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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-16-2009, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Replacing vanos seals ?

As I understand it the vanos is activated by oil pressue.. Apparently there are seals that keep the pressure from leaking out.. I've been told by a friend that owns and E46 323 that replacing your vanos seals makes a world of difference. and your car seems to have new life. He claims he bought a kit for 60 bucks and he said his power was better throughout the rpm range. Do you guys buy this ... and if its truely the case with E46 could it be true for the E36s as well even though my car isn't dual vanos.. I'm hoping that this is true so that my car can have a little more perk =) who knows what im talking about thanks.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I rebuilt my Vanos no more than three weeks ago and it does make a real difference. The loss is over such a long time that you never notice but I can say right away you can tell a difference. It generally takes about 500 miles of easy driving to break the new seals in properly. After that you can really tell a difference. I definitely recommend it. However, if you don't want to rebuild your Vanos yourself you can always order a rebuild one from Dr. Vanos for $300 which includes a $150 core deposit.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cool

I wouldn't say changing the seals is what makes the difference.

It's rather the alteration of the oil pressure in the VANOS valve so that the 6 degree spread is "reMapped" so to speak. ;-)

Since the VANOS actuator is controlled by DME, the same effect can be achieved by re-mapping DME/PCM/ECU :-)
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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how difficult is it to replace the vanos and where is it located.. I'd like to do this sometime.. my car only had 87 k .. but I'd like to do it .. you think its gona bad by now
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mitchell labor estimate calls for 3.5 hrs.

I think it is much less than that.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The VANOS is located at the front of the engine. You will need to remove your valve cover to have access to the Vanos unit.

Here's an entire write up on the process. Click here
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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why exactly is it that you have to lock the cams and place and do that stuff. Doesn't that seem a little much. cant you just take the valve cover off slip the vanos unit out and go to town ? someone wanna explain ?
and how much of a dif. does it really make. Is it worth pulling year hair out over... The guy Ibought the car off of told me he once was hitting 2nd gear hard and spun out.. Rarely ever no matter how hard im banging gear does it break any traction at all when I'm slamming 2nd. could have somethingto do with the suspension .but .. should an M3 be able to break traction banging second gear..
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Replacing the seals does make a difference, but we're not talking so much more power that you spin tires through second. If your engine is sounding like a diesel, then it's probably time to change the seals. However, if you're engine sounds normal I wouldn't worry about it...

Locking the timing is to be safe that removing the Vanos unit doesn't inadvertently shift the timing. It's just a safety precaution.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wouldn't say my car is running like a diesel. however every now and again it wasn't to staul. and idle funny.. Not like it did when my ICV was bad . It doesn't surge like it did when my ICV was bad.. and then it goes away after I rev the engine or drive a little ways. I've always thought the car was a little bit sluggish from 0 to 3500. I just had always assumed it was supposed to be that way for all M3s. but I can't help but wonder.. if its supposed tobe a little snappier. also I read that your supposed to get 10% mile per galon increase ... and Ive never gotten over 25 Mpg and thats babying it all highway miles.. and from what I understand they are supposed to get up to 27 or 28 mpg on the highway.. Just hoping this if I fix this it willtake care of some problems.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't get lazy on the cam lock. You don't want to mess up your timing.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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but you have to buy special tools for that lol.... for the crank lock could you just put a punch or something in there ?
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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very good thread guys helping me out too thnx n good question pring
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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borrow the tool from autozone
idk if theyd have timing blocks, if they are standard for all cars they might but they should have the fan removing tool, we rented one for my old auto teachers silverado...
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrInG View Post
but you have to buy special tools for that lol.... for the crank lock could you just put a punch or something in there ?
When I did it, I did not lock the timing (which after the fact I probably should have done) but I didn't have a problem without having it locked. I think it's just an extra safety precaution and not entirely sure if it's necessary.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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hmm I think this will probably be a winter project.. along with decent sounding exhaust and some Ebay headers .. haha heard the ebay headers actually arent that bad ... I'd love to do a lightweight flywheel but dont' have the money right now and I think after the exhaust and headers might go with a chip. Ive been saving up money to either buy a motorcycle or a truck that I can start a new project on.. I'd like a truck that I can slam and look nice and also keep miles offthe M while I start to add performance to it .. thats the plan .at least
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