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deschodt

Bimmer hosed my wife again

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(edited)

She has the worst luck with my 2002. This car has been with me 12 years and never once broke down...for me. My wife drives it twice this year, first time the clutch snaps in the middle of the busiest intersection EVER, this time she's calling me from the side of the road (she took it as her car is in the shop) saying it's running like shit and not pulling at all... Off to the rescue....

 

Because my gas gauge - despite recalibration - is only moderately accurate, I first tried some fresh gas. Nope... Had to pull over again before making it home, running really rough and exhaust farting... If it's not fuel it's electrical so I checked the EFI computer connections, nope, looked on the other side and .... surprise, the #2 spark plug wire fell off and was danging over the manifold... Man that stuff is HOT and hard to put back in when your fingers are almost touching a burning metal pipe 😉  Vroom..

 

So part of me is happy I was able to fix a small issue and the car is OK, part of me is annoyed because those spark plug wires were sold to me as "the best for the car" - and are brand new as of a few months ago - clearly the shitty ones that were on for the past 10y never fell out... The new ones did ! 

 

They're of the long bakelite tube type, and the end "threads" a bit on the plug end, but really there is *no support* of any kind for the long tube/wire to stay in place. I can see it doing that again (falling off). In hindsight I wonder if there shouldn't be a rubbery (non melting) gasket/cap of sorts to holds that tube in the head more securely, or something... it would also prevent crud from falling into the plug hole when replacing them... Can someone please recommend a wire that will never fall off short of a nearby nuclear blast ? Wife is losing faith in the orange beast... 73MY base car with EFI if it matters. 

 

PS: pic of what I mean attached, 911 plug wires (top pic) for instance have that "cap" that secures the plug better than the 2002 wires I have (bottom) and are free floating in the head. 

91160905040.jpg

plugbimmer.jpg

Edited by deschodt

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Anytime I want to test a vehicle I have my wife drive it.  It's amazing how she can make check engine lights come on or noises start out of no where.  It's been that way for years and years, it's weird.

  • Haha 6

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12 minutes ago, deschodt said:

Can someone please recommend a wire


I like my 8mm Kingsborne wires.

 

I bought Bremi wires initially, because I liked the little rubber boots on the ends of the bakelite pieces.

Two of those wires were faulty though, so I tried the Kingsborne set.

 

Securing the wires back to the head will help keep them in place.  I like the hardware-store rubber-lined conduit-clamps, for less than a buck a piece.  The back one is a one inch and the one in front is three quarters. 

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I used a five eighths clamp for the fuel line at the back of the manifold.

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Good idea on the clamps...  I will do that instead, probably. What;s odd is the old wires never were clamped and never moved. Thanks ! 

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8 minutes ago, deschodt said:

Good idea on the clamps...  I will do that instead, probably. What;s odd is the old wires never were clamped and never moved. Thanks ! 

 

Are you sure the bakelite ends were fully pushed onto the threaded plug ends?  On my wires with those same type of BERU bakelite ends, it takes a bit of force to push them onto the plugs and also to remove them.  I've never had them just come off.

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If you look down the plug end there should be a "hairclip" on the contact some times they come off leaving nothing but gravity holding the end on the plug. 

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(edited)
1 hour ago, 02princessLisa said:

LOL don’t blame your wives! emoji1.png

 

I don't understand.😛

Edited by dang
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The factory thoughtfully provided metal clips that fasten under two of the valve cover nuts on the exhaust side that are supposed to hold the plug wires in place--they came with vinyl anti-chafe sleeves; apparently both were lost in the shuffle from a PO.  Mintgrun's clips are a perfect replacement!  Wish I had thought of that!

 

cheers

mike

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1 hour ago, JohnS said:

 

Are you sure the bakelite ends were fully pushed onto the threaded plug ends?  On my wires with those same type of BERU bakelite ends, it takes a bit of force to push them onto the plugs and also to remove them.  I've never had them just come off.

Thought of the above post at first. They do take a bit to make sure they are on. I have been happy with Kingsborne wires.  They are still the Bakelite type, but Commuting or autocross, no problems for me. http://kingsborne.com/

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Also, the reason the Porsche (and VW) have those “caps” is to seal the hole and not let precious cooling air escape. They do nothing to hold it on. 

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Who's blaming their wives? Just an observation that my car(s) always seem to break down in the hands of other people 😉 If anything she's blaming me for some reason...   You should have heard the rant when the clutch went at rush hour mid intersection !

 

>Are you sure the bakelite ends were fully pushed onto the threaded plug ends? 

 

Certain, the car ran fine for 2-3 months.. This just happened on today's commute, I guess a bump on the road. I will use those clips, or make some to lend the wire end some support. Had no idea they even existed, never had them.

 

Side note, I've ran 912s and 356s on 3 cylinders many many times due to bad carbs. You notice it but it's not disabling. My 02 did not like that one bit by comparison, it was completely refusing to accelerate... Anyway all good now... 

 

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(edited)

Follow Tom's lead. This was not a common problem when the cars were new -- they had plenty of other issues, but not this one.  That's because '02's had spark plug wire clamps, many like Tom's, but also some other forms, which have been discarded along the way.  With the wires just hanging out there in space, this is bound to happen.

 

Below: my '76 in August 1983 (earliest surviving photo of the engine compartment), my ‘76 today, my '73 today, and a factory photo of an early 2002tii (ca. April 1971?).

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

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Edited by Conserv

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I like the Accel high perf universal wire kits.  They're cheap.  You can get them in various colors, cut them to whatever length you want, crimp them yourself, and they fit tight on the plugs.  If you buy a kit for an 8 cylinder, you have enough to do two sets.  

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2 hours ago, 02princessLisa said:

LOL don’t blame your wives! emoji1.png

 

Oh dude.  My wife and I have an understanding; she's good at breaking things and I'm good at fixing things.

 

And since I have the engineering degree and she doesn't, when I break something I'm finding the limitations of the system- when she does it she's just breaking things.

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