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Old 03-08-2007, 01:03 AM   #1
cturrisi
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Default E30 K5 and K7 unloader relay problems

Ok gang,

Need a little help with an electrical problem that I am having with my new to me ‘91 325IX.

The problem: The K5 and K7 unloader relays are never activating (connecting) to allow the items to work with the key in the accessory or run positions.

The way it is suppose to work: With the key in the accessory and run positions, the relays are grounded through the starter solenoid. When the car is starting, battery voltage is sent through the starter solenoid to the relays to “disconnect” them, and once the car is running and no power is being sent to the solenoid, the ground is restored to the relays and they “connect” activating the relays.

What I have done:
1) Tested the starter on the bench, when power is sent to the solenoid, power is also sent to the lead going to the relays. When the starter is not turning, the lead is grounded as it should be.
2) Tested and have continuity from each ground pin at the relays to the starter solenoid.
3) Have power at pin 30, which is the power lead that the relays are “turning on”
4) Have power to pin 86 with the key on
5) Have ground at the relays when the ignition key is off
6) Have power at the relays when the ignition key is on accessory or run (which is the problem)
7) I changed the electrical part of the ignition switch
8) I swapped relays, with known good relays
9) When I “jump” out the relays with wire, everything works as they are suppose to
10) All fuses are good

Any and all ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
- Chris
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Chris T.
'88 M3 w/S50B32 & 6 speed swap
'91 325ix w/S52 swap in progress
'92 325 IP race car
'97 M3 w/6 speed & quaife diff
'95 318ti w/S50 & 6 speed
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:25 AM   #2
ConvertiBen
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Checked fuses?

I'm having this same problem right now. I haven't figured it out yet.

Try pulling k5 and see if everything works on k7 (should be heater controls and power mirrors, if applicable). Then try pulling k7 and see if everything works on k5.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:29 PM   #3
cturrisi
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Fuses are all good, tried just one relay and still nothing works....

Yes, the relays are powering windows/mirrors/blower motor/SRS system, as far as I can tell.

- Chris
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Chris T.
'88 M3 w/S50B32 & 6 speed swap
'91 325ix w/S52 swap in progress
'92 325 IP race car
'97 M3 w/6 speed & quaife diff
'95 318ti w/S50 & 6 speed
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:25 AM   #4
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I have a question.


Is your brake lining light , but very dim?
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:04 PM   #5
cturrisi
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I have performed the tests decribed in this post I found on here and I think that I am having a grounding issue at the starter. I am getting a resistance at pin 11....see below.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by bearing01
You said your coolant light came on. You mean the overhead check relay panel light? When this happened did the "CHECK" orange light also blink on the dash? Or not?

Sounds like your ignition switch died. This switch actually has four switches inside it and one or multiple switches may have died. You could try wiggling your keys in the switch to see if it makes a difference. That or you lost the electrical connection to the starter from the ignition switch.

The switch that powers your radio also powers the check relay panel, windshield whipers and turn signal lights. Therefore, sounds like you got power going to the ignition switch and that particular switch is working.

You got one switch that puts power to the starter motor to activate it. Sounds like this switch is dead.

You got one switch that puts power to the unloader relays and some intstrument cluster stuff like the cluster battery light. If you turn the key on and don't see the dash battery light illuminate then this particular switch is bad. If it's bad then your unloader relay won't get power and your A/C air blower won't work either.

What year is your car? Is it a 325e?

For the 325e:

The engine bay 15 pin diagnostic connector has direct access to the starter motor wire that gets power from the ignition switch. This is pin #11. This is the bottom left hand pin when the half moon flat side is on your left. With the ignition key turned all the way to crank the car you should be able to measure at least 9V on that pin using your digital multimeter. Use engine manifold for your black / -ve meter probe ground. If you don't get this reading then use the chassis for your meter probe ground. If still no voltage then your ignition switch is probably dead. That or the wire going from the ignition switch to the starter motor is broken. If you do got 12V but the starter doesn't crank then you may have connection between the diagnostic connector and ignition switch (good switch) but no connection between diagnostic connector and starter. You'll need to crawl up in under the car and measure the voltage on the starter motor solenoid screw while someone turns the key to start. If no 12V then you know you got a broken wire or bad connection. If you do have 12V but motor still doesn't turn then if the starter has a ground cable then it could be loose or something.

You want to make sure the unloader relays are getting a good connection to this wire going to the starter motor. With the ignition key off you want to pull relay k7 and look on the bottom side to find pin #85. Find the corresponding socket hole for that pin. Now stick a paper clip or something into the hole (I prefere a crimp blade connector) and measure the resistance between that hole and pin #11 on the engine bay diagnostic connector. You should get near zero ohms. If you don't get zero ohms or a low resistance then it is possible your unloader relays lost connection to the starter motor. Maybe bad starter ground or something. This would cause the unloader relays k5 and k7 to stop giving power and everything on fuses 19, 20 and 17 would die. You can do this exact same measurement on the k5 relay just to make sure it is also good/bad.

Check to see if you got power going to the unloader relays. With the k7 (or k5) relay pulled find the socket hole that corresponds to pin #86. Use your multi-meter set to volts to measure the voltage on this pin when the ignition switch/key is turned to run postition. You should get 12V on this pin when using engine for black meter probe ground. If you don't then this ignition switch is bad also.

While you're in there, check to make sure the unloader relays are getting 12V from the battery. Find the socket hole corresponding to pin #30 (on k5 or k7) and measure the voltage on it using engine for meter ground. You should get 12V on it whether the key is on or off.

My guess is that you either got a bad connection from the starter motor to the k5/k7 relays, bad starter motor ground or bad ignition switch.
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Chris T.
'88 M3 w/S50B32 & 6 speed swap
'91 325ix w/S52 swap in progress
'92 325 IP race car
'97 M3 w/6 speed & quaife diff
'95 318ti w/S50 & 6 speed
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:46 PM   #6
cturrisi
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Have you figured out what was causing your electrical problem?

I replaced the ignition switch, which is what several people mentioned was the cause, but that did not solve my problem.

Right now, I have two wires jumping the K5 and K7 relays, so that everything works, just all the time (with key on or off).

Thanks,

- Chris
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Chris T.
'88 M3 w/S50B32 & 6 speed swap
'91 325ix w/S52 swap in progress
'92 325 IP race car
'97 M3 w/6 speed & quaife diff
'95 318ti w/S50 & 6 speed
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:22 AM   #7
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What kind of resistance are you getting measuring between the ground side of the unloaders and pin 11? SOME is unavoiadable. But too much is a problem.

In theory you should be able to crank the engine by moving your jumper from 30 - 87 to 30 - 85.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:06 PM   #8
cturrisi
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Default

Sorry...I missed your response....work has been a little busy lately

I have tracked it down to between connector C101 and the relays, thanks to help from Brett A. from Koala Motorsports.

I am getting a ground at the engine side of the plug, but I am not getting any continuity from the plug to the relay terminals.

I will open the fuse box up this weekend and look a lot closer at the circuit board.

- Chris T
91 325IX
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Chris T.
'88 M3 w/S50B32 & 6 speed swap
'91 325ix w/S52 swap in progress
'92 325 IP race car
'97 M3 w/6 speed & quaife diff
'95 318ti w/S50 & 6 speed
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