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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 02-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
jjrichar
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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My Ride: 330 Ci convertible
Project M54 Engine: Vanos

Vanos

Links to other parts of the project
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=899347


Below are all the photos and notes I've taken of the vanos and where it attaches to the timing mechanism. I'm in the process of putting together a bunch of stuff on all of the timing, and I'll put it up here soon.

The vanos has two pistons, one attached to each variable camshaft mechanism. Movement of the vanos piston moves the camshaft position and hence the timing. Each camshaft variation is independent of the other, all controlled by the car's computer (DME)

The vanos pistons are moved by oil pressure. This is normal engine oil pressure that is fed to the vanos pistons in the vanos unit. The routing of the oil pressure (to change the piston position) is done by solenoid valves. There is one solenoid valve for each piston (intake and exhaust), which in turn controls where the oil pressure is directed, and hence the piston position. A solenoid valve is a two position valve. To achieve a mid point piston position, the DME sends an oscillating electrical signal to the solenoid. This in turn oscillates the oil pressure from one side of the piston to the other, and hence holds the piston in the desired position.

Removal and testing of the solenoids is very simple, as is changing either of the camshaft position sensors.

































Removal of the vanos unit is more involved. Removal of the valve cover is required first. Then the vanos unit can be removed. A really good DIY of how to do this in on the Besian systems site. Here is the link.

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

Below are the photos I've taken and associated notes.

If your vanos looks like the one in my photos, you aren't servicing your engine well. This is perfect example of what happens to your engine when sludge is just starting to form. It's not shocking, but if your engine has regular oil/filter changes, it should not look like this. If this project has shown me anything, it is the importance of regular oil changes. It is amazing how many tiny orifices and passages for oil run around this engine. I take my hat off to the engineers that design and build it. It would be very easy for them to get blocked, and stop oil from going somewhere. No oil somewhere means very rapid wearing of that component. BAD. Also, it has shown me the importance of the oil filter. There are lots of little things that spray oil on a component for lubrication, and the hole that it comes out of is miniscule. It wouldn't take much to block these with something very small. If your oil isn't getting filtered properly, you are going to have problems.

Enough with the lecture on lubrication.

When the valve cover is removed, the first task is to disconnect the vanos pistons from the timing shafts behind. Remove the big allen key nut, then the red plug, then the torx bolt behind (left hand thread)








Now just pull it off. There is a metal gasket between the head and the vanos.

Once off, turn it over and you can start pulling it apart.
















On the outside of the vanos unit.





Here's a couple of photos, for those who are interested, that show what happens when the vanos unit operates. To understand the photos below there are a couple of things you will need to know.
1. The piston is connected to shaft that has helical splines both inside and out. When the shaft is moved in or out, this changes the position of the camshaft in relation to the timing sprocket, and hence variable valve timing.
2. When the engine turns, due to the helical shape of the splines, it wants to push the shafts outward. Just turning the engine over slowly at the crankshaft by hand makes the shafts pop out straight away. At normal engine speeds, the force pushing them out would be quite a lot.





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Old 02-14-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
moranor
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awesome writeup

i dont spend much time on this forum... why is your engine out?
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
jjrichar
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Go to the link at the top of this post and it explains everything.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:50 AM   #4
moranor
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thanks
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:01 AM   #5
FM3T10
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Thank you so much for taking the time to get these very detailed pictures for us.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:15 AM   #6
mkodama
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Excellent writeup, explanations, and pictures! More DIYs need to be like this!
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:19 PM   #7
LoveBeingUseless
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Fantastic work! I'm a BMW tech down in southern california, and this is absolutley great information to have for a lot of people on here that modify there cars. Its so important to really understand how each system really works and what function it carries out. Well done and keep it up

-Austin
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
scroades
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBeingUseless View Post
Fantastic work! I'm a BMW tech down in southern california, and this is absolutley great information to have for a lot of people on here that modify there cars. Its so important to really understand how each system really works and what function it carries out. Well done and keep it up

-Austin
I couldn't have said it better myself!
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