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  #1  
Old 09-11-2020, 11:16 AM
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Continuing quest to solve stalling issue

I have a weird issue that I've been tracking down to no avail.

It only seems to happen after long multi-hour drives after which we stop and eat in a parking lot.

Upon resuming our drive the car starts stumbling on acceleration, and often stalls out when not enough throttle is given.

Then it's mostly ok after turning off and restarting the car again.

The first time this happened and totally killed the car, #6 spark plugs was totally fouled. Replacing it fixed the issue.

Historically it seemed that changing the spark plugs would avoid the problem returning. Except now I've changed the spark plugs only 2,000 miles ago and they all look fine. No obvious fouling or issues.

The only error code is that the front O2 sensor is out of range. I've changed the sensor 3 times (always brand new Bosch) to no avail.

A compression test does show that #6 is a little low but I wouldn't expect it to be severe enough to cause this issue, especially since it seems to mostly resolve with a restarting of the car.

I've done all the following, and the issue seemed to have gone away and recently returned again. I live in Florida and it's been 90+ degrees lately so maybe climate is a factor?

Replaced Fuel Pump
Replaced Fuel Filter / FPR
Replaced Fuel Injectors
Cleaned MAF with MAF Cleaner
Replaced Intake Side Cam Sensor
Tested all Coils. They all read identically, and 1 is new (probably didn't need to be replaced but I was throwing parts at the car).
Replaced Pre Cat O2 Sensors
Cooling System is running fine. New water pump. New thermostat. New expansion tank. New electric fan. No issues.

My wife doesn't trust the car enough to drive it herself so I'm really trying to figure this out.
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2020, 11:26 AM
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At the age and that you've replaced the intake cam sensor I would replace the exhaust cam sensor but I don't suspect that as your problem.

The type of stumble you describe suggests DISA valve and very close to the mileage when mine went tits up.

I rebuilt mine with aluminum/titanium parts rather than replace with a new one that has the same plastic parts.

It's very Simple to pull the DISA valve and look at the flap.

I had to rebuild wifes as well but rather than spend $75 for the kit I spent $0 using nuts and a bolt I had laying around.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:59 AM
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The Disa Valve seems ok. It has good spring pressure snapping it shut and nothing appears loose.

I pulled it last year to look at it. I just pulled it again because I don't remember what it looked like last time. I replaced the O-ring last year when reinstalling it, I remembered that much.

Given it seems to spring shut when I twist it open and nothing looks damaged, would I assume it's fine? Or is it possible it's getting stuck open when it heats up or something? Seems unlikely but this car is kicking my butt...
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:27 PM
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There is a video on Youtube of a complete renovation of the engine of a mid-2000s 325i. Look for M539 restorations. He replaced lots of parts, particularly on the intake side. That vehicle was also fouling the plugs and his conclusion was that a blockage of the oil return to the dip stick tube caused it. Not sure if the CCV design is the same on a 3.0L e53 but possibly some similar issue?
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:49 PM
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CCV has been replaced and I checked all the passage ways as well so that's probably not it.

I'll look up the videos though might learn something :-)

I'm wondering if it's the MAF... I've cleaned it, but if it's misreading or cleaning didn't help then maybe it's still a problem?

Money is tight so I'm hesitant to throw parts randomly though. Unfortunately I can't find any way to test it for actual accuracy other than trying and seeing if it helps.

Bremi MAF's appear to be around $95 so not totally terrible...

But I'm open to more suggestions!
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:51 PM
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if power cycle fixes the problem it's not likely a part in the sense that it's not a sensor or plug etc.

What you just described is an electronic overheating situation.

The 3.0 doesn't have a fan in the eBox. I'm willing to bet that if you added one your problem will go away.

The trick is trying to reproduce the problem which requires a long hot drive however:

If weather permits (zero chance of rain). Remove the top of the eBox to allow some airflow for cooling.

I'm not sure what reset happens to get something to recalibrate but there are a couple known bugs in the DME including one with the engine core temp that could throw things into disarray.

If there is enough room in the eBox you could put a heatsink inside and outside and the heat can conduct though the screws (use fat aluminum screws).

Not sure why the V8 get eBox cooking not the i6.

Good q on the ccv. Pull the oil fill at idle it should stumble a bit. If it gives you PTSD look for a leaky hose in the ccv or blockage.

Also goes without saying but check all the intake for leaks. Spray butane from unlit torch (maybe even lighter is enough) and watch for rich feedback on O2 sensors.

The hardest part will be trying to reproduce it but if it's hot eBox related open the hood and park with sun on the box. In FLA that should simulate 2 hours of driving in about 10-20 minutes.

Drill a small hole and put a stick thermometer in there to monitor temp.

Most Electronics don't like temps over about 160F.

My theory is you heat up the engine and engine bay from a solid drive that will heat soak the firewall and chassis. Then when you stop to eat, that heat soak comes out and with no moving air you get a temperature spike that makes something electronic go haywire.

I would get some baseline temp inside eBox and then loosen the cap to allow some air flow or even remove it and see if you can 1) reproduce the problem just using sun as a heat source to save needing to drive a couple hours. 2) cool the eBox to see if the problem will go away.

I have read of similar problem with V8 e53 and eBox fan failure what made me think of it. If I'm wrong and 3.0 does have a fan than make sure the fan is working.

I'm not always right but it rounds. Heat won't affect an O2 sensor but it will affect what it's plugged into.

Swap your banks. You should eventually get some error for mismatched bank one/two but with any luck you'll get a repeat of the O2 error you have been getting but on the SAME bank = opposite sensor. That means the problem is in the wiring or the DME.

If I recall correctly the DME is only screwed together you can open up and look for cold solder joints etc also get some deoxit pro gold and treat all the connections in the eBox.

Get the pure stuff with high reviews on Amazon. 5-10ml is a lifetime supply for most people but not the diluted stuff.



Just checked via parts supplier and if 3.0 had a fan it's a different one. I would look into some cooling solution for the eBox but at least you can do some testing to confirm if eBox overheating is your problem.
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:16 PM
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I'm about to replace my MAF. It's perfectly functional I'm just consistently running lean with no known leaks and at 190,000 miles on the clock on the original "it's time".

If the eBox heat isn't the problem I would def be willing to send a working ok MAF to use as a tester once I get my replacement.

I'm 80-90% confident on the eBox heat, and I'll add to my theory: after you rest and allow the eBox to heat up from the heat soak, you drive away which starts to cool off the eBox but with little to no internal air flow it takes a while. By the time you drive a few minutes it will have cooled down but that initial start threw something off like when your get a cylinder misfire.

The eBox cools off just enough that the start up sequence throws no flags and the engine more or less magically runs normally.

Were it my or wife's X doing this I would drill a hole for a thermometer probe and drive the car enough to bring to temp but also heat up the engine bay. Then measure eBox temp. (I have a Bluetooth thermometer so I would cheat a bit here and monitor temp on a graph on my phone).

Then see how hot the eBox gets on a short drive like under 10-15 minutes when it's 90 ambient and during the parking phase.

Then do the same meausurement after a long drive and park. It should go higher and if the temp gets over 160 it's almost for sure the cause.

It is likely still not a for sure thing because breeze and sun will affect tge parking phase so once you have some baseline numbers you can with relative safety heat the eBox parked in the sun hood opened monitoring the temp.

Then say you get baseline of 140. 150 let it heat to 155, 160, 165 and maybe 170 to see if you can reproduce the problem.

More on the theory: I'm thinking the circuit affected is the O2 feedback loop and it could read high or low or open when it goes to hell. So maybe watch on a scanner the live reading (wifi obd dongle and smart phone great for this).

I would not go over 170 for testing even if it gets that high just introduce some cooling and see what the improvement is. (fyi the numbers could be much lower, but it's very rare for temp below 130 to mess with Electronics and usually it's over 160 where problems come in.

Over 180 can damage some Electronics permanently so I would keep at least 10 safety margin. It might be a combination of heat plus time (almost certainly is in fact ) so 150-155 for ten minutes for example so sun heat to 160 but shade it on/off to keep it from climbing but stay 160 for ten minutes as example.

There is one common element to almost every part that's been replaced: they are all connected to the DME that is almost certainly the root of the symptoms. More than likely some part that usedtacould handle 160f fails at 150 for example. And if adding a fan means not replacing DME that's for sure the way to go.

I have SMD soldering skill I would actually try to find the part if possible and swap it. It's likely a tiny simple three legged transistor. 40 part
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:08 PM
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Since you have a low compression reading on one of the cylinder, you basically have a misfire on that cylinders. If you have a scanner that can show you the misfire count I would look at that first. Shutting off the engine reset the misfire count so if the engine cylinder was shut down due to exceeding the allowable misfire count, the count will be 0 when you restart the engine again. This will allow the cylinder to work again until that misfire count is exceeded again.

The stumbling after restarting after a long drive would indicate that the injector(s) could be leaking and the cylinder(s) is/are flooded. I would try a can of techron injector cleaner. Instead of adding it to a full tank I would add it to a half tank or less so it is more concentrated. The other alternative is to bring it in and have an injectors cleaner perform on the engine.

If you have the ability to monitor short term and long term fuel trim that will halp out with the diagnosis.

Here's a Youtuber that was kind enough to upload a video on short term and long term fuel trim for a X5.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHfy2QHfL38
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
If the eBox heat isn't the problem I would def be willing to send a working ok MAF to use as a tester once I get my replacement.

...

simple three legged transistor. 40 part
That's very cool, shoot me a DM when you've got it! And my dad is big into electronics, so he would probably have fun with that lol.

So looking at RealOEM, it does show a part number for the ebox blower. Is there a simple way to confirm if I have one already, and maybe it's crapped out or blocked? The logic certainly makes sense to me.

Back in 03 I had an 88 Camaro that had overheating issues. I had the catalytic converter removed in October... On the very last day we had any significant heat. I sold the car before the following summer so never did find out if it worked. I guess I should get on this diagnosis before summer ends and I end up having to wait till next July LOL.
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upallnight View Post
Since you have a low compression reading on one of the cylinder, you basically have a misfire on that cylinders.
No misfire codes. Only misses I've experienced were when a plug got fouled up, and restarting to reset the missfire count did as you said, so I know how that procedure goes. But new plug and coil and haven't had that issue in a year.

Injectors are new as of a couple months ago. They were indeed leaky but that didn't solve this particular problem. But my car does start up nicely every time without bucking, which is nice.

I reset the Adaptations in INPA today though, with a minor hope and prayer that it simply needs to relearn what life is like without leaky injectors. But I won't hold my breath on that one.
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