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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sat, Dec-02-2017, 03:08:10 PM   #1
qualicas
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Default Factory cam timing off?

I'm doing vanos on my 3rd M3 so I pretty sure of the procedure.
When I opened the engine up and set TDC I found the intake cam locking okay with the bridge pin. However the exhaust cam hole was at about 1 o'clock position. I wrenched it back and it it still was off. As well, the spline shaft was inset 10mm from the face of the hub. I marked everything. Now I'm putting everything back and it looks like if I set everything the way it is supposed to be that the cam from the factory was probably advanced one tooth more than it should have been.
Has anyone seen this before? My other 2 cars were correct.
I bought this as a wreck but it had been running until it was totaled.
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Old Sat, Dec-02-2017, 03:47:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

Exhaust camshaft needs to be fully retarded to check timing. If the splined shaft is inset then it is still advanced. Remove the oil pressure regulator/vanos line then rock the cam counter clockwise (when facing front of the car) using a spanner on the hex section of the cam.
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Old Sat, Dec-02-2017, 03:49:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

Trust your eyes, especially when working on someone else's crashed car.
God only knows how it suffered...
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Old Sat, Dec-02-2017, 04:04:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

Trust me it was fully retarded. I used my trusty 24mm wrench and it stopped at the slot and splines were still inset. Only thing I can think is either wrong from factory or someone else adjusted it wrong. I could not see any evidence of anyone else being in the engine previously. Only about 70,000 miles as well.
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Old Sat, Dec-02-2017, 04:58:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

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Originally Posted by qualicas View Post
Trust me it was fully retarded. I used my trusty 24mm wrench and it stopped at the slot and splines were still inset. Only thing I can think is either wrong from factory or someone else adjusted it wrong. I could not see any evidence of anyone else being in the engine previously. Only about 70,000 miles as well.
If the splines are still inset, it's not fully retarded.
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Old Sat, Dec-02-2017, 06:08:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

Did you run the vanos test or at least look at vanos adaptations before disassembly to see what they were?

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Old Sat, Dec-02-2017, 08:55:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

The whole point of this thread is to ask if anyone has found the cams out of correct alignment. It would appear that all of you are telling me that cam is not retarded. So I will take it as a no, no one has ever found cams wrong from factory. So maybe someone was fooling with the engine.
I will correctly time it and put it back together. I will check how much it is out.
When I bought it it had been in a front end collision rad gone. I did start it and let it run for 10 seconds. It started immediately and ran fine for those 10 seconds. Now I'm glad I did start it so I know it did run okay.
Also in taking the vanos off I found that the vanos coil pack had a broken electrical connection so I have had to order a new coil pack.

Also I just luckily found that the accident almost cut a wire pack that runs under the expansion tank mount. I will have to fix those. That could have given all sorts of grief since it is hidden when all is put back together. (This is an aside from the vanos issue.)
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Old Sun, Dec-03-2017, 12:14:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

I was just showing a friend the whole vanos issue. He wants me to fix his. While talking I thought about my first BMW, 95 318is. I got it with a bad set of main bearings. From the factory, it came with an upper thrust bearing combined with a lower regular bearing. Finally the crank chewed itself apart. So factory errors are not impossible. I will just put it down as a factory mistake, adjust the cams correctly and move on.

By the way I checked every tooth all the way around the spline dia. I finally got both to go it with only the slightest of movements. Worst fitment moved the hub about a quarter inch before meshing.
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Old Sun, Dec-03-2017, 03:20:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qualicas View Post
I was just showing a friend the whole vanos issue. He wants me to fix his. While talking I thought about my first BMW, 95 318is. I got it with a bad set of main bearings. From the factory, it came with an upper thrust bearing combined with a lower regular bearing. Finally the crank chewed itself apart. So factory errors are not impossible. I will just put it down as a factory mistake, adjust the cams correctly and move on.

By the way I checked every tooth all the way around the spline dia. I finally got both to go it with only the slightest of movements. Worst fitment moved the hub about a quarter inch before meshing.
I agree that factory errors are not impossible. However, as already said, if the vanos splines are still inset into the hubs then you have simply not retarded them fully. Taking valve/piston contact out of the equation, the cams don't care where you put them. It's the vanos pistons/splined shafts that govern the adv/retard movement. The only 'stop' is when the pistons are fully retracted into the vanos body. If the splined shaft is still inset in the exhaust hub, the pistons are not fully retracted, and as a result, the cam is not fully retarded.
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Old Sun, Dec-03-2017, 03:29:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Factory cam timing off?

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Originally Posted by paulclaude View Post
I agree that factory errors are not impossible. However, as already said, if the vanos splines are still inset into the hubs then you have simply not retarded them fully. Taking valve/piston contact out of the equation, the cams don't care where you put them. It's the vanos pistons/splined shafts that govern the adv/retard movement. The only 'stop' is when the pistons are fully retracted into the vanos body. If the splined shaft is still inset in the exhaust hub, the pistons are not fully retracted, and as a result, the cam is not fully retarded.
Again I am very aware of the slot length. I just finished putting the splines into the hubs. Everything is correct. The factory or someone put the spline shaft in wrong. The whole point of the thread.

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Discussing Factory cam timing off? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)