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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After preventatively replacing the 16 solenoid seals on Saturday, my car has developed an issue. After completing the work on each bank, I fired the motor up and after the initial dry rattle, it settled after a few seconds and went quiet as normal.

I drove the car in the evening for the official test drive for about 15 minutes. A few minutes into the test drive, the CEL came on. The car was driving fine, but I figured ok fine I'll take it back home after a very short spin. I was able to go WOT a couple of times once the engine was warm and it pulled normally. I parked it on the driveway and left it since.

Today I go to start the car and it's got that dry vanos rattle, but constantly now. I pulled the solenoid covers and tested each one with a 9V battery - all clicking as they should be. All solenoids firmly in their holes.

I'm really confused, could there be air in the system? The engine doesn't want to run after the 2 minute warm up cycle at idle and it just cuts out. Error codes all suggest that the VVT sprockets aren't being fed, or able to operate:

p1532 - B Camshaft Position Actuator control open circuit Bank 2
p0012 - A Camshaft Position - timing over retarded Bank 1
p0025 - B Camshaft Position - timing over retarded Bank 2
p0014 - B Camshaft Position - timing over advanced or system performance
 

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Can you also spray some cleaner through the solenoids to make sure they're actually opening/closing as opposed to just clicking?
Yes, you can. My method includes connecting the 9V battery leads and then spraying brake cleaner through the solenoid in both directions by using the little red straw they give you. Just watch your eyes and which direction the ports are facing!

I also use a pigtail from a dead engine wiring harness to ensure I'm testing through the whole wiring system.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When you tested them all where did you touch your leads to? Do it at the plug if you have not.
I did it earlier at the boards, but right now I just did it at the connector and all four were making clicking sounds on both banks.
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Can you also spray some cleaner through the solenoids to make sure they're actually opening/closing as opposed to just clicking?
You've got me thinking now....when I was doing my initial testing of them on the weekend, 1 or 2 per board were making a distinctly loud click and the rest were a fairly limp click. That being said, there weren't any obvious issues with the car, no rattles or codes, but I have always felt that this car is distinctly lacking in torque from 2000-3000rpm in 3rd and 4th, something that I'm sure an earlier M5 used to have.

All of the soldering is in hand, but I'm wondering now if I should take them out and try to get them clean enough to the point where they all click hard and loud...presumably for more oil flow == correct cam phasing in real time....maybe that's why I felt the car wasn't as fast as it should be.

Yes, you can. My method includes connecting the 9V battery leads and then spraying brake cleaner through the solenoid in both directions by using the little red straw they give you. Just watch your eyes and which direction the ports are facing!

I also use a pigtail from a dead engine wiring harness to ensure I'm testing through the whole wiring system.
Ok, I'm going to do this.


That being said, it still doesn't explain why the whole thing is running like it's about to go pop. These solenoids were weak before but they never exhibited these symptoms. I'm baffled. After each board was done on Saturday, I tested it and it was fine. Even on the test drive, it ran silky quiet under the hood.
 

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I did it earlier at the boards, but right now I just did it at the connector and all four were making clicking sounds on both banks.
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You've got me thinking now....when I was doing my initial testing of them on the weekend, 1 or 2 per board were making a distinctly loud click and the rest were a fairly limp click. That being said, there weren't any obvious issues with the car, no rattles or codes, but I have always felt that this car is distinctly lacking in torque from 2000-3000rpm in 3rd and 4th, something that I'm sure an earlier M5 used to have.

All of the soldering is in hand, but I'm wondering now if I should take them out and try to get them clean enough to the point where they all click hard and loud...presumably for more oil flow == correct cam phasing in real time....maybe that's why I felt the car wasn't as fast as it should be.



Ok, I'm going to do this.


That being said, it still doesn't explain why the whole thing is running like it's about to go pop. These solenoids were weak before but they never exhibited these symptoms. I'm baffled. After each board was done on Saturday, I tested it and it was fine. Even on the test drive, it ran silky quiet under the hood.
Maybe poor contact at the connector? Are you sure they seated? It can't hurt to clean them one more time, but yeah, sounds like something else going on here now.
 

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In the process of cleaning mine. Trust me, the solenoids take time to get cleaned out. Been at it for the past 5 days. Probably be less if it wasn't for work. But I'm using compressed air wih CRC Parts and Degreaser Pro Series 14x. Stinky crap, but it's getting the suckers cleaned out.

Need to redo some minor soldering and that'll be it. Was hoping to have it done today. But annoyingly my new o-rings from FCP haven't arrived yet. They were supposed to be in yesterday but no. And nothing today so if lucky I might get them tomorrow. F-ing fedex!
 

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Pull the solenoid covers off and check for any physical damage to them that may have resulted from removal and installation. Failing that i’d remove them again and do a few rounds of the cleaning procedure.

if you can get access to the vanos test once you’ve fixed the current fault codes for the system the test results might give you some clues for why there seems to be less torque at the 2k-3k rpm range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Guys I feel a little sad now, please bless me with some guidance... :(

So, here's what I've done:
  • Removed both vanos board to re-check connections, all good
  • Checked each solenoid - all coming in at around 4.0-4.2 ohms
  • Used brake cleaner & compressed air to the solenoids to the point where they all click super hard when 9V is applied
  • Removed the gauze filters on all solenoids
  • Cleaned the filter on the 100bar pressure regulating valve
  • Replaced the copper O-rings on the centre vanos line that takes feed from the 100bar valve and the other two banjo bolts that sit at the top o each vanos unit

Not an ounce of difference this made and I'm bemused at how a very simple solenoid seal change (which initially gave me a normal/quiet vanos operation after an expected 2-3 seconds of rattling) has turned into a bit of a mini nightmare. For what it's worth, there weren't any signs of vanos rattles or issues, I simply wanted to do my preventative maintenance on the motor :(


Side note: on the 100bar pressure valve - how does one know how much to drive in the inner, threaded hex bolt that pushes on the spring and sharp pokey thing inside it? Could this be something which needs more attention?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
More or less the same. The first code from the original post about the open circuit has gone (bank #2 black power wire had gotten pinched by the centre bolt, but I've sorted that now)

P0012 is the stored fault right now, but I also have 14 and 24 as pending faults for both banks.

Oil just isn't getting to the cam gears, but I'm a bit mystified as to how this has happened all of a sudden. Does it need like a "bleed" procedure or something? I'd think not because it just needs to fill with oil, but I'm clutching at straws now.
 

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What are the position of the vanos pistons ? I think default or engine start positions should be fully retarded on the intake side (piston all the way out) and fully advanced on the exhaust (piston all the way in). It may be the complete reverse, I can't quite recall. Taking the covers off will confirm.

It almost sounds as if the vanos units are getting no signal from the DME, if you unplug both solenoids and start the engine do you still hear the rattling ? You can activate the solenoids in the expert mode of DIS. If you can get your hands on this diagnostic software I think it would help you get in to the right direction of what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks man, I'll have a look to see if I can source this software and report back.
 

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I am pretty sure all this means is either you don't have oil pressure or you have blockage preventing oil from flowing into the piston chamber. The rattle is the piston slapping the cover. As the cam rotates there can be more force from releasing a valve or opening another. This makes the cam move on the spline if there is no oil to dampen that. The first test I would do is to pull the boards and blow compressed air in each of the two holes for each noid. That would be for blockage in part of the system, but not all. Next I would study these diagrams and find the drains and blow through them.
If that all worked out I would pull some lines and look for oil flow which would indicate there actually is oil pressure. I would have to read the threads again but 68FB did a few threads explaining the rates and what they should be at different hoses.
Here are the hydraulic diagrams.
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I have a couple more of the cross section I think they are the same but more is better. They were the exact same so I just posted two. One showing why if there is no oil why you would get fore and aft movement of the piston causing the slap on the cover.
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Found one more thing that could be useful.
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Not sure what I was showing with the arrows but two were there when I down loaded this. I think the cover was leaking.
Anyway you can see the two holes that go back to the boards in the rim of the piston chamber. You can also see the mark on the piston and the mark on the piston cover from their contact. The fact that the cover has a raised section means that you don't have to have no oil, just very little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you Sailor, that's super informative and helpful sir. I have tried this method of air, hell I've even sacrificed my driveway and run the motor for a couple of seconds to validate that oil flows through each of these lines and orifices.....it literally seems as though the solenoids are refusing to fire, hence the dry piston (I thought it was the camgear that was dry like on other cars)

This morning I took a a look at the little fuse block under the cabin filter to see if maybe that had blown....but seeing as that fuse also runs the injectors, seeing as the injectors work (ie, the engine runs), i wasn't holding my breath. Fuse is fine. Rationale for looking into the fuse was because i know that one of the power lines to a solenoid on bank #2 got pinched by the centre bolt and the cel came on after a couple of minutes driving....the motor was quiet at that point and only the next day, it started rattling and clearly refusing to spray oil via the solenoids. I figured that the fuse would be the first thing to go. Thinking, if that short-circuit might have cooked that solenoid, or board, it doesn't explain why bank #1 has the same problem.

I am weighing up cutting my losses and just taking the car to a tuner on a flatbed truck to mend at their workshop. I have to accept that it's probably going to cost a fortune to probably fix something so simple because anytime an S62 goes into a shop with something that sounds this bad, the shop knows they've got the customer by the balls. I don't know enough about the platform or the software to know where to start. Sucks.....I'll keep you posted.
 

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I think it’s worth taking the piston covers off next to the solenoid plates. Because if the noise your hearing is the piston rapping against the cover there should be no oil present to help cushion the piston from rapping. Also with the engine off i mentioned one of the pistons per bank should be driven inwards, which needs oil and pressure at the front of the piston.

can you upload a clip to YouTube?
 

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Side note: on the 100bar pressure valve - how does one know how much to drive in the inner, threaded hex bolt that pushes on the spring and sharp pokey thing inside it? Could this be something which needs more attention?
This side note may very well be the heart of your problem. The hex bolt on the pressure bar has to be adjusted to achieve 100bar pressure. I don't know any way to do it other than putting a gauge on the system and turning until you achieve that. It is for this reason that BMW doesn't make the filter in the pressure bar available for purchase separately--there are no instructions in TIS for how to adjust the hex bolt. (Side note: The filter is available separately for the S54, and it is the same filter as the the S62). If you don't want to do the whole gauge rigamarole, just install a new pressure block or known good used one. I have a feeling your problems will go away if you do. I certainly would try that before having it towed to an indy!

--Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's a great idea! I was just about to take the piston covers off and then saw your reply, which got me thinking...it's the only other variable which has been tinkered with that would explain why it's magically gone wrong, seeing as it's so sensitive.

I just fired it up and using an alan-key kept opening the hex bolt little by little with the engine running, listening for any change in sound to indicate if the magical sweet spot had been achieved. It didn't work, partly because my ears started ringing from how friggin loud the rattling is. However, what I'll do now is fish out my pressure gauge and rig that up to the flexi-Y line - should work, assuming I have the correct sized fittings. Updates to follow.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ok, so - problem. My gauge fittings protrude too far out from the banjo of the flexi line into the path of the fan blades, so I can't measure from there and that's the important part to measure presumably. I'm able to get a reading from the top but that's for excess oil that goes to the accumulator, which might be a bit of a moot point. Either way, up there it's at around 3-4psi...next to nothing.

I'm thinking....to measure the important part, I'll need to remove it from the car...but I don't think I'll have the correct fitting to thread in my air-hose into the 100 bar thingy. Hmm...maybe I'll pop to my local friendly tyre shop tomorrow and ask if they might be able to help.

Don't suppose any of you have any pictures handy of your own threaded inner 100psi calibration screw things that I can use as a reference point, can I? I'm guessing it'll be about...2 threads showing from fully tightened?


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