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Old 09-19-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
Commanderwiggin
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Boosted Vanos Upgrades

Has anyone done anything with their Vanos units when adding boost to their cars? Been looking at the DrVanos but was wondering what else is out there, recommended and why?
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:04 PM   #2
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Besian seals. Dr Vanos units are over priced.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
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I'm also looking to replace (or upgrade) my Vanos. Would be curious to know if there are any options.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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Dr. Vanos Cam Bolts
Dr. Vanos Cam Sprocket
Dr. Vanos Exhaust Hub
Beisan Systems Vanos Sealing Plate
Beisan Systems Vanos Solenoid
BMW Vanos Filter

That's what I would ideally like to do for my VANOS overhaul and preventative maintenance...but man it's expensive, haha.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commanderwiggin View Post
From what I can summarize, a rattle kit, seal kit, solenoid kit, and some thread-locker on the the bolts for exhaust/intake sides is probably the best solution.
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Originally Posted by flipm3 View Post
Dr. Vanos Cam Bolts
Dr. Vanos Cam Sprocket
Dr. Vanos Exhaust Hub
Beisan Systems Vanos Sealing Plate
Beisan Systems Vanos Solenoid
BMW Vanos Filter
So from what I am understanding, the two main flaws with our VANOS systems are the tabs and the intake cam bolts correct? Is it prone to certain years for the tabs and certain years for the intake cam bolts or it are both prone to any year?

Link to other info i found for VANOS intake cam bolts DIY:
http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:28 PM   #6
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So from what I am understanding, the two main flaws with our VANOS systems are the tabs and the intake cam bolts correct? Is it prone to certain years for the tabs and certain years for the intake cam bolts or it are both prone to any year?

Link to other info i found for VANOS intake cam bolts DIY:
http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494
From my own research, it seems like the tabs and cam bolts are the most likely to fail as you mentioned. I know in the S54B32 Z4Ms had upgraded cam bolts, but I'm not sure if that upgrade made it into the E46 M3s of the same year and after.

In regards to specific years, I have not seen any conclusive statistics for susceptibility. Honestly, I still think that those that experience VANOS failures are a very small percentage. It's just being on the forums, we are a very small niche of enthusiasts and obviously when something goes wrong, it is bound to find it's way here. So I'm not even sure if it's safe to say that a VANOS failure is "common" but more so that the specific underlying cause of a VANOS failure has lead to a consistent aggregating factor.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:48 PM   #7
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From my own research, it seems like the tabs and cam bolts are the most likely to fail as you mentioned. I know in the S54B32 Z4Ms had upgraded cam bolts, but I'm not sure if that upgrade made it into the E46 M3s of the same year and after.

In regards to specific years, I have not seen any conclusive statistics for susceptibility. Honestly, I still think that those that experience VANOS failures are a very small percentage. It's just being on the forums, we are a very small niche of enthusiasts and obviously when something goes wrong, it is bound to find it's way here. So I'm not even sure if it's safe to say that a VANOS failure is "common" but more so that the specific underlying cause of a VANOS failure has lead to a consistent aggregating factor.
Very good information for all to know, I am still educating myself in this whole VANOS subject. I guess a pro-active measure would be to take the VANOS system apart for inspection and replace parts that seem severely stressed/wornout. The upside to DIY is having all the correct tools to do the job or getting creative and developing our own (if possible in this case).
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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Very good information for all to know, I am still educating myself in this whole VANOS subject. I guess a pro-active measure would be to take the VANOS system apart for inspection and replace parts that seem severely stressed/wornout. The upside to DIY is having all the correct tools to do the job or getting creative and developing our own (if possible in this case).
Yeah the labor portion seems rather involved and I would personally pay the unfortunate added costs of having it done by someone with much more experience than myself.

If only preventative maintenance was free....then I'd have much better allocation of car funds for fun parts haha
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:28 PM   #9
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Mine is really noisy while driving, or at least it's noticeable to people outside the car... Wonder if I need mine replace.. I ran it by HPF and they said it's normal with these kits so I don't really know what to do.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:03 PM   #10
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I have an early HPF built motor. Did they bother to upgrade the Vanos at all when they did/do the rebuild. You would think at least the o rings wouldnt you?
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:07 AM   #11
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I have an early HPF built motor. Did they bother to upgrade the Vanos at all when they did/do the rebuild. You would think at least the o rings wouldnt you?
the head and everything on it is left stock. HPF builds the bottom end to take boost, vanos maintenance has nothing to do with boost or power. I mean, very easily you could 'might as well' yourself to thousands of dollars of expenditures in little things like that on a motor... and i've definitely have been down that road a few times, and it's usually unnecessary.. but aren't inconel valves and ti retainers cool?
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:10 PM   #12
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I talked with HPFBranden today and he asked John about it and I guess they just do some seals and stuff...John didn't know anything about any upgrades or mods for the vanos.

I was impressed how the Dr.Vanos kits got rid of the ticking or knocking...but Dr.Vanos seems retarded expensive imo. Mine is only noticeable at startup but I do think that it has gotten louder over the last year but then again my hearing isn't what it used to be
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:22 AM   #13
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I did DrVanos right before my car was sent up to HPF
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:22 AM   #14
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I did DrVanos right before my car was sent up to HPF
And...
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:38 AM   #15
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And...
I don't know if DrVanos has come out with new products, but when I sent mine in, it was just for a complete rebuild. I needed it due because after the couple head gasket failures I had with the VF kit, the vanos was acting up. Probably due to all the milkshake that went through the vanos system.

So, did it make more power? Who knows since there was no before or after comparisons. I believe my car was one of the first 2.5's to make over 700rwhp, but I think that had more to do with the replacement in tank Bosch 044 rather than anything with the vanos. Some minor head work could also be attributed to that too though.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:42 AM   #16
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Its $1800 with a $600 core.. making it about $1200 right? Yeah thats expensive but not nearly as expensive as what they want for the intake/exhaust shafts.. and gears etc.. I priced a Dr.Vanos out today with all the upgraded gears/shafts/etc.. it was like $3k.. wtf
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:44 AM   #17
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Yea, I think I paid right around 1k for a full vanos rebuild... If you are building your motor and have high miles, especially if they are hard miles.... I think it's worth it for the peace of mind.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:51 AM   #18
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So what happens if the Vanos is not replaced/rebuilt and it fails? According to John at HPF, the Vanos unit is suppose to be louder than normal due to the HPF's EMS. In other words the cars DME isn't able to quiet the Vanos unit down like it does in an M3 with no turbo. They also said the noise is usually louder with the rebuilt motors, stage 2.5 and up. Gave me peace of mind but I'm still afraid it will fail. What happens if the Vanos does fail?
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:15 PM   #19
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Well I spoke with Raj from Beisan Systems a few moments ago and he has some very interesting things to say about the S54 Vanos.

Basically from what I gathered there was an earlier BMW euro engine design that had the general "Exhaust Tab" clearance set lower than the current S54 that uses the exact same setup minus the difference in clearance. The S54 tab clearance is higher which appears to cause more rattle and risks failure of these tabs. Raj is developing a sleeve kit to solve this and should be released soon.

In addition the bolts on the Intake side I believe are a common issue with rattling loose.

The solenoid failure is also another issue.

I believe he said the seals aren't the biggest issue but may as well replace them while we're in there.

From what I can summarize, a rattle kit, seal kit, solenoid kit, and some thread-locker on the the bolts for exhaust/intake sides is probably the best solution. I've linked this thread in an email to Raj so he can hopefully comment on it and reduce the amount of phone calls he gets as he's just in the process of finishing this up atm for product release.

And from what I can gather at a significantly lower cost than the Dr.Vanos kit which from what others have said is extremely overpriced for a basically stock OEM unit that has just been cleaned and could possibly yield the "Ticking timebomb" effect later.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Commanderwiggin View Post
Well I spoke with Raj from Beisan Systems a few moments ago and he has some very interesting things to say about the S54 Vanos.

Basically from what I gathered there was an earlier BMW euro engine design that had the general "Exhaust Tab" clearance set lower than the current S54 that uses the exact same setup minus the difference in clearance. The S54 tab clearance is higher which appears to cause more rattle and risks failure of these tabs. Raj is developing a sleeve kit to solve this and should be released soon.

In addition the bolts on the Intake side I believe are a common issue with rattling loose.

The solenoid failure is also another issue.


I believe he said the seals aren't the biggest issue but may as well replace them while we're in there.

From what I can summarize, a rattle kit, seal kit, solenoid kit, and some thread-locker on the the bolts for exhaust/intake sides is probably the best solution. I've linked this thread in an email to Raj so he can hopefully comment on it and reduce the amount of phone calls he gets as he's just in the process of finishing this up atm for product release.

And from what I can gather at a significantly lower cost than the Dr.Vanos kit which from what others have said is extremely overpriced for a basically stock OEM unit that has just been cleaned and could possibly yield the "Ticking timebomb" effect later.
There has been many cases of late model M's that had their exhaust tabs sheared off.
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