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Hi all,
I am the proud new owner of a 1993 Euro M5 3.8 with 61k miles. I had been looking for a while! The car was a direct import (still has the smiley headlights, original mirrors, cats, etc) from a Polish ambassador. Apparently, the importing person had some sort of diplomatic privilege that allowed them to circumvent the standard importation process. I was told the cars speedometer face plate was changed in Poland before being exported and a code plug from a 1993 530i was installed. The code plug has this VIN: GE83905. This code plug of course is the wrong one and, although the odometer is correct, the Speedometer and Tachometer read to low, the oil temp gauge doesnt work, the CEL doesnt illuminate, etc. So could anyone give me a part number for the proper plug? I am assuming the best plug would come from a UK based M5 3.8 model?
I am having a high speed rhythmic hesitation that occurs at speeds above 65 MPH on the highway. It feels as if the brakes are being quickly yet lightly applied and then released just as fast. This can only be felt in the seat of the pants. It is no doubt an engine related hesitation as the brakes are new and functioning properly. This engine hesitation or miss occurs only with a steady throttle and goes away whenever I am coasting or accelerating. New in the last 7k miles are plugs and valve adjustment. The car passed Massachusetts state emissions with flying colors.
I have a few (OK a lot) of other questions, but dont want to wear out my welcome! I look forward to being an active contributor to the list.
Regards,



Ed in Boston
 

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Welcome Ed. As one who is not an M5 owner (the owner of a mere 1995 E34 M540i) I am not able to answer the questions you have.

However, there are many on this board who may be able to and who will also welcome you here.

Kind regards
 

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Hi!!!
Welcome to the board!!
Mileage? It could be time for a throttle adjustment, there`s 6 separate throttle bodies and if these are slightly unsynchronised it could be presented as slight jerkiness.

Hope it sorts out easily
:cheers:
Sakke
 

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Point8 - welcome to the board. I think you will find it extremely useful - I have learnt alot from these guys.
 

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Point8
Welcome to the board.
I would get the car to a specialist or a friendly dealer (If indeed such a beast exists) & explain to them what is occuring.
Its difficult for anyone to offer a solution to this one.
I have never heard of this type of change taking place & cant understand what the intention is behind changing a code code plug from another vehicle.

What has been done to your car does not make any sense & there is no ASC or DSC on your vehicle so the feel of unitentional intermittant application of brakes is odd.

The engine & chasis number should be all that is reqd to get the correct part to allow proper function of the instruments. Only then can you start to work with the vehicle to eliminate the faults.

Not much help on this one, but most other things that happen with these cars can be answered by the Guys from a round the world who have amassed huge collective knowledge.

They have taught me loads & I continue to learn as each day passes.

Good luck

Farrell
 

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Welcome Ed.Our friends overseas have not had to experience what you're describing re:the effects of federalization of the euro m5.I too have a 3.8 with speedometer,tach. and oil temperature guage dysfunction.The oil temp guage behaves like a mpg guage and swings from side to side depending on idle or acceleration.I too have searched and read that it was a coding plug issue.My parts guy showed the coding plug NLA so I tried an uncoded plug with hopes that BMW dealer could download info off of mine.Effect:speedo unchanged,tach. better,oil temp not working still.Service tech was to contact BMWNA for assistance but so far,none.As to your other problem with intermittent hesitation,I did have something similar and different:a hesitation or missing-type sensation under low-load and also a very startling braking sensation at 50-70 mph like you describe but with gas pedal feeling like it pulled away from my foot!Both have been corrected by disabling the cruise control and the top-speed governor and the low-speed hesitation resolved by disconnecting the O2 sensor.This website has been incredibly helpful as these cars seem to share so many of the same problems.I hope this helps,Vic
 

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Ed

On the instrument cluster issue, I suspect what you really need is an entire cluster out of a UK M5 of similar year (or maybe a 3.6 cluster from the US). Due to the varying specs of Euro/US/UK M5's, it is likely to be the only one that will solve the problem

To recap, you need a cluster that reads all the M5 specific info in MPH, gallons etc.

US imports need to be LHD so only the Euro cars are an option, but they all come with km/h litres etc cluster.

For federalisation, you had to convert to mph etc. The UK cars have a cluster that should meet your requirements.

Changing just the coding plug will not solve the issue, as the needles will then read to where the points were marked on the speedo/rev counter etc on a UK spec cluster, which may not be the same as on your converted cluster.

From what I am told, provided the colour of the board at the back of the cluster is the same as that originally in yours (likely to be blue), then you can swap a cluster in (very simple job). The cluster should come with the appropriate coding plug.

I am not sure about the availability of the clusters in the UK, but they pop up on EBay in Germany all the time (but no good to you!).

Similarly, if you could get a cluster from a wrecked M5 in the US, it might also solve the problem.

They are still available new, but at considerable expense. Still, to sort the car, it might be worth it.

If you want to obtain a VIN for a UK 3.8 5 speed M5, look at the following site:

http://www.bmwmregistry.com/models.php?id=24

Finally, if someone knew how to recalibrate the needles to suit the cluster, it could solve many of these problems, without the need to buy new clusters!

Kind regards
 

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Welcome to the board and to M5 ownership.cherrsagai

I have a question for some of the others with federalized M5's. Take a look where your ECU resides, under the plastic cap with 4 screws on the passenger side near the firewall. When I unscrewed mine I was suprised to notice a variac looking device that has a wiring diagram and says "Timing Adjustment." This has to be a product of the federalization process. My car seems to run fine with no flat spots, so I feel lucky. This box however has always made me wonder. Whoever installed it spent some time doing it as it is nicely done. My car was probably imported in mid 2002. Here is a pic.



Thanks for any ideas,

Greg
 

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kupkake said:
Welcome Ed.Our friends overseas have not had to experience what you're describing re:the effects of federalization of the euro m5.I too have a 3.8 with speedometer,tach. and oil temperature guage dysfunction.The oil temp guage behaves like a mpg guage and swings from side to side depending on idle or acceleration.I too have searched and read that it was a coding plug issue.My parts guy showed the coding plug NLA so I tried an uncoded plug with hopes that BMW dealer could download info off of mine.Effect:speedo unchanged,tach. better,oil temp not working still.Service tech was to contact BMWNA for assistance but so far,none.As to your other problem with intermittent hesitation,I did have something similar and different:a hesitation or missing-type sensation under low-load and also a very startling braking sensation at 50-70 mph like you describe but with gas pedal feeling like it pulled away from my foot!Both have been corrected by disabling the cruise control and the top-speed governor and the low-speed hesitation resolved by disconnecting the O2 sensor.This website has been incredibly helpful as these cars seem to share so many of the same problems.I hope this helps,Vic
Hi!
I too had that astounding feeling of braking sometimes and that the gas pedal puled away, that showed to be the top-speed governor as in your case.
The problem point8 describes seems to be more discrete though and seemingly Engine management/throttle related. As i understand it there wasn`t that much done to the car prior to the import either.

One question though, Your low speed hesitation problem solved by disconnecting the o2 sensor? Sounds a bit odd, that should result in the ECU setting it self to the "emergency/reserve" program and result in clearly suboptimal engine management and poor mileage?

:flag:
Sakke
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to everyone for your ideas and welcome.

Well, I discconected the top speed limiter but it didn't have any effect on the hesitation.... It almost feels like I am driving into stiff headwind, then it dissapates, then it re-occurs... but it isn't windy out.

Happy father's day to all,

Ed
 

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Super old thread bump....

I'm now the owner of this car, and when i run the cluster 'self test' i see the vin bk05888 (which is a US spec 91 M5, i believe). The cluster functions as an M5 cluster should (and the car runs really well). My question is where is the milage stored on these cars? I thought it was in the coding plug, but if this car has had multiple coding plugs, wouldn't that cause an issue with the milage? The 'milage tamper dot' on the odomter is NOT illuminated.

Many curiosities about this really nice car. Wonder if anyone can shed some light for me.
thanks!
 

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mileage,coding plugs,etc.

Mike,
Not sure if this helps but:it is my understanding that the coding plug does store the mileage.I recently changed the cluster in my "93 3.8 which the prior owner had federalized when he imported it.My speedo,tach and oil temp. gauge never worked properly before I changed the cluster (got one from a 3.8 from Canada) which fixed my issues.My mileage now reads about 30,000 kilometers instead of 139,000 miles.There is no tamper light on,likely since the cluster and plug were together,i.e.they weren't tampered with.Perhaps your 3.8, when federalized,had its' cluster swapped with one from a '91 US spec? Really the only way to verify mileage is to review service records,I think.
Enjoy your new one,

Vic
 

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Thanks Vic. I unfortunately have no records prior to it coming to the US, and it's milage is consistent with records and carfax since in the US in 2001. My cluster has a 90L fuel gauge, and oil temp in celcius, but speedo and odo in miles, so either the cluster was swapped but the euro/metric gauges were put in or it's the original cluster with the US m5 coding plug and speedo. As the original poster noted, when he got the car it had yet another coding plug in it and the gauges were not working properly (they work fine now). It's a nice car, and i am happy with it, i'm just curious.

I had read that the milage was also stored at another location?
 

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Thanks Vic. I unfortunately have no records prior to it coming to the US, and it's milage is consistent with records and carfax since in the US in 2001. My cluster has a 90L fuel gauge, and oil temp in celcius, but speedo and odo in miles, so either the cluster was swapped but the euro/metric gauges were put in or it's the original cluster with the US m5 coding plug and speedo. As the original poster noted, when he got the car it had yet another coding plug in it and the gauges were not working properly (they work fine now). It's a nice car, and i am happy with it, i'm just curious.

I had read that the milage was also stored at another location?

I bet is the original or euro cluster but with changed speedo and odo miles changed to US spec cluster. Wait, odo miles changed? Hmm not sure if this can be done like other BMWs that you can change the odo from mile sto KMS and vice versa in the e34. My euro 92 B38 has as well the 90 litre fuel tank gauge (big fuel tank) and all in Metric.

Here is a thread with few photos, take it appart and see if you got the same circuit board and other thigns that look the same?

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e34-m5-discussion/195972-bmw-m-cluster-logo-light-up-done.html
 

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To my knowledge, the mileage is stored in the coding chip. I have an early euro cluster that I want to use to convert my US with. If I have time to tackle this over the weekend I may have more insight. The early clusters had the coding chip in the wiring however and my later model ('93) car has an actual coding chip in the cluster. I will try plugging the euro cluster in just to see what happens and report back.
 

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Thanks. Regarding the euro cluster, in most cases you can just open up the cluster and swap the gauges. They pull straight out. I did this to my old 530iT, put a 180 M 5 speedo, coolant and fuel gauges with the red needles etc. that way you can keep your original cluster.

I've gotten different info from different people. At my dealer, one of the older master tech's who's been around for >20 years says the milage is actually stored in the cluster itself, and the e34 does not have a milage tamper dot. i thought it did, but havent searched much. What they do say, is that you can't easily change a km cluster to a miles cluster (but i thought you could with a coding plug change). Since my cluster is in miles, the assumption is it's not the original cluster (or legitimate milage). Older owners of the car (i.e. the original poster in this thread) don't reply to my pms. I emailed a registered importer in Florida (car's first registration says miami fl on carfax) but have not heard back (and their phone goes straight to voicemail so who knows if they still exist).
Eventually i'll pull the cluster and see if that sheds any light on things. I have a couple of contacts who are looking at searching bmw records in germany to see if they can figure out the approximate km on the car when it was there. It's a nice car that drives great, i'm curious at this point. The carfax milage is pretty consistent since it's been in the US, i'm wondering how many km it really had when it came here though.
 

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Unfortunately my experiment today only gave negative results feedback. Plugging a euro, early model, M5 cluster (grey back) into my '93 US M5 (originally equipped with blue back cluster) resulted in a continuous chime from the dash and the mileage did not display at all. The gray back cluster has no coding chip as it is in the harness on early model cars.

Further more, while not completely related to your issue but maybe useful findings have shown me that the internals cannot be swapped from gray to blue clusters as visa versa due to pin differences. In short, my cluster swap attempt today was an epic failure. :(

Hopefully your cluster adventure turns up better results.

Cheers,

Brian
 

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test pic
 
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