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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:15 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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E46 VANOS Rattle Solution by Beisan

Mr. Rajaie from Beisan Systems has finally released his new product for the double VANOS to correct the bearing rattle. Here is his product info:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajaie View Post
As many of you know E46 6-cylinder cars can experience a vanos rattle. An associate and I have been working on assessing this problem and providing a solution. We have performed various testing and isolated the cause of the problem and have a produced a solution product. The product and accompanying repair procedure are now available on the Beisan website, www.beisansystems.com. The procedure has an in depth introduction that explains the rattle cause and solution.

The BMW variable valve timing system utilizes helical (slanted) gears to facilitate variable valve timing. These helical gears are found on the camshaft end, sprocket, and splined shaft (component engaged by vanos). These helical gears wear and cause the gears and gear components to fit loosely. This loose helical gear fit facilitates the camshaft to have a lash that engages the splined shaft axially. At certain RPMs these movements resonate. Any axial play in the vicinity is engaged and causes a rattle. The two locations of axial play and thus rattle are the helical gears themselves and the vanos piston bearing. Replacing the helical gear components is expensive and the gears will wear again and the rattle will return. A more practical approach to solving the rattle is to remove the axial play. Replacing the helical gear components to remove the helical gear axial play is not practical as stated above. Removing the vanos piston bearing axial play is a permanent repair and causes to significantly reduce the rattle. The remaining rattle from the helical gears is more muffled and in most cases can't be heard inside the passenger compartment, even with the windows open.

The rattle is caused by helical gear wear and camshaft lash, but it only manifests upon a resonance in splined shaft axial movements. Some cars achieve this resonance and rattle and some don't. On the E46 6-cylinder cars the 320i, 323i, and 330i are susceptible to achieving this resonance and rattle. The US 330i ZHP (performance package) has performance cams. These cams likely have a higher lift. This creates stronger camshaft lashes and thus this car is more prone to experience a rattle and the rattle will be stronger and louder. Installation of aftermarket performance cams (Shrick/Sunbelt) will also cause this.

Removing the axial play in the vanos piston bearing to address the rattle involves opening the piston and replacing a bearing component to tighten the bearing axial fit. This requires the removal of the vanos from the engine. Opening and closing the piston requires a table mounted vise and an impact wrench. Soft vise jaw liners are also needed to facilitate holding the piston in the vise without damaging it. Soft vise jaw liners are provided as an associate tool to the repair. A bearing ring is provided as a product for the rattle solution. This replaces a piston bearing ring. The replacement ring is shorter than the OEM ring and removes the bearing axial play. Fine fit adjustment might be necessary and is performed by hand sanding the bearing ring or center washer.
Due to the vanos piston seals failure, it makes sense to replace the vanos piston seals when performing the rattle repair.

The replacement bearing ring is made to OEM specifications but with a shorter height and tighter tolerances. A metallurgical consulting firm was hired to assess the OEM bearing ring and center washer. The parts were assessed for material makeup, hardness including micro depth hardness, manufacturing process and finish. Although it looks simple, the bearing ring is difficult and expensive to manufacture. It's made from a special bearing steel and hardened to a high level. All its surfaces are ground. This technique allows for machining hard parts to a high dimensional tolerance and a polished surface. A bearings company is manufacturing the replacement ring.

The double vanos rattle repair procedure provides an in depth explanation of the rattle cause, solution, and repair method.
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

I will be happy to answer any questions. Please take the time to read the information in the repair procedure.
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:40 AM
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MicahO MicahO is offline
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Nice to know there is a product out there to address this issue.

Nicer to know that my ZHP never exhibited this rattle.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2009, 12:02 PM
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mawana mawana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicahO View Post
Nice to know there is a product out there to address this issue.

Nicer to know that my ZHP never exhibited this rattle.
I'm in the same boat - no rattle, or should I say not wild and bothersome like I have seen on some other cars! However, what I have is that low low-end demon. I was contemplating the Beisan seals, but since I will be "there", I might just do both.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2009, 12:22 PM
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MicahO MicahO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawana View Post
I'm in the same boat - no rattle, or should I say not wild and bothersome like I have seen on some other cars! However, what I have is that low low-end demon. I was contemplating the Beisan seals, but since I will be "there", I might just do both.
I don't know. Playing with seals is one thing. Playing with bearings can be a whole world of hurt. That seems to be an "ain't-broke-don't-fix-it."
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicahO View Post
I don't know. Playing with seals is one thing. Playing with bearings can be a whole world of hurt. That seems to be an "ain't-broke-don't-fix-it."
Bottom line is, (IMHO) the rattle is nothing more than an annoyance....I have been monitoring this situation for several years now, and have *never* seen one shred of documented evidence that the noise leads to any mechanical problems (or catastrophic engine failure, as prophesized by a couple of doomsday-types). Failing seals, on the other hand, definitely DO cause a degredation in the car`s performance, so it`s certainly worth replacing them. "You pays yer money, and makes yer choice"....
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicahO View Post
I don't know. Playing with seals is one thing. Playing with bearings can be a whole world of hurt. That seems to be an "ain't-broke-don't-fix-it."
Doesn't look too hard to me. But alas, I have no ZHP so it really doesn't matter.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:23 PM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Bottom line is, (IMHO) the rattle is nothing more than an annoyance....I have been monitoring this situation for several years now, and have *never* seen one shred of documented evidence that the noise leads to any mechanical problems (or catastrophic engine failure, as prophesized by a couple of doomsday-types). Failing seals, on the other hand, definitely DO cause a degredation in the car`s performance, so it`s certainly worth replacing them. "You pays yer money, and makes yer choice"....
Indeed. I didn't know I had this rattle until I sat there and rev'd the car in neutral, something I don't do. Yep, it's there, and I haven't heard it since .
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Doesn't look too hard to me. But alas, I have no ZHP so it really doesn't matter.
Smolck, I think there ARE cases where non-ZHP's do have VANOS rattle as well.

Listen to my engine from a few months back. I'm not 100% sure if it's the VANOS, but it might be.

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  #9  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Smolck, I think there ARE cases where non-ZHP's do have VANOS rattle as well.

Listen to my engine from a few months back. I'm not 100% sure if it's the VANOS, but it might be.

That's definitely a vanos rattle. The E46 323i and 330i are susceptible to it.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:19 PM
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I purchased a set of seals today. It cost me $65 shipped.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlboBMW View Post
I purchased a set of seals today. It cost me $65 shipped.
Nice!
Good luck on the repair!
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:38 PM
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2011, 06:45 PM
Javiles Javiles is offline
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I just purchased a 2002 325i and have a similar rattle. Does it absolutely need to be replaced? How harmful would it be not replace the vanos?
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2011, 07:23 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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You don't need to replace the VANOS. In fact it's recommended not to.

The seal replacement is recommended. It will improve performance.

The bearing part will reduce the rattle (only if installed correctly) but it is not particularly necessary. Mine is evidently not installed correctly and the rattle got considerably worse after installing the fix.
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2011, 11:36 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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FWIW, I was a beta tester for the rattle repair kit way back when, and it definitely does work. My ZHP's rattle was one of the worse ones; it could be heard from a car that's 4-5 car lengths ahead of me if we're cruising around 25-30mph. After the repair, I couldn't hear anything that resembled the rattle. I recently helped my neighbor with the same repair, and his rattle is also cured (though his wasn't as bad as my ZHP's).

FWIW, I found the install to be fairly easy (especially the second time around, since my friend had some very nice snap-on impact wrenches that worked much better than the POS harbor freight impact wrench that I used on my car). Asides from putting the stuff back in the VANOS pistons in the wrong order, I'm not really sure where one can mess up the rattle repair kit. Even if you sand too much/too little, I'd imagine the rattle would be reduced since the new bearing is still a lot thinner than the stock piece.

Anyway, assuming your rattle is the same as the ZHP rattle - it's not essential to do the repair; it's more of an annoyance than anything. But you should do the seals, since they do make a noticeable difference. And if you're doing the seals, you may as well do the rattle repair since it's not that much more work
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2011, 02:08 PM
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I also installed this on a ZHP that had a HORRID rattle. I mean, BAD. Guy thought he blew up his engine. New seals and the rattle fix and poof, like new again.
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2011, 04:13 PM
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When I did the vanos seals on my car it was like driving a whole new car.
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  #18  
Old 10-26-2011, 09:30 AM
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have a 03 330xi , anyone interested to do a vanos seal on my car ? for a FEE of course
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2011, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dmonnie View Post
have a 03 330xi , anyone interested to do a vanos seal on my car ? for a FEE of course
If you don`t have someone a little more local, Don at Mr. M-Car is very good, and has an honest rep as well.

http://www.mrmcar.com/bio/short.html
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:20 AM
rbelton rbelton is offline
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Agree with the comments above. Here's another clip of the vanos rattle that began on our X5 3.0i

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  #21  
Old 08-25-2016, 07:02 AM
Dbest314 Dbest314 is offline
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Did you ever fix this rattle? I have an x5 with same rattle. Replaced vanos seals and anti rattle rings. Noise still there
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  #22  
Old 08-25-2016, 10:48 AM
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Did you ever fix this rattle? I have an x5 with same rattle. Replaced vanos seals and anti rattle rings. Noise still there
Maybe it`s your DISA valve that`s making the noise.
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  #23  
Old 08-27-2016, 08:54 AM
rbelton rbelton is offline
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Maybe it`s your DISA valve that`s making the noise.
I agree with Bob. Here's what a DISA rattle sounds like, it's a very different sound:

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