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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 02-10-2009, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Requesting input: 86 325e E30 won't start

More specifically, when I turn the key to start, there's a very rapid clackclackclackclack until i stop turning the key. There's an audible metallic ring when I stop. The usual startup sounds are absent.

The dashboard lights are on when i turn the key, the radio turns on with the antenna raising itself, the headlights work though it dims slightly when i turn the key. Signal lights, brake lights, power windows all work.

Has anyone seen the problem symptoms before? Greatly appreciate any help.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Maybe a bad ring gear or starter solenoid as a first guess.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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your battery is dead....that's pretty easy there
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you gotta understand how many amps a starter motor draws....tremendous, in fact, that is basically all the battery is there for, to engage the starter/solenoid motor, after the engine is running the car runs off of the altenator. the battery then is recharged via the altenator. 12 volts but the altenator puts out like 14.5 volts.....the extra 2.5 volts are there to recharge the discharged battery back to proper charge (amperage). Back in the day they had generators and regulators. If the regulator failed the generator would overcharge the battery and cause it to explode. The altenator addressed that issue. Truth, if the engine is actually running you can remove the battery altogether, done properly and the car won't even die.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Yeah... What about the audible metallic ring?
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, in reply to you both, I'll take a look at the battery first as it sounds the easiest to remedy/check. Will post back here again if the problem still can't be resolved, maybe with a video (if this forum allows links). Thanks a lot everyone.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi guys, it really was just a flat battery. Temporarily fixed for now. Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by silversled View Post
Truth, if the engine is actually running you can remove the battery altogether, done properly and the car won't even die.
the car will die eventually if the battery is unhooked or atleast mine did when I first bought it she had a bad battery that barely held a charge, replaced the battery and no more dieing
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The ring is probably the flywheel, either the teeth on your starter drive or broken/worn off or the teeth on your flywheel are broken/worn off.

Check your starter, it might be as easy as the starter bolts came loose and the teeth aren't properly seating on eachother.

How that helped. Goes the starter sound like it's spinning faster then usual too?
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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so the problem has been solved?
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi guys, it really was just a flat battery. Temporarily fixed for now. Thanks for the help.
*cough* *cough*
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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lol wow surprised that no one else caught that lol
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Heh, would you guys look at me strange if i told you that I haven't driven the 325e past 2000 rpms? The highest speed I've ever driven the car is 100km/h (just at 2000rpm)

The guy that helped me with jump starting the car said that the alternator works best at revs between 2000 and 3000 rpm. Is there any truth to that?
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