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Old 12-06-2007, 09:23 PM   #41
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy With A BMW View Post
Hi Rajaie, is the crackling sound at 1200RPM related to the seals also? I have the timming chain tentioner crackling sounds problem and at times my car stalls when coming to a stop or turning at idle...also my idle RPM is not stable. I have a 2001 325. Thanks.
E46 cars with the ZHP package have a rattling problem at ~2k RPM. This has been attributed to the vanos. Dr Vanos www.drvanos.com has resolved the problem and sells an upgraded vanos to address it. The upgraded vanos comes with the new seals.
Iím not sure if this is the problem you have.

Regarding the idle problems, here are some thoughts.
Remove and clean your idle control valve. Brake or carburetor cleaner will work.
This can be the MAF sensor. Remove it and clean it with MAF spray cleaner. Make sure to let it fully dry.
You might have a vacuum leak. The CVV and associated hoses are a common culprit for a vacuum leak.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:31 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by jbeurotech View Post
The software patch does not address the Vanos at all if vanos has an issue the software patch won't help. It does change the cold start enrichment as these cars were to lean cold.
Thanks for the info.
So this is a software upgrade that solves the cold weather first start attempt stall problem?
Is there a TSB you can reference on this?
I presume these cars didnít have this problem when new. Is there an explanation to what changed that caused this problem later?

Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:53 AM   #43
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Thanks for posting!

I'll be trying it out soon.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:55 PM   #44
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Thank you for this info. I've started having this issue and will look into this once I find someone local that can do this for me.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:49 PM   #45
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I noticed looking in the ETK parts diagram that the vanos electrical solenoids have pistons with o-rings also. Can these o-rings be replaced?
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:48 PM   #46
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Very informative thread... I recently started using Mobil 1 0w-40 instead of the BMW branded Castrol 5w-30, at which point my VANOS cold idle near stalls became actual stalls which killed the engine. Rather than try switching back to what I was using before, this has prompted me to pick up the replacement unit from Dr. Vanos and fix the problem once and for all. I remember seeing some of the original posts about the O-rings being made of Buna, glad to see that analysis finally turned into some actual products we can use.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:53 PM   #47
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wow, excellent thread, now you have me thinking about my vanos everytime i start my car.. i might have to dive into this project at some point to prevent future problems. I was sitting at a stop light about a year ago days before my automatic transmission took a dive, i was stopped at a stop light when all of a sudden my RPMs dropped to near stalling and surged back up, this happened 2 or 3 times at the stop light, i drove away normally and that problem has since never happened. I was convinced it was some random hiccup and i believe it was that day or days later that i lost reverse and my auto tranny took a hike. im wondering now if that was somehow a vanos issue that popped up and disappeared. The fact that these orings that are in the vanos go bad pretty much guaranteed, makes me pissed off at BMW... ahhh looks like ill be doing this preventative repair in the spring!
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:49 PM   #48
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great thread, i have the infamous issue where the car stalls out on cold starts as well.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:24 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajaie View Post
E46 cars with the ZHP package have a rattling problem at ~2k RPM. This has been attributed to the vanos. Dr Vanos www.drvanos.com has resolved the problem and sells an upgraded vanos to address it. The upgraded vanos comes with the new seals.
Iím not sure if this is the problem you have.

Regarding the idle problems, here are some thoughts.
Remove and clean your idle control valve. Brake or carburetor cleaner will work.
This can be the MAF sensor. Remove it and clean it with MAF spray cleaner. Make sure to let it fully dry.
You might have a vacuum leak. The CVV and associated hoses are a common culprit for a vacuum leak.
Wow...great info on the Dr Vanos...didnt know someone fixed that problem as I have heard it on atleast 10 other e46s.

I am pretty machanically inclined....I have cleaned (and do so everytime I change my Dinan intake filter) the MAF sensor with CRC MAF sensor cleaner, I have changed my ICV with a new one, and BMW did find a vacuum leak somewhere and replaced the hose ( I could not find) a year ago.

I do not know if I still have a vacuum leak, but I do not hear any hissing noises...where can I look for leaks?

I may changed out my VANOS with the one on the site in the future...I have learned to live with the tin-can rattle as my UUC LTW flywheel rattle is louder...but the car just dying when out of gear and turning the steering wheel to pull into a driveway is killing me....also sometimes when coming to a stop...happens in warm or cold weather.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:37 PM   #50
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I noticed looking in the ETK parts diagram that the vanos electrical solenoids have pistons with o-rings also. Can these o-rings be replaced?
You're correct; the vanos solenoids do have an O-ring at the base. This O-ring seals the oil at the solenoid / vanos body junction.
This O-ring is fairing well. Also I have not heard of any case of this O-ring leaking (external leak at junction). The O-ring replacement cost would be insignificant. I'm not sure why BMW lists it at such a high price. But the reason I don't include it in the seals kit is simply because it is not failing. IMHO there is no need to have everyone remove and remount their solenoids for no real reason.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:16 PM   #51
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wow, excellent thread, now you have me thinking about my vanos everytime i start my car.. i might have to dive into this project at some point to prevent future problems. I was sitting at a stop light about a year ago days before my automatic transmission took a dive, i was stopped at a stop light when all of a sudden my RPMs dropped to near stalling and surged back up, this happened 2 or 3 times at the stop light, i drove away normally and that problem has since never happened. I was convinced it was some random hiccup and i believe it was that day or days later that i lost reverse and my auto tranny took a hike. im wondering now if that was somehow a vanos issue that popped up and disappeared. The fact that these orings that are in the vanos go bad pretty much guaranteed, makes me pissed off at BMW... ahhh looks like ill be doing this preventative repair in the spring!
Itís hard to know what caused your idle hiccup.

In the short term, most of the owners installing the vanos seals repair kit will have 99-00 cars. They are the most frustrated due to their cold weather cold start idle jolts and possible stall. But 01+ owners also have much to gain from this repair, but they donít know it, yet.
There are significant performance improvements attained from installing the seals kit and having a properly functioning vanos. Iím receiving consistent feedback from owners who install the solution; ďmy car passes like a racerĒ, ďI now drive a sports carĒ, ďmy car is a different animalĒ, ďI thought this car was just a daily get around car, but now itís a really fun performance carĒ.

In time hopefully enough owners will report their findings on the forums that everyone will have a better sense of the situation.
It does take 200-500 miles of city driving to fully break-in the seals and attain optimum performance.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:29 PM   #52
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Wow...great info on the Dr Vanos...didnt know someone fixed that problem as I have heard it on atleast 10 other e46s.

I am pretty machanically inclined....I have cleaned (and do so everytime I change my Dinan intake filter) the MAF sensor with CRC MAF sensor cleaner, I have changed my ICV with a new one, and BMW did find a vacuum leak somewhere and replaced the hose ( I could not find) a year ago.

I do not know if I still have a vacuum leak, but I do not hear any hissing noises...where can I look for leaks?

I may changed out my VANOS with the one on the site in the future...I have learned to live with the tin-can rattle as my UUC LTW flywheel rattle is louder...but the car just dying when out of gear and turning the steering wheel to pull into a driveway is killing me....also sometimes when coming to a stop...happens in warm or cold weather.
Your idle problem might be the DISA valve. Hereís an informative link.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=342081

Take out the DISA valve and inspect it. Try to catch any broken parts as you remove it. If not broken, spray it with break cleaner to clean off all the gunk.
See if this helps.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:30 PM   #53
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Does anyone have any estimates of how much power is actually lost due to these seals failing? I think I might be anticipating the replacement for the potential restoration of power even more than fixing the idling issues. If all of the information posted here is accurate regarding the chemical and temperature resistance of Buna, it sounds like each and every VANOS' has its seals pretty much begin failing as soon as they're used. If that's the case, nearly every E46 is suffering from and has been suffering from a noticeable loss of power since early on in its life, no? Maybe these Viton seals will become the next big thing for all of the M52TU/M54/M56 based BMWs.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:25 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Rajaie View Post
Your idle problem might be the DISA valve. Hereís an informative link.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=342081

Take out the DISA valve and inspect it. Try to catch any broken parts as you remove it. If not broken, spray it with break cleaner to clean off all the gunk.
See if this helps.
Already replaced and cleaned....BTW: THe DISA will cause a loss of power after VANOS kicks in...as the DISA closes some air valves to create a different air flow inside the header.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:23 PM   #55
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I want to hear from people that have done this install and have put on significant mileage 1000+ miles with no vanos issue or cold start problem before I dive into this... once I see the credible info, i'll be ordering the seals and doing this myself.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:34 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Rajaie View Post
Thanks for the info.
So this is a software upgrade that solves the cold weather first start attempt stall problem?
Is there a TSB you can reference on this?
I presume these cars didnít have this problem when new. Is there an explanation to what changed that caused this problem later?

Thanks.
I am not an engineer, However when these cars were still under warranty we were having this issue. Tolerances change fuel compositions change due to EPA laws. I know if we tricked the fuel system to give it more fuel the problem went away and BMW told us the new software does some tweaking of the fuel and slight timing changes. They also stated they have to be carfull or the EPA will get them for emissions violations. Although the Vanos units are real issues I have seen thos cause the cold stall as well. However I have seen the software be as much o0f an issue as the vanos. Typically for my customer if the vanos is bad I also update the software as well.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:45 AM   #57
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Raj,

I already ordered the vanos seal repair kit because I used to have this problem ALL winter last year. However, I recently changed my oil seperator and noticed that the cold start issue never came back eventhough the temperature around here are in the lows 20s in the morning.

I am going to replace the vanos seal nevertheless but I have a question. Based on my research I found that a leaking or bad oil seperator (aka crankcase ventilator) will cause sludge to built up. the oil seperator removes moisture from your crankcase. if it is defective then air and moisture will form and propagate the formation of sludge in our m54/m52TU engines. Beside, the sludge problem a bad oil seperator will cause a vacum leak and thus will cause an abnormal start up hesitation.

Is this true?
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:37 PM   #58
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This is interesting.

So how bad was your oil separator? Could you tell visually it was not functioning properly or did you just replace based on your research?

Do you have a link to more info on this problem?

Thanks,

Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by GWU_Greek View Post
Raj,

I already ordered the vanos seal repair kit because I used to have this problem ALL winter last year. However, I recently changed my oil seperator and noticed that the cold start issue never came back eventhough the temperature around here are in the lows 20s in the morning.

I am going to replace the vanos seal nevertheless but I have a question. Based on my research I found that a leaking or bad oil seperator (aka crankcase ventilator) will cause sludge to built up. the oil seperator removes moisture from your crankcase. if it is defective then air and moisture will form and propagate the formation of sludge in our m54/m52TU engines. Beside, the sludge problem a bad oil seperator will cause a vacum leak and thus will cause an abnormal start up hesitation.

Is this true?
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:53 PM   #59
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Does anyone have any estimates of how much power is actually lost due to these seals failing? I think I might be anticipating the replacement for the potential restoration of power even more than fixing the idling issues. If all of the information posted here is accurate regarding the chemical and temperature resistance of Buna, it sounds like each and every VANOS' has its seals pretty much begin failing as soon as they're used. If that's the case, nearly every E46 is suffering from and has been suffering from a noticeable loss of power since early on in its life, no? Maybe these Viton seals will become the next big thing for all of the M52TU/M54/M56 based BMWs.
You've got it! This is the situation.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:24 PM   #60
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I want to hear from people that have done this install and have put on significant mileage 1000+ miles with no vanos issue or cold start problem before I dive into this... once I see the credible info, i'll be ordering the seals and doing this myself.
You're perspective is quite reasonable.

Some of the original beta owners have reported on the vanos forum.
http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/vanos

I inspected a set of seals after 1k miles. They were in new shape. Actually, I donít think they were completely broken-in yet.
The seals set on my car right now have ~3k miles. My car is not driving well, Ö itís flying! The improvements gained by a properly functioning double vanos are truly impressive. There is significantly improved lower torque. There is overall gain in power and torque. The engine moves through the RPM range effortlessly. There is little strain in the upper RPMs. But in the aggregate, itís the complete driving experience that is most notable. It is a different car!

Many seals kits have now shipped. I have heard back from a small percentage. They are ALL ecstatic about the outcome. Most of them installed the kit because of their aggravating cold weather cold start idle jolts, but when speaking with them all they discuss is the performance improvements. The idle problems are a bygone.

The difficult part is getting these owners to write on the forums. Once they solve their problems, they move on. Some have promised to write, but I have not seen posts from them. Iím sure the busyness of the holiday season is partially to blame.

In time, enough will report back.
I will be performing seals inspections at regular mileage intervals. I need owners in Raleigh, NC to participate in this effort and allow me to remove their seals for inspection and install new seals. I will perform this at no charge.
I expect the seals solution to last the life of the car. Only time and inspection will tell.
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