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E36 Instrument Panel Problem

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    Posted: 11-March-2010 at 11:31

Hi All,

I have a 93 E36 325I coupe (bought from Dergside a couple of years back). Its runinng fine apart from a recent fault that has crept into the dashboard. Occasionally all of the dials fall back to zero and all of the dash lights, indicators etc light up and then go off. The dials then come back to life. Probably a loose connection, but not sure where to check or could there be a little more to it than that?. I had a stereo fitted a few months back to allow me listen to an Ipod so I'm guessing a connection might have been disturbed?.

Thanks

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dergside Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2010 at 14:26

Good to hear the old girl is still going strong - the current problem exceptedIt does sound like some kind of connection issue but not sure exactly what.  I'll give John Roche a call later to see if he has any ideas.

As it happens, I now have your car's twin!  Its another 325i coupe, same colour and just over 100 of a difference in the VIN numbers between the two cars.  It has a little less spec than yours, cloth rather than leather, m-tech 2 steering wheel instead of an airbag, etc.  Bought it in 2008 within 50 miles of your one and there are only days between the reg dates.  This one only has 51k now even though Iíve added 18k of that.

I did enjoy having your car I have to say.



Edited by Dergside
Now: BMW 523i SE '00, 318i SE - e91 '07, 325i Coupe '93.

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e46 328i SE Touring, 330Ci, 318Ci.
e39 523i SE.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Telecom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2010 at 14:35

Hi Diarmuid

Thanks for that. Good to hear from you too. They must have been made in the same week!. Your's must have been put away for a few years. I'm only driving mine sporadically and have done very little with it beyond adding a drivers armrest and upgrading the speakers to Harmon Kardon. The car is still silky smorth and sounding great. Its due a service now. One thing I have noticed are the tappets seem a bit noisy or is that the Vanos?

Ray

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dergside Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2010 at 17:39

It seems that it was used sparingly all the way along, with a couple of years in the middle of the first ownership (up to around 2005) where it was only covering a thousand or so miles a year.  It has the look of a car that was well garaged too.  Your's was a well above average car for its age, this one is probably a step ahead again primarily down to the low miles and therefore less wear and tear.

As regards the tappet noise, I'd guess that its just that, rather than vanos.  While there are loads of vanos issues on M3 Evo's, they are rare enough on the M50 engine.  The current one can be a bit tappety too when starting up first when it hasn't been unused for a while.  I'm guessing that its just down to the fact that after a lay off there is little lube left high up in the head so they take a little more wear than cars that have been started up and used more regularly during their life.  Its the down side to the low mileage.  When it comes out of hibernation I may get John to check it further and maybe replace a couple if needs be.  What mileage is on yours now?  IIRC, it was around 92k when you bought it.

A few pics of the current one below.

http://www.bmwcarclubireland.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?albu m=268

Now: BMW 523i SE '00, 318i SE - e91 '07, 325i Coupe '93.

Prev:
e46 328i SE Touring, 330Ci, 318Ci.
e39 523i SE.
e36 325i Coupe *2, 323i SE, 316iSE.
e30 325iSE 2dr, 320i Conv, 320i 2dr, 316i.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Ryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2010 at 18:08
I would suggest the fitment of a permanent engine treatment for an engine that is only occassionally started. This is a PTFE treatment done at the regular oil change. Change the engine oil and oil filter as normal but bring the oil level up to the low mark on the dipstick. Drive the car to get the oil warmed up to full operating temperature. Do not switch the engine off. Pour the can of  PTFE -I use Slick 50 - into the engine as quickly as possible while the engine is ticking over, fit the oil filler cap drop the bonnet and take the vehicle for a decent run on the open road. The longer the run the better. I prefer at least a 1 hour drive before letting the engine tick over or switching off. Now dont forget to top up the engine oil level on arriving back at base. Have a listen for the engine noises that were evident before you treated the engine and you will notice how they have abated or are gone. The poly tetra fluro ethylene will permantly coat all working and rubbing parts of the engine and will last a minimum of 50000 miles. Additives in the engine oil will not effect the PTFE treatment. Engine damage from slight overheating will be minimised. The PTFE treatment will not run out of the engine on your next oil change. Always choose the can specified for the 3 liter engine for a 2 liter 6 cylinder. It will cost you more but the job will be well done. I have been using PTFE treatments on engines for over 20 years. The only drawback is that the engine should be well ran in. Never use it on a brand new engine or one that has just got a top end or bottom end overhaul. My experience with a specifically designed PTFE treatment for manual gearboxes has not been very positive. It will cause a high mileage manual box to slip out of gear. I tried everything to remove the treatment but to no avail. I had to fit a replacement box to solve the problem.        
Euro Builts are Better. Drive one and you directly support jobs in the Irish car component manufacturing industry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Telecom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2010 at 19:56
Thanks Mike
Sounds interesting. I'll check that out.
Diarmuid, that car looks great. It reminds me to
give the one I have a wash and wax. There's
exactly 99,777 miles on the clock on it now.I
still have to get the viscous coupler sorted and
a new rad fan. I'll get around to it soon. The tax
is the only thing that gives me a headache with
it as I use it so little.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dergside Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2010 at 23:19

Originally posted by Telecom Telecom wrote:

The tax is the only thing that gives me a headache with it as I use it so little.

I'm with you there!  This one has been an April to September car.  Its cheaper to rent an underground parking spot than to tax it for the other 6 months.

Now: BMW 523i SE '00, 318i SE - e91 '07, 325i Coupe '93.

Prev:
e46 328i SE Touring, 330Ci, 318Ci.
e39 523i SE.
e36 325i Coupe *2, 323i SE, 316iSE.
e30 325iSE 2dr, 320i Conv, 320i 2dr, 316i.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dergside Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-March-2010 at 15:33
Ray - you have a PM.
Now: BMW 523i SE '00, 318i SE - e91 '07, 325i Coupe '93.

Prev:
e46 328i SE Touring, 330Ci, 318Ci.
e39 523i SE.
e36 325i Coupe *2, 323i SE, 316iSE.
e30 325iSE 2dr, 320i Conv, 320i 2dr, 316i.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote b318isp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-March-2010 at 16:37
Mike, I'd not recommend Slick 50 on modern engines. The narrower oil galleries and tappets are prone to being restricted if the PTFE particles are not spread out in the engine. This was not an issue on older engines.

In the past I have also used similar treatments on gearboxes and diffs. The difficulty is that it is impossible to say if they make a long term difference or not, perhaps there is just a snake oil effect.

I'd much more recommend using the best oil you can afford and changing it appropriately. All the things you need to keep an engine and gearbox going for years are in there already.

Edited by b318isp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Ryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-March-2010 at 14:56

b318isp wrote: Mike, I'd not recommend Slick 50 on modern engines. The narrower oil galleries and tappets are prone to being restricted if the PTFE particles are not spread out in the engine. This was not an issue on older engines.

All PTFE permanent engine treatments have developed over the years in line with engine developments and engine lubricant developments. The molecular chain structure of the platlets in the PTFE are smaller to lessen the dangers that b318isp mentioned. If a can of Slick 50 that was formulated in 1995 was used in a modern engine the chances of oil gallery blockage could be high. This is precisely why I detailed a method of fitting the treatment, that is not and cannot be said on the can as it would not comply with safety -Namely having the engine running while pouring in the treatment. Carrying out the method detailed on the can of PTFE treatment could cause the problems that b318isp mentioned. That is why I recommend having the oil hot and flowing when you add the treatment and taking the vehicle for  the 1 hour drive which will ensure full coating of hydraulic tappets and prevent the platelets blocking tiny galleries. 

If you have for example an older vehicle with high mileage it is possible to source and purchase a PTFE treatment with larger platelet sizes. The formula for the original Slick 50 is now sold under a different brand name,  but make sure that you never fit these original formulations into recently built engines.   

Euro Builts are Better. Drive one and you directly support jobs in the Irish car component manufacturing industry.
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