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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #326  
Old 11-05-2016, 07:07 AM
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Need to see it with the cover off to be certain, but that looks like the OBDII data port connector that would have been under the dash on the driver side. If I'm correct you won't need that.......until something fails and you need to pull fault codes.
DC, you were right. This is indeed the OBD II connector. I think I'll keep it for now. It doesn't take up much space. It's a strange little beast. One hot wire that originates at fuse 33, one wire coming from the data link connector (WS/VI/GE) and two grounds. I have a feeling that it's not going to work anymore as there are a lot of weird junctions from F46 that tie in and they're really difficult to trace through the wiring diagram; lots of page jumps and distribution connectors. C'est la vie.
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  #327  
Old 11-05-2016, 08:40 AM
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DC, you were right. This is indeed the OBD II connector. I think I'll keep it for now. It doesn't take up much space. It's a strange little beast. One hot wire that originates at fuse 33, one wire coming from the data link connector (WS/VI/GE) and two grounds. I have a feeling that it's not going to work anymore as there are a lot of weird junctions from F46 that tie in and they're really difficult to trace through the wiring diagram; lots of page jumps and distribution connectors. C'est la vie.
And it will only work with the ECU cap on haha!
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  #328  
Old 11-12-2016, 01:39 PM
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I finished up the day today by getting the wiring back in the car. I connected the battery and checked to see if I "released the smoke" anywhere. No signs of that. I connected the battery to the fuse box terminal, still no smoke. Test light says 12v to the fuse box.


Key off, power to the "always hot" fuses? Check.


Key off, no power to the "hot in run and start" fuses? Check.



Moment of truth...key on. Cluster lights up a little. Tentative check.



Key on, power to the "hot in run and start" fuses? Check.




Power to the fuel pump wire? Uh, oh.



I did bump it into the start position and it cranked. Nothing earth shattering there as that was just a simple matter of taking the wire that went from the switch to the EWS and connecting it directly to the wire that went from the EWS to the starter. So, basically, the starter has no choice but to get 12v when the ignition switch is turned to the start position.

But the fuel pump thing, well...looks like I'm in for some diagnosis. Is there any chance that the fuel pump relay doesn't activate the fuel pump until the DME says it's starting the engine? It's a long shot but thought I'd ask.
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  #329  
Old 11-12-2016, 07:48 PM
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. Is there any chance that the fuel pump relay doesn't activate the fuel pump until the DME says it's starting the engine? It's a long shot but thought I'd ask.
Exactly this. In normal operations there's a brief power pulse to the fuel pump to pressurize the fuel rail and then it's turned off unit the DME sees pulses from the crank position sensor, then it applies power to the fuel pump continuously. At least that's how an E36 with all the normal connections works.
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  #330  
Old 11-13-2016, 05:43 AM
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Exactly this. In normal operations there's a brief power pulse to the fuel pump to pressurize the fuel rail and then it's turned off unit the DME sees pulses from the crank position sensor, then it applies power to the fuel pump continuously. At least that's how an E36 with all the normal connections works.
Thanks. I appreciate the confirmation. So, that brief power pulse...do you know if that happens when the key is in the Run position or not until it's in the Start position?
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  #331  
Old 11-13-2016, 08:58 PM
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Thanks. I appreciate the confirmation. So, that brief power pulse...do you know if that happens when the key is in the Run position or not until it's in the Start position?
I believe it's in the start position but it's been a while so can't state with 100% certainty....
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  #332  
Old 11-19-2016, 10:10 AM
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Today, I'm replacing my Vehicle Speed Sensor. This is located in the differential housing. I ordered these parts from Pelican. Fifty bucks worth of parts doesn't weigh very much. There's something very dissatisfying about a lack of heft in fifty bucks worth of parts.

Anyway, here's a write-up in how I did it but, first and foremost, don't do as I do because I don't know WTF I'm doing most of the time.

The connector is a bitch to get off and is probably brittle. It is 18 year old plastic after all. It will break...guaranteed. Don't sweat it. However, don't take the terminal housing off your existing wires until you have noted which wire goes on which side. I didn't do that so I have no idea how mine should go back together. It's a 50/50 shot and I don't think it's going fry anything if they're not right but I doubt it will work. I'm also not sure the car will start with no signal.

So, let's see what fifty bucks worth of VSS parts looks like. We have a VSS, connector housing, O-ring, Mounting Plate and two M6 x 10 screws.



First, take note of the shape of the Mounting Plate. It has a flat spot in the big hole through which the sensor passes. So the sensor can only clock one direction in the mounting plate. Second, note that the Mounting Plate has a notch next to one of the screw holes. That notch is next to the bottom screw hole and should be on the driver's side when mounted. So, there is a front and back to this mounting plate. This ensures that the sensor is in the correct clocked position when inserted into the diff. Besides which side the notch needs to be oriented, the way to tell the outward facing side of the mounting plate is that all of the edges of the holes are chamfered (rounded, beveled). The opposite side, towards the diff, has sharp edges around the holes.

No idea why the screws need to be grade 8. There is barely any torque on them. A 10mm deep well socket works best, especially for the bottom screw.

Here is the old VSS in the diff, screws loosened already. Note the broken connector housing on the VSS side here. Also, the wires come from up above the diff. There isn't much slack to work with. I completely pulled mine out to reroute the wires a more convenient way. The screw heads and Mounting Plate are pretty rusty. That's why I decided to replace them. But, I could have just as easily cleaned them up and reused them. But I was ordering parts so...why not? BTW, the VSS is magnetic. Keep the new one away from any metal shavings.



The VSS seats in the diff through an O-ring. It took a bit of wiggling and pulling to get it out. The O-ring remained in the diff and I think it's because there's a lip to retain it at the edge of the hole. So, it looks like it's better, when reinstalling, to seat the O-ring in the diff first, then pass the sensor through rather than try to put the O-ring on the sensor and push it in.



When reinstalling the new VSS, I put the O-ring into the seat in the diff first. The Mounting Plate is a very precise fit on the VSS. Put it on before inserting the VSS because it's tight in there and you don't want to break the connector around the VSS fiddling with it. The Mounting Plate snaps on over the same clips that the wire terminal housing uses. In fact, if you turn the mounting plate 90 degrees and put it over the VSS, it's easier. Then clock it to the correct position and seat it.



Here's what the wires look like after the connector housing is broken off. Oops.



I drilled a hole in the spare tire well 4" to the right of center so that it exits about where the sensor is.



Push a grommet onto the wires, push the wires through the hole, insert the grommet in the hole and it's all good.



Wires go back in the connector housing.



Snap the cover over the wires. I kind of wish I hadn't done this because I may need to swap their positions. The cover is a bitch to get off under the best circumstances, let alone under the car.



And back home she goes.



I wish I knew how to test this without starting the car. If anyone knows, let me know.

Last edited by jimgood; 11-19-2016 at 10:18 AM.
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  #333  
Old 11-19-2016, 03:50 PM
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why did you have to drill a hole in the trunk?how was the vss harness routed originally?and what's the black thingy with hosess/tubes that resides in the trunk ?
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  #334  
Old 11-19-2016, 07:56 PM
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why did you have to drill a hole in the trunk?how was the vss harness routed originally?and what's the black thingy with hosess/tubes that resides in the trunk ?
Jim's 323 is a dedicated track car and he's stripped out the factory harnesses and is only putting back just the bare necessity wiring.

The black thingy with the hoses is the evap pump. On OBDII cars BMW moved it to the trunk and put it where the spare tire straddles it. That's something else that could be stripped out and save a few pounds.
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  #335  
Old 11-20-2016, 06:31 AM
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why did you have to drill a hole in the trunk?how was the vss harness routed originally?and what's the black thingy with hosess/tubes that resides in the trunk ?
As DC said below, it is to be a track car. One of the systems I eliminated is the ABS and ASC (traction control). The wiring for the ABS sensors was bundled with the wiring for the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS). This small bundle ran through a grommet just below the rear bulk head, behind the rear seat back. It is routed from there over the top of the diff. It then splits into three smaller bundles; left and right wheel speed sensors and the VSS.

At the time I was removing these, I didn't realize what the VSS was. I thought it was something to do with the traction control and couldn't be bothered to look it up (just ASSumed). So, I pulled all the wires in the bundle out. Once they're out, there is no easy way to run them back the same way (over the diff). So, I took a more direct route by drilling that hole which is directly behind the diff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Jim's 323 is a dedicated track car and he's stripped out the factory harnesses and is only putting back just the bare necessity wiring.

The black thingy with the hoses is the evap pump. On OBDII cars BMW moved it to the trunk and put it where the spare tire straddles it. That's something else that could be stripped out and save a few pounds.
Yes. And up until a few days ago, I had never even removed the spare tire. I was really surprised at how big that thing is. First, when you remove the spare, there is a big round plastic cover. After that comes off, there's this monster of a pump.

So, I do want to remove all that and all the emissions stuff. But I need to do some more research on that. Once again, looking at static wiring diagrams doesn't really convey any dependencies between the DME and these satellite systems. So I'm hesitant to remove them blindly.

And, to that point, I need to reconnect the wiring to that pump and the Exhaust Gas Flap valve. Then I'll try to start her up again.
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  #336  
Old 11-20-2016, 10:43 AM
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If anyone is under their e36 in the next few days, do me a favor and look at the VSS. Slide back the black wire covering and see if you can see the wire colors of the two wires that are connected to the VSS. They're both brown but one has a red stripe and one has a black stripe. I need to know which one goes on which side (driver side or passenger side).
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  #337  
Old 11-20-2016, 12:38 PM
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Jim, I don't think it makes any difference. The sensor is a pulse generator. It won't hurt anything if it's wrong. It just won't work. Swap them and you should be ok.
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  #338  
Old 11-20-2016, 03:16 PM
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Jim, I don't think it makes any difference. The sensor is a pulse generator. It won't hurt anything if it's wrong. It just won't work. Swap them and you should be ok.
Thanks.

I didn't get very far today. Still have a couple of connectors to make up. Probably be next weekend.
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  #339  
Old 11-20-2016, 10:51 PM
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thank dc and jim for the info....
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  #340  
Old 11-26-2016, 08:15 AM
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According to this diagram, the Engine Control Module Relay is HOT AT ALL TIMES on pins 6 and 8. So, doesn't that mean that I should see 12v at 4 and 2 at all times? Right now, if I hook up a test light and back probe 6 and 8, it lights up. But it doesn't light up for 2. And if I back probe 4, the relay clicks but does not light the test light. So, I'm not sure if my relay is bad or if I'm not interpreting the diagram correctly. I thought that when voltage is applied across the coil (p8 and p4), it magnetizes and closes the switch across p6 and p2. Is that right or wrong?

EDIT 1: Ok. I just probed pin 54 on the DME connector which should be receiving 12v from the Engine Control Module Relay and it isn't, so maybe it's a good bet that the relay is bad? If any one has a way to test the relay, let me know. Maybe I can swap one of the other relays?

EDIT 2: I tried a couple of other relays that are the same color and have the same pin configuration and diagram on the side. Neither worked. Still no power to P54 on the DME connector. I'd be surprised if this was a continuity issue between the relay and P54 but I guess I can try to put the Ohm meter across that.

EDIT 3: Not sure it matters, but if I probe pin 73 on the DME connector with the test light (i.e. ground P73), the relay clicks just like it does when I probe the brown wire on relay pin 4. Is this grounding the relay, collapsing the field and opening the switch? Or is it closing the switch?


Last edited by jimgood; 11-26-2016 at 09:04 AM.
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  #341  
Old 11-26-2016, 09:27 AM
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When you back-probe 4 or 73 and it clicks, do you get 12 volts at 2? I think it's closing the relay, although I don't know why it would by simply back-probing it. Are you grounding the other lead of the meter when doing that?
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  #342  
Old 11-26-2016, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
When you back-probe 4 or 73 and it clicks, do you get 12 volts at 2? I think it's closing the relay, although I don't know why it would by simply back-probing it. Are you grounding the other lead of the meter when doing that?
Yes. It's a test light so it has a lead connected to ground and the probe that, when connected to a 12v source, lights up. HOWEVER, the light does not light when I probe 4 or 73, even though the relay clicks.

If I connect a DMM in the same way, it registers no voltage but, BUT, the relay doesn't click either. Actually, I should amend this. If I set the DMM to the 20v setting, it will register about .015v on pin 73 of the DME connector.

Last edited by jimgood; 11-26-2016 at 11:55 AM.
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  #343  
Old 11-26-2016, 05:10 PM
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Your test light is low enough resistance compared to the coil that it's providing a path to ground (ableit porobably a poor one) and closing the relay. Because most of the voltage is dropped across the relay coil, the lamp doesn't light. Your DMM by design is very high resistance to ensure it doesn't load circuits when you try to measure voltage so it's not allowing enough current through the relay coil to operate it.
For proper operations what you should be seeing is 12V on pin 73 and then it should go to near zero when you turn the ignition on.
Connect the DMM to pin 2 of the relay and then probe either pin 73 of the DME or pin 4 of the relay with your test lamp and you should see pin 2 change from zero to 12V. If you do then the relay is fine and the issue is the DME isn't pulling it's pin 73 to ground.
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  #344  
Old 11-27-2016, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Your test light is low enough resistance compared to the coil that it's providing a path to ground (ableit porobably a poor one) and closing the relay. Because most of the voltage is dropped across the relay coil, the lamp doesn't light. Your DMM by design is very high resistance to ensure it doesn't load circuits when you try to measure voltage so it's not allowing enough current through the relay coil to operate it.
For proper operations what you should be seeing is 12V on pin 73 and then it should go to near zero when you turn the ignition on.
Connect the DMM to pin 2 of the relay and then probe either pin 73 of the DME or pin 4 of the relay with your test lamp and you should see pin 2 change from zero to 12V. If you do then the relay is fine and the issue is the DME isn't pulling it's pin 73 to ground.
Thanks. Let me make sure I understand...

DMM - one lead on pin 2 of the DME and the other lead to ground?
Test light - ground to P73?

The the DMM should read 12v. If not, I either munged the chip install or something else is wrong with the wiring.
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  #345  
Old 11-27-2016, 07:58 AM
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Thanks. Let me make sure I understand...

DMM - one lead on pin 2 of the DME and the other lead to ground?
Test light - ground to P73?

The the DMM should read 12v. If not, I either munged the chip install or something else is wrong with the wiring.
Test 1 - DMM pin 2 to ground should read 0 volts

Test 2 - DMM pin 2 to ground, test light P73 to ground or (jumper wire P73 to ground), DMM should read 12 volts.
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  #346  
Old 11-27-2016, 09:19 AM
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Thanks, DC. I really appreciate this.

Test 1 - check.

Test 2 - fail. When I connect P73 to ground, I can hear the relay click but the voltage on the DMM doesn't change (0v). And, when I remove the ground, I can hear the relay click again, so I know it's engaging and disengaging. So the relay should be fine.

Does this point to something within the DME?
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  #347  
Old 11-27-2016, 09:26 AM
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There's 2 issues. Issue 1 is with the relay and if the relay is working properly you should see 12V on pin 2 with test 2 regardless of what the DME is doing.

Repeat Test 2 again, this time check for voltage on pin 6 of the relay also. It should be 12V and stay 12V whether you have p73 jumpered to ground or not.

Once the relay is working properly then you can move on the the DME issue.
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  #348  
Old 11-27-2016, 11:19 AM
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There's 2 issues. Issue 1 is with the relay and if the relay is working properly you should see 12V on pin 2 with test 2 regardless of what the DME is doing.

Repeat Test 2 again, this time check for voltage on pin 6 of the relay also. It should be 12V and stay 12V whether you have p73 jumpered to ground or not.

Once the relay is working properly then you can move on the the DME issue.
Yep. Pins 6 and 8 on the relay are both at 12.53v. Also, pin 26 on the DME connector shows 12v like it should.

DC, should these tests be done with key on (run position) or off?

Last edited by jimgood; 11-27-2016 at 11:30 AM.
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  #349  
Old 11-27-2016, 11:41 AM
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This seems to indicate the relay's bad. You can test it independently.

Pull the relay out of the socket and jumper 12V to pin 8 and jumper pin 4 to ground. With you DMM measure the resistance from pins 6 to 2. You should read near zero ohms when pin 4 is grounded and open when pin 4 isn't.
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  #350  
Old 11-28-2016, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
This seems to indicate the relay's bad. You can test it independently.

Pull the relay out of the socket and jumper 12V to pin 8 and jumper pin 4 to ground. With you DMM measure the resistance from pins 6 to 2. You should read near zero ohms when pin 4 is grounded and open when pin 4 isn't.
I'm out of hands and terminals. That's one thing that sucks living 20+ miles from the nearest well-stocked hardware store.
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