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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I just bought a clean 535i sight unseen last weekend. The car is in good shape, wasn't abused and came with a booklet full of receipts from day one. But (there's always a "but" with these beemers isn't it!), the previous owner told me the cluster was not working, the ventilation and AC as well as the computer. Also - and this might be related or not - both rear doors are locked and can't seem to be opened...

I was wondering if any of you had seen a similar issue? I've looked for about an hour last night and appart from the obvious (check fuses etc...), I didn't see any common issues that would explain all these items failing at the same time, or being related. Dash ground wire maybe? A module?

Let me know what you guys think, or if you can point me in the right direction.

Cheers

 

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I think you have several unrelated problems. I can't see the wonky cluster shutting down your HVAC, for instance. You may find that the capacitors in your instrument cluster have failed; the blower motor is dead, the lock actuators in your back doors have croaked. Did the previous owner claim these problems surfaced at the same time?

I have an E24 that was also generally in good shape when I bought it but the cluster was dead and the HVAC system needed work. The '83 633Csi is less complicated than the E34, but I also replaced semiconductor components (and other parts for HVAC) to get things working again. Sun, heat and age take their toll on this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree, these faulty items might not be related. The previous owner didn't say they appeared at the same time. For the record, I spent an hour today removing all the panels, looking for anything suspicious under the dash, checking the inline fuses at the battery and all the fuses in both boxes... All checked out OK so far...
 

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You may be able to find a salvaged cluster and/or OBC to replace yours. Forum member Andy (username south26) has parted out a number of these earlier E34s. You also may find some used lock actuators somewhere, as the early ones can be expensive IIRC.

Of course, if you're thinking of hold onto the car for the long term, used electronic parts may have limited life remaining as well. ProGrama renews instrument panels, but they aren't cheap. There are also some DiY how-tos bouncing around the Internet if you're handy with a soldering iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I've read the different post about capacitor replacement on these clusters, so I'll test them out tonight to see if any are burnt. There's also an old remote start module under the dash which I don't even have the remote for... the module is connected all over the place and it's a mess of wires... This might not help...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A quick update: I worked a couple hours on the car today. I started by removing the old remote start module and securing all the wires back. I removed the main fuse box and flipped it over to test fuse #20 connectors in particular (Fuse 20 control all 3 items that were inop. Seemed like a possible culprit.

I traced 12V from fuse 20 up to the cluster, all tested OK. I decided to remove the hvac/radio module from the dash and found one issue; the blue connector on the climate control had been inserted the wrong way and not clipped in. I corrected that and got power to the climate control (that's a start!). All functions and lights on the climate control now seems to work, same for the onboard computer. But still no blower, even though I tested all fan settings (1-4). I decided to investigate the "sword" (or final stage - my car is 08/89) and found out the previous owner had installed a more modern final stage that looked identical from an E39 one. Plus, it was hanging under the dash and is impossible to insert into the sword's slot obviously. Weirdly enough, it uses the same 5 prong connector as mine, but is clearly not the right model and I doubt it would work...? Info welcomed.



Next step will be to test for power, ground and fan settings at the final stage connector. If there's a procedure for this, let me know! After that, once my capacitors have been checked and/or replaced on the cluster, we'll test everything again.
 
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