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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 05-18-2013, 11:46 PM   #1
WDE46
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VCG and VANOS Seals Experience

So I replaced my VCG and VANOS seals today. I just wanted to share a few of the things that aren't listed in the Beisan Systems DIY. It went fairly well, but it took forever. I was happy to find my valve train very clean and sludge free. Allot 6-8 hours for this (you'll want to take a break for lunch or dinner).

You'll lose about a half quart of oil. Lots of rags and a bucket will help. Stuff rags underneath the VANOS and over the belts. A 20 oz SOLO cup can help catch some as well.

You can opt to not remove the exhaust cam shaft sensor and leave it on the VANOS. I removed mine with the VANOS off the car and accidentally shot it across the room. Be careful with this one. Pull/wiggle it from the connector side.

Buy like 3-4 large cans of Brake Cleaner. If your VCG has been leaking you'll want to use it to spray off a lot of the collected ****. It's also nice to just spray off the VANOS over a bucket. It makes disassembly and assembly much easier.

Be gentle with the X-acto knife cutting out the old seals. I scratched my seal groove a little. Nothing serious, but it's no longer perfect.

Less is more with the Red RTV.

Putting the VCG on is honestly not hard. I have no idea how people are breaking these studs. You just tighten until the bolt bottoms out. It's extremely simple. No need for a torque wrench here.

My car had two coil ground connections. Beisan's instructions only mention one for either variation. It's pretty obvious where it goes when you get to reassembly.
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Last edited by WDE46; 05-18-2013 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Auto-save 1368938791
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
ClaytonL
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VCG and VANOS Seals Experience

also don't forget about the vanos bolts that are reverse thread!!!! I made that mistake on the 3rd car I was doing this for.


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Old 05-19-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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Did my vanos this weekend as well.... VERY time consuming but no difficult. I too kind of scratched my seal grooves a bit... but nothing that had me worried
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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Haha. I TOO did my vanos seals this weekend. Took from 430-11 (6.5 hours). I also scratched the seal grooves a bit, and nicked the rim slightly. Had me worried at first, but once I got the seals in and noticed how tight the piston is supposed to be, I felt better.

The pistons had room to wiggle side to side with the old seals. My idle would bounce/stall until the car hit 65 degrees C. All good now, and plenty more low end torque!
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:18 AM   #5
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when i did this i was so paranoid about scratching my vanos pistons. i did it extremely carefully and knock on wood not a single scratch. go slow and use PLENTY of light. no rush!
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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when i did this i was so paranoid about scratching my vanos pistons. i did it extremely carefully and knock on wood not a single scratch. go slow and use PLENTY of light. no rush!
Agreed. I scratched the bottom of the groove a bit. Oops.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:35 PM   #7
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My buddy did his 330 and he broke the T30 screw (to remove should be clockwise) and we still trying to figure out how to take the thing out.. any suggestions?
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
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Hell I dropped one even on my knees slipped off the carpet pad. Dang buggers are sure slick! I doubt it will have any impact due the amount of oil in those.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:49 PM   #9
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I only have a 325i and yeah... the bite it used to have at take off when i bought her at 19 thousand miles is back now at 102 thousand miles
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:24 PM   #10
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Was it worth it? Notice any performance gains?
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:42 PM   #11
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VCG and VANOS Seals Experience

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Originally Posted by pinoybmr3 View Post
My buddy did his 330 and he broke the T30 screw (to remove should be clockwise) and we still trying to figure out how to take the thing out.. any suggestions?
You can use a spiral extractor kit;

http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...Id=&rfqLineId=

Just drill the center of the broken bolt and the grooves will catch and extract the bolt


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Old 05-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #12
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looking forward to doing this in the next week or two... thanks for the tips man
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:10 PM   #13
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VCG and VANOS Seals Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adionik View Post
Was it worth it? Notice any performance gains?
I think so. I don't have numbers but honestly I feel like the torque curve got lifted significantly around 2500-4000 rpm. Passing without downshifting is better since 70-90 mph are in that zone.

When I was removing the old seals I inspected the pistons in the sleeve and there was significant play. The O-rings themselves were very deformed and flattened.

For perspective my engine is at 82k miles.


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Old 05-20-2013, 07:13 PM   #14
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I have the copper RTV, which is supposedly better than red, still sensor safe and all that, it should be fine using this right?
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:34 PM   #15
WDE46
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VCG and VANOS Seals Experience

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I have the copper RTV, which is supposedly better than red, still sensor safe and all that, it should be fine using this right?
I used red as recommended by beisan systems. If my VCG is going to leak again it won't be for the areas I applied that stuff.


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Old 05-20-2013, 07:41 PM   #16
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I just used red as well. I was very conservative the first time and it leaked. I went back with rubbing alcohol and then used it liberally and I haven't had a leak. Just get the spots where it's known to leak.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
I think so. I don't have numbers but honestly I feel like the torque curve got lifted significantly around 2500-4000 rpm. Passing without downshifting is better since 70-90 mph are in that zone.

When I was removing the old seals I inspected the pistons in the sleeve and there was significant play. The O-rings themselves were very deformed and flattened.

For perspective my engine is at 82k miles.


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Holy low mileage Bat Man! Were you getting codes that were Vanos related or was it just PM?

Thanks for write-up, btw, as many of us will need to do this soon.


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Old 05-20-2013, 09:48 PM   #18
WDE46
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Originally Posted by swordsman11868 View Post
Holy low mileage Bat Man! Were you getting codes that were Vanos related or was it just PM?

Thanks for write-up, btw, as many of us will need to do this soon.


-Dan
No codes whatsoever. I had been reading about the VANOS seals for a while and knew they wore out early. I decided to get it done with my VCG. If your VANOS seals haven't been replaced, then you should do this.

BTW, I should note what "significant play" means to me when it comes to these pistons. There was probably 0.5 mm of play back and forth, but that's significant for a high pressure oil seal. There was ZERO movement after the new seals were installed.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #19
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No codes whatsoever. I had been reading about the VANOS seals for a while and knew they wore out early. I decided to get it done with my VCG. If your VANOS seals haven't been replaced, then you should do this.

BTW, I should note what "significant play" means to me when it comes to these pistons. There was probably 0.5 mm of play back and forth, but that's significant for a high pressure oil seal. There was ZERO movement after the new seals were installed.
Agreed.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:21 PM   #20
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on rtv i use:
black/grey for oil
blue for coolant
orange for exhaust
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