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  • First day of ownership

    I had a heck of a first day of ownership. The morning started out with a long open Interstate drive of about an hour to a client site. My first impressions of the car are that it is very pure. You have direct control over the car and all its functions and youíre rewarded with really great feedback.
    I didnít realize how small the car was until I parked it and had gobs of room left on both sides. The drive back to the office was nice except the A/C in my car is very marginal in todayís 91 degree heat. Iíll get that looked into soon!
    After a quick trip through a fast food drive-through, I headed to the office about 3 blocks away. The car stuttered briefly in second gear as the RPMs passed through 3,000. I didnít think much about it until I got to the middle of the intersection and the engine went flat. It would idle roughly but would not respond to throttle.
    Seconds later it stopped running altogether. It would crank and fire briefly but any throttle would cause it to die. I coasted over to the side of the road and pushed it into a parking lot. Everything was too hot to touch. Not that looking does any good but nothing looked out of place and there were no strange smells.
    I removed the plug form the air flow meter and plugged it back in a few times and tapped on the AFM itself. After a one or two attempts to start the car it fired up and I drove it carefully straight to work. The drive home was completely normal.
    I searched through the archives and read that there have been several similar reports among the group. It looks like there are several sensors, ground wires, relays and pumps that need to be checked which, leads me to believe that it is probably not the AFM and that I was just lucky that the car re-fired.
    Iíll continue to read through the archives but any additional input would be welcome.
    All in all the car is everything great that Iíve read about it. It is most fun on relatively slow, ~60-80 MPH, roads that are tight and twisty.
    What a car!
    Hank

  • #2
    Not exactly an auspicious first day. The crank and reference sensors can be difficult to verify. They can test correct for ohms--but maybe during operation, the cables will flex or the sensors will heat up and cause a temporary fault. Most of us lack the necessary graphing/logging equipment for a proper test.

    Go through the car and clean all the grounds--especially the one by the ECM--as this doesn't cost a thing and will have you inspecting the car in various places for potential future problems.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Hank Cohn View Post
      All in all the car is everything great that Iíve read about it. It is most fun on relatively slow, ~60-80 MPH, roads that are tight and twisty.
      What a car!
      Hank
      Ding Ding Ding, you found the answer to why we are a cult. It's the fact you can enjoy the car at semi legal speeds that makes it great.

      Comment


      • #4
        Not saying this is addressing your immediate symptoms but wouldn't hurt to get a to a baseline by replacing plugs, wires and cap rotor. The rotors can sort of disintegrate in these cars over time. Helps to sort of do a tuneup to start with unless you have strong records from the prior owner.

        I also like to replace the car battery, especially if more than a few years old.
        Petro

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        • #5
          Thanks for the advice. I'm looking forward to getting the car set up. Speaking of plugs, the supplemental manual says Bosch X5 DTC. Searching the web, I see X5 DC but no DTC. Same plug? Probably not. What are you guys using?

          Thanks,
          Hank

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          • #6
            petro has a point. Start with the easier stuff and then move onto the wear items. You will have to replace them down the road anyways, so might as well get to them done and not worry about them.

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            • #7
              Falling flat and dying is not a good feeling for a first imperssion. Along with the to-do list you are already making, check the vacuum hoses especially the little elbow on the leading edge of the plenum... hate to see it run lean on you.
              Rich!

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              • #8
                Afm?

                If you don't know the recent maintenance history, definitely echo other's thoughts on going through the usual wear items.

                For this specific issue, if you have access to a spare AFM, wouldn't hurt to swap that out if the problem continues. Have heard about problems with bad traces or wiper on the AFM which will feed bad info to the Motronic.

                Welcome to the club!

                -Ken

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                • #9
                  Welcome, Hank. Perhaps we can work through these issues together... I got my M3 in January and I am still learning all of this stuff.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Petro,

                    I see that Pelican sells a kit with all the parts you mention. It's pricy at $330 +. It includes:

                    New Spark Plugs
                    New Ignition Wires
                    New Distributor Cap
                    New Ignition Rotor
                    New Ignition Coil

                    Can I source the parts less expensively or is that about right?

                    Also, I've seen mention in my searches of a ground wire replacement kit. I've not been able to find a seller of that kit. Any advice?

                    Thanks,
                    Hank

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hank Cohn View Post
                      Hey Petro,

                      I see that Pelican sells a kit with all the parts you mention. It's pricy at $330 +. It includes:

                      New Spark Plugs
                      New Ignition Wires
                      New Distributor Cap
                      New Ignition Rotor
                      New Ignition Coil

                      Can I source the parts less expensively or is that about right?

                      Also, I've seen mention in my searches of a ground wire replacement kit. I've not been able to find a seller of that kit. Any advice?

                      Thanks,
                      Hank
                      Do you have records of when/if the current plug wires were installed? If they are the factory wires, they will abrade inside of the plastic wire loom/holder and start to fail in just a few years due to all the vibration. The coil 'generally' doesn't fail that often, but is relatively inexpensive to replace.

                      I don't think Pelican's price for the kit is terribly out of line, but I priced out the same parts on www.koperformance.com and came up with around $305 shipped, so you could save some.

                      What you are describing sounds like what has happened to me before twice, and both times it was related to the distributor cap and rotor. If you don't know what has been changed on the car, I would buy all the items listed in the kit just to be on the safe side.

                      And I forgot-congrats on the purchase and welcome to the club of open, empty wallets!
                      Eric Giles
                      '07 X5 4.8i
                      '01 325i
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        from experience. save a few years of lifespan deduction... get a great mechanic and let them get your car to normal. then... you do the upkeep. that's what works. let them baseline it then you maintain. plus, you get to be a raceshop rat and meet the most awesome people. near florida... blackforest in deland and zotz (ron zitza) in casselberry. these are awesome people that spin the wrenches and love the e30m3. there are many others. so... find 'em. take it. baseline it. then you maintain. that will save you at least 2 years of precious life.

                        congratulations on owning the best car ever made.
                        the winningest racecar ever.

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                        • #13
                          ha! my car has the same issues and i discovered that the cap and rotor are shot so i'm going thru replacing all the wear items right now as well.

                          can't wait to get this baby back on the road.
                          Chairman of the Bored--Live Sockets Entertainment

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                          • #14
                            Eric, evans61,

                            Thanks for the advice. You're right and as soon as I recover a bit financially from the initial purchase I'll try to find one of those kinds of shops here in Atlanta.

                            Still, what a great car. It's too bad that cars arn't made like that today. I had an old '88 911 that was very similar in the purity of the driving experience. I can't wait to get this car sorted and start enjoying it for what it is.

                            Thanks again,
                            Hank


                            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - AUTOMERGED! There's no thread "bumping" or "double posting" within a 24hr period. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


                            mshii,

                            Misery loves company. On free weekends you'd be welcome to come over and we could work on cars together.

                            Hank
                            Last edited by Hank Cohn; 06-06-2008, 03:00 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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