My 2007 R56 with only 49K has suffered from a timing chain failure.
This car had the cold morning start 'death rattle' just like everyone else described all over the various mini forums. This was not benign but eventually led to partial failure of the timing chain....
Symptoms to watch out for:
- Car has the original timing chain tensioner.
- Death rattle was taking slightly longer to disappear on startup.
- After driving for about 10 minutes death rattle started while idling at the light (i.e. this was not just after startup).
- It sounded exactly like the startup death rattle.
I purchased the car after leasing and is now 2 months out of warranty and the repair bills will not be honored by BMW - blaming a dented oil sump as causing oil starvation to the oil pump. So....
I either pay $2800 to replace the timing chain to find out if I need a new engine (timing was off by 9 degrees - anyone know if this is likely to cause valve damage? - didn't see any damage with the boroscope).
Or I try to replace the timing chain myself.
Your opinions are welcome - please let everyone know if you are a qualified mechanic or knowledgeable DIYer - as I am sure there will be many more people in this exact same situation as the R56s come off warranty and start losing their chains.
What I have discovered so far about changing the timing chain:
- Don't need to remove the engine but is very tight working space.
- Need to replace all sprockets not just the chain.
- Parts are not that expensive (around $500 ish on realoem)
- Will require specialized tools for alignment - available from Koch tools ($179)
- Very tight tolerances on the alignment and sprocket torque specs (as in - no room for error).
- The cam gear bolts must be replaced once removed and are torqued and then torque angled (anyone have any tool recommendations?).
- The BMW - Technical Information System (T.I.S.) is available online.
- The Bentley manual has a section on valve timing - not sure if it covers replacing the timing chain (anyone have the manual and can check?)
Here are the specialized tools needed for this job on the N14 engine (Note: the R56 turbo charged engine uses different tools to the N12 normally aspirated engine):
- 119280 Holder (big wrench to secure crank).
- 119600 Installer (for replacing the crank shaft seal (breaks down to 3 parts 119601, 119602 and 119603).
- 119550 Gauge (aka "Camshaft Timing Tool" "Camshaft Alignment Tool" "Timing Tool Set" "Camshaft Timing Master Tool Set" - some kits that you can buy online consist of FIVE parts -119551; 119552; 119553;119590; 119340 - you need all five tools).
-Quality torque wrench and torque angle dial - all sprockets are held in place by the bolts not woodruff keys - so it is important to get these torqued correctly).
Vendors that I have found tools from:
- Technitool - BMW119-280 Holder
- HCB Autotools -H.C.B-A1302 CRANKSHAFT HUB LOCKING TOOL
- Koch - KT20316 BMW Mini Cooper (N14) Camshaft Timing Master Tool Set (does not include 119340 - KT20306 Rigid Chain Tensioner)
- Technitool - BMW119-550 Camshaft Kit (does not include 119340 - BMW119-340 Chain Tensioner)
- HCB Autotools - H.C.B-A1300 BMW MINI COOPER (N14) TIMING TOOL SET
I changed my timming chain under warranty. It was a lot cheaper than what you were quoted, cause my warranty was from BMW Germany, and I had to pay up front, and wait for money from them, that's how I know how much it was. All in all, about 700 USD.
Anyway, it was the original timming chain, but there was a belt the guy showed me, I'm not sure what belt it was, that was heavily used. He said he hadn;t seen that usage on a belt before, after only 30000 miles on the clock. So the timming chain doesn't necesarily fail, rather the death rattle damages other parts imo.
What advice I can give you is try and order parts from a Peugeot dealer or parts distributor. I'm not sure you have Peugeot or Citroen in Canada, but engine parts are identical and way way cheaper from the french brands. If not, order them from Europe, I think Peugeot or Citroen will know exactly what to give you.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.