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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 11-28-2016, 09:36 AM   #1
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,643
My Ride: 325it
M54 won't start

I started the car Thursday AM and moved it in the driveway to make room for more cars. When I tried to start it Friday morning, I cranked but didn't really fire up. My Peake tool found only a DM-TL code which is typical for a loose gas cap so I cleared it.

I have first hand experience with bad cam position sensors with no stored codes so I installed an exhaust sensor that I had on hand. There was no change so I went to the dealer for an intake cam position sensor. That also yielded no change. The only code I now see is 19 7d. I had to look that one up. It is "E-fan" which makes sense since the electric fan is sitting on the floor of the garage since I took it out to make it easier to change the cam sensors. I even yanked the battery ground cable for 20 minutes to see if anything reset itself. I also installed 6 new plugs because it has been many years and could not hurt. Yes, it has fuel in the tank. I don't have a pressure gauge but I can hear the pump prime when I turn the key and I get a healthy spray of fuel out of the schrader valve on the fuel rail with the key out of the ignition. I also kept a 10A charger on the battery during the whole process.

Here is one of my last starting attempts. Youtube audio sucks so turn it way up to hear the engine noise. You can see and hear the engine trying to fire as the RPM picks up but it never really starts. As the RPMs approach 500, the engine felt very rough as if it were missing multiple cylinders.




I'm picking up a compression tester today. The only BMW engine I ever killed died gloriously due to a broken timing chain. That M30 lived a much harder life than this M54 but anything is possible.

Anyone else care to guess?
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:16 PM   #2
teamdfl
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To add insult, my OBD2 reader sees no codes at all. A compression test is next
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:13 AM   #3
markusmarkus
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Check the fuel pressure. It sounds like the fuel pump is going bad.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
teamdfl
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That sounds reasonable. I will find a fuel pressure gauge or sacrifice a tire pressure gauge.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:56 PM   #5
teamdfl
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Fuel pressure pegs a crappy old tire pressure gauge at 50psi. I have no idea how accurate that POS gauge can be. I may pick up a newer crappy fuel pressure gauge at the Harbor Funland.

Anyone want to loan me a good crank position sensor for troubleshooting?
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:49 AM   #6
teamdfl
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I was hoping to borrow more comprehensive diagnostic tools today so I ran a compression check to verify there is nothing mechanically wrong.

Well, there is a lot mechanically wrong. A couple cylinders were fine (well into the 100psi range) but it got uglier from there: 90, 70, 50, and 35. Since it started and ran briefly the last day it ran then didn't start the next morning, I imagine something broke internally and scattered debris across other cylinders. Perhaps the DISA valve pin dropped out at some point and finally made its way into a cylinder where it bent/broke something that created more debris.

I will try to keep the car around until spring when I could do an engine swap so it could live on as a track rat and LeMons car.
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:00 PM   #7
lolapexseals
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By well into the 100 psi range do you mean 140+

Debris making it from cylinder 1 to cylinder 2,3,4, etc seems unlikely but i have had it happen albeit not on a bmw. It went out and back in through the exhaust ports due to the turbo manifold design.
I wonder if it jumped time and bent valves but wouldnt make sense if two cylinders are good. borescope is a good idea anyway with how cheap they are now.

Last edited by lolapexseals; 12-03-2016 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:52 AM   #8
teamdfl
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2 holes were 130+. Don't forget that this is a quarter million mile motor that lived a hard life of track, autocross, and commuting in NJ as if every on-ramp is the downhill at Lime Rock.

If I can find a reasonable commuter for a year, the touring may live on with an engine swap. M54B30 sound good?
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:19 PM   #9
lolapexseals
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I drive my car the same way

Defintely can't complain about 250k miles
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