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6 Cylinder Crankshaft Sensor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

6 Cylinder Crankshaft Sensor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$130

Talent:

***

Tools:

Set of sockets, 5mm Allen bit, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Crankshaft position sensor, sealing O-ring, crankshaft sensor fastener

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will start and run well

Complementary Modification:

Repair oil leak from faulty crankshaft sensor sealing O-ring

The digital motor electronics (DME) engine management systems in BMW Z4 vehicles uses the engine control module (ECM) to control fuel injection, ignition and other important drivetrain functions. The ECM sequentially triggers the fuel injectors to spray fuel into the intake ports and then, a split-second later, triggers the ignition coils to fire the spark plugs. This sequence of events is timed by using the crankshaft position. Using the signal from the crankshaft sensor, the ECM "knows" which cylinder is ready for fuel intake and then, later, for ignition.

The crankshaft position sensor is located near (below) the starter motor, mounted in the engine block (crankcase). The sensor reads a toothed reluctor wheel mounted to the end of the crankshaft. It then sends a signal to the DME used to identify cylinder location. If this signal is missing, for example from a faulty crankshaft sensor, the engine will not start. You can consider the signal from the crankshaft sensor the RPM signal for the DME.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the crankshaft position sensor. You can access the sensor from above with the intake air housing removed, working on the left side.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The digital motor electronics (DME) engine management systems in BMW Z4 vehicles uses the engine control module (ECM) to control fuel injection, ignition and other important drivetrain functions.
Figure 1

The crankshaft position sensor (red arrow) is located near (below) the starter motor (yellow arrow), mounted in the engine block (crankcase). The sensor reads a toothed reluctor wheel mounted to the end of the crankshaft. It then sends a signal to the DME used to identify cylinder location. If this signal is missing, for example from a faulty crankshaft sensor, then the engine will not start. You can consider the signal from the crankshaft sensor the RPM signal for the DME.

Remove the intake air housing and ducts.
Figure 2

Remove the intake air housing and ducts. See our tech article on intake air housing removing. The electrical connector is located under the center of the intake manifold. You can just see it from above. Working behind the starter motor (yellow arrow) at the left side of the engine, disconnect the crankshaft sensor electrical connector (red arrow) by pressing the wire retainer and pulling the male connector end out. The inset shows the connector unplugged.

Next, using a 5mm Allen bit (yellow arrow), remove the crankshaft sensor mounting fastener (red arrows).
Figure 3

Next, using a 5mm Allen bit (yellow arrow), remove the crankshaft sensor mounting fastener (red arrows). There is not a lot of room, so I use a long 5mm Allen bit with a four-inch extension on my 1/4-inch drive ratchet.

Once the Allen bolt is removed, pull the crankshaft out of the engine block (red arrow).
Figure 4

Once the Allen bolt is removed, pull the crankshaft out of the engine block (red arrow). Be sure that the sealing O-ring (yellow arrow) comes out with the sensor. If it stays in the block, retrieve it with a small pick. Install the new sensor and sealing O-ring. Tighten the sensor to the fastener. Reconnect the electrical connector and install the intake air housing. Start the vehicle and allow it to idle for about one minute. Check that the crankshaft sensor area is free of oil leaks. If your check engine light was on, now is the time to clear any fault codes, and you are done.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:56:09 AM