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Old 10-07-2008, 10:47 AM
boschtech1 boschtech1 is offline
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Location: Charleston, SC
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: '99 540i
FYI - 9/98 have Vanos

I thought so too until I hit up and they sent me to and i got this for the 9/98-12/98 540i:
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The 540i does not really have a vanos unit, as you have noticed. It uses a gear with some type of enclosed pinion to change the cam timing. It's not the same type of system that the single vanos 6cyl cars use, and is not easily replaced or repaired.
Here is a photo of the system, #1 in the picture is the 'vanos' part...

I would take a close look at the belt and pulleys and look for a problem there first. The belts can fray and make a knocking sound, or one of the idler pullies can have a bad bearing. I would bet there is little chance that the cam adjusting system is making the diesel noise.

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According to link above it's still called a vanos from 09/98 to 12/98. Sounds like we got the dookey end of the stick and it seems worse than pull and place....
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