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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 01-25-2007, 03:15 PM
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Unhappy Lost my heater!

Holy crap... Ok, so it is freakin' cold here right now and I went out to my car the other day and didn't have any blower fans running and smelled this awful burnt electrical smell... I don't spend a lot of time messing with it since it is scheduled at the stealership for an I-2 anyway. They check it out and tell me that the fuse block that the blower fan plugs into is burnt and they want $1,200 to replace the fuse block and wiring harness... I freak and ask him how much the parts are, he says $70 bucks. So apparently this isn't the car's main fuse block, does anyone know what they are talking about? Is there a separate fuse block for the climate control system? Where can I find it? From the repair estimate, I have to assume that it is a fairly labor intense job (not necessarily hard). I don't mind doing the work, just need some help getting pointed in the right direction... HELP!

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Paco

1997 E36 M3 - running stocker style right now...
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 03:01 AM
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according to bentley's wiring diagram, the flowchart is:

blower motor ---> final stage unit ---> blower relay ---> front power distribution box

AFAIK that distribution box is the main one under the hood. Parts for fuse block and harness are $70? sounds awfully cheap for those parts, but I may be wrong. I always thought harnesses were $$$. But if they truly are replacing the harness as they claim, then yes it's a big job because all major circuits go directly to that block. But I can't imagine they're going to throw parts at it like that without knowing what caused the short in the first place... like did the blower just seize and overload the circuit?

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 11:05 AM
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Well, I got to spend a little time with this over the weekend and found that the fuse in the power distribution box (under hood) some how caught fire. (Loose wire maybe?) So, I removed the top portion of the box, cut the wiring for that circuit free of the box and installed a fuse holder to those wires directly to see if I had a bad blower motor or not. Appears that the blower motor is fine. So I am going to run it like this for a few weeks and see what happens. If nothing happens, I will try to add this circuit back to the power distribution box in another location. Strange though... Don't know why it did that.

Good checking Desmo. Appreciate the help. I will try to get some pictures poster tomorrow of the damage and repair.

1997 E36 M3 - running stocker style right now...
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 07:15 AM
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Red face



Ok, here is where the connector burned.



Here is what I did to fix it. This is underneath the fuse tray of the power distribution box.

Anyone know where to find a power distribution box? I tried pelican and euro auto parts... Got any ideas besides the dealer?

Thanks,
Paco

1997 E36 M3 - running stocker style right now...

Last edited by paco1076; 01-30-2007 at 07:21 AM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 01:22 PM
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Here... Try these pictures... Alittle bigger...


1997 E36 M3 - running stocker style right now...

Last edited by paco1076; 01-30-2007 at 01:29 PM.
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 02:06 PM
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wtf holy sht an electrical fire :

i've seen something similar on my two previous motorcycles. sht melted, but didn't full on catch fire. the cause of my problem was the current draw from my regulator/rectifier exceeded the rating of the connector (and wiring) upstream, eventually resulting in a meltdown at the connector. my solution was to completely rewire from the generator to the regulator, eliminating any connectors along the way. but i don't think it is that drastic in your case.

2 things will kill a fuse: short to ground or out of spec current draw. since your blower seems to work with the jerry rigged fuse, i'd guess the blower itself isn't shorting. maybe something prevented the fuse from blowing normally. for now i think you did the right thing, isolate that circuit and run the fuse outboard and see what happens. although you might want to port out the wires and locate the fuse further away lest it burn any of the other wires

Bavauto might have some fuse boxes but i don't think they have any for E36. otherwise i can't think of anywhere that would have a fuse box other than the dealer. OEM part number is 61-13-1-387-590.

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 02:07 PM
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Yeah, this is just a temporary thing. Just wanted to make sure that I only had to order parts once for this repair... Thanks a ton for all the research and information. I really have no clue, well besides a bad connection, what would have caused the fuse to burn up like that. I didn't get to see the fuse itself, the dealership had taken it out "to prevent further damage". Sounds like a load of crap to me. Oh well... I will let you guys know what I find out.

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