i really do hope it is a smaller issue such as coils etc. I really do not want to pee on your parade but my suggestion is in line with trying at least to save you as much money as possible during the diagnosis phase.
I can diagnose issues myself and had already come to the conclusion at least that the vanos solenoids were not at issue, nor coils or plugs, as i had already swapped over parts from the offending cylinders with known good ones, and had even swapped vanos solenoids over to be confronted with the same fault codes and issues.
However, when taking it to a main dealer for further advice and asking for tests on GT1 i was stonewalled and told they would carry out there own diagnosis, which i reluctantly accepted. On my return they had swapped out the 2 coils and a vanos solenoid for new parts against my wishes and i was faced with a bill for around £500 to have my car back in the same condition as i took it in with.
I was very dissapointed to be firstly ignored regarding my diagnosis wishes and secondly to have so called techs simply read a code and swap parts out without trying to read deeper into the problem, so much the case with todays techs who think fault codes automatically point them to the problem rather than interpret codes.
I digress. With no access to GT1 i know that Steve from Mr Vanos does have access to this and can tell with a simple test through the diagnostic port if viewed from stone cold, which may save you a few quid rather than sending it to many a specialist or dealer. Perhaps if you suggest the lever issue to your specialist and look at his face when asking, it will give you a good idea if he's heard of it and inspire you with confidence.
The best outcome would be you yourself swapping parts over and finding a fault follows a part, saving you a great deal of heartache and time
Also i was (and still am) experiencing a misfire issue on only 2 cylinders if i reconnect my vanos solenoid, as although the levers are wearing out, it will virtually never do so across 8 cylinders simultaneously. My car has had the issue for the last 12000 miles or so, from about 82K.
Have you checked the tube that runs from the front of the engine to the rear inside the "vee" of the engine for signs of coolant leakage regarding your other issue?
Last edited by gebhardt; 12-02-2012 at 11:25 PM.