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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, Mar-13-2012, 03:54:39 AM   #1
NICKBRUM
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Default How to inspect the Vanos?

So I have searched quite a bit and did not locate a DIY to inspect the Vanos. I have seen enough pictures of the exhaust hub, so that will not be problem to locate and look over. Can any one offer pics or where to look for the problematic bolts? Any general advice on the process will be greatly appreciated. Iím very paranoid about loosing the motor to catastrophic failure, so I would like to monitor the hub and bolts on a regular basis. I will likely opt to do a permanent fix down the road for piece of mind.
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2012, 05:56:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

I'm not trying to flame, but I don't think you searched "quite a bit".
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2012, 05:58:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=399103

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494

There is MUCH more out there.
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2012, 06:04:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

Let me just c/p this here


Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiv
Here's what you want to check for:

1) exhaust hub tabs.

2) intake cam bolts

As circled on this picture:



Excuse the shoddy PS but it should help.

(1) The exhaust hub: you want to make sure that the two tabs that drive the vanos pump are intact.

The two tabs are 180 degrees from each other so you may need to rotate the engine to see the other tab.

To do that use a 32mm wrench on the fan clutch nut (protruding from the waterpump pulley) and turn counter clockwise.

Note: to rotate the engine you'll want A) to have the car in neutral and B) to have the spark plugs removed.

Here's a pic of a broken hub tab inside the car as you'd see it with the valve cover removed:



Broken hub vs new hub:



(2) Intake cam bolts, here's how to check them without having to do extra work and pulling the vanos:



You want to grab the gear firmly and pull/push on it (red rectangle).

I like to do it with the car in gear (ebrake off) and rock the whole car from grabbing the gear.

You are looking for play. The gear should only move on its axis. There should be no other movement whatsoever (no forward/backward/side to side etc).

Do that, then rotate the engine 180 degrees and check again just to make sure (put car back in neutral while you rotate the engine).

Hope this helps!
Addendum: pick at the bolts and check for movement


Last edited by kaiv; Fri, Nov-28-2014 at 07:53:35 AM.
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2012, 06:19:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

Thanks fellas !!
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2012, 07:03:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

wiggle test would only work if all 6 bolts were sheared.

OP,

read up on this thread.

http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2014, 03:03:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadlysyns View Post
wiggle test would only work if all 6 bolts were sheared.

OP,

read up on this thread.

http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494
Read this thread and all the linked ones, along with SYT_SHADOW's diy...

So it sounds like the only way to inspect the vanos is to lock the timing and open it up (or take it off the motor)? There's no way to check it "for free" during a valve adjustment and be 100% certain that all bolts are fine?
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2014, 04:25:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bngl3rt View Post
Read this thread and all the linked ones, along with SYT_SHADOW's diy...

So it sounds like the only way to inspect the vanos is to lock the timing and open it up (or take it off the motor)? There's no way to check it "for free" during a valve adjustment and be 100% certain that all bolts are fine?
You can inspect the hub and pick at the bolts with cover off, but if you're this far, you can buy the Beisan stuff and refresh vanos and replace the oil pump disk. The Beisan instructions are incredibly thorough. It looks like a lot but it is actually pretty straightforward.
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2014, 05:11:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
You can inspect the hub and pick at the bolts with cover off, but if you're this far, you can buy the Beisan stuff and refresh vanos and replace the oil pump disk. The Beisan instructions are incredibly thorough. It looks like a lot but it is actually pretty straightforward.
Not sure how this thread from 2012 just got bumped ? Now on my second M3 I recently had the joy of finding a sheared tab and 3 of 6 intake bolts also sheared, the other 3 were loose. Needless to say I found it just in time as those other three bolts would not have held up much longer.

Thanks to the vast knowledge and information on this forum I have been able to trouble shoot and repair most of the crap that fails on our cars.
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2014, 05:23:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to inspect the Vanos?

Just wanted the thread that was most focused on the topic of interest rather than thread-jacking or starting over.

VANOS service seems to require R&R of the mechanical fan and the oil cooler, which I would love to be able to put off doing until I replace the radiator and swap to an electrical fan anyway. Hence my curiosity as to whether I can check how urgently I need to be thinking about servicing the VANOS while I'm in there adjusting valves.
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Discussing How to inspect the Vanos? 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)