*SOLVED* Cranks, No Start, No DME Communication - Will strangle bmw engineer(s) for solution

Jan 11, 2019
11
#1
Pre-LCI/Early 07 335i Auto ZF Trans - Slightly NOT stock

Car acts totally normal, lights come on, everything is good... click ignition button on, pump primes and never goes off, water pump can be heard turn on, clicking in engine bay just like normal when ON is pressed, car cranks strong... no start, no fuel smell. Cant communicate with DME via known good MHD and OBD2 Blutooth w/Torque
  • new built motor installed after car sat for 1 year no battery
  • no start
  • no dme communication
  • no fuel injecting into engine
  • fuel pump constantly priming/circulating gas when ignition is on
  • jb4 completely removed
  • new fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator
  • checked all glovebox & DME box fuses multiple times
  • swapped DME for backup 2nd cloned DME
  • checked/bypassed blue dme relay and 30g fuse box relay
  • checked all engine sensors are installed and proper plugs connected to engine
  • checked main ground strap & power wire to/from starter & alternator
  • battery voltage ~13 when off of charger but charger is left on charger during all work
  • disconnected IBS sensors to battery

Mods
  • Engine - Forged Rods/Pistons/Ported Heads
  • Hybrid Stage 2+ Turbos
  • Index 12 Injectors
  • NEW Stage 2+ Fuel Pump
  • Charge Pipe w/Tial BOV
  • 3.5 Bar MAP
  • Big Aftermarket Intercooler
  • Relocated Inlet/Outles
  • Downpipes
  • Borla Sport Exhaust
  • Catch Can
  • PCV Valve
  • JB4 BEF w/MHD (currently removed)

Currently working on the car, this is my TLDR version... will add full version later, hoping for some ideas to try asap. Ive had similar issues before with this car but always figure it out eventually. I could strangle some german bmw engineers right about now though.

Any help is greatly appreciated, I dont give up easy... it WILL start just a matter of time. :burnrubber:

Thanks!
 
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Jan 11, 2019
11
#15
WE HAVE IGNITION! and im a fool... but I figured it out.

Damn ground on the strut tower passenger side was hidden between the heat shield and strut tower... under the relocated inlet pipe. Figured it was something stupid and simple right in front of my face but I never saw it.

I setup INPA, started followed the service plan... every step, checking the circuit line... each connector, fuse, relay... and then finally grounds... soon as I clicked the picture showing that ground it clicked in my head.

So boys and girls dont be like me... remember those pesky grounds that are hiding from you.


Thanks to everyone who helped and I hope we all got a good laugh out of this.

Ill update yall on how the new motors does!
 
Oct 18, 2016
6,758
AZ
#2
Did you replace any of the modules that might store a VIN? I'm pretty sure fuel injection gets turned off when the imobilizer is set off or things like the VIN doesn't match up.

What about trying INPA, ISTA or others? The fact that you can't communicate over OBD at all is concerning. You might need to setup a scope and see what the HPFP VCV is doing, if no fuel is coming I'd start tracking that down.

Might want to check your CAS or the junction box electronics. Fuses can be good while the JBE itself is shot, not sure if that would prevent OBD communication or not but I thought the JBE routed OBD traffic in the E90. I know on the E60 it uses a can router called a KGM.
 
Jan 11, 2019
11
#3
I have not replaced any modules, nothing else was removed from the vehicle except the engine and DME/harness itself.

I will try INPA/ISTA today, I have a full blown ICOM Next setup on a laptop. Yes I also believe the no communication via OBD is a red flag and ultimately the biggest clue to what is wrong.

I do not have a Scope, is there any other way I can verify what the HPFP volume control valve is doing? I have a spare HPFP I could swap in I suppose... but my understanding is the car would still start even if HPFP was bad. Is that correct? Please elaborate and I will do whatever is needed to test/verify. I did notice that the actual connector ON the HPFP isnt rock solid, it moves/wiggles a little bit... I am not talking about the connector on the harness side... but from memory that was normal and spare HPFP is in storage so couldnt verify if it was different.

Fuses can be good while the JBE itself is shot, not sure if that would prevent OBD communication or not but I thought the JBE routed OBD traffic in the E90. I know on the E60 it uses a can router called a KGM.
I have read/hard about a bad JBE causing this, and even wires in the back of the JBE being pulled out causing no OBD communciation and no start condition. I have not removed the JBE yet, only inspected connectors on the accessible side, tripled checked fuses etc.

Could you be more specific as to "checking the CAS/JBE"?

I will try anything at this point and have access to All Data w/wiring schematics etc but I need to know specifics on what/how to check.

Thank you
 
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Oct 18, 2016
6,758
AZ
#5
Maybe @Levanime would know about these codes, but I can't give you much help with diagnosing the jbe. I just know it's an electronic box in addition to being a fuse panel and it also acts as the canbus hub iirc. I also believe I've read the frm is known for going bad easily with electrical changes. The jbe is a total pain in the ass to access and manipulate, so I'd hate to tell you to go screw around down there without a good action plan. Might want to see if someone else can she'd some light on these codes.
 
Jan 11, 2019
11
#6
Maybe @Levanime would know about these codes, but I can't give you much help with diagnosing the jbe. I just know it's an electronic box in addition to being a fuse panel and it also acts as the canbus hub iirc. I also believe I've read the frm is known for going bad easily with electrical changes. The jbe is a total pain in the ass to access and manipulate, so I'd hate to tell you to go screw around down there without a good action plan. Might want to see if someone else can she'd some light on these codes.
Yeah thats my thinking as well, I really dont want to start pulling the jbe unless something specifically points that direction. Most of what im dealing with is out of my depth, and out of most peoples depth... thats why I posted on 4 forums. its going to take someone who really knows this stuff to understand and shed light on it. I am going to work down the ISTA test plans and keeping messing with what I can though. I am not very good with ISTA/INPA etc but no doubt its a great tool to have.
 
Jan 7, 2017
876
#7
You mentioned you disconnected the IBS sensors to the battery. I would try two things:
1. Reconnect the IBS and try to start the car. If that doesn’t work,
2. Disconnect the battery for 20 minutes, reconnect, i.e., reboot the DME.
(This is the old pull the plug / plug it back in trick that works to solve about 99% of most problems with computerized equipment since the mid-20th Century.)
 
Jan 11, 2019
11
#8
You mentioned you disconnected the IBS sensors to the battery. I would try two things:
1. Reconnect the IBS and try to start the car. If that doesn’t work,
2. Disconnect the battery for 20 minutes, reconnect, i.e., reboot the DME.
(This is the old pull the plug / plug it back in trick that works to solve about 99% of most problems with computerized equipment since the mid-20th Century.)
Have reset battery for 16 hr period actually and several small periods in between.

Also tried IBS plugged in and unplugged several times... no change.

Just for sake of trying things again I will do it again haha...
 
Apr 5, 2017
743
#10
You replaced the DME with a new one - was that in the steps of troubleshooting and you are back on the original, or are you still using the second DME? You said it was cloned - you shipped your CAS module off to have the ISN from the new DME written? If not, I would go back to the original DME and CAS that were working. If it was for an MSD80 to 81 swap, then you pretty much have to trust it was matched correctly.

With the no communication issue, also check the pins on the DME. I had some of mine get pushed back where they wouldn't make full contact. Had to use some pliers to pull them up to be level with the rest.
 

BimmerGeeks!

Lurker
Free Vendor
May 16, 2017
15
#11
He needs to inspect all his connections at the dme, or the dme itself based on what he's ruled out.

Very rare does the dme itself not communicate what-so-ever, if it doesn't it's one of 3 issues.

1. Corroded connector plugins.
2. Major break is PT-CAN bus (for his model pretty much just DME->EGS->DSC->EKP).
3. Bad dme (he used a backup already, not likely, refer to #'s 1 & 2).
 
#12
Check ground wire on motor mount, and the one that goes from the water pump harness to the front of the motor, by the crank pulley.

I would also check all connectors that were removed( crank sensor, cam sensors, etc)
 
Jan 11, 2019
11
#13
I know you took jb4 out, but can you double check all the connection where jb4 was and check that 2step relay!
Will do

You replaced the DME with a new one - was that in the steps of troubleshooting and you are back on the original, or are you still using the second DME? You said it was cloned - you shipped your CAS module off to have the ISN from the new DME written? If not, I would go back to the original DME and CAS that were working. If it was for an MSD80 to 81 swap, then you pretty much have to trust it was matched correctly.

With the no communication issue, also check the pins on the DME. I had some of mine get pushed back where they wouldn't make full contact. Had to use some pliers to pull them up to be level with the rest.
I had the original DME cloned 3 years ago to have an extra one for testing/diagnosing issues in the car... at the time I was having some issues and just thought it was the DME. Turned out it wasnt the DME then, so I kept the old one as a backup and used the cloned one. Everything has been flawless with it since the day I got it and you can freely swap the two DME without any issues or difference in the system.

So technically I first attempted to fire the car, after priming for oil pressure... with the 2nd Newer Cloned DME. Then somewhere along the line of me trying all sorts of stuff I swapped to the original DME (spare) in the hopes that I fried that clone or something simple like that. Crappy if that was the case but at least the problem would be found. When it didnt work I switched it back to the cloned, not immediately but not long after messing with other things and then switching it again.

The pins getting pushed back is not something ive thought of... thats a really good one, I will check thank you!

As a side note to our DME Talk...
I do have an MSD81, out of the exact same year/make/model car, with the CAS that matched it. That ECU will not fire the car and needs to be reprogrammed... it has comfort access on it and this car doesnt as well. But I have the driver side comfort access lock that came with it. Right now though my main goal was to fire the car... not worry about upgrading a DME.

He needs to inspect all his connections at the dme, or the dme itself based on what he's ruled out.

Very rare does the dme itself not communicate what-so-ever, if it doesn't it's one of 3 issues.

1. Corroded connector plugins.
2. Major break is PT-CAN bus (for his model pretty much just DME->EGS->DSC->EKP).
3. Bad dme (he used a backup already, not likely, refer to #'s 1 & 2).
I am going to visually inspect all of those DME connectors and the connectors in the associated area again. Ill do it more thoroughly then last time with a light and magnifying glass, sherlock holmes style. Then I'll clean with electrical contact cleaner... havent tried that one yet. The contacts just dont look dirty at all but easy enough one to do and I am all about trying things to rule them out. This car will go vroom...

Check ground wire on motor mount, and the one that goes from the water pump harness to the front of the motor, by the crank pulley.

I would also check all connectors that were removed( crank sensor, cam sensors, etc)
I will check ground wire on motor mount again, and I will check the one at the front with the water pump harness. I do specifically remember putting that one on because I originally put it on and forgot the littler flat retention/holding bracket that goes with it to ensure orientation of the wire didnt move.



Anything you guys throw at me I will try... even if have tried it already, I appreciate the help... open book here. The harness has been removed from the vehicle and the entire DME box played with so full disclosure on that. I do take pictures before though and put things back together carefully. Electrical diagnostic work is my weakest areas on cars, specifically all the CAN bus stuff... I am pretty good with 12v systems though as I have taught myself a lot over the past couple years. I have a nice back probe kit and multimeter... and I can read/follow instructions even if its slow. If I need to I will buy and learn to use a scope... I should probably already have one. Generally I am pretty good at this stuff in the past because I have never given up. I look for correlations, I read, I try... and try again and if need be ill swap a part for process of elmination but I try to avoid it. Ive lerked for years on these forums and others but I really am stumped on this one. So thank you all...

This car has been through alot... amuse yourselves for a moment.

vanos issues
injector issues
misfires
various bad sensors
water seeping past connectors (specifically the oil condition sensor, causing oil temp to max and car to go into limp mode... that one was fun and took 2 highly rated BMW shops not finding it for me to finally figure out correlations that it happened only when it rained. They wanted to charge $2500 to replace a DME instead... part of me thinks they just didnt want to touch the car. Other shop gave it back after initial diagnostic work but were basically suggesting similar avenue)
worn turbos spewing oil w/waste gate rattle
bad OFHG causing...
*drumroll* - shredded serpentine belt sucked past the crank seal
IBS no start
broken auto console wire
spun rod bearing

The spun rod bearing was actually anticipated given the mileage of the motor 140k and I knew she had a hard life with prev owner because there were signs of de-modding at every place I modded... except the fuel pump. The engine had never been out of the car completely from what I could tell.
 
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Jan 11, 2019
11
#14
Verified no spark at all, also reinspected ALL DME wire connectors/pins and all other connectors in the DME box.

Check ground straps near water pump and driver side motor mount upright. All good...

Tried to fire again no joy...

Also noticed even with foot on the brake I cannot change out of PARK... guessing its because of a module issue.
 
Jan 11, 2019
11
#17
Yes sir I am so glad it was something that easy... even if its a face palm moment. I learned a good amount by making this mistake.

I have a way way better understanding of the electrical system in this car. Also got some practice physically testing relays by applying power to the switched circuit and verifying continuity between the other poles etc. Im better at reading diagrams and understand CAN bus more.

AND YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS NEXT TIME IM GONNA CHECK GROUND FIRST (ALLLLLLL OF THEM!)

One thing that I always think of in these situations and has proven to work well is... go back to the last place you messed with things at... chances are high its in that area and not something new that just went bad in another area randomly for no reason. I just got hung up on some easy $#@!... but all that said I AM SOOOO GLAD IT WASNT CAN BUS RELATED!!!

Now my issues are just the normal first start power steering leaks, vanos exhaust mechanical code etc.

Also I went to do a new JB4 BEF and remembered that last time a dealership programmed keys they locked this damn DME. I am getting an RSA Defeat situation where I cant erase the data to flash over it with MHD.

Soooo right now I am going to focus on getting her buttoned up and do some research on how to get the MSD81 I have working.

If anyone can shed specifics on how to program this MSD81 to the current CAS module and key for the car that would be awesome. I have ISTA-P and played with it for a while last night before I passed out. Looks like I can do it... just didnt want to try right now.

I also have the matching CAS module that came with the MSD81... and its all from an 07 335i auto, sedan almost identical to my car... only difference is it had Comfort Access and mine does not. I know theres a way I can just swap the CAS and MSD81 in, then disable Comfort Access and program my key(s) to it.

Thats probably for another thread though in the coding section, backed up by a lot of reading
 
Apr 5, 2017
743
#18
I found this into in another forum:

"

I know from experience you can move CAS/DME/KEYS from one car to another without a problem. Interaction with the other ECU's is not an issue with exception to the cluster and ABG module. The ABG will throw airbag and DTC errors and the cluster will show a tamper dot, as the VIN doesn't match that of the CAS module. The cluster of course, is no big deal. I don't exactly know about the airbag related issues though as they didn't affect my ability to start and drive the car. All that mattered was that ISN *must* match between the DME and CAS. VIN does not matter.

I have started my car in fact, with different VIN written to each ECU (DME, CAS & KOMBI) while the rest of the modules retained the originally programmed VIN.

The immobilizer/EWS-4 system is completely based on the ISN exchange between the DME/CAS modules. "
 
Jan 11, 2019
11
#19
I found this into in another forum:

"

I know from experience you can move CAS/DME/KEYS from one car to another without a problem. Interaction with the other ECU's is not an issue with exception to the cluster and ABG module. The ABG will throw airbag and DTC errors and the cluster will show a tamper dot, as the VIN doesn't match that of the CAS module. The cluster of course, is no big deal. I don't exactly know about the airbag related issues though as they didn't affect my ability to start and drive the car. All that mattered was that ISN *must* match between the DME and CAS. VIN does not matter.

I have started my car in fact, with different VIN written to each ECU (DME, CAS & KOMBI) while the rest of the modules retained the originally programmed VIN.

The immobilizer/EWS-4 system is completely based on the ISN exchange between the DME/CAS modules. "

I remember trying to fire the car with the MSD81, Matching CAS and the Key it came with but it didnt work... everything acted like it wanted to but I believe the steering wheel remained locked and clicking ignition it wouldnt crank. Knowing a little more like I do now, I might try it again... and see if I can fix it in ISTA-P. At the time I wondered if it was because the MSD81 vehicle had comfort access and this car doesnt... obviously I am missing the extra module(s), wiring and antenna for all that comfort access system.

I am going to continue to research after I get the car fully buttoned up... then maybe I can do the upgrade afterwards.
 
Jan 11, 2019
11
#21
Was the key programed to the casino? I think all the things have to match.
As far as I know it was the matching key for the MSD81, CAS and driver door lock. It should have worked... the only thing I can think of is the fact my car isnt comfort access and donor vehicle was. I am trying to hunt down that key for the MSD81 right now... I have the CAS and driver door lock for it... cant find the key atm.
 
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