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E36 M42 Checklist And Issues Help Needed!


DaveBMX
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Hi Guys really need some help on getting my e36 m42 ready to go into the car. I've had a quick look and first off i'm missing the ecu.

 

should i use an e30 318is (318i in America) or the correct e36 one? which throws up a bag of worms to with all the transponder key nonsense?! i dont need to mess with the rest of the loom right?

 

next mine appears to have a viscous fan on the front ?! is this normal? i assumed the is would have an electric fan? (luckily i do have an electric fan that can push or pull)

 

i already know i need an e30 sump so im looking around on ebay for that

 

on the lower right hand side of the belt the big pump is for power steering i assume? i will probably ditch it later but trying to find a shorter belt is the least of my worries at the minute B)

 

my engine has the dual intake thingy which is erm interesting. it appears to be supported by the cast alloy engine mount. should i ditch that support or make a new one when i fab my engine mounts?

 

i have seen another uk car using the m44 stock manifold which clears the steering box with the flange removed and welded straight to the downpipe so ive been looking for one however the manifold on the engine looks suspiciously similar!

 

anything you guys extra can think of would be amazing! i just feel a bit stressed that i dont have the ease of an e30 swap! sorry for all the open ended questions and also i might add some photos after dinner to see if you guys can spot any problems from the outside!

 

 

kind regards

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

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heres some photos of the bits i have

 

couple of connectors, theres also one of those square ones jammed under the engine so i couldnt get to it

 

SAM_2634_zps251d70b2.jpg

 

 

SAM_2635_zps9f1dff06.jpg

 

 

SAM_2636_zps0c294b7b.jpg

 

 

heres the rocker cover with the 2 runner intake

 

SAM_2637_zps446cdbcc.jpg

 

 

coil pack and diagnostics port? or is this the c101 connector?

 

SAM_2638_zps1ac0b11d.jpg

 

 

02 sensor

 

SAM_2639_zps350f5334.jpg

 

 

header looks similar to m44?

 

SAM_2640_zps7a34a168.jpg

 

oh dearr...

 

SAM_2641_zps21982fcd.jpg

 

 

oil from the number one plug!? ohh dear oh dear

 

 

SAM_2642_zps870cb60f.jpg

 

pulled this off the airbox. flow meter? im using a cone filter. will i need to fit this between the filter and manifold?

 

SAM_2643_zpscec02486.jpg

 

 

ecu plug

 

SAM_2645_zps7781059a.jpg

 

 

huge fan!!

SAM_2646_zps9bbf3138.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

many thanks for any help!

Edited by DaveBMX
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That's a lot of wiring to go through right there. I'm not familiar with the E36 so couldn't tell you if the E30 ecu is a straight swap or not.
I recognise the flow meter as a mass-air-flow meter and would need to go between the throttle body and air filter but I think it’d be easier to pull it all off and go megasquirt with a wideband controller.
The oil down the plug hole is likely to be a bad rocker gasket but defo worth doing a compression/leak down test before you go any further.
Sorry, not much help.

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hey ar_kid! by the way whats your first name? thanks for confirming my thoughts on the flow meter. so you think ditching the stock ecu is a good idea? definately going to give it a compression test!! fingers crossed your right about the rocker gasket  :wacko:

 

 

regards

 

Dave

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It's swings and roundabouts but I suppose it comes down to how much you have to fork out for a stock ecu compared to 400quid or so for Megasquirt & wideband.
I recall you were thinking of going turbo in the future so you'd need an aftermarket ecu to remap for boost anyhow

 

Rgrds Neil
 

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It's swings and roundabouts but I suppose it comes down to how much you have to fork out for a stock ecu compared to 400quid or so for Megasquirt & wideband.

I recall you were thinking of going turbo in the future so you'd need an aftermarket ecu to remap for boost anyhow

 

Rgrds Neil

Thanks Neil! i definately want to go standalone in the future but im spending so much on the car i just need to get the engine to work at the minute haha! i read jakeb's guide and he does mention and shows the m42 wiring but doesntvmention anything about transponders and car keys

Dave

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Here's the deal-

in the Yoo Ess, we got the M42 (which it looks like you have) with OBD1 and no transponding keys, etc.

 

When OBD2 came around, BMW switched to the M44.  And then we mostly only got the ti, with it's 'legacy' components from the E30.

There were some M44 318i's and is's, though.  In the US, the i's got the M42, but had 4 doors.  In the rest of the world, the lack of 's' meant you had 

an M40, which we never got.  

 

Take your valve cover off, and confirm you have the direct acting cam-on-bucket arrangement.  If there are rockers, you have an M44

(I don't think you do, but I've not spent any time with M44's)

 

Oil in the plug holes means you need a new valve cover gasket.  Reinz gaskets seem to do this, in my limited experience.

 

Yes, that's the power steering pump.

 

Yes, the E36 I have has that mondo- sexy fan bolted onto it's front, and a 20 centimeter (yep, almost a foot)

shroud to pull air over the radiator from said fan.  It's a visual indicator that your 325 is 2 cylinders short

of a real engine!

 

That MAF sensor is something we didn't get, at least on the M42- it got the earlier 'flapper door' style engine electronics.

So you may have an OBD2 M42 in that sexy shipping box...

and you certainly won't be able to go back to E30 electronics if that's the case.  I THINK, from hanging around E30318is people,

that the earlier E36 electronics (pre-'95) are darned similar to E30, if not identical.

They DID change for 1-95 production.

 

And your DISA flappy valve IS good for grunt around town- when mine was bad, it had even LESS torque off the line than it does now.

 

hth,

 

t

Edited by TobyB
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Here's the deal-

in the Yoo Ess, we got the M42 (which it looks like you have) with OBD1 and no transponding keys, etc.

 

When OBD2 came around, BMW switched to the M44.  And then we mostly only got the ti, with it's 'legacy' components from the E30.

There were some M44 318i's and is's, though.  In the US, the i's got the M42, but had 4 doors.  In the rest of the world, the lack of 's' meant you had 

an M40, which we never got.  

 

Take your valve cover off, and confirm you have the direct acting cam-on-bucket arrangement.  If there are rockers, you have an M44

(I don't think you do, but I've not spent any time with M44's)

 

Oil in the plug holes means you need a new valve cover gasket.  Reinz gaskets seem to do this, in my limited experience.

 

Yes, that's the power steering pump.

 

Yes, the E36 I have has that mondo- sexy fan bolted onto it's front, and a 20 centimeter (yep, almost a foot)

shroud to pull air over the radiator from said fan.  It's a visual indicator that your 325 is 2 cylinders short

of a real engine!

 

That MAF sensor is something we didn't get, at least on the M42- it got the earlier 'flapper door' style engine electronics.

So you may have an OBD2 M42 in that sexy shipping box...

and you certainly won't be able to go back to E30 electronics if that's the case.  I THINK, from hanging around E30318is people,

that the earlier E36 electronics (pre-'95) are darned similar to E30, if not identical.

They DID change for 1-95 production.

 

And your DISA flappy valve IS good for grunt around town- when mine was bad, it had even LESS torque off the line than it does now.

 

hth,

 

t

 

Sorry for the Slow reply Toby i have been busy on the car! from what you have said and also what i have read elsewhere i think the engine is OBD1. I have ordered a second hand ecu for 7 quid and will give it a shot. if it does require transponder keys then i have read about bypassing the ews so then might have to do that. Will take the vlave cover off tomorrow and let you know if i do indeed have an m42!

 

On another note i now have an e30 318is driveshaft to get it all hooked up. Going to try run an m10 solid flywheel and the e30 318i g240 box i have.

 

 

regards

 

Dave

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leak was from a rubber donut that goes around the spark plug hole which doesnt connect with the gasket. I also have rocker arms which means i have an m44!! wish they had labled that correctly! i find it very strange as to why bmw went back to rocker arms and tappets after using hydraulic lifters!

 

regards

 

 

Dave

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Yeah, I have to admit, that one baffles me, too- but the M44 never had the problems with tappet noise that the M42 sometimes did,

so that might be part of the answer...  

 

So since it's an M44, and that looks like an M44 airflow sensor, you're in the OBD2 world of active keys and talking electronics.

 

I'd head over to someplace like Bummerforums (www.bimmerforums.com) and start trolling the M44 part of the E36 board.

 

The M44's not a bad engine at all- it's just that it's a generation farther into the electronics maze- and there's a big

generation gap between OBD1 and OBD2, in the BMW family.  AND while the M52 and M54 engines got raced quite a bit,

there's support for 'stand- alone' operation for them.  For the M44, not so much, at least as far as I've seen.

 

Sorry,

 

t

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Got myself an m44 ecu with ews box,sensor and a transponder chip off ebay for 51 quid. Also found an e30 m42 upper and lower oil pan. Im going to replace the water pump is there anything else down their i should replacr while im at it? Going to buy a brand new rad and thermostat i reckon. Once ive finished the car i might collate an m44 swap for the faq as i havent found a lot of info on this swap

Dave

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Timing parts.  The plastic guides and the bonded plastic-to-rubber things are limited- lifespan, and when they come apart, it

takes the chain off the sprockets with predictable results.  Tensioner piston, just for good luck.

The chain and sprockets usually hold up ok, it's the guidewear that gives it up.  Spectacularly.

 

Belt tensioner and idlers, too, if it has the idler with the piston- loaded spring- that thing's not so stout, either.

 

t

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Thanks Toby will look into the guides! On doing more research into the obdii ive read that the e36 has a speed sensor in the diff that the ecu uses to set the rev limiter in each gear and with it missing it can tmean weird rpm issues!! Urgh haja

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yeah, I ran into that a couple of weeks ago with the E30- it had a top speed limiter at 125, and I was hitting it

at a really bad place...

 

It's easy to simulate, though- you can mount the toothed wheel on one halfshaft, and the sender on a bracket.

Someone here has done it...

 

Or you can modify the rear 2002 housing.

 

Yes, it's a pain to do, but the benefits are significant.

 

t

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