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Tallicia Tallicia is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Car: E88
Exclamation VANOS or cam seals 2D54 2D60 2D61 - 04-26-2019, 05:09 PM

tl; dr right up front: Who can add info in determining a situation with VANOS adjuster gears or cam seals misbehaving?

1. VANOS gear assembly is failing/bad
2. cam o-ring seals are leaking
3. oil viscosity has become to low at temp
4. VANOS solenoid is leaking/bad
5. cam sensor is failing/bad

Here's some background.

I am getting 2D54 BMW code when I stop and restart the engine when the oil temp is over 210'F

Codes 2D60 and 2D61 will occasionally occur when the engine RPMs are under 2500rpm for roughly more than 30 seconds and it is over ambient 70'F and the oil temps are over 220'F. I've had a few times the past couple weeks where idling at a stop light and suddenly the engine surges as it goes into limp mode with 2d60 or 2d61.

Clearly something with the exhaust VANOS. Adjuster gear, or solenoid, or oil pressure, or cam sensor, or something else.

A dealership has supposedly done the recall for the VANOS bolts, but honestly I am highly skeptical. I've had so many issues with dealerships, I don't trust them not to cause more issues every time they are near a car. They left motor mount bolts out, numerous finger loose bolts on transmission to engine, intake ducts loose af, razor blades and tools on cabin filter tray, left goop/vaseline in electrical connectors. It's truly obscene, but that's another story.

The car runs good other than these 2 scenarios. Cold start in the morning, no issue at all. Driving when it's not "hot" and low rpm, is fine.

2D54 Variable camshaft timing control (VANOS), exhaust, cold start not controllable
2D60 VANOS, exhaust: control fault, camshaft stuck
2D61 VANOS, exhaust: Control fault, position not reached

Parts of the equation are as such:
1. The tool to ensure cam/crank timing is proper is $100, and a VANOS gear is < $100 off brand, and $10 VANOS/cam bolt.
2. The tool to remove the exhaust cam and exhaust cam upper and lower trays is almost $400, and the cam seals are under $30.

I installed new VANOS solenoids last fall. And I also reversed them initially to see if the issue would move to the intake, to test the solenoids. It stayed on the exhaust. That makes me think the solenoids are ok.

I can't find anything that really points to the cam sensor.

I also had an oil pressure sensor that was leaking through apparently and the plug was oily. I replaced that last night, hoping that might help some. but still the behavior is the same.

The temps make me think it's related to oil pressure and the cam seals. I am going to change the oil this weekend and see if this helps with the behavior. I was planning to do the OFH gaskets and bolts to be safe and clean the intake valves this weekend.

I need to monitor oil pressure to see what it looks like in this cases, but JB4 doesn't show this, so I'll have to see if MHD, or something can help me monitor this conveniently.

I recently replaced the valvetronic motor and eccentric shaft, and it was actually* not too bad. the intake retainer spring tool was fun to familiarize myself with and show those springs who runs the world. The eccentric shaft was probably fine. The bearings and movement was good, but while I was in there, went ahead and swapped it. the motor is likely the only thing that was truly needed. the worm gear and teeth were ok.

This is on a N55 10/10 build, UN73 E88 N55B30A, about 95k miles, a fair amount of fun usage, and idling too, though the top end looked great when in there last weekend, the intake valves were last walnut blasted 30k ago, and were quite yucky.

Has anyone else encountered something like this? Was it the VANOS gear adjuster or was it the cam seals? or maybe something else?

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Tallicia Tallicia is offline
Junior Member
Posts: 44
Join Date: Sep 2016
Car: E88
Default 05-02-2019, 05:28 PM

FWIW, I cleaned the solenoid valves, and went ahead and put an old bmw solenoid valve that I had on hand and put it in for the exhaust VANOS and so far no more codes. low idle, great low end torque and gas mileage again. Sometimes these solenoids need 1 or 2 tries/cleanings to make sure nothing is jamming them up.
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