DIY: VANOS Solenoid Maintenance_Full DIY - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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VANOS Solenoid Maintenance_Full DIY

Hey everybody. I just did the VANOS solenoid O-ring replacement and solenoid clean / soldering two weeks ago. All the information is already on the board but I thought I would condense it into one simplified thread. Thank you to all members who contributed information that lead to the creation of this DIY. If you have anything major you think should be added (only the most necessary of things) let me know and I will add it.

11-36-7-830-828 x 8
11-36-7-830-829 x 8
11-36-1-406-838 x 2
12 V power source (8 D batteries in series with some breadboard wire works the best)
Compressed Air Can
6mm Allen Socket and Torque Wrench
Brake Cleaner
MAF Cleaner (or some other electrical contact cleaner)

Torque Specs:
Solenoid Screws - 16NM
Cover Bolts - 19NM

Time Allotted: Minimum 6 hours. I gave myself an entire evening to do this. I suggest you take your time, as these are expensive!
WHY TO REPAIR? Especially on older models, these O-rings will give out. Notice any oil leaks around the VANOS? VANOS timing seems off, engine sluggish?

1) Depressurize the coolant system by unscrewing the radiator overflow tank cap, wearing gloves of course! Remove airboxes and Intake hoses.
2) Using the 6mm Allen socket, back (halfway out) the 4 solenoid pre-tension set screws. IMPORTANT to do this first. You can get to all of the bolts by bending the radiator hose out of the way while you are wrenching.
3) Slightly loosen the 5 VANOS cover bolts with the 6mm allen, starting in the center and then working your way around the outside.
4) Remove all 5 VANOS cover bolts.
5) Place a rag underneath the VANOS to catch any residual oil drip from reaching the belts.
6) Remove the VANOS cover being careful with the wiring harness that attaches to the board.

7) Spray out the cover with brake cleaner, removing all oil residue.
8) Unplug the wiring harness from the clip and make sure it will easily come out when you pull the boards.

1) To pull the solenoids I used a wrench with as much 90 degree bend as I could find. It had teeth, which I covered with a layer of masking tape to avoid any major scratching.
2) Pull firmly and consistently while twisting about 20-30 degrees to loosen the solenoids. You will feel them pop when the o-rings slip. PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO posted by Vantaam5
3) Once all 4 solenoids have been been loosened from their force fit, carefully pull the board and wiring harness from the housing.
4) Spray out the housing with brake cleaner, covering all rubber belts with a towel.

1) Gently remove the VANOS board and harness. The only thing holding it in were the interference fits from the solenoid o-rings. Be careful not to twist the VANOS wiring that connects the board to the solenoids.
2) Place the VANOS on a flat work surface with ample room and spray lightly with electronics or MAF cleaner to remove oil.
3) Start to remove o-rings. If the o-rings still have some life left in them they will be tough to get off. I found it best to gently cut them with a hobby knife and pull with needle nose pliers till they ripped.


4) Remove the gauze filter holders. Plastic rings with ovular windows. Remove all residual gauze filter and spray the area with MAF cleaner.
The easiest way to remove them was to press a hobby knife in the underside of the ring and leverage it upwards. Most of the time they cracked and then were easy to pull off.

5) Now you want to actuate the valves and spray the inside with compressed air to expunge residual oil. In order to do this, and i found to be the easiest way, I went to radioshack and purchased 8 D batteries (8 x 1.5V=12V) and wired them in series with qty 2, 4 D battery holders. I then twisted the two grounds and two leads from the holders together. I bought a pack of breadboard circuit wire and tied one wire each to the ground and lead (power) wire.

6) Examine the wiring schematic attached to the end of this post by member gzig5. DOn't over think it, it's simple. Each solenoid has it's own lead (power) and two solenoids share a common ground. Press the ground (black) wire on either of the middle contacts (black arrow) and then actuate the two solenoids by attaching the power (red) lead to the contacts above and below it, seperate times of course. Spray inside the tiny valve once each is actuated. It makes a high pitched click sound.

7) If all solenoids actuated then the contacts are fine, but you should re-solder the connection between the board and solenoid anyway. If one doesnt actuate examine the tiny breadboard (suspended) that connects the VANOS board wires to the solenoid wires. Make sure the gaps are soldered well. If they are not, I recommend placing a small piece of wire (no insulation) in the gap and soldering over it.

1) Here comes the easy stuff.
2) Dip the o-rings in engine oil and replace the 8 that go one each board.
3) Carefully insert the board back in place by evenly inserting the solenoids into their slots in the housing. DO NOT PRESS IN YET.
4) Back out the solenoid pretension screws from the VANOS cover and spray the threads and cover holes with brake cleaner. Let dry and insert the screws halfway back in.
5) Make sure the harness is in the right orientation and the electrical connector is placed in the right area to be easily connected.
6) To press the VANOS solenoid board into place takes some force...As it should for a tight fit. To do this I recommend taking the VANOS solenoid cover and turning it backwards. Place the cover against the solenoids and press firmly and evenly on the cover to distribute the force across the solenoids. They should start to slide in and then pop into place.
7) Now place the replacement paper gasket on the face of the VANOS board housing.
8) Place the cover back in place, making sure that the rubber covering / gasket for the wiring harness is in the correct orientation on the with the VANOS cover.
9) Place all 5 solenoid screws in place and hand tighten as much as possible doing it evenly around the cover.
10) Bolt down the 5 cover screws per the torque spec listed above.
11) Torque down the pretension screws per the torque spec above. Make SURE to tighten them as straight as possible or they WILL jam in the threads.

1) Double check your work and make sure everything looks good and no missing parts laying around.
2) Start the engine. Don't be alarmed by initial rattle as it is the system re-pressurizing.
3) This should be it. Monitor the VANOS for the next few days to check for oil seepage.

I hope this helps out members looking for a one stop shop to doing this job. I had like 4 threads open when doing this. If you have any suggestions to add (that are NECESSARY only) please let me know and I will try and add them.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf VANOS Board Schematic (1).pdf (33.4 KB, 873 views)

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post #2 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 08:12 AM
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When removing the solenoids, it can be very hard to get them out. You should wiggle each one, and try to release a mm at a time. Dont pull one all lets ge way out then go to the next. When rotating them iniitially, make sure you FIRST roatte in a way that loosens the wires.

Using a vise grips to hold each, then with a large screwdriver, etc you can pry them up. This is more controlled then your muscles pulling (Which if it lets go can damage the board)

Once you collect up edits and comments, I can clean up the thread too.



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post #3 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 04:45 PM
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post #4 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 05:26 PM
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I was looking for a detailed step by step like this nice work!

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post #5 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 06:44 PM
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post #6 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 07:22 PM
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O ring size...please help

Ji Guy's

Does anyone give me the exact size of the O ring's on the solenoid?
I can buy viton here in my country, just in the shop they dont know the size what I nead. On the net a lot of talking about how good the new O rings...just no any valuable info abouth the size. (internal and outher diameter and how thin in mm).



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post #8 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruppy View Post
Ji Guy's

Does anyone give me the exact size of the O ring's on the solenoid?
I can buy viton here in my country, just in the shop they dont know the size what I nead. On the net a lot of talking about how good the new O rings...just no any valuable info abouth the size. (internal and outher diameter and how thin in mm).



The o-rings, at least the large ones, are not circular in cross section so I don't know if standard o-rings will work for that one.

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post #9 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 09:19 PM
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Post 30 on page 3 of 4, mentioned how they are a particular profile. This has been discussed several times before, but they're not just any old o-ring, they are a sort of 'D' section.

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post #10 of 229 Old 24th March 2012, 09:45 PM
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That's comes up as an invalid topic, is the link broken ?

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diy , o-ring , oil leak , solenoid , vanos

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