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      11-03-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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Starter and solenoid

1. Is the solenoid actually located on the starter? I see two cylinders in pictures, one is smaller than the other.

2. Has anyone replaced the starter by going from below the car rather than the top? The supercharger manifold isn't the easiest thing to remove.

3. Anything else I should check?

The car was stored for several months with the battery unplugged. It fired right up, no issues. I babied it for a couple days before increasing throttle input and rpm. It suddenly wouldn't start, and didn't respond to being jumped. I was able to get started with a rolling start, brought it home, and tried again. No start - one click, nothing.
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      11-03-2015, 09:15 PM   #2
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Sounds like the battery is toast to me.
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      11-03-2015, 09:23 PM   #3
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1) Yep. Solenoid is on top in this pic.

If it were simply the battery, seems like a jump should have worked.
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      11-04-2015, 01:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickMon View Post
1) Yep. Solenoid is on top in this pic.

If it were simply the battery, seems like a jump should have worked.
Not necessarily. I have had cars that had the exact symptoms as the OP and the battery developed a bad cell. All cars are different and if some don't get any current from the battery they will not start, even with a jump. Batteries are fickle bitches and will cause all kinds of problems.

Recently helped a friend with a Scion TC that wouldn't start after sitting for about 4 months. First time managed to get it started with a jump. Drove it to the store and back. Turned it off and it would not restart. Tried jumping it again and it was dead as a door nail, interior lights would not even come on or the gauges. Put a new battery in it and it fired right up.
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      11-04-2015, 01:31 AM   #5
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standing by for further info…
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      11-04-2015, 04:28 AM   #6
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1. Yes it does. Take a battery from one of your other Z's and try to start it.

2. I replaced my starter from the top, removing the intake and all that stuff. I don't think it's possible to remove the starter from underneath , but I won't swear by it. It would be more of a PITA then just being wise and remove the SC intake.

3. Ignition switch. I replaced my battery and starter, turned out my problem was the ignition switch. :/
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      11-04-2015, 01:25 PM   #7
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I just replaced my batt, that wasnt the issue either.. doh.. standing by for further developments, ive got exactly the same issue as of yesyerday.. :-(
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      11-05-2015, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3power13 View Post
Not necessarily. I have had cars that had the exact symptoms as the OP and the battery developed a bad cell. All cars are different and if some don't get any current from the battery they will not start, even with a jump. Batteries are fickle bitches and will cause all kinds of problems.

Recently helped a friend with a Scion TC that wouldn't start after sitting for about 4 months. First time managed to get it started with a jump. Drove it to the store and back. Turned it off and it would not restart. Tried jumping it again and it was dead as a door nail, interior lights would not even come on or the gauges. Put a new battery in it and it fired right up.
I won't rule anything out at this point, but the car initially started up without hesitation, like I had just turned it off and back on again. No weak or excessive cranking. I drove it around all day, restarting it 8-10 times. I didn't have any symptoms until the very end of the day, when I had a weak crank, and then nothing... one click and no attempt to turn the engine over.
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      11-05-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickMon View Post
1) Yep. Solenoid is on top in this pic.

If it were simply the battery, seems like a jump should have worked.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westersund View Post
1. Yes it does. Take a battery from one of your other Z's and try to start it.

2. I replaced my starter from the top, removing the intake and all that stuff. I don't think it's possible to remove the starter from underneath , but I won't swear by it. It would be more of a PITA then just being wise and remove the SC intake.

3. Ignition switch. I replaced my battery and starter, turned out my problem was the ignition switch. :/
1. I plan to do that when I come back home for Thanksgiving.

2. I've done it from the top on my non-M. I guess the intake will be coming off.

3. I was able to clutch/roll start the car. Would I still have been able to do this with an ignition switch failure?
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      11-05-2015, 11:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanne View Post
I just replaced my batt, that wasnt the issue either.. doh.. standing by for further developments, ive got exactly the same issue as of yesyerday.. :-(
Maybe the Z's became self aware, and the rebellion has started.
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      11-05-2015, 12:55 PM   #11
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I think the e46 M3 guys have to do it from the bottom, so I'd say there's a good chance it's possible. Not sure if it would be more work or not though, I remember reading that some part of the exhaust has to come out among other things

I had a similar issue in the past, and it turned out to be the ignition switch. I was convinced it was the starter because I could bump start it and the battery was OK, but alas... GL
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      11-06-2015, 12:05 AM   #12
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I think my zed has always been self aware and is just /letting/ me drive...

Notibably on mine, on the drive home before it wouldent start again, my globe out light came on?

Pretty weird after turning the key on and off about 20 times, it did start up, no weak crank, just the same as it had before...

Turned it off and no start again...

I read somewhere that try holding it in the start positiin for 20 secs, see if it starts up.
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      11-06-2015, 03:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeybritches View Post
3. I was able to clutch/roll start the car. Would I still have been able to do this with an ignition switch failure?
I believe so, the ignition switch it located/connected to the ignition lock. Thus you bypassing it by rolling the car to start.

Number 3:

http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E8...arts_lock_cyl/
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      11-06-2015, 06:27 AM   #14
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so whats the best way to go here?

Josh, are you gonna pull the starter first? I think i can rule out the ignition switch on mine as i would think if its the ignition switch, it would start, then not start, then start, then not.. etc.. not just no start what so ever in one go….

when i get back from Spain, ill pull the starter and replace.. my air box and other crap needs to come out anyways… first ill get some jumper cables though and see if an extra batt makes any difference.. (doubtful as i put in a new batt) luckily i have a few days off.
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      11-06-2015, 07:07 AM   #15
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I'm going to try swapping batteries, then replace the ignition switch. I've already ordered a starter, and I'll put it in as a last resort.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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      11-06-2015, 08:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanne View Post
so whats the best way to go here?

Josh, are you gonna pull the starter first? I think i can rule out the ignition switch on mine as i would think if its the ignition switch, it would start, then not start, then start, then not.. etc.. not just no start what so ever in one go….

when i get back from Spain, ill pull the starter and replace.. my air box and other crap needs to come out anyways… first ill get some jumper cables though and see if an extra batt makes any difference.. (doubtful as i put in a new batt) luckily i have a few days off.
The problem I had with mine was that the ignition switch interupted the start sequence by disengaging the starter wheel from the flywheel before the engine had started and causing a terrible grinding sound. The symptom rarely happened in the summer, but in the spring and autumn when it was colder and more moist it happened more frequently for some reason.

If I were to do it again, being a little wiser (hopefully ) I would check the battery first (I replaced mine since it was getting old anyways). After that I would replace the ignition switch since it's a reasonably priced part before replacing/refurbishing the starter. But that's just me.
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      11-08-2015, 09:25 AM   #17
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Mine is confirmed the ignition switch.. ..maybe a loose cable? Worth taking apart or just replace?
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      11-08-2015, 06:37 PM   #18
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The ignition switch seem to be quite a common problem om the Z4's for some reason. I guess you could check if a cable is loose but that would just be dumb luck if it were, most likely you need to replace it. Good thing is that it's not that expensive, around 50$ for the part. I paid around 200$ to replace mine including labour, but the part itself is more expensive in Sweden due to higher tax and the labour cost is higher I think.
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      11-08-2015, 11:14 PM   #19
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thanks Westersund, i just order the part, apparently its a piece of piss to replace and install (around 10 mins). cheers and thx for the help guys

how'd ya go Josh? sorted?
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      11-09-2015, 12:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanne
thanks Westersund, i just order the part, apparently its a piece of piss to replace and install (around 10 mins). cheers and thx for the help guys

how'd ya go Josh? sorted?
I'm away for work for a few weeks. I'll be dealing with it when I get back
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      11-09-2015, 06:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
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thanks Westersund, i just order the part, apparently its a piece of piss to replace and install (around 10 mins). cheers and thx for the help guys

how'd ya go Josh? sorted?
Good to know it's easy to replace, I didn't know if you'd have to interfere with the ignition lock so I just let the dealer do it. I'll do it myself next time.
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      01-16-2016, 12:46 PM   #22
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Just to update, this def was the issue for me, replaced the ignition switch and now all is good. Starts every time. :-)
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