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Old 11-25-2016, 06:48 PM   #1
LTCTerry
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Replacing valve cover gasket - does vanos work make sense?

All,

I replaced the oil filter housing (OFH) gasket on my 2003 325i Touring two weeks ago. The left side of the engine had all the typical OFH leak symptoms. I cleaned up the area as best it could. I knew, though, that wasn't the only oil leak...

I occasionally get a whiff of "burned oil smell." Searching here tells me this is a symptom of a leaking valve cover gasket (VCG).

I'm generally a fan of doing additional work "when I'm there already" since it reduces duplicate work and the chance for mistakes.

I bought the car in July, so no idea of the age or condition of the spark plugs. I think that's a "no brainer" while I'm doing the VCG. However...

I've read some places that suggest changing the vanos gasket at the same time. Does that make sense? I presume the vanos has to come out to do that. If the vanos is out, does it make sense to rebuild it?

I don't even know if it needs work. My personal inclination would be to do the VCG and the spark plugs and leave the vanos until it's needed (however I know that). If the consensus here is that it makes sense as preventive maintenance, I'll look into getting the parts for it.

Thoughts? Advice? Run away as fast as I can?

Thanks!

Terry
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:11 PM   #2
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Personally I would skip any VANOS work unless you know 100% there is a VANOS problem.

More often than not people try to PM VANOS seals and then cause problems they did not have. Just leave well enough along, IMHO I believe the VANOS seal hype, is for the most part, just hype.

Spend your time and money on the fuel pump, VANOS seal problems will NEVER leave you stranded!
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:41 PM   #3
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You will probably more than double the time commitment if you add on the VANOS seal replacement or other VANOS refurbishment. The VCG is a natural add-on if you want to do the VANOS, but not really the other way around. You have no reason to change the metallic VANOS gasket unless you pull off the VANOS unit, in which case you should. It's not rubber so doesn't really degrade due to time/heat.

Having said all that, if you do have the time then yes you may as well do all of those upgrades simply due to the age of your vehicle. Just trying to point out that VANOS seals aren't really a "quick add-on job".
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Personally I would skip any VANOS work unless you know 100% there is a VANOS problem.

More often than not people try to PM VANOS seals and then cause problems they did not have. Just leave well enough along, IMHO I believe the VANOS seal hype, is for the most part, just hype.

Spend your time and money on the fuel pump, VANOS seal problems will NEVER leave you stranded!
this is why i did the dr vanos, i'd rather have someone that does it all the time and that's pretty much all they do , do it, it was easy off easy on


i did it as prev maint , much like the water pump, etc etc , i learned the issues of these cars and addressed them prior to a breakdown
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Old 11-26-2016, 01:08 PM   #5
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this is why i did the dr vanos, i'd rather have someone that does it all the time and that's pretty much all they do , do it, it was easy off easy on


i did it as prev maint , much like the water pump, etc etc , i learned the issues of these cars and addressed them prior to a breakdown
I did the beisan, orings were completely plasticized, I do believe mpg is better, seemed to run smoother. wasn't that tough a job, takes much longer than just doing vcg.


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Old 11-26-2016, 01:12 PM   #6
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Old 11-26-2016, 01:38 PM   #7
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According to some of the videos I've watched, it looks like I can do the VCG in 6-19 minutes. Not. I'll budget three or four hours early in the morning and keep the afternoon free "just in case."

Thanks to all for the input!
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Old 11-26-2016, 02:00 PM   #8
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According to some of the videos I've watched, it looks like I can do the VCG in 6-19 minutes. Not. I'll budget three or four hours early in the morning and keep the afternoon free "just in case."

Thanks to all for the input!
The VCG is really simple! It was one of the first things I did on my car with hardly any car maintenance experience and it only took me an hour. I've since done it two other times and it takes me less than a half hour.
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a list of parts to replace on these is easy; just replace everything.
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Old 11-26-2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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As for that shady url that's blocked by my ad-blocker:
My bad, was supposed to be in my signature, apologies
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Old 11-27-2016, 01:51 AM   #10
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I did the Vanos gaskets while I was in there.

Seemed like a no brainer.
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:41 AM   #11
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I did the Vanos gaskets while I was in there.

Seemed like a no brainer.

+1 if u do just the seals its an additional hour at the max. If u do seals and anti rattle kit thats another hour.
But thats working at a slow make sure its right this is my first time working here kind of pace. Should take 45-60 mins after you've done it once with the valve cover off.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:54 AM   #12
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Just food for thought;

Vanos seals are not very difficult to do, however it was a hype. I did them when I did my vanos cover (which wasn't leaking) but I wanted to get my throttle response back. Well after doing the vanos, I did get the throttle response back for a month or two and back to normal.

Worst part was after that my VCG leaked constantly, I re-did it 3 times with 3 different gaskets never able to properly seal it again. Different tricks I read on here none worked. It always seeped a bit and I'd smell oil inside the cabin. Was pretty pissed cause previously I never had that issue. Most likely due to the cover itself being wrapped. So if your car is high mileage consider this that you might need a new VCG cover (200$+).

And the VCG is a fairy simply DIY and it wasn't my first time at the rodeo either.. so be prepared to maybe open a new can of worms once you get in there whether it be vanos or VCG.


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All,

If the consensus here is that it makes sense as preventive maintenance, I'll look into getting the parts for it.

Terry
From being around this forum for a few years and reading many threads, if you follow that advice you'll be replacing every nut and bolt on your car as PM based on some folks around here. Complete waste of time & money so watch out.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by LTCTerry View Post
All,



I replaced the oil filter housing (OFH) gasket on my 2003 325i Touring two weeks ago. The left side of the engine had all the typical OFH leak symptoms. I cleaned up the area as best it could. I knew, though, that wasn't the only oil leak...



I occasionally get a whiff of "burned oil smell." Searching here tells me this is a symptom of a leaking valve cover gasket (VCG).



I'm generally a fan of doing additional work "when I'm there already" since it reduces duplicate work and the chance for mistakes.



I bought the car in July, so no idea of the age or condition of the spark plugs. I think that's a "no brainer" while I'm doing the VCG. However...



I've read some places that suggest changing the vanos gasket at the same time. Does that make sense? I presume the vanos has to come out to do that. If the vanos is out, does it make sense to rebuild it?



I don't even know if it needs work. My personal inclination would be to do the VCG and the spark plugs and leave the vanos until it's needed (however I know that). If the consensus here is that it makes sense as preventive maintenance, I'll look into getting the parts for it.



Thoughts? Advice? Run away as fast as I can?



Thanks!



Terry

It could be old oil burning off. After i replaced the VCG and oil filter housing gasket i just sprayed down the areas with a pressure washer and some degreaser and it fixed the problem. Thats also how i found out where the leaks are from.
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