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  1. #121
    cn
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    HERE YOU GO: How to Tell SINGLE vs DOUBLE VANOS


    http://www.bimmerhaus.com/tech/vanos.html

    If one "lump" in front of camshaft: SINGLE Vanos (early 1998 or so).....fewer problems

    If two "lumps" in front of camshaft: DOUBLE Vanos (? later 1998 and 1999+).....more problems...Hope there is a fix for Double Vanos fellows

    cn
    1998 528i single vanos


  2. #122
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    Is this problem only for 99-00 I6, or 99-03?


  3. #123
    loach1
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    All double VANOS I6's until the design changed

    I'm no BMW enthusiast, let alone an E39 follower, but I can say with confidence that any engine with a double VANOS with the same part number as in the M52TU will have this problem. I don't follow BMW development closely but I believe there has been a substantial change to the VANOS recently. It would be nice to think that they solved the seal problem, and even nicer if they incorporated the changes into the remanufactured VANOS units that our dealers sell. But, in reality they probably won't put any engineering effort into what is essentially a 'service part' unless they are mandated to do so.

  4. #124
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    Re: 6-cyl double vanos problem assessment

    I'm with BMW of North America, LLC. I've passed this message on to a BMW NA Customer Relations Representative who will be in touch with you soon.

  5. #125
    frankieNJ
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    Please let us know if BMW will address the issue!!

    Please don't assist just a select person or persons. BMW should take care of their customers that spent between 42-54 thousand dollars on these 6 cyclinder 5-series vehicles. The I6 used to be BMWs bullet-proof engine. Please keep us informed and tell us what we have to do or who we have to speak to regarding this issue.

    frankieNJ

  6. #126
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    UNACCEPTABLE!!!

    don't "get back to him"... GET BACK TO US, the community not the individual.

  7. #127
    Nmufti
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    Excellent write up - have the symtoms

    I have the cold engine symptoms in my 2000 528. Interested to see what BMW comes back with

  8. #128
    Philip Bradley
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    My 99 528i has these symptoms

    I have these symptoms on my 99 528i, and would appreciate an acceptance of responsibility by BMW and no assertion of warranty expiration.

    Philip Bradley

  9. #129
    Koister
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    I have the exactly same problem with my 99 528i.


  10. #130
    DC52240
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    Re: 6-cyl double vanos problem assessment

    So has anyone got a response on if these seals can be purchased seperatly? i have the idle problemin my 1999 528ia. Annoying! Is this something that a shade tree mechanic could do?

  11. #131
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    Re: 6-cyl double vanos problem assessment

    great job with the research! nicely documented.

    one question though... When the engine warms up the problemd goes away. Doesn't that suggest that the oil is no longer leaking past the seals. THis is probably because the warm oil now has expanded the seals solving the leak issues I guess.

    if it isn't leaking anymore, how can performance be affected after the warm-up? i know you mentioned you felt a difference but is there any data to back that up? if the vanos wasn't positioning the cam shaft correctly, shouldnt we see an error for the crankshaft position sensor?

    regards,
    jeff

  12. #132
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    Re: 6-cyl double vanos problem assessment

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the nice comments on our work.
    Your questions are fair. Iíll try to address them.

    The toughest question to answer is the one regarding performance increase. Youíre correct by saying we donít have definitive data on this. Here are my personal observations after replacing the vanos pistons (seals).
    I had stronger torque and power at lower rpms. Torque was stronger at midrange and increased further to higher rpms before flattening. There was an overall increase in power, and it increased further into higher rpms. The most absolute (not relative) discernable characteristic for me was the engine smoothness into the upper rpm range. There is seemingly little engine strain increase from the 4k to 6k rpm range. Itís easy to red-line the car without noticing. Smooth as silk! Really the whole rpm range is so smooth. Iíve never driven a car with such smooth engine behavior. This smoothness was introduced simultaneously with extra power and torque. Itís impressive!
    It might very well be that these improvements are more noticeable on a manual transmission. Loach has an auto tranny and was first to repair his vanos. He indicated to me having performance improvements, and was questioning his assessment. When I performed my repair, I found the results clear. My driving behavior also changed. I was hot-dogging the car around the neighborhood. I just couldnít stop myself from driving like a maniac. The car just wanted to go.
    I recall that a couple of owners from the past had noted performance enhancements. They had questioned it as well. At the time I really didnít understand what a vanos was. Even when I repaired my vanos I didnít really understand why I got these changes. Now that Iíve spent some time trying to understand the vanos, itís clear to me the performance improvements were directly related to vanos function. These performance behaviors are exactly what a double vanos provides.
    To definitively assess this, I suspect weíd need to test a failing vanos car on a dyno, repair the vanos, and retest on the dyno. I donít know much about dyno testing, but from what Iíve seen on the forum it seems this would be a definitive test. It would be great if someone could take on this effort.
    The other aspect that needs to be tested is EGR (emissions control). This is what we would need to get the governmentís attention, if we decided to choose that path. I really wish someone would take on this effort.

    Your other points might be easier to address.
    You say the problem goes away when the engine warms up. This is an overly simplistic assessment of the situations. The M52TU cold engine symptoms are caused by the DME software. At these cold temperatures a special software mode is executed to bring the cats to operating temperature quickly. The vanos techniques used are different than in other operating modes. For instance, if the car is driven when having the stall encounters, the problems go away. But if the car comes to idle again the problems revert. So, how is it the vanos started working all of a sudden and then reverted? Itís not an issue of the vanos not working and then working. Itís an issue of software algorithm. During the cat warm-up mode, the software reacts badly to the vanos malfunction. In other modes the software behaves well to vanos malfunction. I suspect the vanos failure was found during M52TU testing and the software was modified to behave well to the failure. I suspect the cold engine cat warm-up problems were overlooked in testing. These software problems were addressed in the M54. This is why the M54 and M56 donít exhibit the vanos cold engine symptoms like the M52TU.

    You say that ďif the vanos wasn't positioning the cam shaft correctly, shouldnít we see an error for the crankshaft position sensor?Ē
    Youíre quite right. The CPS provides feedback to the DME as to the positioning of the camshaft. This is the feedback the DME needs to control the vanos for proper camshaft positioning. One would hope that the DME would set a code if the vanos was not functioning well. We know for a fact that the DME is aware of the vanos malfunction. The DME being aware of this is what causes it to create the M52TU cold engine stalling episodes. But even with that extreme outcome, the DME still doesnít set a code!!
    Given that, it's presumptuous to expect that the DME would set a code at other times when itís handling the vanos failure well.
    Even more egregious than not setting a code when the vanos is failing is not setting a code when the EGR is failing. EGR physical implementation is almost completely a responsibility of the vanos. If the vanos is failing, the EGR is surely not functioning. EGR is a major emissions control function. OBDII is mostly about indicating emissions control failures. So how is it that a code is not set as an outcome of EGR failure? The answer is the same as for all vanos failure circumstances; the DME is hiding the failure.
    The DME not reporting EGR failure should be a serious EPA violation.

    I suspect itís simply hopeful thinking to expect that the piston seals expand and seal well when the engine warms up. Maybe someone with a better understanding of Teflon and Buna expansion characteristics can try and address this point. The inner seals have flattened, shrunk, and hardened. The new pistons (new seals) fit tightly into the vanos cylinders while the used failing pistons (seals) fit more loosely.
    Thereís a current effort to try and assess the seals more definitively and maybe more definitive data will be available as an outcome.

    As much as Iíve tried to refute your points, they are nevertheless fair points to consider and discuss. Iím sure others have your thoughts, and I hope Iíve taken a logical approach at addressing them.
    Loach and I have had the advantage of inspecting the inner seals and driving our cars after the vonos repair. These are first hand qualitative assessments that canít be gained fully by reading our reports. I hope these assessments can be quantified into numerical data as you suggest and as discussed here.

    Thanks for your input and questions.
    Rajaie
    528i 5sp 06/00

  13. #133
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    Well??? what happened? what did you send them

    and what did Raj/Loc send back? what is BMWNA doing about this?

  14. #134
    dc52241
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    Re: 6-cyl double vanos problem assessment

    So has anyone found new seals? Does BMW allow for these to be purchased?

  15. #135
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    No and No

    Rajaie
    528i 5sp 06/00

  16. #136
    chenowski
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    double vanos issue in 525i as well?


    i have a question for those more knowledgeable about this double vanos issue.

    i noticed some time ago that my engine idle fluctuates wildly on cool mornings on warmup, but then disappears later once the engine reaches operating temp. does this occur by a similar mechanism as that in the 528i? perhaps the idle control kicks in before the engine can stall. i wonder if i should be concerned.


    thanks.

  17. #137
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    Could be intake leak (CVV valve or other)


    Cheers!
    Robert


    '99 540i sport, 6 spd
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    I am a BMW Car Club of America member, are you? http://www.bmwcca.org/

  18. #138
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    Another '99 with the same problem.

    Hopefully BMW sees the amount of failures and addresses this issue.
    -----------------------------------------------------------


    1999 540ITA Sports, Dinan CAI & software. M5 rear swaybar. Debadged for your pleasure.
    Phatbox now installed + in-dash CD
    M-Technik Aerodynamic

    1999 528IT, Phatbox, CAI.

  19. #139
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    Re: 6-cyl double vanos problem assessment

    I know my car has the same issue regarding the shotty run character while the car is in the warm-up stage. Mine keeps almost wanting to stall until the RPM's kick back up to recover from the near stall. This occurs repeatedly until normal operating temperature. However, on colder days, when the car hasn't been used in a while, the car is also very loud, in conjunction with the car almost wanting to stall.

    Any ideas what's making this sound? Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

    Will

  20. #140
    David G
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    thank you so much, I have same problem...

    I've taken my 99 528i to the shop for this reason twice. They replaced some hoses and checked for engine codes with no luck. I have cleaned the ICV and the throttle body, with no improvement. At least now I know the source of the problem.

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