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  1. #1
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    Installing camshafts: which timing/alignment toolset?

    I'm planning to install schrick FI cams and while i'm at it also refurbish the vanos (seals+anti rattle).
    But I'm a bit confused which timing/alignment toolset I should buy. On ebay (germany) I found 2 affordable sets, the one a bit more complete/expensive than the other, but I don't know if the cheap one will do.
    It's the choice between these two:
    Click here to enlarge
    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...m=170865417269

    and:
    Click here to enlarge
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/Motor-Einstel...-/170909445234

    For the first set I can not see how the inner splined wheels are held back (and keep the cams locked in place), normally done by bmw special tool 11 6 150 (although the description says that it will).
    So my question is: will the smaller set do or do I have to get the larger set? (or even another set?)

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    This is @PEI330Ci's area of expertise.

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    The smaller set has all you need.

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Agreed. The additional tools in the larger set are for M40 and M43

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    Ok, thanks, but something still isn't clear to me.
    The smaller set hasn't got the TDC pin (I guess I could make one)
    Click here to enlarge

    but it also hasn't got this tool:
    Click here to enlarge
    Which is used to block the cams in place like this I guess (picture from another manufacturer):

    Click here to enlarge

    The other long black bracket is used to set the splined inner gears like this:
    Click here to enlarge


    Or isn't it necessary to block the cams in place while placing the vanos or chainwheels etc?
    According to the Tis procedure you need to block the cams several times:
    http://audio.home.xs4all.nl/zooi/z4/nokkenas/M54.pdf
    (don't mind the language, it's a print made from my own TIS install; too bad that the spagetticoder TIS was forced offline Click here to enlarge)

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    Without examining the tool in person, I would say the larger set is what you want. Please keep in mind there are a number of tools included in that kit that are not for M54...so you are getting a few things "extra".

    Probably the most important tool is the plate the sets the position of the VANOS spline cups. (At the front of the engine)

    That price is pretty cheap...I think I spent $800 for my complete set for the M54 from Baum Tools.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge


    Of note: there is another alignment tool from TMS that I highly recommend to transfer the VANOS splines from your OEM cams to the Schrick cams. In fact, I would say this tool is mandatory...you can end up chasing your tail later if you don't get the spline position right when transferring.

    http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-11...ment-tool.aspx
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    That is an interesting tool from turner.
    I found your post on e46addicts where you explain the tool:
    http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=649653&page=8

    When I look at the helix gear in your post, I can see an indentation/mark (it aligns with the mids of the flatted spline) on the face that is mounted to the schrick cams. Isn't there a mark on the cams that alinges with that indentation?
    Maybe more fiddely to install but it saves the cost of this (one time use only) tool (probably $200 when it finally arrives here in europe incl. shipping and taxesClick here to enlarge)

    I see you used red locktite. What torque did you use to install the centerbolt?
    BMW TIS has no info on this subjectClick here to enlarge

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    In the small sets,the black bracket is usually the spline gear tool and cam locking tool all in one..
    Have seen it a few times.

    The locking pin you get for 10€ from schmiedmann.com or you use a drill.

    http://www.schmiedmann.fi/5_series/E...ge4.htm#paging

    There is also the other tools.

    I use these HCB tools very often and they are good quality.

    B-A1121 should be the whole set you need including everything.


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by S62R Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    In the small sets,the black bracket is usually the spline gear tool and cam locking tool all in one..
    Have seen it a few times.
    This confuses me, because you need to have the locking tool in place holding the cams, at the same time as using the VANOS helix cup alignment tool. How can it be both places at the same time? Are you referencing using this on an M54, or another engine?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GuidoK Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    When I look at the helix gear in your post, I can see an indentation/mark (it aligns with the mids of the flatted spline) on the face that is mounted to the schrick cams. Isn't there a mark on the cams that alinges with that indentation?
    Maybe more fiddely to install but it saves the cost of this (one time use only) tool (probably $200 when it finally arrives here in europe incl. shipping and taxesClick here to enlarge)

    I see you used red locktite. What torque did you use to install the centerbolt?
    BMW TIS has no info on this subjectClick here to enlarge
    I haven't found any markings that show the precise position of the VANOS helix.

    I understand about the cost of shipping and duties, pretty much everything I buy ends up costing me substantially more than it costs US consumers. In one case, I had a tool (Chassis rotisserie) that cost $1000 from the US manufacturer, and by the time it was delivered to my shop cost me just over $2000. Sure the TMS tool will cost you...but in my opinion it's just as important as the other tool set.

    The locking bolt torque value I got from testing the break-away torque on a number of OEM installations. I found this value to be between 50-60 ft/lbs, and I assemble everything dry. (Cleaned with brake clean)
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    if you don't get the spline position right when transferring.
    I've examened your topic on e46addicts a little closer, and I think there are timing marks on the first bearing cup holder of the camshaft that indicate where the cam-splined sprocket should align (with the middle of the missing spline/the stripe on the bottom). It's marked with the letter 'S' and an arrow.
    In your pictures it's visible on the intake cam side, but I can't see the exhaust side because the chainsprocket is blocking the view. Do you have another picture maybe that the first bearing cup holder of the exhaustside is in view so I can verify that it is marked too?
    Those pictures are a great helpClick here to enlarge

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I haven't found any markings that show the precise position of the VANOS helix.
    I mean these markings:

    Click here to enlarge

    Marking on the underside of the splinegear is in line with the middle of the missing spline

    Click here to enlarge
    Markings on the bearing cup holder which may indicate the splinegear rotation on TDC


    What is unclear to me is how your spline gears were out of alignment. Was this on the stock cams or on the schrick cams (I mean: I'm guessing you did not do the install of the spline gears in the first place (before the rotated out of alignment))
    Last edited by GuidoK; 02-07-2013 at 02:28 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GuidoK Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I mean these markings:

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im.../spline1-1.jpg

    Marking on the underside of the splinegear is in line with the middle of the missing spline

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im.../spline2-1.jpg
    Markings on the bearing cup holder which may indicate the splinegear rotation on TDC


    What is unclear to me is how your spline gears were out of alignment. Was this on the stock cams or on the schrick cams (I mean: I'm guessing you did not do the install of the spline gears in the first place (before the rotated out of alignment))
    Thanks for taking the time to explain the details with pictures.

    I will admit that I haven't considered how those marks line up before. Sure, I had seen the groove on the back of the helix gear...but I never looked beyond the face of the camshaft for markings to line it up with. Luckily, I have a completely stock assembled head at the shop (Spare I bought a few years ago) that I can easily check this on the next time I'm in. I will also look through some pictures to see if I have anything more useful for you....and higher resolution. (Most of my stuff is shot at 3500 pixels across, then cropped and resized down to 1000 pixels across)

    You are correct, I never did the initial helix gear install on the Schrick cams. What I believe caused the helix to move was a very fast rev'ing engine, where a lot of force was applied to the VANOS due to the rapid RPM change. (Both up and down) In this short video, there's a good example of what the engine rev'd like:



    After applying the loctite to the mating surface, I never had any further problems with the helix gear shifting.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Thanks for taking the time to explain the details with pictures.
    it's in my own best interest to get the best advice before beginning with the install Click here to enlarge

    Nice engine; revs and idles like a dragster Click here to enlarge. Probably a very lightweight flywheel and crank pulley?

    I'm not prepared to go that far with my engine; it still has to be able to cruise nicely through the alps in the summer on holiday's Click here to enlarge

    I think I'm going to buy the large cam tool set, and see how my helix gears are bolted on the stock cams (see if the markings work as I think they will), and I can decide later if I need the tms tool.
    I still have a lot to do though....headers (I've got a schmiedmann set which is intended for an E46 and needs adjustments to fit an E85), a whole load of poly suspension bushes.. and another car with a heater problem so the dash has to come of....
    It's going to be a busy winter...
    E85 Z4 3.0i | ESS TS2+ | Quaife ATB LSD | Custom Brembo BBK front/rear | Schrick cams | Schmiedmann headers/cats | Powerflex/strongflex/PSB PU bushings | Vibra-technics engine mounts | H&R anti rollbars

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GuidoK Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    it's in my own best interest to get the best advice before beginning with the install Click here to enlarge

    Nice engine; revs and idles like a dragster Click here to enlarge. Probably a very lightweight flywheel and crank pulley?

    I'm not prepared to go that far with my engine; it still has to be able to cruise nicely through the alps in the summer on holiday's Click here to enlarge

    I think I'm going to buy the large cam tool set, and see how my helix gears are bolted on the stock cams (see if the markings work as I think they will), and I can decide later if I need the tms tool.
    I still have a lot to do though....headers (I've got a schmiedmann set which is intended for an E46 and needs adjustments to fit an E85), a whole load of poly suspension bushes.. and another car with a heater problem so the dash has to come of....
    It's going to be a busy winter...
    I'm flying to Paris tomorrow...would you like me to hand-carry my helix alignment tool to be shipped inside the EU to you? When you are done, you can ship it back to Canada?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I'm flying to Paris tomorrow...would you like me to hand-carry my helix alignment tool to be shipped inside the EU to you? When you are done, you can ship it back to Canada?
    I don't know anyone else who does these things man.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I'm flying to Paris tomorrow...would you like me to hand-carry my helix alignment tool to be shipped inside the EU to you? When you are done, you can ship it back to Canada?
    That is a really nice offer, but I think I'm going to try it first by examening the markings on the gears.

    After all I have my stock cams on which I can check the markings and make my own markings if necessary. I now know what to look for and what to expect even If markings won't be present on my engine (make my own Click here to enlarge)
    But thanks for helping me Click here to enlarge
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This confuses me, because you need to have the locking tool in place holding the cams, at the same time as using the VANOS helix cup alignment tool. How can it be both places at the same time? Are you referencing using this on an M54, or another engine?

    You are right,I somehow did not think M54 specific.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by S62R Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    You are right,I somehow did not think M54 specific.
    No problem, the M54 is pretty much all I know. I would love to learn more from you on the S85s.....
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    No problem, the M54 is pretty much all I know. I would love to learn more from you on the S85s.....
    You got an Europe trip coming up again?

    I do not know that much about the M54,other than the few Vanos rebuilds and the rebuild on my wife's M54B30 I did...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I will admit that I haven't considered how those marks line up before. Sure, I had seen the groove on the back of the helix gear...but I never looked beyond the face of the camshaft for markings to line it up with.
    I've installed the Schrick cams and swapped the helix gears, and I discovered some interesting things.
    First of all: the front of the spline on the helix gear should be at TDC. This is how they were fitted on the original bmw cams.
    In the next pictures I support the back square fitting pieces on a table and you can clearly see that the front of the spline sits at TDC:
    Intake cam:
    Click here to enlarge
    I've marked the rear square fitting that rests on the table and the front of the helix cam
    From a more front up angle:
    Click here to enlarge
    The middle of the spline is exactly TDC (which has some logic to it from a designer point of view)

    Exhaust cam:
    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge
    Exactly the same.

    None of the marks line up with the S mark on the first bearing block; the bearing blocks are also tilted (intake compared to exhaust); they stand in a V shape:
    Click here to enlarge
    So what they mean is a mystery to me. They have a large oil feed line beneath them so maybe that's it (or something elxe).

    Secondly I figured out a way to align te helix gears with great precision by means of a very easy method using simple tools.
    If you fit the cams, and lock them at TDC with the holder that mounts on the back of the cams, both cams are at TDC and therefore exatly in line.

    Next you have to thighten the bolt that holds the helix gears on the cams just that much that you can still rotate the helix gears freely, but that you cant feel any play.

    Next I took a Knife/straight edge (don't know the correct US word), and put it on the front of the splines of the helix gears:
    Click here to enlarge
    Now you can feel with great precision if the teeth of both gears touch the straight edge. They will almost center themselves. And without any play of fitted gears on the front.
    After that you carefully tighten up the bolts. I torqued them at 70Nm.
    I measured the force that was needed to take them off (70Nm), and that corresponds pretty good with standard toque values for M10 12.9 bolts (mostly 65Nm recommended lubed). I didn't use any loctite on these bolts.

    It took a long time to install these cams because I had some mail transport issuesClick here to enlarge but my supplier solved that without any hassle.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GuidoK Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I've installed the Schrick cams and swapped the helix gears, and I discovered some interesting things.
    First of all: the front of the spline on the helix gear should be at TDC. This is how they were fitted on the original bmw cams.
    In the next pictures I support the back square fitting pieces on a table and you can clearly see that the front of the spline sits at TDC:
    Intake cam:
    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...amintdc1-1.jpg
    I've marked the rear square fitting that rests on the table and the front of the helix cam
    From a more front up angle:
    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...amintdc2-1.jpg
    The middle of the spline is exactly TDC (which has some logic to it from a designer point of view)

    Exhaust cam:
    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...mouttdc1-1.jpg

    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...mouttdc2-1.jpg
    Exactly the same.

    None of the marks line up with the S mark on the first bearing block; the bearing blocks are also tilted (intake compared to exhaust); they stand in a V shape:
    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...ringmark-1.jpg
    So what they mean is a mystery to me. They have a large oil feed line beneath them so maybe that's it (or something elxe).

    Secondly I figured out a way to align te helix gears with great precision by means of a very easy method using simple tools.
    If you fit the cams, and lock them at TDC with the holder that mounts on the back of the cams, both cams are at TDC and therefore exatly in line.

    Next you have to thighten the bolt that holds the helix gears on the cams just that much that you can still rotate the helix gears freely, but that you cant feel any play.

    Next I took a Knife/straight edge (don't know the correct US word), and put it on the front of the splines of the helix gears:
    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...hairline-1.jpg
    Now you can feel with great precision if the teeth of both gears touch the straight edge. They will almost center themselves. And without any play of fitted gears on the front.
    After that you carefully tighten up the bolts. I torqued them at 70Nm.
    I measured the force that was needed to take them off (70Nm), and that corresponds pretty good with standard toque values for M10 12.9 bolts (mostly 65Nm recommended lubed). I didn't use any loctite on these bolts.

    It took a long time to install these cams because I had some mail transport issuesClick here to enlarge but my supplier solved that without any hassle.
    This is gold.

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