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  1. #21
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    Yes | No

    Quick test results

    I'm in DC on Sandy's business, so it'll be a couple of days before I get back to my own job (which seems to be working on old BMWs.)
    Just before I left, though, I pulled all the plug wires and loaded spare plugs into the sockets; they all fired happily when I cranked the engine.
    Then I pulled the wire to the injector for #1 and inserted the probes to a test light: When I cranked the engine again, nothing happened. I just had time to check the test light (good) before I had to leave: I'll test an even-numbered injector (and re-check the odd ones) when I get back, but I'm guessing that the injectors aren't firing. (The fuel pressure gauge is still hooked up, and showed over 40 psi.)
    (I guess we now know where all that high voltage from the Position Sensor went (or at least, what it did: Where does that wire go, anyway: To the C191 connector, or to the ECU?)
    More when I get back. (Good on ya, GT.)
    Neil
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  2. #22
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    Yes | No

    Getting REAL close: Somebody get Geez Tech

    I'm back, and I'm closing in on this puppy.
    Running some of the tests in 6.4 of the Bentley gives us this information:
    18 to ground (2 and 36 bridged): Good (~12 volts) (voltage is getting to ECU)
    17 to ground ( " ): Good (injectors click)
    16 to ground ( " ): Good ( " )
    15 to ground (ignition on, no bridge): N/G (no click, zilch)
    14 to ground ( " " ): N/G ( " )
    Now, what the hell does that mean, GT?
    Neil
    PS: In the meantime, while I'm waiting for your call, I'll check the wiring diagrams.
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  3. #23
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    Hmm, does the Bentley give you diagnosis tips if the results aren't met? I dont have a ETM here at the house, I will have to check tomorrow and get back to you to see which pins your are jumping and testing.
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  4. #24
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    Yes | No

    I'm going to need a wiring diagram for the Motronic FI system . . .

    . . . specifically, something that'll show the connection between pins 13 and 14 at the ECU and the injectors. The Bentley doesn't suggest any recourse in the case of N/G conditions for any of the ECU electronic tests, and it doesn't have any useful wiring diagrams, either.
    (According to Alan iX's wonderful treatise on the C191 connector, pins 15 and 16 connect to the injectors through the C191 [and I'm getting correct test results at those pins]. I've got no idea where the wires from 13 and 14 go, though, and those're the ones that are showing a problem.)
    Have you got access to that kind of information, GT?
    Neil
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  5. #25
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    Pin 14 at the ECU should be a 2.5mm brown wire and it goes to a grounding point on the right front shock tower.
    Pin 13 is a RXD line for diagnosis by a BMW tester, shouldn't affect starting/running.
    My manual is showing pins 16 and 17 at the ECU to be the ground control for the injectors, not 15 and 16.
    Pin 15 is the ground control for the CEL.
    Is your Bentley for a 3 row DME, not the older 2 row Motronic?
    Did you ever try starting the engine with the fuel pump fuse removed and use just starter fluid?
    “Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    Find the problem first! Dont spend $$$$$ on parts you may not need.

    Dont be offended if I ask stupid questions, sometimes stupid fixes it.

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  6. #26
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    Yes | No

    Bentley Clarification

    GT -
    My Bentley's got both the old two-row and the new three-row diagrams (and DAMN!!! I've been using BOTH of them!!! [I literally just learned that, as I was tapping the keys to my iMac and looking sideways at the book. Unbelievable.])
    That explains so much!!! (Specifically, why there were TWO sets of Fuel Injector Control pins!)
    It also puts me back to step 1, since now the injectors check out, too.
    Well, damn. More later.
    Neil
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  7. #27
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    Yes | No
    Actually, given some thought, it's not that bad.
    Here's my logic, GT: The electronic tests show that the injectors (and the wiring TO the injectors) are working; but empirical testing (cranking the engine with a test light hooked up between the terminals of the injector connector) shows that the injectors aren't firing. Therefore, the injectors aren't BEING fired: I'd better get a new ECU, right? (First, I'm gonna repeat the noid-light test on multiple injectors, just to make sure.)
    Does this sound right to you?
    Neil
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  8. #28
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    Yes | No
    The voltage change or pulsing may happen too qickly to see it with a test light, that is where the noid light comes in. It will just be a gentle flicker.
    Make sure you have power on Pin 27 at the DME connector, this comes from the OBC relay box if you have a OBC.

    This all doesn't seem to be adding up as you had wet spark plugs before and that would have to come from the injectorsYou didn't answer on the previous suggestion of trying to start the engine with the fuel pump fuse removed and usaing starter fluid. Have you tried that?
    “Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    Find the problem first! Dont spend $$$$$ on parts you may not need.

    Dont be offended if I ask stupid questions, sometimes stupid fixes it.

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  9. #29
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    Yes | No

    My bad, GT - The plugs are dry . . .

    . . . and the motor fires and runs raggedly on starter fluid with the fuel pump disconnected. (It's a lot warmer today, and having better weather seems to improve my testing techniques.)
    The injectors still click when pins 16 or 17 are touched to ground (with the 32-2 bridge in); there's about 40 psi at the fuel rail; and I'm getting ~500 ohms between pins 47 and 48, so the reference sensor wiring is okay, too.
    Can this problem be anything BUT the ECU?
    And if it is, what should I be looking for when I replace it? Is it convertible-specific for some reason? (I've got a 153; can I use one of the 173's that're available on eBay?)
    Neil
    Last edited by dandydog; 03-31-2011 at 08:12 PM.
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  10. #30
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    Yes | No
    Well this isn't looking good.
    If you have 12 volts and Pins 16 and 17 of the ECU then this would indicate you have good voltage from the main engine relay (powers the injectors via the red/white wire) through the injectors (eliminating C191 issues).

    But, do you have 12 volts at Pin 27 as previously mentioned??

    You are testing with a Multi meter, right? And not just a test light?

    The cranks sensor would not only provide a reference point to initiate engine timing but also injector firing, so it seems you have half of what you need.
    “Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    Find the problem first! Dont spend $$$$$ on parts you may not need.

    Dont be offended if I ask stupid questions, sometimes stupid fixes it.

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  11. #31
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    Yes | No

    What the hell kind of diagnosis is, "Well, that's not good"? . . .

    . . . that's really discouraging, G.T.
    And what's this stuff about, "You ARE using a multi-meter, aren't you?" Have you lost all confidence in my abilities? (Granted, that little oopsie about using BOTH Motronic diagnostic tables wasn't exactly awe-inspiring, but . . .)
    Seriously, though: I think we know as much about this problem as we're gonna know, and it's time to introduce a few new parts and a prayer into the equation. (And yes, I've got 12 volts at pin 27, whatever that means: My Bentley says that's a test for "Starter input (terminal 50).")
    I've also got less than 1 ohm's worth of resistance across pins 8 and 31, which is what the cylinder identification sensor oughta read; all in all, I don't know what more to check out.
    This's GOTTA be the ECU. Now, what can I use to replace the Motronic 0261200153 unit that's in there now?
    Okay, another thought: When I checked the archives for ECU replacement info, I ran across a couple of entries where people were repairing (re-flowing the solder?) on their ECUs. What do you think about my taking the cover off the ECU and looking for visible signs of corruption? (What we're assuming happened is that high voltage from the position sensor got shorted into the ECU, right? That should have caused some damage that can actually be seen, right? Maybe involving the areas around pins 16 and 17, 47 and 48? Right?)
    I mean, how hard could it be?
    Neil

    Neil
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  12. #32
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    Yes | No
    Hey just making sure, as it only takes 3 volts to light a test light so some people may think everything is fine when in reality it isn't. No worries, no confidence lost I just like to get a baseline at times so we are on the same page.
    I dont want to be the one to condem the ECU but it is looking that way with everything you are finding, Pin 27 is a 12 volt supply from the OBC relay box, if the box fails and doesnt send 12 volts to Pin 27 then the ECU "thinks" the code function in the OBC is active and the engine wont start.
    Any chance you know someone in the area that has a ECU to swap out? I "might" have one at work but I think they are for the big 6 engines, I can check on Monday.
    With yours being a '88 you should have the later 1.3 Motronic DME, the earlier ones were a 1.1 but I couldn't tell you if it was a 173 or 153 as I go by the actual BMW part number and the numbers most people use here are the Bosch numbers. I can try to do some research and get back to you next week, I know I have seen some sort of chart in the shop at one point.
    The resoldering isn't a bad idea as that would be a "free" repair with not much to lose. I would look for any solder joints that either look dark and discolored or light gray indicating a bad solder. Most of the time they are on the shiny side but you may be surprsied to find a whole bunch of solder joints in there.
    I had a '87 528e that had a bad enrichement circuit within the Motronic and I got a headache from staring at all the solder joints while trying to solder them.
    If you try this and give it a shot maybe wiggle your fingers at the ECU before you start the engine, this sometimes works for me and when it does it really pisses people off, LOL.
    “Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    Find the problem first! Dont spend $$$$$ on parts you may not need.

    Dont be offended if I ask stupid questions, sometimes stupid fixes it.

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  13. #33
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    Yes | No

    New ECU

    GT -
    The best I can do on such short notice is an ECU out of an '89 325i (Bosch 0 261 200 173; BMW(?): 1726102 001 810). The one that was in the car and is possibly damaged is a 153 (Bosch: 0 261 200 153; BMW 1714998 001 078 or possibly WBABB1307J 8272694 C85E).
    Now, since this isn't a perfect match, the question arises: What are the chances of my causing some SERIOUS damage to the engine if I just plug in the 173 and try to fire it up?
    Awaiting your reassurances soonest, I remain,
    Neil
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    Yes | No

    I CANNOT believe that this FREAKIN' car STILL will NOT START!!!!!

    Of course, it may be the 153/173 thing: You'll let me know, GT?
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  15. #35
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Yes | No
    I'm going to jump in here for just a minute.
    From my experience, the 173 ECU should work no problem in place of the 153 ECU.

    Also, follow the link to view the ETM:
    http://shark.armchair.mb.ca/~dave/BMW/
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    Yes | No

    Attached is a picture of my '88 325, sitting in its 'driveway' . . .

    . . . stopped. Immobile. Unmoving.
    (My wife Sandy, who is Jewish, suggested trying to shame the car into starting.)
    I'm out of better ideas.
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  17. #37
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    Yes | No

    I'm going to be in Kansas City for a couple of days . . .

    . . . and what I'd like you guys to do is, kick this problem around while I'm gone and have a couple or three viable solutions on my desk by the time I get back on Friday. Okay? Great.

    Okay, seriously: When I get back I'm gonna:
    1) Try to start the puppy again;
    2) Check the plugs (wet/dry);
    3) Re-test pins 16 & 17 to assure that the injectors should be firing; and
    4) Repeat the spare-plugs-on-the-valve-cover test/display.
    If the results come out
    1) No start
    2) Dry
    3) Clicking; and
    4) Good spark at all plugs
    the way they have previously, I haven't got the faintest idea what to do next.
    Anybody got any ideas? GT? Jim? Chris?
    Neil
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  18. #38
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    Yes | No
    I haven't had luck finding the chart but I will keep looking as things have been moved around in the shop but it looks like you gave me information off the silver sticker on the side of the DME:
    Your VIN - WBABB1307J 8272694 - Car was originally purchased at a Maryland dealer
    Variant code - C85E - This is used when the techs program the DME, you use different codes for different modle cars using the same DME. It could be important if you find a used one on Ebay or a shop can flash the "used" one to your variant code.

    It sounds like you may have swapped out DME's with no succes in starting, is this the case?
    I am wondering if the #6 cyl sensor may be causing problems, I dont remember ever having one do anything but if we get one through the shop I will try disconnecting it to see what happens.
    Have you measuerd the continuity at pin 45 to ground? This is the coolant temperature sensor so the DME can set the fuel mixture, I think when cold it should be around 2000 ohms.
    Pin 52 to ground, this the idle position for the throttle switch, it should real low, almost 0 ohms.
    Pin 53 to ground, this is the full throttle position at the throttle switch, this should be an open circuit with the gas pedal not pushed at all.
    “Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    Find the problem first! Dont spend $$$$$ on parts you may not need.

    Dont be offended if I ask stupid questions, sometimes stupid fixes it.

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  19. #39
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    Yes | No
    GT - Yeah, that's what all the yelling was about: there was absolutely no difference in the engine's response with the 173 ECU switched in for the 153. (Which makes me think about all the other times this has happened: First with the cracked distributor cap, then with a faulty FPR, then with a failed position sensor. Is there some common denominator here that we're missing?)
    When I get back, I'll try those electrical tests on the ECU connector, and let you know.
    The thinking behind the tests I've described is: 4) If all the plugs show good spark, then it's not an electrical problem (like the position sensor; engine timing is still a possibility); 3) and 2) if the plugs are dry after the engine has been cranked, but pins 16 and 17 still click when grounded, then a) the injector circuit is okay and b) somehow, the signal to fire the injectors is not being given (by the ECU?), or is being countermanded by some as-yet-undetermined agent (like your pin 27 test.) Does this make sense to you?
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  20. #40
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    Yes | No
    Okay, we found the DME chart I was looking for and here is what I have. The 153 DME is the earlier 1.1 version that does not a permanent fault memory but should work in your car as Chris has already stated. The 173 DME is the 1.3 that does a permanent fault memory and is correct for your year of car.
    If the #6 Cyl ID sensor goes out the injectors all fire at the same time (full sequential) which is how they operate for cold start and heavy acceleration then they switch to semi-sequential and fire injectors 1, 3, 5 and 2, 4, 6. So even if the sensor fails the engine should still want to start when cold but maybe run too rich once running for a while.It may not set a check engine light either but first the engine needs to be running for this to happen.

    Here is some homework for the weekend as I will be gone:
    Pin 27 at DME from OBC relay box - 12 volts w/key on (also supplies the ignition coil with power)
    Pin 37 at DME - 12 volts w/key on - power comes from red/blue of engine main relay
    Pin 18 at DME - constant 12 volts from battery
    Pins 15 and 17 at DME - 12 volts w/key on - power running through injectors to show that you are getting 12 volts from the red/white wire of the engine main relay.
    Pins 47 and 48 - put leads across these two pins and check voltage while cranking, may read around 1 - 3 volts and it may be A/C voltage so try different scales and settings. This is the voltage from the crank sensor.
    Pin 45 to ground at DME key off - Check resistance of engine temp sensor so DME can set the mixture, may be around 2,000 ohms when cold. If an issue check the ground by the right front fender and also check the ground under the diagnostic connector. These wires also pass through the C191 connector (Common demonator??)
    All of these above tests are with the DME disconnected.

    If you have secured a noid light then put in injector connector and see if it flickers when cranking the engine.
    Make sure the air flow meter is not stuck or binding.
    I haven't seen it before but if you pull the distributor cap off make sure the rotor and its housing are tight.


    I know some of this is redundent but print this out to take to your car then copy and paste into a new post with your answers next to my test/questions. You can change the color of your letters to make it more clear where you are responding.
    “Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    Find the problem first! Dont spend $$$$$ on parts you may not need.

    Dont be offended if I ask stupid questions, sometimes stupid fixes it.

    '87 325is The best ever
    '69 1600 My worst nightmare
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