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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let me point out that 1998 was the first production year for european E39 M5s. Most quirks were fixed in 2000 when the E39 M5 was launched in the US.

What does Vanos do? ****************************

The Vanos units change the timing reationship between crankshaft and the four separate camshafts. This directly controls valve timing both on intake and exhaust. This is what gives the wonderful flat torque curve. This is what gives the wonderful full-load-high-RPM engine note. This is what makes an S62 engine an S62.

Two kinds of Vanos noise in the E39 M5 ****************

There are two kinds of Vanos noise.

The first kind is loud rattle only heard at startup and stops within a minute. This is fixed by installing the Vanos oil pressure accumulator.

The second kind is loud rattle (like an old Mercedes diesel) that gets worse the warmer the engine is. This calls for replacing parts of the Vanos units.

History of extended warranty *****************

There has been several fixes on the Vanos system. In the US, BMW initially denied any problems, but later after pressure from owners (many of whom are members of this board) issued free Vanos oil pressure accumulator coverage until December 2003 / 3 years / 100000 km .

History of fixes **********************

First of all, on cars built up to November 2000, get the Vanos oil pressure accumulator installed. This is a compressed gas oil pressure vessel and a shutoff valve that takes high pressure oil (200 Bar) from both Vanos hydraulic pumps while the engine is running and stores it until the nest enigine start. There is an electromagnetic shutoff valve that keeps the pressurized oil in the vessel when the engine is stopped.

(very neat design, much better than the electrical priming pump they used before)

The installation procedure (takes about 1 day for 1 mechanic) is described in Service Bulletin 11 01 01 (661) issued March 2001.
This warranty action expires December 2003 / 3 years / 100000 km, whichever happens first, so hurry up.

This should take care of all Vanos noises that disappear by themselves a few seconds after starting the engine.

Most Vanos units will still make a bit of noise. If the diesel-sounding Vanos noise (after warm-up) is more than you are willing to accept, or if it keeps getting worse the more miles you put on the meter, you need to get some parts inside the Vanos units replaced. To get this under warranty, you need to be kind to your SA.

(btw there is no such thing as a completely noiseless Vanos, but in the case of my car subjectively 75% of the noise disappeared)

The production-dates and engine-numbers below are from BMW Germany recomending replacment of certain Vanos parts on S62 engines in case of loud rattles.

On M5 built before mid-July 2000 (engine number 60232305): replace
spline-shaft (BMW part number 11 36 4 781 417, 4 needed per engine) and
spring discs with support washers (BMW part number 11 36 7 833 218, 4 needed per engine).

Built after that, but before mid-September 2001 (engine number 60572609): replace just the spring discs with support washers (BMW part number 11 36 7 833 218, 4 needed per engine).

Built after that: everything ok from the factory.

I´ve had both spline-shafts and spring discs replaced, (and the cogwheels the spline-shafts drive, as well as the spline inserts in the camshafts for good measure), and it reduced the noise a lot, but not completely.

It is 1.5 - 2 days work for two mechanics, one of which needs to have M training.

Also note, if you get this done the Vanos will sound awful for a few days or so, until all air that gets trapped inside is pushed out by the oil flow.
Then the sound gets very much better.

Vanos niose in the E60 M5 ***********************

The good news on Vanos noise aestetics is that the E60 M5 has horrible Vanos noise at idle, far worse than a non-upgraded E39 M5. I think this will bring Vanos noise into fashion as the "Sound of the M engine". ;-)

David
 

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So basically, I'm reading that the Vanos issues are related to noise and not mechanical issues? My car has the rattle at start for a few seconds, the quits, everything is quiet after that. Wonder if I could get that fixed under CPO? Since I recently purchased the car?

Thanks for an excellent post.
 

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This is interesting. Last September I had right Vanos unit replaced with new one. After it was installed, both Vanos gears were rattling, no rattle when car was taken in by the way.

My tech called BMWNA and was told to install repair kit of 4 toothed shafts and updated springs for gears. After this I now again have no Vanos niose coming from the car at any time. This procedure was done to both Vanos units at that time.

Is this the repair kit you refer to?

It already had the "rattle at startup" issue addressed previously.

I cannot quote a cost because this and other work was done by BMW under some sort of goodwill gesture thing. The car had only 25K miles on it and was just 1.5 months out of warranty.
 

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I just started getting a noise: It only happens on the first turnover in the morning. It lasts about two seconds. If I shut off then restart, it doesn't happen. It also doesn't happen any other times in the day. Just the first start of the morning. Vanos?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
icsfsedod said:
So basically, I'm reading that the Vanos issues are related to noise and not mechanical issues? My car has the rattle at start for a few seconds, the quits, everything is quiet after that. Wonder if I could get that fixed under CPO? Since I recently purchased the car?
The Vanos noises of both kinds are mechanical noises. According to BMW the noises as such are not indicating an increased potential for failure. Vanoses, both quit and noisy ones, are sensitive.

If your car just rattles at start, you shuld be happy, and not let them touch the Vanos rotating parts. If your car is November 2000 or earlier, get the Vanos oil pressure accumulator installed, if that has not been done yet.

If there already is an accumulator, see the post below.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #6
boostmiser said:
I just started getting a noise: It only happens on the first turnover in the morning. It lasts about two seconds. If I shut off then restart, it doesn't happen. It also doesn't happen any other times in the day. Just the first start of the morning. Vanos?
If a 2002 M5 rattles for a few seconds only when started cold, I would definitely suspect the Vanos. If you only get Vanos noise at cold startup, you should be happy.

Function of the Vanos ***************

The Vanos units each handle two camshafts, one intake and one exhaust.
Each Vanos has an oil pump producing 100 bar hydraulic pressure.
Each Vanos has four magnetic valves controlling the flow of pressurized oil into and out of cylinders moving piston back and forth. One piston for each camshaft. The pistons move a shaft which has one part with staright splines, and one part with helical (twisted) splines back and forth inside a sprocketwheel and inside the camshaft respectively. The shaft connects the rotation of the sprocket-wheel with the rotation of the camshaft. The sprocket wheels, one for each camshaft, are driven by the cam chains, and are thus driven from the crankshaft.

Vanos High-Pressure oil circuit ******************

The Vanos pumps are fed the engine oil, and the high-pressure sides are tied together with a reinforced hoose. When the engine is switched off, the magnetic valves are closed, and the 100 bar oil pressure is still kept until the next start.

In theory... in reality the oil leaks by the magnetic valves and the pressure drops in hours or days.

In cars with the oil pressure accumulator installed (from fatcory since December 2000), the pressure accumulator contains compressed gas, a piston separating the gas from the oil, and oil under pressure and a shutoff valve. This valve is open when the engine runs, and keeps a reserve of pressurized oil to release into the Vanos high-pressure oil circuit at startup, thus preventing startup Vanos rattle.

Cautions **************

As the Vanos units keep the oil pressure up for a long time, do not ever under any circumstances do anything to the Vanos units in your car yourself.
100 bar oil pressure is insanely much. It can easily cut straigh through your arm. 100 bar is the same pressure as what you have at a depth of 1000 m (3000 ft) of water.

If it rattles at startup anyway ? ***************

Possible faults:

1. No oil pressure accumulator installed.
2. No electrical signal to the shutoff valve in the accumulator.
3. Shutoff valve leaks or does not close at all.

If there is no noise when running, guard the actual Vanos units, and be happy. Fixing the oil pressure accumulator is not a problem.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pete said:
This is interesting. Last September I had right Vanos unit replaced with new one. After it was installed, both Vanos gears were rattling, no rattle when car was taken in by the way.

My tech called BMWNA and was told to install repair kit of 4 toothed shafts and updated springs for gears. After this I now again have no Vanos niose coming from the car at any time. This procedure was done to both Vanos units at that time.

Is this the repair kit you refer to?

It already had the "rattle at startup" issue addressed previously.

I cannot quote a cost because this and other work was done by BMW under some sort of goodwill gesture thing. The car had only 25K miles on it and was just 1.5 months out of warranty.
The kit with 4 toothed shafts and spring discs and spacer discs is what I talk of. When they install that kit, they have the option to and often do change the camsaft insets too, and the sprocket wheels. This gives a matched fit at both ends of the spline-shaft.

If you had a quiet Vanos (good fit at both ends on all four spline-shafts) and they replaced one Vanos unit without changing the camshaft insets, it is not improbable you could get more noise.

If they then followed up by upgrading all the spline-shafts and either got a good fit by good luck, or swapped all the abovementioned parts, the noise was gone.

Anyway, you should be grateful to your SA an mechanic for fixing it so well.

David

P.S. The fit can not be too tight. There has to be a bit of engine oil access for lubrication as the splined shafts must be free to slide about one inch back and forth into the camshaft insets and into the sprocket wheels.
 

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Can someone with the unfortunate vanos problem record it please? I attached a file of my engine sound on a cold start. I assume it sounds healthy, but it doesn't grawl the way I'd like it to.
 

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How can I get an oil accumulator installed, my car doesn't have one and definitly needs one and the SAs all keep telling me that I cannot have one installed even though I have a CPO warranty.
 

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Also want to 2nd the thanks for a great post. I've had a mixed history with the Vanos units (both replaced since I've had the car) and while I don't know if the accumulator has been installed, there is almost no rattle at startup. The only rattle I have is from the UUC aftermarket clutch at 1500 rpm! :M5launch:
 

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DavidS great post,

If I may rain in. When I bought my 05/00 beast it had the dreaded Vanos rattle on start up. When it was cold it started fine without the rattling, but on a hot start after sitting for about a half hour to a couple of hours it would rattle something terrible on start up. After the initial noise was gone it was pretty quiet although you could still hear the dieseling sound. I could live with that. I bought the Vanos accumulator upgrade kit from BMW (cost $550) and installed it. Took about 9.5hr (not bad for the first time out) and it certainly cured the rattling on start up. I had to send it to BMW to reflash the DME to make the electrical part of the accumlator work (cost $150). For you guys with cars without the upgrade it may be a worthwhile investment. BMW states that it doesn't hurt anything to let it rattle, but when you want to start the engine for someone (showing off <!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"/> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"/> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"/> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" alt="" style='width:11.25pt; height:11.25pt'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Joe/LOCALS~1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.gif" o:href="http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/images/smilies/mhihi.gif"/> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->:hihi:<!--[endif]-->) it doesn't sound pretty.




Joe


P.S. A few pics one of the accumlator and a couple of the job, sorry it wasn't clearer
 

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Discussion Starter #13
IMHO Vanos stuff is best left to pros. The reason for this is that it is very easy to hurt oneself very severly when doing the work, if the Vanos oil circuit is pressurized.

If you want to install the oil pressure accumulator, let the car sit for two days, and hope enough of the oil pressure has leaked past the magnetic valves. Then be really careful when you slowly loosen the hollow bolt that holds the hoose between the Vanos units in place.

A BMW dealer would simply connect some electronics that open the valves and release the pressure. Which is the safe way to do it. Unless a valve is stuck, but in that case there would have been a fault-code stored and they would have known in advance.

The pressure accumulator itself is a little bomb, so handle it like an egg.

Depending on when your car was built, you either will or will not have wiring in place for the accumulator shutof valve. If you need to put the wiring in place it is a little tricky but not impossible.

David
 

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icsfsedod said:
So basically, I'm reading that the Vanos issues are related to noise and not mechanical issues? My car has the rattle at start for a few seconds, the quits, everything is quiet after that. Wonder if I could get that fixed under CPO? Since I recently purchased the car?

Thanks for an excellent post.
Same as my car, dealer has to install VANOS ACCUMILATOR VALVE, and yes it covered under CPO warranty
 

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DavidS said:
Let me point out that 1998 was the first production year for european E39 M5s. Most quirks were fixed in 2000 when the E39 M5 was launched in the US.

What does Vanos do? ****************************

The Vanos units change the timing reationship between crankshaft and the four separate camshafts. This directly controls valve timing both on intake and exhaust. This is what gives the wonderful flat torque curve. This is what gives the wonderful full-load-high-RPM engine note. This is what makes an S62 engine an S62.

Two kinds of Vanos noise in the E39 M5 ****************

There are two kinds of Vanos noise.

The first kind is loud rattle only heard at startup and stops within a minute. This is fixed by installing the Vanos oil pressure accumulator.

The second kind is loud rattle (like an old Mercedes diesel) that gets worse the warmer the engine is. This calls for replacing parts of the Vanos units.

History of extended warranty *****************

There has been several fixes on the Vanos system. In the US, BMW initially denied any problems, but later after pressure from owners (many of whom are members of this board) issued free Vanos oil pressure accumulator coverage until December 2003 / 3 years / 100000 km .

History of fixes **********************

First of all, on cars built up to November 2000, get the Vanos oil pressure accumulator installed. This is a compressed gas oil pressure vessel and a shutoff valve that takes high pressure oil (200 Bar) from both Vanos hydraulic pumps while the engine is running and stores it until the nest enigine start. There is an electromagnetic shutoff valve that keeps the pressurized oil in the vessel when the engine is stopped.

(very neat design, much better than the electrical priming pump they used before)

The installation procedure (takes about 1 day for 1 mechanic) is described in Service Bulletin 11 01 01 (661) issued March 2001.
This warranty action expires December 2003 / 3 years / 100000 km, whichever happens first, so hurry up.

This should take care of all Vanos noises that disappear by themselves a few seconds after starting the engine.

Most Vanos units will still make a bit of noise. If the diesel-sounding Vanos noise (after warm-up) is more than you are willing to accept, or if it keeps getting worse the more miles you put on the meter, you need to get some parts inside the Vanos units replaced. To get this under warranty, you need to be kind to your SA.

(btw there is no such thing as a completely noiseless Vanos, but in the case of my car subjectively 75% of the noise disappeared)

The production-dates and engine-numbers below are from BMW Germany recomending replacment of certain Vanos parts on S62 engines in case of loud rattles.

On M5 built before mid-July 2000 (engine number 60232305): replace spline-shaft and spring discs.

Built after that, but before mid-September 2001 (engine number 60572609): replace just the spring discs.

Built after that: everything ok from the factory.

I´ve had both spline-shafts and spring discs replaced, (and the cogwheels the spline-shafts drive, as well as the spline inserts in the camshafts for good measure), and it reduced the noise a lot, but not completely.

It is 1.5 - 2 days work for two mechanics, one of which needs to have M training.

Also note, if you get this done the Vanos will sound awful for a few days or so, until all air that gets trapped inside is pushed out by the oil flow.
Then the sound gets very much better.

Vanos niose in the E60 M5 ***********************

The good news on Vanos noise aestetics is that the E60 M5 has horrible Vanos noise at idle, far worse than a non-upgraded E39 M5. I think this will bring Vanos noise into fashion as the "Sound of the M engine". ;-)

David
Excellent description very informative THANKS :cheers:
 

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DavidS said:
IMHO Vanos stuff is best left to pros. The reason for this is that it is very easy to hurt oneself very severly when doing the work, if the Vanos oil circuit is pressurized.

If you want to install the oil pressure accumulator, let the car sit for two days, and hope enough of the oil pressure has leaked past the magnetic valves. Then be really careful when you slowly loosen the hollow bolt that holds the hoose between the Vanos units in place.

A BMW dealer would simply connect some electronics that open the valves and release the pressure. Which is the safe way to do it. Unless a valve is stuck, but in that case there would have been a fault-code stored and they would have known in advance.

The pressure accumulator itself is a little bomb, so handle it like an egg.

Depending on when your car was built, you either will or will not have wiring in place for the accumulator shutof valve. If you need to put the wiring in place it is a little tricky but not impossible.

David
Correct David this is not a job for amateurs. Although as a pro I didn't think it was too difficult, just time consuming. The wiring took the most time to make it neat and tidy. I’ve done Rolls Royce brake systems. They are much more difficult, time consuming, and dangerous. Just thought people might want to see and hear from someone who did an upgrade.


Joe
 

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hudson said:
DavidS great post,

If I may rain in. When I bought my 05/00 beast it had the dreaded Vanos rattle on start up. When it was cold it started fine without the rattling, but on a hot start after sitting for about a half hour to a couple of hours it would rattle something terrible on start up. After the initial noise was gone it was pretty quiet although you could still hear the dieseling sound. I could live with that. I bought the Vanos accumulator upgrade kit from BMW (cost $550) and installed it. Took about 9.5hr (not bad for the first time out) and it certainly cured the rattling on start up. I had to send it to BMW to reflash the DME to make the electrical part of the accumlator work (cost $150). For you guys with cars without the upgrade it may be a worthwhile investment. BMW states that it doesn't hurt anything to let it rattle, but when you want to start the engine for someone (showing off <?xml:namespace prefix = v /><v:shapetype class=inlineimg id=_x0000_t75 title=\"Stick Out Tongue\" src="../ubb/tongue.gif" alt="" border="0" o:p</v:shapetype>referrelative="t" path="[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><V:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <?xml:namespace prefix = o /><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock><v:shape id=_x0000_i1025 style="WIDTH: 11.25pt; HEIGHT: 11.25pt" alt="" type="#_x0000_t75"><v:imagedata src="file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Joe/LOCALS~1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.gif" o:href="http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/images/smilies/mhihi.gif"></v:imagedata></v:shape><!--[if !vml]-->:hihi:<!--[endif]-->) it doesn't sound pretty.




Joe


P.S. A few pics one of the accumlator and a couple of the job, sorry it wasn't clearer
Is your car CPO?, that Vanos upgrade accumilator was covered under the CPO warranty for my car?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
hudson said:
Correct David this is not a job for amateurs. Although as a pro I didn't think it was too difficult, just time consuming. The wiring took the most time to make it neat and tidy. I’ve done Rolls Royce brake systems. They are much more difficult, time consuming, and dangerous. Just thought people might want to see and hear from someone who did an upgrade.


Joe
Joe,

Nice that you posted about the install! I just didn´t want any of us amateurs to hurt ourselves...

At 9.5 h you completed that job pretty fast.

BTW, while on the subject of safety, are there any other areas of the M5 would you recomend a mechanically confident DIY person to stay away from?

Curiosity: what is special about a RR brake system?

Best Regs,

David
 

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DavidS said:
Joe,

Nice that you posted about the install! I just didn´t want any of us amateurs to hurt ourselves...

At 9.5 h you completed that job pretty fast.

BTW, while on the subject of safety, are there any other areas of the M5 would you recomend a mechanically confident DIY person to stay away from?

Curiosity: what is special about a RR brake system?

Best Regs,

David
David your beginning post on the Vanos system is informative and accurate, which I believe is the foundation of a good technician. If you inform yourself, practice good safety, and arm yourself with a nice set of hand tools, a person with mechanical ability can do most of the maintenance and repairs required to keep your M5 in top running order. I use BMW's TIS program for most of my information and this message board is extremely helpful. Anybody who's working on their M5 should get one of these programs. You can find them on e-bay fairly cheap.

As far as the RR brake system some of its contents are two nitrogen filled accumulators with 1800psi rest pressure and 2500 to 2800psi running pressure to deal with first. They combine the brake system with the load leveling system to add to the mess. Off the top of my head it has 2 accumulator valves, 2 brake pedal valves, 2 rear leveling valves and 2 shock valves (some also have 2 front leveling valves), a maze of brake lines, 6 brake calipers, and you have to bleed it in a dozen or so spots. You know a hydraulic nightmare. <!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"/> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"/> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"/> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" alt="" style='width:22.5pt; height:22.5pt'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Joe/LOCALS~1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.gif" o:href="http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/images/smilies/bigcry.gif"/> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->:crying:<!--[endif]--> I think Rolls used some of their aviation technology on this baby. To rebuild an entire brake system would be about 15 to 20K. Ouch. :cheers:

Joe
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