Today I was replacing my vanos with my mechanic friend... he noticed something while he was digging around in there. He said he a spring and missing from the timing tensioner and said this was common for e36's... well I ran down to the local salvage yard and picked up a used spring and replaced the broken one. car is no longer sluggish in low rpms.. before my car would kickin around 2500-3000rpms.. now it's instant. He told me this wad very common for e36's (he worked for bmw from 89-2001 in the repairs). I told him about a thread that was on here earlier this week and said it might not be the spring missing, but it's more then likely something to do with the timing chain/tension part of the car. Those of you who were having this problem should have someone look into this if you want to fix this problem. obviously, this isn't going to be the solution for everyone's issue, but it sure as hell fixed mine... feels like a new car.
this didn't cost me anything as my mechanic is a really close friend...it's a spring on the tensioner. mine was completely gone! he said they can wear out and break into pieces which is probably what happened to mine. He also said a good way to tell if this has happened is if you hear a kind of screeching sound from the front of the motor which mine had. also, go up a hill and push it hard and see if you hear a knocking sound.. that was another sympton of mine. All those sounds are gone now from mine...
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