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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

So I bought a 2008 Cooper S Clubman Petrol with 98,000 on the clock.

I bought it sight unseen (although did do a facetime walk around with the seller), with a known engine problem. I knew it had a noisy timing chain (and was priced accordingly). Intended to swap the chain, guides etc before using it. Sent a transport agent to go and collect it. When it arrived, I took it for a drive and it drove fine, engine had plenty of power. Then stupidly took it for a 10 mile round trip with the good lady. Made it back to within 1/4 mile of the house and the engine management light starts flashing, misfire and an oil pressure warning comes up on the display. Yes, I am an idiot. Let's move past that :)

So, diagnostics-wise, it is misfiring on cylinder 1. Multiple codes about various misfires on all cylinders, upstream O2 sensor activated, knock detected etc. Took the plugs out, plug on cylinder 1 had burned away the electrode and was only finger tight (in fact all the plugs were finger tight). Put new plugs in, still misfiring. Swapped coil packs between cylinders. Misfire stayed on cylinder 1. Bugger. Plug from cylinder 1 now has oil on it.

Compression tested all the cylinders. Zero compression on cylinder 1. The other 3 were consistently around 110. So - I am assuming the chain or vanos has slipped and I have a couple of bent valves on that cylinder. I haven't done a leak down test as whatever it tells me will likely mean that the head has to come off, and frankly if the head has to come off them the problem should be apparent!

So..... I am expecting an engine tear down. Which I am happy to do myself, so what I am asking really is what else should I be doing whilst I am in there? I know my way around the spanners but am not that familiar with these engines. I know about the stretch bolts etc and the torquing up + x degrees.

So I am planning to do the following (not necessarily in this order!):
  • Engine strip, head off, replace the bent valves (after checking the guides and the cylinder/piston condition) and lap in some new ones
  • Will also examine the camshaft bearings for any sign of wear/scoring
  • New timing chain and guides plus both the vanos and exhaust sprocket, new tensioner and all bolts
  • Flush the cooling system and rad whilst I am in there (coolant looks pretty mucky)
  • Oil pump chain and crank sprocket
  • Crank seal
  • Thermostat
  • Replace all gaskets on the oil filter housing
  • Drop the sump pan and clean out, check the oil pump pick up
  • Oil/Air/Cabin/Fuel filters (obviously) + fresh oil and coolant and new gaskets etc for anything that comes off
Is there anything else I should be considering? The intention would be to keep this car for a long time, so I am thinking "proper" fix, rather than just get it working.

I am worried about the oil pressure message. Should I consider replacing the oil pump whilst I am in there, or is there a way I can test it?
I am also wondering if I should pull the block and replace the clutch / slave / thrust bearing whilst in bits - a friend was telling me that there is a seal that can leak onto the clutch plate?

Also, where is the best place to buy the parts without paying dealer prices - I see loads of places on eBay advertising the parts - but what is the quality like - are there some recommended sellers?

I am not going to start for a while as my garage is currently occupied by my MG Midget, which has the engine sitting on the floor next to it, so I have to get that back together before I start on the mini (it is parked up out of the way at the moment and now SORNED so no rush), so in the meantime I will be gathering information and parts. I will keep this thread up to date once I get started.

All advice welcomed. I know that the engine rebuild is probably more work than the car is worth, and I have considered parting it out (good spec including full leather and factory nav), but I hate seeing otherwise solid cars get scrapped for mechanical issues.

Cheers - Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both.

Whilst I am still likely to do it myself, I have since spotted this:


Which seems cheap to supply and fit. Is this a case of too good to be true? Has anyone got any experience with these guys?


It would mean that the mini would be back on the road by the end of the month, rather than the 3-4 months it is likely to take me to get everything else I need to do first and then actually do the mini.

Thanks,
Mark
 

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Thanks both.

Whilst I am still likely to do it myself, I have since spotted this:


Which seems cheap to supply and fit. Is this a case of too good to be true? Has anyone got any experience with these guys?


It would mean that the mini would be back on the road by the end of the month, rather than the 3-4 months it is likely to take me to get everything else I need to do first and then actually do the mini.

Thanks,
Mark
It does look cheap but the prices are all over the place on ebay for remanufactured engines.

Early this year I purchased what was supposed to be a fully forged engine for ~£7K from a company claiming to be No 1 international BMW/MINI engine & parts supplier and that turn out pants and since then have gone out of business.

Not sure if you've checked out the company you've linked to



I would say if you don't have a choice of waiting then that is a good price for supply and fit (can be a lot of hassle chasing any problems afterwards), but if you do have time and can DIY then that's no brainer.
 

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more likely one of the valves has cracked and dropped into the cylinder and that nailed the spark plug electrode or the otherway around, normally when chain gets so bad to do a valve its at least all exhaust valves on n14 engines ,, you buy a £1000 engine from a breaker with over 60k on it it wont be long before your in same boat again, only a fool would fit a prince engine and not fit new chain on it before putting in, cheapest option repair what you hve and also new chain kit and oil pup chain as well will do at least another 60k plus miles,, on top of this breaker tend to lie about mileages on engines they also off a warranty but when you read on its only if fitted by god and no nuts and bolts have been changed on it etc,, £300 in parts you would be back on road again
 

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I'm no expert, but my husband is an automotive machinist and i manage our machine shop. If you are doing all this work, then take the head to a machinist for a proper valve job. Lapping in valves is not the same thing. Just a suggestion.
 

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I'm no expert, but my husband is an automotive machinist and i manage our machine shop. If you are doing all this work, then take the head to a machinist for a proper valve job. Lapping in valves is not the same thing. Just a suggestion.
really have they got different hands on the valve grinding dolleys than us other folk, the best thing about the prince engine is the cam followers are not shimmed and the valve seats are a polished surface from the factory and 9 times from 10 dont even need to be ground ie lapped in, must admit if it was a vauxhall 1.7 cdti head then for sure take in to machine shop pay the £300 for a clean and re shim etc, i've been rebuilding these engines for years and lost count the amount of bent valves i have replaced very rarely need a skim on head surfaces very rarely really need to lap valves in as,, some stuff dont need to be done for doing sake
 

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+1 for waterpump but also water pump pulley and friction wheel - all Dayco parts.
Febi parts for the timing chains.
FYI the Febi oil pump chain kit comes with the torque-to-yield crankshaft bolt but the timing chain + gear kit with the camshaft-end vanos unit and exhaust cam sprocket bolts doesn't (so get both kits).
Two bent valves is likely in my experience...
 

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just used this company for first time link below for timing chain kit and head set and head bolts i also put new piston rings ie latest spec with nylon oil control rings and new bigend bearings and new conrod bolts etc done 300 miles so far running really well its going on rollers and mapped for power with decat towards end of week, nt a bad kit only thing i did do was use a genuine timing chain tensioner ie latest update genuine form bmw £53,, also the conrod bolts geuine ones were £1.09p each £2.70p for cam bolts piston ring set for all 4 was £70 ie latest type as used in N18 ns b series bmw engines, this car had a piston failure broken way due to timing chain stretched and keep driving it until it gave up excessive heat and oil use blocked the cat and the pressure had to go somewhere.
 

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all of the above is fairly common on turbo cars where owners just drive and never repair anything until it breaks, and low oil levels as well, we got two other cooper s on family and both done over 120k both run well both have 8k oil changes and timing chains every 50-60k and the main bit oil is kept at max point lazy lack of checking oil will cost in the long run, the car above is barely 58k
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Mike and TimB

Good information. Just as an update - I decided not to go ahead with the recon engine above, and have decided to do it myself, fixing everything as I go... will also attend to valve stem oil seals, filter housing gaskets and oil pipework as I go.........basically trying to make the car a keeper (likely to have ended up being scrapped if I had not bought it - which would have been insane!)
Have added water pump, wheel, drivebelt and tensioner to the "to do" list

Unfortunately I am not in a position to start fixing it yet, so it is sat in the back garden out of the way. I started putting the engine back in my midget, but then then noticed that the large canopy porch on the front of the house had developed a serious lean to one side..... so have had to remedy that over the last month! That is now done (bar a bit of paint).

That then leaves the engine to go back in the Midget (block is all cleaned up and painted and I now have all the powder coated covers and panels ready and the rebuilt gearbox is now back). Once that is done, I can move it to a lock-up for a few weeks. Then I can make a start on the mini.... So hopefully that will be early new year. I will post updates once I get started. The intention is that once I get the mini into the garage I can spend an hour on it each evening after work, so hopefully can get it all done in 2-3 weeks and I can then be driving it
(Then the midget can come back and I can crack on with installing the dash, sorting out the wiring and installing the interior.... then it should be ready for the summer)

Never-ending list of jobs.
 

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No problems ;-) Oil stem valve seals are in the Febi head gasket kit (or possibly in the cambelt cover gasket kit - I can’t remember- check yourself). You have to be careful not to double order and end up with duplicate parts ;-)
 
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