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Thread: <E36> pinging when hot...wrong Thermostat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    <E36> pinging when hot...wrong Thermostat?

    My oldish (163k) US Spec E36M tends to ping under load at ~2500 when it is hot (195F+) at the end of my afternoon commute. I noticed that if I crank the defroster at max temp (and cool down the motor a bit to 180F-190F ) the pinging basically stops.

    Coils are pretty much new and plugs are good. Injectors are newly cleaned. watching my fuel and air flow with my OBD monitor dashboard, everything seems generally in order (the air and fuel needles move in harmony).

    Might I be running too hot a thermostat? My last cooling system replacement was done by a third party garage when I broke down out of town in July of 2014 (15k mi). They used factory parts, but I think there are two temperature thermostats available.

    Should I look into anything else? I seem to remember my old 325 getting this way over 150k mi. as well.

    Thanks,

    Marc
    Marc Plante
    E36 M3/4/5 163k
    Konis+ Dinan Springs, Understeer SS, Shepott European steering Wheel, ZKW Ellipsoids, ECIS Intake+ ATE Foam filter, Stromung Exhaust, Recaro SRDs. JVC Arsenal Head Unit. Alpine MRV-F300 Amp, ADS 535i components, JL Audio Stealthbox Subs
    Vienna, VA, USA

  2. #2
    Pelican Parts's Avatar
    Pelican Parts is offline Senior Member Supporting Vendor
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    You should be able to read the codes off the DME to see if there are any issues - if it is the thermostat, take a look at the link below for assistance.

    http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...Thermostat.htm


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  3. #3
    dworthy's Avatar
    dworthy is offline Wagon meister :) BMW Tech Expert
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    What octane are you running? While you can run a BMW on 87, it really isn't a good idea as it was made to run on 91 or higher.

    Sure you could run a colder thermostat, but why skimp on the fuel?
    Worthy
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  4. #4
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    1997 E36 M3/4/5
    I run 91 or 93 sunoco.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Marc Plante
    E36 M3/4/5 163k
    Konis+ Dinan Springs, Understeer SS, Shepott European steering Wheel, ZKW Ellipsoids, ECIS Intake+ ATE Foam filter, Stromung Exhaust, Recaro SRDs. JVC Arsenal Head Unit. Alpine MRV-F300 Amp, ADS 535i components, JL Audio Stealthbox Subs
    Vienna, VA, USA

  5. #5
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    EXOTICS
    I would try to remedy the probable causes for the pinging, as it would lead to a smoother running engine.
    The thermostat shouldn't be a problem, unless it's the wrong one for your vehicle.
    Another possibility is a lean fuel mixture, as that also increases combustion temperatures.
    Don't disregard the spark plugs, they are the #1 component I check when this symptom appears.
    Are the correct plugs installed?
    Spark Plug - Bosch FGR-8-KQE, NGK BKR6EQUP (3199)
    I prefer NGK over Bosch.
    Last edited by MIKYZZ4; 04-21-2017 at 05:47 PM.
    "Choosing the correct shop is as important as the correct diagnosis

    Former owner of a Red RL411 wannabe owner of pictured vehicle

  6. #6
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    I agree with all that has been said above. However, I wonder whether your knock sensors are working correctly? These are, after all, the items which retard the ignition and change vanos behavior, to correct pinging.....AND, they crack, and crumble, and just don't work correctly sometimes.

    That said: a "steam cleaning" of the combustion chambers might well be advantageous, to counteract carbon build up which causes preignition. You can do this at home, I'll explain the procedure by PM if you like. I don't want to put this out for inexperienced owners who might cause hydrolock, but I'm certain you'll be just fine with this procedure.

    Chris Powell
    Racer and Instructor since, well. decades, ok?
    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
    BMWCCA 274412 SCCA 334928

  7. #7
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    1997 E36 M3/4/5
    Yes, plugs are appropriate for the car, I even paid the dealer premium for the "special," version that they stock to be sure.

    Chris, your steam clean idea sounds intriguing, though depending on timing requirements, I may get your thoughts and punt to Bill Shook for implementation. Family life makes it hard to tinker. I'll look into knock sensors first, though I'm not getting codes.

    Would there be something I can watch with my OBD monitor while driving to get a sense of issues? It seems capable of tracking and logging a full set of PIDs, though I'm not sure where to start.

    Otherwise, a water injected E36 sounds pretty cool. I'll have to stop by the dealer for some "GTS" lettering.
    Marc Plante
    E36 M3/4/5 163k
    Konis+ Dinan Springs, Understeer SS, Shepott European steering Wheel, ZKW Ellipsoids, ECIS Intake+ ATE Foam filter, Stromung Exhaust, Recaro SRDs. JVC Arsenal Head Unit. Alpine MRV-F300 Amp, ADS 535i components, JL Audio Stealthbox Subs
    Vienna, VA, USA

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