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From: "Dewey M. Sasser" <>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 96 11:52:11 -0800
Subject: One Solution to M20B27 (eta engine) Random loss of spark (and thanks)

>>>>> "John" == Meerbach-John C <> writes:

John> I have a high mileage 1983 528e which intermittently dies. John> A swift rap on the glove box brings the engine back to life. John> I have removed and cleaned all the contacts to the Motronic John> unit and even opened the brain box to see if there was John> anything obvious rolling around in there.

Good timing. I've just fixed a similar problem and was about to post to the digest, but have held off to make sure it's really fixed.

I have an '86 325es (E30/M20B27) 103K miles, which I believe has the same engine and Motronic 1.0 system as your car. I first noticed the problem when cold weather began last year, but it was very intermittent and never required more than a restart.

Well, skip ahead a year, and last week it was much more likely to not start than to start. During the intervening time, I noticed that playing with the connection helped. Everything else (and I do mean everything) worked fine.

Last week I ordered the Motronic for $165 (when I got the invoice, I got the pleasant surprise that I was actually charged $150). I put it in works! (Hmm: OE price approx $900, actual price $150, so I paid 16% of list -- not bad.) Oh, yeah, the part has a 6 months warranty.

It appears to have fixed my problem. My car has not exhibited the problem since the replacement on Monday.

Prior to replacing the unit, I, too, opened up the unit to look for loose solder joints (another digest member had found one and fixed his own). I found nothing.

I got the component from a BMW only salvage place in Texas that serves wholesale, but BMWCCA members can purchase there as well. Here's the number and address. The next least expensive place was in S. California for $215. Have the part number ready.

AAA Small Car World
work: (800) 433-3766
fax: (817) 834-7453
work: 1500 Carson

Ft. Worth, TX 76117

Last, but not least, much thanks to the people who responded when I originally posted a couple of months ago. They are:

John Bunda <>,,
Jim C <lndshrk_at_>,,, Robert Obando <>, Dan Patzer <>,
Bob Smith <>, Sean Thompson <> (If I've forgotten someone, I do apologize)

And extra thanks to Dan Patzer, as he and I shot about 10 emails back and forth coming up with debugging ideas, and Dan does this for a living. Thanks Dan.

BTW -- Bob Smith recommended Vines salvage in Alabama (1-800-214-4839). They had the part, but it was $250 plus core (not that I have anything better to do with the core)

Good luck

'86 325es that's back to being fun!
BMWCCA #136273

Dewey M. Sasser                         voice: (617) 494-6000                     PGP Key from public servers  
                                        PGP mail preferred.

| "Deliver yesterday, code today, think tomorrow." |

From: "Dewey M. Sasser" <>
Date: Fri, 06 Dec 96 01:21:04 -0800
Subject: Re: AAA Small Car World

>>>>> "Kevin" == KKelly6788 <> writes:

Kevin> AAA Small Car World is not "BMW only"...

Quite right. I had gone through so many adds that they blended together in my mind, especially since I didn't care if a place carried other parts, so long as they had the one for which I was looking. (P/N 0 261 200 027, BTW). Now that I'm at home with my Roundel, I look at the add and see "Now Dismantling BMW & Mercedes late model".

Sorry for the misinformation, folks.

'86 325es
BMW CCA #136273

PS -- now that I have my notes in front of me, the quoted prices on the Motronic went like this:

AAA Small Car           $165    (actually charged $150)
AutoBahn                $200
Vines                   $225+core
Bavarian Auto Rec.      $285
02 Salvage              $400+core

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