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Old Dec 28th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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Death Rattle - consolidated answers?

Hi all,

Merry Christmas, I hope you are all festively plump!!

First an apology, I'm aware there's a huge thread on the R56 death rattle and I know some of the questions I'm going to ask are answered on here somewhere, but I've just spent a good couple of hours trawling the various threads and I've not managed to remind the info. I thought it might be a good idea to ask some of the common questions on a quick single page post for everyone's future reference.

My situation is similar to others. Just took on a 70k MCS 2007 which has gone from a quiet engine to sounding like a tractor from cold in the 700 miles I have put on it. I know the tensioner was changed at just under 48k from the service history but I'm not sure what was fitted.

Question 1
I understand the tensioner pushes a little harder once oil pressure is up, which is why the noise goes away (right?) How safe is it to drive the vehicle with this issue? Will the chain be likely to jump as much when cold as after its warmed up and there's more pressure on the tensioner?

Question 2
Mini fitted tensioner 11317607551 at 47,900 miles, is this the uprated/longer tensioner part? If not, can someone confirm the part number? (I've come across 3 this afternoon) There seems to be a lot of different numbers on various threads. Is the 2011+ model tensioner the same version? Is that the "latest" tensioner or is it a different part altogether and irrelevant.

Questions 3
Does anyone know the cost of a chain/tensioner/guide/ full replacement and is it a mini only job, or can a reliable Indy do it?

Finally, could I be hearing these noises because I live on a hill and park with the bonnet lower than the boot causing the oil to pool at the front of the sump? The noise goes away pretty quickly when I've driven the car a few hundred yards. Is it possible I don't have the death rattle at all, just a noisy DI engine that's a bit oil hungry first thing?

I look forward to hearing back from the forum guru's, happy new year to you all too.

D
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Old Dec 28th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Update, I forgot I do have a video of the noises.
Not sure it will let me post the link yet though, I can mail the link to anyone who is interested..

Thanks.
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Old Dec 28th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by MiniMotoR56 (original)
Update, I forgot I do have a video of the noises.
Not sure it will let me post the link yet though, I can mail the link to anyone who is interested..

If they're on youtube then just let us know the video ID or your username.
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Old Dec 28th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Hi johnnyc

My username is imoto3gs on YouTube. I can't seem to get a video id but I'm viewing on a mobile device. Let me know if you can't find it.
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Old Dec 28th, 2012, 06:54 PM
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That's the exact same noise as I had on my 07 MCS. Admittedly, I didn't try it with the oil filler cap off. The first thing to say is that the R56 engine sump has quite low capacity (4.5 litres ish) and as such, oil level is critical. In addition, the turbo engine seems to 'use' oil like its going out of fashion. You should be checking the oil level on a weekly basis.
You are right in thinking that as pressure builds up, the tensioner receives the oil it badly needs. My theory on all of this is that the oil level drops and goes unnoticed. The tensioner somehow is damaged by the lack of oil and sticks every now and again causing the noise/rattle. I don't have any experience of Questions 2 & 3 and therefore have nothing else to bring to the Christmas table.
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Old Dec 28th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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This is MiniMotoR56's video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lJklCSBmo4
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 01:45 PM
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i only seem to get the odd rattle when its really cold outside in the morning, so i have learn to top it up with a 1tr of 0-40w castrol engine oil, that soon fixes the issue, i also let the engine warm up for 5 mins before i even drive it to allow the oil presure to get up to make the tensioner work fully,

So to recap, put the best oil in and make sure its fully loaded to the level and let the engine warm up before you use it to let the oil heat up and get to where it is needed, that is what i do and i don't hear the rattle anymore,
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 09:03 PM
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The experience with my car has taught to never leave the car for a day sitting. If a day passes without me driving the car, I at least start the engine and allow to it to run for 5min. That keeps the tensioner from draining. Always keep an eye on the oil level, but never overfill it; this is a direct-injection engine and excessive oil amounts lead to carbon buildup.

As for changing the chain... Well I have heard that even that may show the problem again. And from the online part-diagrams I have searched, MINI hasn't changed the chain's PN, but have several times changed the tensioner.

Just to clear things up about the tensioner: All factory cars came and still come (N18 also) with a 78mm long tensioner, despite the change of PNs. Cars experiencing the rattle syndrom, either get an elongated tensioner (82mm) as a remedy, or a complete chain-guides-tensioner change with 78mm tensioner. The latest versions of the tensioners are made by febi-bilstein.

The 551 PN MiniMotoR56 has posted is a 82mm tensioner. A newer tensioner is available, both in 82mm and 78mm guise. Personally, I doubt it will make a difference, since the lengths are the same.

What could possibly help, is an oil with thicker consistency when cold. i.e. 5W-35 may be better in this regard than 0W-40, both of which should be available in BMW Longlife-04 specification.

Last edited by alexcannas; Jan 15th, 2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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Been going through this issue and got the mechanic to fit the latest tensioner and while he was at it measure the slack on the chain.

Bmw max tolerance lvl is 70mm and mine measured at 72mm so looks like it needs changing.

Tensioner has helped a tiny bit on tick over when cold but other than that my problem is still the same.

He is mainly a peugeot specialised and has fitted a fair few chain/rails on peugeot 207 gti which uses the exact same engine as cooper s


Phoned me up with a price if i use peugeot parts which works out 250 quid cheaper than if i go the bmw route, so am gonna go this route.

He also changes everything out inc cam sprockets which he thinks bmw might not always do and is probably the reason why people have this as a repeat issue when they have already had the chain changed. Cause if the cam sprokets aint changed then it will just end up stretching the chain again and your back with the same issue again.

Gonna get it done beginning of next week so will keep everyone posted as could be a cheaper route to sorting this issue out.
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 05:55 PM
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Had my 2008 mini cooper s done under warranty but the list of parts filled an A4 piece of paper. Think the bill would have been over £1000 pound at BMW if I would have had to pay. They had the car for three days to fix it. Was ok for three years although I have sold it now ..
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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My 2008 is in right now with a broken guide rail. Momentum Mini in Houston quoted $2,959.70. Parts $559.71 & 15 hours of labor at $2,399.99! That doesn't include medical treatment expense for the heart attack I felt when they gave me the price.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Mine only rattles when i drive like 5 mins down the road and get back in the car after an hour or so. But never if i have left the car over night or even a week. It soon goes after a couple of minutes. I don't see the point in changing it unless it does it all the time, as my Friend has had two minis that have done it, he changed everything on both of them and they still did it afterwards.

What oil do you recommend is best for getting rid of it?
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