Continuous Issues re eBrake and Windows

scottevest

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,699
Reaction score
351
Location
Ketchum, Idaho
For years, the consistent issues I have had relate to:
  • eBrake - simply stated, my eBrake does not hold, despite having brought it in several times to some qualified mechanics. Most recently, they said "my cables were bad." Seems odd. I have posted here on this issue multiple times, and got lots of advice which I have conveyed to the mechanics, but one last time if you have any thoughts, let me know. Seems this should be easy. For now, I am parking in gear, but that doesn't always hold on steep hills.
  • Window switches - I finally got all my window switches working properly, but recently brought my coupe in to adjust center console and get sun roof switch to attach better. All were working, but when I got the car back, the passenger windows were not working, nor the sunroof. I feel this is just an adjustment that needs to be made that got out of line when they did the adjustment, but shop is convinced, again, I need NEW switches. Does this make sense?
Unrelated to above, are the other issues I am having:
  • Fan in engine making noises. After I replaced the fuses, I heard my fan for the first time in awhile, but making awful noises. I assume this is a simple adjustment.
  • Alternator - It is testing at ~13 volts. I was told to "the best test is to run a long jumper wire from the battery to the alternator to check if the voltage increases. The junction box loses power. Check your voltage regulator to make sure it is keeping the alternator charging the battery. Should be 14.4 volts when the car is running. https://www.facebook.com/groups/bmwe9/permalink/2732887543523100/ - Any thoughts on best place/way to test this.

Thanks!
 

teahead

aka "Rob"
Site Donor $
Messages
5,240
Reaction score
1,310
Location
Tacoma, WA, USA
Switch out a working window switch w/the non-working passenger side.

As far as the other issues...*scratching head*.
 

Ohmess

I wanna DRIVE!
Site Donor
Messages
3,829
Reaction score
1,578
Location
Aiken, SC
First thought - don't go to facebook for advice on an e9. This place is chock full of people who know e9s well. Facebook is not.

As to the ebrake, several obvious possibilities come to mind. First, the parking brake is not adjusted correctly. Secondly, the parking brake cable may be strecthed to the point where it no longer exerts enough pressure on the brake shoes. This is actually a subset of the first issue as it should become apparent when adjusting the parking brake. The other obvious possibility is that the shoes within the brake itself may be worn out and in need of replacement. That can happen if you drive with the parking brake on. All that said, the most likely culprit is an incorrect adjustment.

As to the window switches, the problem probably arose from whoever last worked on them. Given that you just had someone messing around with something you call a "console adjustment", it is likely that they disconnected the switches and improperly reconnected them. You can evaluate this yourself. The four connections on the switches are numbered, and the wiring diagram in your owners manual shows the wiring to each terminal on each switch. This is tedious, but not complicated.

There are two fans in the engine bay. Given this problem arose after you replaced fuses, it would seem that your issue is associated with the auxilliary fan in front of the radiator which is initiated electrically by the A/C temperature switch. Try turning this switch all the way counterclockwise (thereby turning off your air conditioning), start the car and let us know if you still hear the noise.

At to the alternator, without regard to the facebook jibberish, our cars are wired with huge red wire going from the alternator to the battery (this is how the alternator charges the battery), so I don't know what a "jumper" will tell you, and if you are looking to facebook on how to do this I strongly suggest you don't attempt to do whatever it is they are suggesting. Please describe what problems you are having and detail how you tested the alternator voltage. We'll go from there.
 

JFENG

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
2,806
Reaction score
1,170
Location
Bahston (Boston)
qualified mechanics
I would question that assessment…

The parking brake is a pretty damn simple setup on an e9 with rear disc brakes.
The entire system can be replaced for maybe $300 in parts and 2-3 hours of shop time should be all it takes to have a rock solid hand brake that holds on a steep hill. IMHO, the parking brake is the simplest part of the entire braking system to R&R as it doesn’t involve hydraulics/seals/proportioning valves etc. it’s just simple mechanical stuff.

Find a more competent shop.

fan noise: I’ll bet your fan bearings are shot due to lack of use.

John
 

JFENG

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
2,806
Reaction score
1,170
Location
Bahston (Boston)
I agree, but that's probably tough to do in Ketchum, ID.

With very few exceptions, a shop needs a population base of millions in order support a business made up of specific and obscure 50 year old cars.
Except the hand brake in an E9 is so simple that I’d think ANY good old school mechanic should be able to figure them out in 15 min ( excluding the handle pivot upgrade). There is nothing obscure about the system (unlike so many other E9 subsystems). IIRC, fixing a stuck handbrake cable was the first repair I did as a kid in my first BMW (E3). Aa result, my first tools, after some vise grips, were a pair of 10mm combination wrenches from a truck with “MAC” stenciled on the side. Shortly thereafter came a 13mm wrench then a 17/19 and then some cheap sockets.

Scott, don’t you have kids or a sympathetic SO who could be convinced to learn some basic shade tree mechanical skills?
John
 

scottevest

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,699
Reaction score
351
Location
Ketchum, Idaho
First thought - don't go to facebook for advice on an e9. This place is chock full of people who know e9s well. Facebook is not.

As to the ebrake, several obvious possibilities come to mind. First, the parking brake is not adjusted correctly. Secondly, the parking brake cable may be strecthed to the point where it no longer exerts enough pressure on the brake shoes. This is actually a subset of the first issue as it should become apparent when adjusting the parking brake. The other obvious possibility is that the shoes within the brake itself may be worn out and in need of replacement. That can happen if you drive with the parking brake on. All that said, the most likely culprit is an incorrect adjustment.

As to the window switches, the problem probably arose from whoever last worked on them. Given that you just had someone messing around with something you call a "console adjustment", it is likely that they disconnected the switches and improperly reconnected them. You can evaluate this yourself. The four connections on the switches are numbered, and the wiring diagram in your owners manual shows the wiring to each terminal on each switch. This is tedious, but not complicated.

There are two fans in the engine bay. Given this problem arose after you replaced fuses, it would seem that your issue is associated with the auxilliary fan in front of the radiator which is initiated electrically by the A/C temperature switch. Try turning this switch all the way counterclockwise (thereby turning off your air conditioning), start the car and let us know if you still hear the noise.

At to the alternator, without regard to the facebook jibberish, our cars are wired with huge red wire going from the alternator to the battery (this is how the alternator charges the battery), so I don't know what a "jumper" will tell you, and if you are looking to facebook on how to do this I strongly suggest you don't attempt to do whatever it is they are suggesting. Please describe what problems you are having and detail how you tested the alternator voltage. We'll go from there.
I made this short video showing the issues. BTW< the alternator advice came from the guy the sold me the refurbished alternator, not from Facebook

 

HB Chris

Moderator
Site Donor $$
Messages
16,100
Reaction score
5,388
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
On a 74 there are no spades where wires can get mixed up, the wires are in a bakelite plug, just snap them in by unzipping shift boot and pushing plugs up into the switches. Make sure they are plugged in, if a rear one is unplugged front switch won’t work either. Your cooling fan is hitting something, look down there, are there marks on the fan, it should spin freely when cool, and motor is off. Check fuses again for radio and sunroof, turn them, move them about to be sure there is a clean contact.
 
Last edited:

bavbob

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
2,483
Reaction score
961
Location
Boston, Ma
Switches can be taken apart and cleaned and you can use an emory board to clean the contacts. These switches are SUPER easy to take apart and there is nothing inside them that is complex. It's harder to take them out of the console than to open them up.

Sunroof switch.....there are 3 wires and 4 spades so it is not hard to get these screwed up. Hook it up wrong and it does not work, another way and the roof closes when the switch is pushed back, another way and it closes when the switch is pushed forward.
 

Ohmess

I wanna DRIVE!
Site Donor
Messages
3,829
Reaction score
1,578
Location
Aiken, SC
FYI< the red alternator light goes off after driving about 3-5 minutes, so not sure if it is an issue.
Yes, that is an issue. The red light indicates the car is drawing more juice from the battery than from the alternator. This should not happen while the engine is running. One simple thing to check is whether the belt is tight. Within a certain range, the alternator will work, but be less efficient. The second thing, assuming the belt is tight, would be to replace the voltage regulator. These are inexpensive and simple to replace.

More broadly, you seem to be running into a lot of issues after having work done on your car. And many of the issues you encounter are not unique to our cars.

Given that you don't do your own work, I would think you need to develop a relationship with a mechanic and stick with it. Any decent mechanic should be able to handle the ebrake system and/or the electrical systems on these cars. Don't shop for the cheapest place to get these done; use these easier repairs to establish a relationship with a good mechanic and pay him what he is worth.
 

scottevest

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,699
Reaction score
351
Location
Ketchum, Idaho
Yes, that is an issue. The red light indicates the car is drawing more juice from the battery than from the alternator. This should not happen while the engine is running. One simple thing to check is whether the belt is tight. Within a certain range, the alternator will work, but be less efficient. The second thing, assuming the belt is tight, would be to replace the voltage regulator. These are inexpensive and simple to replace.

More broadly, you seem to be running into a lot of issues after having work done on your car. And many of the issues you encounter are not unique to our cars.

Given that you don't do your own work, I would think you need to develop a relationship with a mechanic and stick with it. Any decent mechanic should be able to handle the ebrake system and/or the electrical systems on these cars. Don't shop for the cheapest place to get these done; use these easier repairs to establish a relationship with a good mechanic and pay him what he is worth.
Chris, I agree completely. Most of my issues seem to happen/arise after it comes back from a shop. I never shop for price, but have very limited choices here in my town, Ketchum, Idaho. The last guy just was supposed to install the radio but helped on some other stuff. My regular go to guy, changes shops recently, and trying to reach out to him to continue working on more complicated things. However, I have had MANY people including Bill Arnold try to fix the eBrake, all of which said it was fixed until I tried it....
 

scottevest

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,699
Reaction score
351
Location
Ketchum, Idaho
Again, thanks much for all your help. Bringing MY BABY in next week, with the list below. I forgot to answer about the fan noise. I tried turning the AC to off, but the noise still persists, but it is intermittent now. The big red fan does not flow freely as it is tight, but when running I don't see it hitting anything so it must be from the other fan in front of the radiator, which I can't see. It occurred to me that several months ago, I had the same issue where it made a HORRIBLE noise, much worse than now but similar but went way. I honestly thought the entire car was falling apart it was so bad.

Lastly, the information I got about the alternator and jumper was from the guy on eBay that I bought the refurbished alternator from, who seemed to know what he was talking about. The red light goes off within 5 minutes of driving. Is this a big deal, or can I ignore?

Hopefully, with the clear list below from you guys, these issues will be resolved. Thanks so very much. I can't tell you how much I truly appreciate this forum.




o Passenger Windows and sunroof switches not operational


Switches can be taken apart and cleaned and you can use an emory board to clean the contacts. These switches are SUPER easy to take apart and there is nothing inside them that is complex. It's harder to take them out of the console than to open them up.

Sunroof switch.....there are 3 wires and 4 spades so it is not hard to get these screwed up. Hook it up wrong and it does not work, another way and the roof closes when the switch is pushed back, another way and it closes when the switch is pushed forward.

On a 74 there are no spades where wires can get mixed up, the wires are in a bakelite plug, just snap them in by unzipping shift boot and pushing plugs up into the switches. Make sure they are plugged in, if a rear one is unplugged front switch won’t work either.

As to the window switches, the problem probably arose from whoever last worked on them. Given that you just had someone messing around with something you call a "console adjustment", it is likely that they disconnected the switches and improperly reconnected them. You can evaluate this yourself. The four connections on the switches are numbered, and the wiring diagram in your owners manual shows the wiring to each terminal on each switch. This is tedious, but not complicated.

o Fan in engine making noises. Needs adjustment


fan noise: I’ll bet your fan bearings are shot due to lack of use.

There are two fans in the engine bay. Given this problem arose after you replaced fuses, it would seem that your issue is associated with the auxiliary fan in front of the radiator which is initiated electrically by the A/C temperature switch. Try turning this switch all the way counterclockwise (thereby turning off your air conditioning), start the car and let us know if you still hear the noise.

Your cooling fan is hitting something, look down there, are there marks on the fan, it should spin freely when cool, and motor is off. Check fuses again for radio and sunroof, turn them, move them about to be sure there is a clean contact.

o E Brake needs attention - does not work --need cables


As to the ebrake, several obvious possibilities come to mind. First, the parking brake is not adjusted correctly. Secondly, the parking brake cable may be strecthed to the point where it no longer exerts enough pressure on the brake shoes. This is actually a subset of the first issue as it should become apparent when adjusting the parking brake. The other obvious possibility is that the shoes within the brake itself may be worn out and in need of replacement. That can happen if you drive with the parking brake on. All that said, the most likely culprit is an incorrect adjustment.

As to the ebrake, several obvious possibilities come to mind. First, the parking brake is not adjusted correctly. Secondly, the parking brake cable may be stretched to the point where it no longer exerts enough pressure on the brake shoes. This is actually a subset of the first issue as it should become apparent when adjusting the parking brake. The other obvious possibility is that the shoes within the brake itself may be worn out and in need of replacement. That can happen if you drive with the parking brake on. All that said, the most likely culprit is an incorrect adjustment.

o Becker radio so lights go on? Just power, not needing to work

o Alternator -
Test to see if putting off the right power: the best test is to run a long jumper wire from the battery to the alternator to check if the voltage increases. The junction box loses power. Check your voltage regulator to make sure it is keeping the alternator charging the battery. Should be 14.4 volts when the car is running. https://www.facebook.com/groups/bmwe9/permalink/2732887543523100/

Yes, that is an issue. The red light indicates the car is drawing more juice from the battery than from the alternator. This should not happen while the engine is running. One simple thing to check is whether the belt is tight. Within a certain range, the alternator will work, but be less efficient. The second thing, assuming the belt is tight, would be to replace the voltage regulator. These are inexpensive and simple to replace.


At to the alternator, without regard to the facebook jibberish, our cars are wired with huge red wire going from the alternator to the battery (this is how the alternator charges the battery), so I don't know what a "jumper" will tell you, and if you are looking to facebook on how to do this I strongly suggest you don't attempt to do whatever it is they are suggesting. Please describe what problems you are having and detail how you tested the alternator voltage. We'll go from there.
 

Dick Steinkamp

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,325
Reaction score
1,312
Location
Bellingham, WA
I don't think I'd include all those suggestions for each item.

For example "E brake does not work - needs cables". The tech may just replace the cables whether it needs them or not based on what he feels are instructions from you. What if they don't need replacing and are not the problem? Let him troubleshoot the system and determine what it needs.

The fan(s) may or may not need adjustment. It may be the AC fan in front of the rad or the engine driven fan. It may not be a fan at all but rather a PS pump, alternator, AC compressor, fan belt, timing chain or water pump making noise.

I wouldn't tell the tech how to troubleshoot the electrical system. If he doesn't know how to do this he is the wrong guy to work on the car.

I would not get the radio to power up until you have it hooked to the proper speakers. Otherwise it is a sure way to fry the radio.
 

scottevest

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,699
Reaction score
351
Location
Ketchum, Idaho
Dropped car off yesterday. Got a call this am. "A bolt holding your alternator is missing, causing the fan to hit." I suspect this is what caused the issue a year ago when the car was rattling like crazy for 5 minutes, and why the red light is on. Glad this will be resolved.
 

scottevest

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,699
Reaction score
351
Location
Ketchum, Idaho
OMG Picked up my car. It has never run better. The windows go up and down faster than I have ever seen almost as fast as a modern car. I suspect the alternator has been causing problems perhaps for years. The shop that did the restoration had a lot of difficulty with it and I don’t think you properly attached it but I don’t know. In any event the red light no longer goes on when I start the car and all the windows work. They had to replace the window buttons which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me as they were working fine before I brought it in last. They did say I need new Jets I believe for the carburetors, cable service for the emergency brake as well as a new antenna. I am going to start searching for those bits and pieces tomorrow. Seriously, the car is running amazingly well. Thank you all for your advice and help throughout this process. I really appreciate all of you.
 
Top