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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:39 PM
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jetpilot10 jetpilot10 is offline
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Location: Frisco Texas
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540I
Just past 200,000 miles - Vanos Repair Next

I just rolled past 200k the other night in the 540i, also just ordered and received the Besian Systems Vanos repair kit for the V8 Vanos'. I am literally so tired of this car sounding like a freaking Russian Tractor on a frigid Siberian morning when I pull up to a stoplight in traffic. I am sure folks look at our cars with the rackety sounding Vanos and wonder WTF!?

I will tackle this repair in the next couple weeks and will report back to folks how it went, and if the noise subsides with the repair. That THUCK, THUCK, THUCK vanos sound is annoying as hell, and for a luxury sedan to make such a noise is embarrassing.

I did the timing chain guides, and all the other associated vanos specific repairs (minus any actual vanos wheel work) outlined in the Besian documents in early 2012 and have be waiting for Besian to work out the kinks in their Vanos repair process. Now that the V8 kit is available I'm hopeful the noise will disappear.

Wish me luck...
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:47 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540i auto
Good luck. I'm hoping to tackle this job as well. I'm in the process of saving for all the parts like valley pan gasket, timing chain tensioner, valve cover gaskets and anything else I'll need. Let me know how it goes.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 02:26 PM
Nervous Nervous is offline
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I recently have done that (but car is still disassembled, have no time to finish assembly):
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=35
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...2&postcount=36
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:20 AM
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TemporarySanity TemporarySanity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetpilot10 View Post
I just rolled past 200k the other night in the 540i, also just ordered and received the Besian Systems Vanos repair kit for the V8 Vanos'. I am literally so tired of this car sounding like a freaking Russian Tractor on a frigid Siberian morning when I pull up to a stoplight in traffic. I am sure folks look at our cars with the rackety sounding Vanos and wonder WTF!?

I will tackle this repair in the next couple weeks and will report back to folks how it went, and if the noise subsides with the repair. That THUCK, THUCK, THUCK vanos sound is annoying as hell, and for a luxury sedan to make such a noise is embarrassing.

I did the timing chain guides, and all the other associated vanos specific repairs (minus any actual vanos wheel work) outlined in the Besian documents in early 2012 and have be waiting for Besian to work out the kinks in their Vanos repair process. Now that the V8 kit is available I'm hopeful the noise will disappear.

Wish me luck...
I have 295,000 and haven't done any vanos repairs...yet. I also have that thuck thuck noise. I thought the timing chain guide rails would have fixed that. I did them a year ago and it still sounds the same so it looks like I'll be doing a vanos repair soon too. I get asked often enough about the "rod knock" that I have come up with the explanation that it is normal and has been doing it for years! I'm really curious as to how hard the job is and if it restores power too. Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:56 PM
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jetpilot10 jetpilot10 is offline
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Location: Frisco Texas
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540I
Finally Done!!

Ok guys, I purchased the Besian Vanos repair kit for my M62TU motor in middle December. I had a spare pair of Vanos wheels on the workbench and I did the repair per Besian guidelines. I also purchased an extra Teflon seal per Besian suggestions and I'm glad I did. The first o-ring and Teflon seal went in without a hitch, no wrinkles and had it done in 5 minutes. The second o-ring went in easy but the Teflon seal fought me every step of the way and I wasn't happy with the final install of that seal. I removed it and installed the third Teflon seal and that one went in just as easily as the first. Go figure....

Those Vanos wheels sat on the workbench until Thursday of this week when I finally had time to tear into the motor. I own the timing tools so at least i didnt have to wrangle those tools from anyone. For anyone that has done this repair, it's not difficult, it's just time consuming as hell since you have to remove/reinstall so much stuff. This is the third time I have timed the car and it again came off without a hitch. Car runs great and no codes so far.

Now to the sound...*****, I can't recall the last time this car was this quite!! No more russian tractor sound, and I can now pull up next to a drive up window and not be embarrassed that a luxury sport sedan sounds like its about to rattle apart. Low end power has returned!! I haven't driven it super hard yet, as I always give the repair a couple days to make sure I didn't screw something up and it rears its ugly head. I would rather have something happen at low speed than at wide open, high rev shifts when something lets go.. So far I am one happy camper with the repair. I have a week of driving ahead so I hope to report back at the end of this week with a follow up.

If you need to do this job, get with it. You won't be disappointed! I took the top end apart on Thursday evening and started again at 10am Friday morning and was totally done by 3pm Friday afternoon. I take my time so I don't stress nor rush and screw something up.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:15 PM
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TemporarySanity TemporarySanity is offline
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Ok, you may have convinced me to attempt it, although once it's warmer out.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2013, 02:14 PM
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Al's540i Al's540i is offline
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That's strange. I thought VANOS was not a worry on our V8's. My engine has 184k miles on it and it's relatively quiet at idle. Are you referring to a thud/knocking noise at start-up or during idle?

thanks!
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2013, 03:45 PM
s2kpunisher s2kpunisher is offline
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Total newb here but how often does the VANOS need to be serviced?
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2013, 04:56 PM
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Mine hasn't been done and I'm close to 300,000 mi. but it probably could have used servicing at 150,000 mi.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2013, 05:06 PM
redE36girl redE36girl is offline
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Don't have the v8 vanos but I have a 6 cylinder vanos just starting to make noise at 253,000

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  #11  
Old 01-29-2013, 05:33 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redE36girl View Post
Don't have the v8 vanos but I have a 6 cylinder vanos just starting to make noise at 253,000

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Is that the original engine with that mileage? Auto or manual? If auto, original transmission?
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:36 PM
AlexandruE39 AlexandruE39 is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 E39 540i 6Speed
Hey everyone. I have purchased my 1st BMW and its a 97 E39 540i 6speed. I'm kinda sure that I don't have Vanos on mines. It's in relatively ok shape but needs new paint job and in the process of doing an M5 clone to it. My question is can I/ should I add Vanos and if so is it worth it?
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:41 PM
AlexandruE39 AlexandruE39 is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 E39 540i 6Speed
These are the upgraded so far.
1. Spare delete
2. Dual x pipe with canisters, no rez
3. Led Angel Eyes and HID kit
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:45 PM
AlexandruE39 AlexandruE39 is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 E39 540i 6Speed
Btw lol looking to do a aluminum radiator with fan shroud to upgrade the cooling. Essentially I'm overhauling the car this year. I would like to supercharge it eventually but not sure if ok on 184k engine with old parts inside... Suggestions welcomed!
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2013, 01:31 AM
redE36girl redE36girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkgreene39 View Post
Is that the original engine with that mileage? Auto or manual? If auto, original transmission?
original M50 with the auto still runs strong. have replaced the intire cooling minus overflow, and heater core. still blows hot. and as said the vanos just started making nose.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2013, 09:03 AM
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jetpilot10 jetpilot10 is offline
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Location: Frisco Texas
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540I
V8 m62tu

If you have the M62TU motor then you have Vanos. It's my understanding that 97-99 V8's did not have Vanos. Late 99 build dates, and those listed as 2000 model year V8's and beyond have the Vanos. You will get the rattle at startup, and at idle your car sounds like a tractor.

To each his own on performing the repair. These cars are supposed to be quiet at idle and startup, so what you choose to accept in the sound and performance of your car is for you to decide. I literally could not take the sound any longer. My car is now quiet once again, and the low end performance is back.

As the Teflon seals within the Vanos ages and losses its ability to retain the oil behind that Teflon seal, your variable valve timing degrades and is off slightly from what it should be. this in turn degrades your low end power, and also how the timing reacts to throttle demands. Since this Teflon aging happens over time, we as drivers don't notice the subtle degradation in power and become used to how our cars respond. Once the Vanos have been repaired, you will notice the difference. I have put 200 miles on the car since the repair and I couldn't be happier with the results.

This repair is straight forward if you have the timing tools, etc. (I own the timing tools) But if you're one of those guys that should never ever approach a car with a screwdriver in your hand, i.e. not mechanically inclined, you may want to seek out help from someone on the board that is local to you. I'm in Frisco Texas, DFW area, so if your local I am a resource for you. Just reach out!
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2013, 09:17 AM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redE36girl View Post
original M50 with the auto still runs strong. have replaced the intire cooling minus overflow, and heater core. still blows hot. and as said the vanos just started making nose.
Good stuff, I'm liking what I'm reading. Have you changed the fluid in the transmission at some point?
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2013, 09:18 AM
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I'm in So Cal, and would love some help in getting this done. I'm comfortable with getting torn down, but an extra set of eyes would be great too.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:50 AM
redE36girl redE36girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkgreene39 View Post
Good stuff, I'm liking what I'm reading. Have you changed the fluid in the transmission at some point?
had a complete trans service about 30,000 ago maybe less. I love this car

once I get my coolant bottle Upgrade done I will do the vanos fix. she runs and drives fine and she gets up and moves pretty quickly and decelerates just as quick. do to the suspension she almost handles like she is on rails.
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Last edited by redE36girl; 01-30-2013 at 09:54 AM.
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:06 AM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redE36girl View Post
had a complete trans service about 30,000 ago maybe less. I love this car

once I get my coolant bottle Upgrade done I will do the vanos fix. she runs and drives fine and she gets up and moves pretty quickly and decelerates just as quick. do to the suspension she almost handles like she is on rails.
My single vanos M52 is very low mileage for its age little over 87,000 miles on it. General consensus on the forums is that the vanos seals fail very early. Until I have problems with the vanos itself, I will not be servicing it. I have not driven any single vanos M52's with the seals changed, so I would like to see for myself if there is actually a difference in timing performance.

If your expansion tank is not leaking I would leave it alone, I decided to do preventative maintenance regarding that part. Swapped my original expansion tank with a dealer bought one, the part failed in 2 months. I could just be unlucky in that regard, but everyone states buy the tank from dealer. Well its garbage, and there are some threads where a person has gone through multiple dealer bought expansion tanks that failed. So if the original one is intact I would leave it alone.
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  #21  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:21 AM
redE36girl redE36girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkgreene39 View Post
My single vanos M52 is very low mileage for its age little over 87,000 miles on it. General consensus on the forums is that the vanos seals fail very early. Until I have problems with the vanos itself, I will not be servicing it. I have not driven any single vanos M52's with the seals changed, so I would like to see for myself if there is actually a difference in timing performance.

If your expansion tank is not leaking I would leave it alone, I decided to do preventative maintenance regarding that part. Swapped my original expansion tank with a dealer bought one, the part failed in 2 months. I could just be unlucky in that regard, but everyone states buy the tank from dealer. Well its garbage, and there are some threads where a person has gone through multiple dealer bought expansion tanks that failed. So if the original one is intact I would leave it alone.
My expansion tank is broken on the inside the separator broke and some where in the system I am losing coolant and sucking air. Going to swap it out for a Euro tank set up. herd its more reliable.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2013, 01:33 PM
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Al's540i Al's540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetpilot10 View Post
If you have the M62TU motor then you have Vanos. It's my understanding that 97-99 V8's did not have Vanos. Late 99 build dates, and those listed as 2000 model year V8's and beyond have the Vanos. You will get the rattle at startup, and at idle your car sounds like a tractor.
Ok, My car DOES rattle at startup but it has always idled quietly since I've owned the car (8 years now). So I guess I can go a while without doing VANOS since it's only at startup. Does VANOS require removing valve covers, heads, etc?
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2013, 03:45 PM
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jetpilot10 jetpilot10 is offline
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Location: Frisco Texas
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540I
Steps for Vanos

You can look at the steps involved for the Vanos repair on Besian Systems procedures page at their website, but to answer your question, yes you must remove valve covers, upper timing chain covers on both sides. You also have to drain coolant, remove upper radiator hoses and the fan. Straight forward, just time consuming but can be done in a day if you have everything handy.
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2013, 08:53 PM
+moulin +moulin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEbimmerguy View Post
I'm in So Cal, and would love some help in getting this done. I'm comfortable with getting torn down, but an extra set of eyes would be great too.
What is the area you live in? I'm in Ventura and will be doing mine in a couple of weeks. Still need to order the CCV parts since I will be doing that at the same time. Would be great to witness a "VANOS operation" before I attack mine. Would not mind to get my hands dirty and am getting familiar with the Beisan procedure after reading it many times.

Harold
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  #25  
Old 01-30-2013, 09:22 PM
BrandonMag BrandonMag is offline
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It's encouraging to read these responses, my car needs the Beisan Systems VANOS upgrade and one of these days I'll be tackling this job too.
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