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Thread: Vanos problem

  1. #1
    DSC Off REG Z8 01's Avatar
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    Vanos problem

    I have a 2001 Z8 with 44,000 miles on it. My BMW dealer just told me that I need:

    Replace Vanos Unit Bank 1 (Missfire and Vanos Fault Bank1) and wants over $3,000 to do the work. Does this seem reasonable? Have their been recalls or service problems with Vanos on Z8's?

  2. #2
    Yes, cars 60001-60750 had a Vanos set up that was prone to failure, but I'd suggest replace the seals and sensors first. There was a seal kit released that helps solve the issues a few years back.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Team Z8 ZMates's Avatar
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    Have no fear, this probably isn't a 3000$ job.

    First check if the problem is really just the cam position sensors. These are going bad on all our cars about now. Can you check the error codes you're getting or ask the mechanic? Even if you can't, as Andrew suggested, replace these first since you will need to replace them soon anyway and there's a good chance this will solve the problem. It's a DIY job--screw in, screw out--kind of affair, but is a little complicated because it is hard to reach behind the engine and see what you are doing. There are other threads on the topic.

    Second, as Andrew also mentioned, if there is a problem with the Vanos, it's usually the solenoid. The solenoid is MUUUUUUCH easier to remove and repair or replace than the whole VANOS unit. Replacing the whole VANOS is a big job and definitely not DIY.

    Regarding Andrew's mention of the early cars having different VANOS designs. My understanding is that there were two design changes to the VANOS during the production run of the Z8:

    - In 12.2000 they added a valve to the oil circuit (outside the engine) that kept the VANOS under pressure while the engine is off. This prevents a rattle sound coming from the VANOS unit at startup. If you have an early car without the valve it is a fairly easy install because it is outside the engine, but not really necessary if you're not bothered by the noise.

    - Some time in late 2001 or early 2002, they changed the design of the spring inside the VANOS unit to a more robust design. The earlier design fails over time and you get the rattle sound. This time, though, it's not just at startup and installing the new design spring is a BIG job. This failure, though, seems to occur at high mileage (the instances I have heard about have been above 100k). At 7,000 miles currently, it's not something I am worried about.

    Neither of these design changes are related to error codes, though. They were made to address noise issues.

    Andrew, was there another design change I'm not aware of?
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  4. #4
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    Great synopsis.

    Thank you.
    .
    2000 Red over black
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  5. #5
    Team Z8 ZMates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Yes, cars 60001-60750 had a Vanos set up that was prone to failure, but I'd suggest replace the seals and sensors first. There was a seal kit released that helps solve the issues a few years back.
    Hi Andrew,

    If you are referring to the addition of the oil pressure valve, I think the numbers are off. The oil pressure valve was added in 12.2000. My car, 60508 produced in 12.2000, has the valve installed.
    Silver/black
    Dinan S2 package: headers, throttle bodies, oversized MAFs, airfilters, anti-roll bars, lightweight flywheel
    Dinan by Brembo brake kit and monoball control arm bushings
    BBS forged individual wheels
    Quaife differential, 3.64:1 final drive
    Meisterschaft GT titanium mufflers
    K&W 3 way adjustable competition monotube dampers and monoball adjustable mounts
    CDV delete

  6. #6
    That's good to know, I knew it was updated early on, but the number is approximate guess, based on your info here then only the first ~500 had the older style Vanos.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  7. #7
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    ZMates is correct. The first update, which was an important one, was done on any cars with a production date of 12/00 or later. Roughly, that starts with car number 60450.
    Marty

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