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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone. Here is my DIY: How To Remove And Install Cams Without Any Special Tools
Like I promised i was going to make a DIY, here it is.

Please save your jokes about my accent, English is not my first language, but I did my best.

<USE AT OWN RISK>

First thing that I want to mention BEFORE anyone reads what's below, is that I did not invent the wheel, if you know what I'm talking about. I didn't come up with this process; I simply made a video of what is described in the Pelican links. We all know that its easier to learn from a video , rather then stare at the pictures. I don't want to take any credit for those who actually came up with this idea.

In the videos below I will NOT show you how to remove simple things like VCG, Plugs, not even how to remove the timing chain. Here are the links on how to do that. Its VERY straight forward, BUT if you guys would like I could make another video covering all that.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tec...7-Head-Gasket/101-Projects-17-Head-Gasket.htm
This link^ shows you how to remove the VCG, Sprockets and the Timing chain.

The link below is what my video is based.
PLEASE read this link before viewing my video.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/E36-Camshaft-Removal/E36-camshaft-removal.htm
I apologize for the vid quality, also my camera's batteries died and I had to use my phone.
First Step:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8wlBhfhbDk
Step 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUD9V4S6BbA
Step 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFs2aKr0tb0
Step 4:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi32A3QDyV4
TIP: Camshaft bearing caps should be tightened to 11 ft-lb !
Another TIP: ONLY turn the motor Clockwise, NEVER EVER turn it counter-clockwise , whatever you do. Why? There is a BIG possibility that your timing chain can slip off of you crank, and to get it back on you'll have to take the whole motor apart, well almost.

I hope I saved someone some cash by doing this themselves and also helped learn about your car, because if you go to a shop they will charge you between 800-1500 USD for this job, and it could all be done BY YOU in less then 5 hours MAX.

cams, camshafts, motor, engine, lobes, intake, exhaust, cylinder, piston, head, block, schrick, performance
 

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:bow:

i will need this one day
thanks

o and yea videos are way easier to learn from :clap:
 

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WOW! great job!!! this is exact what I needed I will be doing this myself once I get my zhp cams, also don't worry about the accent I actually understand you better with it because my family is from the former yugoslavia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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...
Another TIP: ONLY turn the motor Clockwise, NEVER EVER turn it counter-clockwise , whatever you do. ...
Not that I need to do this job anytime soon, but one question: Clockwise facing the back of the car or clockwise facing the front of the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Blocked Out,
I didn't even know this was possible.
Thanks for sharing man.

You are filled with awesome!
Thanks.

:rofl: I had that same question. Clockwise facing the front of the car. :thumbup:
That is correct.

Facing the car and looking at the front of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i was about to attempt this diy, then i noticed your engine is out of your car and chilling on a table.
Ya, so?

The engine being inside or outside the car doesnt make any difference, only the ease of access.

The process still remains the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So how long will the install take me with basic tools? Also I'm a noob should I attempt it?

Sent from my MB200 using BimmerApp

To install new cams in your M54 should NOT take more then 3 hours for some one who did it at least a few times.

For someone who never done it , it might take around 6 hours (most time spent on setting up the timing) It took me 5 hours the first time I did it on my old BMW. It took me 5 hours because when I was following the write up on pelicanparts.com, I would skip steps when I shoud've followed everyone of them.

I can GUARANTEE if you simply follow the steps on pelicanparts.com(and using my video) you can NOT mess it up. It might take you some time but the write up on the site is so fool proof that anyone can do it.

How bad of a noob are you? If you cant change simple things like VCG, plugs, ET or oil, the I wouldn't recommend this DIY to you.
 

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To install new cams in your M54 should NOT take more then 3 hours for some one who did it at least a few times.

For someone who never done it , it might take around 6 hours (most time spent on setting up the timing) It took me 5 hours the first time I did it on my old BMW. It took me 5 hours because when I was following the write up on pelicanparts.com, I would skip steps when I shoud've followed everyone of them.

I can GUARANTEE if you simply follow the steps on pelicanparts.com(and using my video) you can NOT mess it up. It might take you some time but the write up on the site is so fool proof that anyone can do it.

How bad of a noob are you? If you cant change simple things like VCG, plugs, ET or oil, the I wouldn't recommend this DIY to you.
Haha, well this is what I have done on my car.. I can do plugs, oil, and ive seen the writeup for VCG, and I think I can do that when the time comes.
I've installed headers on my car aswell.
 

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Blocked Out, you're installation directions are miss-leading.

I would follow your DIY for removal, but the installation definitely needs special tools. You won't know the cam alignement is off until you start the engine and it runs like crap. This isn't an M52 engine. (I've set the VANOS timing on those as well)

You need to find some VANOS alignment tools before you start that engine up.


Edit: Using vice grips to turn the camshaft is not smart. Use a 22mm wrench on the middle of the cams....
 

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Nice write up. I would also not want to use vice grips all that much on anything I do. In addition some lubrication on the cam bearings would be helpful for engine startup. It would really suck to do all this work and spin or wipe a cam bearing because of a lack of lubrication.
Doing these types of overhauls or replacements are doable for a lot of us but one little silly misstep could mean doing it all over again. Take your time dot all the I's and cross all the T's.
Again great write up and I can't wait to see the finish.

T
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Blocked Out, you're installation directions are miss-leading.

I would follow your DIY for removal, but the installation definitely needs special tools. You won't know the cam alignement is off until you start the engine and it runs like crap. This isn't an M52 engine. (I've set the VANOS timing on those as well)

You need to find some VANOS alignment tools before you start that engine up.


Edit: Using vice grips to turn the camshaft is not smart. Use a 22mm wrench on the middle of the cams....
Absolutely not necessary.

Sure you would know if its off or not, the link tell you how to check it. "ones everything is tightened, turn the motor 4-6 times and see if the head is at TDC when the block is at TDC", very simple.
All you need to do is make sure your cams and your block are TDC then install the vanos in a proper way that is described in the pelican link, spin the motor a few times, check and you are done. If the cams are NOT at TDC when the block is at TDC then you probably forgot to tighten the sprocket gear, do that and check again.

When I blew my old M54(at the dragstrip, which is in the other thread of mine) I followed the link on pelican from start to finish and I didnt use any special tools. My car ran perfect. Thats why I wanted to share this with everyone, because no matter who I told it, noone will believe me that I did it without any special tools. Well, I did it and the car ran perfect, so I made a video trying to explain how to actually do it.

That pelican link is of M52 double vanos(not a single vanos that you probably were referring to), which in a sense is almost identical to an M54.

22mm wrench definitely is a better idea.
 

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Absolutely not necessary.

Sure you would know if its off or not, the link tell you how to check it. "ones everything is tightened, turn the motor 4-6 times and see if the head is at TDC when the block is at TDC", very simple.
All you need to do is make sure your cams and your block are TDC then install the vanos in a proper way that is described in the pelican link, spin the motor a few times, check and you are done. If the cams are NOT at TDC when the block is at TDC then you probably forgot to tighten the sprocket gear, do that and check again.

When I blew my old M54(at the dragstrip, which is in the other thread of mine) I followed the link on pelican from start to finish and I didnt use any special tools. My car ran perfect. Thats why I wanted to share this with everyone, because no matter who I told it, noone will believe me that I did it without any special tools. Well, I did it and the car ran perfect, so I made a video trying to explain how to actually do it.

That pelican link is of M52 double vanos(not a single vanos that you probably were referring to), which in a sense is almost identical to an M54.

22mm wrench definitely is a better idea.
When my 264/248 Schrick cams were first installed on my 330Ci in 2005, the mechanic did the install without any special tools. The car ran fine afterwards.

I'm not doubting that you were successful without tools, I'm telling you, and other's that will listen, that I don't advise it.

My advice is free, my experience was not.
 
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