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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 04-23-2010, 10:58 PM
coolcalicash coolcalicash is offline
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Vanos solenoid socket alternative!!

I've been getting the infamous p0011 fault code as well as a rattling sound comming from the engine. Took it to the dealer and they told me the code was from a failing vanos solenoid in bank 1 (passenger side). They wanted $700.00 to replace so I decided to handle it myself. Ordered the solenoid and once it arrived, set out to find the 32mm deep thin wall socket needed for the job. Checked all of the usual places that sell tools and no one had this socket. I even chased down a guy driving a Snap On tool truck to see if he could help. I had the new solenoid with me to try them in the socket before I purchased, but it became apparent that many places sell 32mm deep sockets but they all seem to have a stop somewhere in the middle that prevents the socket from going over the entire solenoid to reach the nut that you have to grasp to unscrew it. As the day progressed it seemed as though I would have to spend the $80.00 or so that it costs to order the special Bmw socket that I would only use once. As I proceeded home to get on the internet to find the best price, I noticed a store that sold only tools and figured what the hell because the day had been full of disappointment and frustration so one more wouldn't hurt. I enter the store and an old man (aren't stories always more interesting when they involve an old man?) was sitting at the counter and I explained my problem to him. He tried several of his sockets and still the same problem, not enough clearence. I thanked him for his time and as I was about to leave he said he wanted to try one more thing. He came back with something called a shower valve socket. These are sold at just about any hardware store for about $20 dollars. They are long metal tubes that usualy come in sets and each end is a different size. Each end also has two holes in it that you stick a metal rod through to turn it. The size he used was 1 11/32. It wasn't a tight fit but it covered the entire solenoid and grasped the nut tight enough that it seemed like it would turn it. He said if it didn't work I could bring it back so I took it home and tried it and I'll be damned, it turned the solenoid right out of the block. I used an extender over the metal rod to give myself more leverage but it still worked like a charm. Unfortunately, the new solenoid did not clear the p0011 code or stop the tapping noise. Hope this helps someone. If anyone has solved either of these problems I'd love to hear from you. Till then, happy motoring to all and death to the dealer!!!
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2010, 06:48 PM
Rjim Rjim is offline
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At least you avoided paying BMW for a tool you didn't need. I bought the water pump counter-holding tool and my fan clutch nut spun right off without me having to use it. Get an auto stethoscope or get a piece of rubber tubing and hold one end to your ear and, with the engine running of course, touch the other end to the vanos and valve covers and you might be able to home in on the source of the rattle.
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2010, 08:09 PM
coolcalicash coolcalicash is offline
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Thanks Rjim

Thaks Rjim, I'll try that. Just put in a timing chain tensioner but didn't help. The stethescope should narrow it down. Thanks again!.
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcalicash View Post
I Unfortunately, the new solenoid did not clear the p0011 code or stop the tapping noise. Hope this helps someone. If anyone has solved either of these problems I'd love to hear from you. Till then, happy motoring to all and death to the dealer!!!
Drop the front oil pan and look for hunks of plastic, if there are pieces in there you need to do your timing rails. This seems to be an ever increasing problem with the M62TU guys.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2010, 08:58 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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The rattle is typical of failing bearings in the I6 Vanos. Not sure how the V8 Vanos is set up or if this applies. Check with beisan systems.com for a full explanation, the DIY and repair parts. Rajaie is the MAN! A more expensive alternative is to buy a replacement Vanos from Dr. Vanos.

It turns out the 540 has a single Vanos on the intake side only of each bank. Not sure if this is the same size as the I6 Vanos. Check with Rajaie.

Last edited by Fudman; 04-26-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2010, 11:21 AM
coolcalicash coolcalicash is offline
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Thought about the timing chain guide rails and was hoping that that wasn't it but everything seems to be pointing to that. Will drop the oil pan and check for chunks. Does anyone know what the rail replacment entails, how much it cost, and whether a shade tree mechanic like myself could pull it off. Thanx in advance.
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2010, 10:54 PM
coolcalicash coolcalicash is offline
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Mark at EACTuning was absolutely right. It was the timing chain rail guides. Didn't discover this myself though. As I was about to get on the freeway last night the engine just shut off. Got the car towed home and this morning opened the oil cap, grabbed the timing chain and could pull it right up. Going to get the car looked at tomorrow but I'm prepared for the worst. If anyone with an m62tu engine has the symptoms I mentioned above please get the timing rails checked because this is a big problem with these engines. Even if you don't have any of the symptoms I would strongly suggest changing them after about 130,000 miles. It may be too late for me, but if this helps someone else avoid my mistake it will ease the pain a bit.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2010, 07:24 AM
Mikeb123 Mikeb123 is offline
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Thanks for info

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcalicash View Post
I've been getting the infamous p0011 fault code as well as a rattling sound comming from the engine. Took it to the dealer and they told me the code was from a failing vanos solenoid in bank 1 (passenger side). They wanted $700.00 to replace so I decided to handle it myself. Ordered the solenoid and once it arrived, set out to find the 32mm deep thin wall socket needed for the job. Checked all of the usual places that sell tools and no one had this socket. I even chased down a guy driving a Snap On tool truck to see if he could help. I had the new solenoid with me to try them in the socket before I purchased, but it became apparent that many places sell 32mm deep sockets but they all seem to have a stop somewhere in the middle that prevents the socket from going over the entire solenoid to reach the nut that you have to grasp to unscrew it. As the day progressed it seemed as though I would have to spend the $80.00 or so that it costs to order the special Bmw socket that I would only use once. As I proceeded home to get on the internet to find the best price, I noticed a store that sold only tools and figured what the hell because the day had been full of disappointment and frustration so one more wouldn't hurt. I enter the store and an old man (aren't stories always more interesting when they involve an old man?) was sitting at the counter and I explained my problem to him. He tried several of his sockets and still the same problem, not enough clearence. I thanked him for his time and as I was about to leave he said he wanted to try one more thing. He came back with something called a shower valve socket. These are sold at just about any hardware store for about $20 dollars. They are long metal tubes that usualy come in sets and each end is a different size. Each end also has two holes in it that you stick a metal rod through to turn it. The size he used was 1 11/32. It wasn't a tight fit but it covered the entire solenoid and grasped the nut tight enough that it seemed like it would turn it. He said if it didn't work I could bring it back so I took it home and tried it and I'll be damned, it turned the solenoid right out of the block. I used an extender over the metal rod to give myself more leverage but it still worked like a charm. Unfortunately, the new solenoid did not clear the p0011 code or stop the tapping noise. Hope this helps someone. If anyone has solved either of these problems I'd love to hear from you. Till then, happy motoring to all and death to the dealer!!!
I went to my local hardware store and sure enough he had the socket you were talking about. I used an 1 1/4 valve socket which just barely fit over the solenoid. Replaced it in five minutes. Thanks very helpful information.
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2010, 07:56 PM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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I used a channel locks on the body of the solenoid all the way at the end. No denting, not crushing, quickly removed it.
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2010, 08:25 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcalicash View Post
Mark at EACTuning was absolutely right. It was the timing chain rail guides. Didn't discover this myself though. As I was about to get on the freeway last night the engine just shut off. Got the car towed home and this morning opened the oil cap, grabbed the timing chain and could pull it right up. Going to get the car looked at tomorrow but I'm prepared for the worst. If anyone with an m62tu engine has the symptoms I mentioned above please get the timing rails checked because this is a big problem with these engines. Even if you don't have any of the symptoms I would strongly suggest changing them after about 130,000 miles. It may be too late for me, but if this helps someone else avoid my mistake it will ease the pain a bit.
I am very sorry to hear this. This is one of those situations where being right does not make you feel too hot. I have told guys how important this is to check and some tend to want to not believe me, hoping it's anything but the rails. The next guy that talks back to me about it is getting a link to this thread. I wish you the best of luck getting the car fixed and would be glad to help in any way I can.
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2010, 12:16 AM
coolcalicash coolcalicash is offline
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Just read your post Mark. Very cool what you said and deeply appreciated! Found a new engine on Craig's list and it should be going in as I write this. Has about half the miles as the last one and I got is for about 2 grand so it's not a total loss. thanks again for the encouragement. You have a custumer forever.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2010, 07:50 AM
yosh yosh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcalicash View Post
He came back with something called a shower valve socket. These are sold at just about any hardware store for about $20 dollars. They are long metal tubes that usualy come in sets and each end is a different size. Each end also has two holes in it that you stick a metal rod through to turn it. The size he used was 1 11/32. It wasn't a tight fit but it covered the entire solenoid and grasped the nut tight enough that it seemed like it would turn it. He said if it didn't work I could bring it back so I took it home and tried it and I'll be damned, it turned the solenoid right out of the block. I used an extender over the metal rod to give myself more leverage but it still worked like a charm.
Thank You. This is really helpful!
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  #13  
Old 02-29-2012, 06:38 PM
veli510 veli510 is offline
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since you replaced the timing chain, everything is good now?
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2012, 12:05 AM
coolcalicash coolcalicash is offline
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My timing chain was never the issue. It was the timing chain guide rails which are made of plastic and disintegrate over time and eventualy the chain will come off track and your engine will be trash. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above,drain your oil, remove the oil pan, and look inside of it for little plastic pieces. If you don,t work on your own car, take it to a shop and have them do it. Don't drive the car much until you get it checked. I had to get a new engine because of this. Hope this helps.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2012, 03:29 AM
bigjoe87865 bigjoe87865 is offline
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too scared to check mine...

wont be able to live with myself if I know the truth
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2013, 08:42 AM
hayawan hayawan is offline
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Thanks coolcalicash for the info. I'm also getting the p0011 on my M62 engine with the rattle sound, at 81,000 miles. We stopped driving it until I figure out what to do. This engine is actually fitted in my wife's 2004 Range Rover (yep, BMW owned Land Rover in that era). I won't dare take it to the Land Rover stealer, they charge twice as much as the BMW dealer (which is expensive to start).
So, you're saying the dealer told you the solenoid was the problem but it wasn't ? What would have happened if you let them change the solenoid ?
I'm thinking of replacing my solenoid first or at least swapping it with the other bank to see if the code or rattle changes to the other side. If there's no difference I'll remove the oil pan to look for broken plastic. What are your thoughts?
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2013, 08:27 PM
coolcalicash coolcalicash is offline
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What's up Hayawan. I hate to hear that you are going through this too. Timing chain guide rail wear is a common problem with these engines although 81, 000 miles seems a little soon for this to be happening but it sounds like you're on the right track. I too would switch the solenoids to see if the error code changes banks. Also, I wouldn't drive the car. I foolishly kept driving mine until it went out and when my mechanic first looked at it, he told me that there were a lot of metal shavings in the oil as well as the filter. He went on to say that even if my engine hadn't gone out, it still might have had compression issues even if I had replaced the rail guides in time. Definitely drain the oil and drop the oil pan and look for pieces of plastic and replace the oil pan gasket when you do. Replacing the guides isn't expensive from a parts standpoint but the labor is what's expensive. I saw several diy's on the Fest that basically walk you through it. Also, you might want to give EAC Europarts a call. These guys are REALLY cool and they'll tell you what you need for the job and they have good prices. I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please reach out. Let me know how it turns out.
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2015, 02:00 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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The discussion of the tools required and suggested tandem jobs came up again today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Changed my Vanos Seals
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Old post, but I need to ask the M54 DOUBLE Vanos gurus...
(I also have a 2006 X5 3.0i M54)...

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

I have been reading Beisan DOUBLE Vanos procedure (link above), it appears cam locking tool is not needed. Why?

Is it the Left-Hand Torx 30 bolt has such low torque (6 ft-lb) that there is no need to counterhold with the 24-mm wrench?

Any gurus?


Quote:
Originally Posted by eburnz View Post
I also have a question, is it true if you replace the vanos unit it sef, you have to do the timing chain as well ???

I was told this by an BMW indy shop mechanic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al's540i View Post
Not sure on the I6 but on the V8, if you're gonna change out the VANOS units then you might as well replace the timing chain. It has to come off to get to everything back there.

I had my Indie tech change out my VANOS, timing chain, seals, etc... basically an engine overhaul and Wow.... difference is night and day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drive4TheHills View Post
I am definitely putting this on the list of things to do.

Question: should I replace my VANOS seals first or remove my CDV? I want to see the difference each one makes on the car's performance. I'm well aware the two aren't necessarily related -- one can be attributed to better mileage, torque, and idling while the other more crisp gear changing. However, with 185+ miles on the car I want to "fix" one thing at a time and not get too ahead of myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Not on the M54.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
As you say, these things are unrelated. So it does not matter which you do first.
See also:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Single Vanos Seals! Done
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Just came across this clever trick of "homemade cam locking tool" in an M42 engine project:

http://www.m42club.com/forums/showthread.php?p=74529


What do you guys think, interesting: yes, no?


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Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-30-2015 at 02:08 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-01-2017, 10:26 AM
rshaffner rshaffner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcalicash View Post
I've been getting the infamous p0011 fault code as well as a rattling sound comming from the engine. Took it to the dealer and they told me the code was from a failing vanos solenoid in bank 1 (passenger side). They wanted $700.00 to replace so I decided to handle it myself. Ordered the solenoid and once it arrived, set out to find the 32mm deep thin wall socket needed for the job. Checked all of the usual places that sell tools and no one had this socket. I even chased down a guy driving a Snap On tool truck to see if he could help. I had the new solenoid with me to try them in the socket before I purchased, but it became apparent that many places sell 32mm deep sockets but they all seem to have a stop somewhere in the middle that prevents the socket from going over the entire solenoid to reach the nut that you have to grasp to unscrew it. As the day progressed it seemed as though I would have to spend the $80.00 or so that it costs to order the special Bmw socket that I would only use once. As I proceeded home to get on the internet to find the best price, I noticed a store that sold only tools and figured what the hell because the day had been full of disappointment and frustration so one more wouldn't hurt. I enter the store and an old man (aren't stories always more interesting when they involve an old man?) was sitting at the counter and I explained my problem to him. He tried several of his sockets and still the same problem, not enough clearence. I thanked him for his time and as I was about to leave he said he wanted to try one more thing. He came back with something called a shower valve socket. These are sold at just about any hardware store for about $20 dollars. They are long metal tubes that usualy come in sets and each end is a different size. Each end also has two holes in it that you stick a metal rod through to turn it. The size he used was 1 11/32. It wasn't a tight fit but it covered the entire solenoid and grasped the nut tight enough that it seemed like it would turn it. He said if it didn't work I could bring it back so I took it home and tried it and I'll be damned, it turned the solenoid right out of the block. I used an extender over the metal rod to give myself more leverage but it still worked like a charm. Unfortunately, the new solenoid did not clear the p0011 code or stop the tapping noise. Hope this helps someone. If anyone has solved either of these problems I'd love to hear from you. Till then, happy motoring to all and death to the dealer!!!
I'm glad this worked for you, Using a 1 11/32 shower socket didn't work for me. It was too big -- didn't fit tight enough to turn the old solenoids off.

However, I was able to find a 32mm deep axle nut socket from Advance for $15 that works. I think it is an Autoworx brand. Just deep enough.
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