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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All
Im running an R56 with the N12 engine and recently changed the timing chain etc due to the dreaded death rattle. It runs much better now but I've still got the same fault codes, which persistently reappear after reset. The car also hunts very badly when cold on idle (between 1000rpm and 2000 rpm).
I've rechecked the timing, changed the vanos valves over, checked the voltage to the vanos valves, checked the vanos non return valves, changed over the camshaft sensors. Still no improvement.
Ive noticed the small metal sealing rings in the troublesome cam are less "springy" than the inlet side. Is this a known issue that causes oil to spill out of the caps? A pic of the rings is attached.
Also, does anyone know how to check that the vanos sprockets are not bound up? I don't seem to be able to turn the cams very much against the sprockets.
Any help much appreciated
 

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Hi All
Im running an R56 with the N12 engine and recently changed the timing chain etc due to the dreaded death rattle. It runs much better now but I've still got the same fault codes, which persistently reappear after reset. The car also hunts very badly when cold on idle (between 1000rpm and 2000 rpm).
I've rechecked the timing, changed the vanos valves over, checked the voltage to the vanos valves, checked the vanos non return valves, changed over the camshaft sensors. Still no improvement.
Ive noticed the small metal sealing rings in the troublesome cam are less "springy" than the inlet side. Is this a known issue that causes oil to spill out of the caps? A pic of the rings is attached.
Also, does anyone know how to check that the vanos sprockets are not bound up? I don't seem to be able to turn the cams very much against the sprockets.
Any help much appreciated
below link worth a read, also what timing tool was used to time it up, did you use a 27mm spanner and chain tension preload tool with 0.6nm of force on it,, or as i do them finger tight with a 1/4 drive socket spinner,, have seen due to being driven for a long time with chain rattle the cams wearing in the journal closest to vanos sprocket,, might just need adaptations reset in ecu or normally after 2-5 hot cold starts and stops, ie drive car from cold to running temps so cat gets hot enough to start working then let cool repeat this a few times,, after a engine running for long time out of time the ecu learns to live with it,., so when its all back in time again its needs a reset or enough time to reset it self to relearn as such. you also need a good diagnostic with live data autocom cdp plus works fairly well but dont reset adaptation on the petrol cars...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info.
I tightened the chain to 0.6nm with the special tool, which is much tighter than finger tight, then put the tensioner in. Ran the car for 30 miles, rechecked timing, which was spot on.
Before repairs the timing was out by two teeth on the exhaust and one tooth on the inlet, and had probably been like that for several thousand miles.
With the crank locking pin in so the cam sprockets are effectively locked, should it be possible to rotate the cams by as much as their Vanos travel?
I take your point about the ECU re-adapting. I don't have an expensive diagnostic tool, only an obd code reader. I don't mind waiting for the ECU to re adapt if it takes five cycles or so.
 

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Thanks for the info.
I tightened the chain to 0.6nm with the special tool, which is much tighter than finger tight, then put the tensioner in. Ran the car for 30 miles, rechecked timing, which was spot on.
Before repairs the timing was out by two teeth on the exhaust and one tooth on the inlet, and had probably been like that for several thousand miles.
With the crank locking pin in so the cam sprockets are effectively locked, should it be possible to rotate the cams by as much as their Vanos travel?
I take your point about the ECU re-adapting. I don't have an expensive diagnostic tool, only an obd code reader. I don't mind waiting for the ECU to re adapt if it takes five cycles or so.
when re locking the cams and crank all direction should be clockwise when setting the locks and pin in crankshaft other wise have seen people do it the other way around and get a false timing set as works against the tensioner spring of vanos springs,, also seen with engine running out of time so badly for a long period of time its destroys the cat and upstream 02 sensor as well, i tend to replace the vanos sprockets on 100k cars rules out problems later down the road FAI do a chain and vanos kit £225 ish not bad value.
below link is the best diagnostics for the money without it your totally in the dark and remember these are complicated engines ,, years ago people would not try and work on such engines like honda vtec or the mitsubushi evo engines or cosworth stuff etc,, and to be honest these prince engine are on that level so diagnostics is a big part,,
below link cheapest dealer level diagnostics
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2018-TCS-CDP-Pro-Plus-Auto-OBD2-Car-Truck-Scanner-Diagnostic-Tool-for-Autocom/292722479779?hash=item44279e92a3:g:TrcAAOSwUgdbfiTR:rk:3:pf:1&frcectupt=true
there are more expensive uk sourced one's just make sure look the same vci,, good luck trying to repair it without. i've been working on this stuff for years and find it very hard to work them out with out a live data run,,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I made sure that the cams were timed by firstly rotating the engine in the clock wise direction. Your right about the cat - O2 sensor. This was replaced last year. Lambda readings are ok, so I guess the cat itself is ok.
Before I put the cam cover back, It would be good to know if I can test the movement of the vanos sprockets by rotating the cam against a locked sprocket. Do you know how much movement, if any I should see?
I've found another potential issue with the cam cover pcv - it has absolutely no resistance to air blowing through it in either direction. Is there an NRV in there that supposed to prevent air passing into the cam cover from outside?
 

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I made sure that the cams were timed by firstly rotating the engine in the clock wise direction. Your right about the cat - O2 sensor. This was replaced last year. Lambda readings are ok, so I guess the cat itself is ok.
Before I put the cam cover back, It would be good to know if I can test the movement of the vanos sprockets by rotating the cam against a locked sprocket. Do you know how much movement, if any I should see?
I've found another potential issue with the cam cover pcv - it has absolutely no resistance to air blowing through it in either direction. Is there an NRV in there that supposed to prevent air passing into the cam cover from outside?
the pcv breather pipe goes to the bottom of inlet manifold and has a plastic cover over them and covers cracks on breather pipe and nearly always broken on any car over 5 years old, only way to know for sure is smoke test or remove it totally and hold fingers over one end while blowing on the other as such, bmw in uk sell them £28 was last one i bought, software will tell you i vanos faulty or not, live data give option for both vanos actual position and prescribed bed positions below screen shot of these off autocom, on a 2008 1.4 just had new chain kit and vanos and was running right,
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, the pipe was broken on mine, which I've replaced.
I've got the cam cover on the bench and can easily blow/suck air through the pipe stub connector on the cam cover. Isn't there a valve of some sort in there that should prevent me from blowing air back into the valve cover? And presumably create some resistance to air being sucked through it?
 

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Yes, the N12 has a diaphragm that should be one way. You should not be able to blow into the VC. This diaphragm can rip (I have replaced mine already) can be bought seperately from Ebay from a Russian company. I can find the link for you later.
The cover clips for this are very fragile and needs a delicate tweak of the clips to enable removal of the cap. Breaking the tabs is not an option as it is not available unless you buy a second hand unit or a new VC in entirity!!!
Seems the latest version comes with a cover which is round, best to try and use your old cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great, thanks. Just taken the cap cover off. Broke one of the clips nearest to the front. But this probably wont matter, as the PCV will be held down in its place by the spark plug cover.
It seems these work by the vacuum from the intake manifold holding it closed against the spring,so pressures equalize when there's no vacuum in the intake manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, so rechecked the timing, swapped over vanos valves, cam position sensors and still getting P0014 code. On close inspection the exhaust cam shaft rectangrings are definitely more worn than on the inlet cam. These are the rings that hold the oil in the cam bearing cap so that the Vanos sprockets are fed with oil.
Issue is that BMW show a continuous unbroken ring whereas the ones fitted in my engine are metallic and look more like a piston ring. Does anyone know if BMW did an up grade to a different design some where along the way, and is this a know wear point?
Thanks for any help
 

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Ok, so rechecked the timing, swapped over vanos valves, cam position sensors and still getting P0014 code. On close inspection the exhaust cam shaft rectangrings are definitely more worn than on the inlet cam. These are the rings that hold the oil in the cam bearing cap so that the Vanos sprockets are fed with oil.
Issue is that BMW show a continuous unbroken ring whereas the ones fitted in my engine are metallic and look more like a piston ring. Does anyone know if BMW did an up grade to a different design some where along the way, and is this a know wear point?
Thanks for any help
does the cam journal look worn or the cap that held on with the torx bolts, yes they do wear but normal show damage on the the above parts. would also get metal particles showing up clean out the vanos sprocket ie white metal. i've see inlet ones wear more than exhaust as a loose timing chain over long period of time will lash at it all, tell tail sign being the cams will move 0.2mm in and out when get worn, also the inlet journal post where it meets head the seal between them can fail and leak oil pressure
cam shaft torque 10nm is what i have for it, the thrust/oil seal rings also effect the longitude movement of camshafts, would engine part for main dealers or maybe engine rebuilder not got much info on sizes and tolerances needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The white metal bearing looks ok, but the seal rings on Exhaust cam are definitely less "springy" when I put the caps back on. There's a quite a spring feel to the inlet cam cap, but very little on the exhaust. The cam cap almost mates to the cylinder head without any resistance from the sealing rings. Its as if the sealing rings have been worn around their internal radius by the cams
 

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The white metal bearing looks ok, but the seal rings on Exhaust cam are definitely less "springy" when I put the caps back on. There's a quite a spring feel to the inlet cam cap, but very little on the exhaust. The cam cap almost mates to the cylinder head without any resistance from the sealing rings. Its as if the sealing rings have been worn around their internal radius by the cams
i've had dealings with them in the past on a level where engine ran without oil at some point or very low and wear away the cam shaft as well, would drop oil pressure causing the vanos not to rotate correctly, cheap fix would be secondhand cam shaft maybe,, would be worth you taking old one to a engine builders ask them to check it for you they might have a ix for it or they might say its ok
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update
Ok, so I've bought new sealing rings which are totally different in design to the original ones. BMW presumably made an update at some time. Pic attached.
The replacements are a continuous fiber ring, whereas the ones that came out were split and made of a cast iron type material. Lets see if this cure the issue!
 

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Update
Ok, so I've bought new sealing rings which are totally different in design to the original ones. BMW presumably made an update at some time. Pic attached.
The replacements are a continuous fiber ring, whereas the ones that came out were split and made of a cast iron type material. Lets see if this cure the issue!
worth knowing if does do they look about same size etc and if so then they must of had problems with the metal designed ones.
 

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Ill be really interested to hear if these fix your problem. I was thinking about replacing the PCV on mine but its running alot better I might take the hose off and give it a suck/blow to see how mines performing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've changed the seals and measured the cam bearing/journal clearances. They're around 1 thou, so I can rule out worn cam bearings.
The codes now don't come up as frequently and occasionally not at all, but there's still an issue.
I took the car to an independent who could scan the vanos movement.
It came up as spot on except the occasional blip when the vanos didn't respond to ECU output.
As I've swapped over the Vanos solenoids, we agreed the next course of action was to replace the Vanos sprocket.
I'm going to do that at the weekend.
Just out of curiosity I put 1 L of Lucas heavy duty oil stabilizer in the engine - just to see if additional viscosity would help. This did nothing! But I'm sure its generally good for the engine- that's if I ever use it again!!!
These things are a nightmare, even with access to BMW live data readers.
 

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I've changed the seals and measured the cam bearing/journal clearances. They're around 1 thou, so I can rule out worn cam bearings.
The codes now don't come up as frequently and occasionally not at all, but there's still an issue.
I took the car to an independent who could scan the vanos movement.
It came up as spot on except the occasional blip when the vanos didn't respond to ECU output.
As I've swapped over the Vanos solenoids, we agreed the next course of action was to replace the Vanos sprocket.
I'm going to do that at the weekend.
Just out of curiosity I put 1 L of Lucas heavy duty oil stabilizer in the engine - just to see if additional viscosity would help. This did nothing! But I'm sure its generally good for the engine- that's if I ever use it again!!!
These things are a nightmare, even with access to BMW live data readers.
It came up as spot on except the occasional blip when the vanos didn't respond to ECU output.............. that could be the clue,
worth sticking a multi meter or scope on the plug to the vanos solenoid see if the blip is electronic or not that said i would think it would flag up a code for this in the ecu, if vanos dont move to where it needs to be it will cause timing related codes
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So, having trawled the internet for hours looking for an internal picture/diagram of a Mini Cooper Vanos sprocket I took the plunge and opened mine up.
Tool required - good quality five point T27 - and give the bolts a tap before attempting to loosen them.
There isn't too much that could go wrong inside these. This one had done 89000 miles and I can no discernible wear. I did notice the spring was binding, but I can't be sure this happened by the way I was messing around with it or not. What I have noticed is that the spring end visible from outside the sprocket has settled in a slightly different position since dismantling/ assembly and now there is absolutely no binding - that had possibly caused the sprocket to lock.
This sprocket has come from an engine with badly slipped timing chain. I'm wondering if the ECU could have been trying to constantly correct this and dislodged the spring? A lot of people seem to have the P0014 and P0015 fault codes after a timing chain change and this may explain it. I'll put it back together in a few days, and maybe find out!!
 

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