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BMW – Replace Intake Camshaft Position Sensor – M50, S50, M52, S52, M52TU, M54 6-Cylinder

November 11, 2010

This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.

car year: 1997
car model: 528i
How do I replace the camshaft position sensor?

The M52/S52 6-cylinder engine is used in the following models:

E36 3-series 323i, 323is, 323ic, 328i, 328is, 328ic, M3 – 1996 through 1999
E39 5-series 528i – 1997 through 1998

These engines have a single intake camshaft position sensor (no exhaust camshaft sensor). The sensor is mounted on the driver’s side (intake side) of the cylinder head, just in front of the intake manifold. Although the sensor is clearly visible, behind the VANOS control solenoid, you do need to remove a few items to gain full access to the sensor and its harness connection plug. The procedure below can also be generally applied to the intake camshaft sensor on the M50, S50, M52TU and M54 6-cylinder engines.

Intake camshaft position sensor removal:

* Remove the fuel injector rail trim cover.

* Remove the air filter housing and the MAF (Mass Air Flow sensor).

* Disconnect the electrical harness plug from the VANOS control solenoid and remove the solenoid (some oil will drain from the mounting hole).

* Remove the camshaft sensor, from the cylinder head.

* Follow the harness wire under the intake manifold to locate the harness plug. Disconnect any harness clips as well as the harness plug and remove the sensor.

* Install the new sensor.

The Bentley repair manual, for each specific chassis, addresses the full procedure and includes photos of the steps.

Bentley repair manuals:

Camshaft position sensors and cam parts:

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