E39 M5 / Z8 Vanos
The 1999 - 2003 US and Euro E39 M5 and Z8 (S62) uses a dual vanos for each bank of cylinders making it a fairly complex system. While the vanos units themselves are quite reliable and should last the life of the car in most cases, the solenoids can cause various problems which can be mistaken for a vanos failure. While we do offer a rebuild service for the M5 vanos if needed, most vanos related issues can be addressed by simply repairing or replacing the solenoids. The next few tabs offer specific information for the most common M5 Vanos problems and how to address them. We highly recommend keeping a code reader in the glove box to easily troubleshoot any fault codes generated without the need to take it to the dealer. We can help diagnose fault codes for you and determine the best method for resolving the issue to save you from needless or expensive repairs.
Click the slides below for additional information...
There is NO need to touch the 4 set screws on the solenoid cover (if you have the style with set screws). These are preset at the factory and should never need to be adjusted or removed!
Sometimes the solenoids will practically fall out of their sockets and sometimes they will not budge. We don't recommend using pliers to remove the solenoids in most cases. There is a lip on each solenoid just under the rubber grommet that it sits in. You should be able to use a small flat blade screwdriver and gently pry each solenoid up, starting with the 2 lower solenoids, then the 2 upper solenoids. If they do not easily move, gently rotate the solenoid back and forth with a pair of pliers or channel locks to loosen them up being VERY CAREFUL not to break the wiring or damage the circuit board,then try prying them again with the screw driver. If they still refuse to budge you can try gently pulling/rocking them with pliers until they start to move. If this still does not work, install the solenoid cover and all 5 bolts but leave them slightly loose, leaving a ~2mm gap between the solenoid cover and the vanos unit. Start the engine for 3-4 seconds and this should force the solenoids loose using oil pressure inside the vanos. You may get some oil leakage so be prepared!
The common M5 'diesel rattle' can be attributed to the splined gears that fit at the back of the vanos, connecting the vanos to the cam gears. Each splined gear has a bearing assembly inside which allows it to spin freely with the camshaft. These bearing assemblies are designed with a very loose tolerance from the manufacturer, causing them to rattle or resonate at certain RPM's. At DrVanos we slightly modify these bearings to bring the tolerances much closer together for a tighter fit. By reducing the tolerances in the bearing assembly, the gears no longer resonate and the diesel rattling is reduced considerably. This is a permanent modification that will last the life of the car.
The removal and installation of the splined gears is a fairly complex procedure and not practical for the average DIY owner, but a qualified BMW technician should be able to replace the gears in a few hours. If you are interested in more information about reducing the rattle on your M5 please contact us for more information. We can supply rebuilt gears on a core exchange basis at a very reasonable price.
M5 Vanos Rebuild Service
Send us your M5 vanos units and we can rebuild them with all new Viton and teflon seals, new gaskets and lifetime solenoid O-rings. We can also test and replace any faulty solenoids if needed as well repairing damaged solenoid boards. Replacement solenoids are $400 each with the rebuild service.
Rebuild service starting at $300 each
Rebuilt M5 Vanos
If you need a rebuilt or replacement vanos we offer rebuilt vanos units complete with solenoids, ready to install.
$900 each plus a $400 refundable core depositView Cart
The M5 Vanos price includes a fully refundable $400 core deposit for your old vanos. You can return your old vanos to us using the supplied UPS return label in the box and we will refund your $400 core deposit to you within 1-2 business days for a net price of $900.
Solenoid Testing and Repair
Having solenoid issues? Send us your solenoid board and we can test and replace individual solenoids with a quality replacement saving you the cost of a full replacement pack. Call or email for more information.
$400.00 per individual solenoid
Send your solenoids to us at the address on our contact page. When sending your solenoids in for repair, please include your contact information in the box and we will contact you once they arrive.
The newer covers use a set screw to firmly hold each solenoid in it's piston bore, reducing vibration issues and prolonging the life of the solenoid. A great upgrade when doing the O-ring kit. Sold individually, price includes new cover gasket.
Price: $100 each
For those looking for a ready-to-install solution for the M5 'diesel rattling' noise we offer a rebuild service for the 4 splined gears. The gears are modified to reduce the diesel noise significantly both at startup and at idle.
Price: $300 + $300 refundable core deposit
|Optionally you can send us your gears for the rebuild service.|
Parts and Accessories...
O-Ring Upgrade Kit
These high quality O-Rings will last the life of the car and are a great preventative maintenance upgrade. The kit includes 16 O-Rings and 2 cover gaskets, enough for both sides.
Highly recommended for all model years.