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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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Old 05-12-2005, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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i replaced my starter one week ago.... took be way long enough to get that new sucker on there(and old one off).... when ever i have started the car it sounded a bit strange..but someone told me that it would for the 1st 2 weeks because it has to break in... not sure about this though...

all the sudden, today, when i start my car..it wont start at first... i will hold the key..the starter will spin, then stop spinning because its done with its cycle and it doesnt hit the fly wheel to make it spin...then it goes again(since i am holding the key) and it hits the flywheel starting the car... when it does start...it seems really sudden and doesnt sound all that great..but it does start...

what do you think is going on? bad stater? the starters bolts securing it to the tranny loose? something catching the tranny?
enlighten me if any of you have knowledge of this subject.

oh yeah... are there supposed to be only 2 securing bolts to hold the starter to the tranny, or 3? i have 2...but there are 3 holes... hmmm ajfwlgxs
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well.. .sounds like your starter isnt exactly set right.... I'd take a look at it and make sure the bolts are in the correct spot...

Good Luck,

Les
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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there are only 3 holes out of 2 bolts...and i know that the empty one was empty before..... think my bolts need a retighten?

also..what about the weird nosie(break in noise) for 2 week thing..sound right?
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Old 05-12-2005, 02:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You are supposed to have three bolts for three holes. If you do not secure the third you will have a malfunctioning starter... starting sometimes and not at other times. Eventually your starter will fail if you do not fasten the third bolt. BMW put it there for a reason. Odds are the starter you just replaced was not the original, and odds are the mechanic who replaced it didn't want to go thru putting the third one back in. There is a long way and a short way to replace a starter. The long is from above, removing the intake manifold and thus accessing the starter or the short way, from below with the car lifted. If the mechanic is really good he can do it from underneath. However, as was in my case, the mechanic did not replace the third bolt because it is next to impossible to replace from underneath the vehicle... and I learned the hard way...

Starters use extreme amounts of force to get a motor started... have you ever lurched your car forward because you forgot to place your gearbox in neutral when you started your car? The noise is probably your starter vibrating, moving or straining because the third bolt is not fastened, it's twisting on it's axis, not by much but enough for it not to initiate the fly wheel. I hope this helps in some way.

Good luck
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Old 05-12-2005, 02:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i actually did the starter myself... in the original starter..there were only 2 bolts....

i didnt take any short cuts... i got the hard to access bolt...the one where you need to take the intake manifold off, TRY to get a wrench down onto that bolt, drop the back of the tranny a few inches,get a long ass extension and somehow get that bolt off..then the easier one that you can get just from under the the car...
but for the 3rd..i didnt have a bolt...
i guess i need to get that bolt on there..(and find one to buy)

the noise that it makes when it starts is a funny eeee eeee eeee noise...not the starter rolling around and hitting something else that is metal such as the tranny.aklwel;gjws
im going to my mechanic right now to have them check it out.
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I may have typed it the wrong way. What I meant is perhaps the broken starter you just replaced yourself was installed by someone else when it was new who didn't bother putting the third bolt back on. I don't know if you're the original owner of the car, so my input was based on my experience. Factory e36 starters were fastened with three bolts... just called my friendly neighbourhood bimmer parts store.

And then the next question is... I don't remember but are the bolts all the same length? It's been two years since I did mine... think I'll call him again

I believe I got the bolt from the same parts store here in Montreal that specializes in Euro cars... wasn't expensive

good luck
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ya, both bolts are the same size...

my mechanic said that some did only have 2 bolts
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