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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 04-06-2005, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How does one know that this unit is starting to fail? How easy is it to install? Also I am under the impression that the M50 and the S50 vanos units are the same. Is this also true? Thanks.

EDIT: The VANOS Unit is indeed the same for the M50 and S50. Just called BMW and both use the identical part #'s.
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 93 325i@Apr 6 2005, 09:35 AM
How does one know that this unit is starting to fail? How easy is it to install? Also I am under the impression that the M50 and the S50 vanos units are the same. Is this also true? Thanks.
[snapback]326555[/snapback]

Ive always heard the Vanos wont fail, but rather just make noise, as the gear get a little worn, but it will not make it stop wokring.

My question to you is, will an S50 timing chain tensioner fit onto an M50 engine?

Let me know, Thnaks.
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Still havent gotten a difinitive answer huh vic.. You got me on that one.
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What type of sound does a failing Vanos make?
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It is a rattling sound. Mine isn't doing it, but i can get one for dirt cheap. My low end power seems a tad sluggish and I recall someone recently saying he replaced his because it was gunky and it made a night and day difference in low end. Plus if I wanted M3 cams that I should get a new vanos unit along with it. I'm sure this will require professional install tho..
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 93 325i@Apr 6 2005, 12:19 PM
It is a rattling sound. Mine isn't doing it, but i can get one for dirt cheap. My low end power seems a tad sluggish and I recall someone recently saying he replaced his because it was gunky and it made a night and day difference in low end. Plus if I wanted M3 cams that I should get a new vanos unit along with it. I'm sure this will require professional install tho..
[snapback]326673[/snapback]

Yeah i havent got the answer for the timing chain, lol.. but im still looking...

Let me know how it goes with the Vanos. I personally think that there is no real difference between S50 and M50 vanos, since ive heard people putting S50 camshaft over the m50 and had no toruble, and so im gussing the vanos worked too.
I would say it would work, but then again i havent try it, so dont blame me for problems... lol.

And about the noise, when the vanos is worn out it makes a rattling noise at idle? right? Because i have this noise, and some told me is a streched timing chain, but i was not 100% percent sure, since you only hear the noise at iddling and is very low, when driving you only hear the deep sound from a BMW exaust, like it should,.. (im saying normal deep sound, the exaust is new, it has no holes..).

Anyway man, let me know how this goes, now that you have talk about the rattling noise and the weak clumsy low end, i must say im suffering the exact same problems, so let me know where to get a good one, how hard to replace, cause im seriosly thinking about it..

See ya.
Victor
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Its not exactly your vanos failing.. but yet the chain guilds... they are easy as pie to replace... takes a little work... but they will make this sound... also the chain will tend to strech... they have tension regulators... which can also be replaced...

Search the internet... there are a few write ups on this topic.

Good Luck,

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Old 04-06-2005, 02:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 97alpineM3@Apr 6 2005, 02:06 PM
Its not exactly your vanos failing.. but yet the chain guilds... they are easy as pie to replace... takes a little work... but they will make this sound... also the chain will tend to strech... they have tension regulators... which can also be replaced...

Search the internet... there are a few write ups on this topic.

Good Luck,

Les
[snapback]326781[/snapback]

Chain guilds? What are those?

and are u saying the solution is to replace the chain. i mean this requires to tear the whole front out, included the 400nm torqued bolt at the front pulley.

Let me know, thanks man.
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No.... tensioners... and guilds.... the guilds are what keep the chain in the right path... the tensioner is connected to the two ends of the chain.. the chain it self doesnt actualy get longer over time.. but the tensioner tends to wear out... search around for write ups on this... I've seen a few on the internet...

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Old 04-06-2005, 02:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 97alpineM3@Apr 6 2005, 02:24 PM
No.... tensioners... and guilds.... the guilds are what keep the chain in the right path... the tensioner is connected to the two ends of the chain.. the chain it self doesnt actualy get longer over time.. but the tensioner tends to wear out... search around for write ups on this... I've seen a few on the internet...

Les
[snapback]326799[/snapback]

well the timing chain tensioner has a piston that is moved out to apply pressure the timing chain rail guide, this guide in turn pushes on the chain and put tension on it. Ive seen the parts diagram and if this what you talk of, i know what if is, problem is that to get to them you have to remove whole front end cover, and botton pan and valve cover to be able to replace the chain.

But i was wondering if replacing just the timing chain rail guide will work? this way i dont need to take alll the covers out, just front and top??

if need ill post the picture of the parts diagram.
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That does sound more like timing chain issue...... albiet I am not at all familiar with Vanos issues. Your timing chain does a certain life span. The last car I had with a timing chain (86 442) recommended replacement @ 100K.

Not sure what the recommendation is on our cars, but it is a must replace item @ the end of its service life.....
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M50 manifold converstion 3/05
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Old 04-07-2005, 04:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I wont go into how the Vanos unit works (except to say the 325 has a single Vanos unit and the M3 has two, I dont know how these work together) i'm not 100% sure on that myself, but my car has the Vanos problem at the minute (along with various other things) but checking it short of going to a garage....

Most noticable from a cold start, pop the bonnet, start your engine and rev it. You should hear a rattling noise at about 2000-2500 revs.

Check the picture, with the car on stick your ear next to the unit (the bit in the red square) and rev the engine wtih the throttle, the noise you'll hear is best described as 'marbles in a tin can'.



*edit* Mine does it also while driving, although once going and the engine temp is up it's less noticable, but it does still do it, kicks in about 2/2500k and goes again about 4K, when your driving it can sound like the air intake from a cone, and no i dont think it ever really goes, it'll just make the noise, might limit performance a little and maybe push the MPG down a bit too. But it shod be a cheap fix even at BMW, beleive it or not they actually had a 'good will gesture' on the Vanos units (now expired).

Not sure about the timing chain, could well be, and as for the cams, your right, s50 cams go straight in the m50 so i dont see why an s50 unit wont work, but unless your a skilled mechanic im not sure what the chances are as i believe their quite hard to do. Cost wise, BMW want 300 to swap my Vanos unit (i was led to believe these get swapped out as you cant buy the units anywhere) for some reason its over 3 times as much to do it to an M3, might have something to do with M3's having double Vanos units, or maybe just BM making people pay for having nice cars.
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Old 04-07-2005, 08:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Is there a way to test the solenoid that sends oil to the vanos, ive checked oil suplly and cleaned and checked electrical that goes to vanos, wondering is there simething to do, I dont feel it kicking in..

Thanks.
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