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Screwed up big time yesterday. Bought my M5 3 weeks ago, have a list of to do items to take care of including servicing the solenoids. Attempted to remove both solenoid PCBs yesterday but had no luck getting them out. There were no leaks and they were really stuck in there despite my twisting and pulling. I gave up as I didn't want to break anything. I put the intake back together and fired up the car and it was running REALLY rough. I took it for a spin, there were misfires, no torque etc and it didn't take long for the SES light to come on and it went into limp mode. Got the car home and plugged in the OBDII. Once I cleared the misfires etc the codes I was left with were:

P1526
P0022 Camshaft Bank2

Once the engine cooled a bit I took the cover off the solenoids on bank 2 and found the culprit. I am not a smart man:




closeup:



When reattaching the solenoid cover, the centre nut has pinched and partially destroyed the black cable. I can easily replace and resolder that wire but am still unable to get the solenoids out. I am hoping nothing else has been damaged/shorted and replacing the cable will fix it. Is there anyone in the south east that could help get the solenoids out? I live in Crawley close to Gatwick Airport.
 

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The solenoids require some GENTLE persuasion, use some pliers to GENTLY wiggle them out of place.
 

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Repair the wire in place. Confirm the car runs properly.

Now to remove a stubborn board, I have used the Vanos oil pressure to my advantage in the past. Loosen the five cover bolts two or three revolutions, all the same. Start the engine and turn it off right away. The oil pressure should have unseated the solenoids and pushed the board out a bit, but not far enough to go past the o-ring seals and blow oil all over. Once unseated, the boards should be easier to remove. Be careful with the pliers to not pinch wires or damage components.

To tell the truth though, that board looks really clean. Low milage? You can redo most of the solder joint with the board in the car if you continue to have trouble removing it, or just leave it be and fix it when it actually breaks.
 

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Thats an awesome tip for removal! The car has 98k miles but has only been driven a few thousand in the past couple of years. I couldn't quite believe how clean the boards were when I took the covers off. My car is parked in a communal underground parking area, quite hard to do the work without removing the board as there are no power sources around.
 

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Have a search on here for a video posted by Vantaam5 showing removal of the solenoids (EDIT: it's here. ) You need to grip the solenoid with slip joint pliers (aka channel lock or water pump pliers) and very gently turn it left and right (the amount you can turn is restricted by the length of those wires) whilst applying a little leverage or pulling. do this a little bit at a time on each solenoid in turn - the idea is to have them all back right out at pretty much the same time so as not to stress the board.

They do come out with gentle but firm persuasion and belief.

ps - It's MUCH easier to pinch one of the wires under the edge of the cover when reassembling - DAMHIKT
 

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^Great tips above.

One comment on the 'wiggling with channellocks'... turning them one way will loosen the wires, the other way will overstress and rip. Figure that out for each solenoid before you begin to wiggle (twist to and fro while applying retractive force...)
 

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UPDATE: Thanks for all the help so far. It took a lot of sweat and painful fingers but I managed to get them all loose eventually. I found wiggling was more successful than twisting but it still took about 90 mins and a lot of force to get them all out - maybe my o-rings are in better shape than I imagined, it was a very tight fit.

Is there a guide/video on exactly how to release the cable connector? I ended up breaking the retaining clips as I couldn't figure out how to realese them but I am not too worried about that. I will get to the soldering tomorrow but thought I would get some opinions on the state of the actual solenoids now. The bottoms were bone dry, oil was only on the top portion. However, there is some residue/corrosion on the bottom of two of the solenoids which I have shown in the pictures. Is this normal?

Board:


Residue:


More residue:




With flash:
 

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A comment on the crushed wires; in the top photo of your first post, you must have rotated the top right solenoid clockwise a bit while attempting to remove it. This pushes the wires away from the solenoid and across the middle bolt hole. Before installing the cover, rotate each solenoid gently in the direction that pulls the wires snug around the solenoid circumference.

Looks like your o-rings were in good shape. The third photo down in today's post shows them sticking well proud of the solenoid body.

And I don't know what that residue is. It doesn't look like corrosion. Does it scrape off and leave clean metal? If so, maybe very small leakage past the o-ring that left a varnish build up?

Out of curiousity, which solenoid has the crushed wires? I am curious because it caused such a dramatic effect. Bank 1 or 2? And looking from the front, was it at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, or 9 o'clock?

And finally, what code reading software are you using that can read specific BMW codes?
 

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Good result - what I love about this forum is the information, tips and videos that enable you to believe that something can be done, despite all the indications to the contrary!

If you're reasonably handy with a soldering iron (and a camera!) it's probably worth unsoldering the leads from the boards and popping the solenoids out (unless anyone more experienced has a good reason not to) to be able to give them a really good clean - and get rid of what's left of the filter rings.
 

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g1344304,

When I did my solenoids for the first time, upon re-installing them, I did the same exact thing as you did by bolting the screws back in without making sure the wires were snug around the solenoids. So I ripped thru the wires and managed to rip a trace as well! :eek: I shat myself, but 68FB told me it was repairable. I had vanos and camshaft codes for both banks, down on power, misfiring, etc.
If you're not perfect at soldering, best thing to do is take it to a computer repair shop. Those guys should know how to repair boards, etc.
Here's how mine looked:

 

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I agree with the other comments, looks like they are in pretty decent shape. I would recommend removal of the filter screen assemblies (brown plastic ring) if you haven't done so. Those are a problem looking for a place to happen at their age.
 

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Update 2: Success! Ok I feel a bit more relaxed now. I managed to remove and replace the damaged wire despite being a soldering novice although I wish I had seen the advice about using a computer repair shop as it might have been a bit less stressful! I had to connect the wire on top of the solenoid connector rather than underneath but this is fine. I was able to beef up the other solder connections, replace o-rings and remove the gauze holders as usually required. All four solenoids were cleared with MAF cleaner and each made the crystal clear clicking I had been hoping to hear. A note on the residue - The residue appeared to be from the rubber grommets that hold each solenoid on the board. Two of them, one in particular as seen in the earlier photos, were very soft and starting to break down. I could scrape off brown rubber strips from each grommet by barely touching them with a miniature screw driver. They left quite a mess on the board but I cleaned up as best I could and reinstalled as they aren't sealing anything anyway.

The o-ring kit I was using was this one: Mr Vanos - Bmw Vanos Repair Specialists - E39 M5 S62 5.0 from Mr Vanos so I replaced the piston cover rings too, although I'm not sure this was necessary. Car seems to run great again but I am still only getting 129-130 on the MAF test. I will be replacing fuel filter and a few other bits in the coming weeks. I just have to work up the courage to start working on the solenoids in bank 1 after this near heart attack! Thank you all for your help and offers of help, I may call on it in the future.


my crappy solder joint can be seen here, different to the others:


my new wire:


again:


replacing seals on the piston covers was a much easier job:






To answer 68FB, I used a friends OBDII scanner and then searched the codes online and wouldn't you know it, they were discussed here: http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/206840-p1526-p0021.html notably this:

P1526 "A" Camshaft Position Actuator Control Open Circuit Bank 2
This one says you have a bad intake solenoid on bank 2.
P0021...."A" Camshaft Position - Timing over-advanced (Bank 2)
This one is telling you the result

Initially I had thought it was a CPS issue

Also the affected solenoid and connections were these:

 

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Discussion Starter #14
PS I still have no idea how to release the retaining clip on the solenoid cable connector, having broken the first one. Is there any info on how to avoid this on the other bank? Do I just squeeze the sides?
 

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Thanks for the info. So it was the outlet solenoid for the intake cam stuck closed due to the broken wire, so not able to dump oil pressure in front of the VANOS piston, which holds the intake cam in the fully advanced position, which causes exhaust gas to blast back up the intake ports as the pistons are coming up to TDC and mess up the intake charge. Normally, VANOS doesn't start advancing the intake cams until about 4000 and high load.

Those VANOS connector retaining clips get hot and brittle under the plenum. I broke off some of them as well (and both connector mounting clips). The connector halves go together tightly so I didn't worry about it and have had no problem in the last 3 years.
 

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One more update. I bit the bullet and did the other bank today. It was much simpler but only due to gzig5's suggestion of untightening the solenoid cover a few revolutions on each bolt (I tried the manual way and they were even tighter than the other bank). I cranked the engine for about 1 sec and the solenoids all popped out just the right amount without oil loss. I then just had to fully unscrew the cover and lift them out with ease.

Of interest is that before all this I was getting codes for mixture too lean banks 1 and 2. They haven't reappeared so far but I have just had a quick run to warm up the engine and check everything works. I will keep an eye on it but I am not sure whether this is down to the solenoid refresh or new MAFs. I am still only getting 127-129 on the MAF test. On to the next job!
 
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