VANOS rebuild - conclusions

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DMike
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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by DMike » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm

I did the VANOS refurb recently and after one month of daily commute and some spirited driving I’d now like to sum up with a short abstract.

BACKGROUND: 2005 3.0i auto M54, 55k miles garage queen with full service history, annual oil service, 1st owner. No sudden loss of power but noticed that year after year more revving was needed to reach the acceleration and feel it once had.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Beisan seals and anti-rattle rings, conventional and mostly uneventful VANOS opening and refurb procedure following Beisan’s instructions and tips from helpful forum members. VANOS covers were incredibly tight to crack open. Only slight bending of the cross member needed. Total oil loss was measured less than 200 ml.
RESULTS: First days of embedding showed instant subjective recovery of power band linearity. Low end torque was fully recovered, however, in the following weeks, resulting in tyre squealing starts from traffic lights. After two weeks of embedding a surprising improvement in fuel consumption (from 12.4 L/100km, 22.7 mpg to 10.6 L/100km, 26.6 mpg) was observed, despite unrestricted and irresponsible throttle behaviour. No oil leaks or any other immediate complications were noted.
DISCUSSION: The gradual development af VANOS failure makes the diagnosis difficult and therefore in most cases the necessity of the refurb procedure remains controversial until the procedure is undertaken. Difficulty level of the refurb procedure was relatively low even for an tinkerer inexperienced in this domain, less than the difficulty of roof motor translocation. Given proper tools and materials, and the fact that the procedure has been documented in detail, it is generally considered safe. Immediate power band effects were noted but the full potential, low end torque and increased fuel economy, were registered only after two weeks post procedure. Possible tyre wear problems and other potential secondary effects require further observation.

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by bigwinn » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:54 am

Fully support your sentiment written up- I’m about 3 weeks in after works and concur with the changes

For me, the ultimate was that when the other half took the z4 out yesterday, she commented on the difference. For her to notice that’s significant
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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by ph001 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:29 pm

Good result. Link to the exact guide you used would be useful, there are several guides out there - some better than others.
2007 E85 Z4 3.0Si manual :driving:
19" CSL's | Eibach Springs | Aeroskirts | Z4M front bumper | Clear brake light | ZHP | RCH+| Stubby

2004 E46 M3 coupe manual - gone but not forgotten.

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enuff_zed
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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by enuff_zed » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:31 pm

"instant subjective recovery of power band linearity"

Does it go better too? :wink: :)
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patriot66
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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by patriot66 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:55 pm

ph001 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:29 pm Good result. Link to the exact guide you used would be useful, there are several guides out there - some better than others.
Links to the two Beisan guides below. Both excellent and very comprehensive :thumbsup:
This is the full procedure for Vanos seals replacement
http://beisansystems.com/procedures/vanos_procedure.htm
This is the procedure for replacing the anti-rattle washers and bearings
http://beisansystems.com/procedures/dou ... cedure.htm
'03 Sterling Grey 2.5i SE / SMG / Matching Hardtop / Gloss Black MV3s / Bilstein B4s / DLV Backbox / Rebuilt VANOS / Carbon-wrapped Interior Trim / Re-Covered Steering Wheel / De-tango'd !

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by patriot66 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:34 pm

DMike wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm I did the VANOS refurb recently and after one month of daily commute and some spirited driving I’d now like to sum up with a short abstract.

BACKGROUND: 2005 3.0i auto M54, 55k miles garage queen with full service history, annual oil service, 1st owner. No sudden loss of power but noticed that year after year more revving was needed to reach the acceleration and feel it once had.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Beisan seals and anti-rattle rings, conventional and mostly uneventful VANOS opening and refurb procedure following Beisan’s instructions and tips from helpful forum members. VANOS covers were incredibly tight to crack open. Only slight bending of the cross member needed. Total oil loss was measured less than 200 ml.
RESULTS: First days of embedding showed instant subjective recovery of power band linearity. Low end torque was fully recovered, however, in the following weeks, resulting in tyre squealing starts from traffic lights. After two weeks of embedding a surprising improvement in fuel consumption (from 12.4 L/100km, 22.7 mpg to 10.6 L/100km, 26.6 mpg) was observed, despite unrestricted and irresponsible throttle behaviour. No oil leaks or any other immediate complications were noted.
DISCUSSION: The gradual development af VANOS failure makes the diagnosis difficult and therefore in most cases the necessity of the refurb procedure remains controversial until the procedure is undertaken. Difficulty level of the refurb procedure was relatively low even for an tinkerer inexperienced in this domain, less than the difficulty of roof motor translocation. Given proper tools and materials, and the fact that the procedure has been documented in detail, it is generally considered safe. Immediate power band effects were noted but the full potential, low end torque and increased fuel economy, were registered only after two weeks post procedure. Possible tyre wear problems and other potential secondary effects require further observation.
I fully agree with everything DMike says in his review :thumbsup:
I replaced my Vanos seals and anti-rattle washers/bearings back in May and have covered 1,300 miles now including a 450 mile thrash around the Scottish Borders last Sunday. If you have a pre-facelift M54 engined Z4 and are procrastinating about getting your Vanos rebuilt, or are thinking of doing it yourself; I would say just DO IT ! You will not be disappointed :thumbsup:
'03 Sterling Grey 2.5i SE / SMG / Matching Hardtop / Gloss Black MV3s / Bilstein B4s / DLV Backbox / Rebuilt VANOS / Carbon-wrapped Interior Trim / Re-Covered Steering Wheel / De-tango'd !

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by TheDan » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:25 pm

patriot66 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:34 pm
DMike wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm I did the VANOS refurb recently and after one month of daily commute and some spirited driving I’d now like to sum up with a short abstract.

BACKGROUND: 2005 3.0i auto M54, 55k miles garage queen with full service history, annual oil service, 1st owner. No sudden loss of power but noticed that year after year more revving was needed to reach the acceleration and feel it once had.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Beisan seals and anti-rattle rings, conventional and mostly uneventful VANOS opening and refurb procedure following Beisan’s instructions and tips from helpful forum members. VANOS covers were incredibly tight to crack open. Only slight bending of the cross member needed. Total oil loss was measured less than 200 ml.
RESULTS: First days of embedding showed instant subjective recovery of power band linearity. Low end torque was fully recovered, however, in the following weeks, resulting in tyre squealing starts from traffic lights. After two weeks of embedding a surprising improvement in fuel consumption (from 12.4 L/100km, 22.7 mpg to 10.6 L/100km, 26.6 mpg) was observed, despite unrestricted and irresponsible throttle behaviour. No oil leaks or any other immediate complications were noted.
DISCUSSION: The gradual development af VANOS failure makes the diagnosis difficult and therefore in most cases the necessity of the refurb procedure remains controversial until the procedure is undertaken. Difficulty level of the refurb procedure was relatively low even for an tinkerer inexperienced in this domain, less than the difficulty of roof motor translocation. Given proper tools and materials, and the fact that the procedure has been documented in detail, it is generally considered safe. Immediate power band effects were noted but the full potential, low end torque and increased fuel economy, were registered only after two weeks post procedure. Possible tyre wear problems and other potential secondary effects require further observation.
I fully agree with everything DMike says in his review :thumbsup:
I replaced my Vanos seals and anti-rattle washers/bearings back in May and have covered 1,300 miles now including a 450 mile thrash around the Scottish Borders last Sunday. If you have a pre-facelift M54 engined Z4 and are procrastinating about getting your Vanos rebuilt, or are thinking of doing it yourself; I would say just DO IT ! You will not be disappointed :thumbsup:
Genuinely though for someone who is average at vehicle maintenance and repair, has only a "driveway workshop" and a basic garage toolkit how easy is the job? It looks quite intense delving that far into the engine!

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Worcester_spoon
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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by Worcester_spoon » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:32 pm

Good to read. Did mine last week, 30 miles in, so sounds like more fun to come.
03 Z4R 3.0i/Silver/stubby/Stormwerks knob/19" 313 reps/Parrot/gapTech/B12 kit/custom quad/CDV delete/engine and rear strut/M3 ARB/turner RTAB limiters/ram scoop/330d brake upgrade/a giant smile on my face

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by bigwinn » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:44 pm

TheDan wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:25 pm
patriot66 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:34 pm
DMike wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm I did the VANOS refurb recently and after one month of daily commute and some spirited driving I’d now like to sum up with a short abstract.

BACKGROUND: 2005 3.0i auto M54, 55k miles garage queen with full service history, annual oil service, 1st owner. No sudden loss of power but noticed that year after year more revving was needed to reach the acceleration and feel it once had.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Beisan seals and anti-rattle rings, conventional and mostly uneventful VANOS opening and refurb procedure following Beisan’s instructions and tips from helpful forum members. VANOS covers were incredibly tight to crack open. Only slight bending of the cross member needed. Total oil loss was measured less than 200 ml.
RESULTS: First days of embedding showed instant subjective recovery of power band linearity. Low end torque was fully recovered, however, in the following weeks, resulting in tyre squealing starts from traffic lights. After two weeks of embedding a surprising improvement in fuel consumption (from 12.4 L/100km, 22.7 mpg to 10.6 L/100km, 26.6 mpg) was observed, despite unrestricted and irresponsible throttle behaviour. No oil leaks or any other immediate complications were noted.
DISCUSSION: The gradual development af VANOS failure makes the diagnosis difficult and therefore in most cases the necessity of the refurb procedure remains controversial until the procedure is undertaken. Difficulty level of the refurb procedure was relatively low even for an tinkerer inexperienced in this domain, less than the difficulty of roof motor translocation. Given proper tools and materials, and the fact that the procedure has been documented in detail, it is generally considered safe. Immediate power band effects were noted but the full potential, low end torque and increased fuel economy, were registered only after two weeks post procedure. Possible tyre wear problems and other potential secondary effects require further observation.
I fully agree with everything DMike says in his review :thumbsup:
I replaced my Vanos seals and anti-rattle washers/bearings back in May and have covered 1,300 miles now including a 450 mile thrash around the Scottish Borders last Sunday. If you have a pre-facelift M54 engined Z4 and are procrastinating about getting your Vanos rebuilt, or are thinking of doing it yourself; I would say just DO IT ! You will not be disappointed :thumbsup:
Genuinely though for someone who is average at vehicle maintenance and repair, has only a "driveway workshop" and a basic garage toolkit how easy is the job? It looks quite intense delving that far into the engine!
Dan

I’m similar- all driveway, basic tools and a helping hand to use brute force when needed

Follow the guides- I used the x8r write up where I got the kit from and it was excellent.

Only special tools needed/recommended are 90 degree needle nose pliers

Where you based I’ll happily help
E30 325i Touring
E85 2.2i SE
F31 330d

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DMike
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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by DMike » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:00 pm

TheDan wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:25 pm
patriot66 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:34 pm
DMike wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm I did the VANOS refurb recently and after one month of daily commute and some spirited driving I’d now like to sum up with a short abstract.

BACKGROUND: 2005 3.0i auto M54, 55k miles garage queen with full service history, annual oil service, 1st owner. No sudden loss of power but noticed that year after year more revving was needed to reach the acceleration and feel it once had.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Beisan seals and anti-rattle rings, conventional and mostly uneventful VANOS opening and refurb procedure following Beisan’s instructions and tips from helpful forum members. VANOS covers were incredibly tight to crack open. Only slight bending of the cross member needed. Total oil loss was measured less than 200 ml.
RESULTS: First days of embedding showed instant subjective recovery of power band linearity. Low end torque was fully recovered, however, in the following weeks, resulting in tyre squealing starts from traffic lights. After two weeks of embedding a surprising improvement in fuel consumption (from 12.4 L/100km, 22.7 mpg to 10.6 L/100km, 26.6 mpg) was observed, despite unrestricted and irresponsible throttle behaviour. No oil leaks or any other immediate complications were noted.
DISCUSSION: The gradual development af VANOS failure makes the diagnosis difficult and therefore in most cases the necessity of the refurb procedure remains controversial until the procedure is undertaken. Difficulty level of the refurb procedure was relatively low even for an tinkerer inexperienced in this domain, less than the difficulty of roof motor translocation. Given proper tools and materials, and the fact that the procedure has been documented in detail, it is generally considered safe. Immediate power band effects were noted but the full potential, low end torque and increased fuel economy, were registered only after two weeks post procedure. Possible tyre wear problems and other potential secondary effects require further observation.
I fully agree with everything DMike says in his review :thumbsup:
I replaced my Vanos seals and anti-rattle washers/bearings back in May and have covered 1,300 miles now including a 450 mile thrash around the Scottish Borders last Sunday. If you have a pre-facelift M54 engined Z4 and are procrastinating about getting your Vanos rebuilt, or are thinking of doing it yourself; I would say just DO IT ! You will not be disappointed :thumbsup:
Genuinely though for someone who is average at vehicle maintenance and repair, has only a "driveway workshop" and a basic garage toolkit how easy is the job? It looks quite intense delving that far into the engine!
The tools and materials are described in detail in the Beisan’s instructions, but nothing too complicated. Basic set of sockets and one torx head. For the e85 add a strong hex key for VANOS covers (hex bits won’t fit), 90 deg angled needle pliers (straight ones won’t fit), and a plank of wood (to make things fit :lol: i.e. bend the cross bember just for a few extra millimetres of space to remove the unit). Fan removal is necessary and easy, gives good access to most bolts but that cross member in front of the engine makes things a bit cramped. Having the valve cover open is something I”d prefer not to do on the driveway, but that”s just me. A small torque wrench for the VANOS piston screws and valve cover bolts is nice to have too.

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by patriot66 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:59 pm

TheDan wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:25 pm
patriot66 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:34 pm
DMike wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm I did the VANOS refurb recently and after one month of daily commute and some spirited driving I’d now like to sum up with a short abstract.

BACKGROUND: 2005 3.0i auto M54, 55k miles garage queen with full service history, annual oil service, 1st owner. No sudden loss of power but noticed that year after year more revving was needed to reach the acceleration and feel it once had.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Beisan seals and anti-rattle rings, conventional and mostly uneventful VANOS opening and refurb procedure following Beisan’s instructions and tips from helpful forum members. VANOS covers were incredibly tight to crack open. Only slight bending of the cross member needed. Total oil loss was measured less than 200 ml.
RESULTS: First days of embedding showed instant subjective recovery of power band linearity. Low end torque was fully recovered, however, in the following weeks, resulting in tyre squealing starts from traffic lights. After two weeks of embedding a surprising improvement in fuel consumption (from 12.4 L/100km, 22.7 mpg to 10.6 L/100km, 26.6 mpg) was observed, despite unrestricted and irresponsible throttle behaviour. No oil leaks or any other immediate complications were noted.
DISCUSSION: The gradual development af VANOS failure makes the diagnosis difficult and therefore in most cases the necessity of the refurb procedure remains controversial until the procedure is undertaken. Difficulty level of the refurb procedure was relatively low even for an tinkerer inexperienced in this domain, less than the difficulty of roof motor translocation. Given proper tools and materials, and the fact that the procedure has been documented in detail, it is generally considered safe. Immediate power band effects were noted but the full potential, low end torque and increased fuel economy, were registered only after two weeks post procedure. Possible tyre wear problems and other potential secondary effects require further observation.
I fully agree with everything DMike says in his review :thumbsup:
I replaced my Vanos seals and anti-rattle washers/bearings back in May and have covered 1,300 miles now including a 450 mile thrash around the Scottish Borders last Sunday. If you have a pre-facelift M54 engined Z4 and are procrastinating about getting your Vanos rebuilt, or are thinking of doing it yourself; I would say just DO IT ! You will not be disappointed :thumbsup:
Genuinely though for someone who is average at vehicle maintenance and repair, has only a "driveway workshop" and a basic garage toolkit how easy is the job? It looks quite intense delving that far into the engine!
I would suggest you watch this YouTube video. The M54 is in an E46 so there are no access problems but otherwise the engine is the same. You can then see the full removal and strip down of the Vanos unit which may well help you decide if you feel competent enough to tackle the job :thumbsup:
https://youtu.be/0eUVF6OLFFg
'03 Sterling Grey 2.5i SE / SMG / Matching Hardtop / Gloss Black MV3s / Bilstein B4s / DLV Backbox / Rebuilt VANOS / Carbon-wrapped Interior Trim / Re-Covered Steering Wheel / De-tango'd !

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by ph001 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:29 pm

Great info chaps :thumbsup:

Anyone have any idea how different it is on the N52?
2007 E85 Z4 3.0Si manual :driving:
19" CSL's | Eibach Springs | Aeroskirts | Z4M front bumper | Clear brake light | ZHP | RCH+| Stubby

2004 E46 M3 coupe manual - gone but not forgotten.

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by Bmwforachange » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:22 am

Did mine a week ago, 3.0 e85, 2005, 59k
Great improvement intially and also continuing to improve, no idea why tho.

Xr8 full kit at £139, followed all the guides mentioned. Would agree with all said, a friend with a bar to give a few mm on the cross member, 90degree needle nose pliers for the seals. A strong Allen key for the piston covers. An impact wrench or driver with soft jawed vice to open the pistons.
Plenty of towels to protect the belts from spilt oil.

Would really recommend it, read the guides and take your time.

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by Old-Duckman » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:48 am

Just ordered the Xr8 complete kit off of Ebay this morning.

Mine is an 04, M54, 3.0L with 56K-ish miles. When I bought it, it had 52K. From what I have read here and other places at 56K it will be noticeable with a VANOS rebuild.

So since I just spent $184 USD for the kit (with needle bearings, etc) and shipping, I've been doing more internet searches. One poster on BimmerFest says that with the M54 engine there is no need to do the VANOS rebuild before 100K...This is not what I have read in many other places.

I don't care if the kit sits around for awhile and I don't plan on doing the job while the weather is nice but...

Your opinions on should I go ahead with this job or wait until...?? Would be appreciated.

I must admit that the flexing of the cross member makes me a bit nervous. I don't have anyone near by who can do that when I am removing and replacing. And I'm not sure if the more skilled person should do the removing or the flexing. If the "flexer" slips off or pulls too hard, is there a possibility of damaging anything?

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VANOS rebuild - conclusions

Post by DMike » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:34 am

Old-Duckman wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:48 am Your opinions on should I go ahead with this job or wait until...?? Would be appreciated.

I must admit that the flexing of the cross member makes me a bit nervous. I don't have anyone near by who can do that when I am removing and replacing. And I'm not sure if the more skilled person should do the removing or the flexing. If the "flexer" slips off or pulls too hard, is there a possibility of damaging anything?
At 55k and 15 years my piston fit and o-ring seals were, when inspected in situ, really bad: The pistons felt really loose and could be tilted freely. The o-rings were like plastic and certainly could not provide any kind of pressure to push the teflon seals against the cylinder wall.

I don’t think there is a significant risk of damaging the cross member and I managed to do it alone. I also read on the forum that someone had managed to negotiate the VANOS out by screwing the threaded rods more into the block. I did that prior to re-installing the unit and I think that method could work for removal as well. Having the unit out if the way I had the luxury of of more space (two locked nuts method) when fine tunign the rods, but during removal thin pliers would be the method of choice. Perhaps someone who have done his could comment? The threads would probably go bad but at that location It would not matter. Third option would be engine mount loosening but tfrom what I have read, not that commonly needed and something I cannot comment. Photos of the first two options:
503BF725-152C-4280-9854-0879DCF169B0.jpeg
503BF725-152C-4280-9854-0879DCF169B0.jpeg (127.07 KiB) Viewed 66 times
209E5162-F446-4FC8-88B4-611A058BE062.jpeg
209E5162-F446-4FC8-88B4-611A058BE062.jpeg (137.47 KiB) Viewed 66 times

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