Is the N14 engine as bad as people say? - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2019, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Is the N14 engine as bad as people say?

I'm searching for a FJCW R56 and budget dicatates that this will be no newer than 2009.

From reading a few posts here it seems the N14 engine (used in the 2007-2010 R56?) has a bit of a bad reputation for reliability. Earlier engines good, later engines good, N14 in the middle not so good.

I guess my first question would be - is that true? Is the N14 particularly prone to expensive issues? And as a follow-up, are there steps that can be taken to minimise the risk (aside from now owning one)?

iirc I read something from @mike1967 that the newer & better timing chain tensioner might fit in the older N14 block for example.

Thanks,

Steve

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2019, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by steveharman View Post
I'm searching for a FJCW R56 and budget dicatates that this will be no newer than 2009.

From reading a few posts here it seems the N14 engine (used in the 2007-2010 R56?) has a bit of a bad reputation for reliability. Earlier engines good, later engines good, N14 in the middle not so good.

I guess my first question would be - is that true? Is the N14 particularly prone to expensive issues? And as a follow-up, are there steps that can be taken to minimise the risk (aside from now owning one)?

iirc I read something from @mike1967 that the newer & better timing chain tensioner might fit in the older N14 block for example.

Thanks,

Steve
all cars are as bad as their owners wish them to be a lot of the time, ie someone buys a car knowing it will need chain replacements but they no better and think there's wont, and then when it plays up they throw a load of parts at a misfire rather than do the big issue chain kit. and yep the later tensioner will work, but it dont stop chain from stretching just allows engine to run out of time for longer and destroy its cat and 02 sensors and valve stem seals if over hot all the time etc, 60k chain changes only way forward with them, and keep oil at full mark with 8k changes a must, every 30k or so drop inlet manifold back from the head takes a hour the second time and rag and seafoam spray inlet ports cost pennies and works just as well.
all the vw audi chain driven cars are dropping the same way, vauxhall also have some things that must do cost pennies and some labour but people think it will never happen to them, all the bmw diesels chain is a big issue and petrols all suffer under 100k there is a pattern here maybe they all source the chains from same 3rd work factory using old bake bean cans or something, the later cars are newer so dont see as many yet but will do,, what people need to get their heads around its a engine that power to weight and emissions its on top of its game its won a lot of awards,, but design wise most car makers are thinking 3-4 years ie warranty period and not 200k like the owner thinks it is


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Got it, thanks Mike.

The car I'm currently focussing on is a 2008 FJCW with 74K. It has full BMW main dealer history from new to the present day but I haven't specifically confirmed about the chain yet - not sure of the official change interval.

Obviously any used car is only as good as how lt's been looked after, but in to give me the best chance of reliability your recommendation would be to bite the bullet & get the chain + tensioner done, inspect & clean valve seals, then keep on top of things like oil levels & changes from then on?

Cheers,

Steve
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2019, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by steveharman View Post
Got it, thanks Mike.

The car I'm currently focussing on is a 2008 FJCW with 74K. It has full BMW main dealer history from new to the present day but I haven't specifically confirmed about the chain yet - not sure of the official change interval.

Obviously any used car is only as good as how lt's been looked after, but in to give me the best chance of reliability your recommendation would be to bite the bullet & get the chain + tensioner done, inspect & clean valve seals, then keep on top of things like oil levels & changes from then on?

Cheers,

Steve
ok so me have 2 cooper s in family both car 2008 both over 120.000 miles both are on second timing chain kit ie at 120k full kit s with vanos sprocket fitted, both mapped 210bhp ish both driven in my view to hard guess i'm just old now, both get 8k oil changes and both are happy, 60.000 miles is where i personally see them as seen many with under this slip teeth on poor maintained cars but loved cars with someone who checks oil every 200 miles max and keeps level on of just 2mm above full these tend to do ok, those engine like all the vw audi petrols and a few other all use oil as a way of adding power by design or to control pinking and knock somewhat maybe thats why,, bmw finally have said 100k chain must be done so as psa group but thats on the later n18 engine that have longer tensioner but they still run out of time and i feel they have trimmed the ecu mapping to over look more out of time running as such just a theory, febi bilsteen are the factory chain kits that what they use i have been told, i use FAI all the time they as good as factory but dont do the extra long tensioner thats a main agent order,, it does fit the early car as well, but just moves the problem further along the road,, as prolongs when the rattle starts, trouble is its not just the rattle that kills them off its bottom sprocket is very small and wears really badly until chain slips always change bottom sprocket,, main agents play all this down like there is not a issue and its just forums being forums its not they do need chain kits treating like a timing belt 60k get it done learn how to change it if have tools etc, i have done thousands over the years can do one in a morning on a two post ramp easy

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2019, 06:36 PM
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Eeek, my just fitted kit was Fai. I didn't know it didn't have the modded tensioner

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2019, 07:13 AM
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Eeek, my just fitted kit was Fai. I didn't know it didn't have the modded tensioner
must admit the newer tensioner is a lot better in many ways but the real issue bmw have just played blind to ie chain is thin and long and only ever going to end one way, the new one is more smooth on its spring and travels twice the distance so cant fall apart when chain gets so stretched so more likely to notice a eml light for timing before as many have gone slipped teeth and bent valves etc, i have not found any after market later tensioners for sale believe at present its main dealer only, also worth contacting Peugeot Citroen main agents ask them for a price for a 207 gti engine.s one as these have been done as well, i done 2010 207 1.4vti other day that had the later one in it,

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