Repair of BMW ABS+ASC controller 34511164897

By · July 25, 2015 · 7 comments

The ABS+ASC warning light has been stuck on in my 1998 318is coupe since I bought it. When I checked the fault codes the error was a fault with the pump unit.

I have looked into this problem a few times and I thought it might be one of the common problems reported online which is the connections inside the pump unit break and need to be repaired.

But after further research I found that my late model E36 has a different unit which is also fitted to some later E46 models. The part number for this controller is 34511164897.

I thought I had got lucky when I found a second hand unit of the exact same type at a local self-service wrecker's yard for A$55.

However, when looking for some instructions online for how to replace the ABS pump and controller I finally found some information on a common problem with this particular ABS+ASC controller.

Inside the controller there is a couple of solder joints which crack. They are for a connector which joins to the other part of the pump and presumably provide power to the pump motor.

The ABS+ASC controller is part of the pump unit but can be removed separately, which means there is no opening of any brake lines and need to bleed the brakes.

So time to remove the controller and either swap it with the one I bought or fix mine. The instructions I found online all refer to left hand drive models, which are easier to remove the controller as there are no brake lines in front of the controller like with right hand drive models. I had to bend the brake lines a little in various directions to get my controller out. It's only held in by four star head (Torx) screws which you need the right sockets for.

Once out I found that there was no way of removing the cover. Some people online had cut off and removed the entire cover but one person had cut out the cover only where the repairs need to be done.

At this point I just put in the new part that I bought to see if that would solve my problem. It didn't. I still had the same fault code (despite clearing codes) and a new code about a communication error. A bit more research revealed that the car needs to have a setting changed to work with a different controller, even thought it's the exact same type. I wasn't sure how to do that so I went back to trying to repair mine.

Using a knife then a drill (carefully) I cut out a small section of the controller's cover and then I could see that I did have this common problem of the broken solder joints. From my pictures below you can see where the right place to do this is.

I resoldered the joints, which is best done with a powerful soldering iron and, as a temporary fix only, covered the hole with duct tape. I plan to fill the hole properly with epoxy or something later.

Back in the car, which requires more moving of brake lines, codes cleared, and the light is finally off with no further codes reported.

BMW E36 ABS+ASC controller fix

BMW E36 ABS+ASC controller fix

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Comments (7)

# Posted by Gotz Haase · July 10, 2016

You can get the cover off but it takes a bit of time: Slide some small plastic strips under the clips that appear to keep the lid on the box. Then get a heat gun and heat the outer perimeter. The manufacturer has used Butyl to permanently glue and seal the lid to the box. Once the Butyl melts the lid reluctivity comes off. Take your time and heat the perimeter evenly. Once it's too hot to touch give out another minute or so and start prying it off. Don't overheat!!

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Gotz Haase
# Posted by John · July 11, 2016

Thanks for the instructions - I will give that a try next time.

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John
# Posted by Greg Vickery · April 8, 2017

thanks john, fixed a 318ti i was working on for a friend..
very cost effective fix..

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Greg Vickery
# Posted by Povilas · April 10, 2017

tried to remove the controller on my rhd 318is and it's impossible with the brake lines in the way no matter where i try to bend them :( do you have any tips?

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Povilas
# Posted by John Avis · April 10, 2017

mine certainly took a bit of wriggling and minor bending of brake lines to get it in and out. how close are you to getting it out? is it catching on the 2 pin plug that sticks out at the top or something else?

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John Avis
# Posted by Wil · August 2, 2017

Cheers mate, exactly those two solder joints that failed. I completely missed those two checking the board, all the other joints looked perfect. For others doing this bath the whole thing in a no-clean flux to help with permanence of the repair. Also add a tiny bit of extra solder too (make sure its LEAD based!). Wish I had seen the top comment about heating it before I cracked the dremel out to get the case off.

This was the same fix for a 1998 e36 318ti, Right hand drive model.

For others reference it is possible to get the unit out without removing brake lines, but you do need to bend the brake lines out of the way a tiny bit.

First unbolt the whole pump unit (one bolt) and move it towards the rear of the car, this helps increase clearance.

Focus on the brake lines at the opposite the top of controller unit itself, this is the where longest part that sticks into the pump is (the 2 pin plug). Put a bar through at this point and lever the brake lines out away from the controller to increase clearance (socket extension works well for this as its round and less likely to damage the lines.) Obviously be careful here, this is relatively thin metal and you don't want to accidentally crimp/damage a brake line.

Now you should JUST have enough clearance to be able to remove the controller from the pump and clear the solenoids, but the 2 pin plug will remain stuck. Rotate the controller around this plug so less is covered by the brake lines, push the whole pump unit to the back of the car and wiggle while removing controller at an angle, you should JUST be able to get it out.

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Wil
# Posted by John Avis · August 3, 2017

Thanks for the comment and extra instructions, Wil.

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John Avis
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About me
John Avis I am a bit of a 3 series fanatic, having owned a couple of E30s and a few E36s, plus a few parts cars. I like the combination of the compact size, good performance and handling, and that they are more sports sedan than an impractical and extrovert sports car. This blog is a place to share my experience and knowledge.
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