Reply to Thread

Post a reply to the thread: Please Help! Dead in the water.

Your Message

Click here to log in

Please correctly re-type the phrase f o o t d o c t o r in the form box. Re-type it without the extra spaces and put the one space where it should be. We apologize for having to do this but this silliness helps slow the spammers.


Additional Options


Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 09-12-2010, 08:12 PM

    Re: If you do decide to tackle this yourself.....

    Just drove down to L.A. and picked up a 2002 540i M Sport that is in real good shape and a very good price. I hope this one is as good to me as my e34. A whole bunch more power that is awesome!

    Will try to get my e34 running and sell her off.

    Thanks for all your help. I will let you know if I decide to tackle this myself.

  • 09-10-2010, 10:02 PM
    Big Dog

    If you do decide to tackle this yourself.....

    Let me know if you want to try this yourself and I'll scan and e-mail the instructions from the Bentley manual (if you're serious at e34's, get one).

  • 09-09-2010, 11:42 PM

    Re: The good news and the bad news....

    Boy I had been waiting for your response all day and actually was glad by what you have told me. I think it may not be as bad as it could have been, and I think I might just do the repair and sell it at this point since i am beginning. to have other age related issues.

    Looking at an '03 530 sport as an option.

    Thanks for all your help and I will let you know what I find out.

  • 09-09-2010, 10:53 PM
    Big Dog

    The good news and the bad news....

    The good news, this is NOT an interference motor, so even a jumped timing chain should not bend any valves.

    The bad news, if your compression is that low on all cylinder, then yes you have probably crashed a tensioner and/or rail and thus have it jumped timing chain.

    Not overly complicated to change but if you've never done it before, get a pro.

  • 09-09-2010, 11:18 AM

    Re: Well then you really do have a mystery....

    Bummer! See my post at top. "Major Development"
  • 09-08-2010, 10:24 PM
    Big Dog

    Re: Well then you really do have a mystery....


    e-mail me directly with your shipping address and I'll send it to you, just make a donation to BMW Foundation for Street Survival.

    Big Dog
  • 09-08-2010, 08:58 PM

    Major Development

    Ok, Finally something to get my teeth into. Probably not good news.

    Just ran compression test on 1st 3 cylinders and all 3 are between 50 and 55 psi. Didn't think I needed to run the rest tonight.

    So based on all we know now.
    Driving smooth down the road, screeching sound, and instant power loss.

    I don't know alot about this kind of issue. So I am asking.
    What happened? Jumped timing chain? failed tensioner?

    Is this a interference motor. Is it worth fixing?

    Thanks Big Dog and bonzo for all your help.


  • 09-08-2010, 12:40 PM

    Re: Well then you really do have a mystery....

    The only thing I have not confirmed is compression. Have just assumed it had that. I will pull plugs and check that today.

    I live in Calif. on the coast so you would probably need to ship it to me. I would gladly pay the shipping and even return it to you after testing it out, just in case you would need it for something else in the future.

    Thanks, Mark
  • 09-08-2010, 08:56 AM
    Big Dog

    Well then you really do have a mystery....

    Okay, spark, assume compression (use a tester or just have someone crank it over and feel at the plug hole) so we're back to fuel. Just because you smell gas at the tailpipe doesn't necessarily mean it's being delivered at the right time, in the right amount or is properly atomized. Since this entire problem begain with what we assume is a fuel pump problem, that's the place to go. I have an extra 535i pump that was take out because it was getting old but it's a known good part. Where are you? If close you can pick it up, or just pay for the shipping and you can have it.
  • 09-07-2010, 11:05 PM

    Re: Re read my previous post

    I pulled 3 of the plugs out to check how they were burning and spark. All 3 looked to be burning clean, had good spark, and did not appear to be fuel fouled.
  • 09-07-2010, 10:24 PM
    Big Dog

    Re read my previous post

    You may have fuel fouled the plugs and they aren't firing correctly.
  • 09-07-2010, 08:56 PM

    Still no resolution.

    Could this be an issue with a jumped timing chain? Based on the fact that I seem to have fuel and spark, I am wondering if maybe the timing is just out of whack. This is driving me nuts and I am trying to avoid taking it to the shop and getting ripped.

    I do appreciate all your help.

    Thanks, Mark
  • 09-07-2010, 05:39 PM

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    Would it still fire the the fuel pump if it was bad. Isn't that the sensor that makes the pump activate?
  • 09-07-2010, 04:28 PM

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    If you have enough fuel/preasure and you are SURE you have a good spark, you may want to look at your crank position sensor. You probably won't get a code with the DME 3.1 so you will have to test the Ohms to be sure. If I remember correctly the Bently has conflicting specs on the 535i for the CPS. Big Dog might be able to shed some light on the numbers for you. Usually the CPS will slowly go south, but they can a up all at once too.
  • 09-07-2010, 07:56 AM
    Big Dog

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    Well let's review:

    The three things needed to make an internal combustion engine run are:
    The proper fuel/air mixture
    Adequate compression
    A properly timed spark

    The compression here is a given, leaving the other two.

    Since you've checked the fuel pressure, we have to assume the fuel is there, leaving the spark as the problem. Just putting a timing light on and checking for voltage at the wire is normally the way to go, in this case, try pulling a plug and making sure it's firing. It could be that you've cranked it over so much the plugs are now fuel fouled and won't fire correctly.
  • 09-06-2010, 07:16 PM

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    Cranked engine over about a dozen times and checked tail pipe.
    Can smell raw gas from exhaust.
    Hooked timing light to plug 1 and cranked it over.
    I got flash from gun so I guess I probably have spark.

    What the heck is goin on? I am at a loss!
  • 09-06-2010, 06:17 PM

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    Just checked the return line and have lots of flow coming back to the tank when cranking.
  • 09-06-2010, 05:50 PM

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    I just got your message after running the following test.

    Went to auto parts store and they had a fuel pressure tester loaner.

    I was able to connect it directly from the metal outlet on the pump through the gauge, and connect other end to the hose I took off the pump outlet. In other words, inline. I cranked the engine and the gauge quickly rose to about 58psi. When I stopped cranking it dropped to 42psi.

    No unusual noises from pump. No starting at all.
    Nothing but smooth cranking as normal.

    Thanks, Mark
  • 09-06-2010, 05:18 PM

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    I think Big Dog is on the right track. Sounds like the fuel pump. Pinch the "Return line with the pump engaged, if you hear the noise again and the preasure drops- its the pump. You need a minimum of 43 PSI on the test guage to turn run that 3.5 You should have 48-52. Also the lack of preasure in the high preasure fuel rail will make the preasure regulator squeel. Its at the rear of the high preasure rail, close to the bulkhead. Normally the preasure reg will outlast the fuel pump by 100K miles so it should be OK.

    Befor you do a fuel preasure test, make sure your fuel pump "sump" screen (bottom of pump) is clean and clear, and if you have an inline fuel filter- check that to prior to preasure testing. Good Luck
  • 09-06-2010, 12:51 PM

    Re: Please Help! Dead in the water.

    1. Engine does not start. It turns over as normal, but I get zero ignition.
    2. I had a friend that viewed the fuel volume while I turned the key so I am not sure of the volume. I will check that though and let you know.
    3. I will get back to you on noises.

    I have a Bentley and it says 2 quarts in 30 seconds.

    I really appreciate your help.

This thread has more than 20 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
1e2 Forum