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Mid Atlantic Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Pennsylvania, Delaware, and W. Virginia


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Old Mon, Oct-11-2010, 03:47:51 AM   #1
cscat87
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Default Anybody in the area successfully replace Vanos bolts?

So I'm sure everyone is familiar with this procedure if you own an M3. The bolt replacement is described in this thread > http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494

The more and more I am reading about this, it sounds like a necessary preventative job so you don't get stuck with a huge bill if these bolts work their way loose. It seems like the only tricky part is the timing when putting everything back together. Has anybody in the area successfully done this? I was going to attempt the job sometime this winter/spring, but would love to actually have somebody with me, or bring it to somebody who has actually done this before. The bolt replacement looks pretty straight-forward, but I am too afraid to mess up the timing. I'd be willing to drive out to anybody located in one of the states in this sub-forum, and of course pay you for your time/knowledge/food/beer/etc.

If anybody has done this, can do this, or knows somebody who can; your help would be more than appreciated!
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Last edited by cscat87; Mon, Oct-11-2010 at 03:50:54 AM.
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Old Tue, Oct-12-2010, 11:49:35 AM   #2
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If it's anything like an E36 you could replace 1 at a time and not affect anything at all...

And locktite wins.
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Old Tue, Oct-12-2010, 01:56:25 PM   #3
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I did not feel competent to perform this maintenance, so I had my shop do the bolt replacement in connection with a Level I valve adjustment. My independant BMW shop replaced the bolts on my 2002 E46 M3 with 86,000 miles. When they removed the vanos assembly and cam gears they found my original bolts were all still tight, but I had them replace all 12 bolts with the new style just to be safe. While the original bolts were OK, they did find one of the two tabs on the cam exhaust gear that drives the vanos oil pump had broke off. Luckily the broken tab was still in the socket and did not cause any damage other than roughing up and elongating the socket in which it rides. Replaced the Vanos with one rebuilt by Dr. Vanos and the gear with a nearly new one purchased on this forum. Other posters have reported this failure has caused catastrophic damage to the engine when the piece got caught in the timing chain. I was lucky. Every E46 owner needs to have this checked on his S54 engine whenever the valves are adjusted during Level I and Level II inspections. The faulty gear is part no. 11 36 7 832 031 and retails for $951.58.

Last edited by live2race; Mon, Jan-03-2011 at 02:36:47 PM. Reason: update with more exact info
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Old Tue, Oct-12-2010, 02:30:28 PM   #4
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I thought the bolts were only an issue in 03.5+? Is that incorrect? could have sworn that I read that somewhere.
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Old Tue, Oct-12-2010, 07:04:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coinage View Post
I thought the bolts were only an issue in 03.5+? Is that incorrect? could have sworn that I read that somewhere.
Wrong.

I haven't heard of the gear issue, only the bolts - which is what seems to cause the catastrophic failure (root cause).

Concentrate on replacing the bolt, worry about the other crap in the event that it happens. Don't go buying $900 stuff 'just in case.'
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Old Tue, Oct-12-2010, 09:06:05 PM   #6
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Nobody in the area has tackled this before? I'm not looking for a free lunch, I'm more than willing to compensate for your time and assistance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsperry View Post
If it's anything like an E36 you could replace 1 at a time and not affect anything at all...

And locktite wins.
Unfortunately that's not the case with the E46. A lot of people have messed up their cars by not timing everything correctly when putting it back together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coinage View Post
I thought the bolts were only an issue in 03.5+? Is that incorrect? could have sworn that I read that somewhere.
Like xyd said, random E46 M3's of all years have been affected. There have been 01's with 150k+ miles and no loose bolts, 06's with under 20k with completely sheared off ones, and everything in between. If the bolts come loose, its thousands of dollars to repair.
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Old Mon, Jan-03-2011, 02:45:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Anybody in the area successfully replace Vanos bolts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xyd View Post
Wrong.

I haven't heard of the gear issue, only the bolts - which is what seems to cause the catastrophic failure (root cause).

Concentrate on replacing the bolt, worry about the other crap in the event that it happens. Don't go buying $900 stuff 'just in case.'
In case your remark was in response to my post, I did not advise everyone buy and replace the gear. I advised all E46 M3 owners to have the tabs on the gear inspected. There seem to be enough posts regarding the failure of these tabs to warrant checking their condition periodicallly as these cars age for evidence of cracking. If one of the tabs does break off and falls into the timing chain, the resulting damage can be very expensive to repair.
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Old Mon, Jan-03-2011, 04:52:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Anybody in the area successfully replace Vanos bolts?

^ Couldn't tell ya, I don't even remember posting this lol.
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Discussing Anybody in the area successfully replace Vanos bolts? in the Mid Atlantic Forum - Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Pennsylvania, Delaware, and W. Virginia at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)