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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Fri, Sep-15-2017, 02:05:59 PM   #1
cpandrewschmidt
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Default Vanos timing help

Hi all,
A month or so ago I did a Vanos reseal. I have a lightweight flywheel which doesn't have a pin to lock the flywheel. I made some CAM locks myself and proceeded with the job. During the job my locks slipped a bit. I realigned with the head as best I could and proceeded. When done verified TDC on flywheel and all looked good through several rotations.

Since then I've been battling P1108 code. I've replaced all known issues for that; plugs, coil packs, o2 sensors, fuel filter, smoke test, etc. I planned to do all those anyway as routine maintenance as the new owner so that's fine. However, I'm still getting the code. So, that brings me to my Vanos job. More I read I see people talking about it being off a "tooth" Are they referring to the splines when re-inserting the Vanos? After watching some video's I'm not 100% confident I had that in correctly. So, I'm re-doing it to double check my work. After seeing a few techniques on youtube i'm more confident I'll be sure it's right.

I'm at the point to lock the CAMs (with real cam locks this time). Here's a picture of my exhaust cam. Crank is TDC, lobes pointed at each other upfront and intake cam is pretty flush. Exhaust is off by a bit. I'm told to wiggle the CAM with a 24 mm wrench so it sits flush but I'm afraid of other things moving. I plan to have a friend hold a wrench on the crank to insure that doesn't move, but am I ok to wiggle that CAM around? I didn't want to take the Vanos out without knowing that first.

Thanks for any advise
Andrew
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Old Fri, Sep-15-2017, 02:41:23 PM   #2
Braymond141
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

The exhaust sprocket etorx bolts need to be loose, then you move the cam. Nothing will move with it unless you failed to loosen those bolts or your sprocket is severly out of position within the slotted movement.

Your timing is very much off if that is TDC. Remember to use the air tool and solenoid activation to run the VANOS back and forth several times (ending with air pressure on and solenoid off) BEFORE locking the exhaust sprocket. Using just the lolipop tool leaves room for error.

Being off a tooth can be literal and figurative.

For the VANOS, there is a “magic tooth” where every third or fourth tooth alignment of the spline lines up perfect with both the cam helical gear and the chain driven helical sprocket. These motors are hard to physically see the algnment (you can with a mirror) so the guides say “it must catch on the first tooth immediately when turning the exhaust sprocket to draw in the VANOS spline”. If you were to remove the clutch on the intake cam, that spline would slide in both helical gears with a gentle push when aligned properly. The VANOS spline gear needs to pull in the second you turn that exhaust sprocket counter clockwise. If it doesn’t, reset, pull the VANOS back off a hair so you can hand rotate the spline one tooth. Again, every third or fourth tooth is the sweet spot.

For the timing between crank and exhaust cam that “off a tooth” could be literally off a tooth or the slotted gear being locked down wrong which is likely why yours is so far off.
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Old Wed, Oct-04-2017, 09:16:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

Finally getting around to finishing this. Looking for that air tool to activate the solenoid activation to run the VANOS back and forth several times. I can't find anything online. Any suggestions, or could I try to rig my compressor up to 60 psi and attach it somehow to accomplish the same thing? How far does the chain need to travel again? I saw it somewhere but can't find it now.

Thanks again,
Andrew


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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
The exhaust sprocket etorx bolts need to be loose, then you move the cam. Nothing will move with it unless you failed to loosen those bolts or your sprocket is severly out of position within the slotted movement.

Your timing is very much off if that is TDC. Remember to use the air tool and solenoid activation to run the VANOS back and forth several times (ending with air pressure on and solenoid off) BEFORE locking the exhaust sprocket. Using just the lolipop tool leaves room for error.

Being off a tooth can be literal and figurative.

For the VANOS, there is a “magic tooth” where every third or fourth tooth alignment of the spline lines up perfect with both the cam helical gear and the chain driven helical sprocket. These motors are hard to physically see the algnment (you can with a mirror) so the guides say “it must catch on the first tooth immediately when turning the exhaust sprocket to draw in the VANOS spline”. If you were to remove the clutch on the intake cam, that spline would slide in both helical gears with a gentle push when aligned properly. The VANOS spline gear needs to pull in the second you turn that exhaust sprocket counter clockwise. If it doesn’t, reset, pull the VANOS back off a hair so you can hand rotate the spline one tooth. Again, every third or fourth tooth is the sweet spot.

For the timing between crank and exhaust cam that “off a tooth” could be literally off a tooth or the slotted gear being locked down wrong which is likely why yours is so far off.
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Old Fri, Oct-06-2017, 01:11:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

Anyone have insight for this tool and where to get it? Can't find anything online.

Also, what's the procedure for putting power to this? I see people say apply 12v to it but I don't know where. There really aren't any good DIY online for using the air tool. All the DIYs skip that step.

Thanks
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Old Fri, Oct-06-2017, 03:20:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

I made them years ago but don't use them most of the time. Take an old vanos line, cut the oil filter housing end off, and attach fittings to connect to your air compressor. to the cut off end. There are a bunch of different ways to make that connection. And you can make this part a few different ways -- if you had an old 3/8 inch air compressor hose you might be able to cut the vanos hose off the barbed banjo bolt at the vanos end of an old vanos hose and attache the 3/8 air compressor hose directly. This will get you air pressure to your vanos to simulate the oil pressure you don't have while testing. I forget the pressure to use but think Braymond put it in one of his posts. Probably in the range of 40-60 psi.

For the solenoid end, I salvaged a connector from an old wiring harness to plug into the end of the solenoid line. It is very important that you get positive and negative correct or you could fry the diode in the solenoid and solenoids are expensive. From the salvaged terminal lead, connect the negative to ground. When you touch the positive to 12V power source, the solenoid will open and allow the compressed air to activate the vanos.

You then measure the travel and compare it to the original position. I think Braymond specified those measurements and how/where to measure.

I have done this only a couple of times out of many cam timings, but Braymond has me worried that I am way off, so I may try it again when I have some time to kill. I actually would not mind learning to degree my cams so I can set them up perfectly, but that is a pain that takes some time.
slip a and cut the hose off of the barbed banjo fitting
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Old Tue, Oct-10-2017, 02:19:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

I'm about to tackle this with air tonight. I'm seeing conflicting info online on the procedure though.

1. Do I keep the cam lock blocks on?
2. Loosen the exhaust torx bolts a bit?
3. Lastly, do you put tension back on the chain?

If anyone knows for sure that'd be great! Thanks

Andrew
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Old Tue, Oct-10-2017, 03:44:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

Locks on
E-torx loose
Chain tension yes

The idea is to set the position (air on, solenoid off) to lock the exhaust torx down. The same thing you did when attempting by hand. You also get to see the movement range while cycling on/off several times on the solenoid before finishing with off to tighten the torx.
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Old Tue, Oct-10-2017, 04:02:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

thanks!
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Old Tue, Oct-10-2017, 06:54:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

You can get the air adapter from Amazon



You can make a little air compressor adapter with a piece of hose, a couple clamps, and an air hose connector.
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Old Tue, Oct-10-2017, 11:55:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vanos timing help

thanks Jittery Joe. I was able to rig something similar to that up.

Now, my problem.

I followed the steps above (cam locks, backed off torx bolts, tension on chain). I wanted to check chain movement before uninstalling vanos just to see where it was at. Applying pressure and activating the solenoid the chain didn't budge. You can hear the vanos make a blurping noise and the cylinder with the gear moves in and out just a little bit. Appears the solenoid is fine as it clearly does something when voltage is applied to it.

So, figured it was installed wrong, uninstalled and re-installed. Same thing. I'm very careful to make sure I'm catching the 1st possible gear.

I'm surprised that 60 psi is going to move the chain. *It's hard enough to move the chain clockwise with the cam gear wrench. *Doesn't seem like anything will move with the CAM blocks on.

I took a video but not sure how to post a video. I'll try to figure that out. If anyone has any ideas in the meantime please let me know.
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Discussing Vanos timing help in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)