BMW VANOS Variable Nockenwellensteuerung

The BMW OHV (over head valve) V8 engine was the first V formation eight cylinder engine produced and manufactured by Bavaria Motoren Werke or BMW and was produced from 1954 to 1965. This engine was the only pushrod driven overhead valve configuration V-eight powered motor ever produced by the Bavarian factory. All subsequent BMW V8 engines would make use of a double overhead camshaft design as well as fuel injection to supply fuel.

VANOS is the abbreviation from the German language, Variable Nockenwellensteuerung or automobile variable valve timing technology. VANOS technology was first introduced in 1992 on BMW’s M50 engine used in the BMW 5 Series cars.

The VANOS cam system varies the timing of the valves by moving the position of the camshafts in relation to the crankshaft drive gear. This movement varies from a standard 6 degrees of advanced timing to 6 degrees of retarded camshaft timing for most V8 engines. 

VANOS is a combined hydraulic and mechanical camshaft control device managed by the car's engine management system or ECU. The VANOS timing system is based on a discrete adjustment mechanism that can change the position of the intake camshaft versus the crankshaft position. Double VANOS adds a smooth and continuous adjustability to the intake and exhaust cams thus opening and closing the valves in relation to the cam lobes.

The VANOS on all BMW engines operates on the intake camshaft in accordance with engine speed and accelerator pedal position. At the lower end of the engine RPM, the intake valves are opened later, which improves the idling quality. At moderate engine speeds, the intake valves open earlier which in turn boosts engine torque and allows exhaust gas to recirculate inside the combustion chambers accordingly. These gaseous movements drastically reduce fuel consumption and with and with the help of the exhausts catylitic converters the lower end of emission control is achieved and therefore at high engine speeds, intake valve opening is once again delayed, so that the engines full power can be developed.

Ultimately, VANOS significantly enhances emission management, increases output and torque, and offers better idling quality and fuel economy, giving the motorist and the environment the best of both worlds.

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