I must be insane

Finally, a home for all you 524td oil burners out there.
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danix
Posts: 267
Joined: Jul 09, 2018 4:10 PM
Location: San Francisco

I must be insane

Post by danix »

Background: I'm the maintainer of audifans.com, the founder and former owner of TDIparts.com (now IDparts.com) and many VW TDIs, current owner of an E30, and crazy enough to have also recently bought an Alfa Romeo.

Completely randomly, I came across a 524td at a local auction. I started researching it and came across the BAT listing https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1985-bmw-524td-2/ and read the comments about these cars. Suddenly I checked the VIN and realized - this is the same car. The car apparently went from Florida to NY, and somehow ended up in San Francisco. I put in a bid and it was accepted.

Drove the car home today (some prayer was involved, I'll explain why).
Car took a long time to start, even allowing for the glow plug light to come on which shouldn't be needed since it's 70+ degrees here.
Got it out on the road, noticed the steering is super heavy (possibly PS bypassed?) and the brake pedal responds but seems harder than it should (possibly brake pressure accumulator?)
Acceleration from a standstill is OK but the engine seems to bog down when you give it more than just a tad of throttle, and people behind me weren't super happy.
I did get it up to 70, seems when it got through the gears it was a bit better, but it definitely had an issue going up hills.

On the overhead panel, warning lights are lit for injection, fuel filter, and coolant (coolant level seems ok).

My plan is to change the oil and filter, service the transmission, change the fuel filter. I have a feeling the turbo isn't coming on at all, and there may be a valve that actuates the turbo like on the TDI engines?

On the plus side, the car is mostly rust free, super clean inside, and still has 48k miles and change (and yes, the miles are legit).

I'm not sure what I plan to do with the car, but the first step is to get this thing running correctly.
cek
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Re: I must be insane

Post by cek »

Another convert. Welcome aboard.
Kyle in NO
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Re: I must be insane

Post by Kyle in NO »

These engines start very poorly if the glow plugs aren’t working. Your should get an amber dash light, followed by a green light when it’s ready to start. Absence of the green light means one or more glow plugs are not functioning. The relay box is right near the fuse panel under the hood. You can easy check your glow plug circuits from there. Make sure also that the fusible link inside isn’t burnt.

Steering and brakes on the E28 chassis are fairly stiff, but work well. Heavy steering may be a pump sucking air, loose belt, or the filter in the reservoir clogged. The brake booster on this car is vacuum operated, via a mechanical pump inside the valve cover, no hydroboost. It would have been a great application for it however, being they already had the system on hand. Odd.

The engine only has 115 hp but should feel peppy, especially by 80’s diesel standards. When running properly, they don’t smoke much and accelerate willingly. Can easily keep up with 70mph traffic. Hills may require a downshift but shouldn’t really lose much speed.

No valve in the turbo system, it’s completely mechanical. Check the fuel system carefully to make sure it’s not getting air into the system and causing all of the complaints.
danix
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Re: I must be insane

Post by danix »

Great suggestions, thanks! Already been bitten by the passenger side hood release not working but I did a search and found the workaround, so the hood is open.
I didn't see a green light after the glow plug light, so it's possible something is up.
There's little/no power at times so it's got to be fuel related I think.

My general impression of the car is that it was well maintained/babied based on the condition under the hood. Let's hope that's true.
gadget73
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Re: I must be insane

Post by gadget73 »

There is a waste gate actuator on the side of the turbo. If the clip falls off the turbo basically stops working since the gate just hangs open. It makes no power but lots of smoke if that happens. Also make sure the rubber couplers on the crossover pipe are tight and not cracked. One of mine was cracked and leaky. Original BMW parts are kind of pricey so if you're not a stickler for OE bits you can get inexpensive silicone couplers for ricey turbo stuff for small money on ebay. Trim to length as needed. I got black ones so they don't look excessively stupid.

half of my glow plugs were open. I looked up the part number and found some guy on Amazon selling sets of six of the proper Bosch plugs targeted for Mercedes engines for a good price. If i don't let the glow plugs do their thing even when its 80+ its hard to start.

These have a timing belt that should be replaced if mileage and age is unknown. I'd do the water pump, thermostat, and timing tension pulley while you're in the area. Lash the valves too, the cover will be off anyway.
danix
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Re: I must be insane

Post by danix »

I'm gathering up supplies to start wrenching on it. In park, when I rev the engine it seems to be bogged down.
In neutral, it seemed freer and I could rev it enough to hear the turbo spool up and down.

The car has 48k miles, yes, original miles.
And because who doesn't love pictures...
Image
Image
Last edited by danix on Jul 10, 2018 11:07 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Kyle in NO
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Re: I must be insane

Post by Kyle in NO »

DO NOT REV THE ENGINE IN PARK OR NEUTRAL. You will smoke the A-clutch pack in the transmission unless an updated rebuild kit has been installed.
danix
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Re: I must be insane

Post by danix »

Wow, never heard of that before. Had to do a search and came across this info on another forum, guessing this applies here:

Caveats about the ZF automatic transmission!

The automatic transmission supplied in the 745I (edit: in the later e24 also) is the ZF 4HP-22 EH. This electronic slush box is a marvel of engineering for it’s time, and is a good match for the turbo motor. It has a flaw however that many owners have discovered the hard way, and I will detail it as best I can.

The problem is that after starting the engine, and selecting any gear, forward or reverse, the front clutch pack in the transmission is pressurized, and that pressure is not bled off when park or neutral are selected.

This will cause premature wear of the clutch plates if the car is idled for long periods after engaging a gear, and can actually burn the clutch plates out if the engine is revved for a period of time. This high rev condition is particularly scary when you consider the process many states require in the process of emissions testing, and also might cause much concern when having the Air Conditioning recharged.

There is a BMW service bulletin (posted in full below) on this phenomenon, to summarize it is permissible to operate the engine at speeds up to 2000 RPM for up to 90 seconds in Park, only if the engine has been shut down for at least 60 seconds, and only if no gear has been engaged after starting the engine. Once shifted into any gear, the clutches pressurize, and stay pressurized until the engine is shut off for a minute or so!

When I go for Emissions or A/C service, I explain the concern to the shop, most have heard of it and are glad to be reminded. I then stay with the car during any high idle operations just to be sure!

I and most other owners swear by synthetic transmission fluid, Mobil1, Amsoil, or Redline. There has been a concern expressed by Brett Anderson, that if the transmission has not been serviced regularly, that the conversion to synthetic could do more harm than good. Apparently a non serviced transmission can have lots of particles floating around and sticking to internal parts of the transmission, and when the change to synthetic loosens all these particles they become a hydraulic abrasive that can cause even worse damage to the transmission. So if you are unable to verify regular service on your trans, you might want to stick to just a good grade of ATF, and change it more frequently.

Many thanks to Jeff Moser, Chris Koch, Prakash Maggan, Brian Mihalka, and Alan Chung for sharing their collective wisdom of this problem.

BMW NA service bulletin # 24 01 91 (3196) dated June 1991

Subject: Transmission Failure during Exhaust Emission Testing

Models: All 1984, 1985, 1986 with 4-speed automatic transmission, 1987 635CSi, 735i, and L7.

Situation: There have been reported isolated cases of automatic transmissions failing during a High Idle Exhaust Emissions Check. The failures have resulted from a preconditioning procedure where the engine is held at high rpm for a prolonged period of time. The following applies to all states which have a High Idle Exhaust Emission Check.

As the internal transmission components experience normal wear over time, the possibility of transmission damage exists if the vehicle is operated for extended periods of time at high rpm in PARK or Neutral. Such operation does not constitute normal operating conditions. If, in exceptional cases such as A/C recharging, injector cleaning, charging system tests, or emissions testing, vehicle operation at high rpm in PARK or Neutral is required the following setup procedure must be performed prior to beginning such operations.

Solution: The emissions test must be conducted with the engine at operating temperature. If the engine is not at operating temperature prior to beginning the test, it is recommended that the vehicle be driven for a short period of time to bring the engine to operating temperature. DO NOT run the vehicle at high idle to achieve operating temperature.

Once the engine has reached operating temperature, the following pretest procedure must be performed BEFORE testing begins.

Setup Procedure for I/M Emission Test

1. Shift to PARK.

2. Turn engine OFF.

3. Wait at least 30 seconds.

4. Restart engine, LEAVE TRANSMISSION IN PARK. After the engine is started, DO NOT move the gear shift selector through the Forward or Reverse gears before or during the test sequence. DO NOT EXCEED 2000 RPM.

5. Begin emissions test procedure.

6. If the vehicle fails the emission test, some states allow for an extended pre-conditioning before the repeat test. In this case the following procedure should be adhered to.

Precondition Procedure

1. Shift into PARK and turn the engine OFF for 30 seconds.

2. Restart engine, LEAVE TRANSMISSION IN PARK.

3. Engine may be preconditioned at a maximum of 2000 RPM for up to 90 seconds, at which time the repeat test must begin.

If the above steps are not followed, serious transmission damage can result.

Note: Due to the unusual nature of the emissions check, this type of failure does not take place under normal operating conditions.

The rebuild with lots of pictures:
http://www.bimmer.info/~rickm/trannyrepairs.htm

If the above link won't open, try the archive from the WayBack Machine:
http://web.archive.org/web/200712290410 ... epairs.htm

Rebuilding the ZF4HP22 in the UK (with mention of "Hanging" in first):
http://www.cowdery.org.uk/zf.php
gadget73
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Re: I must be insane

Post by gadget73 »

That is written for the -EH version, but the non -EH suffers from the same issue. No electronics on it though, it just has a TV cable.
danix
Posts: 267
Joined: Jul 09, 2018 4:10 PM
Location: San Francisco

Re: I must be insane

Post by danix »

Thankfully, there's nothing wrong with the transmission as far as I can tell.
Ordered some parts - air filter, oil filter, fuel filter, glow plugs.
Replaced all the above and the car runs much much better. Archives from this site were very helpful.

In particular the fuel filter had tons of crap in it, even though this car has only gone 3-4k miles on that filter according to the records. I think it sat for a long time.

A/C has been converted to R134a (correctly) but doesn't cool. Any suggestions?

Next I'm going to service the transmission.

I'm not sure what I'm doing with the car long term, so if anyone is seriously interested in an early bite at the car, shoot me a message.
Rob34431
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Location: florida

Re: I must be insane

Post by Rob34431 »

I HAVE 1986 524TD DAILY DRIVER ALL YOUR RUBBER MUST BE REPLACED 33 YRS OLD ALL IS BAD BELTS,HOSES,ALL FUEL COOLANT ECT
SITTING IS WORSE MY DAILY DRIVER LOOKS MUCH NICER ENG BAY. YOUR FUEL HOSES IN TANK NIGHTMARE GOOD LUCK WHEEL WELL
3/8 FEED 5/16 RETURN FUEL FILTER SYSTEM HOSES TO TANK NO LONGER MADE OR AVAILABLE
LIKELY NO YOUR PICKUP IN TANK PUMP IS TOAST ORDER ALL NEW COOLANT BMW OR THE HOSES ARE MOSTLY 7/8 22MM
BLUE OR RED SILICONE AFTER MARKET WHAT WILL BE NEXT RETURN FROM FUEL PUMP BMW PART BY ALL BMW U CAN FIND GOOD LUCK
Rob34431
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Re: I must be insane

Post by Rob34431 »

IF YOUR RUNNING YOUR 33 YEAR OLD TIMING BELT U ARE INSANE LOL
Rob34431
Posts: 9
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Location: florida

Re: I must be insane

Post by Rob34431 »

Daily 524td driver here my oldest son is in Cali want work on BMWs he drives 100,000 X5M and a M3 we built outta my ole 323 i know exactly whats wrong with your car how much you wanna pay your sucking air into your 33 yr old fuel lines
pickup tube ect,ect,ect :D :D :D .
Good News is I have only 524td in Florida Daily driver woo hoo u wanna race for registration 524td vs 524td
What ever you do dont touch the Fuel pump Diesel injection how much u pay for it ??
Kyle in NO
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Re: I must be insane

Post by Kyle in NO »

Is English your primary language??
danix
Posts: 267
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Location: San Francisco

Re: I must be insane

Post by danix »

All valid concerns. I'm still trying to figure out what was done vs what is needed. I can tell you the car easily does 90+mph right now - takes a bit to get there, which is why I'd like to drive another to determine what is normal. New or rebuild injector nozzles will definitely help.
The pump in tank is definitely working. Under hood is immaculate - this car was enthusiast owned for at least part of its life.
Rob34431
Posts: 9
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Location: florida

Re: I must be insane

Post by Rob34431 »

UNDER YOUR HOOD IS NOT IMMACULATE LOOKS LIKE CRAP I HAVE ONE LOOKS MUCH NICER LAY OFF DOPE
Kyle in NO
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Location: Nasty Orleans------> Batten-Rooehjch------>More Souther LA

Re: I must be insane

Post by Kyle in NO »

All valid points. Much appreciated.
ahab
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Re: I must be insane

Post by ahab »

Wait. What? Who's insane? What happened? Who's got the dope? :pics!:


:popcorn:
oldskool
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Re: I must be insane

Post by oldskool »

. . . Holy sheit. . .

We’ve been hacked by the RUSSIANS !!
gadget73
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Re: I must be insane

Post by gadget73 »

Fake news. All of it.
danix
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Re: I must be insane

Post by danix »

randomly came across my own post. The car now has 53k miles and some lucky folks will get to see it at the St. Paddys Day event this year, coronavirus willing.
gadget73
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Re: I must be insane

Post by gadget73 »

Would be interesting to drive the BMW version of this to see how it performs compared to the Lincoln. I think the BMW is lighter, but I don't know if different diff gearing negates that advantage. My Conti is some 3300 lbs and 3.73 rear gears.
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