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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 09-05-2013, 05:40 PM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Red face Premature Kickdown?

Okay, so I'm The-New-Guy.

I've been coming to this forum for almost a year now just searching through threads for helpful information, so I first of all want to thank everyone on this forum for unknowingly helping me through a lot of trouble since when I first purchased my car (1991 525i) I knew practically nothing about cars whatsoever (barely even knew how to drive haha), and now I have added a bit to my knowledge bank so thank you again .

Okay now to the possible problem, this is my first post so go easy on me please haha.
So the other day I was cleaning my throttle body of my car (1991 525i automatic) and noticed there was a little slack in the (not sure if its right but I want to say throttle cable? I don't know.) cable linked from the accelerator pedal, so I tightened it as I did notice there was a bit of give in the pedal before it started accelerating. I made sure not to tighten it so much that the throttle was open, so I didn't think I over tightened it.

But now it seems as if the kickdown activates prematurely before I even hit the switch? Just before I hit the switch It feels like it did previously whilst the kickdown switch was engaged, and so now it doesn't seem to make a difference now when I push the switch as it seems it 'kicksdown' before I even hit the switch. It seems like the kickdown should only be engaged when the switch is, so what does the switch actually do?

I don't think this is normal and could easily loosen the cable a bit, I guess I'm just looking for another set of opinions on what I should do. Is it the kickdown that I'm experiencing before the switch is even engaged or what?

Before you tell me to google it or search the forums, I have. Thanks in advance

Last edited by The-New-Guy; 09-06-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2013, 06:33 PM
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E34ZombieHunter E34ZombieHunter is offline
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Mine NEVER kicks down before hitting the switch. Im sure something is wrong with it, but i do not know exactly how the system works so cant really help there.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2013, 10:12 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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ON A EUROPR / RIGHT HAND DRIVE CAR:

on the lever is there one cable going to it or two?
if its got one, then the gearbox is electric, and the gearbox will kickdown when you hit the kickdown switch in the cabin. it will look something like this
if its got two, one cable should go off to the right hand side of the car (to the accelerator), and the other will dissapear down to the transmission, and its this cable that pulls on a lever in the transmission telling it that the car is at wideopen throttle, and to kick down a gear if current RPMs allow it.

if this doesnt make sence, post up a photo on here, and ill show you what you are looking at
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2013, 06:52 PM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Hey, sorry I don't know how to post pictures yet, there was I think only the one cable that I tightened in the area under the bonnet, I didn't see any others around

Last edited by The-New-Guy; 09-06-2013 at 06:58 PM. Reason: I don't know how to post an image.
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2013, 10:12 AM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
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Its ok, premature acceleration is common at this age..

Better than it not working at all!!

Lol
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2013, 03:03 PM
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^very helpful.

OP, whats the issue with the pics?

Open up a free photobucket or flickr account and upload the pics there.
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2013, 04:31 PM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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I'll try show you the cable that I tightened, I can easily loosen it a bit again. I just found it odd that it COULD kickdown without the switch being engaged. Makes me wonder what the switch actually does if I CAN use kickdown without the switch (Though I have a gut feeling that it's bad to use the kickdown this way so I try not to).


Last edited by The-New-Guy; 09-07-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2013, 02:37 AM
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in my convertible if its in D cruising at 100km/h, and i put my foot down but dont hit the switch, it pops down a gear, but if i push all the way down and hit the switch, it will kickdown two gears. But i have the electronic transmission, not the earlier hydraulic/mechanical type
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  #9  
Old 09-08-2013, 03:00 AM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Yeah it's odd. I think I'll just loosen it so that it will only kickdown whilst the switch is engaged. It just got me thinking as to what the switch actually does for me if anything at all. I'm sure it wouldn't be there for no reason so it must do something, guess I'll continue on my little quest to find out what the switch does. I'll let you guys know if I find out anything new.
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  #10  
Old 09-08-2013, 04:40 AM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Has anyone else experienced this "premature" kickdown? Is anyone willing to try tighten the cable a bit and try to see if it happens on their car? I'm really curious why this is happening, from what I though I've known of the kickdown switch (when the switch is engaged, it throws the car into the safest lowest gear for better acceleration ) it just doesn't make sense, it typically shouldn't be able to kickdown without the switch engaged (from what I've read) so I'm just very confused as to why I can.

I've read somewhere that the switch is just a placebo for people used to driving the older cars with the actual switch, and that the kickdown actually activates when the throttle is sensed to be open to 100% and that just before the resistance of the switch it is opened only to 90-95%, so that the little 'click' you feel is just you pressing the pedal down that little bit further to open the throttle to 100% and that the switch isn't actually doing anything other than providing that 'click' and that little distance further in order to achieve 100% throttle opening.

BUT I don't know to which year BMW's they were referring to, so although that would prove that what is happening to me is 100% normal and makes sense in my situation, I have no idea if this reference applies to me. My car could be the 'older car' that this person said people were used to. I can't find much information on this situation, so if anyone has any input or knowledge that I'm missing, please let me know.

Last edited by The-New-Guy; 09-08-2013 at 04:10 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-08-2013, 10:53 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The-New-Guy View Post
Has anyone else experienced this "premature" kickdown? Is anyone willing to try tighten the cable a bit and try to see if it happens on their car? I'm really curious why this is happening, from what I though I've known of the kickdown switch (when the switch is engaged, it throws the car into the safest lowest gear for better acceleration ) it just doesn't make sense, it typically shouldn't be able to kickdown without the switch engaged (from what I've read) so I'm just very confused as to why I can.

I've read somewhere that the switch is just a placebo for people used to driving the older cars with the actual switch, and that the kickdown actually activates when the throttle is sensed to be open to 100% and that just before the resistance of the switch it is opened only to 90-95%, so that the little 'click' you feel is just you pressing the pedal down that little bit further to open the throttle to 100% and that the switch isn't actually doing anything other than providing that 'click' and that little distance further in order to achieve 100% throttle opening.

BUT I don't know to which year BMW's they were referring to, so although that would prove that what is happening to me is 100% normal and makes sense in my situation, I have no idea if this reference applies to me. My car could be the 'older car' that this person said people were used to. I can't find much information on this situation, so if anyone has any input or knowledge that I'm missing, please let me know.
okay so i can tell from your photo you have an M50 engine, that helps the problem

on the earlier 525i with the M20 engine, that placebo thing is what your car would have, also serves as a stop so you cant push the accelerator down any further etc. '
but your car is a later 525i with the M50 (1991 was the changeover year in most countries). on the electric transmissions, it is actually proper button. the cabel you tightened is the mechanical equivalent, so your on the money. you have tightened the throttle cable, its not the kickdown cable, that doesnt exist on your car. also, your throttle position sensor also helps with the transmission selecting what gear its supposed to be in etc
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Last edited by _Ethrty-Andy_; 09-08-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2013, 10:56 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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IME the 'switch' isn't. The k'down is controlled else where. Here is a wild thought - buy the manual.
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2013, 01:03 AM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
IME the 'switch' isn't. The k'down is controlled else where. Here is a wild thought - buy the manual.
Okay I'm guessing you meant the 'switch' isn't a placebo? I don't really know as you didn't state in your post what the switch isn't . The k'down is controlled elsewhere? Do you know where? Or how the switch is supposed to work? Or why my car seems it can kickdown without the switch? Also, buy the manual? I've been using the manual/s recommended to use by multiple users on this forum, I've got about 3 different manuals which I have checked, none of which have much information if any at all about the kickdown feature. If you recommend a manual that has the information I'm looking for I'd gladly look through it, I've looked and looked but haven't found anything useful other than what I posted . Sorry if I don't sound appreciative of your comment, I am glad that you took the time to write something, I just think you sound like you know a bit on the subject and could have provided more help than "buy the manual"
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  #14  
Old 09-09-2013, 01:18 AM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
okay so i can tell from your photo you have an M50 engine, that helps the problem

on the earlier 525i with the M20 engine, that placebo thing is what your car would have, also serves as a stop so you cant push the accelerator down any further etc. '
but your car is a later 525i with the M50 (1991 was the changeover year in most countries). on the electric transmissions, it is actually proper button. the cabel you tightened is the mechanical equivalent, so your on the money. you have tightened the throttle cable, its not the kickdown cable, that doesnt exist on your car. also, your throttle position sensor also helps with the transmission selecting what gear its supposed to be in etc
Okay cool, so at least I now know that my switch is proper (I also checked the switch and saw an electrical wire coming from it, so even more evidence to prove it does something! Haha I just don't know what). Yeah it also seems as though the throttle position sensor in my case is determining when to kickdown haha might not be true but evidence so far is pointing towards that.
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  #15  
Old 09-09-2013, 01:40 AM
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when the throttle is pushed about 60% down, it will kick down one gear if permissible. when you hit the kickdown switch, it will drop down two gears.
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  #16  
Old 09-09-2013, 02:01 AM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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That's what I thought. But it does kick down one gear about 60-70%, and then again just before I touch the kickdown switch, once it's kicked down 2 gears I'll then go the click the switch down and nothing further will happen. Before I tightened the throttle cable it used to only kickdown with the switch engaged, but there was a little bit of give in the pedal before the car would start accelerating, so I tightened it slightly, so now, just before I even touch the switch it kicks down just like it did before when the switch was down. It's odd and doesn't seem to make sense, but that's whats happening.

Last edited by The-New-Guy; 09-09-2013 at 02:03 AM.
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  #17  
Old 09-11-2013, 01:05 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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OK. The 'switch' on the floor isn't. Kickdown (2 gears) is controlled by a switch in the gearbox that has no real 'feel' in the accelerator linkage. I think you have tightened that gearbox cable too much thinking it is the accelerator linkage. Get some one to work the foot pedal slowly and check in the engine bay. You should find the cable adjustment to the gearbox in your manual(s) along with the foot pedal linkage adjustments, maybe in two different chapters. Hope this helps.
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  #18  
Old 09-11-2013, 05:52 PM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
OK. The 'switch' on the floor isn't. Kickdown (2 gears) is controlled by a switch in the gearbox that has no real 'feel' in the accelerator linkage. I think you have tightened that gearbox cable too much thinking it is the accelerator linkage. Get some one to work the foot pedal slowly and check in the engine bay. You should find the cable adjustment to the gearbox in your manual(s) along with the foot pedal linkage adjustments, maybe in two different chapters. Hope this helps.
Okay thank you very much just going to look through the manuals I have now to see the cable adjustments, and yeah I think I'll get a mate or someone to help like you suggested this time too so I can see/feel just how much I'm actually tightening it by (hard to be in two places at once haha).

Do you happen to know what the switch on the floor does? Does it just send a message or something to the ECU preparing the car for the kickdown? Only asking because if the kickdown (2 gears down) is controlled by a switch in the gearbox, then I'm just wondering what the switch under the pedal does.

Unless I'm not understanding what you said if so, sorry.
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  #19  
Old 09-12-2013, 05:59 AM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
in my convertible if its in D cruising at 100km/h, and i put my foot down but dont hit the switch, it pops down a gear, but if i push all the way down and hit the switch, it will kickdown two gears. But i have the electronic transmission, not the earlier hydraulic/mechanical type
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
when the throttle is pushed about 60% down, it will kick down one gear if permissible. when you hit the kickdown switch, it will drop down two gears.
Guys.

This is the answer. Twice already.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:54 PM
The-New-Guy The-New-Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by Monsignor View Post
Guys.

This is the answer. Twice already.
Hey Monsignor, with all due respect although those posts were helpful they were not the exact answer I was looking for, as my car kicksdown two gears before I even touch the switch (Which you should know if you had read my posts). So unfortunately although helpful, it is not the answer .
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:01 PM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
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Carefull..

Dont you know who he is!?

Haha jk..


Im not very helpfull, i know..
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  #22  
Old 09-12-2013, 09:40 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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i dont even know why this thread is still going.

We have already decided that the transmission drops two gears
We have already decided it wasnt doing it before it was tightened
We have already decided its doing it now.

Solution seemed pretty clear to me within the first few posts.
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  #23  
Old 09-13-2013, 06:09 AM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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you're a mod. lock it up.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:12 AM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The-New-Guy View Post
Hey Monsignor, with all due respect although those posts were helpful they were not the exact answer I was looking for, as my car kicksdown two gears before I even touch the switch (Which you should know if you had read my posts). So unfortunately although helpful, it is not the answer .
So you have a problem. You know what you want to hear. And keep responding to push in that direction?

You're cruising on an on-ramp at 45mph, 4th(top) gear. You make it to the free way, push the pedal 95% to get to median speed. car kicks down two gears. Because thats the gear that will get you to speed in the fashion with which you've commanded. no switch.
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