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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 12-13-2003, 01:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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opea is an unknown quantity at this point
I am currently tying to sell my L-Reg BMW 318 Touring Lux, and unfortunately it hasn't had much of a run around recently.
Never-the-less it had been running fine until today when I tried to start it.
The starter motor turned over for a moment then the engine made a horrific "machine gun" type noise (this was in time with the flashing Inspection lights on the dash???).

Anyone have any ideas why this might be?

I also noticed that using anything electrical (eg e/windows) you hear a distrintive "tuh tuh" noise (perhaps a relay) switching on then off which never happened before, has this any relation?

Any assistance is greatfully appreciated.
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Old 12-13-2003, 04:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to charge the battery.

You will need to get the charging system checked out.

All automotive electrical systems will cause the relays to chatter if the battery voltage gets lower than the need amount.

If the alternator is outputting less than 14.25 you may need a voltage regulator brush holder.

Later,

Alternator Regulator

They can wear into a grooved pattern and the impact of driving can make them vibrate out of the normal groove.

Since the regulator has to increase output to jump the gap it does.

You can clean up the slider rings with abrasive paper.

You can get the brushes as a separate part requiring soldering skills or you can get a Regulator brush assembly for less

I can help with a regulator if you need one.

My E-Bay offer of a regulator

Some instruction for changing:

It is a very touchy installation and about 5% of the installation end in the ground link bent and the alternator not functional.

You can remove correct and reinstall the regulator.

The output must be 14.25 or higher on a Volt Ohm Meter not the dash gauge.

Some hints on the regulator change.

Replacing Alternator Regulator

For those who work on their cars and have not had alternator problems, here is a simple action that should save you down-time and significant costs.

Most alternators on German cars fail due to brushes wearing down (as they are supposed to) between 150k and 200K miles. Brush replacement is very easy -- it should not take over 20 min. and the brushes are attached to a new regulator.

To replace regulator assembly -- back of alternator held in place with two straight slot headed screws. This has a round transistor mounted on the outside on Bosch alternators -- the other type is similar but uses different brushes. Pop the regulator out, after removing the screws.

Fitting the regulator back is simple, but you must install it starting at an angle, to assure that the brushes compress when the regulator is flush with the alternator and the screws are tightened.
You are now ready for 200K miles of alternator life.



Later,
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Old 12-13-2003, 07:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Got any pics of your car? A touring 318 might be a sic project car.
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