G.A.S. BMW M54 CCV System Release Progress Updates

 

Rather than try to keep CCV progress updated on multiple BMW forums we have decided to post all progress updates here.

Update 01/13/2019

2nd production run CCVs have just been finished and assmebly of the kits will start this week. If you currently have a deposit on a kit you will be notified once your kit has been assembled and is ready to ship. Kits will be assmenbled and shipped in the order that the deposits were made.

Thank you everyone for your patience. I that know this release is way past due.

Update 11/05/2018

2nd production run CCVs have been in process for a while now. As is typical here, machine down time and contract customer work have put us behind again. We have everything machined except the three large pieces and they will start getting machined as soon as the current job finishes in our big CNC mill, which should be later this week.

I hate to put a date on it because I'm always wrong, but I would guess another three weeks before we could start assembling kits for shipment. I know that is a considerable delay from the first estimated shipping date. As always, we will happily refund anyone's deposit who does not feel like waiting. Just let us know via the contact page on the website.

Update 08/13/2018

I have sent out approximately thirty five e-mail requests to customers that have been in possession of the G.A.S. CCV kits for a least six months to get some product satisfaction feedback. I am happy to report that from the approximately twenty responses I have received so far, all but one gave ratings of ten in every category, and the other gave all eights. All customers also said that they would purchase the unit again, all reported the same or lower oil consumption compared to before the G.A.S. CCV install, and all but one said the install went smoothly using the online instructions.

Based on the feedback received I am scheduling production of the second run of CCV kits for sometime in early September, availability starting sometime in October. Pricing will be $479.00 and we will be taking pre-production deposits from now until production is finished or the number of deposits equals the number of production units. Kits will be shipped in the order that the deposits are received.

Check back here for further updates on production.

Update 07/01/2018

All of the first production run kits including the left over unclaimed deposits have shipped or have been spoken for. Since I have received very little feedback from first run customers (I guess that's good since no one has complained about anything) I am in the process of contacting as many of them as I can to get any feedback that may be helpful in making any changes to the second production run kits. Once I feel I have enough feedback I will start taking deposits for the second production run. The goal is to have all of the second production run parts machined by mid September.

I plan within the next two weeks to get CCV parts service kits listed on the website. The kits come with spare o-rings but eventually customers are going to want additional replacement o-rings or hardware.

Update 04/01/2018

All of the kits for the people that replied to my email and paid their balance due from the first production run have been shipped. I'm in the process of trying to contact the few people who put down deposits but never replied to my emails or money requests. Once that is finished I can get a final total of kits left that are available to sell. I have a waiting list of people wanting first crack at those leftover kits so I still think that all of the first run kits are still spoken for.

Update 02/25/2018

Everything currently paid for has been shipped out. I think there are about six kits left to be billed and assembled. So far I have two confirmed "back outs" and about five who I have never received a response from. Once the six remaining kits are shipped I will go back and make a final attempt to contact those who have not replied so that I can determined the total number of unclaimed kits and start contacting people on the waiting list.

Update 02/11/2018

The past week was a fairly normal week. The last of the eight kits that were prepped and assembled last week end went out on Friday. I managed get six more kits prepped, assembled and tested this week end and they will be out shipping this week.

Update 02/04/2018

The past two week were catastrophic for getting out CCV Kits. All my free time for the past two weeks has been devoted to closing the company books for the year, filling out quarter and end of year tax forms, W2s and 1099s. Now that most of that has been completed I was able to get to CCVs again and devoted the entire weekend to getting eight more kits prepped, assembled and tested. This means that anyone who has already paid the balance on their kit will see it arrive in the mail shortly. I have more completed kits now than what has been paid for so the next batch of money requests will go out Monday or Tuesday.

We are now down to about twelve kits left on the list that have not had money requests sent out for the balance due. Hopefully they will all be filled within the next two weeks and once that happens we will see how many kits are left from customers who did not respond to their emails or money requests. We will then make another attempt to contact them to see if they still want the kits or whether they can be sold to customers on the waiting list.

Update 01/14/2018

This past week was a tough week. I'm still dealing with the flu that I think has now turned into an upper respiratory infection. I came in every day last week but I wasn't able to handle my normal work load.

I was able to write and post the CCV oil change procedure and post it on the website which was a good thing. I didn't finish all of the eight CCV kits I was assembling until this weekend so a couple of them will still be shipping out Mon-Tue. The next batch of PayPal money requests that were scheduled for mid last week didn't go out until today. As usual all I can say is that I am doing the very best that I can and I am so sorry that this is taking this long.

Update 01/10/2018

I forgot to mention in my Sunday update that I completely redid the website's CCV installation instructions over the holidays. Even though I am behind on shipping kits I thought it more important to have thorough usable instruction available for those who are receiving the kits.

Update 01/07/2018

It's been a while since the last update. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays.

Kits are still being assembled and shipped. The holidays along with year end business responsibilities and some equipment purchases caused a big slow down in the number of kits prepped and assembled in the last two weeks. I jumped back into it this past weekend and got 8 more kits about 75% ready to ship. They will go out the first half of this week. That will catch me up with all of the paid for kits. Another batch of PayPal money requests for the next batch will go out around mid week as well.

Update 12/17/2017

This past week wasn't a very productive week for CCV kit prep and assembly. I only managed to do three kits. This was mostly due to family commitments on Saturday and because I spent most of Sunday redoing the instruction page. I wasn't happy with most of what was there so I ended up redoing about 75% of the instructions, including re-taking and editing 75% of the pictures. The new instructions will be up to the high caliber of our previous DIY instruction pages. The text portion is not yet finished so I haven't posted the update to the website yet. You should see that in the next day or two.

I'm caught up with shipping everything that has been paid for prior to this past weekend. I have not received responses to several of the money requests I sent out last week. If I don't receive them by the first part of this week I will start skipping over people and shipping kits to the next people in line.

Update 12/13/2017

Sorry for forgetting to update Sunday. Last week went the same as the week before since I was able to get 8 kits prepped, assembled and tested. Still not the goal of ten but at least a reasonable number. I will be sending out money requests Wednesday for the next batch of kits.

We had the first report this weekend about a fitment issue. A 2003 530i had something on the underside of the hood contacting the front corner of the CCV. I am still working with the customer to understand what is hitting and what the solution may be.

Update 12/03/2017

As updates go this one is better than most. The goal for this week was to prep, assemble and test 10 kits. I was able to do 8, which is less than the goal, but not what I had hoped. I now have all of the kits that have fully paid for either shipped or ready to ship. I will be sending out money requests first of the week for the next batch of kits.

Update 11/26/2017

I spent the weekend assembling CCV kits. This was the first batch that I assembled start to finish while timing the process. The few other kits that I have shipped were assembled in spurts here and there as I had time to work on them so I never got an actual idea of the time required per kit. What I originally thought in my head as about 45 minutes per kit turns out to be a little over two hours per kit. This means that five kits per weekend and one kit per week day for a total of ten kits per week is the estimated shipping rate.

My weekend schedule was to assemble five kits on Saturday along with catching up on accounting and updated the online CCV installation instructions on Sunday. Unfortunately I never got to updating the instruction page after spending 11 hours on CCV kits. I looks like Monday night will be instruction updating time. The current instructions are usable but as more people take possession of kits I want the instructions to be as concise as possible. It doesn't make sense to finish the instructions after everyone has received their kits.

I'm very happy with how the laminated CCV oil change instruction guide has turned out. It actually fits perfectly inside the OEM owners manual if anyone wants to keep it there.

Update 11/19/2017

I'm sorry as usual for the delayed updates but at least this time I can you that the CCV kits are shipping. How long it takes to get all of them shipped out will depend on the amount time I have available each day plus how many extra kits I can assemble on the weekend. If you haven't receive a PayPal request for payment of the balance yet, don't worry. I'm doing them in batches of five as I have them ready to ship.

Update 11/05/2017

I started sending out a few invoices for the balance due this evening. I would start shipping Monday 11/06 but a couple issues came up. While test assembling a kit this weekend I found one more part that never got machined and a different part that was incorrectly made. There was a dimensional change to the secondary oil separator drain back sleeve that was updated in CAD but was never reprogrammed for the CNC tool path, so we made 60 of them with the wrong dimensions. I got both of those parts run this weekend but I still need to finish the laminated instructions. New ETA is Tue or Wed to start shipping. Believe me, nobody wants this product out the door more than me since I've fallen behind on other critical business aspects while devoting 100% of my available time this project. Fortunately we are almost there.

Update 11/01/2017

I'm finally hoping to start shipping the first kits by the end of the week. I've got the top covers back from being anodized and the new style "one piece" diaphragm support plate is finished and has been installed in my daily driver to verify it functions the same as the previous version. Now that the parts are finished I can take pictures for, and put together, the laminated CCV instructions for the glove box. I also need to design and program the text to be laser etched on the top covers.

Update 10/22/2017

I will start with my usual apology for missing another projected completion date. I cannot apologize though for the effort put in to try to meet those projections. The past six weeks have been twelve hour days Mon-Fri and ten hour days on Sat and Sun. The main problem has been that even though this is a full production run, it is the first full production run. That means that the machine programs are still being tweaked to maximize efficiency which means that I have to run most of the production myself since I do all of the machine programming.

Currently all but a very few parts have been machined and all but two of the purchased items are now in stock. (COMPLETED ITEMS) (PURCHASED ITEMS) The two missing purchased items have been shipped and are due in by Tue..

What is still left to do?

  1. There are still three parts left to machine. Two are very simple and quick items. The third is the vacuum regulator diaphragm support that is an updated item that has not yet been programmed. I am combining what were four separate parts that used to screw together into one part that will make the regulator easier to service.

  2. The website instruction page needs to be updated with more information, a tool list and torque specs. This will not delay the start of shipping because this can be completed during evenings once the kits start shipping.

  3. The laminated CCV service and maintenance instructions which are to be kept in the glove box need to be made. I need to wait until the CCVs are completely finished to take the pictures for the instructions because of the design change to the vacuum regulator diaphragm support. This should be a one day job.

  4. I think I'm going to have the top octagon shaped covers on the vacuum regulators anodized black. We need to either laser etch or engrave quite a bit of instructional information on the covers. Laser etching is much quicker and easier to read than engraving but it only shows up well on darker colors. The covers can be dropped off at the anodizers on Monday and will take 2-4 days depending on their schedule.

  5. The CCV kits need to be assembled. There is actually quite a bit of work involved since the fittings are pressed in with a locking agent and all the internal passages in the vacuum regulators need to be blended and deburred by hand with a porting tool. I would guess about 45 minutes each for prep and assembly. I will do them one at a time in the order that the deposits were placed and then ship them. That way they can start shipping sooner instead of waiting until all of the kits are assembled and then shipping them all at once. This will be a bonus to those that placed their orders early.

  6. I need to contact everyone who placed a deposit and send out the invoices for the balance due.

I won't make another estimated completion date since it seem to be pointless. All I will say is that I will do everything in my power get them finished as soon as possible. I guarantee you that nobody will be disappointed with the quality. It's 1:45am Monday morning as I'm writing this. I will probably think of more to add and update here again on Monday night.

Update 10/08/2017

First production run is still in progress and it looks like we might make the updated completion date. Proof of Progress. These pieces are by far the most time consuming to machine so even though there are quite a few small items yet to machine they all should go fairly quickly.

Testing of the "High Vacuum" version is ongoing and I have about 1400 miles accumulated so far.

Update 10/02/2017

First production run is still in progress and the completion date needs to be extended due to my underestimation of both the number of interruptions and the total machining time required. I apologize that I never took the time to do all the math to calculate the total machining time of all the components in the kit multiplied by the number of CCV kits in the production run, plus all of the machine set-up times. The new estimated completion date is approx 10/15.

Testing of the "High Vacuum" version is ongoing and I have about 1250 miles accumulated so far. It's still to early to tell but initial data indicates that there is some reduction in oil consumption using a higher crankcase vacuum. I'm going to keep testing on my daily driver and will probably add another couple of beta testers. For those interested, keep in mind that any high vacuum system will need to be run with a catch can rather than a direct return path to the oil sump.

Update 09/24/2017

First production run is in progress. It's too early to tell estimated completion date.

Testing of the "High Vacuum" version is ongoing and I have about 1050 miles accumulated so far. I will need to test for at least 1500 miles in order to see any possible oil consumption reduction.

Update 09/10/2017

First production started on Tuesday after the Labor Day weekend. I am estimating the production of the of the kits will take approximately three weeks.

Testing of the "High Vacuum" version is ongoing and I have about 750 miles accumulated so far. I will need to test for at least 1500 miles in order to see any possible oil consumption reduction.

Update 09/02/2017

We are ready to start production on Tuesday after the Labor Day weekend. We will continue to offer the pre-order deposits over the holiday weekend but Monday at midnight will be the deadline to get a guaranteed kit from the first production run. I am estimating the production of the of the kits will take approximately three weeks.

Update 08/22/2017

We are currently in the process of taking pre-order deposits for the first production run beginning 09/01/2017. I will be attempting to contact everyone who makes a pre-order deposit before the start of production in order to verify the fitment of the vehicle that they are ordering the CCV kit for and to make sure that there are no false expectations that could lead to an unsatisfied customer.

I have modified the system in my daily driver to run at 5 inHg of vacuum in order to test whether there is any reduction in oil consumption resulting from increasing the crankcase vacuum. I feel that 5 inHg is the maximum vacuum level that I would feel comfortable running long term. I will need to test for at least 1500 miles in order to see any possible oil consumption reduction. If there is no meaningful reduction then there is no reason to pursue a "High Vacuum" version of the kit. I will post again here once I have any results.

Update 07/30/2017

So far all of the feedback from the first five customer installs is positive. I am still waiting on one customer who has yet to install his kit. I have also received some good suggestions for changes and additions to the instruction page which I will implement shortly.

I think it is probably safe now to proceed with the first G.A.S. CCV Upgrade Kit production run. We are going to do something different with this product that we have never done before. We have an email list of BMW owners interested in our CCV replacement kit that includes more than 2000 email addresses collected over a three year period. We have over 300 received just since the CCV preproduction information was added to the website. Based on all of this we have no idea of how many kits to produce in our first production run. The kits are expensive and time consuming to produce so we don't want to make more or less than there is a demand for. We don't want to make 50 kits when there are 300 customers waiting to purchase, and we don't want to make 300 kits if there are only 50 customers waiting to purchase.

In order to make a production run that is representative of the current demand we are going to request a $35.00 down payment from anyone who wants a kit from the first production run. We will be taking deposits until Sept. 1, 2017 which is the date we plan on starting the first production run. We will start connecting people from the email list this weekend and will be adding a product to the store that will allow people to make the down payment.

Update 07/16/2017

The instruction page is now complete and is available for viewing from the 'DIY Instructions' menu.

We now have 5 kits out to customers and I am waiting for feedback on the installation difficulty and usability of the DIY instruction page.

I hope to finish another DIY page on the "Care and Maintenance of the G.A.S. CCV" within the next few days.

Update 06/19/2017

After a two week delay due to a major repair job on our large CNC lathe, and receiving and setting up a new piece of equipment, I am happy to report that the first ten pre-production G.A.S. CCV kits and now shipping.

Update 05/21/2017

The last major hurdle has been crossed for the release of the first ten CCV Kit's. This week I installed a G.A.S. CCV System into a customers 330i which was the first install of the system on a M54 engine in a vehicle. (330i install pic) Our CCV system was designed around a M54 engine on an engine stand and the test vehicle that we have been using for real world road testing for the past 9 months is a 528i with a M52 engine. Since the engine stand M54 that was used for CCV design and fitment had all of the accessories and electronics in place, I did not expect any fitment issues when installing the system on to a M54 engine in a vehicle. I am happy to report that the install went off with out a hitch and did not require the removal of the intake manifold or the OEM CCV Body. I'm glad the install was on a 3.0L in a 3 series since that combination has the least amount of room to work in the engine bay. This means that 2.5L and 5 series installs should be easier.

Unless you are upgrading to the "Cold Weather" dipstick tube (recommended) or wish to completely remove the OEM CCV this is a pretty easy installation. Replacing the dip stick tube adds a little more work, and if you are a picky person like myself, and you want to remove the old CCV entirely, than removal of the intake manifold will be required. Let me clarify what it means to not completely remove the OEM CCV unit. If DOES NOT mean that any portion of the OEM CCV will remain connected or functioning in any way. What it does mean is that the OEM CCV connection tubes are removed and only the unconnected CCV body remains attached to the underside of the intake manifold. The old CCV body is obviously not visible and leaving it attached to the underside of the manifold is not detrimental in any way. Not removing the old CCV body just makes the installation of the G.A.S. CCV system easier and doable for people who may not feel comfortable removing the manifold.

So what's left? The only fitment issue that I found was that the alignment bolt that secures the position of the bottom mounting plate needs the ability to have a small adjustment range. Since the bottom of the G.A.S. CCV system is mounted to the oil filter housing, and the top of the CCV needs to line up with the ports attached to the valve cover. BMW manufacturing and assembly variables of all of the engine components can stack up to cause the CCV positioning to vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle. I knew this would be a possibility going in and a design update allowing a small adjustment range to the mount has already been been modeled. The new parts required for the update are simple and should be completed this week. Once the updated parts are finished and the pictures I took during the install have been added to the in progress instruction page I will start sending out the first ten kits.

I would like to apologize again for the agonizingly slow progress of bring this product to market. My reputation for designing quality products that fit, do everything I advertise them to do, and are installable by anyone with fairly good mechanical skills, is more important to me than getting a product out quicker in interest of more profits. German Auto Solutions does not do any advertising because our happy customers do that for us. I would never want to jeopardise that.

Update 05/14/2017

The silicone diaphragms have all been completed and I started work on the instruction page using pictures from the M54 I have here on an engine stand. The only thing left is to perform a final test install into a local customer's car.

Update 05/07/2017

The installation tools have been completed. (Install tool pic1) (Install tool pic2) (Install tool pic3). The installation tool is required for installation of the CCV filter housing mounting platform. The Mounting platform screws in just like, and in place of, the OEM oil filter cap. The internal section of the assembly screws in but the mounting platform section remains stationary. Since there is virtually no way to get a good hand grip on the internal threaded section to screw it in, the tool shown will be included in the kit. The tool has the same size hex as the OEM filter cap that it replaces, so if you have a socket for the filter cap you are all set.

The silicone diaphragms mentioned in the previous update are not yet completed. The temporary trim die we made to cut out the first batch of diaphragms failed after cutting four diaphragms. We will send out the other six to be waterjet cut so that we don't cause any more delays. We will make a real production trim die to cut them once they go into full production. I hope to have more updates in a couple of days.

Update 04/30/2017

All of the machined parts for the new GAS CCV are finally finished (Finished Components) (Beginning Assembly) (Pretty new CCV's posing for a Photo Shoot) We are still waiting for a couple of the parts that make up our brush assembly to come in and we still need to stamp out the silicone vacuum diaphragms which we will complete this week. While assembling the CCVs I noticed that we have not yet machined the CCV mounting platform installation tools. There is very little to hold on to when installing the threaded CCV mounting platform into the stock oil filter housing so we will be including a custom tool to aid in that process. The tool design and machine programming are both finished so we should be able to knock out the tools this week as well.

Stay tuned to this page for further updates.