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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

I'm from The Netherlands, and just recently bought myself my first BMW.
Very nice car I must say, with nice power. Nice to see a car dating from 1990 still has this many options.

Its got full leather interior, electric mirrors/windows, lowered on yellow Koni's, upper front and rear strut brace, 16" Borbets, and HID conversion







The car does have a couple of points that I need to work on.

First of its got a bit of rust on the rear arches but not too worried about that. As soon as the weather gets a bit better I'll sort that.

Speedometer works about 25% of the time which is quite annoying. I've taken it apart and had a look at the connections but all looks well. Just confused how something works sometimes, and sometimes not? Could it be the connection on the gearbox?

Furthermore it also runs slightly rough on idle. I'm planning to clean injectors and change plugs. But is there any common faults on these cars that could cause this idling issue? I can smell fuel occasionally as well...rich?? due to??

Lastly, reversal lights don;t work. As both don't i'm thinking its the connection on gearbox or lever? So i took off the leather trim around gearstick and found 5 connectors loose? Below is a pic and was hoping someone could shed some light as to what these are for?

(electric windows work fine)




Its 2 big white blocks, 2 black connectors and 1 small white one.

Thanks for looking and any help on the above questions.
 

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First off, welcome. Looks like you will want to take care of those leather front seats, look like factory recaros to me, which in the states at least, are super hard to come by.

On to the questions:

The rear arches are notorious for a bit of rust. Show me one that doesn't have it and i'll show you the garage it has been in all it's life:D


Speedometer...not too sure about that one, it might have a connection loose inside the cluster, or a wire may be working loose in the harness. Have you tried moving the needle by hand to see if it has a sticky point?

The idle issue has sevral different possibilties. Number one, it could just need a tune-up, as you are planning. another possibilty is the Idle Control Valve could be getting gummed up. They are easy to clean. Might also check the Throttle Position Sensor.

as far as the loose connectors go...not sure about that. You might have to trace the wiring as far back as you can and see what the yeilds in results.


All in all, looks like you have a nice e30, and it looks like you might have a Short Shift Kit on there as well, the shift lever looks way too large to be stock.
 

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In my e30 the reverse lights didn't work....I tried making sure the the connection on the switch were tight but that didn't help. What finally worked was I just unhooked the connector under the shift boot (like your picture) and hooked it back up. They worked ever since then. I don't remember what connector it was but it wouldn't hurt to unplug all those and make sure they have a tight connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hello lads and thanks for the replies,

Excuse the long post in advance ;)

Demon:
Indeed, I do think these are the stock recaro's and are also very scarce over here. I was lucky enough to find this car (and at a great price too :) ) Unfortunately the drivers seat does have a smalish hole, where you would expect it, from getting in and out of the car over the last 20 years...I will be looking to get this section redone. The rest of the seats were in dire need of a good clean and grease-up as the previous owner didnt care for them much. Now the leather is nice and smooth again.

I did take the entire speedometer out and can't find any faults, also not with the needle. Kind of a shame as the engine was rebuilt and set back to 0 km so buying a second hand cockpit would put it on +/- 200,000 km again whilst this one is on 16,000 km now.

Idling; I will be giving it a good service as I get good prices on the parts and its easy to do myself. Do it to all my cars, as it just makes me feel better about the car.
However, where is this idling control valve you mentioned?
And the throttle position sensor, is that the butterfly valve inside the throttle? How do i reposition that? With my old car (20vt turbo) this had to be done with vagcom software.

Short shifter; affraid not lol...the old owner put a hacksaw to the oem one and cut part of it off (fool). Anyway, I'll be placing a proper knob soonish as the one now just looks pants.

witeshark: thanks for confirming that!

Yammahamma: which switch are you talking about? I do see a cable running past the gear stick past the rubber grommit (or whatever you call that closing off the bottom of the car). But how do I remove the grommit to see where it goes? Tried pulling it but seems kind of stuck?

Also changed the front grill today btw. Old owner painted it black and was pealing off (see pics above)

Now its nice and chrome again and looks far better ;)

Thanks again!
 

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ICV (idle Control valve) looks like this, and should be popped onto the intake boot just prior to the throttle.

BMW E23 E24 E28 E30 E32 E34 Idle Control Valve : eBay Motors (item 330419534498 end time Apr-05-10 19:21:47 PDT)

I haven't tried to mess with the butterfly, usually the factory settings are fine until you get into increased fuel pressure and such.

Only thing i can think of regarding the cluster then would be finding on ewith comparable miles on ebay or somthing like that and swap in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, I cleaned the Idle control valve today, and the MAF, airfilter (green cone) and throttle. They all had traces of oil slush in them so was good to do i believe. However, problem was not fixed by it. Did seem to me iits running just slightly better though.
Therefore I'm eager to do the rest of the service: sparks, clean injectors and replace fuel filter (btw where is this located?) and maybe problem will be solved.

Anyway, working on getting it a better car ;)

still hoping on some more definitive answers on the function of the 5 loose connectors...so if anyone can help; please do
 

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The Fuel filter is under the car on the drivers side. There are 2 clamps holding it in place, pretty quick and easy to replace, just make sure to disconnect the battery 1st.

I've heard there is a sender for the spedo on the diff case (never had any issues so I don't know for sure), might want to check that to see if it solves your problem there.
 

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The sensor IS on the differential (where the halfshafts meet with the rear tires). When you lift the car, you will see the only 2 wires that go to a plug in the back of it. That is your speed sensor. Either your cable ends are rusty or the sensor is done for.

Looks like your E30 came wired for 4 door power windows because those are the connectors for the rear power windows. If the rear doors have cranks and you want the powered, go to a junkyard and find a 4 door like yours and remove the motors for the rear doors and wallaa....you have power windos in the back, of course, check that the wires rnu to the back doors also. Also, the small white connector is for a lighted ///M shiftknob. I don't have a clue yet what the other 2 black ones are.

The reverse light (i think) is a switch that is somewhere under the car in the transmission area that (I think again) makes connection when you shift into reverse. Also, if you want an inexpensive short shifter, go to a BMW dealer and get a Z3 (1.9) shifter. That is what i had on mine and it felt great.

You have a gorgeous 4 door. Nice cars when they are set up the right way and you are headed in the right direction. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Elsabor, thanks for complimenting the car and for those answers! I was thinking the 2 white ones were for rear windows as well as they looked similar to the ones plugged in for front. But thanks for confirming.

Also, the white cable, thanks for telling me what that was for. Need to change gearknob but not sure I'll be going for an M one.

Anyway, if you (or anyone else) could still find out what the other 2 black connectors are for that would be great.

Did the entire car with a claybar today. Really shows. All the dirt particles that were stuck in the paint came off and paint is totally smooth now.
Also bought new plugs and fuelfilter so will be replacing them in the next few days. Hoping to fix that idling issue.

Got another question btw: when i start the car the handbrake light on the computer on headlining goes on. This goes off as soon as I touch the brake paddle once...is this normal?
Furthermore, where is the light in headlining supposed to be that goes on when opening door for example?
I only have 2 in the rear which don't have lights in them; which lights do i need for these?

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hello there!

First a simple pic of the car with new gril and just after I clay barred the whole thing...




Then, another question i'm afraid:

On the Idle Control Valve, there is 1 connector. This is connected fine on mine.
However, on the other end of this cable there is another connector, which isnt plugged in anywhere.
Now as far as I can see it has to be plugged in this:



This runs off a big metal cyllinder (see pic below) under the powersteering reservoir (donno what it is though...)



However, as the first pic shows, the thing (again dont know what it is) where the connector should go, also isnt plugged in (hose coming off on the top right of the pic).
Cant seem to find where that should go.

Any help on this?

thanks
 

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Yammahamma: which switch are you talking about? I do see a cable running past the gear stick past the rubber grommit (or whatever you call that closing off the bottom of the car). But how do I remove the grommit to see where it goes? Tried pulling it but seems kind of stuck?
The reverse switch is located on the side of the transmission...the passenger side, up, way up on the side. You can get to it, but it helps if you have 3 elbows.

There should just be a single wire/cable running through that rubber boot on the shifter. That will be the wire that goes down to the switch. There should be a connector before it goes down through the boot and to the transmission. I simply unhooked this connector, cleaned it, and hooked it back up. They worked forever after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, I serviced the car today.
Judging by the fuelfilter, I think that hadn't been done in quite some time



Sparkplugs were black but didnt look all that bad...changing them does give me a good feeling though.

Car runs nicely now (after replacing one of the fuel lines as that ripped during filter change). Seems like it runs better. Although still not entirely sure if idling issue is gone now.

I also cleaned the connector on the rear diff. However, problem continues with the speedometer; works sometimes, doesnt other times.

So what about this sensor that was mentioned on first page? Is that behind the blue flange bolted to the diff where connector goes? If i loosen the flange will the diff leak? (sorry if thats a really stupid question btw)

and lastly, any news on where the hose goes on the pic on first page? Has to be somewhere in the area under powersteering reservoir; left side of the block looking from inside the car.
 

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hi firstly nice looking car,
"This runs off a big metal cyllinder (see pic below) under the powersteering reservoir (donno what it is though...)"
# the big metal cylinder is a carbon canister

"when i start the car the handbrake light on the computer on headlining goes on. This goes off as soon as I touch the brake paddle once...is this normal?"

# When you start the car without the foot on the brake the overhead check control unit will show a brake light (not handbrake) warning and the check light will show on the gauge cluster, when you put your foot on the brake it goes away. This is normal as when you put your foot on the brake you complete the circuit for the brake lights.

Also when you open the door there are the two lights in the headlining that come on, get some from a wreckers or something
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Tim for those answers. Over the weekend I'll continue working on it; so will see about those interior lights.

As for speedometer issue: I found out today that when the speedometer and fuel consumption don't work, the km meter also doesn;t change (unsure how to word this...) I mean that the car is staying on 16,401 all the time, and the day-unit (going to 1,000km) also doesn;t register any km's.
Does anyone know what else it could be than the sensor on the diff? Does this sensor also register the driven km's?

thanks
 
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