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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

my darling wife has owned a '13 plate countryman all4 1.6 cooper s for nearly 3 years and it's done just over 50k miles. when you used to start it from cold it would sound a bit rough but it always went away, over the last few weeks there has been a noise that doesn't go away when warm anymore and seems to be getting worse.


you can hear the noise in the video it's a constant tap tap tap noise and that's with the engi, does the n18 suffer the timing chain issues of the earlier n series engines or is there something else causing this? I need to find the solution as she's not wanting to continue driving the car as is and expects to use my 5 series instead.

Thanks
Chris
 

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yep that fairly ill and i would not drive that for sure, yes they do suffer timing chain like the n14 n2 n14 as same timing chain as as such but have a longer tensioner ie bmw fix for a timing chain problem if sends to issue further up the road ie when deffo out of warranty, they also tend to say what time chain problems no no our cars never have any lol,,
i would have a compression test done on your car as well, also the vac pump on end of exhaust camshaft tend to fail and make a lot of noise,, i would guess at 50k is early bit not unheard of , oil levels can plan a big roll in how ling the timing chain last ie engine where oil level has been below full mark all the time and if near the low mark hurts them,
 

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added point you will need inlet valves cleaned by that mileage sounds to me like its missing and common for carbon build up on rear of valves wallnut blasting is the norm for it
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Mike, at 50k it will need the valves cleaning? That's a bit poor thought we'd moved on from having to decoke engines.

I'll sort a compression test out, is there a way of diagnosing if it's the chain or vacuum pump?
 

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i know its all appalling to be honest bmw and psa should hold their head low with some of the all kinds of stupid they do, on these engines they run the crankcase beather to bottom on inlet manifold right under number 1 cylinder by way number 1 is not on front of engine its gearbox end just to mess with people heads,, anyway the crankcase breathes oil vapour this is fed in to inlet ports and due to being direct injection there do not clean the rear of the valves off then the timing chain stretches and this adds to it as the over lap on inlet and exhaust valves becomes bigger and blow back the carbon this mixes with the oil from breather system hence what i guess you prob have going on,, they all do sooner on cars that dont get hammered as such,,, the cure after they have been cleaned off i use seafoam and egr cleaner and a small wire brush on a drill cable just cant bring my self to paying the £80-£200 depending on who wall nut blasts them,, anyway the cure is to add two oil catch cans on them and stop most of the crud from entering.. i also use seafoam inlet spray once every 3 months straight into the inlet manifold ie engine revs 3000 and spray way ie inlet spray,, this wont clear them when heavy gummed up but will help keep clean going forward,, its not just mini that has these issue,,
timing chain can be checked with diagnostics snap on garage level one will show vanos positions and timing actual and prescribed,,
this all said about the timing chains they really dont do well. 60.000 miles tops change them the cars who drive till 100k all have bigger issues with engine damage from retarded running, to future proof it we have cooper s cars in our family and just do chains at 60k always keep oil at full mark th9se engines use 1 litre to 1000 miles ish is normal,
if were me would compression test it first off, i'm fairly sure that will come up with cylinder 1 or 2 or both on some when its coked valves its all of them,, what you could do if compression low is use seafoam inlet spray engine running from cold it comes with red long tube its possible to feed it in the inlet manifold and get someone to rev car at 3000k this is important as will blow the crud away this should at least seal the valve seats and prove the point of its just valve coked up etc, link below for seafoam twin pack worth on 30 miles before oil changes can in sump helps remove crud, clean engine happy engine
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hi mike,

finally had 5 minutes to look at this today,

first as you said I did a compression test from stone cold the figures were,

1, 145psi (gearbox end)
2, 140psi
3, 145 psi
4, 140 psi

I then took it out and got it upto operating temperature (102 degrees) then connected it to the copy of ista d I have, unfortunately unlike the n12 engined cars ista won't show the vanos setpoint ranges and current reading. Instead it has you run a series of tests where it shows the prescribed degrees and the actual value of the valves, I ran these for both the inlet and exhaust units and for both the actual values closely followed the requested value.

Does the abve give you any further ideas of whats happening? I've still not been able to find a way of inspecting the vacuum pump and ista also doesn't have a test function for the high pressure fuel pump either.

thanks
chris
 

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all that would say its all running where it should be,, water pump pulley has a coating on it when comes away they make a lot of noise, could also try pulley aux belt off and see if noise goes away,, if dont then internal chain tensioner or chain or to[p guide maybe,, oil pump can make a noise as well, going by compression's they are when would expect, oil pumps do fail, also the vvt shaft within rocker cover can wear and make noises
 

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Discussion Starter #8
does the n18 use the same timing tools as the n12 & n14 engines? Im sure there's a tool in the timing kit I used on an n12 last year for measuring chain stretch.

do the n18 engines need the bottom sprocket and vvt units changing with the change the same as the earlier engines? I may just fit a chain kit anyway given your experience of them needing doing by 60k anyway, the wife will be keeping it for the long term.
 

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does the n18 use the same timing tools as the n12 & n14 engines? Im sure there's a tool in the timing kit I used on an n12 last year for measuring chain stretch.

do the n18 engines need the bottom sprocket and vvt units changing with the change the same as the earlier engines? I may just fit a chain kit anyway given your experience of them needing doing by 60k anyway, the wife will be keeping it for the long term.
yep totally the same as n12 and `n16 ,, there is a revised chain tensioner longer and softer spring rate makes them sound better can only get those form genuine,, ocean bmw in plymouth parts department tensions is £53 think chain and bottom sprocket and guides around £220,, i never do the vanos sprockets unless around 100-120k as a second time round kit,,, ALWAYS REPLACE BOTTOM SPROCKET they always wear badly, also always a tensioner as well and genuine one, you will need new cam bolts and crank bolts as are stretch bolts £2.90 each for cam shafts and £8.00 ish for crank bolt, if were my car with what thats sounding like would do a chain kit and then know have a good starting point for further diagnoses ,, there is also a updated thermostat housing you might want to ask them about worth doing it might be on a recall list for it
 

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ho yes while you have inlet manifold off maybe worth checking the inlet valves for carbon build up would say of never been done they will need it to be honest , its easier to remove the chain tensioner with inlet off and gives chance to check the inlets
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok so I started to tear this down today as the new chain kit arrived and typically a few issues have cropped up and I just want to confirm what I'm thinking.



firstly that's the inlet valves, all 4 cylinders are in a similar condition.



mike can you confirm the flywheel locking pin is supposed to go in the top hole in this photo where you can see traces of copper slip (it's the hole behind the metal bracket that the exhaust attaches to) my tool doesn't fit but I wonder if it's a build up of corrosion round the hole as I think it is the correct hole, i may get the tool turned down a fraction at work if it is indeed the correct hole.





as you can see in these 2 pictures the timing tools I used on the n12 engine don't fit, the first picture I intend to cut the half hole at the bottom of the tool off to clear the turbo as I don't remember using it on the n12, the rear tool I don't want to cut as the angled piece is used on the n12 so I plan to remove whatever that unit is attached to the inlet cam and drill a new hole in the tool to align with a bolt hole roughly where the tool turns 90 degrees.

can you see any issue with my plan?

thanks
chris
 

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would appear the n18 is different for that kit link below is correct one for it, would not try and make do it wont end well
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok Mike, I've ordered yet another set of tools, swear I've got at least 2 shelves in the garage full of tools bought for one off jobs.
 

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Ok Mike, I've ordered yet another set of tools, swear I've got at least 2 shelves in the garage full of tools bought for one off jobs.
i have lost count of the tools for locking stuff off or repairing all kinds , its how car makers try and make it as hard as poss for anyone to work on their latest cars is my theory, its like the bmw mini vvt springs to buckets on inlet camshafts its a £300 tool set for correct tool to do the job just to do one torx bolt up on each spring set ie 4 bolts per 4 cylinder engine,, i worked out a old door hinge and cut it down to fit behind the springs and then run a old head bolt inside the spring loops while holding two long reach ring spanners in the middle of springs and held in with old head bolt ha ha cost me nothing took ten minutes to work out,, but when it comes to timing it needs to be right so have no doubt its right,,
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Right so, new locking tools arrived this morning, they now fit the cams nicely, the locking pin still didn't want to go in properly so I ended up getting a wire brush attachment on the end of my dremel and cleaning the hole out, then with a bit of grease and tapping with a hammer the locking pin now goes in and locks correctly.

I've removed the old chain cassette and fitted the new one up, the old tensionor fell apart on removal so maybe that is what's being causing all the racket.

I've ordered a new crank pulley bolt, tensioner and o ring for the vanos solenoid from my local main dealer. Mike do you replace the valve cover gasket when doing one of these or will my 50k old one seal up again with a small amount of sealant? the same question stands for the inlet manifold seals will they re use or do I need to be ordering some?

I went with the neo brothers chain kit off ebay, in the parts it came with a whole load of m6 bolts I assume these are for renewing the valve cover bolts but on the mini they are captive in the valve cover so I assume I can reuse the originals?

Do you think the inlet valves I posted a picture of eariler need cleaning, if so can i get away with closing the valves by turning the cam and dosing them in carb cleaner and using a brass brush attachment on a dremel to get in at them and then blow out with my compressor?

And lastly do you have the torque settings for the crank shaft bolt and cam bolts? I know the cam bolts are do upto 20nm with the tensioner tool nipped up finger tight but I seem to remember the final angle is different for both cams?

Thanks
Chris
 

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reuse the the rubber gaskets on inlets and cam cover fine with those miles, while the rocker cover is off check the pcv valve in it by blowing in the hole nearest the rear of engine,, should be able to blow in to cover as such a valve should prevent it,,
cam shaft bolts at 20NM +180 DEGREES
cranshaft bolt 40NM +110 DEGREES
i find make a mark on the socket you use with a marker for reference and a mark on sprockets or front of engine casing to where it needs to end up as such, ALL BOLTS MUST BE OILED , AND ALL CONTACT SURFACES CLEANED FROM ANY OIL TO PREVENT SLIP,
as for inlet valves i would deffo do them and carb cleaner or egr cleaner i use seafoam inlet spray let it soak in there as well for a hour or to and use a small long wire brush,, as for anything dropping in to the cylinders when you start it just give it a rev or two its should clear,, then i would pull plugs give a clean i set my gaps to 0.14mm as find it gove a better spark that cant be blown out as such,,
seafaom
SEA FOAM SPRAY SS14 QUICK ACTING TOP ENGINE CLEANER AND LUBE 12OZ 18812000071 | eBay
egr carb etc
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Finished this off today and glad to report the horrible tapping noise has gone, I'm guessing the failed tensioner was rattling against the chain.

I reset all the adaptions and it feels like a totally different car.

Thanks for the help Mike.

Chris
 

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Finished this off today and glad to report the horrible tapping noise has gone, I'm guessing the failed tensioner was rattling against the chain.

I reset all the adaptions and it feels like a totally different car.

Thanks for the help Mike.

Chris
its nice feeling that every time i do one i still like that moment after started and ran for a hour and everything goes to a sound again.. you will find that over 3-5 start ups and runs to hot the whole system will relearn its adaptions run ever more smoother.. as the ecu and vanos and vvt learn the worn out chain and retarded timing,, i tend to drive them with all the revs a few times this gets it to learn its self as such avoids laggy points as such, good to know you sorted it, just process
 
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