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About a year ago I purchased an e36 as a project (not knowing what I’d be getting myself into) so prior to when I got the car I guess the ignition tumbler had broke and it now just spins freely (a common problem I’ve heard) so the previous owner wired in 2 switches and a push start button. The key still needed to be in the ignition for the transmitter to read the chip in the key, however to this day if not been able to get the car to start let alone crank. The button has continuity, power, ground ect. The engine is grounded properly and the starter is getting 12.4 volts, the only place I’m not getting any power to is the trigger wire on the solenoid. I’ve come up short everywhere and right now I’m hoping maybe an ews delete will solve my issue. Please any advice will help
 

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1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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Welcome to Bimmerfest!

Yup, you'll need to track down the EWSII and disable it. Did the previous owner actually drive it like that, or has it been a non-runner the whole time?
 
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Does the car have the 18 button on board computer? If so, does it (the OBC) have power? The 18 button OBC adds an additional layer of anti-theft security that lets the driver enter a 4 digit security code. Because of this feature, when you turn the ignition switch to the start position, the ECU sends a request to the OBC as to whether a code has been set. The OBC either responds with the 4 digit code, or "no code". If there's no response from the OBC, the ECU assumes its because someone is trying to steal the car, and sends a signal to trigger the EWS system to inhibit cranking.
 

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Welcome to Bimmerfest!

Yup, you'll need to track down the EWSII and disable it. Did the previous owner actually drive it like that, or has it been a non-runner the whole time?
The day I got it I did hear it run and drive it briefly (it wasn’t registered and the brakes were iffy I didn’t go far) so I know it does run but I didn’t see him initially start it up so he could have just bump started it off the trailer
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Does the car have the 18 button on board computer? If so, does it (the OBC) have power? The 18 button OBC adds an additional layer of anti-theft security that lets the driver enter a 4 digit security code. Because of this feature, when you turn the ignition switch to the start position, the ECU sends a request to the OBC as to whether a code has been set. The OBC either responds with the 4 digit code, or "no code". If there's no response from the OBC, the ECU assumes its because someone is trying to steal the car, and sends a signal to trigger the EWS system to inhibit cranking.
ok now that someone explained what the obc was (ima idiot) yeah it does have it and yeah it does work, I didn’t actually know about the code thing though, I’m guessing I should be able to find the code in the owners manual?
 

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I'm kinda wondering why you took an E36 as a project car as it seems like you know nothing about them...

The OBC thing is simple yes or no question if you still have the car:

Do you have anything like this in the car? Exactly like this?

Another thing you should test is if you're getting spark or current to the fuel pump before fighting any EWS issue. My 97 318i needed to have the key in a really particular/peculiar angle for the key chip to be read on that stupid ring thing, but just do a thorough test if you're getting current to the fuel pump, do you even know if the fuel pump is working and etc? Are any fuses blown? I shorted the gong once and that completely immobilized the car somehow, forgot what fuse that was but once I replaced the fuse the car came back to life.

You've just told us "I can't start the car" but what HAVE you tested and done? Are you sure the fuel pump and etc is working? Are you sure other components are priming and getting current? Could just be that you have a crapped out Starter solenoid or something honestly too (recently had to change two starters on two cars).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm kinda wondering why you took an E36 as a project car as it seems like you know nothing about them...

The OBC thing is simple yes or no question if you still have the car:

Do you have anything like this in the car? Exactly like this?

Another thing you should test is if you're getting spark or current to the fuel pump before fighting any EWS issue. My 97 318i needed to have the key in a really particular/peculiar angle for the key chip to be read on that stupid ring thing, but just do a thorough test if you're getting current to the fuel pump, do you even know if the fuel pump is working and etc? Are any fuses blown? I shorted the gong once and that completely immobilized the car somehow, forgot what fuse that was but once I replaced the fuse the car came back to life.

You've just told us "I can't start the car" but what HAVE you tested and done? Are you sure the fuel pump and etc is working? Are you sure other components are priming and getting current? Could just be that you have a crapped out Starter solenoid or something honestly too (recently had to change two starters on two cars).
I mean yeah I don’t know much about e36’s but I like them and want to learn about/on them so a project is a good direction to go no? But Yeah that obc is still in the car, I currently have the fuse pulled for the fuel pump because I have the intake manifold off after replacing the starter if I were to put the fuse back n then yeah the fuel pump primes everytime.
 

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Not trying to demotivate you or anything, but I only took my 320i as a project car since I knew (or thought) most of the stuff about E36's after 10 years of owning one, and thought to myself, huh, can't be that bad since they're both similar and own the Bentley Manual for them, that's why I've taken two of them on as project cars to restore and stuff.

As for your issue, honestly no idea. If she's getting fuel that means it's pretty much not immobilized and seems to be a starter issue.
 

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Not trying to demotivate you or anything, but I only took my 320i as a project car since I knew (or thought) most of the stuff about E36's after 10 years of owning one, and thought to myself, huh, can't be that bad since they're both similar and own the Bentley Manual for them, that's why I've taken two of them on as project cars to restore and stuff.

As for your issue, honestly no idea. If she's getting fuel that means it's pretty much not immobilized and seems to be a starter issue.
Ok thank you for you’re advice, the starter is new and I bench tested just to be sure that it did work, I think I stated yeah the only place I’m not getting a signal is the trigger on the solonoid,
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not trying to demotivate you or anything, but I only took my 320i as a project car since I knew (or thought) most of the stuff about E36's after 10 years of owning one, and thought to myself, huh, can't be that bad since they're both similar and own the Bentley Manual for them, that's why I've taken two of them on as project cars to restore and stuff.

As for your issue, honestly no idea. If she's getting fuel that means it's pretty much not immobilized and seems to be a starter issue.
Im pretty sure if I were to put it back together that I can bump start it (should have said it’s manual) is it possible that the ignition switch is bad? Or maybe the clutch switch but when I press the clutch I can hear a click from what I believe is the ews
 

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No idea bud, my pre 1995 cars are such a relief with this EWS nonsense.. I mean it's safe, but if it's not your car, it's a pain in the rear. Do yourself a favor:

  • Go to Bimmercat.com
  • Punch in the last 7 digits of your VIN
  • See this image and see the manufacture date of your car
1024562

  • Navigate and head to THIS SITE for BMW manuals (idk how they have it, don't ask me).
  • Look for the appropriate manual (Mine is 9/1994 so I'd have to check the 1994 Manual
1024563

  • Open the manual
  • Compare Manufacture dates (Mine is a 9/1994, meaning this manual isn't what I should be referring to).
1024564

  • Go back to WeDoPhones Site linked above
  • Choose the next year's manual for your car
1024566

  • Compare Manufacture Dates
  • See if they match (in this case, yeppp)
1024567

  • Go through the index, see what you need (I'm assuming it's start)
  • Start killing yourself mentally by going through all these diagrams for the vehicle specific thing
1024568


- WARNING/IMPORTANT NOTE: Things will differentiate/vary on car models, be it US,EU,CANADA, ETC. Make sure you know your vehicle's place of manufacture/what region it is for or you WILL release the magic smoke out of a component you don't want to. Pin numbers/etc are VERY important and refer to the color wiring diagrams and see if they match and test with a voltmeter/etc correctly and verify.


That should be about it. Welcome to the E36 DIY Club.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No idea bud, my pre 1995 cars are such a relief with this EWS nonsense.. I mean it's safe, but if it's not your car, it's a pain in the rear. Do yourself a favor:

  • Go to Bimmercat.com
  • Punch in the last 7 digits of your VIN
  • See this image and see the manufacture date of your car
View attachment 1024562
  • Navigate and head to THIS SITE for BMW manuals (idk how they have it, don't ask me).
  • Look for the appropriate manual (Mine is 9/1994 so I'd have to check the 1994 Manual
View attachment 1024563
  • Open the manual
  • Compare Manufacture dates (Mine is a 9/1994, meaning this manual isn't what I should be referring to).
View attachment 1024564
  • Go back to WeDoPhones Site linked above
  • Choose the next year's manual for your car
View attachment 1024566
  • Compare Manufacture Dates
  • See if they match (in this case, yeppp)
View attachment 1024567
  • Go through the index, see what you need (I'm assuming it's start)
  • Start killing yourself mentally by going through all these diagrams for the vehicle specific thing
View attachment 1024568

- WARNING/IMPORTANT NOTE: Things will differentiate/vary on car models, be it US,EU,CANADA, ETC. Make sure you know your vehicle's place of manufacture/what region it is for or you WILL release the magic smoke out of a component you don't want to. Pin numbers/etc are VERY important and refer to the color wiring diagrams and see if they match and test with a voltmeter/etc correctly and verify.


That should be about it. Welcome to the E36 DIY Club.
Thank you, ill have to start trouble shooting I guess, I’m probably gunna wanna off myself by the end of it but hopefully I can find my issue, thanks a bunch
 

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Thank you, ill have to start trouble shooting I guess, I’m probably gunna wanna off myself by the end of it but hopefully I can find my issue, thanks a bunch
Once you find the right manual, this will be one of the ultimate weapons of E36 DIY Ownership. Trust me on that. Good luck bud.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Once you find the right manual, this will be one of the ultimate weapons of E36 DIY Ownership. Trust me on that. Good luck bud.
Another question, my ignition tumbler does the 360° spin shit that e36’s do, will a replacement tumbler From a pre 95 work or does it have to be from a 96^ If I deleted the ews system
 

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ok now that someone explained what the obc was (ima idiot) yeah it does have it and yeah it does work, I didn’t actually know about the code thing though, I’m guessing I should be able to find the code in the owners manual?
You don't need a special code, it's a 4 digit code that you select each time you want to enable the added OBC security. It can be 1234 if you want. You just need to remember what code you plugged in so you can disarm it when you come back to the car. I think I used it twice in the 5 or so years I had the E36. As you've discovered, the EWS system is pretty robust without adding another layer LOL.
 

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You don't need a special code, it's a 4 digit code that you select each time you want to enable the added OBC security. It can be 1234 if you want. You just need to remember what code you plugged in so you can disarm it when you come back to the car. I think I used it twice in the 5 or so years I had the E36. As you've discovered, the EWS system is pretty robust without adding another layer LOL.
Imagine, blowing the gong fuse (whichever fuse it's connected to) was enough to immobilize my '97 318i sedan lmao so yeah, it's pretty safe to say it's safe, lololol
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Imagine, blowing the gong fuse (whichever fuse it's connected to) was enough to immobilize my '97 318i sedan lmao so yeah, it's pretty safe to say it's safe, lololol
Well I can confirm that I don’t think the fuel pump is working after all I put the fuse back had a good battery in the car but I didn’t hear any signs of life from the fuel pump.
 
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