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Do you mean magnifying glass trying to see in when the pintle is open?

When I was cleaning, I blew through both sides of the solenoid and I also filled the top with brake clean to make sure it didn't leak before I opened the solenoid to test it for flow down. I know gravity vs. 100 bar is totally different but I also wouldn't have missed anything in the opening that's visible like that. I spent hours between a few days messing with these things. However, there's a lot of space internally I can't see or access where crud could hide.

I thought B2's intake cam inlet/outet were now B1's exhaust cam inlet/outlet solenoids? Inlet for inlet and outlet for outlet but opposite cams on the different banks.

If you are using one drawing I see how you might get confused. Here are both drawings together. On the left bank the two farthest from the pigtail are out lets.
934142

On the right side the two that are farthest become the inlets.
934143

It is better just to reference this drawing ( at the very bottom) but make sure to use Version 3 because it was done to correct a few mistakes from version 2 of the same drawing.
934144

That picture of the noid is just a demonstration that some stuff may not come out. It was not mine and did try and buy it to get a closer look, but the price was higher than the desire to see it. Clearly it was junk if the thing could not be cleaned but half price was too much for my curiosity.
Having rebuilt many a board I can tell you that they don't always come clean with just air or brake cleaner. I had a bath of kerosene that the noids would go in and be activated on and off for 24 hr between to air cleanings, but occasionally I would have to take one to a ultra sound station to further assist. Some I could never stop leaking.
 

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You might be able to figure out which noid is the culprit using both bank schematics along with the DIS VANOS test, also realizing that the board gets rotated 90 degrees when you move bank to bank.
When cleaning the noids I put wrapped some heat-resistant tape around the red straw of the brake cleaner, about 1/4 inch from the tip to act as an occluder. Then rigged up an on/off foot switch (a doorbell) to activate the noids. You should get a uniform geyser from the top hole when you spray in the sidehole. Any disturbed spray pattern tells you there's crud inside the noid.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Congrats on the purchase! Looks like you know how to handle doing the work yourself, which is a must on these cars especially as they age. You're on the right track with the cam sensors as PM and cleaning the boards. I would also suggest pulling them one more time, clean again just to be sure and take a close look as Sailor mentioned.
Thank you. I would like to think I have a good base to learn how to work on this. Hopefully that holds true. I may take the boards back out down the line.

If you are using one drawing I see how you might get confused. Here are both drawings together. On the left bank the two farthest from the pigtail are out lets.
View attachment 934142
On the right side the two that are farthest become the inlets.
View attachment 934143
It is better just to reference this drawing ( at the very bottom) but make sure to use Version 3 because it was done to correct a few mistakes from version 2 of the same drawing.
View attachment 934144
That picture of the noid is just a demonstration that some stuff may not come out. It was not mine and did try and buy it to get a closer look, but the price was higher than the desire to see it. Clearly it was junk if the thing could not be cleaned but half price was too much for my curiosity.
Having rebuilt many a board I can tell you that they don't always come clean with just air or brake cleaner. I had a bath of kerosene that the noids would go in and be activated on and off for 24 hr between to air cleanings, but occasionally I would have to take one to a ultra sound station to further assist. Some I could never stop leaking.
Thank you for the other half of the puzzle. That makes complete sense since the VANOS units themselves are the same and one bank would be upside down on the other bank. Also, I understand what you said earlier about the inlet being ok with a little leak vs. outlet.

Completely understood on just not being able to get the solenoids clean with normal or other methods.

I actually read a ton of your posts on solenoid related issues. If the problem didn't migrate, the next thing I was going to look at was the ground near the fuel rail you mentioned in another B9 thread.

You might be able to figure out which noid is the culprit using both bank schematics along with the DIS VANOS test, also realizing that the board gets rotated 90 degrees when you move bank to bank.
When cleaning the noids I put wrapped some heat-resistant tape around the red straw of the brake cleaner, about 1/4 inch from the tip to act as an occluder. Then rigged up an on/off foot switch (a doorbell) to activate the noids. You should get a uniform geyser from the top hole when you spray in the sidehole. Any disturbed spray pattern tells you there's crud inside the noid.
Good luck!
From what I've read with the VANOS DIS test is it'll tell you if there's an issue but doesn't narrow it down to an issue with the unit, board, or specific solenoid. Is that wrong? I have no experience with it.

With the ground clipped in the connector I was actually able to contact the positive with one hand and spray into the side hole with the other to get them to geyser up like you're saying. I positioned a paper towel a few inches above it so I could watch without spraying all over my garage.

I still live 3k miles away from the car and I'm working on it at a buddy's house when I'm in San Diego with free time. I actually brought the boards home with me in my carry on to test and clean because I was better equipped and had more time there.

Given what happened with swapping the boards, is there any question that the issue is with solenoid #4 on the original bank 1 board?

A part of me just wants to leave the car as-is and enjoy the no CEL. Down the line I would get another solenoid from Dr. VANOS, give the cleaning thing another round, swap boards back, test, then if necessary, solder the new/used noid into position 4 on the board in question. Having a spare solenoid for a 110k+ mile S62 doesn't seem like a bad investment.

Thoughts?

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'm open to any/all input.
 

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The B9 code is the bank 1 exhaust camshaft out of position. That is controlled by both #3 and 4 noids on the board.
The DIS tests the camshafts for speed of movement, degree of movement, and holding position. It won't tell you specifics of individual solenoids but you may be able to deduce which one is bad based on the test results.
It can be a pain to get it running on your laptop and might be easier to just replace both noids.
But yeh if it's running good with no CEL you can do it later when more convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thank you!

I actually just did a waterpump on that 528 for the in-laws a couple weeks ago.
 

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This thread intrigues me, but led me to the realization that based on multiple websites (FCPEuro, ECS Tuning as well as GetBMWparts.com) that these boards are 100% no longer available from BMW. Even if they were, they appear to have cost about $2000-2500 each!

Examples: Genuine BMW 11-36-7-831-450 | Solenoid Valve | FREE Shipping on Most Orders $299+ OEMG! | getBMWparts
VANOS Solenoid - (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
BMW Engine Variable Timing Solenoid - Genuine BMW 11367831450

How can BMW cease and desist the manufacturing of a crucial engine component like this? I thought they had pride in their comprehensive parts catalogue in efforts to keep their cars on the road longer and increase brand loyalty?

So the only, ONLY solution is to refurb the unit? What if you take your E39 M5 to BMW, they tell you that your noids are toast and you need new vanos boards, and then can't sell it to you as it's no longer being made, are you up **** creek?

I have no problem digging in on the rebuild (albeit some parts confusing), but the longer I own this car, I realize it's eventually going to kick my *** as my daily driver in the instance something like a vanos board issue rears its ugly head and renders the car undriveable. There is NO quick solution anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I'm not sure on the BMW dealership repair. I would think they would have to refurb as well. That part number seems to be for the full board though, which most people never spring for. Amazon still has 16 FWIW.

I went through this thread again and continued down the rabbit hole a bit more. I found what I believe is the part number for the ABS unit that has at least 3 usable solenoids inside. (34511162291) I also found a few threads where S50B30/32 M3 guys have successfully swapped in these ABS solenoids for their VANOS units. Their solenoids are the same solenoids as the S62. A few people had issues but it seemed to come from not cleaning and testing the noids prior to installation.

Since I do plan on replacing at least one solenoid, I actually already ordered a 'cleaned and tested solenoid.' But seeing as how there are 8 of these, I decided to pick up a used ABS unit off ebay as well. It looks like they only go for $60+. I'll compare the 2 and if the dimensions match, they audibly bench test ok when cleaned/activated and resistance is in the ball park, I'll give it a shot.

I feel like this has probably been done before since this platform is over 20 years old. So, more experienced folks feel free to chime in here or the thread linked above as you see fit.
 

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Interested to see what you find. Please post pictures. Side by side of S62 version and ABS version would be great.
Also need to know if the ABS noids have the dreaded filters on them which is mostly what ruins the S62 noids.
 

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This thread intrigues me, but led me to the realization that based on multiple websites (FCPEuro, ECS Tuning as well as GetBMWparts.com) that these boards are 100% no longer available from BMW. Even if they were, they appear to have cost about $2000-2500 each!

Examples: Genuine BMW 11-36-7-831-450 | Solenoid Valve | FREE Shipping on Most Orders $299+ OEMG! | getBMWparts
VANOS Solenoid - (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
BMW Engine Variable Timing Solenoid - Genuine BMW 11367831450

How can BMW cease and desist the manufacturing of a crucial engine component like this? I thought they had pride in their comprehensive parts catalogue in efforts to keep their cars on the road longer and increase brand loyalty?

So the only, ONLY solution is to refurb the unit? What if you take your E39 M5 to BMW, they tell you that your noids are toast and you need new vanos boards, and then can't sell it to you as it's no longer being made, are you up **** creek?

I have no problem digging in on the rebuild (albeit some parts confusing), but the longer I own this car, I realize it's eventually going to kick my *** as my daily driver in the instance something like a vanos board issue rears its ugly head and renders the car undriveable. There is NO quick solution anymore.
There was a discussion about how manufacturers go about producing parts for older cars. The gist is that they will continue to increase the price on their existing stock to gauge demand before they decide on how to go about replenish their inventory. Just looking at the parts catalog, BMW has two products that serve the same purpose,

the VANOS-Boards
x2 11367831450

and the VANOS-units:
11367831487
11367831486

The boards went from $500/ea to $2,000/ea, but the whole-unit stayed relatively the same. I think BMW will phase out the boards in favor of the whole-units since the current market price is about the same for both.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
The ABS unit came in. So far 3 of the 6 solenoids look basically the same and have the same resistance. The filters were all intact and there are additional filters covering the pintle on each. The only difference I can tell so far is the area around the pintle on these has indents to keep the additional filter in place. I haven't cleaned them out yet but I would have to guess they won't have much build up inside because of the condition of the filters.

When I go back out to the west coast next month, I'll post more pics measuring and comparing these with the VANOS solenoids.




 

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Nice! Sure look the same at a glance. Major key point is if the filters are all intact then the noids should be super clean internally, making them perfect as replacements.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
Well, so far so good at 15 miles and about 10 key on/off cycles. No CEL. I swapped the boards back to their original locations and replaced the B1 exhaust outlet solenoid with one of the ABS solenoids with new o-rings. Keep in mind that it would only take maybe a 1/4 mile and 1-2 key on/off cycles before to trigger a CEL.

One of the first things I did when I got to Cali was compare the replacement S62 solenoid I got off ebay to the solenoids I pulled out of the ABS unit. They actually looked exactly the same. It had the same indentations for the top screen and even a mark from removing it. I went back and re-read the listing (seller doritech-motorsport) and they flat out say the noids are from another BMW part but have the same resistance. Good hustle on their part and they're not false advertising. I should have just took the risk on the ABS unit earlier. But, I did end up with 4 (potentially) usable noids for $265 when it seems a normal rate is $300 for one. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

All comparison pics are below with S62 solenoid left, ABS right or S62 first then ABS second. The ABS noid is one of the three I pulled from the ABS unit.

Overall height: S62 ~ 36.53, ABS ~ 36.55mm
Large side to small end base: S62 ~ 28.7, ABS ~ 28.75mm (from grub screw to bottoming out)
Board o-ring ID: S62 ~ 23.94, ABS ~ 24mm
Large o-ring ID: S62 ~ 24.74, ABS ~ 24.74mm
Small o-ring ID: S62 ~ 14.51, ABS ~ 14.51mm
Resistance: S62 ~ 3.5, ABS ~ 3.5 Ohms

















So in summary, it looks like ABS solenoids are virtually the same in dimension and resistance. They work in place of the OE VANOS solenoids. It looks like these ABS solenoids are already being sold as replacements and as mentioned, S50B30/32 M3 guys have said to use the ABS solenoids for their VANOS units.

I'm not going to put many more miles on the car till the end of the month but I'll report back when I do.

Some other good news is I fixed a fender well washer bottle leak I had. New O-rings didn't fix it. A new bottle was a little steep and I also needed a pump. So I took a risk on a $40 used container in good shape with both pumps and level sensor. I threw the new o-rings in with the newer level sensor, used windshield pump and unused headlight washer pump. The bumper was replaced and the headlight nozzles were left out. No leaks so far.

I also replaced the lower grill with one that has cutouts for the brake ducts. It went dark before I could get pics of that.
 
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