Vanos noise and What to do about it - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 110 Old 5th June 2005, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
DavidS
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Vanos noise and What to do about it

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

2000 M5 LeMans blue/Silverstone sport interior, double glass windows, all options except alcantara ceiling and trailer. Michelin PS2 tyres.

How to test the MAFs yourself:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=54788

Some further useful threads and info:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=88323

Last edited by DavidS; 19th May 2006 at 04:39 AM.
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post #2 of 110 Old 5th June 2005, 08:26 PM
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

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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post #3 of 110 Old 5th June 2005, 08:30 PM
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

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.

2000 M5..."The Precious"...yup, the wife named it......Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner. LIBERTY is an armed lamb contesting the vote.
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post #4 of 110 Old 5th June 2005, 08:46 PM
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

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?

The Car: 2002 Alpine White ///M5 / Lemans Blue extended (sport) leather / aluminum trim
The Upgrades: Dinan Stg. 1 / Dinan RSB / TCD Sway Bar Brackets / UUC Evo III SSK / UUC DSSR / UUC Tranny mounts / MKIV Nav Unit / JL 500.1 Amp / JL 12w6v2 Sub
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post #5 of 110 Old 5th June 2005, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by icsfsedod
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

2000 M5 LeMans blue/Silverstone sport interior, double glass windows, all options except alcantara ceiling and trailer. Michelin PS2 tyres.

How to test the MAFs yourself:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=54788

Some further useful threads and info:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=88323
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post #6 of 110 Old 5th June 2005, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by boostmiser
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

2000 M5 LeMans blue/Silverstone sport interior, double glass windows, all options except alcantara ceiling and trailer. Michelin PS2 tyres.

How to test the MAFs yourself:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=54788

Some further useful threads and info:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=88323
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post #7 of 110 Old 5th June 2005, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
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.

2000 M5 LeMans blue/Silverstone sport interior, double glass windows, all options except alcantara ceiling and trailer. Michelin PS2 tyres.

How to test the MAFs yourself:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=54788

Some further useful threads and info:
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=88323
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post #8 of 110 Old 6th June 2005, 12:29 AM
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

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.
Attached Files
File Type: zip E39 M5 Startup.zip (326.9 KB, 1426 views)

Last edited by a_ok2me; 6th June 2005 at 03:18 AM.
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post #9 of 110 Old 6th June 2005, 03:12 AM
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

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.

Imola Red; Black/Silver Sport
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post #10 of 110 Old 6th June 2005, 04:57 AM
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Re: Vanos noise and What to do about it

Great post. Thanks for all the info!

2003 M5 / Jet Black / Silverstone / Supersprint
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