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-   -   Vanos completed some insight/ DIY to replace broken studs on that hold VANOS unit (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=938960)

Mctwist77 08-16-2012 11:52 AM

Vanos completed some insight/ DIY to replace broken studs on that hold VANOS unit
Hello everyone, I finally took the VANOS plunge and got it all done. Took about 7 hours because I was an idiot and broke 3 of the studs that holds the VANOS unit on, but I will discuss that later. Overall the procedure was fairly strightforward if you follow the beisan website. Some tips would be:

1. Make sure you have a torque wrench and you know how to use it. They can be rented for free from any autoparts store. Here is a usefull conversion tool that I used.

2. When tighting everything back up BE SURE NOT TO OVERTIGHTEN, follow torque specs as found on beisan site.

3.Removing the old seals from the VANOS valves is like doing open heart surgery. I recommend having extra fine sand paper so if you do knick an edge with your knife you can gently sand it down to a smooth finish. As far as how to cut the seals this is the method I used:
Take your knife and work one area really well, press down hard and wiggle, you will start cutting. Once you get a good hole made, take a sharp nail ( the width of the nail should be smaller than the groove of the VANOS groove) and put it in the hole you created and continue pushing and wiggling until the seal snaps. The nail is good because it makes it nearly impossible for you to scratch the valve. Repeat method for all 4 seals.

4. If you snap off the mounting studs during reinstallation do not panic.. we can fix it. :excited:

Vice grips or Channel Locks
Lock tite bolt seal (blue)
PB Blaster
and the following studs
#15 is the long one
#13 is the short one

I needed 3 of the short studs and my stealership only had 1 so I went to HomeDepot and had them make me 2 more.

Step 1:
Remove VANOS unit to expose broken studs

Step 2:
Spray PB blaster on broken studs where they are screwed into the head.
Allow a few minutes for PB blaster to work, careful not to spray into the exposed engine parts

Step 3:
Use vice grips or channel locks to turn studs and unscrew them from the head. Note:if they arent moving spray more PB blaster and keep working them, they will come out.

Step 4:
Once you get them out celebrate.

Step 5:
Installation of new studs. Put locktite on the first half inch of the stud to be screwed into the head. Screw in stud with fingers as hard as you can, wiggle a little bit as your screw to get it in further. Once you have it as tight as you can with your fingers, wrap a rag around in to protect the threads and gently use your vice grips or channel locks to turn it just a little bit more. It doesnt have to be all the way in, that what we have the locktite for.

After studs are replaced, you can reinstall your VANOS unit, be sure to use the torque wrench!

I hoped this helps some poor soul who (like me) decided to be an idiot and ripped his studs off and couldnt find anything online as to how to fix it.

2003silver330i 08-19-2012 11:08 AM

Good stuff. How does the car feel now?

Mctwist77 09-07-2012 11:12 AM

You know it does feel a little quicker in low RPMs, espically when the AC is on, but then again it just might be in my head.

moiz21 09-28-2012 10:44 AM

Just for future reference, since I already did mine and didn't break the studs thankfully, are the normal threads or reversed?

Mctwist77 09-28-2012 12:43 PM

The threads are normal, left loose, right tight

chillinhardinanE46 12-04-2012 05:03 PM

how much of the studs were left after being snapped?

I snapped one a few months back and tried to get it out with the procedure you mentioned but didnt get far because there was not much left of the stud. I didnt clamp onto it really hard because i was afraid of making things worse. I put some rtv gasket gasket maker and tightened it back up. Now the area where the stud was broken and has made a small leak. I will be attempting this again this weekend. Any suggestions?

trive2 12-04-2012 07:13 PM

They aren't very tightly torqued, how on earth did you snap them!? :S

And yeah, be SUPER careful doing the seals. You will gouge the sides of the valve without noticing until you get the seal off!

Mctwist77 12-04-2012 10:00 PM

Oh man that tricky, you could possibily drill into the center of the stud with an extractor. http://www.amazon.com/Screw-Extracto...w+removal+tool It will probably have to be a tiny extractor though. Autozone should have it. If you do go this route I would tape off everything around the area. You dont want any tiny pieces of metal inside your valve area. Or like trive2 said if you can grab it at all they shouldnt take too much force to get off, hit it with some PB Blaster. Good luck!

chillinhardinanE46 12-05-2012 07:15 PM

I did look into that... but i wuldnt want to try that myself and make it worse to the point that it cant be extracted by a pro. I wil probably end up calling a pro if i cant get it out this weekend

There is a bit of the stud sticking out. I can grab this with pliers or vice grips but they wuld slip if i remember correctly. I didnt want to clamp down super hard on the stud for fear of ruining the stud tothe point it culd not be extracted.

Would yu say i should go ahead and clamp on hard as possible and possibly ruin the exposed threading to remove the stud? If i did ruin the exposed thread, can it still be removed via the extraction method yu mentioned?

Thanks a lot for the help guys. me an my e46 appreciate it

Mctwist77 12-06-2012 10:12 AM

If by "ruin the stud" you mean it will crack or break off is very unlikely. If you squeeze hard with vice grips or pliers you will ruin the threading but the stud is already broken anyway so that doesnt matter. So yes, if it was me I would squeez the stud as hard as a could and turn as hard as I could. I had to do that on mine. It wasnt easy, I squeezed as hard as I could I was in pain when I was done. If you do all these things and you ruin the stud threading, yes you could still drill, I dont see why not. Make sure you PB Blast it and squeeze and twist, just fight with it for awhile if you have to.

Mr_325 12-06-2012 01:41 PM

great tips and after hearing this i'm more scared to bring this to a mechanic where i can't see if he's gouged the **** out of the VANOS or not but i don't have the actual time to DIY, plus it's intimidating haha

Mctwist77 12-07-2012 02:38 PM

Haha the DIY is really not that difficult if you follow the online walkthough. It is the most complete walkthrough I have ever followed.

chillinhardinanE46 12-08-2012 12:29 PM


I got the damn stud out!

Followed the steps in your DIY above and the stud came out after a while. I used a small pair of vise grips to get a hold of the stud and kept spraying with PB blaster.

Thank you Mctwist77!

Id say take the time and do the vanos job yourself Mr 325. Just read and pay close attention to everything they mention and you'll be good.

Mctwist77 12-09-2012 01:19 PM

Congrats man! Glad I could help! I should have asked you to take pictures! But oh well, now you can sleep at night.

chillinhardinanE46 12-11-2012 11:26 AM

3 Attachment(s)
yea no kidding... on problem down... a few more to go lol :thumbup:

I actually have a few pictures.

Theres 2 of the broken stud still in the engine block, and 1 comparing the size after it was extracted.

ddombrowski 12-11-2012 11:33 AM

I did mine as well this weekend, and I had a difficult time getting the old seals out without scratching up the sides of the piston. I didn't put any deep gashes in mine but there were a few noticeable scratches. I doubt they had any effect on the sealing of the piston.

Car doesn't drive all that different, but then again I never had any VANOS failure symptoms before hand (no low RPM power loss or surging at 3k). My VCG was leaking and I figured I should do the vanos seals while I was in there.

Took me about 5 hours but I was cleaning the garage up at the same time as well as doing the front engine pullies and fixing a vaccum line that broke while I was taking the valve cover off.

Mctwist77 12-11-2012 12:25 PM

Yeah I agree, the only difference I notice now that its been awhile is that I have more power with the AC Running, thats it.

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