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E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
04-04-2012, 02:11 PM
Post: #1
E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
recently my double vanos was changed by my mechanic and the engine is now smooth and quiet however the 3.2 power is still not there and can not feel the vanos tickover at 2500rpm when pullling the car and is struggling at high revs.when i took the car for diagniosis, the intake camshaft position sensor came up and coolant sensor. my problem is that the mechanic told me my intake cam was slightly out and adjusted d the timing, sp can the fault be due to timing that is out or what? furthermore when the ignition is switched to on you can hear the vanos solenoids ticking without stopping as if they are advancing timing. the guy at the diagnosis told me they are two possibilities: 1.cam timing is way out and cant be corrected by advance or retard. 2. the cam position sensor is shot and giving wrong signsla to the vanos to adjust timing?? isthis possible? all inputs welcome
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04-04-2012, 02:20 PM
Post: #2
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
im not sure what your problem is but im glad your vanos is sorted Bluebiggrin i hope the cams were positioned properly when the vanos was done...

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04-04-2012, 02:45 PM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2012 02:49 PM by B16A4.)
Post: #3
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(04-04-2012 02:20 PM)moranor@axis Wrote:  im not sure what your problem is but im glad your vanos is sorted Bluebiggrin i hope the cams were positioned properly when the vanos was done...
im happy the noise is gone completely but not happy with the power though! im also leaning towards intake cam timing being out because the mechanic touched it saying it was out. however i was sceptical because he never used cam locking tools but then what could i say to an experienced mech. on another note i still am awaiting the rattle kit and seals so that i can fix the one that is out without pressure and have a spare, so keep pushing them! almost forgot do you perhaps have LCA poly bushes for the 3.2?
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04-04-2012, 02:55 PM
Post: #4
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
will let you know soon as the vanos kit is ready Bluebiggrin

i have powerflex LCAB at R 750 a pair they have a lifetime warrenty so you never have to worry about them again...

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04-04-2012, 03:14 PM
Post: #5
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
Ok i know this is a lil off topic here. But were the 3.2 m3 de tuned here in sunny south africa cuz i inported a 1999 m3 e36 coupe 3.2 6 speed euro spec and had constant detonation problems. Car only ran smooth with octane booster added. Also engen was un touched in terms of mods yet it seemed to be slightly quicker than my friends e46 m3.

Good condition e39 M5 = 200k
Some ascari A10 voodoo = 100k
The look on the face of a 2mill ferrari driver as u leave him in your tire smoke with 4 mates in the car... Priceless

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04-04-2012, 03:20 PM
Post: #6
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(04-04-2012 03:14 PM)Frany Wrote:  Ok i know this is a lil off topic here. But were the 3.2 m3 de tuned here in sunny south africa cuz i inported a 1999 m3 e36 coupe 3.2 6 speed euro spec and had constant detonation problems. Car only ran smooth with octane booster added. Also engen was un touched in terms of mods yet it seemed to be slightly quicker than my friends e46 m3.

i doubt you will ever get a real answer to that one with so many conspiracy theory's running around... if its a problem get it tuned or just keep using the octane boost Rollsmile

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04-04-2012, 04:23 PM
Post: #7
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(04-04-2012 03:20 PM)moranor@axis Wrote:  
(04-04-2012 03:14 PM)Frany Wrote:  Ok i know this is a lil off topic here. But were the 3.2 m3 de tuned here in sunny south africa cuz i inported a 1999 m3 e36 coupe 3.2 6 speed euro spec and had constant detonation problems. Car only ran smooth with octane booster added. Also engen was un touched in terms of mods yet it seemed to be slightly quicker than my friends e46 m3.

i doubt you will ever get a real answer to that one with so many conspiracy theory's running around... if its a problem get it tuned or just keep using the octane boost Rollsmile

Dont realy want to get it tuned or chiped keeping it as stock as posible. Doesent octane booster rewen your engen after a while ? Other than that was considering a head spacer to drop compression but that would take away performance. Can the standard ecu be remaped ?

Good condition e39 M5 = 200k
Some ascari A10 voodoo = 100k
The look on the face of a 2mill ferrari driver as u leave him in your tire smoke with 4 mates in the car... Priceless

Some things money cant buy for everything els theres the gift of the M5Rollsmile
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04-04-2012, 04:37 PM
Post: #8
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(04-04-2012 04:23 PM)Frany Wrote:  
(04-04-2012 03:20 PM)moranor@axis Wrote:  
(04-04-2012 03:14 PM)Frany Wrote:  Ok i know this is a lil off topic here. But were the 3.2 m3 de tuned here in sunny south africa cuz i inported a 1999 m3 e36 coupe 3.2 6 speed euro spec and had constant detonation problems. Car only ran smooth with octane booster added. Also engen was un touched in terms of mods yet it seemed to be slightly quicker than my friends e46 m3.

i doubt you will ever get a real answer to that one with so many conspiracy theory's running around... if its a problem get it tuned or just keep using the octane boost Rollsmile

Dont realy want to get it tuned or chiped keeping it as stock as posible. Doesent octane booster rewen your engen after a while ? Other than that was considering a head spacer to drop compression but that would take away performance. Can the standard ecu be remaped ?
at least you have one of the cars im planing to buy next. mysuggestion would be to get remap or chip inorder for your car to run right. some of my friends are running import motors which somehow feel stronger(butt dyno) so a proper tune is what you may need coz the differencein compression is not that great unless your engine had been opend before.
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04-04-2012, 04:37 PM
Post: #9
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
speak to chiplogic they are one of the sponsors on the forum and they know these cars well Bluebiggrin

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04-04-2012, 05:15 PM
Post: #10
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
I opend the moter to have a look see and replace the rings cuz one got damaged due to detonation got a used SA spec pod to compare and the cuts for the valves into the pod were 2mm deeper and crown was 1.5mm shalower than the sa speck pod. So not shure abt conrod size but i can imagen that would bump up C/R quite a bit. Had it on a dyno at redline tuning with octane boost pushed 329 hp. Factory spec was 321hp so i asume its prety much untouched (dyno was after ring and gasket change) milage is 87000 km at time of dyno.


Good condition e39 M5 = 200k
Some ascari A10 voodoo = 100k
The look on the face of a 2mill ferrari driver as u leave him in your tire smoke with 4 mates in the car... Priceless

Some things money cant buy for everything els theres the gift of the M5Rollsmile
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04-04-2012, 07:28 PM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2012 07:29 PM by calypso.)
Post: #11
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(04-04-2012 03:20 PM)moranor@axis Wrote:  
(04-04-2012 03:14 PM)Frany Wrote:  Ok i know this is a lil off topic here. But were the 3.2 m3 de tuned here in sunny south africa cuz i inported a 1999 m3 e36 coupe 3.2 6 speed euro spec and had constant detonation problems. Car only ran smooth with octane booster added. Also engen was un touched in terms of mods yet it seemed to be slightly quicker than my friends e46 m3.

i doubt you will ever get a real answer to that one with so many conspiracy theory's running around... if its a problem get it tuned or just keep using the octane boost Rollsmile

No conspiracy theory there. 3.2 were detuned from 321hp to 310.

"How does the South African-spec S50 B32 engine differ from that of the European-spec version?
Due to low-octane fuel requirements, the S50 B32 motors produced for South Africa utilize different pistons which result in a reduced compression ratio of 10.5:1. These engines produce 310 hp (DIN) at 7,400 rpm and 251 lb/ft of torque at 3,250 rpm."
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moranor@axis (04-04-2012), Xack (04-16-2012)
04-04-2012, 07:36 PM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2012 07:39 PM by moranor@axis.)
Post: #12
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(04-04-2012 07:28 PM)calypso Wrote:  
(04-04-2012 03:20 PM)moranor@axis Wrote:  
(04-04-2012 03:14 PM)Frany Wrote:  Ok i know this is a lil off topic here. But were the 3.2 m3 de tuned here in sunny south africa cuz i inported a 1999 m3 e36 coupe 3.2 6 speed euro spec and had constant detonation problems. Car only ran smooth with octane booster added. Also engen was un touched in terms of mods yet it seemed to be slightly quicker than my friends e46 m3.

i doubt you will ever get a real answer to that one with so many conspiracy theory's running around... if its a problem get it tuned or just keep using the octane boost Rollsmile

No conspiracy theory there. 3.2 were detuned from 321hp to 310.

"How does the South African-spec S50 B32 engine differ from that of the European-spec version?
Due to low-octane fuel requirements, the S50 B32 motors produced for South Africa utilize different pistons which result in a reduced compression ratio of 10.5:1. These engines produce 310 hp (DIN) at 7,400 rpm and 251 lb/ft of torque at 3,250 rpm."

thanks for the info thought there was some debate about it? seems to line up with what was said in this thread also Rollsmile

in that case tuning will do little to help and higher octane fuel is the best answer Bluebiggrin

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05-04-2012, 12:29 AM
Post: #13
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
Hmmm so my jungle juice wil just have to do or get a head spacer. Does octane boost damage a motor ?

Good condition e39 M5 = 200k
Some ascari A10 voodoo = 100k
The look on the face of a 2mill ferrari driver as u leave him in your tire smoke with 4 mates in the car... Priceless

Some things money cant buy for everything els theres the gift of the M5Rollsmile
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05-04-2012, 09:43 AM
Post: #14
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
you could fit water injection will be cheaper to run and it will help your cooling system will do less work... you will also get a slight increase in performance because of the air cooling effect Rollsmile

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11-04-2012, 07:40 PM
Post: #15
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
there are two different versions of the 3.2 that landed here one 225kw(305hp) and the other 236kw (321hp)
(i stand to be corrected) but im sure the late 98 models came 321hpand according to M3forum.net the 321hp is Euro
Hope this helps

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11-04-2012, 07:55 PM
Post: #16
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(04-04-2012 02:11 PM)B16A4 Wrote:  recently my double vanos was changed by my mechanic and the engine is now smooth and quiet however the 3.2 power is still not there and can not feel the vanos tickover at 2500rpm when pullling the car and is struggling at high revs.when i took the car for diagniosis, the intake camshaft position sensor came up and coolant sensor. my problem is that the mechanic told me my intake cam was slightly out and adjusted d the timing, sp can the fault be due to timing that is out or what? furthermore when the ignition is switched to on you can hear the vanos solenoids ticking without stopping as if they are advancing timing. the guy at the diagnosis told me they are two possibilities: 1.cam timing is way out and cant be corrected by advance or retard. 2. the cam position sensor is shot and giving wrong signsla to the vanos to adjust timing?? isthis possible? all inputs welcome

Have you cleared the faults and seen what errors come back? If the intake cam sensor comes back with a fault, well, it's kind of important that it doesn't. It's either a sensor fault or it's a timing fault, which would be pretty clear from the code you get. The guy at the diagnosis is correct. Additionally if you're having a coolant sensor fault, depending on what it's doing (let's say it's putting out values that are too low), your ECU won't give VANOS the green light since it assumes your engine's cold.

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11-04-2012, 09:15 PM
Post: #17
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
...so a Euro-spec S50 won't even run properly on 95 unleaded????
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11-04-2012, 09:22 PM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2012 09:26 PM by B16A4.)
Post: #18
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(11-04-2012 07:55 PM)Major Wrote:  
(04-04-2012 02:11 PM)B16A4 Wrote:  recently my double vanos was changed by my mechanic and the engine is now smooth and quiet however the 3.2 power is still not there and can not feel the vanos tickover at 2500rpm when pullling the car and is struggling at high revs.when i took the car for diagniosis, the intake camshaft position sensor came up and coolant sensor. my problem is that the mechanic told me my intake cam was slightly out and adjusted d the timing, sp can the fault be due to timing that is out or what? furthermore when the ignition is switched to on you can hear the vanos solenoids ticking without stopping as if they are advancing timing. the guy at the diagnosis told me they are two possibilities: 1.cam timing is way out and cant be corrected by advance or retard. 2. the cam position sensor is shot and giving wrong signsla to the vanos to adjust timing?? isthis possible? all inputs welcome

Have you cleared the faults and seen what errors come back? If the intake cam sensor comes back with a fault, well, it's kind of important that it doesn't. It's either a sensor fault or it's a timing fault, which would be pretty clear from the code you get. The guy at the diagnosis is correct. Additionally if you're having a coolant sensor fault, depending on what it's doing (let's say it's putting out values that are too low), your ECU won't give VANOS the green light since it assumes your engine's cold.
your point is very valid man. i gues i should start with the coolant sensor first before buying the cam sensor. im sorry guys will update my sig about my cars now its a local `97 4 door sedan. most probally i would lean towards coolant sensor then timing before buying the cam sensor because from my understanding it shouldnot start if intake cam sensor is dead! can the temp sensor be faulty if the temp gauge inside the car is reading normally??
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11-04-2012, 09:43 PM
Post: #19
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
(11-04-2012 09:22 PM)B16A4 Wrote:  most probally i would lean towards coolant sensor then timing before buying the cam sensor because from my understanding it shouldnot start if intake cam sensor is dead! can the temp sensor be faulty if the temp gauge inside the car is reading normally??

If your cam sensor is throwing out faults it's a definite concern if your performance is down. Don't just replace the sensors because they're putting out errors, they're not necessarily faulty but reporting a problem with the engine. You don't replace the messenger if they're telling you something valid, the new sensor will tell you the same thing. Unless you're absolutely certain that timing is correct you should take what the readout from the cam sensor is telling you and go from there with your mechanic. If your intake cam sensor was unplugged (let alone faulty) your car would still start if I'm not mistaken, it just wouldn't be happy with you whatsoever and would probably have issues revving up, VANOS would certainly not engage.

Your temp gauge in the car would read normally unless the coolant sensor was completely stuffed or unplugged, your EMS is far more sensitive to swings in coolant temperature than a temperature gauge. I believe the middle of the coolant gauge has something like a 20 degree celcius or something window where it won't change at all from centre.

Don't just change the sensors because they're reporting a fault. If you get the faults cleared, go for a drive, and come back and you have new faults, make sure they aren't valid before you go changing sensors. Your coolant sensor fault may have been a one time thing from years ago. Considering your mechanic did a VANOS overhaul and now you have problems, there's obviously something wrong with what he did, or he's putting some new problems into your car for some return business. Lekker.

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11-04-2012, 09:54 PM
Post: #20
RE: E36 M3 3.2 vanos or cam position sensor
thanks a lot Major about not shooting the messenger. im gonna take your advice up to my mechie. i dont know what made me so dom not to drive and clear the codes and go back to re-check againBangdeskBangdesk


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