Bimmerfest BMW banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been crowing on and on about getting to this job done for the past year or so and finally did it on memorial day.

started at 7am, finished up at 3pm. of course, this was part of several jobs which included;

Valve Cover Gasket
Oxygen Sensors - pre-cat
power steering flush
air filter
oil change
cabin filters
replaced pulleys - of all the jobs this one task was excessively satisfying as the car now hums (zero bearing noise, quite embarassing really)

My car had 149,000 on the clock when I did the job and I am the second owner and bought this at 109,000 miles back in 3/2010. I also previously performed a cooling overhaul on this car about 2 years ago. I bought all the parts from AutohausAz and yes, I am using a Victor Reinz gasket.

As far as I could tell there was no evidence that the valve cover had ever been replaced before and definitely couldn't tell if the VANOS had ever been refurbed. That said, the valve cover gaskets and spark plug gaskets were nearly completely plasticized. Luckily though, I was able to pull the old gaskets off without too much breaking and flaking apart. I should also note that breaking the seal of 10 years and 149K on a valve cover gasket is no easy task. What helped me was the use of a painter's scraper at the front right corner of the valve cover and between the gasket and the engine. Then, I used some ridiculous force on the vent tube and 'pop'. First the front half of the valve cover, and worked my way to the rear. I also replaced the grommets and the oil filler gasket.

As for the VANOS, it went surprisingly well. I followed the Beisan Systems website pretty much 100%. Like many, I too, broke off the 2 vanos hex bolts when unscrewing them. I found a lot of difficulty removing the old o ring and teflon seals without slightly nicking the vanos piston, but I can live with it as it only happened to the exhaust piston and I figured out how to carefully cut the o rings on the intake piston without nicking the metal. One thing I really coudn't grasp about the Beisan instructions is the amount of time you have to play with the 'resizing' of the telfon seal and o ring as you are seating the piston in the cylinder. It talks about waiting 2 minutes, removing the piston, attaching the piston cover, reinserting, etc. Anyway, I'm sure it had something to do with ensuring that the seals bed into the piston and work against the cylinder wall without binding, but it did that the second I inserted the piston into the cylinder! I did use Lucas Oil Assembly lube for the rebuild instead of motor oil as suggested, though.

I also used a new VANOS large gasket as the old one shredded when I was removing the vanos system, but I thought it was interesting that the piston 'covers' have a metal gasket and Beisan makes no mention of it or suggests replacing them. So, I used the original metal gaskets.

Overall, the job is definitely cumbersome and you better have a strong back if you plan to tackle it. I can't see how this job can be done in less than 4 hours minimum. For me, 7/10 difficulty.

As far as driving impressions, may be too early to say but the engine definitely seems to idle better, though I'm not sure I can attribute that to the VANOS as I also replaced the O2 sensors. According to Beisan Systems, it may take up to 200 miles to really start to see the improvements, but so far I'm quite pleased that I was able to complete one of the more difficult DIY's on this board. :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,505 Posts
Congrats! I have read that the improvements in the engine are more noticeable in auto-equipped cars.
 

·
Evil cider brewer
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
Props to you for tackling this job. I don't look forward to this, but it comes with the territory if you plan to keep these cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
vanos

Well done 240, thanks for the input, I have had the Beisan kit for a year now but still apprehensive about tackling it, posts like yours help some of us work up a little more courage:thumbup:

I need to do it soon as my VCG needs doing and want to do both at the same time.


Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
You're definitely the better man and beat my time by about 3 months... My 530 has 120k (owned it for 18 months at 105k) and I also followed the Beisan website by the letter. Same issues with leaving a little mark on the bottom of the piston groove and reused the two gaskets in the system. I think it makes sense not to replace them since they are probably not that critical; a very small leak will not impact the piston position and any leaking oil remains in the valve cover area. Besides, they were in great shape. Removing my VC was difficult too and when it finally came loose it made a loud cracking noise. Initially thought I broke the VC but did not see any traces of fractures. With some basic tools (had the special 32 mm wrench and water pump tool) and the Beisan instructions really not that difficult. I obviously took my time to complete it.

I did the 120k service and the CCV at the same time. Removed a bunch of other parts to clean them since I had everything already apart. New belts and tensioner pulley at the same time.

The surprising part was that my CCV was in pretty good shape and all the vacuum lines were decent too. Absolutely no sign of oil accumulation in the line to the dip-stick. Took the CCV apart and the membrane was in good shape too.

Just picked up some coolant this morning so hopefully will have the car back on the road this weekend. Will still need to polish one headlight, install the seal around the front windshield (already removed the old one), and a new cover under the wheel well.

Once I'm done with those will need to start sourcing parts for front and rear suspension rebuilt, including thrust arms (slight vibration while braking), new tires, and then finally my rear door vapor barrier.

After that, wash and wax and should have a car as good as new. Hopefully done before the end of the year or before my other cars fall apart.

For me, cars are like a box of Lego's. What's the point of owning them if you don't take them apart every now and then and try to put them back together again...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Well done 240, thanks for the input, I have had the Beisan kit for a year now but still apprehensive about tackling it, posts like yours help some of us work up a little more courage:thumbup:

I need to do it soon as my VCG needs doing and want to do both at the same time.


Cheers
Hilarious - Yes I had my Beisan kit waiting for over a year too. Yes I admit it! Just be sure you give yourself plenty of time to do the job and that you give your body time to recover from the job. It's been 2 days and I'm still sore! This job can be done, seriously!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
You're definitely the better man and beat my time by about 3 months... My 530 has 120k (owned it for 18 months at 105k) and I also followed the Beisan website by the letter. Same issues with leaving a little mark on the bottom of the piston groove and reused the two gaskets in the system. I think it makes sense not to replace them since they are probably not that critical; a very small leak will not impact the piston position and any leaking oil remains in the valve cover area. Besides, they were in great shape. Removing my VC was difficult too and when it finally came loose it made a loud cracking noise. Initially thought I broke the VC but did not see any traces of fractures. With some basic tools (had the special 32 mm wrench and water pump tool) and the Beisan instructions really not that difficult. I obviously took my time to complete it.

I did the 120k service and the CCV at the same time. Removed a bunch of other parts to clean them since I had everything already apart. New belts and tensioner pulley at the same time.

The surprising part was that my CCV was in pretty good shape and all the vacuum lines were decent too. Absolutely no sign of oil accumulation in the line to the dip-stick. Took the CCV apart and the membrane was in good shape too.

Just picked up some coolant this morning so hopefully will have the car back on the road this weekend. Will still need to polish one headlight, install the seal around the front windshield (already removed the old one), and a new cover under the wheel well.

Once I'm done with those will need to start sourcing parts for front and rear suspension rebuilt, including thrust arms (slight vibration while braking), new tires, and then finally my rear door vapor barrier.

After that, wash and wax and should have a car as good as new. Hopefully done before the end of the year or before my other cars fall apart.

For me, cars are like a box of Lego's. What's the point of owning them if you don't take them apart every now and then and try to put them back together again...
CCV - Believe me anyone that can tackle this job is a far better mechanic than I. Up until the VCG and Vanos, I think the hardest thing I've ever done was supension work. And you can see all the work you need to do with suspension parts...that's all brute force if you don't have air tools which I don't.

That said, I debated doing the CCV, alternator and Oil filter housing gasket, but since these parts all exhibit clear failure symptoms, I'm going to wait on them.

Thanks for the props all, but I have to thank the forums members, Mr. Beisan, and contributing DIY writers, for giving me the courage to handle this project. Seriously, I think the E39 sub forum is the most dedicated group of peeps on the 'fest.
 

·
Driving Dorethy
Joined
·
43 Posts
Thanks for the post, it gives me a little more confidence. In the last 3 weeks I've redone the entire suspension (control arms, struts, etc.), brakes, cooling system and oil filter housing gasket but for some reason the thought of tackling Vanos seal job gives me hives. While I don't have the typical failure symptoms yet, I know I'll need to do this sooner than later.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top