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Running Rough - Then OK
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Location: West Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dale, found it, never knew it was there, and it definitely is oily. I started manually fiddling with the throttle at idle, revving it just slightly then letting go, and it would stall or try to stall every time before it warmed up. Could it just be a stick throttle plate? If it starts flapping could it cause that "pah pah pah pah pah pah" misfire sound?
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1984 325e 5-speed coupe
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Location: West Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cleaned the throttle today. Not hard and very dirty. Could not find an air filter replacement so i cleaned the old one. Seriously? Its running so i didnt screw up too bad. Slight hesitation when you yank on the throttle. Sounds like air sucking but unsure from where.
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are only a few places where you could have a vacuum leak. The most prevalent is the big black hose going from the AFM to the throttle. They ofen crack on the bottom, closer to the engine's heat, and definitely out of sight. If you can hear air sucking, it shouldn't be that difficult to isolate it down to the source. Check that big hose first... FYI, minute cracks can do a lot! If you take it off and stretch or flex it a bit, do you see cracks?
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will check again. I replaced that baffle not long ago. There is a hose that connects to that just before the throttle, and that I have had some problems with. It uses an internal connector and no clamps since it's hose to hose, and it tends to come off, so I just taped it on with electrical tape.
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ran great this AM. We'll see how it does in the heat of the afternoon.
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haber



Joined: 14 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had intermittent idle problems on two cars now that turned out to be cracked solder joints in the TPS. They are not too hard to open up and repair. Not sure this is your problem but these kind of things are definetely affected by heat.

What you described recently and related to moisture could well be the O2 sensor or the wires to it getting wet. The signal is very slight and easily corrupted by moisture etc. For example where someone may have patched in a generic O2 sensor. Next time it acts up try unplugging the O2 sensor and see what that does. It should go open loop and run slightly rich but may run smoother with a hint less power. AT WOT it makes no difference since it goes open loop for max power anyway.
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Odd. The last two times i started it it smoked like crazy. Runs fine. Did not smoke this am. The only thing i found was the dipstick wasnt inserted properly. I must have bumped it when i was messing with the air filter. Would that make it burn oil? Or allow oil to seep in somewhere? It cleared after a minute both times.
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Last edited by cjhsa on Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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Location: West Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks haber. I was wondering about that O2 sensor.
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep the smoke was due to the unseated dip stick. But what stinks is that i also managed to bend it slightly right where it seats. Oh well, nothing to see here. Move along folks...
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, the dipstick not being seated properly allowed oil to wick up into the engine, creating a smoke screen that literally obscured the dentist office I had just visited. I felt terrible, he's a great dentist! Laughing

Now I'm back to idling too high when hot. More work is needed on the idle control system. One of you mentioned that sometimes mechanics will jury-rig the idle. What should I be looking for?
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cjhsa



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well rats. After the car sat for seven hours in the sun, it started very rough and spewed blue smoke again. Not as bad but the rough start was pretty rough and didn't subside until it warmed up a bit, tried to stall repeatedly, even after I got it running smoothly. Made it home, but I'm losing confidence in my ability to get to work and back in this thing.

Thinking back to when this first started, the car was running fine the night before, I drove it about six miles to and from a dinner party. I parked it on a fairly steep incline, nose up. But it ran fine on the way home. The next day was warm but not that warm, maybe 70 at the most at the shore. It started fine, I drove about 200 yards and pulled over to let my son get something out of the back seat, and that's when it first started. PAH-PAH-PAH like it was missing. Now, the gravel roads near the beach are very washboardy and rough. Something may have come loose, but why does it go away?

Checked hoses and wires again tonight, nothing. But ever since I messed with the air filter and cleaned the throttle I've had the blue smoke issue, which is new. I don't remember it when it was just running rough before.
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I found something. Not sure if this is the issue, but I'm hoping it continues to help at least. In front of the main fuse box, over the driver's front wheel well, is another fuse box. The plastic cover slides up to expose three Bosch 30A 12V fuses about 1 cubic inch in size. They were dirty and I couldn't read them at first, so I brushed them off with my finger. When I touched the center fuse, the car stalled. So I started it and tried again. Touch fuse - car stalls.

The center and forward fuse were not seated all the way. The center one was looser. I am thinking the washboard may have caused these to work their way up.

Is this the final solution? I'm not sure, but that sure was interesting.
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those aren't fuses... they're relays...

If they're loose or too worn, all sort of things happen. One of em is the fuel pump relay.
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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Location: West Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, wasn't sure was just reading the top of them. Thanks for that!
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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Location: West Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is as much a personal journal as an update/help request.

I let it sit for three hours then tried to start it without giving it any gas. It quit on the first two tries, then coughed and started roughly on the third. I ran it up manually to about 3000RPM and let it come back to idle.

It did, ran for about five seconds, and quit - cold.

Started it again and it ran fine. Wth....
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