending it never heard of the anti-theft device that spells its name . . . . Derringer!

But maybe I gave up to soon. Onward I, uhhh, trudge, ever onward. Weird thing is, the more large maintenance procedures I indulge in on this car, the less I want to let it go to it's well deserved rest. Replacing he intake manifold gaskets was an onerous job, likewise for the rear bearings and bushings, and the clutch back when I bought it at 214K. Hardest tranny I ever took out/replaced. At some point I'm going to hit a hard decision: do I replace/rebuild the tranny, diff, or motor? But that's for later. This car still runs like a champ . . . when it runs.

*EDIT*

Just went to the Google (derringer anti theft device) and this thread is the second hit (?!) after the little ad box section. Oh well, I go now to search immobilizers in general.

*LATER*

Crap, this is not looking good. Not a wealth of advice, beyond finding a good auto electrician. My thought is to now carefully trace the path of every wire that originates from the Derringer-Dick-Device and put things back to original. I can only guess that merely cutting every wire attached to it will disable something, somewhere. Jeez I wish I had the money the PO must have spent on this POS.

*EDIT*

Whoops, may the Gods of E30-dom forgive me, I meant to refer to the Derringer disabler as a POS, not my car. Actually, the PO spent a good deal of funds maintaining my car, a lot of why it's still going fairly strong at 380K. I think he F-ed up with this disabler action however. I found an auto stereo/security outfit who will remove it for $60. I think I'll do it tomorrow. That is one mess of wires down there. I'm liable to land in limbo if I try it myself, I hate to admit.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:01 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Anti-theft devices normally cut the circuitry for example the lead going to the fuel pump relay, the lead going from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid, the lead supplying power to the injectors etc.

So what you need to do is trace all of the wires going from the immobilisor and you will see certain cases of these wires suddenly splicing into an original wire. For example... the wire going from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid is a Black/Yellow wire. They will cut this wire completey and the two ends will get spliced onto new wires from the immobilisor. So you need to disconnect those two wires and re-connect the cut Black/Yellow wire together. This is what your Electrician will be doing when he removes the immobilisor box.

Best thing for an immobiliisor is to have a hidden switch somewhere inside the cabin and as you park the car you operate the switch to break the connection to say the fuel pump.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:09 AM
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That's a lot of what I was thinking but when I got into the wires, it became a bit more daunting. I can't tell which small harnesses are new and which are stock.

I may still be in the dark, even after it's removed. I didn't suspect it at first because the disabler, when activated, has always prevented the motor from even turning over. I gather that the PO unhooked most of the disabler along the way before I bought it. There is a switch inside the cabin, a tiny push-button just to the left of the inside of the glove box. The only time I need to access it is after I've unhooked the battery. At such a time, the tail running lights flash very slowly and it won't crank. Push the button and it's back to normal.

But there is that damn tick-tocking noise. Pisses me off that I can't get it to make the noise, now that I have the disabler out in the open. I could feel the tick-tocking on the bottom of the ABS computer so I can imagine - am hoping - that the vibration transmitted through the metal case.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:03 PM
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Oh well, I paid my $60, had it taken off by someone with experience. I think it might be the first time I've paid anyone to do anything to the car. The guy said Derringer went out of business more than 20 years ago. And I can't believe I couldn't solve the mystery of the slow tick tocking. Geez I'm slow sometimes. I told the guy the history and he said the tick tocking was the flasher in the disabler which operated the slow flash of the rear tail lights. OF COURSE! The same flashing would come on whenever I unhooked the battery and would stop when I pushed the disabler's button. I just never sat in the driver's seat when that flashing was going on so didn't connect it. I'm now fairly certain my original problem was the disabler, as it was doing the "I did something" flashing after not allowing the engine to start.

Oh well, the only good news on all my dithering is that I put a coil, ECU, and CPS from a 108K rig onto my 380K unit. And some much newer fuel pump relays.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:15 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Oh well, I paid my $60, had it taken off by someone with experience. I think it might be the first time I've paid anyone to do anything to the car. The guy said Derringer went out of business more than 20 years ago. And I can't believe I couldn't solve the mystery of the slow tick tocking. Geez I'm slow sometimes. I told the guy the history and he said the tick tocking was the flasher in the disabler which operated the slow flash of the rear tail lights. OF COURSE! The same flashing would come on whenever I unhooked the battery and would stop when I pushed the disabler's button. I just never sat in the driver's seat when that flashing was going on so didn't connect it. I'm now fairly certain my original problem was the disabler, as it was doing the "I did something" flashing after not allowing the engine to start.

Oh well, the only good news on all my dithering is that I put a coil, ECU, and CPS from a 108K rig onto my 380K unit. And some much newer fuel pump relays.

So is the car working fine now?
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:07 AM
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Runs great right now. But it ran great for a day before doing the 'dead' imitation a few days back. But that tick-tocking really does point to the POS Derringer thing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't seem to recall hearing much about Bimmers being high on the list of cars that thieves target. But then I didn't have a new 325i in '87 or '88 which is when I think the disabler was put it. Probably would have been wise to take it out when I first got it. It gave me no grief so I was complacent.

Thanks to all for the good advice.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:01 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Runs great right now. But it ran great for a day before doing the 'dead' imitation a few days back. But that tick-tocking really does point to the POS Derringer thing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't seem to recall hearing much about Bimmers being high on the list of cars that thieves target. But then I didn't have a new 325i in '87 or '88 which is when I think the disabler was put it. Probably would have been wise to take it out when I first got it. It gave me no grief so I was complacent.

Thanks to all for the good advice.
In South Africa the E30 is very much on the list of cars that get stolen.....very popular car amongst the locals who love it for "spinning" ie. drifting it and doing donuts.

With its light weight, good power to weight ratio and rear-wheel drive the E30s are very popular...I had my 3231 two door stolen in 1992. My current 318i M40 is not popular for spinning but can still get stolen for the spare parts on it that can be used.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:29 AM
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Dang. Not good. Seems that here in the states, Hondas and Toyotas, especially the Camry, are high on the list of thieves' choice. I know from experience how tough the E30 steering wheel lock is. At Pick n Pull, they almost never have a key available. I needed a turn-signal apparatus recently and had a hard time getting at it because the steering wheel must be removed to get at it. I succeeded (may do a thread with pictures later) but as the steering wheel was in rough shape and almost impossible to get anyway, I worked it back and forth (hard) for some time trying (in vain) to fatigue the metal on the lock enough to get it off. I bent the hell out of the wheel but the lock gave no sign of giving way.

Little story on the appeal of an E30, I've done many Craigslist carpool trips from the Bay Area to Olympia, WA (about 750 miles one way) - maybe 20 round trips, I've lost track. I usually pay little or nothing in gas, get help driving, and have my car up there, saving me bank in rental. Beats up the car no doubt but oh well. I also get a kick out of meeting a bunch of adventurous youngsters, some of whom are hot ladies.

One trip going south, I picked up a Russian guy in Portland. From Kazakhstan, he was a really good guy, I liked him the minute I laid eyes on him. Mid 20s, he was trying to go to school in the US. He loved cars and thought my E30 was mega cool. Dude was a great driver, probably would have driven the whole way if I'd let him. He said that in Kazakhstan, if you have a BMW and it runs, it's a big deal.
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