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Old 04-21-2012, 08:56 PM   #2201
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No radical tips. Just follow the instructions that you should have memorized before you did the gasket the first time.
Clean the head, clean out the valve cover; dry well.
put sealant on both surfaces where instructed where they mate.
Tighten the nuts evenly and use new rubber gaskets. Do not overtighten.

Good luck. sorry you have to do the job twice.
yeah it felt like it was sitting a bit funny back there when I went to tighten it up, I sort of had a hiccup when I was seating the cover and I may have tweaked it. I pull it apart tomorrow, it shouldn't be too bad just for the valve cover. I did vanos, oil change and new brakes today, so if my hands still work tomorrow, I should be able to bang it out in about an hour.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:59 PM   #2202
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I was pretty set forward on doing this to my car, but now I'm debating whether or not I'm even going to keep it. I'm scared it'll end up being a lemon, my main concern being the subframe.

Sigh..

But basically before/if I do proceed with this repair, I want to verify that I have the correct symptoms. Basically my car is doing what the car in the earlier video did, except for the loud rattle towards the end.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:46 PM   #2203
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I was pretty set forward on doing this to my car, but now I'm debating whether or not I'm even going to keep it. I'm scared it'll end up being a lemon, my main concern being the subframe.

Sigh..

But basically before/if I do proceed with this repair, I want to verify that I have the correct symptoms. Basically my car is doing what the car in the earlier video did, except for the loud rattle towards the end.
Just kinda thinking out loud here tonight are we?
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:11 AM   #2204
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But basically before/if I do proceed with this repair, I want to verify that I have the correct symptoms.


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Just kinda thinking out loud here tonight are we?
I guess I should've added that I've got a friend who believes the vanos seals won't fix my issue, therefore I'm just trying to get a second opinion.

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Old 04-22-2012, 11:52 AM   #2205
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Raj - great write up. a couple of questions/comments...

when you have the vanos disassembled in the pictures, you have removed one of the sensors. I didnt see it in the instructions, although I may have missed that step.

Also, I would recommend changing the order so that the first thing you do once you get the VCG off and the old gasket out is seat the new one back in the vcg so it gets a chance to 'form' to the vcg before installation. I think that would have solved the issue I had with it ripping/pinching as it wasnt seating very 'tight' in that spot. After I pulled the cover off this morning, it was considerable more form fitted. I havent run the car yet, waiting for the RTV bead I put down to cure.

Lastly, you should incorporate a section culled from any of the forms on best practices when the VCG is super brittle so you dont get parts into the valvetrain. My sparkplug caps were rock hard and breaking into little pieces when I went to remove them. I found that pulling the caps from the inside of the cylender seemed to help separate them in one piece, but the parts in the middle were much more difficult. I wound up stuffing shop rags into the cavities around the cylendars to hopefully catch the plastic, but somoene must have a better idea....
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:42 PM   #2206
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Nope, shop rags are the best solution. Tried and true for generations!
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:06 AM   #2207
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Did today. No codes yet (only drove a few miles). I am leaking from the rear valve cover. Any tips before I pull it apart and reseat it? Also how long do most people go before they throw codes
Sorry for the late reply.
Don't be too concerned about the leak for now. Drive the car for a few days and see if it resolves. I've had this happen almost every time.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:19 AM   #2208
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Raj - great write up. a couple of questions/comments...

when you have the vanos disassembled in the pictures, you have removed one of the sensors. I didnt see it in the instructions, although I may have missed that step.

Also, I would recommend changing the order so that the first thing you do once you get the VCG off and the old gasket out is seat the new one back in the vcg so it gets a chance to 'form' to the vcg before installation. I think that would have solved the issue I had with it ripping/pinching as it wasnt seating very 'tight' in that spot. After I pulled the cover off this morning, it was considerable more form fitted. I havent run the car yet, waiting for the RTV bead I put down to cure.

Lastly, you should incorporate a section culled from any of the forms on best practices when the VCG is super brittle so you dont get parts into the valvetrain. My sparkplug caps were rock hard and breaking into little pieces when I went to remove them. I found that pulling the caps from the inside of the cylender seemed to help separate them in one piece, but the parts in the middle were much more difficult. I wound up stuffing shop rags into the cavities around the cylendars to hopefully catch the plastic, but somoene must have a better idea....
The vanos in the pictures was one I had lying around and it didn't happen to have a sensor. You don't need to remove the sensor.

Placing the gasket in the cover ahead of time won't do much.
Your gasket formed well into the cover because it had been under pressure and heat.

I do have the following note in the procedure.
"Note: If gasket is stuck to engine head, attempt inserting blade between gasket and head from an edge (putty-knife). This facilitates gasket removal without breaking plasticized brittle gaskets into pieces."
I know this is not enough but I don't know that there's a good solution and this is not the focus of the procedure. In most cases the gasket will leak pretty bad and get replaced before it gets that hard.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:33 AM   #2209
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Re: vcg pieces in the drive train

Stuff with rags, or use a shop vac if it's really plasticised. That way the pieces get sucked up as you scrape.

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Old 04-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #2210
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Heating the dry gaskets with a heat gun will likely help.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #2211
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I bought new seals for the vanos solenoids as I think one of them is leaking. Now reading this thread, it seems like this might be difficult. Rajaie, taking off both solenoids--difficult? I think you mentioned you'd need a special deep socket for one?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #2212
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I bought new seals for the vanos solenoids as I think one of them is leaking. Now reading this thread, it seems like this might be difficult. Rajaie, taking off both solenoids--difficult? I think you mentioned you'd need a special deep socket for one?
I've not heard of the solenoid O-rings leaking.
Is this the intake or exhaust side?
Have you cleaned off the oil and verified the source of the leak?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:59 AM   #2213
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I just done my Vanos seals myself. So far I can feel a little bit of difference in power.

I can answer any questions with the DIY.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:29 PM   #2214
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Let me know if you find a socket that fits. I've bought/returned 3. Including the one mentioned in this thread. Not deep enough to pull it off. I know I could easily do it if I removed the vanos again. That's the plan if it comes to that, but I don't want to have to buy a new VCG just to clean the solenoid. Too many small expenses right now.

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I bought new seals for the vanos solenoids as I think one of them is leaking. Now reading this thread, it seems like this might be difficult. Rajaie, taking off both solenoids--difficult? I think you mentioned you'd need a special deep socket for one?
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:28 PM   #2215
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I'd doubt you'll find a deep socket that will ever fit over the vanos solenoid. Special factory tool if any.
I seem to recall that it can be done with an open ended spanner wrench, and that it was a 32 mm size. Don't have my micrometer with me to measure tonight.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:38 PM   #2216
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I'd doubt you'll find a deep socket that will ever fit over the vanos solenoid. Special factory tool if any.
I seem to recall that it can be done with an open ended spanner wrench, and that it was a 32 mm size. Don't have my micrometer with me to measure tonight.
What is this talk about vanos solenoid? I didn't have to do that when doing my vanos seals 3 days ago.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:54 PM   #2217
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What is this talk about vanos solenoid? I didn't have to do that when doing my vanos seals 3 days ago.
was it really that much of an enigma to go all the way back to post #2211 to find out the answer to your question?
want me to do it for you?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:32 PM   #2218
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Just finished the Vanos DIY on my 325i. The original seals were plastic, unreal ! dont understand how people could strip/break the Vanos reverse torx T30 screws. there was very easy to remove.

Car fired up with no issues, I'll report back in few weeks or when i experience a difference in performance !

All in all, a very well detailed DIY. Great job Rajaie !!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:34 PM   #2219
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Very easy to remove IF you turn them in the correct direction!

Easy to twist off if you apply more and more torque to loosen them in the wrong direction.

You should feel a difference immediately.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:42 PM   #2220
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Just finished the Vanos DIY on my 325i. The original seals were plastic, unreal ! dont understand how people could strip/break the Vanos reverse torx T30 screws. there was very easy to remove.

Car fired up with no issues, I'll report back in few weeks or when i experience a difference in performance !

All in all, a very well detailed DIY. Great job Rajaie !!!
Congrats on the repair!
Thanks for the nice comment on the procedure.
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