Vanos Seal Refresh

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by Matt330ci, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. 6 Oct 2020 at 7:41 AM #41
    Matt330ci

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    Hack said i just need the cheap £12 set of seals but I feel like that's not all the seals I could replace if I drop that block off?
     
  2. 6 Oct 2020 at 11:18 AM #42
    svvg

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    Yup. Was bloody lucky.

    I did have a head gasket done a few years before that - by an MTech - but I guess these things can work loose... can’t really point the finger - and I heard the noise/whirring vibration at 2,250-2,500 rpm - so caught it in time, and no harm no foul etc. It’s not much more work to go the full hog if you’ve removed the vanos unit.
     
  3. 17 Oct 2020 at 6:23 PM #43
    Matt330ci

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    Did this today.

    Pop off the left side of the plastic shroud on the fan.

    Unscrew the oil restrictor (22mm spanner) and take that out.
    Change the 2 seals and fit a new nylon spacer if need be. My bigger seal was OK, but the smaller one was complete flat/square. Oil filter was clear and clean so left that alone.
    5 hex bolts to drop the solenoid block, then peel the plate off. I didn't manage to get the electrical clip off the solenoid so couldn't use brake cleaner on that.
    The 4 rubber o rings on mine were completely flat and flush with the plate. I used a stanley knife to cut them out and then run it around the holes to clear old bits of rubber out.
    Pressed new ones in, refitted with new bolts supplied by Hack but from BMW, the new ones are star style bolts rather than hex.

    Just been out for a test drive and it does feel as though there is a little bit more response at the bottom end. Having seen how flat and worn the old o-rings were it was worth doing.
    £45 delivered and took an hour to do.
    Would have taken less if either the clip on the solenoid pack undid or I didn't bother wasting time trying.
     
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  4. 17 Oct 2020 at 6:29 PM #44
    svvg

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    Nice one. Glad you sorted it.
     
  5. 17 Oct 2020 at 7:36 PM #45
    monkeyboy

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    good job mate......but the solenoid valve block is one of the most important parts to clean, it’s the small oil ways that get gunked up and slows/stops the vanos solenoid pack from working and advancing & retarding the cams, without doing that it’s a bit of a pointless exercise and only kinda half a job.....the besian step by step guide has a massive bit on cleaning that as it’s very important dude.
     
  6. 17 Oct 2020 at 7:47 PM #46
    M3POWERBOY

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    Very true - when I did my seals I spent a good 15-20mins cleaning the solenoid with brake cleaner and a very strong magnet to do it properly- surprising how much cruddy oil was in there- kept cleaning til it was perfectly clean

    The rest of the Vanos was then completely overhauled 4 months later by [email protected] M3’s when my Vanos exhaust sprocket tab broke!
     
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  7. 17 Oct 2020 at 8:33 PM #47
    Matt330ci

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    Could not get the electrical clip off. Just wouldn't undo.
    Had a limited amount of time to do the job so did what I could do.

    Given the oil I could see was clean and sufficiently runny I wasn't over worried about the solenoids being blocked.

    No errors or funny noises.
     
  8. 17 Oct 2020 at 8:57 PM #48
    monkeyboy

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    the oil was running out of mine too but the the solenoids were sticking/stuck! Took me
    ages to get them cleaned out so they were clicking properly. i didn’t do it properly the 1st time and ended up having to do it again mate so it had to come off a second time!
    I’d be willing to put money on the fact that if you remove yours and use the magnet to see if they click they will be incredibly quiet, your hear the difference when they are clean as it’s drastically louder.
    Also the difference in performance after it was done was hugely noticeable to which I intend to remove and clean it as a matter of service at regular intervals.
     
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  9. 17 Oct 2020 at 9:49 PM #49
    IanB

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    Like M3powerboy says, get a really strong magnet (like a neodymium, shiny silver ones) if you are cleaning the solenoids, so you can clear feel/hear them move.
     
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  10. 18 Oct 2020 at 7:41 AM #50
    Matt330ci

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    Any one find that connector wouldn't come off, or at least struggle badly?
     
  11. 18 Oct 2020 at 7:47 AM #51
    monkeyboy

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    no mate it comes off dead easy, there is a correct way to squeeze or push it I can’t remember which and I can’t go out and check on my car cos I’ve had a knee op and can’t stand up or walk at the moment I’m afraid :sad:
     
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  12. 18 Oct 2020 at 7:49 AM #52
    monkeyboy

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    Oh and I bought a Halfords magnetic tray for holding screws etc as it’s got big magnets on to make the solenoids click. It was about £6 and useful to have in any case
     
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  13. 18 Oct 2020 at 8:31 AM #53
    Matt330ci

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    I meant to ask how your op went :beer:
    And I dug my magnetic tray out with the exact same intention :D

    My finger tips are still tingling from the 20 minutes or so I spend squeezing that connector with no joy.
    I'd hoped dropping the block would allow enough movement to release it and that didn't work.
    It feels like there are tabs to press on both sides, one of which is completely impossible to see.
    I tried a screw driver tip to press the one I could but couldn't do that at get my hand on the other side.
    Got to the point where I could see me breaking the clip and making more work for myself so abandoned that stage.

    To those of you that found gunk and that you didn't have a noticeable click until after you cleaned it, did you have ECU light/error codes?
     
  14. 18 Oct 2020 at 9:07 AM #54
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    I had no error light etc but was told when the car was mapped (3 years prior)I had a lazy Vanos - when the solenoids kick in right at the top end it was tailing off rather than making more power (I’d never felt it on the road but felt it afterwards!)- was linked to the seals and cleaning process
     
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  15. 18 Oct 2020 at 11:43 AM #55
    monkeyboy

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    the op went well thanks mate lot more metal in my knee than I thought there would be lol!! Just sore as hell now which is to be expected!
    I can’t remember how the clip works I’m afraid. Deffo don’t want to break it.
    As M3powerboy says, when I didn’t mine I didn’t clean it correctly 1st time and the car still ran like **** after the vanos rebuild and solenoid replacement so cleaned it again for it clicking super loud and the car ran so much better than before even better than it ran before the faulty vanos so clearly failing for a while. Its also pretty therapeutic cleaning it and getting it to click as best as you can lol
     
  16. 18 Oct 2020 at 12:00 PM #56
    Matt330ci

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    Have to say, mine runs nothing like badly.
    I just always feel/felt it wasn't particularly meaty low down the range.
    It does feel a bit better now even without cleaning it out.
    I've got half term off, hopefully the wife is taking the little one to the inlaws and I can have a couple of hours spare to have another go.
     
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  17. 18 Oct 2020 at 12:11 PM #57
    monkeyboy

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    Deffo worth the time mate, I actually soaked my whole valve block in so petrol for a bit to get the worst out then used brake cleaner to clear the rest. I found a you tube bud ages back that showed how they were clicking and then how they should after cleaning I’ll try did it out and post the link
     
  18. 18 Oct 2020 at 12:31 PM #58
    RevlisM3

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    You need to grab the connector top and bottom to press the clip. Then try getting a screwdriver to push the plug away from the sensor its clipped into slowly and evenly. Will be on tight especially if not removed
     

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