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might be the new owner of '87 325is! What am I getting into?

Posted by land sea air 
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land sea air
For future reference, how does one reset the CEL? I started the car without the airbox installed (MAF unplugged as well) and the light came on, it cleared on it's own while driving later but it took a while.

Firstly, these cars have an Air Flow Meter which is completely different from a Mass Air Flow meter. Our cars have a flap with a potentiometer on it that moves as the air flow increases. This is crude b7y today's standards.
A MAF measures the temperature change of a hot wire when air passes over it. This is far more accurate and a lot less restricting to the air flowing in the intake.

You can reset the CEL by disconnecting the batter for 4 to 5 minutes then reconnecting it. Just make sure you have your radio 'code' handy if the car still has the OEM radio smiling smiley
So now I'm curious what CEL stands for, as I would have called this resetting the ECU smiling smiley

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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ducatipaso
CEL = Check Engine Light :smile:


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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Didn't realize people were responding since I've stopped receiving emails, I started the car without the airbox because I was flushing the power steering fluid and it gave me room to work. Sorry I've always shortened check engine light to CEL since it's such a common issue with all types of cars. Thanks for the air meter information Archeo-peteriX!

done so far:
checked valve clearance and all were perfect! replaced gasket
oil change 10w40 synthetic, no noticable leaks yet
plugs cap and rotor, still need wires and 02 sensor
painted valve cover crackle black which looks amazing, definitely recommend this to anyone with a day to spare (to let the paint dry)
power steering flush
tail light and antenna seals (seems to have stopped the leaking trunk but need a good test rain)
fixed cluster lights and flickering guagues (thankfully SI board has already been updated.)
removed the wind deflector and repaired some sticky interior switches

top of to do list:
fix passenger window
figure out that darned clunk, probably replace shifter bushings, trans mounts and remove cat in the process
everything else on my long list is minor or upgrades, I'll post some more pics soon!
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land sea air
Didn't realize people were responding since I've stopped receiving emails, I started the car without the airbox because I was flushing the power steering fluid and it gave me room to work. Sorry I've always shortened check engine light to CEL since it's such a common issue with all types of cars. Thanks for the air meter information Archeo-peteriX!

Shortening is fine, I should be fine with acronyms. I just never thought to reset a light, and assumed it was an eletrical component, or another name for the ECU (Electronic Control Unit). Calling it a CEL is fine smileys with beer

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land sea air
done so far:
checked valve clearance and all were perfect! replaced gasket
oil change 10w40 synthetic, no noticable leaks yet
plugs cap and rotor, still need wires and 02 sensor
painted valve cover crackle black which looks amazing, definitely recommend this to anyone with a day to spare (to let the paint dry)
power steering flush
tail light and antenna seals (seems to have stopped the leaking trunk but need a good test rain)
fixed cluster lights and flickering guagues (thankfully SI board has already been updated.)
removed the wind deflector and repaired some sticky interior switches

I don't suppose you have any pictures of that valve cover job, do you? smiling smiley


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land sea air
top of to do list:
fix passenger window
figure out that darned clunk, probably replace shifter bushings, trans mounts and remove cat in the process
everything else on my long list is minor or upgrades, I'll post some more pics soon!

Certainly while you are under there replace the transmission mounts, though nothing need be removed for that job. It's an easy half hour if you can get the car off the ground enough to slide under it.
Relatively cheap things to do while you have the underside torn apart do include the shifter bushings though! I spent the extra $20 on parts and replaced a bunch of worn (or none existent!) parts under there and it really stiffened the shifter up. Certainly not brand new, but instead of two inches of slop I now only have like 3/4 in. winking smiley
Some people with spare money and the desire take this opportunity to install a short shift "kit", or pull shifters off a number of compatible BMWs (a google search will result in more info than you probably want on this subject).

Also, don't forget the transmission seals, BOTH OF THEM. I replaced the main output seal and decided against replacing the small tiny seal for the shifter linkage. I now have all those hours of work behind me and the entire thing back together, and if I drive my baby hard, shifting a lot, I get a transmission oil leak :X
I'm not about to tear the entire think apart again though....not now. I made the mistake of assuming I knew where the leak was coming from, since the exit shaft seal was so worn, and the shifter seal looked pretty good. *sigh*

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

I'll post pics of the valve cover this weekend, is that what you mean?

if I end up having to do the DS then there will be a host of other things to do while I'm there
I recently became the second owner of an 87 325e, my first BMW. 213K plus miles. The car runs well, but occasionally beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas?

I also get the warning light about rear brake lights, and I figure that's a result of the commonly reported leaks around the tail lights, I've got a couple of new gaskets for them, and when I replace them I will check the grounds around the tail lights when it warms up around here to see if that's the problem.

The driver's side seat is wearing quite a bit as might be expected. Any advice on what's best, replacing the seat or getting it recovered? The original burgundy paint is in bad shape, but the tan interior is in great shape, except for the driver's seat.

Thanks, and I'm happy to be part of the BMW community now! Especially after switching from my Chrysler Town and Country dad-mobile!
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plunkman
I recently became the second owner of an 87 325e, my first BMW. 213K plus miles. The car runs well, but occasionally beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas
The chime under the dash has a number of things that will set it off, one of them being when the outside temperature reads 37F (or 2 or 3C). I think it's supposed to alert you that there might be ice on the road, but mostly what it did for me was to annoy me until I unplugged it. smiling smiley When I first got my E30 I couldn't figure it out either, and your question sounds just like the on I asked, so I'm guessing it might be the same thing.

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Dave
'91 325iX
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Dave_G
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plunkman
I recently became the second owner of an 87 325e, my first BMW. 213K plus miles. The car runs well, but occasionally beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas
The chime under the dash has a number of things that will set it off, one of them being when the outside temperature reads 37F (or 2 or 3C). I think it's supposed to alert you that there might be ice on the road, but mostly what it did for me was to annoy me until I unplugged it. smiling smiley When I first got my E30 I couldn't figure it out either, and your question sounds just like the on I asked, so I'm guessing it might be the same thing.

The other thing it could ding for is (assuming you have a 13btn computer) a particular speed being reached. This however you have to manually set up, and doesn't have a default value.

Dave, how sure are you it's 37F in your car? Because I am positive it's 36F in mine smiling smiley

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Thanks Dave_G and Earendil, the temp story sounds like a likely one, especially lately on Long Island!
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Earendil
Dave, how sure are you it's 37F in your car? Because I am positive it's 36F in mine smiling smiley
Not at all sure. If you say it's 36, I believe it. Like I said, I haven't actually heard mine in a long time. smiling smiley

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Dave
'91 325iX
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Dave_G
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Earendil
Dave, how sure are you it's 37F in your car? Because I am positive it's 36F in mine smiling smiley
Not at all sure. If you say it's 36, I believe it. Like I said, I haven't actually heard mine in a long time. smiling smiley

Sorry, I wasn't trying to come across as correcting you. I was actually hoping that they were different smiling smiley

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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plunkman
beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas?
It can be the outside temperature warning, as others have pointed out, in which case the clock display will automatically change to a flashing temperature display. It can be really annoying on days when the outside temperature is hovering near that threshold value. The temp sensor is located in the front valance below the bumper, left side. If you're stopped and idling for a while the heat from the engine can affect the temperature reading, causing the temperature display to raise above the warning threshold. Then as you drive away again the airflow cools the sensor back to the correct ambient temperature reading, and as display drops below +3C it will again trigger the warning beep and flash the temperature display on the clock. That's a nuisance.

There is another possible cause for the warning chime to sound, other than simply because your door is open. Does your car have a six-button clock like this?



The MEMO button, when activated, will cause the warning chime to sound 30-seconds (?) before the top of each hour. It's supposed to alert you in time to turn on your radio and catch the news headlines.

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I also get the warning light about rear brake lights...
The brake light warning in the overhead check panel normally comes on whenever you start the car until you first depress the brake pedal. Once you've lit up the brake lights, and the check system confirms both brake light bulbs are good, then the warning light should turn off. If the warning light stays on, or comes on later while you're driving and pressing the brake pedal, that's a sign that one or the other or both brake light bulbs are not working properly. It's usually a bad connection between the bulb socket and the bulb itself. Try cleaning both up with some sandpaper.
Just wanted to let you know that you might want to take it easy going over speed bumps and small pot holes. I have had to replace my oil pan twice on mine. But that is also due to the fact that they have to build huge speed bumps on the American post over here in Germany.
Yes, I confirmed that the single beep is the temperature warning, and I do have the six button clock. I also thought that the brakes lights are working correctly, but will check again. Thanks for the tip about the speed bumps, I've managed to avoid whacking the pan so far. Thanks for the input!
rkj
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plunkman
Thanks Dave_G and Earendil, the temp story sounds like a likely one, especially lately on Long Island!

Where bouts on the island?

Rick
East Northport.
rkj
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plunkman
East Northport.

Cool, just down the street from me thumbs up
That's a pretty long street if you're in Amagansett! I'm looking for a pair of front fenders for my 87 e30. They have holes behind the front wheel, and I'm assuming they're large enough to warrant replacing instead of patching. Does anybody disagree here, and if you're on Long Island, can you recommend a good place to get parts?

Thanks!

Front Passenger Fender
Front Driver's Fender
The idea most people in Europe have of US roads: only straight on and 90 degree bends.
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