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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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  #8226  
Old 09-21-2019, 07:59 PM
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I know right? Yet no air, and no rubber lines!
Try starting the engine with firm pressure on the brake pedal. It should be really firm with the engine off and then drop maybe 3/4" when the engine starts and still be firm. If that doesn't happen then the issue may be your brake booster or the one way valve between the intake manifold and the booster.
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  #8227  
Old 09-25-2019, 06:54 PM
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Try starting the engine with firm pressure on the brake pedal. It should be really firm with the engine off and then drop maybe 3/4" when the engine starts and still be firm. If that doesn't happen then the issue may be your brake booster or the one way valve between the intake manifold and the booster.
Ya already checked those items. Pedal will pump up nice and firm with the car off, and then drop when I turn it on. It will reach a point where it is firm but not solid, which is normal I think. With the car on I can apply enough effort to bottom out the MC, same as on my Passat, which have brakes that feel great! Car off though no way can I bottom out the MC on either car.

Today I got my new MC in the mail. It is a Centric one as the ones from BMW are $600+, and there are no remans to be had, and they cost around $200 anyways, compared to the Centric one which cost me $230. So given the absolute struggle this has been, I really didn't want to introduce the variable of a ****ty reman job. I installed my 328 MC again and it felt like poo as well but I think that is to be somewhat expected because of my larger calipers, I was however able to lock my wheels more easily than with the M3 one. My theory currently is that either the primary or secondary cylinder has failed in the M3 one. I wish I could take it apart to find out but the damn lock ring has no holes in it, and is super heavy duty, and I didn't feel like cutting into the aluminum with a Dremel or something to take it off. The Centric one has a snap ring with holes in it, so rebuilding that if I ever have to will be super easy if I can't find the right sized seals.

I plan to install it tomorrow. So basically it will be a day of reckoning for the E36. If it doesn't fix it, then I will have to put it on the market, buy another E36 and just start all over.
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Last edited by dwonda; 09-25-2019 at 06:56 PM.
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  #8228  
Old 09-25-2019, 09:48 PM
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I plan to install it tomorrow. So basically it will be a day of reckoning for the E36. If it doesn't fix it, then I will have to put it on the market, buy another E36 and just start all over.
Lol, if you can't fix it, I'll buy your 328is "parts car".

In all seriousness, though, I hope your new MC fixes the problem. What a headache it has been for you!
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  #8229  
Old 09-26-2019, 12:20 AM
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Lol, if you can't fix it, I'll buy your 328is "parts car".

In all seriousness, though, I hope your new MC fixes the problem. What a headache it has been for you!
God has it ever... In all seriousness if this doesn't fix it, then replacing my ABS unit is next. Fortunately used ones are for sale pretty cheap.
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  #8230  
Old 09-26-2019, 06:57 PM
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Okay MC is installed but I'm too afraid to test it out. Still need to bleed everything. In the meantime, why didn't I see you in this video Karl?

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  #8231  
Old 09-26-2019, 09:00 PM
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  #8232  
Old 09-27-2019, 12:24 PM
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Pardon me while I go wash out my brain in a vain attempt to get rid of that earworm.


sorry for that. So the new MC made no difference. So it looks I'm going to have to sell.
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  #8233  
Old 09-28-2019, 11:33 AM
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sorry for that. So the new MC made no difference. So it looks I'm going to have to sell.


Do you have enough pedal to get ABS to kick in? If so make a couple of hard ABS assisted stops and bleed the system. See if that gives any improvement. If it does you might have some air trapped in the ABS pump and it might take a couple of cycles of ABS stops and bleeds to get it out.
I donít think you can activate the ABS pump through the OBD port on the E36, but if you can find a way to do that it would be a better way to bleed it.


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  #8234  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:23 PM
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Do you have enough pedal to get ABS to kick in? If so make a couple of hard ABS assisted stops and bleed the system. See if that gives any improvement. If it does you might have some air trapped in the ABS pump and it might take a couple of cycles of ABS stops and bleeds to get it out.
I donít think you can activate the ABS pump through the OBD port on the E36, but if you can find a way to do that it would be a better way to bleed it.

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PS - I happen to like M.I.A. (but my music tastes are pretty eclectic (I like some Cardi B stuff also)
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  #8235  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:34 PM
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In the meantime, why didn't I see you in this video Karl?
Lol, it's hard to see me under my Dishdasha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
PS - I happen to like M.I.A. (but my music tastes are pretty eclectic (I like some Cardi B stuff also)
Yep, MIA and Cardi are both good. I think what sets them apart from their pop star peers is the authenticity of their product. Even if one isn't a fan of their genre, authenticity is rare and hard to not appreciate on some level.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 09-28-2019 at 07:36 PM.
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  #8236  
Old 09-29-2019, 06:06 AM
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Do you have enough pedal to get ABS to kick in? If so make a couple of hard ABS assisted stops and bleed the system. See if that gives any improvement. If it does you might have some air trapped in the ABS pump and it might take a couple of cycles of ABS stops and bleeds to get it out.
I donít think you can activate the ABS pump through the OBD port on the E36, but if you can find a way to do that it would be a better way to bleed it.


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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh you're going to get a kick out of this my friend...

"Who knows how to bleed the abs unit on E36's?" *Raises hand like his life depended on it* "OH OH OH ME ME ME PICK ME PICK ME!!!"

Lol to answer your question NO! I can barely activate my ABS slamming on my brakes at low speeds never mind high speeds. But despite my failings I consider myself a brake bleeding pro at this point. Not only have I found a rarely talked about bleed nipple on the ABS unit itself, but I also have used DIS v44 many many times to activate the ABS/traction control bleed routine. Now the first time I bleed from that nipple you would not believe the amount of air I got out of it, and I say you would not believe it based on how much fluid I had already bleed through the calipers. And it was shortly after that when I experienced a glorious, just beautiful, perfect AMAZING brake pedal. But guess what? The next day it went back to it's natural state of fecal matter. I'm kind of convinced at this point (even though I have no codes) that my abs unit is faulty, and that the valve which normally makes the fluid bypass the majority of the unit, is stuck open. Therefor adding much more compressible volume and possibly a changing volume. Like maybe the fluid is actually moving all those solenoids up and down when I step on the brake pedal.

The soon to be sold car is currently sitting at BPC (bimmer performance center) they started a fluid flush Friday and unfortunately could not finish so I expect to hear from them Monday, which means I lose sleep Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My lovely car is being a delinquent child and even if they tell me they fixed my brakes by bleeding them, I won't be holding my breath.
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  #8237  
Old 09-29-2019, 07:12 PM
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh you're going to get a kick out of this my friend...

"Who knows how to bleed the abs unit on E36's?" *Raises hand like his life depended on it* "OH OH OH ME ME ME PICK ME PICK ME!!!"

Lol to answer your question NO! I can barely activate my ABS slamming on my brakes at low speeds never mind high speeds. But despite my failings I consider myself a brake bleeding pro at this point. Not only have I found a rarely talked about bleed nipple on the ABS unit itself, but I also have used DIS v44 many many times to activate the ABS/traction control bleed routine. Now the first time I bleed from that nipple you would not believe the amount of air I got out of it, and I say you would not believe it based on how much fluid I had already bleed through the calipers. And it was shortly after that when I experienced a glorious, just beautiful, perfect AMAZING brake pedal. But guess what? The next day it went back to it's natural state of fecal matter. I'm kind of convinced at this point (even though I have no codes) that my abs unit is faulty, and that the valve which normally makes the fluid bypass the majority of the unit, is stuck open. Therefor adding much more compressible volume and possibly a changing volume. Like maybe the fluid is actually moving all those solenoids up and down when I step on the brake pedal.

The soon to be sold car is currently sitting at BPC (bimmer performance center) they started a fluid flush Friday and unfortunately could not finish so I expect to hear from them Monday, which means I lose sleep Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My lovely car is being a delinquent child and even if they tell me they fixed my brakes by bleeding them, I won't be holding my breath.
Kinda thought at this point you'd been through the ABS LOL. Full pedal travel moves the caliper pistons about 3/32" - 1/8" so it doesn't take much lost volume to make a big difference in pedal feel and travel. Hopefully the shop will have an epiphany and figure it out.
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  #8238  
Old 09-30-2019, 01:00 PM
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Andrew, you are not permitted to sell your E36, but if you do, you are required to sell me your fancy trailer hitch.
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  #8239  
Old 10-01-2019, 11:29 PM
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Ok guys so here is my update....

I brought the car to Bimmer Performance Center, not a great experience. It's a much longer story but I don't have the will to type it all out. I went in with the agreement that a basic brake fluid flush will fun me about $134, but it took them much longer, and the tech was just bleeding and bleeding and bleeding, the bubbles kept coming and he leveled with me and said, you know you see what I'm doing, and I've seen this before, I could be bleeding for 16 more hours before this is done, but they are going to bill you for it so I recommend you just take it home and finish it off. I walked out with a $380 bill, and my pedal felt worse than it did when I dropped it off. I got the car home and did just that, bleed away until I couldn't get anymore air out, I put gallons of brake fluid through each caliper, no joke. And when I was satisfied with seeing no more air, and feeling like this is gonna be it. I went to take it for a drive, annnnnnnnnnd nothing, pedal felt the exact same. And I'm not talking about some ergonomic problem I have with it, it is not road worthy, and straight up dangerous to drive the way it is. I have to say I was a bit paranoid about air ingress into the system considering how long it took to me, but as much as I hate to do this, I'm going to have to shelve this project for a later time. I have been making some serious sacrifices in my life trying to figure this out because I am the kind of person known for fixing **** mostly due to my very stubborn perseverance. It completely occupies my mind until it is fixed, and has been very debilitating. Tomorrow I have to go to the Virginia War Memorial for a business day trip, and immediately after I have to pack up and drive to Nebraska to spend a month with my mom.

Going forward all I can do at this point is start replacing stuff. Since the new MC didn't solve the problem I'm going to attempt to return it, and I'm hoping my front calipers are still under warranty so I can return those as well. I'm going to purchase reman 328 rear calipers in case anything funky is going on there, and I'm going to buy a used M3 ABS unit, as well as the matching computer. I'm also going to purchase a new brake booster. Because I've run out of ideas, and this may turn out to be one of those things where I fix the brakes, but never truly know what the cause of the problem was. I'm okay with that, because the prospect of never having functioning brakes on this car, after everything I've put into it, is truly terrifying to me.
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  #8240  
Old 10-02-2019, 03:51 PM
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Another update: I may be one step closer to figuring this out, I have a lead anyways. Iíve been bleeding the ABS again, and Iíve repeated this way too many times for it to be a coincidence. If I pump my pedal with the car off I can get clear fluid. As soon as I pump my pedal with the car on, I get really foamy air in the clear hose again and it wonít go away until I pump the pedal with the car off. The only thing I can think of that would be the connection between the engine and the brake fluid, is the brake booster, but I have good vacuum. So how the hell does air get into the master cylinder? Especially when it is a new one???
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  #8241  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:24 AM
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Someone tell me to not go buy this e36.

i think 8 e36s is enough.
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  #8242  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:44 AM
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You know we're all enablers here.

What would you get instead?

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  #8243  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:32 AM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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Really want a tesla or a Audi r8.



I know... way different playing fields
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:48 AM
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Someone tell me to not go buy this e36.

i think 8 e36s is enough.
But you don't have that many at the same time, do you? Why not? I have 7 various old BMWs, and if the wife wouldn't have a fit if I bought another one, I would. I already have one in my sights. I may do it anyway, spousal anger be damned. I can live in my ham radio shack until the storm is over.
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  #8245  
Old 10-04-2019, 12:13 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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i have 2 in my possession right now. my white one was number 3.
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  #8246  
Old 10-04-2019, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post
Another update: I may be one step closer to figuring this out, I have a lead anyways. Iíve been bleeding the ABS again, and Iíve repeated this way too many times for it to be a coincidence. If I pump my pedal with the car off I can get clear fluid. As soon as I pump my pedal with the car on, I get really foamy air in the clear hose again and it wonít go away until I pump the pedal with the car off. The only thing I can think of that would be the connection between the engine and the brake fluid, is the brake booster, but I have good vacuum. So how the hell does air get into the master cylinder? Especially when it is a new one???
Have you checked the non-return valve that's in the hose between the intake manifold and the brake booster?

It's item 7 or 8 depending on the brake configuration.

http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E3...it_depression/
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  #8247  
Old 10-04-2019, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Have you checked the non-return valve that's in the hose between the intake manifold and the brake booster?

It's item 7 or 8 depending on the brake configuration.

http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E3...it_depression/
Yes I've confirmed, air only travels one direction.
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  #8248  
Old 10-04-2019, 05:52 PM
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This **** is about to get crazy! SO I've started a thread, and I have started it with a new question/observation. I would genuinely appreciate ya'll to take a look at it and follow it. Thanks!

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...9#post13124329
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:25 AM
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Had a chat with my body guy earlier this week, and it sounds like he'll be ready for my GTO in about six weeks, give or take. So the body will be coming off the frame and heading out for media blasting soon.

In the meantime, I'm trying to stay busy while I wait for that time to come. That translates to going through all the boxes and bags of parts I have and looking to see what needs to be cleaned up and refurbished. I spent some time last night bead blasting a bunch of things. It's such a satisfying process to bring old crusty parts back to life.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:55 PM
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Media blasting is such a relaxing and satisfying exercise. I've had many people say that the time passes without them being aware of it while blasting parts. I agree. I have three cabinets for different media. One has plastic beads for removing most paints. The big one has an aggressive aluminum oxide grit for really tough paint, such as Imron, and the third has glass beads for finish work.
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