1995 E36 328 Coupe - intermittant temp guage

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  1. 1995 E36 328 Coupe - intermittant temp guage 
    #1
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    E36Coupe328's Car Details
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    328 + 325
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    1995 + 1994
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    My temp gauge intermittantly cuts out.
    It can often be brought back by slapping the top of the dash or touching the front of the cluster.

    Additionally sometimes when reading but obviously not quite connecting properly as reading a little low the needle "ticks" with the indicator on so indicating a potential "common earthing" problem

    So questions:
    • Does the dash earth at all through mounting screws / tags or just the loom? (Hardly likely but physically moving the cluster appear to help so asking)
    • Is this a typical fault?
    • If I remove the lower dash do I have a hope of reaching the back of the cluster to see if the connectors are secure?
    • Do these cars take offence at cluster removal if the battery is not connected BUT the ignition is never turned on during the process?
    • Are the clusters tied to the car in any way?
    • And if so are they modular, like you can swap everything but the service module or circuit board but all gauges are free?


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    #2
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    billywhizz1984's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    E36 323i x 3, 325TDS x 1, 320i x 2, 318is x 1
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    1999 x 2, 1998, 1997 x 2, 1996, 1995
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    Before we go over old ground can you list what you have done already, plus what else you have done or had to fix with the car electrics. Any of these things could provide a clue.
     
     

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    #3
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    E36Coupe328's Car Details
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    Electrical changes since the car was purchased December 12th 2009
    • Genuine glovebox torch, Jan 2010
    • After market stereo removed and ebayed, CD43 fitted, Jan 2010
    • Genuine brake light switch, May 2010
    • Offside headlamp bulb, June 2010

    Diagnostics:
    • Slapped dashboard
    • Poked cluster with finger

    Basically questions above are just so I can prepare and get it out and fixed rather than have exploratory surgery and then put it back together till I have parts and / or trip the air bag light.


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    #4
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    Me thinks I should try that cluster test mode thing, as if that works perfectly, and is self contained, when the gauge is not otherwise working that would imply the connection I think.


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    #5
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    Model of Car:
    E36 323i x 3, 325TDS x 1, 320i x 2, 318is x 1
    Year of Manufacture:
    1999 x 2, 1998, 1997 x 2, 1996, 1995
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    Worth trying that first.

    Does the dash earth at all through mounting screws / tags or just the loom? Loom
    Is this a typical fault? Yes
    If I remove the lower dash do I have a hope of reaching the back of the cluster to see if the connectors are secure? Yes, but only if you have thin arms!
    Do these cars take offence at cluster removal if the battery is not connected BUT the ignition is never turned on during the process? No
    Are the clusters tied to the car in any way? Only by the 3 plus
    And if so are they modular, like you can swap everything but the service module or circuit board but all gauges are free? Yes, but its not easy

    This will help you understand what is behind the instruments...

    http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...-guide-t38712/

    you can get the clocks out without taking the wheel off...

    http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...cement-t59804/

     
     

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to billywhizz1984 For This Useful Post:

    karl318is (16-11-2010)

  9.  
    #6
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    Is this a typical fault? Yes
    Ah so is checking the plugs a non starter really as this is usually resolved with a cluster swap?

    Are the clusters tied to the car in any way? Only by the 3 plus
    I've read something about having to use higher mileage ones and a chip you swap if moving the cluster, that's what I meant by "tied to" (should have said matched)

    And if so are they modular, like you can swap everything but the service module or circuit board but all gauges are free? Yes, but its not easy
    Is it typically a gauge unit board, loose / dry solder joint or what? Best guess or a few descriptive words appreciated as I don't know how the clocks attach to the board having not seen inside yet.

    Found those vids of yours while having a scout on you tube for the this, cheers


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    #7
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    Got in the car this morning ant turned the ignition and the temp needle parked at cold.

    http://www.atcy66.dsl.pipex.com/bmw/...terWorking.wmv

    Had stopped working by the time I got to work

    http://www.atcy66.dsl.pipex.com/bmw/...sterBroken.wmv


    So guess that proves it. Internal cluster issue. Probably around an earth as that is the only thing I can see in common with an indicator light.
    Anyone got any cluster dismatling info? These things soldered / screwed / elastomer?


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  11.  
    #8
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    TheEnd's Car Details
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    They just clip into 2 pieces after a few screws are removed.


    http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...-dials-t50353/
     
     

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    #9
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    Ah right so temp is in on 3 pegs so either loose connector on the pegs, dry joint or faulty gauge unit.


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    #10
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    Yep, or one or the back connector plugs.
    They operate in a strange locking fashion, there is a lever that folds over on each side, and is held in place by a tab directly on the back of the plug.
    press the tab and you can pull the lever back, and as you do so, it lifts the plug out of the back of the cluster.

    you may need to pull the clocks forward, get out and look down through the windscreen as space is limited.
     
     

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