Bimmerfest BMW banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good Day,
So I guess we'll start at the beginning, a year I was at my mother in laws and asked what she was gonna do with her old 540 that's sat in her drive way since my fiancé was a senior in high school, she's currently getting her Master's if that helps with how long its been sitting. And she told me the junk yard was picking it up that Monday:yikes:. I was outraged and demanded she let me fix it for her, so she could sell it:dunno:. She said no, BUT if I can get it home I could have it. I've been mostly an American muscle(I've had a few Mustangs) and Honda driver(more recently) but a free car and a project at that was not something I was gonna turn down. So I towed it back home and start working, I've changed all the fluids(except I still need to change the coolant), I've changed the plugs, filters, and air intake because it was cracked along the bottom. I also drained the tank and changed the fuel pump and sending unit on the p/s. I changed the rear brakes, she told me in advance those were due to change, so I put new pads and rotors on, and I've replace the front struts, and all 4 front control arms(ran into an issue where the sleeves came off with the control arms but I've gotten over that hurdle). So far it hasn't cost me more to fix than it would to buy so I'm pretty pleased with that :thumbup:.

But now my old Accord is falling apart, mainly because I've spent my free time getting the bimmer ready instead of my usual upkeep of her and now I'm ready to get the bimmer on the road. I replaced the alternator and both belts and installed a new battery but the battery light is on, but only at low rpm. I've cleaned all the engine ground even the one by the ac compressor and I've had the battery load tested(did it at work) and had the alternator tested and it passed. But I saw where someone said their starter cable was installed wrong and that was their issue. My starter is hooked up correctly from any pictures I've seen of how the wires should be configured but in the process of checking that I realized there's only 2 connections to my alternator. I know the casing grounds to the engine, but in the back there's the connector and a red positive cable which seemed normal to me. But looking closer I realized, the red cable only goes to the jump post on the engine block. So my question is should there be another positive cable coming from the starter(or battery) that goes to the alternator or am I overlooking something?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I found the issue and fixed it. The positive cable was hung up and not routed to the alternator. Now I'm wondering if I ever need an alternator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,514 Posts
"if I ever need an alternator." Yes, you do, It keeps the battery charged.

The voltage s/b 14+ with the engine running, and 12.6 overnight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
"if I ever need an alternator." Yes, you do, It keeps the battery charged.

The voltage s/b 14+ with the engine running, and 12.6 overnight.
I meant a new one. She said it was replaced before she parked it but had issues that cable wasn't on when I took the alternator off to replace it so that was always the issue when back then.
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 192 K miles
Joined
·
1,527 Posts
If I read you right, the replaced alternator never run, as it was not connected to the positive cable. So it is new, and it works. Why do you want to replace it ??
What brand is it ? Bosh ?
 

·
'Fest User
Joined
·
129 Posts
The plot thickens.
Actually, if I read correctly: mother-in-law had alternator replaced. Battery lead was not reinstalled by her mechanic. Car has issues, she wants to junk it. He talks her out of it. Thinking alternator is bad, replaces it. Hooks all wiring up AS HE FOUND IT. Alternator not working, naturally. Hot lead to battery STILL NOT HOOKED UP. Finally discovers error, hooks up hot lead(which had become hung up on something, starter I think) and, Voila! problem solved. Now lamenting that probably original alternator may not have needed to be replaced after all.
Eh, no??
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 192 K miles
Joined
·
1,527 Posts
Interesting. If so, advise him to go back to the mother-in-law and ask her to reimburse him the price of the new alternator...ROFLMAO... :) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
Problem solved simply with a time machine.

Otherwise no use in lamenting about the past which cannot be changed. Countless alternators have been replaced when not necessary!
 

·
Under the lift arms
Joined
·
12,900 Posts
im slightly confused... you put all this in to it b4 acutally even running it?

did it start when it was sitting..

these cars are pretty resilient: sitts for 36 months untouched,

Open door.. open hood.. check oil check coolant, apply volatage, open trunk, charge battery and or jump! (depending how much you want to test your might )

turn key what happen? *this is the moment of truth

you already towed it.. you have the title its your car? whats the last 7 of the vin so we know what your working with,

you dumped a bunch of preventive maintenance items on there

get AAA towing,
 

·
Under the lift arms
Joined
·
12,900 Posts
It sounds like maybe someone might have worked on the car.. screwed it up.. and the car was just tossed aside because no one could figure it out at that time?


this is how race car is born

might just need to confirm some wiring routing and double check some things and be good?

your going to need a scan tool if you plan on keeping it.. just staying
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
Great story, so how long did it sit for? Was it in a garage, close to the ocean uncovered?
Milage? Auto or manual..?

Post some pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
If I read you right, the replaced alternator never run, as it was not connected to the positive cable. So it is new, and it works. Why do you want to replace it ??
What brand is it ? Bosh ?
The plot thickens.
Actually, if I read correctly: mother-in-law had alternator replaced. Battery lead was not reinstalled by her mechanic. Car has issues, she wants to junk it. He talks her out of it. Thinking alternator is bad, replaces it. Hooks all wiring up AS HE FOUND IT. Alternator not working, naturally. Hot lead to battery STILL NOT HOOKED UP. Finally discovers error, hooks up hot lead(which had become hung up on something, starter I think) and, Voila! problem solved. Now lamenting that probably original alternator may not have needed to be replaced after all.
Eh, no??
Basically that's what happened but it is what it is. Glad it was nothing bigger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Great story, so how long did it sit for? Was it in a garage, close to the ocean uncovered?
Milage? Auto or manual..?

Post some pictures.
No it was just in her drive way out in the elements. Had a nice wasp nest in the door hinges when we opened it. I wanna say it sat 5 or 6 years. Don't know the mileage bc the dash pixels are dead but it's an automatic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
im slightly confused... you put all this in to it b4 acutally even running it?

did it start when it was sitting..

these cars are pretty resilient: sitts for 36 months untouched,

Open door.. open hood.. check oil check coolant, apply volatage, open trunk, charge battery and or jump! (depending how much you want to test your might )

turn key what happen? *this is the moment of truth

you already towed it.. you have the title its your car? whats the last 7 of the vin so we know what your working with,

you dumped a bunch of preventive maintenance items on there

get AAA towing,
It didn't start, it needed a battery. I changed the oil and plugs, replaced battery, didn't start. Replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter. It started. Ran alil rough but started. Replaced air filter, cleaned maf and replaced intake hose, ran alil better but battery light on. Replaced alternator and belts, battery light was off. Proceeded to fix other issues she knew about(rear brakes, front struts, and went ahead and changed control arms when I saw their condition when changing the struts.) Nothing major was done *shrugs*

I towed it because the battery was dead. I just put it on a cart carrier and towed it myself. I work for Penske so I got the carrier on "discount"(free). I also have AAA
 

·
Under the lift arms
Joined
·
12,900 Posts
ok... good base line for a car.. you got it for free your probably in over a grand now.. which is fair

So its stable, have you driven it around the block yet? have you tried communicating with it via scan tool?

automatic transmission crew jump in here and advise what to do : Its a sealed system, so the transmission oil is probably oem, assuming it has not leaked out

planning on keeping it and the honda? I had a cb7
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 192 K miles
Joined
·
1,527 Posts
Yes, good free acquisition. I would add the following:
Change the transmission oil, filter and screws that hold the transmission oil pan.
Change the differential fluid.
Get a scan tool (INPA on a Windows laptop), then take it on a test drive.
Look out for any oil leaks. if so, it may need a valve cover gasket, and/or an oil pan gasket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
ok... good base line for a car.. you got it for free your probably in over a grand now.. which is fair

So its stable, have you driven it around the block yet? have you tried communicating with it via scan tool?

automatic transmission crew jump in here and advise what to do : Its a sealed system, so the transmission oil is probably oem, assuming it has not leaked out

planning on keeping it and the honda? I had a cb7
Yea no complaints on there cost. For equal value I'd probably get a car that needed half of the things I've already done to this one or worse.

I've driven it around a few times this week. The tires have some cracks so I haven't been wanting to test those waters too much but it runs. Some of the wheel weights fell off though so there's a slight bumpy feeling from it being out of balance. I'm about to check it with my scanner now, not sure how much I'll get with my lil bluetooth scanner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Yes, good free acquisition. I would add the following:
Change the transmission oil, filter and screws that hold the transmission oil pan.
Change the differential fluid.
Get a scan tool (INPA on a Windows laptop), then take it on a test drive.
Look out for any oil leaks. if so, it may need a valve cover gasket, and/or an oil pan gasket.
Yea diff fluid was on the list, probably wait and see with the tranny fluid. Is INPA the software name or a tool? And yea I see some residual oil from leaks, she said she had one fixed before so now I have to figure out if it's still leaking or just wasn't cleaned afterward. Might just go ahead and changethe oil pan gasket.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top