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Left the Death Rattle too Long :-(

11001 Views 21 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  mike1967
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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21 - 22 of 22 Posts
i do this sort of thing a lot buy something and then takes me hmmm well worst one was 14 months reckon sat there it bits, my last honda project that was a 6 months engine change lol, if only i used the word no to others asking me to do stuff for them i would have a easy life from being reminded i need to get on with this car or next cars from wife lol
He he, I know that feeling so well. Last week I was at a friends house helping him lay a false floor in his garage and insulate the walls so he could use it as a Gym. So many jobs, so little time.

However when the garage is finished (huge triple jobbie which will have a 2 post lift) then I should be able to crack on and make progress, even if it is only because I can leave the car(s) in bits and do an hour here and there - which I can't do on the driveway!

What doesn't help is that once the garage build started, I was reminded that I had promised to replace the kitchen, and that because I wasn't really able to do anything on cars outside, now would be an ideal time to get started.....:rolleyes:
i got a single car unit and do that trouble is things get a apart some last really big one and i ran into getting parts for it trouble so was sat there 3 months audi v6tfsi engine with heads and crank out pistons out take a few hours to get back in to it each time remembering what goes where and when can end up taking one step forward then have to take apart again because forgot something needed to go on before the rest of it, i do put all nuts and bolts in order with what came off on my Bench of under the rear of the car,, things we do to torment our lives with bloody old cars , not so bad with mini's as now every nuts and bolt etc so can put them in a box and play lucky dip lol
21 - 22 of 22 Posts
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