Electrical Problems

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
Radio installation has provided harder than I anticipated. I used a multi meter to determine constant, earth and ignition wires. I used a 9V battery to check for the correct speaker wires. Instead of one the speakers popping I heard a popping sound from behind the instrument cluster! Now I have multiple electrical failures including hazard warning lights, electric windows, radio and the ignition. Can anyone offer any advice?
 

t-tony

Zorg Expert (II)
Supporter
British Zeds
#ZedShed
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
39,856
Location
Torksey Lock,Lincoln, England
Model of Z
Z4 3.0 Auto
Hi Ian, this could be a little late but was there not a multi-plug on the "radio" connector to connect to the radio? Even if you're changing the make of radio you can buy adapters to use to "plug and play" audios. Not sure what could have happened behind the cluster though.

Tony.
 

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
Hi Ian, this could be a little late but was there not a multi-plug on the "radio" connector to connect to the radio? Even if you're changing the make of radio you can buy adapters to use to "plug and play" audios. Not sure what could have happened behind the cluster though.

Tony.
Hi Tony
I was just confronted with bare wires, the old harness had been cut off. I must have crossed the live wire with - maybe the illumination wire, I'm just not sure. All fuses okay, no clicking from relays, apart from the hazard light relay which buzzes. I'll remove the instrument cluster next and hopefully see something obvious.
Ian
 

mrscalex

Zorg Guru (IV)
Supporter
British Zeds
3rd Party Trader
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,470
Location
Swindon & Swansea
I think you need to try and identify the area of commonality between these components that have failed. And I'm not sure you'll find it behind the instrument cluster.

The only thing that springs to mind is that you have toasted the body control (ZKE) module. If so that's at the best end of outcomes as replacements are cheap and easy enough to fit. But I am by no means certain there. I just can't think of anything else.

With the failures going up as far as the ignition not working I'd also check for error codes as I suspect you will have something reported and that should help.
 

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
Thank you for the advice. I need to get a code reader. Can you advice a reader I should get,?
 

t-tony

Zorg Expert (II)
Supporter
British Zeds
#ZedShed
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
39,856
Location
Torksey Lock,Lincoln, England
Model of Z
Z4 3.0 Auto
What budget are thinking of Ian.

Tony.
 

mrscalex

Zorg Guru (IV)
Supporter
British Zeds
3rd Party Trader
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,470
Location
Swindon & Swansea
2 options.

1. A full blown laptop based dealer level diagnostics. INPA or BMW Scanner v1.4.0 normally. The best way ultimately but you need to be happy installing software, getting drivers to work etc. This is what I use so it leaves me less experienced on recommending anything for option (2)
2. A hand-held scanner. Lots around. They generally all do a job. But this one is popular, my brother has one we use on his 1 Series and we used to use it on the Z3s

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MAOZUA-Latest-Creator-Diagnostic-Compatible/dp/B011KMS2VA

You must buy one of these too and plug in under the bonnet connector to get the level of codes you need. Without this lead you can only plug in under the dash and get engine codes (and automatic transmission).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cable-Round-Adapter-Diagnostic-Connector/dp/B00SV3GNE0

These are just convenient links I quickly found. Shop around for best seller and price although both of these look reasonable.
 

Jack Ratt

Zorg Guru (V)
Supporter
British Zeds
The West Country
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
7,813
Location
TRURO, CORNWALL
Model of Z
2.8i AUTO and 2.8i MANUAL
@Barefoot Ian what model car do you have? If it's a pre facelift model 1997/98 as my 2 Zeds are, you might find that the cheaper £30 -£40 code readers will not access all of your cars modules. They don't work on either of my cars and I have tried other members readers multiple times.

INPA on an old laptop will work but as Rob says, you may have difficulties loading the software. There are some glitches with INPA when using on prefacelift cars when accessing the ABS module for example. For some reason you cannot access the ABS module via a USB port, it has to be via the old RS232 port that you find on old type laptops. Don't ask me why it doesn't work, it just doesn't. Read this thread for more info

https://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/f99/bmw-inpa-diagnostics-idiots-guide-getting-started-t85220/

This below is a code reader that I recently bought that works ok on my cars. It's more expensive at £150ish depending where you get it from but it works ok on old cars and is easy to operate.

http://www.foxwelltool.com/wholesale/foxwell-nt520-pro-bmw-software-20-pin-cable.html

I bought mine from the people in the above link. There are UK suppliers who will charge a higher price.

If your car is a facelift car you should be able to use the cheaper code readers as many people on here do.

Hope this helps :beer

I also posted this a few weeks ago when I bought it

https://zroadster.org/threads/foxwell-nt510-bmw-scanner.28619/
 
Last edited:

mrscalex

Zorg Guru (IV)
Supporter
British Zeds
3rd Party Trader
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,470
Location
Swindon & Swansea
That's useful to see the older Z3 diagnostics issue confirmed and addressed with the Foxwell tool. I've only ever worked on facelift or late pre-facelift cars so I was never sure if it was a definite issue or not.

Foxwell are a well known make.
 

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
Thanks guys, much to think about. Mine has a built date of February 1997 registered April 1997, so pre-facelift.
 

Jack Ratt

Zorg Guru (V)
Supporter
British Zeds
The West Country
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
7,813
Location
TRURO, CORNWALL
Model of Z
2.8i AUTO and 2.8i MANUAL
Where are you located? There may be a member nearby with a code reader that you could try
 

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
I'm in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Battery reading 11.3V, this would explain ignition not working. But could this cause the hazard relay to buzz?
 

mrscalex

Zorg Guru (IV)
Supporter
British Zeds
3rd Party Trader
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,470
Location
Swindon & Swansea
I'm not a million miles from you in Swindon but it's a 45 min journey and no spare time currently. No problem if you want to come over here but your car isn't mobile from what you say.

I'm away on holiday soon and back w/c 12 Aug so if you're still struggling it's more of a possibility then.

In the meantime - sort your battery! The car will be all over the place with that sort of voltage!
 

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
Thank you. I'm on a very steep learning curve, this being my first Z3. I brought her cheap, but needs a lot of TLC. Once I've finished sorting the electrics I need to fit a new soft top, then work on the rust.
 

mrscalex

Zorg Guru (IV)
Supporter
British Zeds
3rd Party Trader
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,470
Location
Swindon & Swansea
What size engine is it?

Plan your spend out wisely. Most Z3s that haven't been through the hands of an enthusiast usually need many hundreds spent even if they look good on the outside. But where one clearly needs 'a lot of TLC', well just be careful especially if it's a 1.9 as they basically cost the same to repair as a 2.8 without having the same final value.

You're welcome to come over to Swindon if you want any pointers. I also have plenty of spares for sale.
 

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
It's the basic 1.9 The condition is pretty good, apart from holes in soft top, rust, oil leaks, major service, electrics, extreme deep clean and I haven't looked underside yet! :(

When I've finished I'll pop over to Swindon, I work in Chippenham, so not far away.
 

Attachments

mrscalex

Zorg Guru (IV)
Supporter
British Zeds
3rd Party Trader
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,470
Location
Swindon & Swansea
To be fair, if you can get that much of the interior out on your own you look like the sort of person who is going to learn stuff okay. Mind you, you have to get it back again...
 

Barefoot Ian

Newbie
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
9
I'm very good at taking things apart, putting it back together......is another story. There is bound to be a few bolts left over!
 
Top