Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-28-2014, 03:23 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Angry emission FAIL 87 325i 2.5 leaky, creaky basketcase

Hiyall.

I thought my plugs were simply bad (and they seemed really widely-gapped--1.0) but they were all dry and slightly powdery--good, I thought... I replaced them with NGKs and set the gap at .7 like the Bentley said.

I filled the tank with 91 and put in an octane booster, but this time (third time through), it registered 4.5523 (4.0 is fail) on the NOx. Second time through (4.2332), all I did was 91 gas. Should I put in the cheap stuff, after all? It runs better now than before--I got rubber without trying and startled myself on the way to the emissions... oops.

The mechanic seems to think that the valve-cover gaskets leaking (VERY slowly btw, 1 quart in two months) will affect how the engine runs. EH? How is this possible? He glossed over that question, going on to say that the Ox Sensor and Catalytic converter are probably at fault here. Will a vacuum leak cause these numbers?

Questions: cheap gas for emissions, or not? octane boost, or not? how does the valve cover gasket affect the emissions? Does the catalytic converter need welding on, or can I change that in the driveway? I found one for $35 and another one for $400. What should I expect to pay for this?

Yíall, I have until May 4th to pass this lilí B and I canít spend my student loans like the mechanic seems to think I can...

Any pedantic instructions will be greatly appreciated. I love the car but this morning I want to push it off a cliff.

THANKS!
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 04-28-2014, 05:08 PM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
cheap gas will burn quicker loosing performance which then you use the throttle to make up for such lost which could fail the test. mid grade is the lowest to go with octane booster.

the cheaper cat will need to be welded in. if you get an oem cat, then its a unbolt, bolt up but more expensive.





Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-28-2014, 05:27 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Okay. Let me get this right. I had thought that the more expensive gas (91) burned faster and cooler, giving more power, less heat. Therefore, my logic told me that to get a cleaner burn, I should use the higher octane and add some octane boost in order to get the cleaner emissions test. Wouldn't using mid-grade and octane booster effectively give me about what the 91 would be? Or am I completely befuddled?

How does the valve-cover gasket affect how the engine runs, except by leaking oil I might dry it up and lock the engine? Can I test the O2 sensor somehow? There's no light telling me it's bad. I'm going out there right now to do the hammer-tap on the catalytic converter to see if it rattles. Other than that, how would I know that has gone bad?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-28-2014, 08:17 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Hey, DownHiller: I changed that thermostat--guess what? It was broken, lodged in there sideways and stuck in the open position. Now the heater works and the engine is soooo different. LOVE IT!

Found an article talking about how the valve cover gasket affects engine performance... is that about right?:

http://www.autohub360.com/index.php/...r-gasket-1820/

So, I tapped the catalytic converter with my rubber mallet and heard no rattles--Iím told thatís good. I checked the obvious vacuum hoses/lines and found two suspicious places: one right Ďafter' the air filter (cracked accordion-flexy thingy) before it goes into the engine which, when pulled apart, it caused my engine to change rpms, and one smaller hose has a loose connector (which just wiggled a bit but didnít seem to affect the rpms... (would the leak be enough to cause it to FAIL EMISSIONS? If so, I know of another 325 at a junk yard where I intend to go get his.)

My next step is to try and diagnose the O2 sensor, make sure it is working correctly... I HOPE ITíS BAD. Probably is, Ďcuz I understand that they only last abour 60,000 miles...!?!! That seems like a really short period of time.

Oh, I found a forum that says you can replace the sensor with a Mustang sensor (just gotta change the plug but itís $100 diff.). Hereís the link: http://www.unofficialbmw.com/phpBB/v...ic.php?t=30763

And hereís the text if you donít want to read the whole thing:
There's plenty of text in the archived threads about buying a 3 wire (2 white wire, 1 black wire) O2 sensor for a '87-'92 Ford Mustang and using it in the E30 BMW's. The Bosch sensor probe itself is identical between the Ford and BMW. The difference being the wire harness connector AND about 100 bucks! The BMW sensor lists for ~$135. The Ford Mustang sensor lists for ~$38.95 at Auto Zone. Aren't we Bimmer owners special?




Okay, me, again. Can anyone add anything to this, or am I on track? I want to say again how much I appreciate all your help (DOWNHILLER) and all yíall's inputs and suggestions.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-28-2014, 08:22 PM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
higher octane has a higher detonation resistance. so when ran in high compression motors, it wouldnt ignite before the spark plug sparked. so in essence it burns slower in a lower compression, which would drop exhaust temps.

and valve cover gasket can cause a vacuum leak


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-28-2014, 10:18 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Ah. So, I got it part-right. I was told to use the mid-grade in my aircoold... not because of the compression, but to keep it cooler in the summertime.

so, out here in Colorado, midgrade should be alright. As I understand it, my ratio is 9.7-1, which in Memphis probably would require the premium.

This means that using a higher octane isnít going to make it run cleaner, right? Anything more I can do after I check the O2 sensor and change that gasket and hoses?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-29-2014, 05:49 AM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
emission FAIL 87 325i 2.5 leaky, creaky basketcase

i got a universal o2, was only $40.

change the intake boot since its torn.

and the octane rating is adjusted for altitude, which down here in iowa its 93 (1000ft altitude), while in colo, its 91. what you should be doin is mid grade during the winter premium during the summer. thats what i did when i lived in pueblo, and stuck to mid grade when in colo springs (cause i was a poor ski bum).


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-29-2014, 01:55 PM
RainyRider RainyRider is online now
Registered User
Location: Seattle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 41
Mein Auto: 03 330i, 91 318/s52
To help with passing emmisions test, run the lowest octane with the most alcohol content you can find. Around here that would be Arco. Then after you pass fix your e30.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-29-2014, 06:22 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
I know, I know--Iím on it. Just got this thing from some young kid. Had to replace a window, tail light lens, wheel, fix a tire, bang out a trunk dent so the spare would fit again... list goes on. Let me tell you, there was no love lost there. Bless his heart, never owning a repair manual, he pretended to fix stuff, but using spray adhesive and bubble-gum. Itís got on a hot-rod air filter and big exhaust, but he never did any kind of maintenance. Itís already much nicer than how I found it--at least you can see the carpet and the passenger can let himself out instead of having to roll down his window or wait for the red carpet-curb treatment.

So, yeah. Get it to pass, then slowly massage everything back to normal. I have it all planned out...

Thanks for the input--itís appreciated... I think Downhillerís probably glad to have someone else in his corner, too. O2 sensor test soon, valve adjust, valve cover gasket and intake boot, replacing the stock air filter (kid was using that to keep the driverís seat from flopping back into the rear seat). Double-check for vacuum leaks, and that ought to do it... until I get Ďround to the rest of it.

Thanks again. See ya Ďround.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-29-2014, 06:40 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
E15

Were you talking about E15?

Whatís anyone got to say about this?

BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and VW have said their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by E15. Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have said E15 use will void warranties, says Darbelnet, citing potential corrosive damage to fuel lines, gaskets and other engine components.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasol...Lvp55XVS3WU.99
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-29-2014, 06:51 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
another:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...s-up_62051969_

Putting fuel with up to 15 percent ethanol into older cars and trucks "could leave millions of consumers with broken down cars and high repair bills," said Bob Greco, a senior API official who has met with the White House on ethanol issues.

The ethanol industry counters that there have been no documented cases of engine breakdowns caused by the high-ethanol blend since limited sales of E15 began last year.

"This is another example of oil companies unnecessarily scaring people, and it's just flat-out wrong," said Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry group.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-29-2014, 08:37 PM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
emission FAIL 87 325i 2.5 leaky, creaky basketcase

ethanol burns hotter. this is why some companies are trying to get ethanol blends removed because it does harm engines, mainly the exhaust valves and rusting out fuel lines/tanks. luckily the most available today (or should be) is e10 on regular pump gas. wasting good cattle feed for lower emissions when diesel is the true "green" fuel. can run those things on used fry oil and make people hungry and get rid of nasty deep fry grease by burnin rubber


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming

Last edited by downhiller; 04-29-2014 at 08:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-30-2014, 03:03 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Question valve cover gasket

Iím about to purchase a gasket for the top of this thing... whatís the diff? Iíd like to save money, but donít wanna screw myself. Is there a better choice?

thanks
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-30-2014, 04:40 PM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
i used reinz with high temp silicone on the valve cover side


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-03-2014, 09:56 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Okay, so had the valve cover gasket off, adjusted valves, and put back on the cover with Reinz. Replaced that breather hoze... but I lost my 13mm wrench. Pulling the cover off tomorrowís early light to be sure itís not in there. Sheesh.

Heya, when I had the ngkís spark plugs out, they look like they might not like that .7... then I realized Dumbunny said that he put in that Dynan performance chip... he said that it didnít do anything but increase the rev limiter and give better economy. Zat true?

Thanks guys.

Last edited by used2bAVdub; 05-03-2014 at 10:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-04-2014, 06:03 AM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
the chip should also alter timing and air/fuel mixture. how are you determining that the plugs arent gapped right?


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-04-2014, 08:57 AM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
uhh, I said I gapped them at .7--I never said I determined anything--thatís why Iím here, right?

When I looked at the gap again, they looked like they were a little melted and it made me wonder is all. With that chip, should I be setting the gap different?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-04-2014, 11:29 AM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
i always kept the gap the same. it not effecting the compression, just adds alil more fuel and advances timing.

but you said melted. where at and how much? better yet, a pic would help


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-04-2014, 12:11 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
I guess I might have been a little paranoid about it. Like I said, the Champions were gapped at 1.0 (I donít think he gapped them--just installed them) and since I had already replaced them with NGKs (.7mm), when I pulled them out for the valve adjust, the little pinpoints (plug-side, not the ground electrode) there looked shiny (melted) in the sunshine. When I pull that cover back off for another adjust (another double-check), Iíll take a photo of the plug in the sun to show you.

I just started it up this morning after the valve adjust and now itís slightly missing (gah!). Iím certain that my clearances (wayyy) are closer to what theyíre supposed to be (bentley says .25) than what I found them, but I havenít replaced the wires yet so I think that may be why the miss. It revs with power (no miss) but it hesitates just slightly. Iím thinking I missed a vacuum leak somewhere (gah!X2). After all this emiisions bellyaching back and forth, emissions isnít an issue--last time I was at the DMV, the lady there told me that if I have spent more than $750 in getting it roadworthy (tires and brakes & such not included), theyíll waive the emissions for a cycle (2 years). Shoot, first week I had it ($1008) for the rear bearings and cvs.

So, the Dynan doesnít mean I need a different gap. Cool.

THANKS
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-04-2014, 10:32 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Heyall again.

If the fuel pump was run dry once or twice (that I know of), would it cause it to go bad? I understand some fuel pumps are lubricated by the fuel that they pump and that they would have to be replaced if that happens. I hear a whining coming from what seems to be under and behind and it seems to be getting worse. It only whines though, when the engine is running--not when the key is on/engine stopped.

Will I have to replace one pump or two?

Are they both in the tank/under the rear seat? (kinda scary/creepy) There seems to be some ambiguity on that (from what Iíve seen so far), and Iíve seen prices range from $35 to $200...

Would a failing fuel pump cause an emissions fail like what Iíve been having? Lower fuel pressure wouldnít do that--would it?

And to clarify, mineís a July baby: 1987 325i convertible. How often do the fuel filters need replacing, btw? Used to be, Iíd use the clear plastic dealios on my VW Bugs which you could tell by looking at them when they got dirty.

Thanks everybody.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-05-2014, 05:06 AM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
you should have the dual pumps. i know when my intank went bad it made the inline noisy. replaced it but the noise stuck around. swapped out the inline. better but there was still an unfamiliar noise. got underneath with the motor running and found the fuel damper was causing the noise. removed and got back to true fuel pump sounds

but my intank was bad, i was thinking some air got pulled into the damper or the diaphragm was shot.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-06-2014, 06:02 AM
toybuilder's Avatar
toybuilder toybuilder is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Eastern Panhandle, WV
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 664
Mein Auto: 89 325i 2dr&DucatiMonster
I'll start by saying this isn't a VW Bug nor should it ever be compared with one. Your fuel filters are metal and need replacing as part of your regular maintenance there should be 2 though a lot of E30's the return filter has been removed and not replaced the first time it got clogged ,don't ask me why ,idiot's think their engineers . It sounds like your trying to do this as cheaply as you can but don't buy the cheapest wires you'll get exactly what you paid for cheap wires . The car if it does have a Dinan chip in the ECU (I'd open it up and see) should gain about 20hp and have raised the rev limiter to 7200 RPM's which I don't recommend trying ,the meet CARB requirements for the years they where made , think they stopped in 1998. So that should be better than the requirements for your car. I can't believe that they make you pass in the first place with a 28yr old car.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-06-2014, 10:09 AM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
Ah... no. I recognize this e30 as being far superior to daBugs (though there ARE similarities, like-it-or-not). I AM trying to keep it inexpensive but I don't want to go about it in the wrong way and then have to do it all over again. I've always compared one thing to another--that's how I understand things. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? NOT cheap, only frugal (besides, I love a few hours' spent at the junkyard or underneath my baby--I find it satisfying). It's a basket-case with bad paint, so I'm not inclined to be too nose-in-the-air about that faded emblem on the bonnet. I'm just amazed that I have lived 40 years and never got to know a BMW--I've been looking all my life!

The filter under the driver's seat is still there but I have no idea when it was put there. Dumbunny might have done that part--might not have. That's why I want to see the filter; that, and I'm used to being able to see my filter. Which one, please, is the return filter? Why 'return'? Where is the other one?

I took off the rear wheels last night to see what that horrific creaking is when I pull on the e-brake to park on a hill (it slips a bit, then seems to catch on something--must be the grooves in the metal)... didn't see anything loose or creaky. Pads look new, though the rotors need a good turning. Anyone know how thin the rotor will have to be before it must be replaced?

TODAY'S THE DAY! Taking it back through emissions with a new O2 sensor, valve adjustment, gasket, hoze... oh, and I set the clock and tightened all the lug nuts. Wish me luck!

Cheers.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-06-2014, 08:41 PM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,293
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
e brake is a drum brake inside the rotor. take another look. and while you under the drivers side the fuel pump


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-06-2014, 09:15 PM
used2bAVdub used2bAVdub is offline
Registered User
Location: Denver
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: 325i ConVertEyeble
...the driver's side the fuel pump...? I'm not sure I understand. I do know where that pump is, along with the filter--looked right at it.

Will I need to take off those big nuts in order to see what's going on inside the drum there or is there another way?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
emissions problem


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms