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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 Mon, Jun-11-2018, 03:45:16 AM   #1
erickrayos
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Default vanos bolts stripped

Hey guys, my friend that has an M3 started doing his vanos refresh and at the last part of his job when he was about to put the last bolts to get the vanos back in he stripped the slot where the bolt would go into the cylinder head.


It's one of the two spots where you could put the longer vanos bolts to hold the vanos unit when pulling it out so it doesn't fall.. I guess he over torqued it and he didn't feel it clicking (torque wrench) and it just kept turning he said and when he pulled out the bolt he sent me the pictures and basically took off the threads inside the head.


was wondering what you guys would suggest to fix it. and not sure what size is the bolts (thread pitch) it is to get some insert or helicoil and if anyone can link me what he would need so I can send it to him what he needs to buy to get it fixed. thanks guys!
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Old Mon, Jun-11-2018, 07:33:06 AM   #2
schoonerm3
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

Its an M6 thread. Probably x1 pitch.

There is not a whole lot of room to work there because there a locating dowel hole integrated with the bolt hole. So time sert isnt really an option but maybe. You need to make measurements and decide between time sert or helicoil.

This is why when doing this sort of job you should always have thread cleaning taps and preferably new bolts.
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Old Mon, Jun-11-2018, 07:59:22 AM   #3
erickrayos
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

told him I'd help him if he would wait for me to come back but he went ahead. everything went well until that last part I guess he got impatient or didn't pay attention. I was thinking helicoil but then again never used that either since I usually just re-tap everything and go for a bigger size but this time as you said there's not much room and there's the dowel pin along with it. I am guessing helicoil Is the only option. the thing doesn't need much torque it's practically hand tight if I remember.

Just not sure what thread and pitch it is so he can order it and get it by the time I come back and work on it before he f*cks anything else up lol
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Old Mon, Jun-11-2018, 11:32:28 AM   #4
schoonerm3
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

It's likely M6 X 1. The M6 comes in a .75 pitch but that's a very fine thread. I don't remember it being that fine.

Did he do a full vanos job? If so I wonder if it happened when drawing the vanos unit towards the head and had the bolts of the sprocket to tight which would out alot of stress on the threads.

Either way this is a bit of a disaster. Hope you get a clean fix
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Old Tue, Jun-12-2018, 05:39:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

yep. trying to see what thread it is exactly. I'll probably have him buy both insert and helicoil and see what's the best course of action afterwards.
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Old Tue, Jun-12-2018, 06:28:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

Dang that's rough on the final steps. Yeah, not much material there, but maybe you can just bore it over a bit and put a slightly more aggressive pitch bolt in there. It doesn't take much to hold it there since there are 3 other bolts and you can use some RTV on the edge.
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Old Thu, Jun-14-2018, 01:27:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

Check with http://www.timesert.com. I used it on my E93 when I stripped my oil pan drain plug. Awesome fix!
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Old Thu, Jun-14-2018, 03:19:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

yeah but just wanna verify what exactly the thread on that mofo lol. then he can start the measurements and whatnot hopefully by the time I get back he got all the things needed to get it finished.
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Old Thu, Jun-14-2018, 08:24:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

It's #11 on this parts diagram. M6.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=11_2994

It's likely best to remove the vanos and the dowel.
AutoZone has Helicoil kits.
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Old Fri, Jun-15-2018, 10:07:06 AM   #10
erickrayos
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Default Re: vanos bolts stripped

lol the part number doesn't really say anything about thread pitch. standard seem to be 1 but knowing BMW they'd use some weird thread pitch LOL.
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Discussing vanos bolts stripped 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)