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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Cam Bearing Ledge Seal Failure? 2A98, 2A99



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      10-09-2020, 01:16 PM   #1
matteblue3er
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Cam Bearing Ledge Seal Failure? 2A98, 2A99

Hi guys I have faults 2A98 and 2A99 (camshaft correlation) that keep getting thrown on my N52. I have changed camshaft position sensors and vanos solenoids but the faults keep coming back and the vanos is in limp mode.

I occasionally get 2AAC which is an issue with the inner DISA but I'm not sure how this relates to the vanos faults above. I haven't checked the valve yet but when I had the manifold off a few weeks ago to replace my starter motor, the valve was stiff and I can currently actuate it via ISTA.

I also did an oil change and measure the oil that came out. Unfortunately my sensor was not working properly and was reporting full but I was 2 quarts low. When I would get the low oil warning, I would add a quart so its been 3 quarts low at times. Last oil change was 5k miles ago.

Initially on a cold start, there is a longer crank but it turnsover. After the first start, it doesn't hesitate to turnover but it is in vanos limp mode.

Running the motor with MAF unplugged doesn't change things.

Is there anything else you can suggest checking before removing the valve cover and inspecting the cam ledge bearing seals? I don't think the motor has jumped timing as it drives fine in limp mode. Part of me wants to try a new crankshaft sensor but I don't think that will solve it.

On an unrelated note, I do have to say the car sounds better when rev matching on downshifts now that it is using the throttle body for air flow control.

Mods: 330 N52, 3-stage manifold, MILVs, catless headers, StageFP Tune, Dinan Style CAI with K&N filter, charcoal filter delete and Rev Motoring Silicone Hose
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      10-10-2020, 05:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
Hi guys I have faults 2A98 and 2A99 (camshaft correlation) that keep getting thrown on my N52. I have changed camshaft position sensors and vanos solenoids but the faults keep coming back and the vanos is in limp mode.

I occasionally get 2AAC which is an issue with the inner DISA but I'm not sure how this relates to the vanos faults above. I haven't checked the valve yet but when I had the manifold off a few weeks ago to replace my starter motor, the valve was stiff and I can currently actuate it via ISTA.

I also did an oil change and measure the oil that came out. Unfortunately my sensor was not working properly and was reporting full but I was 2 quarts low. When I would get the low oil warning, I would add a quart so its been 3 quarts low at times. Last oil change was 5k miles ago.

Initially on a cold start, there is a longer crank but it turnsover. After the first start, it doesn't hesitate to turnover but it is in vanos limp mode.

Running the motor with MAF unplugged doesn't change things.

Is there anything else you can suggest checking before removing the valve cover and inspecting the cam ledge bearing seals? I don't think the motor has jumped timing as it drives fine in limp mode. Part of me wants to try a new crankshaft sensor but I don't think that will solve it.

On an unrelated note, I do have to say the car sounds better when rev matching on downshifts now that it is using the throttle body for air flow control.

Mods: 330 N52, 3-stage manifold, MILVs, catless headers, StageFP Tune, Dinan Style CAI with K&N filter, charcoal filter delete and Rev Motoring Silicone Hose
A few easy things to check are the VANOS filters/check valves for blockages. The oil has to pass through these before reaching the VANOS solenoids. If you search the forum you will find DIYs on removing/cleaning them.

The other simple thing you could check is the presence of the cage inside the oil filter cap. If this has accidentally been discarded it can cause low oil pressure, and hence VANOS faults.
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      10-10-2020, 09:19 AM   #3
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One thing you might check once the valve cover is off are the bolts securing the VANOS actuators to the cap sprockets. If those loosen up they will prevent the system from working and throw codes, induce rough running, etc
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      10-10-2020, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvaBmw View Post
A few easy things to check are the VANOS filters/check valves for blockages. The oil has to pass through these before reaching the VANOS solenoids. If you search the forum you will find DIYs on removing/cleaning them.

The other simple thing you could check is the presence of the cage inside the oil filter cap. If this has accidentally been discarded it can cause low oil pressure, and hence VANOS faults.
Thanks I forgot to mention I did check the non-return valves as well as the cage in the oil filter cap. I didn't clean the non-return valves or replace them since they looked very clean and didn't seem clogged or anything.

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Originally Posted by CDirks View Post
One thing you might check once the valve cover is off are the bolts securing the VANOS actuators to the cap sprockets. If those loosen up they will prevent the system from working and throw codes, induce rough running, etc
Thanks maybe that's it
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      10-10-2020, 04:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
Thanks I forgot to mention I did check the non-return valves as well as the cage in the oil filter cap. I didn't clean the non-return valves or replace them since they looked very clean and didn't seem clogged or anything.



Thanks maybe that's it
I think there maybe a recall for the VANOS bolts in the U.S? so it maybe covered by that. Can someone confirm?
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      10-10-2020, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvaBmw View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
Thanks I forgot to mention I did check the non-return valves as well as the cage in the oil filter cap. I didn't clean the non-return valves or replace them since they looked very clean and didn't seem clogged or anything.



Thanks maybe that's it
I think there maybe a recall for the VANOS bolts in the U.S? so it maybe covered by that. Can someone confirm?
Not a recall per se, but an extension I believe. If you exhibit the symptoms then it may be covered under a warranty extension.
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      10-10-2020, 10:38 PM   #7
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The recall only covers cars I believe from 2010 and up which have a different vanos unit. Have you tried running the vanos test on ista? I would check for any wiring issues before venturing under the cover but really a valve cover job shouldn't be more than some hours. Seals wearing out the bearing ledge isn't very common, specially in mid 08 and up cars.

Your disa valve could be stiff and still be junk. How fast does it actuate on inpa? Should be a quick plastic flap sound.
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      10-11-2020, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92William View Post
The recall only covers cars I believe from 2010 and up which have a different vanos unit. Have you tried running the vanos test on ista? I would check for any wiring issues before venturing under the cover but really a valve cover job shouldn't be more than some hours. Seals wearing out the bearing ledge isn't very common, specially in mid 08 and up cars.

Your disa valve could be stiff and still be junk. How fast does it actuate on inpa? Should be a quick plastic flap sound.
Yea I have a 2006 so I don't think I'm covered.

I did run the vanos tests and it has passed and failed on both; it keeps switching back and forth between pass fail on both intake/exhaust

The DISA flap does sound like it moves but I'm not 100% if its moving correctly.

It sounds like I need to open her up
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      10-11-2020, 11:18 AM   #9
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You could have a look. You've installed MILVs already so another trip under the valve cover won't be the hardest thing in the world. I've seen some sludged up really crusty cars in the junkyard that I opened the bearing ledges on out of curiosity and they didn't have any noticeable wear which is why I'm somewhat skeptical on this so called issue. I've also never had a disa that moved as good as a new one that threw a code but maybe you have a loose connection inside as the boards do have components falling/breaking off quite often which then dont make connection at times
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      03-20-2021, 05:18 PM   #10
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So finally got around to look into this and I don't think my ledge bearings are worn. I took off the intake side and while there are wear marks, I can't catch any lip with a pick tool. I didn't check the exhaust side but I'm pretty sure at this point my cam timing is off from the crank for some reason.

I have the timing set but just need to find some time again to open up the motor and check the timing.
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      03-20-2021, 08:53 PM   #11
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Those are good ish news, at least it didn't ruin the head. I wonder if it would be worth switching the cam seal to the newer Teflon one if it hasn't had issues with this one this far in. What kit did you buy? I'm looking fit one for my N52 project engine
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      03-20-2021, 08:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
So finally got around to look into this and I don't think my ledge bearings are worn. I took off the intake side and while there are wear marks, I can't catch any lip with a pick tool. I didn't check the exhaust side but I'm pretty sure at this point my cam timing is off from the crank for some reason.

I have the timing set but just need to find some time again to open up the motor and check the timing.
Interesting. I recall reading at least one case here where a cam gear had spun on the shaft making it out if time. Not common but not completely implausible.
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      03-25-2021, 01:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92William View Post
Those are good ish news, at least it didn't ruin the head. I wonder if it would be worth switching the cam seal to the newer Teflon one if it hasn't had issues with this one this far in. What kit did you buy? I'm looking fit one for my N52 project engine
Yes at least I don't need head replacement. I'm now wondering though if the vanos units themselves just went bad but I honestly hope the cams are just out of time

Do you mean the valve cover kit? I got the Corteco gasket from FCP Euro. Corteco is the OEM supplier so its the exact same product without the BMW mark up. Bolt kit is from Victor Reinz
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      03-26-2021, 10:46 PM   #14
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So my motor ended up being out of time. You can see in the photos both intake and exhaust cams were a few degrees out of time. The bolts holding the vanos adjusting units to the camshaft were tight when I broke them loose so I'm not sure why it was out of time.

Had to remove the intake manifold as well to access the flywheel TDC hole but she's back up and running, pulling stronger than ever. Was a bit worried my aftermarket LUK flywheel didn't have a TDC locking hole. I know LUK is the OEM supplier for some models but didn't recall seeing the hole there when I installed it last summer. Thank god it did!

One interesting I noticed this time around is that my vanos units don't have bolts on the back of the units. I originally inspected the front bolts but realized I inspected the wrong side.

I'm now wondering why it jumped timing though. One guess is that this occurred a few weeks before I started having vanos codes when I accidentally turned the motor in the wrong direction trying to roll start it. I stalled starting back up on a hill and my starter decided to go right then and there. So I put in first and attempted to roll start but I rolled downhill....But it seems odd I drove a few hundred miles without issue then all of a sudden at highway speed, I felt vanos limp mode kick in.
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      03-27-2021, 12:48 AM   #15
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Timing chains do stretch slightly over their service life, so that maybe an explanation for the timing being a bit out. Some other BMW engines like N45 N46 and N47 are really bad for stretched timing chains. Luckily the N52 chain is pretty robust but i would say it would still stretch slightly. I wish timing chains were double row units like they used to be. Those days are gone unfortunately.
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      03-27-2021, 01:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by EvaBmw View Post
I wish timing chains were double row units like they used to be. Those days are gone unfortunately.
Only for BMW - plenty of other manufacturers still use duplex chains. Cost cutting I suppose, though i guess it also saves space...
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      03-27-2021, 03:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvaBmw View Post
Timing chains do stretch slightly over their service life, so that maybe an explanation for the timing being a bit out. Some other BMW engines like N45 N46 and N47 are really bad for stretched timing chains. Luckily the N52 chain is pretty robust but i would say it would still stretch slightly. I wish timing chains were double row units like they used to be. Those days are gone unfortunately.
My chain isn't that old though. My timing chain set was replaced around 44k by the dealer for some unknown reason. At the time, the car was in for a cracked trans pan replacement so not sure why the timing set was inspected. I have 135k now
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