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E46 320D Persistant power issues
04-06-2019, 08:38 AM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2019 08:42 AM by rudolphc83.)
Post: #1
E46 320D Persistant power issues
Hi Guys

Not sure what exactly to call this thread. I have, with the help of a couple guys on this forum (thanks for that), done quite an extensive bit of work on my E46 320D (150 hp version) to try an identify my power loss issue.

The power loss is at higher revs, above 3000 or so, with black smoke coming from the exhaust. I also have intermittend problem with the car "hiccupping" (for lack of a better word) when driving at constant 2000 revs in second and third gear.


What I have done so far:

- New turbo (was replaced by previous owner just before I got the car, got the paperwork and warranty letter)
- Replace oil separator for vortex one
- Replaced intercooler
- Replaced boost pipes
- Replaced all vacuum lines I could find
- Reconned 3 injectors, INPA giving me equal reads from all four on Fuel adjustment ( 0.01 to 0.04 difference between them)
- Replaced exhaust silencers which was completely shot
- Removed swirl flaps
- Replaced pickup fuel pump
- Regular service items replaced
- Disconnected egr vacuum pipe
- Tested MAF (Massive difference for the worst when disconnected)
- Decat

Seems to be running better but the symptoms persist. Apologies for the lengthy post but I am at wit's end here. Any ideas of what else I can look at?

Only error code I get on INPA is glow plug error on two of the glow plugs but that shouldn't be what causes my problem.... right?


Any advice will be great.

Thanks

Current: E46 320D F/L (His)
Colt Rodeo 2.8 tdi 4x4 (Her donkey)

Ex: E53 X5 3.0d A/T M-Sport
Ex: BMW 330d E46 F/L
Ex: E87 118i (Hers)
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04-06-2019, 09:20 AM
Post: #2
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
Cannot be glow plugs as i have had the glow plug error on all my diesel BMW's and not a days problem. They always throw error and as we in SA do not really need or use the glow plug function i have not bothered to fix them. I was going to say your cat is clogged but i see you have removed the cat. I am not sure if your car also have the vacuum pipes to the engine mountings but if it has, check those for leaks/breakages. Also, the stainless steel clamp on the egr pipe to the egr must be tight as i have had to tighten mine on my old X3 after removal of swirl flaps and it made quite a difference to the performance.
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rudolphc83
04-06-2019, 09:37 AM
Post: #3
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
Diesel Pressure pump on Engine side??
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04-06-2019, 12:20 PM
Post: #4
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
(04-06-2019 09:37 AM)evnmopwr Wrote:  Diesel Pressure pump on Engine side??

Any way of testing this? INPA maybe?

Current: E46 320D F/L (His)
Colt Rodeo 2.8 tdi 4x4 (Her donkey)

Ex: E53 X5 3.0d A/T M-Sport
Ex: BMW 330d E46 F/L
Ex: E87 118i (Hers)
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04-06-2019, 12:46 PM
Post: #5
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
(04-06-2019 12:20 PM)rudolphc83 Wrote:  
(04-06-2019 09:37 AM)evnmopwr Wrote:  Diesel Pressure pump on Engine side??

Any way of testing this? INPA maybe?

Not sure bud. Never used INPA. but im sure if you can read Live data readings then should at least give you an indication..

But i will leave it to the guys with more knowledge on this one..

High Pressure diesel pump Was my guess since you checked everything else and Most cases, people are calling me for the HPDP to buy with Similar/Same symptms
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05-06-2019, 02:58 PM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2019 03:03 PM by rudolphc83.)
Post: #6
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
Okay, so had a chat with a friend of mine and he recons I should have a look at the exhaust. According to him if the exhaust is leaking it could also cause my problem. A quick glance under the car I couldn't see anything unusual, however I am concerned that it may not be properly fitted to the turbo when the downpipe was fitted. Planning on taking it to noise boys to have a look.

Question is, can this cause my problem? What are the usual symptoms on a diesel if the exhaust is leaking? There is surprisingly little info on the net regarding this, or I don't know what to search for. From my experience on petrol engines I know the exhaust can cause a lot of gremlins, not sure about diesels though.

I am also looking at deleting the EGR. Anyone knows where I can get a decent delete kit at a good price in the Pretoria area?

Current: E46 320D F/L (His)
Colt Rodeo 2.8 tdi 4x4 (Her donkey)

Ex: E53 X5 3.0d A/T M-Sport
Ex: BMW 330d E46 F/L
Ex: E87 118i (Hers)
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12-06-2019, 02:22 PM
Post: #7
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
(05-06-2019 02:58 PM)rudolphc83 Wrote:  Okay, so had a chat with a friend of mine and he recons I should have a look at the exhaust. According to him if the exhaust is leaking it could also cause my problem. A quick glance under the car I couldn't see anything unusual, however I am concerned that it may not be properly fitted to the turbo when the downpipe was fitted. Planning on taking it to noise boys to have a look.

Question is, can this cause my problem? What are the usual symptoms on a diesel if the exhaust is leaking? There is surprisingly little info on the net regarding this, or I don't know what to search for. From my experience on petrol engines I know the exhaust can cause a lot of gremlins, not sure about diesels though.

I am also looking at deleting the EGR. Anyone knows where I can get a decent delete kit at a good price in the Pretoria area?

From three years with the same car, I can only speculate because BMW's just do funny things:

I doubt the exhaust fitment would be causing this issue. Firstly, if there's a problem with my exhaust I can normally smell it, and secondly (more importantly) - my exhaust fell off one day (don't ask) and if anything, the car preferred it. SOUNDS EPIC TOO!

I had a power loss issue where the car wasn't boosting when I first got it, the MAF was the culprit. Then with the car losing power when revved higher and dumping black smoke, I had a similar issue and it was a hole in a boost pipe, but you've replaced everything from the turbo and downpipe to the boost hoses and intercooler and vacuum lines...

You've removed swirl flaps so I'm assuming you replaced the manifold gaskets.

I have to second the suggestion above that it may be a fuel delivery issue...you genuinely seem to have cancelled out every other common culprit.

I'll be watching this thread because I genuinely want to see what the culprit is.
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12-06-2019, 02:29 PM
Post: #8
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
(05-06-2019 02:58 PM)rudolphc83 Wrote:  Okay, so had a chat with a friend of mine and he recons I should have a look at the exhaust. According to him if the exhaust is leaking it could also cause my problem. A quick glance under the car I couldn't see anything unusual, however I am concerned that it may not be properly fitted to the turbo when the downpipe was fitted. Planning on taking it to noise boys to have a look.

Question is, can this cause my problem? What are the usual symptoms on a diesel if the exhaust is leaking? There is surprisingly little info on the net regarding this, or I don't know what to search for. From my experience on petrol engines I know the exhaust can cause a lot of gremlins, not sure about diesels though.

I am also looking at deleting the EGR. Anyone knows where I can get a decent delete kit at a good price in the Pretoria area?

Impossible that the exhaust is causing the issue, you remove it completely and your car wouldn't complain.

Egr delete is easy, remove the vacuum line from the EGR and plug it, delete done.

This sounds like your vacuum pump is on the way out.

Current rides
1995 E36 325i [Unfinished Monalisa]
2004 E46 330D M-sport [167wkw 556nm]
2012 Yamaha FZ6R - Stock
Ex Ride
1998 160i Conquest Rs
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12-06-2019, 03:38 PM
Post: #9
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
(12-06-2019 02:29 PM)Nikhil Wrote:  
(05-06-2019 02:58 PM)rudolphc83 Wrote:  Okay, so had a chat with a friend of mine and he recons I should have a look at the exhaust. According to him if the exhaust is leaking it could also cause my problem. A quick glance under the car I couldn't see anything unusual, however I am concerned that it may not be properly fitted to the turbo when the downpipe was fitted. Planning on taking it to noise boys to have a look.

Question is, can this cause my problem? What are the usual symptoms on a diesel if the exhaust is leaking? There is surprisingly little info on the net regarding this, or I don't know what to search for. From my experience on petrol engines I know the exhaust can cause a lot of gremlins, not sure about diesels though.

I am also looking at deleting the EGR. Anyone knows where I can get a decent delete kit at a good price in the Pretoria area?

Impossible that the exhaust is causing the issue, you remove it completely and your car wouldn't complain.

Egr delete is easy, remove the vacuum line from the EGR and plug it, delete done.

This sounds like your vacuum pump is on the way out.

If its vac pump starting to die, wont his brakes be affected?? that also runs on vaccum isnt it?
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12-06-2019, 04:29 PM
Post: #10
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
(12-06-2019 03:38 PM)evnmopwr Wrote:  
(12-06-2019 02:29 PM)Nikhil Wrote:  
(05-06-2019 02:58 PM)rudolphc83 Wrote:  Okay, so had a chat with a friend of mine and he recons I should have a look at the exhaust. According to him if the exhaust is leaking it could also cause my problem. A quick glance under the car I couldn't see anything unusual, however I am concerned that it may not be properly fitted to the turbo when the downpipe was fitted. Planning on taking it to noise boys to have a look.

Question is, can this cause my problem? What are the usual symptoms on a diesel if the exhaust is leaking? There is surprisingly little info on the net regarding this, or I don't know what to search for. From my experience on petrol engines I know the exhaust can cause a lot of gremlins, not sure about diesels though.

I am also looking at deleting the EGR. Anyone knows where I can get a decent delete kit at a good price in the Pretoria area?

Impossible that the exhaust is causing the issue, you remove it completely and your car wouldn't complain.

Egr delete is easy, remove the vacuum line from the EGR and plug it, delete done.

This sounds like your vacuum pump is on the way out.

If its vac pump starting to die, wont his brakes be affected?? that also runs on vaccum isnt it?

Not intially no, brakes will only go rock hard on complete pump failure.

Current rides
1995 E36 325i [Unfinished Monalisa]
2004 E46 330D M-sport [167wkw 556nm]
2012 Yamaha FZ6R - Stock
Ex Ride
1998 160i Conquest Rs
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evnmopwr
13-06-2019, 07:25 AM
Post: #11
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
Hi Guys

Just an update on this. I checked the vacuum pump as Nikhil suggested. Measuring in at about 26.9 mercury, which suggested that the pump is still fine. Eventually decided to take the intake off and check all vacuum lines again, which all seemed fine.

This is where the fun started. Once I re-assembled everything the car almost refused to start, and once it did, it kept missing like an old carburetor engine with two missing spark plugs. Running INPA diagnostic it kept popping up with fuel rail pressure too low. Ended up being the fuel pressure sensor that failed. Replaced that yesterday and the car is definitely better. Better throttle response, no smoke anymore at all. Still a bit lazy up to about 1800 rpm but after that pulling like a train and no more errors.


Just a quick question though, is the laziness at low rpms normal due to turbo lag or do I still need to dig further? It is really lazy and then from 1800 rpm feels like the front wheels want to lift off the ground.


Thanks guys

Current: E46 320D F/L (His)
Colt Rodeo 2.8 tdi 4x4 (Her donkey)

Ex: E53 X5 3.0d A/T M-Sport
Ex: BMW 330d E46 F/L
Ex: E87 118i (Hers)
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13-06-2019, 10:18 AM
Post: #12
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
(13-06-2019 07:25 AM)rudolphc83 Wrote:  Hi Guys

Just an update on this. I checked the vacuum pump as Nikhil suggested. Measuring in at about 26.9 mercury, which suggested that the pump is still fine. Eventually decided to take the intake off and check all vacuum lines again, which all seemed fine.

This is where the fun started. Once I re-assembled everything the car almost refused to start, and once it did, it kept missing like an old carburetor engine with two missing spark plugs. Running INPA diagnostic it kept popping up with fuel rail pressure too low. Ended up being the fuel pressure sensor that failed. Replaced that yesterday and the car is definitely better. Better throttle response, no smoke anymore at all. Still a bit lazy up to about 1800 rpm but after that pulling like a train and no more errors.


Just a quick question though, is the laziness at low rpms normal due to turbo lag or do I still need to dig further? It is really lazy and then from 1800 rpm feels like the front wheels want to lift off the ground.


Thanks guys

Hi, I don't know much about BMW but had an issue on a diesel before which turned out to be the boost sensor and a diesel leak between primer pump and injectors.
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13-06-2019, 04:05 PM
Post: #13
RE: E46 320D Persistant power issues
I dunno if this helps, but I've got an S1000XR that I've decatted.

Since then at constant lower revs, the bike hiccups. Anything above 4k rpm and the bike pulls like a train.

This is due to fuelling so I'd suggest looking at that. Maybe reset the ECU and get it to relearn everything and see if it gets resolved.
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