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Discussion Starter #1
I do apologize, this might be a long post. :typing:

Well, I'm in a little bit of a jam, literally. The good thing is, its just the solenoid board is jammed inside the vanos unit.

The background information: My M5 was idling a little rough, loss in power, 3rd gear pulls would throw it into limp mode, restarting the car would reset it for a few minutes. Pulled the codes using BavTech. Got codes saying Bank1 Intake VANOS Regulator, and Bank2 Intake Regulator. First thing I thought was VANOS Solenoids need to be cleaned or the classic broken solder issue. Ordered my Vanos seals and once I received them, started my work.

Started on Bank2 and pulled the cover off (the 5 allen-bolts were very, very tight along with the pre-tension bolts were incredibly tight.) , spotless, not the slightest bit of oil. However, upon closer inspection, 3 of the 4 connections where the solders fail, were not even close to being connected. So, I am pretty sure I found my problem. I thought to myself, this Circuit Board Card looks fairly...greener than I thought it would. I then proceeded to pull the Solenoid board out. Which is where I am at. It is very, very stuck. I have used vise grips, pliers, channel locks, and flat head screw-drivers to try to pull this thing out. Not wanting to break it, I was very gentle with it. Eventually, I just started giving it the beans. After about an hour or so, the furthest I have got is where the solenoids will rotate but not move backwards. Thinking I was just flat out dumb, I took a break.

Frustrated, I took a break to eat dinner and relax for a minute. I went back out to the garage 45 minutes later and decided to pull Bank1 to see if it would have the same issue. I had the entire board out, intact, within 3 minutes. The 5 bolts were very easy to break loose along with the pre-tension bolts were also not anywhere near as tight as Bank2. It took me longer to put the food on my plate, season it, and sit down than it did to pull the board. It slipped right out. The solders on this side were broken too. I did however notice that the board was a darker green circuit card (looked older). I immediately thought that the Bank2 board had been replaced in the past. Whomever replaced it man-torqued the balls off of it.

I struggled a few more minutes with the Bank2 side and eventually I unwillingly gave up, washed up, and went to bed. So, I've done some (a lot) searching around and couldn't find any info on it. I saw some threads where the VANOS was mechanically jammed or stuck and a solenoid not being able to operate but, not where the solenoid board is physically stuck in the unit. I've also heard of people who have had their boards stuck but they just took a little more effort and came out. I pried and pulled on mine for about two hours last night and no luck but scratching the solenoids up a breaking wires off (easy fix).

Sorry for the longest post ever but, does anyone have any input as to how to deal with this? I don't want to break it to where I have to buy a new solenoid pack because we all know how expensive those are. And no, I do not want to take the Vanos unit off. And yes, I am aware that in the event the card does break, I can buy a whole rebiult unit from Dr.VANOS for $1,400.

Please help, Thank you for any input or advice. :M5thumbs:
 

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Assuming your solenoids are good, you could actually just buy a board from Dr.Vanos for around 100 bucks. I talked to him earlier this week about a similar issue. Hopefully someone can help you beyond that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Really, I did not know that. I might give them a call and see what they can do. I appreciate the information!
But, to replace the board I would need to get the old one out first, lol.
 

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You have to pop the solenoids out individually without over-flexing the board. Carefully grab each each one with a pliers w/o pinching wires or knocking components off. They can be a bear sometimes. There is a youtube video of the process. Did you check the DYI section?
 

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If the solenoids are rotating you should be able to get them out. I'd wedge a flat-head between the board and the VANOS case and very gently tug on them with the board itself. Do a little bit at a time from each side?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Haha, Yes I watched the videos on Youtube by e39Source. I knocked a resistor off, and pulled some wires off in the struggle by accident. Thank god it wasn't the harness wires. I'll just have to solder those on too. I'll try to source a resistor from RadioShack and pray its the same specs.:lightbulb: I did however just had a thought to put the coverplate on and leave a small gap and start it up for a second or two. Surely the oil pressure in there would push those solenoids out. It would have to. It would also probably spray oil everywhere too!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys! I will give this a try! After going to Dr.Vanos and doing some more looking around, what they said was almost word for word what I thought. That's Weird!

But, I tried the screw driver prying lightly on the board against the unit and then prying the tabs on the solenoids themselves. All they do is spin. I got the upper two to move about 1mm and that's about it. When I get home today, I will keep trying. You never know, I might be able to walk up and just slide them out. lolhiha
 

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Haha, Yes I watched the videos on Youtube by e39Source. I knocked a resistor off, and pulled some wires off in the struggle by accident. Thank god it wasn't the harness wires. I'll just have to solder those on too. I'll try to source a resistor from RadioShack and pray its the same specs.:lightbulb: I did however just had a thought to put the coverplate on and leave a small gap and start it up for a second or two. Surely the oil pressure in there would push those solenoids out. It would have to. It would also probably spray oil everywhere too!
Those are not resistors, they are varistors/MOV's and you'll not find them at radio shack. A diode can be used as a replacement if you've lost the original. If you put "MOV" in the search function it will pull a bunch of threads up where this has been discussed as well as the schematic I posted with the diode that can be substituted. Happy reading.
 

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If the solenoids are giving that much trouble, I'd desolder the solenoid wires at the board so you can then get more rotation on them with channel locks, vice grips or whatever. All that holds them are the seals, so if they're turning they should pull out - gradually and one at a time. Resoldering those wires on the bench is easy - much easier than dealing with a broken wire that's now too short. A bonus is that with the wires desoldered you can pop the solenoids out of the board which makes cleaning them that bit easier.

The circuit boards are relatively flimsy and I'd be wary of exerting much force on the board itself in case of cracking it - I know they're tough material but PCBs can still snap, and these boards have weak points near the solenoids.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
[/quote]

The circuit boards are relatively flimsy and I'd be wary of exerting much force on the board itself in case of cracking it - I know they're tough material but PCBs can still snap, and these boards have weak points near the solenoids.[/quote]


Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. The wires just broke off from the solder point so as far as I know, I just have to re-solder them back. And yeah, the solenoids will spin but will not budge. I got one of them to move about 1mm and that's about it. I am considering turning the motor over for a brief moment and letting the oil pressure force the solenoids out and then clean up the mess I made. :3:
 

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Mine were tough to get out. Try this - grip the solenoid with vice grips. You can grab them pretty tightly, they are tough. Thread a long screw driver or pry bar through the opening in the jaws of the vice grips. Place a piece of wood up against something sturdy on the engine just below the VANOS unit. Rest the tip of the pry bar on the wood and pry on the vice grips. The longer the pry bar, the easier it is to control the movement when they pop. Work each one out gradually to prevent bending the board.

You can buy the MOV's from Dr VANOS. Quite cheap, IIRC. Make sure you install them the right way round.

You'll really notice an improvement when you get it all fixed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, finally!!!! After another hour struggling with it...I said F it. Hooked up the battery and fired her up! Took 5 times of firing it up and idling for about 3-4 seconds and the oil pressure forced it out finally. I didn't care to lose oil, it's getting changed anyway. Just...cleaning it up. Haha.

But here, you can see the difference in boards.
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1394633285.019293.jpg

Bank 1 on the right, red towel.
Bank 2 on the left, blue towel.
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1394633335.569941.jpg
Bank 2. Going to have to solder the wires back up and the Vasistors back on tonight. I was just happy to get the damn thing out.
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1394633400.957673.jpg
Bank 1. Popped right out!

Thanks for all the support guys!


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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OMG...been waiting for someone to do the "start engine" procedure to get those vanos boards out. Like OP, I struggled for more than hour & couldn't get it to budge. I come to the point now where I rather spend the time cleaning the oil leak then spend another hour trying to pull it & break more soldered wire and still not get anywhere.

For OP: is it really as simple as lessening cover & then start the engine? As described on Dr. Vanos site.
Can I remove the intake tubs first just to provide more accessibility.
In regards to oil shooting out, where best to place towels to minimize oil getting on belts & other parts.

Much much thanks.

I got 135k miles and while no SEL yet, I do believe my M will benefit greatly w new seals. I already replaced all 4 CPS, AF and O2 sensors.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I PM'd you and I actually removed the intake tubes, upper radiator hose, and fan shroud to provide a lot more access to my boards. On the Bank1 side, I just removed the coolant hose end to the block and tucked the hose out of the way for that side.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 
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