[E46] Exhaust Camshaft sensor

Discussion in 'Engine maintenance, upgrades and modifications' started by Jimbo25, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. 28 Jul 2016 at 8:12 PM #1
    Jimbo25

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    Right, been reading up on this a fair bit as I have the same fault codes, and as all the guides mention it being a right PITA I thought I'd start at 7pm, when it was on and off raining, when I need the car for work tomorrow, no pressure :D

    Sensor: 13627796054
    O-Ring: 12141748398 (I found out after that the sensor comes equipped with a new o-ring anyway - so not required)
    Total: About £125 from Harry Fairbairn over on Total M Cars.

    You'll need a 5mm allen key bit and a ratchet of some sort. I lucked out, my impact driver's set of allen bits fit perfectly in an 8mm ratchet spanner. Tape the bit into the spanner (trust me!!) and it's also very handy to have a magnet on a stick, picture here showing why:

    [​IMG]

    Sensor is located above the exhaust, just below the plastic engine cover here:

    [​IMG]

    Zoomed out a bit, that's here (allen key sticking out):
    [​IMG]

    I found leaving the connector on was easier until the bolt is out, it all just gets in the way otherwise. The job is all done by feel, but not too bad a job if you don't keep dropping the bit (remember the tape!) / ratchet (remember the trusted magnet on a stick!) down, luckily they just fall onto the ally undertray.

    Once the sensor is out it'll look like this (New right, old left):
    [​IMG]

    Notice the lack of o-ring? Yep, have a root around in the hole ;) and drag out the old O-ring, A new one comes with the sensor and I didn't know this so ordered a spare. New sensor is supposed to be a lot bigger, changed design.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the little 5mm bastard you've only known by touch 'til now:
    [​IMG]

    Refitting is the reverse of removal, as they say. Finger start the bolt and then nip up with spanner. re-attach connector and bob's your uncle! Start it up and just check for no oil leaks, job done. Sensor bolts in about 45 degrees upwards (pointing at the strut brace, if you have one)

    This really wasn't as bad as I was expecting after reading the mostly U.S. guides on replacement. I would give it a 4/10 on access alone, it's quite tricky but not impossible. Took me ~45mins start to finish. The right tool makes the difference I imagine, not sure if you'd get a 3/8ths ratchet in. Also my car had stood for ~2 hours and the engine was still quite hot, your arm will spend a bit of time resting on the cylinder head oil drain banjo bolt, so this one is perfect for a saturday/sunday morning job.

    Hope that helps someone out :)
    Jimbo
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  2. 29 Jul 2016 at 9:52 AM #2
    MWagon

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    Awesome guide, thanks for taking the time.

    What made you change the sensor, what symptoms of it failing did you notice?
     
  3. 29 Jul 2016 at 9:57 AM #3
    E46CoupeM3

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    Took me 10 mins with a small 1/4 drive and a hot engine.
     
  4. 29 Jul 2016 at 11:47 AM #4
    Jimbo25

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    I think without pausing to take pictures and pick up my tools for the first 15 mins I could have been quicker - but as I say the reason for the write up was the yanks really seem to struggle, and I'd only seen a guide on the U.S. websites.

    I'll post up the error codes when I get home, but both related to AVANOS function (A = Auspuff = Exhaust) - crankshaft syncronisation with KW (basically crank/cam position sensor disparity) - once my laptop was charged I cleared the codes and adaptions and it's smooth as silk again.

    I had a persistent engine light and the usual kangarooing etc was amplified when cold, it was a little hesitant too, but actually drove quite well, I drove around like that for ages as I wasn't sure if it was this sensor or the VANOS unit itself.
     
  5. 31 Jul 2016 at 3:12 AM #5
    E46CoupeM3

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    I reached in, pressed my finger on the bolt head, pulled it out and selected a bit that matched the mark in my finger, unclip wire, small 1/4 drive and done.
     

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