noob needs a/c help - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 07:40 PM
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noob needs a/c help

Just got 86 325es. My compressor does not engage. just recharged so its not low on pressure. Ran a 21v jumper to compressor it came on and works fine.
Also the blue light on the switch to turn on the a/c does not come on.
the yellow light for the recirc air works. Just a bad bulb and nothing to do with problem or could the switch be bad? Any help is greatly appreciated as it is hot as hell in fl these days.
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 09:10 PM
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Move your mid slector around, sometimes the contact in there gets dirty and won't alow the A/C to come on. Next, test for continuity at the pressure switch, even though you have pressure doesn't mean the switch is working. Lastly, while doing this, listen for the clutch to click many times the A/C switch will work but the bulb in the switch is burnt out, so don't rely on that for function. It's easy to change.

Try these then let me know.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 09:31 PM
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thanks,
Tommorrow Iwill test the switch. never removed any of the dash. Will that climate control panel come out by itself, or do I need to remove dash.
My odo does not work, probably do at same time?
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 09:40 PM
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It's simple to get at, and you don't have to remove the dash. The odometer not working is very common, there are plastic gears inside the cluster that fall apart, and are unfixable. I wouldn't worry about pulling it out right yet, start looking for another. As far as the climate control goes it's not all that hard to get out. But for now I wouldn't worry about that.

P.S. I got 4 spare clusters, I'll see if I have a good speedometer with a working odometer, if you are interested.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 10:19 PM
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Will a "i" speedo cluster work with my eta harness? Plan to do a intake, head, and piston swap with "i" motor. Then chip, exhaust, possibly cam. I will need the tach with higher rpm.
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 11:33 PM
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For all that work, you'll be better off with an "i" computer and harness for that matter. Also not hard to do, I'm not sure about the OBC though.
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 12:55 AM
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The OBC's are the same, the clusters are the same as long as you swap a VDO with a VDO and a motometer with a motometer. You could just get a 6k or 7k tach like i did and slip it in. Again make sure you keep the same brand.

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#8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 08:52 AM
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It makes a big difference if he has the 6 button clock or the 13 button OBC. These two do not interchange.
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#9 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 11:14 AM
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I have the 13 button obc.I would like to stick with the eta harness if possible.
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 11:18 AM
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motometer, VDO? Is that two different makers or just different types?
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#11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 11:45 AM
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I assumed he had the 13 button OBC.
VDO and motometer look the same, they are just two different makers. It will say it right between the Tach and Odometer.

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#12 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 12:19 PM
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Cool, thanks.
I have the VDO.
you guys are a big help. I appreciate it!
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#13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 08:14 PM
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You can swap whole clusters from VDO to motometer and back it's just the internal guages won't interchange, however the service interval board will. You can also have your cluster say VDO on the front but have motometer guts. One way to tell what you have is to look at your tachometer, the VDO has a resting pin for the needle the motometer doesn't.

P.S. The early e30 SI boards have more lights than the later ones.

Last edited by Starmavin; 07-09-2006 at 08:17 PM.
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#14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 08:01 PM
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Just finished checking the a/c switch and it seems to work fine. any suggestions what to check next? I am not getting any voltage to the switch located at the front of car behind passenger headlight, maybe the receiver/drier? valve?. It has 2 switches connected to a high pressure a/c hose mounted on top of a large oil filter shaped thingamajig.
BTW I have found some clusters available I think I am going to wait.
Still need diff and tranny oil change. Any ideas on whats best?
Dist. cap, rotor, wires (just installed NGKs with valve adjust) are orig., I think. 164k. Go back stock or are the gains of aftermarket worth it?
Thanks much!
Here is a couple of pics. This car cost me $42, my tow bill.
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#15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 01:39 AM
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The A/C switch and the recirculation have separate power inputs but the same fuse. The compressor power runs through the climate control so if the recirculation switch is working it does not mean you have power to the other half of the A/C switch (so the A/C won't be on when all three are in the closed setting) Pull the A/C switch and test for continuity in the "on" setting. It's easy to get out, just reach under where the switch is and push it out through the front with your finger. Test between terminals 1 and 2, if there is continuity, plug it back in and test for power if there is none move the control sliders around while testing and see if you get any jumps in voltage at all. If not, you may have to pull the climate control and test from there. If you do get power at terminal 2 on the A/C switch there is a break in the wires between there and the A/C pressure switch.

Last edited by Starmavin; 07-11-2006 at 01:43 AM.
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