Starting gremlin

Discussion in 'E9 General Discussion' started by Boobouna, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I went for a cruise today and it nearly didn’t get off the ground as I had a small issue trying to start the car. I had the ignition in position 1 and the oil and alternator lights came on which is good. Then turn to crank and nothing. Literally nothing, no noise no crank, nothing, dead silent. This has happened before so it’s not the first time. After a few fiddles and key turns on and off it finally decided to start cranking and started first crank. But I don’t know why it does this. Not always only occasionally. Any ideas what causes this? It’s an auto with factory twin zenith carbs.


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  2. Wes

    Wes Active Member Site Donor $

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    Reckon your key tumbler is on the way out.
    Had exactly the same issue. have a new one on the way.
     
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  3. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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    Your new one is on the way but have you confirmed 100% this was the cause?


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  4. Philippe db

    Philippe db Active Member

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  5. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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    Is your new one coming from W&N? What year is your car?


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  6. Philippe db

    Philippe db Active Member

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    W&N is only post '73

    The pre 73's as far as I know aren't available anymore. If anybody has a spare I'm always interested.
     
  7. Mot27cars

    Mot27cars Member

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    Check BMW.....I bought new key and key cylinder from bmw last year for 72 Bavaria.
     
  8. milwakeesk

    milwakeesk Member.

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    With an auto, you might check the neutral safety switch.

    Wiggling the shift lever may be enough if the linkage is only off slightly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  9. Mot27cars

    Mot27cars Member

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  10. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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    Yes I thought this was a possibility so I did play around and move the shifter. It didn’t seem to fix the problem. The car started after I had put the key in and out a few times and switching from position 0 to on multiple times.


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  11. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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    My car is Jan 73 build date so I might be lucky.


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  12. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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  13. Wes

    Wes Active Member Site Donor $

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    Yes.
     
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  14. Honolulu

    Honolulu Well-Known Member

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    That you got indicator lights with key in position 1 is a good thing, it tells you that the switch is likely working (at least that far). To go further (without consultation) you might have a look at your wiring diagram and suss out the energy flow from B+ through starter (including the quadrant switch on the gearshift lever) and neutral safety relay. If you understand the current flow, you'll be well on your way to knowing where interrupts may occur (or just read and listen here). I favor the get-to-know-your-wiring-diagram procedure, but that's me.

    Though others have suggested your switch is bad, if you know the current flow, before you drop cash, you can jumper (in USA we call it hotwiring) the ignition, and this would reveal the misbehaving circuit(s). It could be as simple as a contact that needs cleaning, or a wire that's just a little loose enough to be intermittent.
     
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  15. adawil2002

    adawil2002 Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Try pushing the key in as you start the car.
     
  16. Wes

    Wes Active Member Site Donor $

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    Just pull the electrical side of the switch, you release it with a grub screw.
    Then insert a flat blade screw driver in the slot and rotate to the ignition position.
    If the car fires you know it's the key tumbler :)
    Learnt this the hard way.
     
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  17. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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    Wire diagrams and me don’t mix lol.


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  18. Boobouna

    Boobouna Active Member

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    So which part number did you buy?


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  19. Wes

    Wes Active Member Site Donor $

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    I'll dig them out.
    Replaced the key tumbler and the barrel and shaft it slots into.
    There are heaps of them on ebay as they kept using the same part across several models.
    The thing you need to check is what type of electrical switch you have as there are two types.
    Will find the thread.
     
  20. Wes

    Wes Active Member Site Donor $

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