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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 10-05-2008, 12:54 AM   #1
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Camshaft Position Sensor replacement a few add'l tips

There are several threads about this particular project that cover most of the project quite well and I've added links below.

A very good discussion complete with pix

An option that covers some details a bit differently

However in my own "project", I encountered some things that from reading through the threads have been issues for some others as well, so I thought I'd pass 'em along.

First, removing that muther effing vanos solenoid (see photo attached): Problem with this part of the job is that it requires a 32mm open-end wrench or an adjustable. That should be simple enough, but wrenches of this size are fairly large and the space that you have to work in is very tight and on the bottom side is a fragile banjo fitting for the oil feed line which you need to be careful of.

I suspect the reason this isn't always a problem has to do with how the angles of the 32mm hex head are oriented in your particular situation when it was tightened at the factory. Mine was in at a really bad angle so I had a particularly tough time. I bought a 12" adjustable but the jaws just wouldn't fit in the space. I had a 10" wrench but the jaws wouldn't open quite big enough. I tried a small rubber strap wrench (others have claimed to have success with this) but couldn't get sufficient leverage to budge things. After a lot of trial and error, mostly the latter, I stumbled on an old 32mm open end wrench in the bottom of a tool drawer, but that wouldn't do it either, just too fat to fit.

So (here's the tip at last) I took my bench grinder to the outer sides of the wrench and ground them down to make things narrower, and violá it fit and I got the sucker out.

Next has to do with threading the sensor wire down through the labrynth of tubes and so forth. I did two things here: One was when I removed the old sensor, at the bottom plug, I took a length of twine, made a slip knot and attached it to the bottom then pulled the old sensor out the top. I was then able to undo the twine, attach it to the new plug, and pull things back through fairly easily. One other thing was before I pulled the new one through all those grimy cavities, I cut a finger off of an old disposable rubber glove and slipped it over the end of the plug, condom-like. Things came through clean.

If you're planning on doing this job, I hope these help.
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:19 AM   #2
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Nice tips. Thanks, have to do this job myself soon.
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