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Old 09-22-2011, 08:38 PM   #21
HPF Chris
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Originally Posted by faelar View Post
Delete the VANOS and have your cams re-ground with a wild turbo profile

The guys that get real serious about drag racing these S54's.. deleting the VANOS will end up making sense IMHO.
Do this and you will lose a minimum of 50rwhp across the entire rpm range.

We have pulled a couple motors apart that had the vanos tab broken but the cars were still running just fine. We usually have used vanos units in stock if anyone needs one. :-)

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Old 09-22-2011, 09:09 PM   #22
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Do this and you will lose a minimum of 50rwhp across the entire rpm range.
With stock cams sure you would loose something. Deleting the VANOS will allow you to run totally custom profiled cams, stiffer springs and larger valves. The S54 has a cam that was designed for N/A.. simply installing larger valves, higher lift and reducing the overlap will add far more than the 50HP you loose removing it. N/A cam profiles are night and day when compared to turbo cam profiles.

For a 100% pure drag racing build.. deleting the VANOS would be the first task I would undertake. Drag racing is WOT action. What purpose does variable cam timing have in that environment? Maybe make driving around in the pits a little more luxurious?

I do agree VANOS has it's benifits in certain areas.. but for the guys getting hard core serious about drag racing I see it as an obstacle.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:19 PM   #23
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Yes that's one of the main issues it seems...the earlier euro design had a tighter clearance that isn't as prone to failure. Looser clearance...more knock...more failure.
Sorry didn't pay attention to reading the whole post. Kind of breezed through it all. Seems like the edge of failures are leaning towards the later years (04+), but many 02 and 03s are still affected.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:52 PM   #24
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Sorry didn't pay attention to reading the whole post. Kind of breezed through it all. Seems like the edge of failures are leaning towards the later years (04+), but many 02 and 03s are still affected.
I was't trying to say any specific year is affected more than others...all S54's at least in NA have the same vanos. The clearance on the hub tabs are too loose...they need to be tighter. BMW had a euro design F50? was what I remember from the convo that had the same vanos but tighter hub clearance with no chronic failures like the NA S54.

Raj could explain it better, hopefully he writes something up.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:43 PM   #25
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With stock cams sure you would loose something. Deleting the VANOS will allow you to run totally custom profiled cams, stiffer springs and larger valves. The S54 has a cam that was designed for N/A.. simply installing larger valves, higher lift and reducing the overlap will add far more than the 50HP you loose removing it. N/A cam profiles are night and day when compared to turbo cam profiles.

For a 100% pure drag racing build.. deleting the VANOS would be the first task I would undertake. Drag racing is WOT action. What purpose does variable cam timing have in that environment? Maybe make driving around in the pits a little more luxurious?

I do agree VANOS has it's benifits in certain areas.. but for the guys getting hard core serious about drag racing I see it as an obstacle.
I have to say I see the logic in this. Vanos is made to accommodate the entire RPM spectrum. Drag racing needs to concentrate on just a narrow portion of the power band.

An all out drag racing cam profile results in something that is often not even street able, barely idles, lots of overlap.
The cams that Faelar is talking about would have to be one-off, carefully thought out, custom grinds that maximize a narrow band of forced induction situation. Am I correct so far?

I dont know. A sin against the German Car Gods?
Maybe not. I remember seeing an older BMW pulling a wheelie and scorching the quarter mile in 8 seconds


and this SEVEN second M3!:

Do you think either of these had a working vanos? I dont know.

You tube is full of super fast drag times for almost every M3 except the E46. Maybe its time to get radical.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:37 AM   #26
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And...nobody has a drag e46 M3 in this forum...so vanos is staying.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:09 AM   #27
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I have to say I see the logic in this. Vanos is made to accommodate the entire RPM spectrum. Drag racing needs to concentrate on just a narrow portion of the power band.
Yes, the power band is everything. Making peak power near redline may look good on a dyno, but it doesn't come in handy on the track. Though not really related to VANOS.. this was the reason I switched to a smaller turbo.

Compare this dyno plot from a billet 6765 with just a .68 hotside to a HPF stage 3. Yes, once it makes peak power it does run out of steam some, however you'll notice it makes peak power sooner. The power band is also more manageable, it doesn't have that huge hump which is one reason I believe that HPF cars have traction problems and also the reason they feel so powerful.
I adjusted the dyno plots so they had the same vertical and horizontal reference. This is pretty close to an overlay I could make.

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Old 09-23-2011, 03:31 PM   #28
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Yes, the power band is everything. Making peak power near redline may look good on a dyno, but it doesn't come in handy on the track. Though not really related to VANOS.. this was the reason I switched to a smaller turbo.

Compare this dyno plot from a billet 6765 with just a .68 hotside to a HPF stage 3. Yes, once it makes peak power it does run out of steam some, however you'll notice it makes peak power sooner. The power band is also more manageable, it doesn't have that huge hump which is one reason I believe that HPF cars have traction problems and also the reason they feel so powerful.
I adjusted the dyno plots so they had the same vertical and horizontal reference. This is pretty close to an overlay I could make.

Vertical powerbands are what shocks the tires. The top graph looks pretty vertical. As far as traction issues, these cars come with 255 tires and are set up for road racing. Change to the correct tires and you can hook in 1st gear. I'd like to see the RPM shown on the first graph as it looks like the area under the curve is less than on the 2nd graph.

We've spun a 6765 up to close to those numbers in the first graph and it lasted a few pulls until massive smoke came billowing out. We'll see how long the one that made this first dyno pull lasts. We back the boost down to keep the turbo from overspinning and cooking the bearings. We've destroyed close to 10 turbos or more by overspinning them on the M3 over the past 4 years.

We're the only company that tunes the vanos. I can guarantee you, you will lose 50rwhp of power across the entire spectrum if you can't move the cams to match the airflow into the engine. Also, you can't run a higher duration cam, nor would you want to. These cams are NA so they have a much greater duration and overlap than turbo cams would because they are relying on the intake and exhaust valves being open together longer to pull in the "un-pressurized" intake pulse. Increasing the time both valves are open on a turbo motor allows some of the new intake charge to simply blow out the exhaust. There's a ton of theory behind the exact timing of events and how the cams work.

The factory S54 cams also have an extremely fast ramp with a ton of lift. The duration and lift they have is more than sufficient to accomodate 1022rwhp which we already did without any modification to the head, valves, valve springs and cams at hardly any boost (31psi) on 110 leaded. Had we run a larger turbo, more boost or better fuel we would easily get into the 1200rwhp+ category still with no cams or headwork. Any change to the cams, valve sizing or vanos will cost you "area under the curve". The reason I know is because we've set the cams to every position possible for 3 weeks of dyno tuning and set ours up with the optimal position. Simply changes to cam timing on the S54 will easily cost 100rwhp. The reason your powerband is still good is because the DME is controlling the cams. They are not "parked". The problem is simply how to provide the optimal tune for the VE of the engine and BMW engineers accomplished a lot of this by providing the technology to move the cams. You can't feel it in the M3 because it is variable and seamless. Take a Honda VTEC motor for example and you can definitely feel the change when it kicks to the new setting. It would be like never having that. I ran cam gears on my Supra and ran +1, -3 on the cam gears. Changing even one degree on either cam shifted the powerband to the right or the left. With vanos you don't ever have to crawl under the hood and make an adjustment nor do you ever have to shift the powerband sacrificing power at one rpm to gain it at another. You just "raise" the powerband at every rpm by putting the cams in the optimal position.

Also.... The valve springs in the S54 have enough spring pressure to handle 40psi and 9,000rpm+. So adding more spring pressure is just going to cost you power.

Chris.

Last edited by HPF Chris; 09-23-2011 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:06 PM   #29
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We're the only company that tunes the vanos. I can guarantee you, you will lose 50rwhp of power across the entire spectrum if you can't move the cams to match the airflow into the engine. Also, you can't run a higher duration cam, nor would you want to.
Who said anything about running a higher duration cam?

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Originally Posted by faelar View Post
The S54 has a cam that was designed for N/A.. simply installing larger valves, higher lift and reducing the overlap will add far more than the 50HP you loose removing it.
Tell ya what. I'm making changes to my car that I feel are needed to get good 1/4 mile ET's and track times. You've already said you don't think the billet 6765 will preform.

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We've already run the billet 6765 on three different m3s and it spools the same and makes slightly less top end power than our cast 6776s that comes in our turbo kits.
So, let's see who's right on that one first. Then once I have the time to start playing around with my car, maybe I'll put some money where my mouth is and do exactly what I have suggested.

Friendly wager for Mfest next year, fastest track and 1/4 mile times, one steak dinner?
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:56 PM   #30
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We're the only company that tunes the vanos.
Chris.
This is juicy. Why have we not heard of this before? Can you describe more about this in detail? According to John (I asked him) HPF does not touch the Vanos in a built motor unless the customer specifically asks for servicing.

I dont know why, but I have this phobia about my Vanos failing. I am possibly interested in refurbishing it before it fails. So what sort of tuning would a 2.75 owner be interested in? This is good stuff.

For my purposes, I love my vanos and I want it working as good as it can. John mentioned that he sees gears fail. I read that its the Buna N piston seals that fail. Needs Viton. Then you guys do some magic in tuning the darn thing. Cool.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:06 PM   #31
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This is juicy. Why have we not heard of this before?
HPF isn't the only shop that can tune VANOS. It's the only kit vendor that tunes the VANOS.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:33 PM   #32
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Who said anything about running a higher duration cam?



Tell ya what. I'm making changes to my car that I feel are needed to get good 1/4 mile ET's and track times. You've already said you don't think the billet 6765 will preform.

So, let's see who's right on that one first. Then once I have the time to start playing around with my car, maybe I'll put some money where my mouth is and do exactly what I have suggested.

Friendly wager for Mfest next year, fastest track and 1/4 mile times, one steak dinner?
Dinner sounds fine. The 6765 performs fine, it is just a little less than the 6776. But I would definitely try the new turbo that sp is talking about. We may switch to that one. When we build a drag car it will run 8s. We just have too many cars in the shop to start a big project like that. But I'll run my car in both events again. I look forward to you getting your car dialed.

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Old 09-25-2011, 07:36 PM   #33
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This is juicy. Why have we not heard of this before? Can you describe more about this in detail? According to John (I asked him) HPF does not touch the Vanos in a built motor unless the customer specifically asks for servicing.

I dont know why, but I have this phobia about my Vanos failing. I am possibly interested in refurbishing it before it fails. So what sort of tuning would a 2.75 owner be interested in? This is good stuff.

For my purposes, I love my vanos and I want it working as good as it can. John mentioned that he sees gears fail. I read that its the Buna N piston seals that fail. Needs Viton. Then you guys do some magic in tuning the darn thing. Cool.
We've done a lot of m3s. Probably getting close to 50 built motors. About 5 percent of the time we see a bad vanos when they come in. We have used units to replace them. We also adjust the vanos on every built motor which gets rid of that knocking sound.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:40 PM   #34
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We've done a lot of m3s. Probably getting close to 50 built motors. About 5 percent of the time we see a bad vanos when they come in. We have used units to replace them. We also adjust the vanos on every built motor which gets rid of that knocking sound.
What seals do you guys use when you put the Vanos back on the car? Also when you say you adjust it do you mean via EMS or does John adjust something mechanically with the Vanos unit iself?
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:11 AM   #35
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We've done a lot of m3s. Probably getting close to 50 built motors. About 5 percent of the time we see a bad vanos when they come in. We have used units to replace them. We also adjust the vanos on every built motor which gets rid of that knocking sound.
That's great news, PLUS I just got an email from the previous owner of my block. He said: "I personally replaced seals/filter before my hpf kit with the viton stuff." So, I feel a whole lot better now. The block was done by HPF AFAIK, so my VANOS was also adjusted.

The brand new Beisan seal kit sounds interesting. How many man hours would a shop charge to install something like this? Isnt a VANOS R&R big man hours/special tools=big bux?
It is a pretty major decision to spend big dollars to fix something that is not broken.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:59 AM   #36
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What seals do you guys use when you put the Vanos back on the car? Also when you say you adjust it do you mean via EMS or does John adjust something mechanically with the Vanos unit iself?
There is about $1K worth of specialty tools to set the vanos properly and they must be used properly. Even with the tools it is extremely complicated. But, after 60K miles or so, I recommend getting the vanos adjusted if you are getting a lot of valve train noise.

Chris.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:22 PM   #37
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That's great news, PLUS I just got an email from the previous owner of my block. He said: "I personally replaced seals/filter before my hpf kit with the viton stuff." So, I feel a whole lot better now. The block was done by HPF AFAIK, so my VANOS was also adjusted.

The brand new Beisan seal kit sounds interesting. How many man hours would a shop charge to install something like this? Isnt a VANOS R&R big man hours/special tools=big bux?
It is a pretty major decision to spend big dollars to fix something that is not broken.
We charge 3 hours for a valve adjustment or 4 hours to replace the Vanos seals as they can be done independently. We charge 6 hours to do both together. If anyone wants some preventative maintenance, let us know.

Take care,
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:15 PM   #38
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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   #39
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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   #40
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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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