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  1. #1
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    Question for Shogun

    This is for Shogun, who seems to know more about E-32's than anyone. I have a incredibly nice 1990 735 with very low miles. I have owned it for 5 years, and last year we started getting strong odors when using heat or AC. I am well aware of the leaks that develop in the heater cores (I have replaced two of them on previous cars). The mystery here is it is not tne normal coolant smell this time, nor is there any telltale residue on the windows. It is very much like an exhaust or crankcase smell. Can you think of a way to do a "test" to determine if it is a leaking core before I tear everything apart? I hate that job, unless it is really necessary. A few months ago I removed the glove box and right side heater supply duct so I could see in there. I found a lot of pink fiberglass insulation in front of the evaporater, which told me a mouse had been living in there some time back. I removed all the insulation with a stiff wire, but found no "mouse parts". I sprayed a chemical in there which is made for eliminating oders like that, and the smell seemed to be gone, but only for a few days. It is still there. Any ideas. This is the finest 735 I have ever owned (and I have had many) but I am tired of this stuff. I am 6'2' and will have to remove both seats to even have comfortable working room. The build quality of these older cars is so much better than the new ones, which is why I have stayed with the older ones. I just get tired of fixing the same problems, year after year. This rare example only has 72K and I really want to keep this one forever.

    I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

    Garry in Portland


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    first of all use foam cleaner

    for the heater core as your car does not have a microfilter. That foam cleaner is sprayed onto the heater core and flow slowly down to the plastic pan and then thru the drains under the car.

    Coolant level you can check: park the car every day at the same place and check level of coolant with cold engine, for example in the morning before you start engine. You can remove the radiator expansion tank cap and use a measure for fine measuring. If no loss, no leak.

    Mouse: of course there could be a dead mouse somewhere, I have seen pics of dead mice in the cage of the blower fan motor, maybe worth to check that too.Shogun E32 Tech Tips: http://twrite.org/shogunnew/topmenu.html

  3. #3
    Bimmersnokaoi
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    Re: first of all use foam cleaner

    Thanks Shogun. I will remove the blower assembly so I can really see down in there, check for mouse parts, and heavily foam the back of the evaporator and everything else I can reach. What type of foam can you suggest.

    What I can't understand is the it smells very much like exhaust or crankcase odor. There are no exhaust system leaks and no firewall leaks. It is definitely coming theough the heater box.

  4. #4
    dan02
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    Re: Question for Shogun

    I would check for exhaust leak from the header to around/near the transmission area. A tiny leak could give out some odor which in turn get sucked in the cabin...

    good luck

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    bimmersnokaoi
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    Re: Question for Shogun

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will check for an eshaust leak, although there is no sound indication of even a small leak. The smell is actually coming through (or from) the heater box, as you can drive the car all day and never notice it until the blower is turned on. I am currently monitoring the coolant level, but the smell is nothing like a coolant smell. This is my 9th (and finest) E-32 and I have never had this before!

  6. #6
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    Re: Question for Shogun

    well, when you turn the heater on, there are a series of flaps that deflect some outside air to the heater core, my '92 does this, I can hear the noise of the flap open and close.

    Try to turn the heater on and using re-circulating air from the cabin (not using outside air).

    Also, the leak could be from where 2 pipes joined together (ie. before and after the cat converter), due to worn out gasket, not necessarily from rust holes on the pipes...

  7. #7
    dan02
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    oil leak?

    also...

    check the exhaust pipe for any sign of burning oil on it. You could have a small engine or trans oil leak that drip on the hot pipe which give you the funny smell...

    good luck

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    Bimmersnokaoi
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    Re: Question for Shogun

    PROBLEM SOLVED!

    I removed the blower this week and there was a dead mouse laying on the blower motor. I figure he got into the blower through the open outside air flaps, over two years ago at our other house. There was qute a bit of pink fiberglass insulation he had carried in there for a nice cozy nest. Those outside flaps should have been designed so that they always close when the ignition is turned off. After removing the sword (and the other thing) so I could spray the evaporator and everythng else with full strength "Enzyme Plus" to neutralize the mouse waste, I put it all back together. Wala, smell gone!

    Man, these cars are overly complex. The San Diego dealer once told me that BMW is "knee deep" in engineers. No wonder they spend a lot of time in the shop. As a Mechanical Engineer, I say simpler is better. When I was in school I had a part time job working for a Juke Box Company. Seeburg's motto was "Simplicity, Reliability, Endurance". Suffice it to say, BMW could learn from that. Of course, in the final anaylsis, it's all about marketing.

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    Mouse ??

    how the mouse get in there...????

    is there any way to prevent this happen again... installing s mesh or something?

  10. #10
    Bimmersnokaoi
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    Re: Mouse ??

    It is easy for a mouse to get into the blower area, because of(at least in the case of my 1990 735i) the two outside air intake ducts, one on each end of the blower, stay open when the vehicle is parked and not in use.

    I suppose you could put a screen or wire mesh over the openings but you wouuld have to take apart quite a bit to get to them, as they are under the cowling, behind the firewall. It would have been nice if BMW would have incorporated that function into the design of the HVAC electronics. When I opened everthing up and removed the blower, the car had not been driven in days and the heater was off. Both outside air flaps were wide open. I guess the engineering gurus in Munich had not figured on that.

    Hope that info helps.

  11. #11
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    Re: Mouse ??

    thanks...

    I think this a case of... under-engineering....

    :-)

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