used: I have searched the Forums and can not find a similar description to this one so PLEASE HELP!!
I have a 1987 (prod date 7/86) 528e, 380,000+ miles, that has developed a perplexing problem. She has been in the family since she had 57,000 miles on her so we are intent on keeping her going -- I want to see her roll over 1,000,000 miles.
In April we replaced the coil, distributer and rotor button.
In May 2005 the transmission went out (375,000 on the original) and in July we had it shipped to Arizona to be remanufactured. Due to some confusion on the part of my mechanic and the shippers it didn't make it back into the car until mid September. While the car was in the shop I had them replace the timing belt, adjust the valves, new plugs, etc.
The car ran absolutely perfect (my son drives her daily to school, work and play) until mid November when after a rainstorm we discovered that there is a windshield leak (faulty windshield install from a cracked windshield replacement) that allowed the ECU to get wet. We discovered the leak when my son went outside to go to school and the car would not start.
That afternoon when it had dryed out it started it had the problem I describe below:
To get it to run correctly requires several starts. By this I meant that anytime (and I mean anytime -- hot, cold, time of day doesn't matter) you start it we will start it and it will act as if the timing is very, very wrong or the mixture is extremely rich -- very slow/poor idle, no power, backfires, sputters, and if left to idle for long the exhaust manifolds get extremely hot (read glow red), exhaust smells indicate that mixture is way too rich. Shut it off, try again, repeat, after an indeterminate number of starts she will run great -- full power, perfect idle, manifolds normal temp, exhaust is normal and in general life is BMW good.
O2 sensor disconnected has no impact on the problem.
AFM disconnected the car won't start at all.
Cold start valve tests okay.
I have swapped ECUs with a New Old Stock one and the problem persists.
The following components have been replaced since the problem started:
1. The idle control valve, -- it wasn't working see #2 below
2. The idle control module (it was bad -- broken internal ribbon cable)
3. The main fuel pump (one night in mid December it wouldn't start at all with no fuel being delivered to the engine) a quick relay jumper check determined that there was power to the pump but the pump was not running.
4. The fuel filter
5. The fuel pressure regulator
6. The entire exhaust system from the head pipes back -- the system had rotted out sitting on the ground at the shop waiting for the transmission to return from rebuild.
7. The speed sensor.
8. The starter -- it was the original and all the repeated starts finally killed it.
In the 24 hours before the main fuel pump failed the problem went away and she would start perfect the first time. Once the fuel pump failed and was replaced the probem returned.
I am ready to throw in the towel and take it to the shop but since I worked on automobiles and trucks in my grandfather's garage (he retired 10 years ago) since I was old enough to read and understand wrench sizes I prefer to fix it myself. Any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.