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    e30 cab project

    Girl i went to highschool with sold me her car. itd been sitting for a few years. put a new battery in it today and got surprising results : no movement from my instrument cluster, however if i turn the lights on the cluster is faintly illuminated. No low or high beams, no brake lights, but running lighs,hazards,blinkers all work (sticky right blinker probably due to turn stalk). no response from starter when i turn the key all the way forward. couldnt make the radio turn on. what do yall think? the engine is in great condition, well taken care of. do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone?

    Thanks yall

    #2
    Did the car sit in a place where it was subject to a lot of moisture or salt?

    Comment


      #3
      nope it sat under some trees in the central texas heat. somehow kept a crack free dash!

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        #4
        just found an alpine alarm in the glove box, i heard it has ignition kills and more. need to find the best way to bypass it.

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          #5
          Ah, yeah those stupid things are so very often the cause of many, many electrical issues. Particularly since the starter will not even budge, I'd suspect a shitty alarm install with an immobilizer function. You are going to need wiring diagrams, so here ya go!

          http://www.armchair.mb.ca/~dave/BMW/e30/

          You want the 1992 version since it is the most complete of the ones on there for the M42 engine'd E30 cars, and is specific to the cabrio.

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            #6
            thank you sir! there has, however, been progress. i did the 15min alarm disable then unplugged it and removed the main box from my car. then, the ignition switch in the car is a bit touchy and after working it back and forth several times, i finally got power to the radio and i got it to crank! the windows still dont move but i got the classical station playing out of the speakers. so i was able to crank it a few times, sometimes the ignition would not reset to position 1 after cranking and id lose all power. and in position 2 sometimes it wouldnt have power unless i turned it a bit more forward, it seems to be getting better over time. NOW however, after getting it to crank a few times, i must have blown a fuse. when i try to crank it i lose power and the antenna begins going back down, stop cranking and its back in position 2. i assume i blew a starter fuse?

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              #7
              The starter is wired directly to the battery. It can draw hundreds of Amps when cranking, so a fuse is not a thing in that circuit (also means you need to be very careful when working around the starter if the battery is still connected!). That goes for the actual motor, anyway. The pull-in solenoid is switched by the ignition, and it acts as a switch/relay for the motor. If the solenoid is not firing, then the motor won't run.

              It sounds like maybe the ignition switch is bad. If it is seeming to improve as you work it, then maybe there are corroded contacts in there. Losing accessory power during cranking is normal since there is a relay which cuts power to accessories when cranking to make sure that the starter gets as much juice as possible. Anyway, it is kind of a pain in the ass to remove and replace since the upper steering column cover is hard to get out. I think you can try to shimmy it out without fully removing the upper cover, but chances are good that you will break a plastic tab if I remember correctly.

              You can also check all of the fuses (pull them one by one and check fro continuity with a multimeter).

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                #8
                i just reread my last post and realized i should clarify something : i was able to get it to crank a few times, but now when i turn the key forward the starter does not respond at all and there is no cranking, just the power cut.

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                  #9
                  also, when it was still able to crank, i was not getting any dash lights or the CEL with the key in pos2

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                    #10
                    If accessory power is cut but the starter is not running, then the starter may need some R&R. Sometimes the pull-out solenoid that shoves the toothed pinion gear out to engage the flywheel gets stuck, and if that happens it will not make contact to enable the starter motor. But, if current is flowing in the solenoid, it will allow the unloader relays to switch, hence no accessory power.

                    If the instrument cluster is not getting juice, then you need to check the fuses related to the fuel injection system (#10 & #11).

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                      #11
                      thanks for your help. ive got new fuses coming but im relatively certain i checked continuity on ever fuse in the box. if the fuses are good what would you suspect the next culprit to be? Im reading alot of things about how because i dont see a CEL before startup it means my DME is not getting power and i need to check its grounds or a certain relay? Does anyone know off hand which pins to bridge on my fuel pump relay to see if i can make it kick on? Thanks again.

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                        #12
                        Maybe the DME could have pooped out. Based on what you are describing, stuff like the fuel pump sound way further downstream of whatever the issue is. Given how many things seem to be having issues, I wonder if rodents got in there and chewed stuff up under the hood. DMEs and ignition switches rarely go bad on their own.

                        You can see if the DME is getting any power at all by removing the main plug and probing its power pins to see if they get 12V (#26 is straight from the battery, #25 is from the ignition switch in run/start), and to check for continuity to ground through the harness (#6, #34, #55...they should all be tied on the DME PCB, but check them all anyway).

                        With the DME reconnected, you can check to see if the main relay is switching (controlled by the DME). Unplug the idle control valve and with the key in the run position (second click) check for 12V on pin #2 of the harness plug.

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                          #13
                          oh that is such an informative post! thank you! ive got to get my e30 coupe out of the garage and get this e30 cab in because ive got a forecast of nonstop rain for days, ill post updates soon thank you again sir

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                            #14
                            I'm going to stay with the ignition switch- as you describe all the random changes, that's what I keep coming back to. They fail in odd ways.
                            And the switch is the common factor in all of your intermittent problems. Verify that first, using the diagrams and making sure power's getting
                            to where it should be.

                            t
                            now, sometimes I just mess with people. It's more entertaining that way. george graves

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                              #15
                              its been a little while since i worked on the convertible so i got a fresh perspective on the issues. here are the symptoms i am considering : car cranks, power to radio, instrument cluster has no power, no check engine light, but flickers when i crank it. the green service lights flicker as well when cranking. it wont start. windows wont move. atleast the right rear running light turns on but no brake lights or reverse lights. hazard lights work. horn works. when i turn the car lights on the dash gets that orange glow behind it. 6 button MFC lights up if i tap on it, screen seems very broken. I also did remove that BMW alpine alarm, i have not chased wires yet i just disconnected it. Right now im suspecting one the main relay, fusible link, or wiring due to the alarm system. PO said it was never an issue but she also never removed it. Would love any advice.

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