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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 04-16-2008, 07:08 PM   #401
wontonjon
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ouch...so figure at 80-90 dollars an hour??? (i'm thinking no?)...yikes.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:25 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by wontonjon View Post
ouch...so figure at 80-90 dollars an hour??? (i'm thinking no?)...yikes.
Valve cover gaskets replacement is a repair that needs to be performed every ~60k miles. This gaskets replacement can be done for no extra labor charge during the vanos seals repair. The valve cover gaskets are at least a 2 hour labor repair.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:26 PM   #403
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I just ordered my Vanos Seals, hopefully I'll get them asap and install them over the weekend. My 330ci has 110k miles and though I haven't noticed any issues with it, I do have a rough idle. I'll see how this goes, hopefully I can have peice of mind that my engine is good, then I can justify doing some performance mods. Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:20 PM   #404
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Mine was about 95/hr and took the shop 4.5hrs

I've only put about 10 miles on them so I have long ways to go. So far with my experience is up and down. This morning seem like I had small fluctuations, and mid day I had none...then tonight I had the same experience as I did yesterday after the first initial start up after install.

Performance wise it runs great as everyone here as said, but just my concern is the cold idle start up. This experience is a bit different with the VANOS failure and perhaps that there is another culprit that is actually causing my car to behave this way. Just after I left work, I started it up...it idled fine for a minute, then it started to bog, but the rpm needle would rapidly drop down to 600RPM..and rev hard back up to 800-1000RPM repeatedly while the engine continued to shake. I then put it under drive and tapped the gas pedal, and the car pulled pretty damn fast.

Do you think something wasnt installed back correctly that is causing this or just like Rajaie have said...its due to the rough seals?
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:07 AM   #405
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**UPDATE**

I went to check under my hood to see if there was anything that could be causing the issue and found my CAI wasnt connected all the way to the MAF. Part of the MAF was exposed out, so I fixed it. Started up my car and my car no longer is bogging like I mentioned earlier.

My RPM needle is stable and is consistent throughout the warm up. Throttle response is even better.

Wow...thanks to TxZHP04 for the suggestion as I was checking my MAF. All this time it was the improper connection between the CAI and MAF.

Thanks guys!
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:32 AM   #406
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**UPDATE**

I went to check under my hood to see if there was anything that could be causing the issue and found my CAI wasnt connected all the way to the MAF. Part of the MAF was exposed out, so I fixed it. Started up my car and my car no longer is bogging like I mentioned earlier.

My RPM needle is stable and is consistent throughout the warm up. Throttle response is even better.

Wow...thanks to TxZHP04 for the suggestion as I was checking my MAF. All this time it was the improper connection between the CAI and MAF.

Thanks guys!
Sometimes it's easy to overlook the simple things, glad I could help.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:20 PM   #407
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**UPDATE**

I went to check under my hood to see if there was anything that could be causing the issue and found my CAI wasnt connected all the way to the MAF. Part of the MAF was exposed out, so I fixed it. Started up my car and my car no longer is bogging like I mentioned earlier.

My RPM needle is stable and is consistent throughout the warm up. Throttle response is even better.

Wow...thanks to TxZHP04 for the suggestion as I was checking my MAF. All this time it was the improper connection between the CAI and MAF.

Thanks guys!
I thought a shop did it for you. How can they forget that if they are professionals. I am glad to hear that everything work out well. I am planning to do that project soon but since it will be the first time getting into (or very close) to the engine, I am want to be sure what I am doing.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:45 PM   #408
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I just finished my VANOS, which I'm now going to call my Vamanos, because the car goes! Using the instructions on the Beisan site the job was very straight forward; however very time consuming. I spent about 4 hours one evening and 3 more hours the second evening, but it was not technically difficult. The only special tools I needed for the job were the mechanical fan holding tool, a 32mm combo wrench and a 19mm combo wrench (for the oil line). I bought and replaced all the parts suggested as optional. As I was starting to tear into the car I noticed the valve cover was already leaking above the VANOS so I'm glad I did this now. The only thing I would suggest you really need to watch out for is the brittle gaskets for the spark plug ports. When I pulled mine up they shattered and I had to pick pieces of plastic out of the cams and valves. The other thing that is warned about in the instructions that I would stress is when you remove the caps from the VANOS, oil will pour out and if you don't catch it, it will pour all over your belts.

Once I got the car back together it started right up and had no idle problems, no check engine or codes (I didn't have any problems before and was glad to see this didn't create any new ones).

During my initial test drive I would say the biggest noticeable difference is that under wide open throttle, I was not slammed back into the seat when the RPM's hit 3k, as my car had done before. Power was very smooth through the entire RPM range. I don't know if I will see more improvement after the break in period, but if I do that would be a bonus. When I pulled out my VANOS pistions, I could move them back and forth (horizontally) in the cylinders, so there was absolutely no seal with the old seals.

Overall for this job I spent about $100 in parts, $100 in tools and about 7 hours.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:01 PM   #409
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i'm thinking if i'm not mechanically inclined and don't have 7 hours to spare...i should buck up and swallow the bill for an indy mechanic to do this??? or do i play it safe and take it to the bmw dealership for them to install...b/c i figure their mechanics are likely more familiar with the car...

thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:05 PM   #410
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i'm thinking if i'm not mechanically inclined and don't have 7 hours to spare...i should buck up and swallow the bill for an indy mechanic to do this??? or do i play it safe and take it to the bmw dealership for them to install...b/c i figure their mechanics are likely more familiar with the car...

thoughts?

BMW will likely not install it. With how clear the instructions are, if you have the tools or buy them for the job you will have no problem with the install. 7 hours is not typical for this job though if you read back through the posts.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:08 PM   #411
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i'm thinking if i'm not mechanically inclined and don't have 7 hours to spare...i should buck up and swallow the bill for an indy mechanic to do this??? or do i play it safe and take it to the bmw dealership for them to install...b/c i figure their mechanics are likely more familiar with the car...

thoughts?
A dealership will likely only install parts that come from their parts department.

In general, you are better off dealing with an independent BMW mechanic. Find a reputable specialist that has a reasonable hourly rate and quotes decent repair times.

Most of the repair is familiar to BMW mechanics. The additional repair of replacing the vanos seals is easy and strait forward. They are quite familiar with the more difficult parts of removing the mechanical fan and the valve cover.

I spec 4 hours professional labor for the repair. You should replace the valve cover gaskets in the process. This is a bonus free repair. You can also have your sparkplugs replaced for an extra 1/2 hour labor.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:52 PM   #412
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Also, most BMW indy shops are becoming more aware of the VANOS failures on the E46's.
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:03 PM   #413
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my car has been experiencing some odd rough idle after driving for some time and the car is warm, not sure if this has anything to do with the vanos seals i did a few weeks ago (never had any vanos issue beofre doing the seals, i id them to prevent problems) but will have to investigate further as there could be many different issues causing this. hm
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:58 AM   #414
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I started an hour ago and I got the plugs, valve cover, air intake, rad fan/shroud, rad hoses (replacing those anyways) and removed the driver's side vanos cup. The passenger side needs an angled nose plier and my wife is taking as much time getting the nose plier from her dad otherwise I could be installing the vanos with new seals already :-)
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:01 AM   #415
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I started an hour ago and I got the plugs, valve cover, air intake, rad fan/shroud, rad hoses (replacing those anyways) and removed the driver's side vanos cup. The passenger side needs an angled nose plier and my wife is taking as much time getting the nose plier from her dad otherwise I could be installing the vanos with new seals already :-)
I had a hard time finding some pliers that would fit in that hole too.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:33 PM   #416
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my car has been experiencing some odd rough idle after driving for some time and the car is warm, not sure if this has anything to do with the vanos seals i did a few weeks ago (never had any vanos issue beofre doing the seals, i id them to prevent problems) but will have to investigate further as there could be many different issues causing this. hm
This could be many things, but not likely the vanos.
I would first guess the MAF sensor. Take it out and clean it with CRC MAF spray cleaner. Make sure to let it fully dry.
You can also disconnect the MAF electrical and see if the problem goes away.
You might need to replace the MAF.

Otherwise, it could be:
Dirty ICV or throttle body.
Failing CPS sensor. Check codes.
Maybe a vacuum leak.
Maybe failing pre-cat O2 sensor.
Dirty fuel injectors. Use a bottle of fuel injection cleaner.
Dirty fuel filter.
Failing fuel pump.
Failing coil or sparkplug.
Electrical problem.
Etc.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:38 PM   #417
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did my install on the weekend. it took abt 5 hrs with a friend, but that time includes abt 45min in breaks and trips for tools.

as everyone before has said, it's sounds a lot more intimidating than it is, just leave yourself as much time as possible...

i remember seeing revisions to the old seal removal technique, but what i found worked really well was using an awl, poking two holes close together, then using small side cutters to cut the two holes 'together'. once you have cut in this manner a few times, open the pliers all the way, and it should split what is left of the seal. worked very quickly and easily for me, and there is no risk of scratching anything.

as for pre-installation results, it definitely revs a lot smoother, but so far (approx. 300km), i haven't noticed too much of a difference in power (if any). regardless, it does rev smoother now, so it was worth it regardless. i will post again in another 300-500km
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:38 AM   #418
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Btw, I have notice some "slurping" noise (sounded somewhat like a light exhaust braking noise) when driving about 20-30 mph and letting the throttle go. The car is doing something weird it has never done before. It feels like the vanos piston is having problems opening/closing? It has done it one about 2-3 times so far.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:44 AM   #419
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The toughest part of the job for me was getting the damn mechanical fan off. I didn't have the pulley tool... kinda overlooked that part in the instructions.
It tooh me 2 hrs of jerkin around to finally get it off. WD40 was the trick to loosen that up. Once I was able to get the fan off, the rest of the job was fairly straight forward.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:05 PM   #420
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The toughest part of the job for me was getting the damn mechanical fan off. I didn't have the pulley tool... kinda overlooked that part in the instructions.
It tooh me 2 hrs of jerkin around to finally get it off. WD40 was the trick to loosen that up. Once I was able to get the fan off, the rest of the job was fairly straight forward.
I still to this day cant figure out why bmw went with a mechanical fan on some cars (seems to be mostly autos).

I can see no gain, I am so glad I have an electric fan.
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