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

  1. #1
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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
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    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?
    Darin
    Current:
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  4. #4
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    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
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  5. #5
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    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.
    A jack of all trades, master of none.

  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?
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  7. #7
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    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

  8. #8
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    So. To be fair and provide a readout on my car after everyone's input. After deliberation and data gathering from a few different directions, I lost my nerve about water injection to steam clean the motor. I briefly considered using a seafoam direct injection kit as a proxy, then backed off at the thought of burning oil in my cylinders.

    In the end, I gave the car a stiff dose of Techron for a couple tankfuls, and it seems better, though we haven't had a critical hot afternoon for me to test the pinging at the end of the day. The morning starts seem a little smoother.

    I was going to give it another blast of cleaner in the fuel tank, and was considering BG44 or some other fairly concentrated solution, and I also researched an inspection camera, since I can use it on my garden drainage system as well. For now, things are "good enough" and I have other pressing issue if I get time. My Tstat cover gasket has been peeing irregularly though it now has a bit of a coolant scab keeping things in place. I need to find a couple hours to get that replaced and burped. I also have a caliper piston boot that I didn't seat properly this spring that needs to be re-done, and I might as well put on some new brake lines and slider pin guides since they're old and a little sticky...etc...plus the house, yard.
    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

  9. #9
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    I'm assuming the "ticking" noise can be heard from the inside only? I'd swap the injectors. I had this cabin only noise for ages, put some rebuilt injectors in and fixed it. I think the solenoid in those things just start to go bad...check the mixing valve for the intake (egr/pcv?), that thing makes noise too.


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  10. #10
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    Not ticking. This is a bit of predetonation under load fttt. Injectors have been refurbished, coils are new. Trying chemicals to clean out the top end a bit. Some time I need to invest time (or punt to my mechanic) to pull the intake manifold and do knock sensors ccv and peek in the cylinders. It's not that bad yet... Just not like new (kind of like its owner).

    Sent from my SM-G950U 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

  11. #11
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    The thermostat choice should not cause pinging. My 210,000 mile 328 does not ping at all with stock thermostat. And this engine has been beaten on for the last 100k miles.

    Any indication of a tune or non stock software? If not, I would start looking at hardware/sensors. Running too lean will cause knock, as well as running too rich. Depending on how much load and TPS, the engine is in open loop, so only knock correction happens.

    If you can install RomRaider logger, or testo logger, you can log knock sensor signal live and save it to an excel spreadsheet.
    Romraider can also tell you the amount of fuel correction a bit more intuitively.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Intake air temp and coolant temp sensors are directly involved in the calculation of ignition advance correction, so make sure those are operational as well.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe
    - 2014 328d Wagon

  12. #12
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    Thanks. I'll look into my obd sensor to see if I can get to knock sensor PID variables. Otherwise. I figure changing them us the next step.

    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

  13. #13
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    Marc, if you can watch live timing data, all you need to do to discover whether the knock sensors are working correctly is to hammer on the block, with a pipe, a wrench, or a hammer. The timing should immediately retard. Vanos should change too.

    Do I take it that you didn't see results from the water injection routine? Because that would certainly remove combustion chamber deposits which would cause pre-ignition.

    I've never heard of, or even imagined, that too rich of a mixture could cause pinging. Abel, can you explain that, because it's absolutely contrary to everything I've ever learned?

    Absolutely, a lean mixture, or temp sensors reading too high, and causing a lean mixture, would cause pinging.

    Temp sensors are "Negative Coefficient Thermistors". This means that the higher the temperature, the less the resistance. Therefore, a sensor, or wiring, which is SHORTED, will cause temp readings at full tilt (like ~280 degrees). A sensor which has an OPEN circuit will give the opposite result (negative 40), and an immensely rich mixture, and open loop.

    Live data should point to something way out of whack.....do you see anything like that?

    I'd also wonder whether you've got a couple of clogged injectors? And, for you, if you need it, I'll mail you one of my fuel pressure gauges to check.....
    Last edited by bmwdirtracer; 05-31-2017 at 08:31 PM.

    Chris Powell
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    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
    BMWCCA 274412 SCCA 334928

  14. #14
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    That's one of the things I learned when tuning. Lean can certainly cause knock, but they've (community/forum tuners) also picked up knock with the mixture set too rich too. I was confused first, but many people have confirmed it. Whether this was the "hammer on a piston" type pinging or not, that's something else.

    I have noticed that if I fueled too heavily at 6500rpm+ (meaning ~11:1 afr or richer on wideband, while testing) there were engine "hiccups" (but not misfires though).. However, I've never had my engine do actual loud knock, where it sounds like the "hammer on a piston" sound.

    My 328 must love me, because I've beaten on that engine a lot, tested a ton of tuning on it (over 60+ tunes until I learned proper tuning) and it's still pretty much perfect.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe
    - 2014 328d Wagon

  15. #15
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    I couldn't get comfortable with the notion or process of water injection, so I bailed. I just switched phones and my new phone doesn't talk to my obd monitor so I'll get the old one out to look into my temp monitored and to check the knock sensors. The car does not have a tune. I watch water temp, but not air intake. Injectors are all freshly rebuilt by Cruzin.

    I'll look into my reader to assure I can see timing data then test in the next couple days.

    The pinging isn't that violent, but noticable when I floor the car from 2500 to about 3200 on how afternoons at the end of my 45 minute commute. My 325 did the same thing at about the same age. I just kept the revs up and sold it in good shape at 230k

    Sent from my SM-G950U 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

  16. #16
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    I configured my OBD reader to add gauges this morning.

    Air Intake temp: steady from 90-110 degrees depending on motion
    Water temp: Continues to range from 190-205
    Ignition advance: I didn't set in a readable digital format, but the needle seemed to jump about a second after hitting the throttle under load.
    Fuel flow, MAF readings and O2 sensors all seem to be working normally.

    I'll be logging the evening commute which is where I test the car's ignition system, I have a fair amount of stop and go on the highway, then have an uphill drive through a couple traffic lights that loads the car and drives the low-rev pinging. system has access to a fairly full range of PIDs, so I'm running

    Intake Air temp
    Water temp
    Absolute throttle position
    Ignition timing advance at Cylinder #1
    MAF airflow
    I'm measuring fuel flow, though there appear to be options to measure specifically at the rail as well.

    I don't think fuel flow should be an issue since the injectors are freshly refurbished.

    I haven't bought the inspection camera to peek in the cylinders yet. I'll order tonight. I'll pull the plugs once I get the camera and look at them to see if there's any fouling, but I typically replace plugs VERY often (every 30k or so). These only have 18k on them, so I don't suspect there will be issues.
    The VCG is less than a year old and dry, so I doubt there's any leakage through that.


    At least I'm getting some diagnostic dashboard configurations for my bluetooth OBD tool out of this. They should be handy going forward.
    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

  17. #17
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    I don't think basic OBD will be enough for what I would look for. In this case I would specifically want knock sensor signal (voltage), which would be part of deeper BMW protocol logging.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe
    - 2014 328d Wagon

  18. #18
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    Absolutely, I agree with watching the live data even more; knock sensors particularly. And....well, in view of what E36 knock sensors seem to look like, when I see, them, I'd order them.

    But, you really need to water-squirt it Marc. We need to make sure that you don't have combustion chamber deposits causing the pre ignition.

    Now, that said....I've envisioned you as using the revs. Is this true? If you've been revving your motor regularly, you probably don't need to worry about combustion chamber deposits..

    But, certainly, E36 knock sensors are all worn out. All of them broke and crumbled, years ago.....


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

  19. #19
    dworthy's Avatar
    dworthy is offline Wagon meister :) BMW Tech Expert
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    Normally after 15 years, those knock sensors are starting to crumble apart. I replace the ones on the 318is at 17 years, and they were just cracked plastic barely holding onto the bolt. You can also use that new fangled camera to have a look at them without pulling the intake off, so that too would be an extra bonus for buying one.
    Darin
    Current:
    05 325it Electric Red(438)/Gray(N6TT) ZCW, ZSP 5sp Manual Back set cover, trunk mat, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield, and mud flaps! Mr. Wagon (Original Owner)
    05 M3 Imolarot II(405)/Gray(N5TT) ZCW, ZPP 6sp Manual C.F. Lip, CSL diffuser, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield and a trunkliner! Mr. Go_Fast (Stored for the Winter, 2nd Owner)
    95 318is Montreal Blue Met (297)/Beige(K1SN) a work in progress - Winter Car! (10th Owner; That is what happens when it gets passed around by Soldiers!)
    Past:
    84 M535i gray market Burgandy Rot Met/Black Leather Lowered by Intrax on bilies, poly everywhere, B&B cat back system, K&N, and a hitch! Da Beast - Still running w/375k+! (2nd Owner)
    91 316i euro Tizianrot/Gray cloth - E-36 w/M-40 motor, such a beater, but great on gas! Best was 38 MPG (2nd Owner)
    82 528i euro Saphire Blue Met/Blue Leather RIP
    79 525 euro Green/Green RIP
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    M-Flight Member

  20. #20
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    When you had the injectors rebuilt did the rebuilder return them with a flow report for each injector? Lacking that information means that the injectors are still suspect.

    You could try an "Italian Tuneup" by running the engine in the lower gears to high rpm (say 6000rpm) while climbing a hill and using a generous amount of throttle. A steep long ramp to a freeway is a pretty safe to do this (aiming to be at freeway speed at the top of the ramp) and entering the ramp slowly (like in 1st gear).
    The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen.
    Jim Levie, Huntsville, AL

  21. #21
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    Hi Jim!

    Boy, you got some wimpy-assed Italians in 'Bama, or what ?

    My version of an Italian tune-up involves extra-legal activities; to within ~200 rpm of redline, in second, third, and preferably fourth......in a row, several times.

    Marc, certainly, if you don't want to do the water cleaning, the Italian tune up can accomplish the same thing, eventually, as I hinted in post 18. Engines that are driven hard regularly don't develop bad carbon deposits.

    (Sorry, officer, I was just cleaning my engine)

    Chris Powell
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    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
    BMWCCA 274412 SCCA 334928

  22. #22
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    Completely off subject , this last winter if I switched my display to the ambient temp after driving to operating temp id get ping flash an increase in the ambient temp followed by decrease an again if it still not at operating temp (point being I never seen it do this once driving a good distance an haven't noticed it since winter ,I read a lot about the sensor going out an wouldn't be a surprise I have a little front bumper damage (as in scratches from what looks like they rear ended somebody )

  23. #23
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    Sunspots. Electromagnetic storms.

    I can't think of any other explanation for how bumper damage got related to marcva's thread.

    Marc, I agree completely with Jim that you need to see "before and after" reports from the injector service people, like I get from RC Engineering. That way, when you install those injectors, you are positive they're delivering fuel correctly and precisely.

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

  24. #24
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    Lmao no way that's funny, I related it like I always do just thinking about stuff , "the only issue I've had temp wise is this mystery pinging so maybe while discussing this y'all can mention some issues you've had with the ambient temp sensor (on the inside of the bumper ) Hows that for an explanation sunspot bumper damage lmao

  25. #25
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    I had my injectors done by Cruzin and got full reports on them. I've since run another big gulp of PEA and detergent to clean things out a bit more. The car seems happier, and the next couple afternoons will be the true test (90+ degrees here).

    Talked to my tech this weekend, and he used to run water injection in his 320 turbo. We talked about getting a spare elbow and putting a port into it to inject water. Next chance I get, which is who-knows when with life these days.

    My car sees redline in 1st 2nd every morning scrambling onto the DC beltway from a standing start at a too crowded Interchange. I hit traffic pretty soon after that, so third is out of the question.
    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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