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JayPee's kwality* moters......

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34 minutes ago, Split_Pin said:

Good stuff on the 316(officer), be good to see this out again.

The Polo in its classic Windae Cleaner/Roofer guise. The chap that used to clean our gutters had a red one of these for absolutely donkeys ages. Can't have been bad!

Aye, hoping to be out making noises soon! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The further investigations began with having to remove the Vanos unit from the car.  

First off, remove the 2 blanking covers from the unit


Which allows access to the lower 2 sprocket bolts on the exhaust cam. These 4 bolts were loosened, but not removed. 


Next up, is to depress the upper timing chain tensioner. So I briefly read it some Nietzsche.. Then held it down with a drill bit. 



It was then the turn (pun definitely intended) of the Vanos removal tool. Which fits neatly onto the exhaust sprocket. 



Once this has been test fitted, I removed the rest of the mounting hardware from the Vanos, when this has been done. The tool is put in and the sprocket (now loose) on the cam is rotated clockwise, this in turn, rotates the intake cam sprocket, which then, due to the helical gear set between the intake cam and vanos unit all comes together and pops the unit off! 


Here it is! You can see the gear, this is moved in and out, by the solenoid on the side, which diverts oil in or out of the chamber behind the gear.  This then advances/retards the intake cam timing, depending on the load on the engine (rev range) 

That was the easy part done... Next was to check the timing...... Wooop. 

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With the Vanos out the way, it was easy to access the cams. 


A better view of the helical gear that adjusts the timing


These 3 nuts were removed, and this revealed a couple of spacers and a large spring washer. Which, when extracted, allows you to see the way in which the Vanos works. 


The sprocket on the intake, sits freely and has its movement limited by the pegs on the end of the cam, as the Vanos is activated, the cam moves relative to the sprocket, however the exhaust and intake sprockets are static in their relation to each other. 

There are similar slots on the exhaust cam, although this is locked to the exhaust cam with the aforementioned 4 bolts. 

It became clear on closer inspection, that in my haste to get it back together after doing the head work. I made a couple of booboos. The pictures below hopefully will explain, but, in essence, the 2 sprockets should be aligned in such a way that, when the exhaust sprocket is clocked fully clockwise, the intake sprocket is also at the fullest extent of its travel to the right. 



Also woops


Thankfully, this is a fairly easy fix, and I will explain later. 

It was then time (#pundown) to remove the sprockets and investigate the timing of the exhaust cam and the crank. 

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With the sprockets off, the upper timing chain tensioner and the upper timing chain guide could be accessed, and removed (microfiber cloth used to block and dropped bolts from falling down the hole into the block) 



That allows access to the exhaust sprocket, which is driven by a chain on the crank, there a couple ways to check the timing, one is there is an arrow, that should point up, when at TDC (not 100% accurate in this application, as the engine sits at a slightly different angle in the e30, compared to the e36. Although it's as near as dammit). The other is the location of the bolt holes in the slots.


From here the exhaust sprocket can be waggled (Technically Speaking) off the exhaust cam to adjust the timing, now its time for booboo 2!

Again, in an earlier fit of haste/ignorance, I had lined this up, without the tensioner in.  Some Google research and YouTube video watching later, told me, that I had been a colossal clutz to do such a thing! 

It was recommended that a specialist BMW tool was used to set the correct pre load on the chain, however in my research I came across a creative solution! 

The tensioner on these engines has a spring inside, and is also regulated by oil pressure. The specialist tool, is a solid piece and puts an equivalent amount of tension on, as if the engine were running. The creative solution required a tensioner, luckily I had a spare, and a stack of small coins, also I had these. 


To provide a set amount of tension, the spring was removed and replaced by the non squishy coins. Giving the below


With the 'new' dummy tensioner installed just past finger right, the correct level of tension is applied. When the tension is in place, the sprockets moves anticlockwise on the cam, the bolt holes should line up roughly in the centre of the slots (depending on how old/stretched the chain is). The pic below isn't great, I know, however, it should hopefully show. 


Once I was happy with the alignment, the upper timing chain tensioner and guide were reinstalled. 

Next up, the joys of realigning the two front sprockets... 😂

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/2/2021 at 7:19 AM, Split_Pin said:

Crikey, you fair know these engines chap! A BMW 'specialist ' would probably charge towards 4 figures for that work, or, more likely, crap out of it altogether. 

Hah, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing... Aye, not cheap to farm out. Thankfully it's at the flat, so I can fanny about at my leisure. 

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On 4/2/2021 at 8:03 AM, Jim Bell said:


Cracking work and highly interesting man. Looking forward to seeing you get the sons of bitches correctly aligned. 

Cheers dude! 

Tune in next week for another exciting episode... 

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On 4/2/2021 at 9:36 AM, dome said:

Excellent work dude. These vanos units used to give people the fear. Good to see they are serviceable without resorting to witchcraft

Aye, I was one of those who used to have the fear... 

Still do, to an extent, but more aware of what is happening now. 

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3 hours ago, jaypee said:

Aye, I was one of those who used to have the fear... 

Still do, to an extent, but more aware of what is happening now. 

Rangeys is quiet for now, I've got you on speed dial in case that changes...

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Back to the BMW! 

The 2 upper sprockets were installed and they were almost aligned properly, so, a little fettling got them timed up nice, as seen below. 



Then it was time to locate the retaining plate onto the exhaust cam. This is put on and left loose to allow the intake to be advanced allowing the Vanos unit to be installed. 


With a bit of fidgeting, and some swearing the Vanos was installed, you need to be careful and ensure the unit catches as soon as you start pulling the exhaust cam back, otherwise you don't get the full range of motion. It was too difficult to get pics at this point. So here's it installed along with the main tensioner. 




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Next up was a couple of rotations of the engine to make sure it was all aligned OK. Timing locks were removed and the 22mm spanner was put on the crankshaft bolt. 3.2.1... No movement..... 3.2.1.... No movement.... OK @320touring, step aside, let the real muscles in to turn this over..... I step up.. 3.2.1.......No movement..... ARSES! The fear set in, I mean, we checked it all, it was timed up as it should be, see, the cams are at TDC.


Awwwwwwww..... Wait.... I think it might turn over of we take it out of gear.... 🤣😂🧐

Thankfully, once in neutral, it rolled over absolutely brilliantly, and after 2 rotations, everything was back to where it should be. 


Next was to put the top end back together. 


Vanos solenoid 


Rocker Cover 


Coil packs, ably installed by @320touring don't tell anyone, but he loves multi valve engines, no, really, he does! 


Cooling system back on too, a quick turn over on the key, with the fuel pump off yielded no horrible noises, which was nice. 

Time to roll it out and see if she'll fire. 

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44 minutes ago, Lacquer Peel said:

The top end of that engine looks densely packed. Good work chaps. 

Cheers dude, aye, a bit tight, but definitely workable, once you have a vague idea of what you are doing.... Maybe I will have that one day 😂

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Saturday also saw me complete the service on the Polo, by fitting the undertray.. To be honest, it is a bit worse for wear, however, I thought it might aid the fuel economy whilst doing the commute to ferry the merc to Mot, also, it got it out of the way in the garage. Only a couple of pics, one of the tray, and one of some expert level cable tie application. 



You can see in the first shot faither touring, who guided me on my first successful jaunt up a set of floor ramps. 😂

*edit, shot, not shit*

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