Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Treading Water — Part 3


Being that today is my day off, I've been spending some time under the hood of the Shark. I was hoping that the broken sensor tab would cure the problem. But after taking a closer look, I think that sensor has something to do with the power steering and shouldn't make much of a difference. But I'm still guessing without a repair manual.

With that guess in mind, I decided to remove the ECU and take a look for burned components. Getting at the unit wasn't difficult. All I had to do was open the glove box and remove four bolts and the thing pulled out very easily. To get to the bolts on the left side, you have to loosen the wire cartridge that plugs in to the ecu. Simply push back the metal tabs on the right side and you'll be able to loosen it enough to get at the left hand bolts.



Getting inside the ecu was harder than I expected. Four bolts hold a plate on either side and four more hold the circuit boards in place on either side. The problem was getting either of the circuit boards loose enough to look inside at the components. No matter what I tried, neither would come loose. I finally removed the center rubber piece on one side and the board came loose. Strange.

A look at the back of the circuit boards seems to indicate (I'm not qualified to judge) that several of the components burned out, but I really can't be sure. So, I called around for an ecu located in the area. Nobody had one but many promised to call back with information. None did.



I finally broke down and used the buy-it-now feature for an ecu from a 1984 BMW 633CSi on ebay. Many ebay advertisements claim to have the right part but are not quite right. For instance, one was selling an ecu from a 1978 633CSi promising that it would fit all 633CSi's from 1978-88. Oh really? Another was offering one from a 1982 633CSi but the number was different. It's always best to order the exact same part. Well ... actually it would be better to order a rebuilt or brand new unit. But the cheapest rebuilt one I found was at www.goecu.com and cost $250 plus a $50 core charge. New ones were $720 and as high as $1400.

Yikes!


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