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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 09-02-2012, 12:00 AM
Fried Chicken Fried Chicken is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 330i ZHP
Engine Juttering between 2.5k and 3k RPM

So the engine on the 330i ZHP runs incredibly smoothly except between 2.5k and 3k RPM,
at which point under acceleration, the whole car will literally jitter back and forth. There's no check engine light, or misfire indications, however it's definitely not right.

I talked to my mechanic, and he suggested the injectors are messing up and recommended I clean them. I ran a tank of gas through with some basic injector cleaner, but the problem seems to persist.
So now I went ahead and bought a bottle of sea foam, and I've gotten mixed opinions on it. The people at O'Reilly's insisted I do not run it through the vacuum line into the injectors as it'll cause a whole host of issues. Looking online I'm getting mixed opinions (even on this board) as to whether it should be done with the BMW.

I feel like the injectors will not be properly cleaned if I simply put injector cleaner into a full tank of gas, but at the same time running straight sea foam through the injectors through the vacuum hose also seems like a bad idea.
I was thinking of just putting the bottle into an almost empty tank of gas.

Does anyone here have any experience using sea foam?
Are there some BMW specific precautions I have to take?
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:46 AM
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Forget about Seafoam, what you need is new VANOS seals....sounds like you`re experiencing "VANOS Stutter", where it produces a stuttering hesitation when you try to accelerate between 2500-3500 RPMs. You can find lots of info on this archived here, just use the SEARCH THIS FORUM function
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:58 PM
yetieater yetieater is offline
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Listen to Fast Bob on this one. The RPM range that you are describing suggests it could be related to the VANOS.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Fried Chicken Fried Chicken is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 330i ZHP
Damn.
I read up on the VANOS, what it does and why it does it.
I really hope it's not the case. I looked at a removal and re-install video and it looks like a horrible multi-hour job,
and not as simple as running sea-foam through the gas tank.

Is there an easy way of verifying if the VANOS seals are in fact causing the issues before I take the engine apart.
It appears like the valve cover gasket was put back on using some sort of sealant, so that would have to be re-ordered.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2012, 09:48 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Got the wrong car if you're looking for liquid repairs only.
Half the fun for us is learning an applying fixes to keep our cars feeling new.
Vanos is not a five minute job, but not water torture either. Eventually all cars should have this done.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:21 PM
Fried Chicken Fried Chicken is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Got the wrong car if you're looking for liquid repairs only.
Half the fun for us is learning an applying fixes to keep our cars feeling new.
Vanos is not a five minute job, but not water torture either. Eventually all cars should have this done.
Yeah, I'm already planning changing out the cooling system as a preventive measure, but something like the VANOS is a stupid oversight from BMW imo.
Either way I still have to verify it is the VANOS, I don't have any other spoons of VANOS such as a rough idle.
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fried Chicken View Post
Damn.
I read up on the VANOS, what it does and why it does it.
I really hope it's not the case. I looked at a removal and re-install video and it looks like a horrible multi-hour job,
and not as simple as running sea-foam through the gas tank.

Is there an easy way of verifying if the VANOS seals are in fact causing the issues before I take the engine apart.
It appears like the valve cover gasket was put back on using some sort of sealant, so that would have to be re-ordered.
No such thing as "checking"....any E46 with over 25K miles on it has deteriorated seals, beyond the shadow of a doubt. And, replacing those seals isn`t the end of the world....yes, it`s time-consuming, but far from impossible.
Seafoam is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg.....don`t even waste your time with that crap....
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2012, 05:42 AM
FJL FJL is offline
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Had similar symptoms, replaced the Vanos seals using the Beisan kit. Ordered additional parts/gaskets from OEM Bimmer Parts. Follow the step by step instructions on the Beisan web site and you'll have no problems. You will notice a difference when complete. My old seals came out feeling like plastic, not rubber.

http://www.beisansystems.com/
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2012, 10:03 AM
yetieater yetieater is offline
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Ah yes, and be prepared for a lot of engine oil to come dripping from the unit once pulled from the car. The photos in the pictorial DIY would lend you to believe that it is a clean job, but it's not.
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2012, 10:57 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Notes to the last few posts

Did my vanos seals at over 78K miles and the pistons with the old seals fit tightly. Put it all back together with new seals and there was no difference in performance. Ever.

Took the front of the vanos apart expecting oil to flow, and hardly any came out. And there I was ready with the plastic bags ready to catch the torrent of oil!

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  #11  
Old 09-03-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Did my vanos seals at over 78K miles and the pistons with the old seals fit tightly. Put it all back together with new seals and there was no difference in performance. Ever.

Took the front of the vanos apart expecting oil to flow, and hardly any came out. And there I was ready with the plastic bags ready to catch the torrent of oil!

Jess sayin' !!



No regrets
However YMMV
On the flip side of that coin, at least 90% of those who have done the VANOS seals report positive results....smoother idling, increased low-end torque, no more stuttering, etc.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fast bob View Post
on the flip side of that coin, at least 90% of those who have done the vanos seals report positive results....smoother idling, increased low-end torque, no more stuttering, etc.
+1
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2012, 09:58 PM
mx9k mx9k is offline
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I have an '04 330Ci ZHP 6 speed with 85K that has the same problem. I am planning on doing the Besian Systems seals kit. Would you recommend that I do the rattle repair kit at the same time? I do notice a slight marble in a can sound when standing in front of the car at idle.

Also, I have an '01 325Ci with 217K. I was planning on just doing the seals repair kit on this car since according to Besian, the 325 is not prone to rattle.

What does everyone think about this?
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2012, 08:01 AM
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SWC SWC is offline
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I'm experiencing the same "stutter" on my 330i with 72k. It's very frustrating to accelerate and have the entire car shake for a few seconds.
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2012, 11:07 AM
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elhombre elhombre is offline
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I experienced a noticeable improvement in driveability after the vanos upgrade, but the 2500-3000 stutter was still there. I think my car needs the ECU to be reflashed. I've adapted by not spending much time in that rpm range once I'm thru it in 1st gear. It's manageable on the street but it destroys me in the autocross. In the meantime, I choose to live with it.
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2012, 11:09 AM
mx9k mx9k is offline
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That's so strange! My stutter wasn't there when I bought the car. I've only had it for the past 12 months or so (4000 miles). I haven't driven much in the last year

Quote:
Originally Posted by el****** View Post
I experienced a noticeable improvement in driveability after the vanos upgrade, but the 2500-3000 stutter was still there. I think my car needs the ECU to be reflashed. I've adapted by not spending much time in that rpm range once I'm thru it in 1st gear. It's manageable on the street but it destroys me in the autocross. In the meantime, I choose to live with it.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2012, 11:45 AM
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For what its worth the ZHP has two TSB's that have to do with the DME. One is the infamous 4k rpm stutter and there is another one for your problem. Do the seals too, but there is a DME reflash for your issue
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  #18  
Old 09-04-2012, 12:17 PM
Toona79 Toona79 is offline
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+1 on Vanos seals. I think you can also get the whole thing with replaced seals already in it. You pay more but it makes the job Waaaaayy more simple. BTW I had a similar issue and it was fixed by this, now engine pulls hard and smooth all the way through.
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Last edited by Toona79; 09-04-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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  #19  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:00 AM
mx9k mx9k is offline
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I replaced my VANOS seals yesterday on the '04 ZHP with 85K miles. I noticed a big difference in low end torque (sub 1500 RPM), but the 2500-3000 RPM hesitation is still there and very pronounced. I've only driven the car about 10 miles, and know that the seals require a break-in period. I don't know what my next plan is if the seals don't work
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  #20  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:11 AM
Fried Chicken Fried Chicken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mx9k View Post
I replaced my VANOS seals yesterday on the '04 ZHP with 85K miles. I noticed a big difference in low end torque (sub 1500 RPM), but the 2500-3000 RPM hesitation is still there and very pronounced. I've only driven the car about 10 miles, and know that the seals require a break-in period. I don't know what my next plan is if the seals don't work
Has the hesitation improved with time?
Have you considered anything else? Fuel Injectors cleaning?
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  #21  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:46 AM
mx9k mx9k is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fried Chicken View Post
Has the hesitation improved with time?
Have you considered anything else? Fuel Injectors cleaning?
I have about 15 miles into the new VANOS seals now. Low end torque and idle are much better!

The hesitation seems unchanged, but I live in a city and haven't had a chance to really get on the car yet. I plan on driving the full break-in period and reporting back.

I haven't heard of a magic potion or lightning in a bottle being able to fix a problem like this, but YMMV.

If the new seals don't do anything, I'll investigate the TSB that Smolck was talking about a few posts up.
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  #22  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:47 AM
Stiglitz Stiglitz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mx9k View Post
I replaced my VANOS seals yesterday on the '04 ZHP with 85K miles. I noticed a big difference in low end torque (sub 1500 RPM), but the 2500-3000 RPM hesitation is still there and very pronounced. I've only driven the car about 10 miles, and know that the seals require a break-in period. I don't know what my next plan is if the seals don't work
Under pulley kit from uucmotorwerks
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  #23  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:34 PM
UnsungDrunkard UnsungDrunkard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mx9k View Post
I have an '04 330Ci ZHP 6 speed with 85K that has the same problem. I am planning on doing the Besian Systems seals kit. Would you recommend that I do the rattle repair kit at the same time? I do notice a slight marble in a can sound when standing in front of the car at idle.

Also, I have an '01 325Ci with 217K. I was planning on just doing the seals repair kit on this car since according to Besian, the 325 is not prone to rattle.

What does everyone think about this?
Forgive me if this is common knowledge but what is the rattle fix?
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  #24  
Old 10-20-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnsungDrunkard View Post
Forgive me if this is common knowledge but what is the rattle fix?
It`s an optional part of the Beisan Systems VANOS repair kit.
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  #25  
Old 11-02-2012, 12:21 AM
airboy86 airboy86 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 330i ZHP, 6spd
I have zhp with 144k miles on it. Replaced the VCG and got Dr Vanos. The 2.8k rpm stutter is still there for me. Does anyone know where I can get one in the Bay Area? I've tried a dealer in Fremont and they wouldn't do it. I've also tried Bavarian Professionals (indy) in Berkeley and they wanted $400 for the flash...ridiculous...
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