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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 11-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Starter problems

Bought a car this past weekend. I was told the starter needed to be tightened down before it could be started with a key. We push started it and it ran perfectly. So i tightened the starter down but it still didn't sound right. It sounded like the gear was just spinning trying to engage the flywheel. I put a new starter in and after wiring it a couple ways and asking tech support just to make sure, it has to be wired correctly. When i start it up it still sounds the same though. I dont think its the flywheel. Any ideas?
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nevermind again. After a 4th call to tech support they decided that i was given the wrong part. Went back and swapped it out. It starts now! I had asked the clerk how much a new starter was. He printed out a parts list for me. It was right, but somehow between that he misheard 1988 and grabbed a part for a 1998.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Cool, glad it's sorted!
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If somebody wanted to change or add the DIY guide here is what i did to make the job go real quick. The only tools i needed were 10mm deep socket for the battery terminal and relay terminal, 8mm deep socket for the starter terminal, and a 13mm deep socket for the positive side terminal. I replaced the starter bolts with a standard sized ones. Use your own digression in the size bolts you have or what you you replace yours with. I couldn't find an exact replacement so i went with a high strength 1/2 inch with lock-nuts and washers. I also used a deep 1/2 socket, and a 1/2 combo wrench. I was able to unhook all the cables with no problem. For the top bolt i slid the open end of the combo wrench down next to the firewall to reach the bolt head. Your kinda blind doing it but be patient. The 12 point side was bent alittle and was facing the front of the car. This helps just to hold a finger on it and push against the bolt to keep it in place. Use the ratchet and loosen it up. I was only getting maybe 2 or 3 clicks. It takes a good 3 mins to get it fully off. Several times the open wrench slides off, but again be patient. For the bottom bolt, raise the front of the car. Use the 12 point bent head for the bolt head. Be patient with this again. It will slide on there. It may come off a couple times too. Use a ratchet on the nut. My starter was small enough to pull out threw the top. To put the new starter in i placed the top bolt threw the transmission side beforehand. Slide the starter from the top again. I was able to carefully guide the starter to just barely get on the first bolt. I dropped the open side of the wrench down the backside to hold the hex head in place while i hand tightened the nut. Put the ratchet back on and ever so slowly but the nut on. Bottom bolt i was able to put threw with my hands no problem. 12 point bent wrench side for the head. Tighten down with socket. It didn't take more than 25 minutes to take off and on again.

Important note: Somebody on my car decided to swap cables out with the wrong colors. My black cable actually lead back to the positive side of the battery. Make sure you trace this back. If it does lead back to the battery then make sure u put that on your positive terminal. My cable for the negative was red, but it was hard to trace back because it lead into a bigger cable patch. I attached my NEGATIVE RED cable to the top starter bolt. I reversed this the first time because i just assumed red was positive and black was negative. I completely fried my positive black cable from starter to battery terminal. Lots of smoke and VERY VERY HOT, but thank god no fire. i opened up the circuit before it could really catch fire. When i bought the car both the positive and negative were on the same terminal, which doesn't make any sense right? O well, all seems well for now. Hope this helps somebody else.
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