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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems like I am getting the dreaded vanos leak from the driver's side bank. I have already carefully replaced the o rings for the solenoid thanks DIY m5 threads and still getting a persistent leak. After dropping off the car at the shop this morning, they have called and said that the leak is coming from behind the solenoid where the hydraulic portion of the unit resides. However, they don't typically replace those o rings and have instead recommended a new vanos replacement. Does anyone have any experience with replacing the the o rings ( 9, 10, 12, 13, and 14) in this picture?

RealOEM.com * BMW E39 M5 Cylinder Head Vanos

I would like to give them an opportunity to fix this rather than spending a few thousand on something as trivial as an o ring. Thoughts?

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, that does not look like your average DIY. Did you have to use any special tools? More importantly, did this fix your vanos leak? Thanks!
 

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The only special thing I used was a computer with DIS installed to get the Vanos in to assembly position. This saved me having to remove the cam covers to rotate the cams manually with a spanner.

Other than that it was a doddle. I took mine off to clear a blockage in one of the little oil passageways which was causing oil to fart back in to my air inlet buggering up my air filters. I didn't have an oil leak from the unit itself. Whilst in there I replaced all the solenoid seals as well as the additional bits you've mentioned, and gave the two units a jolly good clean. Your garage should be able to do this without much trouble. Even my local dealer only wanted £300 + parts for this job.

Maybe someone with more experience can comment, but I really don't see the point in replacing the unit to fix an oil leak. If it's the seals leaking, what does that have to do with the unit? Remove it, clean it, replace seals. Done!
 

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Shops that recommend vanos replacements in our cars are generally being lazy and/or greedy. If it's too daunting to DIY, at least check with another shop. What error codes and pictures of this leak can you share?
 

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The only special thing I used was a computer with DIS installed to get the Vanos in to assembly position. This saved me having to remove the cam covers to rotate the cams manually with a spanner.

Other than that it was a doddle. I took mine off to clear a blockage in one of the little oil passageways which was causing oil to fart back in to my air inlet buggering up my air filters. I didn't have an oil leak from the unit itself. Whilst in there I replaced all the solenoid seals as well as the additional bits you've mentioned, and gave the two units a jolly good clean. Your garage should be able to do this without much trouble. Even my local dealer only wanted £300 + parts for this job.

Maybe someone with more experience can comment, but I really don't see the point in replacing the unit to fix an oil leak. If it's the seals leaking, what does that have to do with the unit? Remove it, clean it, replace seals. Done!
Is it weird that I read this post using James May's voice in my head?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Shops that recommend vanos replacements in our cars are generally being lazy and/or greedy. If it's too daunting to DIY, at least check with another shop. What error codes and pictures of this leak can you share?
chowdah,

No error codes, no issues with power delivery, and no ticking sounds from the vanos. I had tried to take pictures previously, but they didn't turn out well. Basically, the 3 hex bolts at the top of the vanos in the picture above on the driver side are slowly leaking. Its gotten slightly worse as I am leaving a small puddle in the garage.

The shop is planning to order the new seals/o rings as I recommended since the units themselves aren't failing. Will update you guys in the morning.
 

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You have an oil leak from that little cover? You can pop that off in minutes. OK, RealOEM doesn't list an o-ring for it and it has to seal 1500 psi, but to suggest you need a new VANOS unit is laughable. You might want to find a new shop.
Take the leaking o-ring to a hydraulic cylinder shop (farmers, tractors, dozers, etc.) and ask for a new one. Don't tell them it's for an M5 or they jack up the price to $5. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If the part isn't listed on realoem, how am I supposed to order a replacement? The shop is working with me to replace the necessary o rings, but they are also using realoem to get the parts.
 

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Take the leaking o-ring to a hydraulic cylinder shop (farmers, tractors, dozers, etc.) and ask for a new one. Don't tell them it's for an M5 or they jack up the price to $5. :)
If the part isn't listed on realoem, how am I supposed to order a replacement? The shop is working with me to replace the necessary o rings, but they are also using realoem to get the parts.
Do you not read?

If BMW doesnt sell a stand alone o-ring, you source the o-ring elsewhere! If a shop suggests 'replace the whole vanos cause we cant get the o-ring from BMW', why work with them?

There is nothing 'magical' about orings: size, material...done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you not read?

If BMW doesnt sell a stand alone o-ring, you source the o-ring elsewhere! If a shop suggests 'replace the whole vanos cause we cant get the o-ring from BMW', why work with them?

There is nothing 'magical' about orings: size, material...done.
I understood his message. However, my car is still at the shop and I am helping them get through the problem since I don't have the workspace to take everything apart and source it myself at the moment. The more information I can provide them, the easier it will be for them to resolve it.

I have also stated in a later post that the shop is willing to work with me and take things apart to repair the leak. The replace the whole vanos was something they recommended for customers with failing units.

James
 
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