Jun 10, 2019 update to the BMW 318is project car

Project BMW 318is: First Start

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: with the engine in, the chassis done and the dash in the car, it was time for that fateful first test drive in our Project BMW 318is. 

If you had guessed that the car would not start, you win the grand prize.

Frustrated, we checked everything once again. We had power to the fuel pump. We had injector pulse, but still the car would not run.

We first suspected coil problems. Rennie Bryant checks them and they tested fine.

We originally suspected some primitive anti-theft system that BMW had started about this time, but could find no evidence of said system.

Our buddy Al Taylor had told us we needed to have the correct main relay and that he had sent us one. However, in our search for the anti-theft system, we ignored his advice and did not replace the main relay, as ours seemed fine. We know.

As the car had been sitting, we also had the ECU checked and rebuilt.

It is funny how we try to make problems too complicated, and how sometimes you can’t see the forest, because the trees block your view.

Desperate to get our 318is running, we took the car to Redline Bimmer Performance. In an hour, they replaced the incorrect relay and found that we had mixed up our fuel and return lines.

The car fired up and ran perfectly after that. And boy, does it run. Despite having a team of experts at our shop, we got frustrated and missed a couple of simple obvious problems.


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View comments on the GRM forums
Ransom PowerDork
6/10/19 10:07 a.m.

Thanks for 'fessing up! It's nice to be reminded that we all do these things...

noddaz SuperDork
6/10/19 11:10 a.m.

Yes indeed!  It is good to see everything is not perfect all the time.

300zxfreak New Reader
6/10/19 2:10 p.m.

I would have been sorely disappointed if it had run the very first try, just way too easy. 

Hoondavan Reader
6/10/19 3:45 p.m.

I reversed the fuel lines on my M42 when I replaced it as well.  The only two lines I didn't label because for some reason i thought it would be obvious what was high-pressure and low-pressure.  The fuel smell and weird sound was a dead giveaway in my case. 

6/10/19 6:50 p.m.

After many a long night build, it's the small things that get you.

KISS, when things go wrong. That brand new O2 sensor? Don't trust it.

Great build, I have been following along. I love a project.

MichaelYount HalfDork
6/10/19 9:06 p.m.

Been a couple of decades now, but I reversed the fuel lines on the 5.0L Ford I had in my 242 Volvo at the time.  Pulled the motor to add heads/cam/intake/exhaust.  The fuel lines were the only thing I didn’t mark.  Was sure I “knew”.  

Agent98 Reader
6/12/19 7:25 p.m.

You guys must have been under the same spell i was when I had to take my HF air compressor head apart 3x because I put the reed valve plate back in backwards then left it on the work bench the second time....

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