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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 07-31-2013, 03:13 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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VANOS Seals - done!

Finally got the energy up to tackle this job. It really wasn't that bad, just time consuming due to all of the disassembly and careful work. I spent 6 hours including a lunch break. I also changed my plugs.

The pistons fell out of the covers when I removed them and the seals were plasticized and not very pliable. They were not doing their jobs at all. No damage or wear, in fact, everything under the valve cover looks like new. Since the car was new I've been changing the oil half way thru the countdown and it shows... 95k miles and no discoloration at all!



She started up perfectly the first time with no hiccups and runs super smooth. I'm going to take her out later this evening for a test run to see if my 4k dip is gone. Fingers crossed that all of her as-new performance is restored.
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2013, 04:19 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Nice job! That engine IS super clean!!!
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2013, 05:20 PM
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charlesberry charlesberry is offline
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HOLY CRAP your engine's clean. Nice Job.
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by charlesberry View Post
HOLY CRAP your engine's clean. Nice Job.
Jeff serves lunch off that engine between 12 and 3 pm....
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2013, 06:24 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
everything under the valve cover looks like new. Since the car was new I've been changing the oil half way thru the countdown and it shows... 95k miles and no discoloration at all!

I'm going to take her out later this evening for a test run to see if my 4k dip is gone.
Interesting to me! I did my vanos ten thousand miles or so ago and my engine looked like yours. And that's rare. But interesting because I've done exactly as you with double oil changes from new. Guess that's the formula to an immaculate top end.

My seals were as new so I felt no difference in driving with the Beisan seals.
I'll be very curious what your road test reveals.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2013, 06:30 PM
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Mine looked like that too. Same oil intervals. That's the ticket.
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DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2013, 06:47 PM
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charlesberry charlesberry is offline
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There's a lot of BS going on over in the F30 forum about 15k oil changes. None of my cars will EVER go 15k. My limit is 7.5K.

My wife's new car I dropped the oil after 2,500 miles and again at 8,500. I guess we're on to something eh?
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2013, 08:23 PM
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2013, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
.

My seals were as new so I felt no difference in driving with the Beisan seals.
I'll be very curious what your road test reveals.
If that was truly the case, someone beat you to the seal change....the stock Buna rubber seals are toast by 25,000 miles....doesn`t matter HOW often you change your oil.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:25 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Post #5 says I do my oil changes like that since new. Meaning I picked up my car in Munich myself.
No one has ever been inside my car but me.
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2013, 11:02 PM
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VANOS Seals - done!

Nice work man!. I remember doing my vanos seals. Not to bad of a DIY. Just have to be precise and careful.


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  #12  
Old 08-01-2013, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesberry View Post
There's a lot of BS going on over in the F30 forum about 15k oil changes. None of my cars will EVER go 15k. My limit is 7.5K.

My wife's new car I dropped the oil after 2,500 miles and again at 8,500. I guess we're on to something eh?
I recently had a blackstone analysis done and it said I should be able to get 9000 vs 7500 miles out of my oil. Either way it's not 15,000 miles.
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2003 330i TiAg Sport Pkg ~90k miles
DIY MODS: AA Stage I supercharger, Meyle HD FCAs w Powerflex CABs, Bilstein shocks, Meyle HD Rtabs, Angel Eyes, Clear Corners/Markers w/ LEDs, LED tails, ZHP rims, Akebono pads, AUX input
DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2013, 07:36 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Originally Posted by ahull View Post
I recently had a blackstone analysis done and it said I should be able to get 9000 vs 7500 miles out of my oil.
I went a bit over last oil change and went to 9000 miles.
Blackstone told me my oil was still good and I could consider stretching out beyond 9000 miles.
I will be sticking with my 7500 mile changes. Oil changes are a cheap DIY and satisfying too.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2013, 08:33 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Grins are back! Butt dyno says I found the 20hp the real dyno reported was missing. Wow! No more stumble at 4k rpms, power from the get go, and sprints to the red target on the tachometer happen much quicker now. I predict a reduction in fuel economy as I exercise my right ankle more. I may need to spring for a dyno session

This was just the kind of work I like to do. Detailed, careful work with immediately realized results. And I love getting my hands and eyes all over precision components.

More "testing" on tap for today.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2013, 09:26 AM
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ahull ahull is online now
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It's a good little DIY. Not too complicated or so simple it's boring.
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2003 330i TiAg Sport Pkg ~90k miles
DIY MODS: AA Stage I supercharger, Meyle HD FCAs w Powerflex CABs, Bilstein shocks, Meyle HD Rtabs, Angel Eyes, Clear Corners/Markers w/ LEDs, LED tails, ZHP rims, Akebono pads, AUX input
DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2013, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahull View Post
I recently had a blackstone analysis done and it said I should be able to get 9000 vs 7500 miles out of my oil. Either way it's not 15,000 miles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
I went a bit over last oil change and went to 9000 miles.
Blackstone told me my oil was still good and I could consider stretching out beyond 9000 miles.
I will be sticking with my 7500 mile changes. Oil changes are a cheap DIY and satisfying too.
Sometimes the filter is the weak link in the chain....there have ben a few photos posted here of some very nasty-looking filters....

Go Forth, I think you might be the first person here (that I`m aware of) with his original VANOS seals still functional....they`re usually flat & plasticized beyond around 25K....
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2013, 07:33 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Go Forth, I think you might be the first person here (that I`m aware of) with his original VANOS seals still functional....they`re usually flat & plasticized beyond around 25K....
Let me flesh out the difference between my car and a normal one. 90% of all my driving is done during the summer out to LA and back. So the car practically sits in the garage all winter, and avoids the normal short trips. No cold starts ups to take the freezing seals from deep freeze to operating temperature. No three mile trips to work or shopping. And when the car runs in the summer, it's very frequently onto the highway to cruise for many hours. Many frequent short duty cycles almost don't exist compared to a normal car.

Last edited by GoForthFast; 08-01-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2013, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Let me flesh out the difference between my car and a normal one. 90% of all my driving is done during the summer out to LA and back. So the car practically sits in the garage all winter, and avoids the normal short trips. No cold starts ups to take the freezing seals from deep freeze to operating temperature. No three mile trips to work or shopping. And when the car runs in the summer, it's very frequently onto the highway to cruise for many hours. Many frequent short duty cycles almost don't exist compared to a normal car.
Wow....that`s a Best Case Scenario for any car !

Hell, if you keep it long enough, you`ll probably roll up some prodigious mileage on it.
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When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2013, 11:07 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Wow....that`s a Best Case Scenario for any car !

Hell, if you keep it long enough, you`ll probably roll up some prodigious mileage on it.
When I do PM for my car by replacing parts at mileages where they are worn out on other cars, I'm frequently really surprised that the parts look like they could go many more miles. Only thing that wore out on schedule were my CAB's. Rubber on many parts lacks any brittle or cracked appearance.
And with no snow exposure, car is like an LA car with regard to rust or underbody salt, etc.


Mileage is age appropriate at 98K right now.
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2013, 11:22 PM
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Mileage is age appropriate at 98K right now.
When I was a young motorcyclist, I quickly developed a healthy respect for the leathery old coots on their Beemers with the six-digit numbers on their odometers. Most of them knew their machines intimately....that always impressed me, and I eventually grew to appreciate their wisdom....

This is about the longest I`ve ever owned any car, but it still impresses me every time I drive it, and I don`t see much within my budget that would sway me into getting rid of it....
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2013, 06:19 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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When I was a young motorcyclist, I quickly developed a healthy respect for the leathery old coots on their Beemers with the six-digit numbers on their odometers. Most of them knew their machines intimately....that always impressed me, and I eventually grew to appreciate their wisdom....

This is about the longest I`ve ever owned any car, but it still impresses me every time I drive it, and I don`t see much within my budget that would sway me into getting rid of it....
You are not the only one keeping their car. I, as well as many of my friends, and many on this board I'm sure, could pretty much afford anything we wanted, but we are keeping what we have. Getting a new car just to get a few more miles per gallon, or some stupid gizmo, does not seem worth it to me, and many seem to agree. When I get in my car, I don't want it to be a technological challenge. I just want to drive, and as quickly as possible, without having to do a pre flight checklist. Hud's and such are nice, and maybe the 20 somethings appreciate all this tech creep, but I was around it for too long for work. I was looking for a new audio receiver today, and the one I was interested in had wifi. The reviews said when you unbox it, you have to wait 25 min. for the firmware to update. On an audio receiver! I'm sticking with my present unit!
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2013, 06:55 PM
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I was looking for a new audio receiver today, and the one I was interested in had wifi. The reviews said when you unbox it, you have to wait 25 min. for the firmware to update. On an audio receiver! I'm sticking with my present unit!
Same here !

My music systems are 2-channel. I have two main systems, one is all Seventies-era high-end Pioneer (Silver face) gear, powered by a SX-1250 receiver (65 pounds of serious audio horsepower).

The other system is all Carver separates, and a bunch of other stuff....

Still rocks the house !
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When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
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  #23  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:48 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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The other system is all Carver separates, and a bunch of other stuff....
Cool old stuff!

Bob Carver lives!
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  #24  
Old 08-04-2013, 07:22 AM
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Same here !

My music systems are 2-channel. I have two main systems, one is all Seventies-era high-end Pioneer (Silver face) gear, powered by a SX-1250 receiver (65 pounds of serious audio horsepower).

The other system is all Carver separates, and a bunch of other stuff....

Still rocks the house !
That's a nice stack! I wish I still had my reel to reels! I sold them about 25 years ago, and shortly thereafter, I sold my beloved Dahlquist speakers. A boneheaded move to be sure. They were replaced with a new set of JBL LX-44's, but they are nowhere as good. I remember Carver very well. I remember drooling over the one setup I had seen. I laugh when manufacturers now consider .9% THD as acceptable.
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  #25  
Old 08-04-2013, 12:46 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Dude, the inside of your engine looks immaculate! Especially for a heavily tracked car. NICE and CONGRATS!
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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