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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gotta give credit to Rajaie and his team.

These new Vanos seals make a difference from the first mile. Very impressed!!

My car was beginning to feel sluggish and felt bogged down in the low rpms. 1st gear take offs were increasinly jerky and awkward to manage the clutch grab. I felt like a 16yo learning to drive again. This lack of performance was amplified with 90 degree plus days and when the AC was on.

At first I tried new plugs, new air filter, new fuel pump and filter, cleaned the MAF. Each made marginal improvements.

Last Saturday was a free day for me, so I tore into the Vanos seals. It took about four hours, but was time well spent. The old seals were obviously shot. The pistons felt loose and wobbly in the bores, they did not feel tight and precise at all. They moved very freely.

With the new seals, the pistons were a precise press fit into the bores and fit like they should, no slop.

The car has soooo much more down low torque now. I could literally drive all day long under 3k rpm, it does not bog down at all. First gear starts are now smooth and simple due to the restored torque.

As others have said, this is the best $60 I spent on the car. Allow about ~4 hours for the job.

If you haven't done this job yet, do it!!!! If you are local to Lancaster PA I will gladly help for a few bucks and beer.

Mark M
 

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my cars been bogging down...kind of like having hiccups when in like 3rd or 4th gear doing about 15 and I accelerate. Never happened before...sign of bad vanos seals?

I know at that speed I should be in 2nd gear but some times Im to lazy to switch. Like I said it didnt do it before. Normally it will gradually accelerate to speed instead of bogging down.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It really could be a number of things, so without checking your car it is hard to definitively say it is the Vanos seals.

Other things to check out on aging / high mileage e46s:

1. Clean MAF sensor
2. Check that DISA valve is functional and not broken
3. Check that intake boots are not torn allowing a vacuum leak. Classic tear is on the accordian that branches off to the ICV.
4. Fuel Filter
5. Aging Fuel pump not providing the full 50psi of pressure required.
6. Spark plugs
7. Vanos Seals

So without seeing your car and doing a comprehensive inspection, I can't with 100% certainly say the exact culprit. However from the articles online these seals are usually shot by 50k miles. BMW used inferior materials for the original seals.

On my car it really made a dramatic improvement in driveability!!! Kudos to Rajaie.
 

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my cars been bogging down...kind of like having hiccups when in like 3rd or 4th gear doing about 15 and I accelerate. Never happened before...sign of bad vanos seals?

I know at that speed I should be in 2nd gear but some times Im to lazy to switch. Like I said it didnt do it before. Normally it will gradually accelerate to speed instead of bogging down.
Bogging down in 4th gear at 15mph is normal. However, if it's "hiccuping", it might be your clutch that's going. How many miles on it and what do you mean by "hiccups"? Actually, nevermind, that's another thread to start.

I need to do my VANOS seals soon... Hopefully I can get them done before winter sets in and it's too fricken cold to do anything outside.
 

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I've been wanting to do this but I was going to buy a rebuilt unit since I wasn't completely comfortable tearing the VANOS itself apart. But since you're offering assistance... I may have to get in contact with you :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To the two PA boys, sure we can work something out. Perhaps some Saturday in September here at my place in the Lancaster area.

You'll need to buy the seal kit from Bessian Systems and also get a Valve Cover Gasket Set from the dealer and the Vanos gasket from the dealer. (or Tischer)

~4 hours time. Would $100 and some beer sound fair for the job?

Mark M
 

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To the two PA boys, sure we can work something out. Perhaps some Saturday in September here at my place in the Lancaster area.

You'll need to buy the seal kit from Bessian Systems and also get a Valve Cover Gasket Set from the dealer and the Vanos gasket from the dealer. (or Tischer)

~4 hours time. Would $100 and some beer sound fair for the job?

Mark M
Sure thing. I'll shoot you a PM towards the end of the month or so once I order everything.
 

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It really could be a number of things, so without checking your car it is hard to definitively say it is the Vanos seals.

Other things to check out on aging / high mileage e46s:

1. Clean MAF sensor
2. Check that DISA valve is functional and not broken
3. Check that intake boots are not torn allowing a vacuum leak. Classic tear is on the accordian that branches off to the ICV.
4. Fuel Filter
5. Aging Fuel pump not providing the full 50psi of pressure required.
6. Spark plugs
7. Vanos Seals

So without seeing your car and doing a comprehensive inspection, I can't with 100% certainly say the exact culprit. However from the articles online these seals are usually shot by 50k miles. BMW used inferior materials for the original seals.

On my car it really made a dramatic improvement in driveability!!! Kudos to Rajaie.
I swear to god I can tell a difference in acceleration on a full tank of gas vs. a nearly-empty one. Even with the extra weight of the fuel, my car feels faster when its full. I've wonder if it was my fuel pump. How big of a pain is it to replace?
 

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I swear to god I can tell a difference in acceleration on a full tank of gas vs. a nearly-empty one. Even with the extra weight of the fuel, my car feels faster when its full. I've wonder if it was my fuel pump. How big of a pain is it to replace?
Mine feels the same way. Same goes for my previous 2 cars also. Both of those cars had new fuel pumps also so maybe it's just something you and I are more sensitive to? :)
 

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Every E46 owner should man up and do this, its like $230 for all the parts, less if youre not ZHP and dont need the rattle mod.

It's super easy. The only thing is not nicking the vanos pistons upon seal removal.
 

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Every E46 owner should man up and do this, its like $230 for all the parts, less if youre not ZHP and dont need the rattle mod.

It's super easy. The only thing is not nicking the vanos pistons upon seal removal.
That's the part that concerns me. I'm fine taking it all apart up to that point.
 

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I've never touched the engine a day in my life as this is my first car, and im wondering if anyone in the Ny/nj area is willing to do the vanos seal solution for me, and possibly teach me how its done along the way. I really need to get this done, my car rattles like a motherf*cker every winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I swear to god I can tell a difference in acceleration on a full tank of gas vs. a nearly-empty one. Even with the extra weight of the fuel, my car feels faster when its full. I've wonder if it was my fuel pump. How big of a pain is it to replace?
Fuel Pump is super easy to replace. Make sure you have a half tank or less.

1. Yank out back seat bottom
2. Pull back insulation on right rear to expose the circular sheet metal cap. Remove the 4 screws fastening it on.
3. Disconnect pump fuel hose and wire harness.
4. Use a mallet and a large flat blade screw driver and tap the pump's retaining ring counter clockwise. Once it is free gently remove the pump and place in a waiting bucket.
5. Transfer the rubber O ring from the old pump to the new pump and install the new pump. Use a new hose clamp for the fuel line.

I did mine in 15 min.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Every E46 owner should man up and do this, its like $230 for all the parts, less if youre not ZHP and dont need the rattle mod.

It's super easy. The only thing is not nicking the vanos pistons upon seal removal.
I used 1200 grit polishing paper on the edge of the piston to insure any minute scoring from seal removal was butter smooth before reinstall.
 

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Fuel Pump is super easy to replace. Make sure you have a half tank or less.

1. Yank out back seat bottom
2. Pull back insulation on right rear to expose the circular sheet metal cap. Remove the 4 screws fastening it on.
3. Disconnect pump fuel hose and wire harness.
4. Use a mallet and a large flat blade screw driver and tap the pump's retaining ring counter clockwise. Once it is free gently remove the pump and place in a waiting bucket.
5. Transfer the rubber O ring from the old pump to the new pump and install the new pump. Use a new hose clamp for the fuel line.

I did mine in 15 min.
I'd buy a new o-ring for the fuel pump or you could be smelling gas in the cabin.
 
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