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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow BMW enthusiasts,

Bought my first BMW about 1 week ago, a '03 525i auto with the m54 engine,96k miles,this is my favourite BMW of all time, the car looks really well, almost no rust, few small dents, the interior in great shape, had all the common parts replaced, (Vanos seals and rattle kit, expansion tank and hoses, water pump, belts, oil filter housing gasket, Disa valves), the check engine light is off but when i scan it with the scanner it throws up the 2 errors, code 67 Vanos intake camshaft end position not reached and 68 Vanos exhaust camshaft end position not reached, have deleted the faults multiple times but they come back at the next restart. Now I have removed the intake solenoid and checked the piston and it runs smoothly, cleaned it anyway. Also on cold starts the idle is rough, and in general the engine doesn't idle smoothly, you can feel a bit of engine trepidation, in the low end rpm range(below 3k) it seems to miss power, and the fuel consumption seems quite high(20mpg on the motorway at 70mph and 16 mpg in town). Other then that the car drives well, mechanically the suspension elements are quite new on it.
Hope someone can help me narrow down what the issue can be, as what I suspect is either a bad timing, or the vanos seals were not installed correctly, although I would have suspected that other error codes would come up if thatbwould be the case.
 

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Something is definitely off. Unless you have a right foot wrapped in a lead diving boot I would expect a 525i to be turning in 30+ on a motorway and easily 20-25 in town.

One thing I would check is the crank case breather. If it hasn't been replaced it will definitely be due for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Snowblind, I will check the CCV, but the codes seem to relate to the vanos side, if there would be a faulty ccv system would it manifest in this way? Or if one solenoid is bad in this case the exhaust side, would it trigger the intake side code as well? As I have not managed to open the exhaust side as I can't get there easily so I would need either to get a vanos solenoid 32mm long socket or just take the fan and expansion tank off, and would not want to do that and find it works fine like the intake side. Or can it really be just the timing has jumped? The previous owner is very convinced that he didn't touch the timing while the vanos was off. Or can it be just a dodgy vanos repair? How would I be able to check whitout taking the thing off?
 

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Could well be the work done on the vanos was sub-par. Hard to say without opening the thing up. I wouldn't think the timing would be out unless the p/o is seriously hiding something.
There's the usual warnings about aftermarket sensors if these have been replaced. Buy OEM always. You should also check the wiring feeding the solenoids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Checked the wiring to the solenoid, there is voltage in it, 6.6v approx, cleaned the intake one again, what I did is I have disconnected the intake and the exhaust solenoids and ran it like that, there is no performance difference, same symptoms, just a different error code of course saying solenoid not activated or something, the only difference is that on the datastream where I check the positions when they are connected the actual and the requierd is the same, without them conected they have different values, but when they are connected the vales do not move either, I think they should move under acceleration so no real clue what could be wrong there. What I will do is order the timing kit from ebay, and the vanos seals kit, I really didn't want to open her up but I need to, and it is a pity as the previous owner already spent £150 on the seals and rattle kit last year(have the recipt from x8r), but if I'm opening it I might as well have the whole seals re done again, plus it is still losing a bit of oil from the rocker cover, nothing massive but I can see a few drops dripping from the exhaust side front end. Regarding the ccv, not sure if that has been replaced but it does not seem to lose vacuum currently, so will not replace that yet, but out of curiosity what would a service charge for that job?

Many thanks
 

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Replacing the crank case breather on one of those straight 6s can be quite an awkward job depending on how much (or how little) of all the peripheral kit you want to remove from the engine.
You can do it without having to take too much off but some of the work has to be done by sense of smell pretty much. You've got no visibility at certain points so you are entirely guided by feel and how you can visualize things as you work. If you are taking the top off for other work then it would make the task a lot simpler so it might not add to much to the cost if someone else is doing the work. It's been a while since I did one so I don't recall all the details other than that it took me a couple of hours and there was more than a little swearing and skinned knuckles involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In case someone will experience the same error messages, in my case the timing was off, so I have re-done the timing with and £80 timing tool kit for the m54 engine, and now it runs like a dream 😀, the power difference is huge and the engine runs so smoothly now. Also my mpg has improved quite a lot to an average of 25mpg mostly town and also a bit sporty driven to enjoy the new found power 😄 For the timing procedure I used this site https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e39-528i-lim/repair-manuals/11-engine/11-31-camshaft/EDCig1B and also Nathan's BMW Workshop videos for m54 timing, it took me around 10-12 hours over 2 days, because I was very cautious, I would probably do it now in around half that time as it is quite easy.
Cheers and have fun guys enjoying your Bimmers!
 
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