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Old 02-23-2018, 04:25 PM   #16
AndrewBird
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Test the solenoid out before you replace it. It's easy to do and will tell you if it's bad or not.

Cold start up rattle is usually lifters before they fill with oil or timing chain noise before the tensioners fill. Vanos rattle is at a certain RPM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:05 AM   #17
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Test the solenoid out before you replace it. It's easy to do and will tell you if it's bad or not.

Cold start up rattle is usually lifters before they fill with oil or timing chain noise before the tensioners fill. Vanos rattle is at a certain RPM.
Whats the best way to go about that? From what ive researched, you need to have some sort of air pressure tool to properly test it.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:39 PM   #18
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You only need the air line adapter to test the entire vanos system. To test the solenoid, just unscrew it from the housing and apply power to the connector and see if it moves. If it doesn't, it's bad.
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:58 AM   #19
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Thanks. I already replaced the solenoid with a one on ebay that was cheap enough i figured id give it a shot. Realized the solenoid in my car did not appear to be oem and had a much shorter cable than the one I bought from ebay.

So heres an update:

The URO fuel pump i installed about a month ago began buzzing very loudy. Since I was pretty certain the fuel pump wasnt the cause of my power issues, I installed the bmw pump back into the car. No more buzzing, and let this be a lesson to everyone else. If you are considering cheaping out on the fuel pump and getting a uro...just dont.

I have to say, the car has been behaving MUCH better the past few days since I installed the new solenoid, put the old fuel pump back in, and changed the oil. However it has also been a lot warmer outside, so I think this has something to do with it.

I do still get occasional hiccups and sluggish-ness, and my idle doesnt seem quite as smooth as it was before. I cleaned the icv but I think I am going to try and replace the part with a spare I have sitting around.

I was planning on testing fuel pressure a week ago, but because of the fuel hardline setup I have under the intake mani, I needed more spare fuel hose. (sure wish i had the obd2 fuel rail right about now ) I picked some up at autozone the other day so I plan to revisit that just so I can completely rule out fuel pressure being the issue.

Still need to test exhaust back-pressure as well.

Do you have any info on the air line adapter for checking the vanos? Would that tell me if my seals were bad?
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:29 PM   #20
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010O1FBLC..._n-gMAbGYM9SXS

That's the adapter to use to test. Bolt this in place of the oil line and hook an are compressor up to it. Then manually apply power to the solenoid to activate the Vanos. You have to take the valve cover off to be able to see if it is engaging.

If your seals haven't been replaced, they are bad. The original seals went bad on less than 50,000 miles. The fix is replacing it with a viton o-ring instead of the stock buna-n. It's an easy fix. New seals are cheap too.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:10 PM   #21
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My e36 m3 was having random top end power issue. I found a set of new bav auto coil packs at the junk yard from an e46 and replaced it witm my old one. That fixed the problem for me. The car pulled much smoother, faster all the way to redline with the new coil packs.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:09 AM   #22
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010O1FBLC..._n-gMAbGYM9SXS

That's the adapter to use to test. Bolt this in place of the oil line and hook an are compressor up to it. Then manually apply power to the solenoid to activate the Vanos. You have to take the valve cover off to be able to see if it is engaging.

If your seals haven't been replaced, they are bad. The original seals went bad on less than 50,000 miles. The fix is replacing it with a viton o-ring instead of the stock buna-n. It's an easy fix. New seals are cheap too.
I did vanos seals on my old e46 m54, it was definitely straight forward. Seems like single vanos is a little more tricky. they talk about locking the crankshaft through the bellhousing or something like that, but im using the m20 transmission, not sure how to work around that.

Ive definitely thought about buying a spare set of obd1 coils, might have to do that just to eliminate the possibility.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:19 PM   #23
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Car hasnt done this in awhile, but it fell on its face today again.

Car loses all power/ability to accelerate until i mash the gas pedal for a few seconds, then it comes back to life.

I am also averaging 14mpg... way less than i was getting before winter.

Other symptoms include a very slightly stumbly idle, and my idle has also been pretty high, around 1250k. Ive also noticed the rpms bounce a bit when shifting into neutral and coming to a stop, basically how the car acts when a reset ecu.

A few things Im thinking it could possibly be:

Bad o2 sensor - I already replaced it with a bosch o2 within the last year)
Bad icv
Bad coil - Although I dont think one bad coil would cause my car to lose all power
Restricted exhaust - it seems like exhaust gases pass through out the muffler just fine, so perhaps a partial restriction?
Bad maf - car acted exactly the same when i swapped mafs and the idle drops low and the car stumbles when i unplug it. i suppose there is a chance my spare maf is also bad?
Bad crankshaft sensor - ive heard of this sensor causing start issues but not power issues

I can understand the vanos giving the bad mpg symptom, but theres no way it would cause the car to lose all its power intermittently.... right?

This is driving me insane
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Last edited by jhaurimn; 03-08-2018 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:41 PM   #24
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Pretty sure I can rule out icv and coils. I tried a used icv and got same results. Also inspected/cleaned all the coils and coil boots, everything looked good there as well. I took two short videos of a symptom ive been having that might help indicate the problem.

Basically when I drop out of gear, the rpms sort of "fall" from 2k-1.2k, and it bounces back up. If i am rolling to a stop while in neutral, the rpms will stay around 1.4k until I come to a complete stop, then it will eventually drop back down to 1.2k.

Id also like to mention my car idles at a proper level when cold, but after warming up a bit the idle increases.

https://flic.kr/p/23L7vqT

https://flic.kr/p/258aG54
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:04 PM   #25
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I think its the coils. They simply have a shelf life and most swaps are on the original 20-25 year old coils. OBD1 should have 2 grounds in the middle of all the coils too grounded to the valve cover. The coils are usually date stamped. Its not cheap, but that was the only thing that gave me a problem with the OBD1 M52 motor
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:45 AM   #26
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I think its the coils. They simply have a shelf life and most swaps are on the original 20-25 year old coils. OBD1 should have 2 grounds in the middle of all the coils too grounded to the valve cover. The coils are usually date stamped. Its not cheap, but that was the only thing that gave me a problem with the OBD1 M52 motor
Found a cheap set of used ones on ebay that look nicer than the ones I currently have. Going to swap them out to see if there is any difference before I drop much more money on a new set. ($30 vs $300)
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:15 AM   #27
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Yea doesnt hurt to have spares. I basically mixed and matched the best boots and coils because I wasnt quite ready to spend the $300. It worked for me
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:24 AM   #28
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thought i had fuel issues completely ruled out.

measured fuel pressure during a 15 minute drive yesterday, idled at 40 and went up to 50 at full throttle. Everything seemed normal. still was getting power issues/hiccups while fuel pressure read perfectly.

drove today with pressure gauge still installed and now its reading at 30-38, and does not budge under throttle/load.

now i dont know if it is indeed a fuel pressure issue, or my $70 fuel pressure kit i bought just for this issue failed after one single use.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:37 AM   #29
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New coils did not change a thing.

Would crank position sensor, o2 sensor, or vanos seals effect the idle?


I still have an idle issue where it goes up to 1.2k when warm (idles around 850 when i start it cold) and the rpm hunts when i come to a stop in neutral. I think this idle issue is related to my power issue.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:21 AM   #30
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Seems I have about the same issue as you. obd1 swapped m52b28, stock everything running a red label 413.

When coming to a stop, car in neutral, foot depressing brake, the revs go from about 700 then to 1k rpms...till I'm stopped, then it levels out. Also, at times, just as I put the clutch in to go to neutral, it will die. Doesn't happen often but it does that as well. This is with or without the AC on. IAC is good.
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