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  1. #1

    2003 zhp - power loss

    Hi all - longtime member here, but don't get to post as often as I'd like!

    I'd like some input on something I've noticed with my 2003 330. At present, I have a long commute, nearly all interstate highway so the vehicle gets up to temp and gets to stay there for at least an hour.

    This is a 2003 330i, 6spd, ZHP, with 216000 miles. What's happening is a brief loss of power around 2k-2500 RPM with some load on the car - say 2nd gear, or 3rd gear. It's very specific - once the revs get past about 2500 or so the car is fine, pulls just like one would expect all the way to redline. I know the ZHP has had a host of these types of issues over the years, mostly solved through software. I am at the latest revision of software offered for this vehicle.

    The pre-cat O2 sensors have recently been replaced with Bosch (no wire splicing) units. The plugs are about 36k old, and are NGK BKR6EQUP. The DISA isn't original, but has been in there a while - about 130k. The CCV system also has not been replaced - not long ago I did some testing with a Dwyer Magnehelic gauge and things appeared in spec; however, I haven't checked lately. Years ago, as part of a campaign, the coils were replaced.

    I also recently replaced a failed mass air flow sensor. The car definitely feels more alive with the new MAF, just this one little issue remains. I do not have an SES light or anything on. I'm not sure what additional information or testing I need to perform to help troubleshoot this issue. I do have access to INPA/GT1. During a recent visit to the dealer for an alignment I was told there are no air leaks in the motor, but I'm not sure if a smoke test was performed.

    Also, for those with INPA/GT1 experience on this DME, where are you finding the long/short term fuel trim info?
    - now with 5 speeds

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I just cured an issue of really poor running and power loss at low RPM (especially when the engine was cold) by replacing the 6 coils. I have 186k mi.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Usually the CCV symptoms show up at idle, that I've noticed. Have you done your VANOS seals? That may be some of the issue but I don't think it would cause a major power loss.
    19" VMR VB3 CSL reps w/ General G-Max 3 A/S, BMW Performance short throw shifter, CDV delete, M54B30 swap, and a redneck CAI.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Oklahoma City
    Quote Originally Posted by static667 View Post
    Usually the CCV symptoms show up at idle, that I've noticed. Have you done your VANOS seals? That may be some of the issue but I don't think it would cause a major power loss.
    Did mine and changed everything.
    Sold- But not forgotten
    04 Silbergrau/6MT/Silver Cube
    Silbergrau Uberlegen Ist!

  5. #5
    hmmm. it definitely seems to be pointing toward CCV or VANOS - but, coils aren't a bad idea either. while the car is well maintained and i know its entire history (2nd owner, 1st is a good friend), the mileage on the motor could cause any of these to be an issue. i'm going to capture some live data while the problem occurs and see if anything looks out of the norm.

    i haven't checked recently, but i did a test of the CCV using a magnehelic gauge a while back and it tested within spec. i'll revisit that.
    the vanos has not been touched so regardless of this issue its due. the CCV is original too.

    this car sees almost nothing but highway miles at highway speed so certain systems (like CCV) i think have lasted much longer than the norm. or, i'm just lucky...hehe.

    the coils are not original - but, they've been in for quite a while. they were replaced as part of a BMW campaign (service bulletin to switch from Bremi to Bosch, i believe) many, many miles ago.

    i do need to check for any stored codes and get the live data. i'll update when that is done.

    thanks for the thoughts thus far!
    - now with 5 speeds

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    jacksonville FL
    if you haven't done VANOS, I would start there. you are way over due!

    not sure of the exact rpm they phase in, you could research that. If yours are orginals, you dont have anything to lose.

    my previous 330 had 320k miles on it when I sold it... I don't think you will get much change with anything ignition related. CCV should show symptoms at idle. I have done the VANOS seal replacement (beissan) and bought a replacement from (drvanos) in the past. I like the replacement and mail back core path. a much quicker and simple repair.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Silicon Valley
    I second (or 3rd) the suggestion to do the VANOS seals, either DIY with Beisan or swap the whole unit with Dr. Vanos. Since you've updated the DME software and replaced the MAF recently, it sounds like a camshaft timing issue, which is usually VANOS seals. Could be camshaft position sensors or a stuck VANOS solenoid. You can remove, clean and replace the VANOS solenoids but getting the exhaust solenoid off requires a specific deep 32mm socket--I bought 2 deep ones that didn't fit and still have never removed mine. (I removed, cleaned and reinstalled the intake solenoid using a 32mm wrench.)

    So do the VANOS seals then if still have this issue perhaps try cleaning the VANOS solenoids.
    I am assuming a DISA issue would show up more between 3500-4000 RPM than 2000-2500 RPM, but you can always pull out your DISA and check that A) the flap is not loose, and B) the flap once turned doesn't return completely to its rest position if you block the vacuum port with a finger before letting go of the flap.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    New Mexico
    shadowpuck, I think I’m experiencing the same symptoms you are: a brief drop or hesitation in power as I accelerate out of shifting into second or third gear (right around 2k RPM). It’s not every single time, nor have I been able to reliably reproduce the phenomenon, but it has been becoming more recent and definitely lines up with your report.

    I also seem to have a very similar set of circumstances to yours: high mileage (136k here), nearly all of my daily miles are from my highway commute, most recent DME software (fixed the standard “4k dip”), and my original CCV. Where I differ, though, is that I have repaired both my VANOS (Beisan kits) and my DISA (GAS kit).

    Subscribed for any further insight from the Family!

    Travis | 04 ZHP sedan 6MT | WeĭssLĭcht AEs | BMW clears | Plasti-Dipped grilles | BMW Perf. intake | TMS Power Pulleys | DIY aux-in | !CDV
    Sprint Booster w/Sport button | Mich PS AS4 (245 sq) | M3 front sway | Z4M LCABs | Beisan VANOS rebuild | GAS DISA rebuild | BMW diag. PC

  9. #9
    i haven't had a chance to check for codes look at live data yet - hope to do so this weekend.
    mine also isn't consistent, but does it more often than not. at present, i can drive around the issue on the street.
    - now with 5 speeds

  10. #10
    i did get to pull codes this weekend, but not any live data other than at idle.
    interestingly, there were codes stored for both CATS below efficiency threshold.
    so, at present, given the mileage on the parts, i'll attack the DISA and the VANOS.

    i'm hoping to get some time to try testing the VANOS using the computer - just for fun/learning.
    - now with 5 speeds

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