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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 09-30-2012, 04:28 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540i auto
Slight knocking.

There's a slight knocking coming from underneath the battery terminal that's mounted on the valve cover. Does it knock when the vanos is going out? It also rattles like a lifter from the same area for a second when I start it up in the mornings, but it goes away after the oil gets up to it.
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2012, 07:41 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Ok, after hours of research I conclude that it's my Vanos. My next question is, how long can I drive with it ticking like this? Also, would replacing the seals be enough or should I buy new units? Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 10-01-2012, 11:57 AM
mbell666 mbell666 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 2002 540i6
Are you sure it is not the timing chain for the two cams? There is a chain between the two cams with a separate tensioner. I've never heard of that tensioner going but might make knock sound if tensioner failed.

Most common thing is the guide rails to fail, at a 99 car is probably in the correct mileage range for them to go. I think knocking sound is very obvious when they go. Timing chain tensioners is a don't drive situation. Test is to remove the sump pan and check for broken bits of plastic in the sump.
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2012, 12:56 PM
4given 4given is offline
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The only thing I'm going by are YouTube videos. I've listened to a ton of clips of people's failing vanos and they all sound just like mine. Is there a way to get rid of Vanos all together? Thanks for the response.
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2012, 01:39 PM
jaladham jaladham is offline
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I love your line: "An e39 is like a beautiful wife, needs constant attention, lots of money, lets you down at the worse times but you'd never be without it."

made me laugh.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2012, 04:12 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Just changed my oil from pennzoil ultra 5w30 to pennzoil ultra 10w/30 and the noise has really gone down. Maybe my car doesn't like thinner oil.
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2012, 08:06 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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It does sound like you have a Vanos rattle. Unfortunately, Beisan does not have the bearing replacement for the V8 yet. They do have the seal kit for the V8 now. Going with thicker oil probably reduced the ability of the cylinders to move within the Vanos, reducing the rattle.
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  #8  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:15 AM
4given 4given is offline
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So I need new Vanos units? Or should I go ahead and change the seals?
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2012, 01:41 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Visit the Besian web site, and browse the forum.
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  #10  
Old 10-02-2012, 07:27 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Will do. Thanks for the tips.
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2012, 06:55 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Just browsed the forums and I still can't figure out if I need to replace the vanos or if replacing the seals would be enough. How do you know when the vanos need replaced? Can I get rid of vanos all together?
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2012, 03:46 PM
4given 4given is offline
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Anyone live near Carlisle, PA. that could help me replace these vanos units? Doesn't look that hard to do but I would like some assistance from someone that has done it before.
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2012, 05:31 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is online now
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Fud, have most of the I6 guys needed to replace bearings? I thought all that was needed was seals? The V8 guys seem to be going nuts on the other board over just seals. Maybe you can clarify?
for anyone wondering about beisan:
http://www.beisansystems.com/products.html

Last edited by aspensilver540; 10-04-2012 at 06:05 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2012, 06:31 AM
john@eac john@eac is offline
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If you do decide to do the repair yourself you can check our web site for parts prices. We also rent out the tools needed to set the timing.
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:09 AM
4given 4given is offline
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I might end up trying it myself. I called an independent BMW shop and they said it would cost around $3500 to do the job.
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:47 AM
4given 4given is offline
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Can you change the M62TU from Vanos to Non-Vanos?
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