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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-23-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
yoyomin
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Worth doing VANOS at 240K?

My 330i is approaching 240K miles very soon. Everything works fine except an annoying vibration at 550RPM idle when the car is fully warmed up. No misfires, just a constant vibration throughout the car. Putting the transmission in neutral will bump up the idle a bit to maybe 600RPM and the vibration goes away right away. I checked the engine mounts and they seems fine, I can't shake the engine by hand. Some threads mentioned that the culprit might be VANOS seals, but at this mileage is it worth doing the VANOS? To my best knowledge the VANOS has never been done before.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:05 PM   #2
Twichel04
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If they have never been done, then you really should... Soon. VANOS seals can start going bad as early as 20k miles. They're not hard to do, and pretty cheap too.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
thefrog1394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyomin View Post
My 330i is approaching 240K miles very soon. Everything works fine except an annoying vibration at 550RPM idle when the car to fully warmed up. No misfires, just a constant vibration throughout the car. Putting the transmission in neutral will bump up the idle a bit to maybe 600RPM and the vibration goes away right away. I checked the engine mounts and they seems fine, I can't shake the engine by hand. Some threads mentioned that the culprit might be VANOS seals, but at this mileage is it worth doing the VANOS? To my best knowledge the VANOS has never been done before.
Really depends what your plans are for the car. My car has about 260k miles and I long ago made the decision to upkeep the car to a lower standard. Meaning prioritizing maintenance items that affect the reliability and daily driving enjoyment over more particular items. Bottom line is that it doesn't make financial sense to spend $2,000 fixing door rust on my car when it is worth maybe $2,500-$3,000 total.

Of course this is a decision you have to make yourself. I haven't personally done vanos but I also have the 323i, which from what I've read, has a lot less noticeable issues from a bad vanos vs the 330i.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:22 PM   #4
yoyomin
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Thanks for the reply. Actually me too I'm putting reliability maintenance/repairs above performance issues. Cooling system is up to date, and now I guess I'll do a tranny fluid change as my first spring project.

Just saw a $100 VANOS kit including valve cover gaskets on ebay. Guess I'll do it when I'm bored.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
Knight
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It's hit or miss with the VANOS seals. Some people do it at much lower mileages and notice a difference while others don't notice a difference even after doing it at a higher mileage.

I'm at 117K and notice no rattle or dips in power, so I decided to let it be. When I hit 200K or maybe 250K I'll probably replace the entire unit with a fully rebuilt one as PM.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:43 PM   #6
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At this age and mileage, it is likely that your VANOS O-rings leak, but leaking O rings should not cause a vibration when pulling at idle. I would definitely do those O-rings next time you need a valve cover gasket. It will probably help your midrange power and gas mileage.

If my understanding is correct, the only VANOS problem that I would expect to cause an idle problem is varnish buildup in the VANOS gears and thrust bushings that keeps the cam from going all the way back to its idle timing. There are any number of products that will claim to help remove engine varnish. I don't think any of those products work very well. I recently soaked the mechanicals from an e36 VANOS in methylene chloride paint remover. It helped only a little. Note that I am talking about the steel mechanicals that are bolted to the cams, not the aluminum VANOS actuator (piston body). The piston body may collect some sludge, but it does not get hot enough to gather hard varnish buildup.

The vibration under loaded idle is more likely a vacuum leak causing one or two cylinders to misfire at idle. Try spraying starting fluid around that intake manifold and see if the engine reacts to it.

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Old 03-23-2014, 07:58 PM   #7
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The vibration is most likely from bad motor mounts
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:35 PM   #8
czarmar
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I just did the VANOS seals yesterday on a 284K 323i. Was it worth it? At this point I'm not sure. I had a leaky VCG, so I was going to take care of that anyways, and the seals were pretty dried up. However, the VANOS pistons didn't seem to have a ton of play in them, and once I bolted everything back together, my 323i didn't suddenly do an impression of a 330i. If you have a leaky VCG, then it takes about an extra hour to replace the VANOS seals. Beisian Systems FTW. Their tutorial is superb.
Make sure you have a pointy X-acto knife blade. I was trying to cut those seals out with a utility knife blade, and it was definitely not the right tool for the job.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:38 PM   #9
beeemerdude
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OP's Q almost sounds like a "Should I just drive my E46 into the ground" ? non?
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
yoyomin
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OP's Q almost sounds like a "Should I just drive my E46 into the ground" ? non?
At this mileage do I have any other choice?
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:08 PM   #11
Sedan Hussein
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Do it, its fairly cheap and easy. 240k is impressive
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:20 PM   #12
Vabmwe46
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Do you need to use that special tool to change vanos seals? How do u kno if ur seals are bad due to them being inside engine almost?


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Old 03-23-2014, 10:30 PM   #13
Sedan Hussein
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The vise liners? I think they're just for the rattle kit. At 240k, your seals are probably bad.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:34 PM   #14
Vabmwe46
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What are vise liners? I have a 02 325i sedan with 107** .. I plan on changing my VCG soon (preventative maint) but want to do the vanos.. I noticed my gas milage is not to good.. Jus changed fuel filter couple months ago.. & feels like the engine is losing power..


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Old 03-23-2014, 10:41 PM   #15
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:42 PM   #16
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Appreciate


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Old 03-24-2014, 09:15 AM   #17
Willie00328I
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Check your heat shield around the brake booster. Mine came loose and was rattling loud at low Rpms.


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Old 04-12-2014, 02:47 PM   #18
czarmar
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Originally Posted by czarmar View Post
I just did the VANOS seals yesterday on a 284K 323i. Was it worth it? At this point I'm not sure. I had a leaky VCG, so I was going to take care of that anyways, and the seals were pretty dried up. However, the VANOS pistons didn't seem to have a ton of play in them, and once I bolted everything back together, my 323i didn't suddenly do an impression of a 330i. If you have a leaky VCG, then it takes about an extra hour to replace the VANOS seals. Beisian Systems FTW. Their tutorial is superb.
Make sure you have a pointy X-acto knife blade. I was trying to cut those seals out with a utility knife blade, and it was definitely not the right tool for the job.
Just to follow up on the VANOS seals, I think my car's midrange power has really increased in the weeks after I did the seals. I think it just took a little while for the DME to adjust. So, I now recommend the VANOS seals after my initial tepid reaction.
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:01 PM   #19
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:01 AM   #20
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The vibration is most likely from bad motor mounts
This
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