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  • A few of questions from a new E30 M3 owner.

    Hi guy's,

    Yesterday I received my 1988 Diamond Schwarz M3. I have a few questions/concerns though.

    1. My Anti-lock light is on and the car does not have functioning ABS. Is there a simple remedy to this or is there a number of things that could be wrong? I did a search but I couldn't find very clear answers.

    2. When idling, the engine clunks and has somewhat of a rough idle. When I press the clutch pedal in, the clunking goes away. When I let off the clutch pedal the clunking comes back. When the engine is cold though it doesn't do this. Only once the vehicle has reached full operating temperature. What could this be?

    3. When turning very sharply, like one would when backing out of a parking spot or driveway, there is a loud clunk coming from the front end. From what I can hear, it seems like it's coming from the front drivers side area. Maybe the strut area? Anybody have any ideas?

    That's about it for now. I just changed the oil a little while ago. The oil that was in it was pretty dirty.


    Thanks guy's,


    Patrick
    Last edited by Patrick; 11-11-2009, 12:44 PM.

  • #2
    Help Questions

    Patrick:
    Welcome. I don't have all the correct answer but these are some that should help.

    1. check all fuses and connectors in the engine bay first. disconnect the battery and reconnect. I never seen or heard a ABS unit fail.
    2. the sound you hear is the throw out bearing from the clutch and is normal for the car's age and mileage. As long as you can shift smooth and engage / release the clutch it is fine, just anoying.
    3. Low control arm bushings, upper strut mounts and or tie rods. Better to do these all together.

    Regards,
    Chicco

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Patrick View Post
      1. My Anti-lock light is on and the car does not have functioning ABS. Is there a simple remedy to this or is there a number of things that could be wrong? I did a search but I couldn't find very clear answers.

      The ABS system is somewhat complex and there could be several things causing it to not function. The first things I would check are the wheel sensors, just because they are in a position where they might be damaged or unplugged by someone working on the car. They might even be missing, who knows? After that I would trace the wiring and just make sure everything is plugged in like it should be.


      Originally posted by Patrick View Post
      2. When idling, the engine clunks and has somewhat of a rough idle. When I press the clutch pedal in, the clunking goes away. When I let off the clutch pedal the clunking comes back. When the engine is cold though it doesn't do this. Only once the vehicle has reached full operating temperature. What could this be?
      If the clunk goes away with the clutch disengaged, the noise is "probably" the transmission. The Getrag 265 transmission is commonly somewhat noisy at idle, particularly if a lighter than stock flywheel has been installed. I would not describe the noise as a "clunk" though. More like a "whirring rattle" sort of noise. The rough idle could be a thousand things, but I cannot think of a way it could disappear when the clutch is pressed in. Is it possible you are mistaking gear noise from the tranny as being a rough idle? That is my guess, because with the clutch pressed in and the tranny silent, the car seems to be running smoother even though there is actually no real change. Hope that makes sense. I suspect none of this happens when the car is cold, because the gear oil dampens noise better when it is colder and thicker.

      Originally posted by Patrick View Post
      3. When turning very sharply, like one would when backing out of a parking spot or driveway, there is a loud clunk coming from the front end. From what I can hear, it seems like it's coming from the front drivers side area. Maybe the strut area? Anybody have any ideas?
      Tie rod ends, or control arm bearings. Much less likely would be the strut bearings.

      In diagnosing these things, it will help you a lot to know if/how much the previous owner modified the car. For example, some guys just unplug the ABS to track the car or whatever (bad idea IMHO). Fixing your ABS might just be a matter of plugging it back in.

      It would also be useful to know if your flywheel and engine tranny mounts are stock, because that bears on the noises (and how audible they are to you).

      Keep in mind, even when all is well, these are fairly buzzy, rattly, loud cars with a lot of vibrations.

      HTH
      Last edited by Ironhead; 11-11-2009, 01:29 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Patrick View Post
        Hi guy's,

        Yesterday I received my 1988 Diamond Schwarz M3. I have a few questions/concerns though.

        1. My Anti-lock light is on and the car does not have functioning ABS. Is there a simple remedy to this or is there a number of things that could be wrong? I did a search but I couldn't find very clear answers.
        If the light is on as soon as you start the car, BEFORE you move the vehicle, I'd wager 90% on a broken ABS relay. This is a small relay under the drivers side of the dashboard with a small wire inside. The wire is prone to breaking.

        It's a small silver relay box.

        Here is a description from Don McAdams as to where you can locate this relay:
        Originally posted by D///M3 View Post
        If you remove the lower drivers footwell trim panel (under the steering wheel) on your '88- you will see a long metal silver box (the ABS computer approx. 10x7)- just to the left of the steering column. On top of the ABS computer is the metal (aluminum) ABS/ overvoltage relay clipped to it. That is the relay you need to swap out with your new one. If I am not mistaken, the new relays are made of black plastic (no longer having a metal/ aluminum case).

        HTH,
        HTH,
        -Chris
        Chris L.

        Spray paint and tire shine doesn't equate to a "restoration!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by UNHCLL View Post
          If the light is on as soon as you start the car, BEFORE you move the vehicle, I'd wager 90% on a broken ABS relay. This is a small relay under the drivers side of the dashboard with a small wire inside. The wire is prone to breaking.

          It's a small silver relay box.

          Here is a description from Don McAdams as to where you can locate this relay:


          HTH,
          -Chris
          This can be caused when a E30 is jump started. It's pretty common to cause the ABS relay to trip/blow out. I used to have one or two extra relays in my tool box because of this. Still have an extra now. This really only applies to the earlier cars though ('88s).

          Try changing the relay and see if it makes the light go away.
          1989 E30 M3 Cabrio - Nogaro Sliver / Black - 1 of 786
          1990 E30 M3 - Sterling Silver / Black
          1991 E30 318is - Sterling / Black (Mtech II project)

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for all the info, guy's.

            The car is 100% stock.

            Ironhead, it's definitely a clunk. It sounds like the engine is about to die, but it doesn't. I'm sure it's not a whirring rattle noise. It goes away completely when I press the clutch in. It typically only does it when I'm coming to a complete stop.

            UNHCLL, Is there a way to tell just by look at it if the ABS Relay is broken/bad? It's a cheap part and I figure I might as well order one.

            *Update*
            I just purchased an ABS Relay. Hopefully this will fix the problem. I'd feel a lot more confident on the road with functioning ABS.
            Last edited by Patrick; 11-11-2009, 04:27 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              For the external "over-voltage protection" relay for the ABS, I believe this is only on cars built *prior* to 8/87.

              Later '88 models, like my ex-Zinno car which was produced 11/87 did not have it. At $35 for this relay, I hope your car has it and it truly is a simple fix.

              I've been through pretty much every conceivable ABS issue on my car thanks to its previous owner(s). Ask away....and enjoy the new car! It's definitely worth it.


              Nick

              Comment


              • #8
                I just hope I can get all these issues addressed fairly simple. I can feel how fun the car would be if it were in perfect working order. My car is an early '88 model.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Patrick View Post
                  Hi guy's,

                  3. When turning very sharply, like one would when backing out of a parking spot or driveway, there is a loud clunk coming from the front end. From what I can hear, it seems like it's coming from the front drivers side area. Maybe the strut area? Anybody have any ideas?

                  Patrick
                  Might also be the sway bar links are "loose".

                  Paul
                  1990 M3 SE - 44K miles - in storage :sosad:
                  1989 M3 US - 97K miles - Dormant :sosad:
                  1990 M3 Shell - O miles - new [peace]
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by the_scotsman View Post
                    Might also be the sway bar links are "loose".

                    Paul
                    I'll check this out this weekend as it seems to be the simplest -possible- suspect of the noise. I did an oil change on the car yesterday... What a PITA. I'm from the E36 world and an oil change on those is super fast and easy. Removing the airbox and reaching through tight places to unscrew the oil filter a centimeter at a time sure was a hassle.

                    Fun car though. I'm looking forward to this little adventure once I get all these issues worked out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Patrick View Post
                      I did an oil change on the car yesterday... What a PITA. I'm from the E36 world and an oil change on those is super fast and easy. Removing the airbox and reaching through tight places to unscrew the oil filter a centimeter at a time sure was a hassle.
                      Yeah.

                      I never figured out a way to do it either, without spilling oil all over the place. I finally did a remote oil filter mod a while back. Smartest thing I ever did. Now changing it out is a breeze.

                      By and large though, these cars are pretty easy to work on. Good thing too, because they need a lot of work.....:gotcha:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
                        because they need a lot of work.....:gotcha:
                        :1::HeadsSpinning:

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've been driving (quite spirited) w/o ABS for 2 years with no problems due to a mechanic throwing away the ABS ring when installing a new front bearing... nothing to worry about but the relay is likely the culprit.

                          The rattling like a diesel... "clunking" is the throw out bearing as mentioned just annoying...

                          Check your tie rod ends, sway bar links etc...

                          Welcome to the tinkerbox.
                          Rich!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ///schwartzman View Post
                            I've been driving (quite spirited) w/o ABS for 2 years with no problems due to a mechanic throwing away the ABS ring when installing a new front bearing... nothing to worry about but the relay is likely the culprit.

                            The rattling like a diesel... "clunking" is the throw out bearing as mentioned just annoying...

                            Check your tie rod ends, sway bar links etc...

                            Welcome to the tinkerbox.
                            Not having functioning ABS is definitely something to worry about for me. It makes the vehicle less safe.

                            About the throw out bearing, is it supposed to be this way or is it going bad/already bad?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              #3 certainly sounds like front swaybar end links. Pretty easy to check the ball joint for play once the front end is jacked up.

                              Comment

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