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Thread: ecm failure?

  1. #1
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    ecm failure?

    I just purchased my first e30 its an 85 325e 2 door. I purchased it not running. The previous owner says that when they bought the car it ran well, then it began to fail to start (or restart). Their "mechanic" told them to start corrosion cleaning all the wiring terminals in the car, and they lost interest. The first thing I Sid was put Inca battery and determined I had good spark, but no fuel. I located the fuse and relay, they appear to be funtiining and I can power the pump by jumping the relay (pin 30 to 87), and by powering it directly at the pump. So it seems to me the only thing left as a possibility is the efi controller in the glove box. Hence my question is before I order the part, do I hear any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    dworthy's Avatar
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    The DME does not control the Fuel pump, it only turns it on in a way.

    So if the ignition switch is on, and you have power to the relay socket to jump it, I would look at the relay first. Next depending on how long the gas has been in the tank, that would determine if it has turned to varnish or not.
    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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  3. #3
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    When you jumpered the relay, or when you powered the green/violet wire at the pump, or at fuse 11....DID THE ENGINE RUN ?

    Chris Powell
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    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdirtracer View Post
    When you jumpered the relay, or when you powered the green/violet wire at the pump, or at fuse 11....DID THE ENGINE RUN ?
    The world wonders...
    The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen.
    Jim Levie, Huntsville, AL

  5. #5
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    Got home jumped the relay and noticed that the top of thimong belt wasn't moving..

    So now I need to decide if I'm going to drop in the e motor it had, or an is swap, or an s52 (which I've always wanted to do). Regardless, this motor is done. What I'm surprised about is that it turns over nice and quiet like there's nothing wrong.

  6. #6
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    Really interested to see what the techs/pro's or friends have to say about the timing belt not moving.. is there a possibility to save this engine or does it confirm that it's toast?
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    Previous:
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  7. #7
    dworthy's Avatar
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    Normally it's not worth the bother of saving the motor.

    That being said, you can attempt to repair it depending how much damage was done to the head. I have seen from rocker arms broken off to journals sheered off. One thing is for certain, you will need to pull the head off.
    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
    79 318 Silver/Black - The first one that got it all started
    M-Flight Member

  8. #8
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    Bent valves for sure, likely ancillary damages. Good time to do an "i" conversion .....

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

  9. #9
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    Why bent valves? Was this the result of a money shift ?
    BMWCCGB L/37087
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    Current Cars:
    97' E36 328i Sport Cosmos Black, AC Schnitzer Type I Split 3 Alloys, Full M3 Replica, M50 Manifold Conversion, LSD, GT2 LTW Spoiler, Sandbeige Tan Leather ( Daily Drive)
    97' E36 M3 Evo Estoril Blue ( Intensive Care Undergoing Surgery!!!)
    Previous:
    97' E36 318is Shell Full AC Schnitzer Kit, Drift Race Shell With No Engine Or Gearbox
    97' E36 323i Boston Green Turbo Conversion
    99' E36 318is Stahl Blue
    98' E36 318is Hell Rot Red
    99' E36 318is Avus Blue
    86' E24 635CSI AC Schntizer Original
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    99' E38 735i Sport V8
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  10. #10
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    Broken or stripped timing belt. The crank is turning, the cam is not.

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

  11. #11
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    I'm so glad to be here. 3 years ago I didn't know the difference between a crank shaft and a cam shaft, thanks to you amazing guys I almost know how a BMW works especially an e36!
    BMWCCGB L/37087
    The 22 Year Old That LEGALLY Drives That Estoril Blue 97' ///M3 Evolution!
    Current Cars:
    97' E36 328i Sport Cosmos Black, AC Schnitzer Type I Split 3 Alloys, Full M3 Replica, M50 Manifold Conversion, LSD, GT2 LTW Spoiler, Sandbeige Tan Leather ( Daily Drive)
    97' E36 M3 Evo Estoril Blue ( Intensive Care Undergoing Surgery!!!)
    Previous:
    97' E36 318is Shell Full AC Schnitzer Kit, Drift Race Shell With No Engine Or Gearbox
    97' E36 323i Boston Green Turbo Conversion
    99' E36 318is Stahl Blue
    98' E36 318is Hell Rot Red
    99' E36 318is Avus Blue
    86' E24 635CSI AC Schntizer Original
    99' E39 530D
    99' E38 735i Sport V8
    99' E39 535i V8

  12. #12
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    Well a friend of mine suggested if it did break on a start up that the valves may not be damaged. He rates this as a slim possibility, but he gave me a timing belt kit and said try it before you buy an engine. So I will post more in a few days when I get around to pulling the ballancer and trying it.

    Keep your fingers crossed!

  13. #13
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    I frequent this forum because I am always learning here. No matter what, we each have bunches of BMW issues, which we've never encountered personally. Learning from someone else's experience beats hell out of making that mistake yourself.

    EDIT:
    BDubin: Don't do all that work without knowing what's going on. A leak-down test will tell you whether the valves are bent. And, well, you've got a crankshaft turning without the cams turning. On an inline 6, it's a damned good bet that some valve is open enough to contact a piston.

    Hell, you can pull the valve cover, and turn the cam to close each cylinder's valves....but allow me to say that I've never met an M20 that broke/stripped a t-belt, but didn't bend valves.

    Jim Levie may weigh in on that; he knows the engine better than ANYONE.

    If and when you do the t-belt kit, make sure to do the water pump. The t-belt kit needs to be Continental.
    Last edited by bmwdirtracer; 08-24-2017 at 10:41 PM.

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

  14. #14
    dworthy's Avatar
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    +1

    Also a quick way to know is to cycle thru each cylinder to see if the valves are closing all the way. You will have excess play in that rocker arm is the easiest way to find out.

    Out of the several hundred M-20 cylinder heads I have replaced only once has this happen, as the starter was weak and not turning the motor for the piston was touching the valve. So the chances that you can turn the motor over is quite low that nothing is broken.
    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
    79 318 Silver/Black - The first one that got it all started
    M-Flight Member

  15. #15
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    And finnaly an update!

    Well as I needed a 32mm fan wrench, I ordered one. I am fairly certain it was transported direct from Indochina by mule, as it took over 3 weeks to finally arrive! Nevertheless I pulled the fan in seconds git all the covers off the belt and the cam wont turn. So once I was fairly certain there was nothing else to try I pulled off the head and finally had an answer. The intake set hit on 1,2,4 and 5. The only real damage is to cylander 1 intake. However that's enough. I have sourced a head locally used, complete head for 125, I have a few hoses to get and the intake, exhaust, head and valve cover gaskets. Then we will put it back together. Any pre reassembly warnings or pit falls you guys think I should be aware of? It looks pretty straight forward to me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh there was scaring in the top of pistons #1 and #6. But I don't think it looks like it will be a problem. The bottom turns smoothly and the cross hatch in the cylander walls is clean and pronounced.

  16. #16
    dworthy's Avatar
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    I would be concerned with the bearing getting smashed on those pistons. Yes most of this stuff is pretty straight forward, but it wouldn't hurt to get the head checked, tested and decked. Most local machine shops can do this for you, nothing like putting a head on to find out it's warped.
    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
    79 318 Silver/Black - The first one that got it all started
    M-Flight Member

  17. #17
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    Well I have a good friend that's a very experienced engine builder look over the head this morning and he says the guides and seats look good, there's 2 bent valves. He believes that with a deck job and new valves the head will be fine. I am toying with rebuilding this one, or installing the used part I found. Going to talk with a local e30 shop and see about having my head redone by them as well.

  18. #18
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    +1 on taking the replacement head to a good machine shop for decking and checking. And don't forget to replace the head bolts, and every single gasket and o-ring that you disturb. That includes the injector o-rings. New water pump, of course! It lives behind the timing belt! Adjust the valve clearances before starting the engine.

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

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDubin View Post

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh there was scaring in the top of pistons #1 and #6. But I don't think it looks like it will be a problem. The bottom turns smoothly and the cross hatch in the cylander walls is clean and pronounced.
    Smooth the marks on the pistons so no sharp edge that could cause a hot spot and promote detonation.

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

  20. #20
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    I went to a shop called advanced auto fabrication in Spokane Washington, met with a guy named Hank Moore. He had at least 8 pro3 cars in his shop, and he taught me a TON in 30 min! He is less confident in the #1 piston and feels I should at least pull it to verify it isn't cracked. So it looks like I'm gonna pull the block and do the whole damn thing! So based on his recommendations, I will convert my e motor into a stroker I motor with an aftermarket recast head. It means changing the ecm, and the harness, but I will be close to 240 hp with this build! So a cheap head repair has turned inti dropping 3 k on a striker build, but I'm so excited about the plan that I just don't mind the unexpected costs.

  21. #21
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    240 hp with a 2.7 M20 for $3k ? AND a new head? And a DME and harness and complete rebuild by a pro shop?

    Um,


    A dead stock rebuild pays 26 hours labor. Includes: Disassemble & Clean Engine, Ridge Ream & Hone Cylinders, Fit Pistons, Rings, Pins, Main & Rod Bearings, Grind Valves & Tune-Up. Not including removal and replacement, nor any parts at all.
    Last edited by bmwdirtracer; 09-14-2017 at 08:42 AM.

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

  22. #22
    dworthy's Avatar
    dworthy is offline Wagon meister :) BMW Tech Expert
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    As the saying goes: One thing leads to another!

    You should be happy with the stroker motor, as I have know a couple of other guys whom have one and really like the extra power in that light car.
    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
    79 318 Silver/Black - The first one that got it all started
    M-Flight Member

  23. #23
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    As example, here's the price list and power figures for Metric Mechanic M20 engines:

    “Baby Six” Engines - M20 325i/e, 528, 525i ≥’91- 6 Cyl SOHC Engines
    2900 Sport Engine ............ 205 HP .......7495 800
    3000 Sport/Rally .............. 225 HP .......8995 800
    3200 Sport/Rally .............. 230 HP .......9495 800
    3200 Rally Engine ............ 240 HP .......9995 800

    The $800 is additional core deposit.

    Note what it takes to reach 240 hp.

    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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    OK at no point did I say it was going to be done for me, I am doing all the work! The head comes new with the valves loaded, the block and crank will have to go to the machine shop for cleaning and inspection. That's not included in the 3k, neither is the clutch and flywheel I'm sure I will need, or doing the brakes. I was simply refering to the loose total for parts! And he is hooking me up with a can and rockers and bunch of other stuff for free. But the head is a grand alone, the I wiring harness is becoming rare, and the hot chip I have to buy, plus the head kit, bottom kit, pistons and rods, and the 3k doesn't include the 300 I spent on all the belts hoses, filming kit water pump set.

  25. #25
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    The BS flags were a warning to you, not suggesting that you were the one doing the BS.....I thought that you had indicated this guy was going to do this job for you, complete, for $3k, so I was trying to warn you that wasn't realistic. If you're doing the work, and you're careful with buying parts, I think you'll not be too far off, on the money.

    I do not think you should believe the guys estimated power figure though. The Metric Mechanic engines have a lot of custom head work, high compression pistons, and big cam. From a 2.7 i motor with cam and a tune, I'd personally expect ~ 190 hp.

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

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