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      10-19-2020, 10:10 PM   #1
ccmkE82
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Issue starting car, broken ground wire

So my 2008 135i with 180,000kms, has been in the process of getting bodywork done after an accident for the last month and finally the car was finished today. The tech at the bodyshop had trouble starting the vehicle (which was never an issue before I brought it in) and it was taken to a BMW dealership across the street. What they found was a corroded and snapped ground wire that mounts onto the frame. The dealership provided the following pictures.





The dealership has said that BMW does not supply the individual part for the connector that is snapped and the whole wire has to be replaced for $350, and it would take 8 hours of labour since the subframe and fuel tank has to be dropped. None of this cost would be covered by insurance as it was not related to my accident. Paying over $1000 CAD seems absolutely ridiculous to me for this issue. Would I be wrong to assume I could simply strip the wire and crimp on a large ring terminal to bolt onto the frame? Has anyone else had this issue?
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      10-20-2020, 11:39 AM   #2
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Is it the ground strap on the driver's side? Below the driveshaft?
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...e/12427549393/

I think that's the only one. Fuel tank removal sounds weird. If only newtis hadn't been taken down recently we could do some research there but....
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      10-20-2020, 12:53 PM   #3
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That is one of the battery positive cables. It runs all the way from the battery area, underneath the car to the charging post under the hood.

Fellow tech is doing one on an E90 right now. Was corroded right where it passes through the body just in front of the battery. And yes, you have to replace the entire cable assembly , which is both cables.
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      10-20-2020, 02:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtla1 View Post
Is it the ground strap on the driver's side? Below the driveshaft?
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...e/12427549393/

I think that's the only one. Fuel tank removal sounds weird. If only newtis hadn't been taken down recently we could do some research there but....
Doesn't look to be a ground strap. Clarified with BMW and it is actually the positive battery lead.
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      10-20-2020, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
That is one of the battery positive cables. It runs all the way from the battery area, underneath the car to the charging post under the hood.

Fellow tech is doing one on an E90 right now. Was corroded right where it passes through the body just in front of the battery. And yes, you have to replace the entire cable assembly , which is both cables.
Seems to be the same issue that I have. That photo definitely helps visualize what the wire is attached to. Called the dealership to get more info and it is indeed the positive battery lead, part #61129125032. Hilariously the stealership has given me a final quote of $2400 CAD. Going to try and fit a new connection on the wire myself, and if all else fails replace the entire cable. Thanks for the help!
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      10-20-2020, 02:54 PM   #6
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It is of course a handful of parts assembled together into what gets sold and is in the pictures. I can't see any reason why you couldn't attempt a repair. Just follow normal best practices - good crimps, lots of solder if applicable, strain relief if possible, and so on. Car audio applications could work here - i.e. how you'd terminate a power cable for a trunk amp.

Also, take a really good look at the break. You can find a lot of evidence of how things happened. If you see corrosion on the outside, all of it, none of it (kinda looks like bright copper in the picture). If it looks like a smooth surface saying it slowly came apart (called beach marks) or if it's rough (fracture, or sudden since copper isn't actually brittle). Point being - maybe it actually did happen in the accident? Worth a shot.
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      10-20-2020, 03:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
That is one of the battery positive cables. It runs all the way from the battery area, underneath the car to the charging post under the hood.

Fellow tech is doing one on an E90 right now. Was corroded right where it passes through the body just in front of the battery. And yes, you have to replace the entire cable assembly , which is both cables.
Was this is the one that had the recall way back when? Maybe OP can triple check to see if it was ever performed on his car? Possibly get lucky.
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      10-20-2020, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtla1 View Post
Was this is the one that had the recall way back when? Maybe OP can triple check to see if it was ever performed on his car? Possibly get lucky.
That was at the front of the car, going into the JBE (fusebox).

will be hard to replicate that part. The part that is broken is the end with the threaded bolt coming out of it, and the cable is almost one inch in diameter.
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      10-20-2020, 04:54 PM   #9
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I was thinking somethign like this, maybe bigger: https://www.grainger.com/product/6MF...xoCN6UQAvD_BwE

But...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
will be hard to replicate that part. The part that is broken is the end with the threaded bolt coming out of it, and the cable is almost one inch in diameter.
Hmm. Hard indeed.
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      10-23-2020, 07:44 PM   #10
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A bit of an unfortunate update. My vehicle was boosted and driven back to the body shop for a final check of the bodywork. Went to go pick up the car from the body shop after they boosted it again and was planning on driving it back to a garage where I could attempt to fix the broken connector. While signing the paperwork inside I could suddenly hear my car idling like a cammed dragster for about 10 seconds and then the engine puttered out. The shop attempted to boost the car again yet the engine wouldn't turn over at all and all electronics were dead aside from my wiper blades which started and couldn't be turned off for some reason.

What I assume happened is the battery finally drained, and the alternator is not getting power to it due to the broken battery lead. For the meantime the battery is on a charger at the shop over the weekend and I'll try to drive a short distance to a garage on Monday. I am hoping all electronics will begin to work fine once the battery is recharged and hopefully the car will start. I don't know if any damage could have been caused by this, and the way the engine was idling definitely hurt to listen to, but I am hoping for the best.
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      10-23-2020, 10:01 PM   #11
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1er is a different setup than the 3er.
Battery location is why ... 3er is in the passenger rear side, 1er is in the middle of the trunk (offset to the passenger side). But the look of the cable is the same.

The wires run up and over the fuel tank, that's why it has to come down.


I'm not a mechanic ...


But from what I'm finding, #2 is what you want, from here http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E8...ep_wire_for_b/
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      11-12-2020, 05:30 PM   #12
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So the connection that was broken turned out to be more complicated than I thought after I removed the heatshrink, and it is not just a basic ring connection. But I ended up fixing this issue by chopping a connector off of a junkyard 335i of similar year and then spliced the cables together. All is working as normal for now!
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