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2002 intermittent problems

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hey all this is my first post, so be nice

i recently purchased my first 02, and for the first week it was fine now, my cluster dies and the car runs terrible, it happens almost every time i start it up now

it has crane ignition and a webber carb, i work at a bmw shop so i have done all i can think of as far as diagnosis, ive only seen a few come in so i dont know the car well at all..... yet

so im asking for anybody that has seen a problem like this or has any ideas for me

thanks!

john

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no offense John, but if you work in a BMW shop you should be competent enough to diagnose and solve problems for yourself, especially on something as simple as a 2002.

It's hard to say exactly whats going on. I'd look for loose grounds, bad fuses, shoddy wires. If your cluster dies that means it's electrical. Did you check voltage in the battery? who installed the crane? does the issue only affect the cluster lights or does it affect the entire electrical system (headlights dim, etc)? is it running, but poorly, or is it not running at all? Is your alternator charging the battery?

Theres only so many systems that could go wrong. I'd check the switched 12V circuit (fuse number 12 on 12 fuse cars) among other things. It's a very simple car to work on. Grab a Haynes manual and learn a thing or two.

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i know i should, i think ive been over thinking it, i dont know much about the car, the ignition was in it when i got it (2 weeks ago) the battery is good, its just the gauges that die, the lights and everything works fine, its hard to start and wont idle, i ordered a new voltage regulator, and ive been checking grounds, ill double check the fuse and fuse connection

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Check the ground strap between the firewall and one of the transmission bel housing bolts (or similar). The dash grounds that way and if you lose that ground the instrument cluster won't work. Also disconnect the battery and clean your fuse box (steel wool works, but with battery disconnected only). Try pressing on it too. Make sure the battery ground strap is good and connected solidly.

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Don't over-think it. I'd start with the following...

1. Is there 12V power going to the coil when the ignition key is on?

2. Is the ignition timing set properly? (you will need to have the car running at 1400rpm in order to set this)

3. Is the distributor adjusted properly? Measure dwell angle using a good meter.

4. Are all ignition leads connected securely and to the correct terminal?

5. Are the spark plugs in good condition and gapped to specification? (change them if you haven't already, cheap and easy!)

6. Coil in good condition? What is on there, blue, black or red?

7. Are the valves adjusted properly? (this is not related to electrical issues, of course, but it doesn't hurt at all to set them and have a good starting place!)

8. When you say gauges die, do you mean they flicker? or are they not lighting up? Does the tach still read okay? I think you need to take the cluster out (really easy) and check the connections.

If I had to put my money on it, it's a faulty wire or component somewhere between the fuse box and the ignition/interior lights. Take the time and re-do all of them. I ripped out all of the emissions vacuum lines and components in under an hour, and ran new ignition wires while I was at it. Also check that you have the correct fuse in place. Why not replace all of the fuses? They are cheap and you will know you have the right ones. One less thing to troubleshoot.

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So it used to run fine and the instrument cluster worked and now you have two problems: (a) runs poorly (at all RPM?) and (B) tach, fuel gauge, and coolant temp don't work? The first question I would ask is--did anything change from no problem to problem? I.e., any work done on car, coffee spilled on dash, etc? Fill it with bad gas? The second point is that you MAY have two problems that cropped up at the same time that are unrelated. Clogged fuel filter/jets will make car run poorly. What is history of car? Did it sit a long time before you bought it? Are there wire-eating mice in your garage? A random thought is the ignition switch, though I never had one go bad. As mentioned above, you need to go through the engine and electrical system on a first-principles basis to establish your baseline and hopefully identify any anomalies.

Best, Fred '74tii & '69GT3

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Welcome to the haus!

there - that's your one gentle

input from me.

Time to learn Automotive Basics 2002.

everything needs 12+ volts

everything needs clean tight new fuses

everything needs clean, tight grounding

and the carburetor needs a properly adjusted choke

with high idle, clean idle jets, clean float bowl, NEW

CLEAN gasoline, clean undeluted motor oil. A

timing light is a must or your just guessing on one

of the single most important steps in getting the car

to run right.

It's a joy to learn about because it's so plain simple

and none digital. Just mechanical and analog simple.

Find a copy of the Owner's handbook and any repair manual.

Read for the evening then approach each none operating

system with some understanding of how it works.

give us some under hood photos and Welcome to the club

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Yeah, I'm with CD on this one-

clean out your carb and replace all the rubber bits.

Make sure it's bolted tightly onto the manifold.

Make sure the choke works correctly.

Make sure you have a clean fuel filter in front of it, and the lines

are all in decent shape.

It's worth doing to ANY car you inherit, 'cause it takes just a

couple of hours and prevents all sorts of bad things like

stalling,

hesitation,

and fire.

t

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