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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 Tue, Jan-10-2017, 08:23:20 AM   #1
Slowmobile
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Default VANOS Timing Sanity Check

Since my last issue with the VANOS intake function error, I have tried retiming the VANOS probably 10 times. I finally got so fed up with trying to retime it with the VANOS completely mounted and ending up with it wrong that I took the VANOS out again. Redid the timing fresh from that point and it is STILL messed up. Can someone tell if I'm missing something. Note I am using the S62 diaphragm springs.

0) Rotate crank a few times CW, then lock with locking pin at TDC with cyl 1 lobes pointing towards each other
1) Pull VANOS from head without unscrewing shafts from VANOS (VANOS sitting on the 2 top mounts using long screws)
2) Time cams with alignment bridge
3) Lock in cams with the pins
4) Rotate hubs CW all the way
5) Press both shafts into the VANOS until the pistons bottom out, contacting the caps at the back I believe
6) Push VANOS onto head, inserting both splined shafts at the first tooth engagement in the hub while rotating the hub CCW(I also did the whole sweet tooth thing too just in case that makes a difference)
*Note, from this point forward, I only push the VANOS forward towards the head, I do not pull back on the VANOS so the splined shafts should stay pushed up against the VANOS
7) Completely bolt the VANOS onto the head
8) Tighten all of the hub bolts I could reach ~4 for each side (tight to what I would guess is the correct torque because I couldn't fit a torque wrench in the space. its pretty tight...)
9) Remove bridge and pins
10) Rotate crank 1 revolution CW
11) Tighten the rest of the hub bolts
12) Rotate crank 1 revolution CW, tapping my breaker bar CW as I got close to TDC while trying to push in the pin for the crank
13) Check timing <== problem here

Based on what I understand about how the whole system goes together, by having the splined shafts pushed as far into the VANOS as possible while mounting to the head with the hubs free to rotate and the cams locked, I am locking max retarding of the VANOS to the cams while they are pinned. Screwing in the 4 bolts on each hub I can reach locks the cams in their pinned position to the splined shaft in their most retarded position.

Therefore, I would assume when I rotate the crank 1 revolution CW to screw in the bottom 4 bolts, nothing should be disturbed. However, after I do that and turn it back to TDC and pin the crank, the alignment for both the intake and exhaust are lifted maybe 2mm - 4mm from the engine head on the intake side.

I am completely lost on where I went wrong here. I would expect the timing to stay on point since they were set on point when i locked them in with the 4 bolts and should not move even if I rotate the crank to lock in the remaining 2 bolts?

If anybody could provide insight into this that would be great. It seems like no matter how I time it, starting with the VANOS off or with the VANOs on and undoing just the bolts, I always end up with the alignment bridge lifted.

Thanks
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Last edited by Slowmobile; Tue, Jan-10-2017 at 08:32:58 AM.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 08:34:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

I did mine successfully last year. To summarise....
-vanos hyd unit off and out of the way
-set the crank as you did
-set the camshafts as you did, 6mm hole datums/bridge/ giving cyl 1 lobes at about 45 deg to head surface pointing towards each other
-set the vanos splined hubs so that they're fully in up to the start of the chamfer on the larger spiral splined gear
This is how they were when I removed them and setting as above by eye, worked for me.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 09:54:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

This is the official BMW method to time the S54 engine : http://d.pr/f/eOBo/2ZWVfULI

Beisan describes it also perfectly in the vanos rattle procedure : http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

When you check your timing, always only turn CW, never CCW as timing chain slack will make the measure wrong.

Good luck on getting your engine timed perfectly
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 10:37:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

I think the part you are missing is the pre-loading of the hubs prior to fully inserting the Vanos unit. If you look at the Besian procedure, it states that before completely pushing Vanos flush to the head that you should fully tighten two adjacent bolts on inlet and exhaust hubs and back off 1/4 turn, while the Vanos unit sits just clear of the dowels. There are actually spacer tools for this. This creates preload of the diaphragm springs between the hubs and cams before the final insertion, preventing everything moving prior to bolting up/mounting fully.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 02:24:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

Unlike the crank pin, the cam bridge is not meant to 'lock' the timing in place. It should only be used, one pin at a time, as a measurement tool. This is how people bend pins.

I had similar issues timing my engine. Most of the timing is simple, a couple sprockets and chain with the slack taken out - that should be dead repeatable. I think were it gets messed up is we aren't checking if both cams/splines are in a fully retarded position:

A 24mm wrench can be used to ensure the cams & splines are fully retarded before you release the hubs, and/or after you tighten them back down. This will take some rocking back and forth as you are in a way working against a worm gear. This is why rotating the engine via the crank is not enough to fully retard the cams.

If you do this with the VANOS fully bolted on, it won't work, as it will hold oil pressure and prevent the pistons from moving - so you'd need release the bolt pressure on the manifold/solenoid assembly, and remove the end caps (oil will spill). Be sure to replace the empty end caps, as these are the end stops for the pistons.

Recall that the DIS VANOS test can how accurately you were with timing, which is also the amount of movement range the unit is giving up to compensate for this inaccuracy.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 02:35:26 PM   #6
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Default VANOS Timing Sanity Check

X2 on Pre-loading of the Hubs. The vanos pistons need to be flush with the back of the unit, remove the caps on both the Intake and Exhaust sides so you can see where they are positioned.
Also when trying to find the "sweet tooth" you need to find the tooth that allows full range. Then mark it with a sharpie. I made a video showing the easy way to do this.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=545367

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Last edited by WOLFN8TR; Tue, Jan-10-2017 at 10:23:01 PM.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 03:04:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThrowinShapes View Post
Unlike the crank pin, the cam bridge is not meant to 'lock' the timing in place. It should only be used, one pin at a time, as a measurement tool. This is how people bend pins.

I had similar issues timing my engine. Most of the timing is simple, a couple sprockets and chain with the slack taken out - that should be dead repeatable. I think were it gets messed up is we aren't checking if both cams/splines are in a fully retarded position:

A 24mm wrench can be used to ensure the cams & splines are fully retarded before you release the hubs, and/or after you tighten them back down. This will take some rocking back and forth as you are in a way working against a worm gear. This is why rotating the engine via the crank is not enough to fully retard the cams.

If you do this with the VANOS fully bolted on, it won't work, as it will hold oil pressure and prevent the pistons from moving - so you'd need release the bolt pressure on the manifold/solenoid assembly, and remove the end caps (oil will spill). Be sure to replace the empty end caps, as these are the end stops for the pistons.

Recall that the DIS VANOS test can how accurately you were with timing, which is also the amount of movement range the unit is giving up to compensate for this inaccuracy.


Good stuff here. I agree that after turning engine , remove end caps and fully retard cams. Pistons should sit flush with end of vanos and timing bridge pins should drop right in.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 03:19:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulclaude View Post
I think the part you are missing is the pre-loading of the hubs prior to fully inserting the Vanos unit. If you look at the Besian procedure, it states that before completely pushing Vanos flush to the head that you should fully tighten two adjacent bolts on inlet and exhaust hubs and back off 1/4 turn, while the Vanos unit sits just clear of the dowels. There are actually spacer tools for this. This creates preload of the diaphragm springs between the hubs and cams before the final insertion, preventing everything moving prior to bolting up/mounting fully.
I believe this is what you're missing, OP.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 03:24:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOLFN8TR View Post
X2 on Pre-loading of the Hubs. The vanos pistons need to flush with the back of the unit, remove the caps on both the Intake and Exhaust sides so you can see where they are positioned.

Also when trying to find the "sweet tooth" you need to find the tooth that allows full range. Then mark it with a sharpie. I made a video showing the easy way to do this.

Click on the S54 Vanos link in my thread, the video is in there showing the easy way to find the sweet tooth.

Good luck...
Wolf, during my last re-timing effort I used that hub tool thingy to make sure the pistons were against the stops, prior to tightening the bolts for preload. The hubs rotated a few millimeters CCW by doing this, so it definitely took all the slack out. Unless the pistons are actuating the spline shafts, they're a biatch to move in and out when rotating the hubs.

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Old Tue, Jan-10-2017, 04:38:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: VANOS Timing Sanity Check

Ah good to know Brian.
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Discussing VANOS Timing Sanity Check 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)