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General E46 Forum
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:25 AM   #1
AntrellV
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Vanos diy?

Just want some opinions here.. Do you guys think it's a good idea to do VANOS seals myself or should I find a shop? I called a few shops to ask them for a quote and some acted like they don't even know what VANOS is! I know a lot of you'll say "if you have to ask, you probably shouldn't" but I would like to know how easy or hard it really is to DIY replacement of VANOS seals
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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It's not hard, just lots of wrenching. Beisan has a great guide. If you can follow instructions and turn a wrench you can do this.

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:06 AM   #3
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I'm preparing to do it myself. All you need is time & patience, and the ability to follow instructions. Plus the tools & parts of course. Shop charge on meticulous jobs like component rebuilds such as brake calipers & VANOS will kill you. You should do this yourself. Take your time on it and do a good job. You can't be assured the guy at the shop will care as much as you do about it, and be as persnickety about being gentle with all the little parts. Save the shop for the grunt work like suspension and the like.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:09 AM   #4
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You guys won't have any problems doing it. Just take your time and be ready for a small mess.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:10 AM   #5
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Just remember when attempting the repair, before picking up a tool, get your bowl of warm-hot water and let the seals soften before installing, you will thank me for this later. If you dont soften you will make like harder for yourself.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:13 AM   #6
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Study the Beisan guide. Read it several times. Then print it out and have it when you perform the job. Follow all their recommendations (such as buying spare reverse threaded bolts)! They are recommended because of common errors or failures and are cheap. BUY the VANOS gasket! Use a brand new Xacto knife blade to cut the old seals. Do it slowly. Buy all new VCG grommets. Buy new valve cover studs if you're scared of breaking them (or maybe just a few for spares, you can't possibly break them all). Red RTV is a requirement.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:26 AM   #7
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It's really not that hard of a job, just a little time consuming. There are a couple youtube videos out there and as mentioned already the beisan guide is pretty good.

If you're anything like me, it won't be just the vanos and valve cover gaskets. It'll morph into replacing more parts than anticipated!!! At the end of the day, you'll have a much happier car and your wallet won't feel as hurt either!
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:17 AM   #8
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Just finished mine, easy job. Keep in mind the small VANOS set bolts are LH threaded. Make sure your torque wrench can do LH threads. Mine did not, and I was a bone head, and broke one of the set bolts waiting for my Torque Wrench to click not knowing ahead of time that it did not click on LH thread operations. In addition to the guides recommended, you can search e46 vanos on youtube. Be sure to have something to catch oil that will come out when you pull the vanos off, but that should be in the guides when you read it. Make sure you clean up the electrical contacts for the solenoids too, if these get dirty, it can cause you all kinds of headaches chasing down codes and what not.
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Old 04-25-2015, 01:06 PM   #9
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Watch your fingers when cutting the seals
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Old 04-25-2015, 02:32 PM   #10
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Doing mine soon also, not expecting it to be much of anything but time consuming with the use of Beisan Systems guide. Still need to pick up some spark plugs and a vanos gasket.
EDIT: I thought I purchased a gasket already...found it in the bottom of an ECS box. Shame on me.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KaktusJaque View Post
Make sure your torque wrench can do LH threads. Mine did not, and I was a bone head, and broke one of the set bolts waiting for my Torque Wrench to click not knowing ahead of time that it did not click on LH thread operations.
Kaktus, you didn't by chance use a Harbor Fright Pittsburgh brand 3/8" torque wrench did you. Because that's what I have.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntrellV View Post
Just want some opinions here.. Do you guys think it's a good idea to do VANOS seals myself or should I find a shop? I called a few shops to ask them for a quote and some acted like they don't even know what VANOS is! I know a lot of you'll say "if you have to ask, you probably shouldn't" but I would like to know how easy or hard it really is to DIY replacement of VANOS seals
It was not too hard to complete.
If you follow the guides that has been put up you will achieve this easily.

Just in case you might be interested, Here is a link of my old girls Vanos Seals compared to the new installed seals.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...059&highlight=

All the best.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitbyastick View Post
Kaktus, you didn't by chance use a Harbor Fright Pittsburgh brand 3/8" torque wrench did you. Because that's what I have.
No its a craftsman! would have thought better of them.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:31 PM   #14
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Another note, be sure to clean out your solenoid pistons. If any little bit of debris gets in there, your going to throw codes and SES lights.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:07 PM   #15
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Be very careful when cutting the old seals off. It is easy to scratch the edge of the soft aluminum groove they sit in.
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