Wednesday, March 31, 2010

High Pressure Fuel Pump #4

Okay - so we left off the other evening with the car back in my hands and running fine for two months. A little over 3 weeks ago, the car was having a hard time firing at a dead cold start. I took the 335 in to my new favorite BMW dealership (Passport BMW) and after a diagnosis it was determined that the high pressure fuel pump was going bad. That makes number 4 for this car. Still under warranty though!

BMW has had a horrible track record with this particular piece of engineering. In fact, my better half owns a 335 and the high pressure fuel pump has been replaced once on that vehicle as well.

The car is currently at RRT Racing's shop - - where it is getting a four point roll bar and race seat installed along with its normal one lap prep work. We should have pictures up on RRT's website within the next two or three days. Hope everyone takes a look!


Monday, March 29, 2010

A Summer and Fall of Car Woes!

Wow - when we left off it seemed rather simple that the car would go in to the local BMW dealer and we'd come out once again with the "ultimate driving machine". Au contraire says me. The story is a long one indeed, especially for those who have heard me tell it in person already. So I will attempt to make it short and sweet for those of you catching up (please go back and read posts from last year to see what the issues were).

And away we go....upon returning home and getting some well deserved rest, the little 335 made its way to a BMW dealer in, well Maryland. After some digging it was determined the #1 turbo was seized. "Sorry sir, but you'll need a new turbo and we suggest replacing the #2 turbo while we're in there". Great, car is still under warranty. "Nope, you have that software "stuff" on the car and so your warranty is void". Hummmmmmm? The software stuff people warrant the car, check with them comes my reply. "Nope, you ran the car in a "competitive" event and that voids the warranty with them as well". Damn Robin, read the fine print next time!

Okay, how much to fix it? "That will be $10,000 Mr. Sparrow". After picking myself up off the floor, I called RRT Racing and the next day the car was off to RRT's shop in Dulles, VA via a flat bed trailer. After some more digging and actually pulling the #1 turbo off the car, a $0.50 stainless steel airbox clip was discovered wedged in the turbo. The clip had chewed up the turbo impeller and eventually lodged itself between the impeller and turbo housing. Where and how did this happen? Simple, it is the airbox clip we and three BMW technicians spent over an hour looking for before Woody and I left United BMW's shop in Roswell, GA. That's right, when the heroic service work was performed, the clip was lost and sucked in to the turbo intake system. As the story went, 100 miles from Atlanta, the car went into limp mode permanently! Stuff happens.

So, at this turn of events, pictures are taken and sent to United BMW. "Mr. Sparrow, appears we owe you a turbo". Thank you very much. RRT completes the turbo replacement. Story over? Afraid not!

Car still does not quite run correctly. Has a very rough idle. Again, BMW refuses to look at it under warranty, even though we found the original failure to be the cause of a certified BMW technician. Unless it throws a fault code (ie - the computer tells the technician), BMW has no clue what's wrong the car anyway. What eventually happens though - you guessed it, a fault code. Off to trusty RRT Racing where the code detects a misfire at cylinder #6. A removed spark plug and a cylinder bore scope (picture colonoscopy for your car) and the piston head is found to be damaged. What? Yes, you're right again, part of the clip made its way down stream and in to the actual engine. "Mr. Sparrow, appears we owe you some engine work, but car must come to Atlanta this time". No problem as we strap the car to a trailer and Bruce Norton of RRT drives it to Atlanta.

United BMW replaces the #6 piston head as that is determined to be the sole source of the issue. I pick up the car in early October while attending BMW's annual national gathering better known as O'fest. "Take it to Road Atlanta and test it out". Fine says I. After two sessions on track I am making my way back to my paddock space when I hear knocking from somewhere. I inquire from someone as I drive by, "is that coming from my car?". Yepper comes the reply. 30 minutes later, the car is diagnosed as needing a flat bed for transport back to United BMW. Still later that evening I receive a call from United and the engine has spun a lower end bearing. "Appears we owe you an entirely new motor Mr. Sparrow".

Moving along, United delivers my car with a new motor at the end of October...drum roll please....with a check engine light on. United BMW states it is just an O2 sensor and should be under warranty. O2 sensor my butt. When I start the car the dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree and smoke bellows from the engine bay. So I take the car to a BMW dealer that will be named as they are awesome - Passport BMW in Marlow heights, MD.

Passport works on solving the issues with the car for the next 10 weeks (under warranty - go figure). In the end, I take "possession" of the car (she is slightly evil like Christine, but I still love her) in mid January 2010. New parts installed by Passport include car computer (DME), high-pressure fuel pump, and new fuel injectors.

Car runs fine - for two months....which leads us to our current status. Don't worry, its all good!!!!!