Ignition Problem on my 1995 318ti e36, Im in over my head.. - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 06:31 AM
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Ignition Problem on my 1995 318ti e36, Im in over my head..

Im running into a pretty serious electrical security problem with my 1995 318ti .. I cannot get the ignition to signal to the starter to start!!!!!!!..........

the car is e36 and obd1
swapped with a 1993 325is (I-6) engine and trans.

I was driving it to a friends house, where i was going to replace a window regulator.
I stopped the car and fixed the window.
before i left, i asked my friend to check the fuses (with a circuit tester.?) relating to the ac compressor to see if thats why the compressor in my car would not engage and spin.
he, in a hurried sloppy way, proceeded to check EVERY fuse sarcastically and quickly because he thought it was a stupid request (he may have crossed wires or something but doubtful)

after this i went to start the car and got nothing..
no turn of the engine
no clicking of the starter..
But the electric would come on the gauge cluster, headlights had power access, and my radiator fan would turn on (its wired to run constantly from my understanding)..

after a while i realized that i could start it by rolling in neutral and dropping it into gear
later i found out i could also jump it at the starter by creating a contact between 2 terminal wires on the starter. Between the wire going directly to battery and the other wire, which i believe goes through a relay/computer under the glovebox..

BUT even when i got it running with these methods, none of my gauges worked except speedometer.
my center console clock does not turn on. I have no radio, but imagine that would not turn on either..
Worst of all My turn signals will not work in this state also..
But the engine runs fine and does not cut out..

Its a weird problem and beyond my skill level. Im a newbie but working hard on doing things myself, pulling parts from scrap yards, reading schematics and other peoples forum posts.. doing things in a respectable way and trying everything before asking for advice.

At first i thought the ignition switch was broken, i replaced it with a used one. Same results.
Then I thought that the lock tumbler in the cylinder was not being engaged, and as a security measure the car wouldn't start.
The original lock cylinder (at the time) had been drilled out from the bottom (I think to remove the steering column pin.?) because the previous owner had the steering wheel lock up on him while driving. Also the original setup did not hold the ignition switch at the end.
for the first few weeks before the problem, I would have to put the key in, hope that it would turn to the engaged position, and then turn the ignition switch with a screw driver to start the engine.

I replaced the lock cylinder setup with a used one which included the ignition switch at the end and came with a EWS 2 to hook up under the glovebox compartment.

The new lock usually does not have the endless spinning problem that is common for these years, but sometimes it will roll endlessly backwards.. but it engages nice and firm at each step when turned forward.

the collar around the key hole(with copper wire coil that reads chip in key), is from the first lock cylinder (drilled out/broken one) ... i may have the collar/chip reader/coil that came with the new one somewhere i think..
i have both keys on the same fob because i have to use one for doors and one for ignition. So both are within a few inches of chip reader.

After replacing the lock cylinder car still has same results..

i took it to a professional mechanic and asked him to diagnose it and give me advice on how to fix it myself..
he told me to make an ignition bypass around this (relay/computer thing). I haven't tried this yet because i thought it might be risky and wanted to ask you guys first..

i've heard ignition electrical problems are super common and annoying in the early e36 series.
I don't want to fry my system trying this bypass and doing it wrong.
Maybe thats the wrong answer anyway, I would like to ACTUALLY fix it.

But anyway the mechanic told me to find the wire (black with yellow stripe) from the ignition switch and follow it to the (relay/computer).. then cut it where it goes in and where comes out, and splice a wire directly bypassing the relay. I found a wire (blck/yllw) that runs out and then it swiches colors im not sure where it goes.. i think it ends up at the ews 2 box under the glove compartment. If so im not sure which connections run in and which ones run out of the EWS 2 because theyre all mounted in the same harness.

Last point of interest the key will cut off engine when removed.. But it is not sending signal to starter to fire..

Do you think this would fix the ignition problem?
if it does do u think my gauges and turn signals will work?
If i don't do a bypass, should be using the original EWS 2 or the new(used) one? the key chip reader is from the original setup..
is there reasonable chance that this could ruin other parts of the electrical system?
where should i look to find where the wire runs out of the fire wall (im not sure where it ends up but i think its the EWS2) should i trace the opposite end back from the starter..?

Thanks BimmerWerkz
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
after a while i realized that i could start it by rolling in neutral and dropping it into gear
later i found out i could also jump it at the starter by creating a contact between 2 terminal wires on the starter. Between the wire going directly to battery and the other wire, which i believe goes through a relay/computer under the glovebox..
so you have no signal from the key to the starter. next step is to locate and see if you have power to this relay/ module whichever it is.

Quote:
the collar around the key hole(with copper wire coil that reads chip in key), is from the first lock cylinder (drilled out/broken one) ... i may have the collar/chip reader/coil that came with the new one somewhere i think..
this is just a ring antenna, it is the same as an antenna to your radio, it is only a receiver and will not function differently with different keys.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 12:42 PM
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id go back to the fuses see if any have blown while testing them
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 01:35 AM
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FIXED!! a few weeks ago
I had to bypass the ews2
got confused by a random colored homemade wiring from the ews to ignition switch
this fixed the problem with reading chip code in key
surprised antena ring did not pick up other keys code (had it for body locks)
the ney lock cylinder setup from junkyard is working like a charm


problem with gauge cluster:
electric Must have shorted when lock cylinder busted
maybe confused the signal? idk
fixed when new fuses put into gauge related fuse plugs
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