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Hi, I bought a 2012 mini r55 clubman One (1.6) a few month ago. It’s done 59k. Engine is strong but idles a bit rough on cold start up and there’s definitely a slight chain slap for the first min of driving after till it heats up, and sometimes when setting off from really low revs. Done loads of googling which suggests timing chain tensioner replacement or full timing chain and guides. The engine also drinks oil for fun but can’t find any obvious leaked. Thing is, every post I’ve read suggests problems only occurs with timing chains on S models? Anyone else with none S models have any issues? Thanks
 

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If you have a breather port on your valve cover routing it into the intake manifold that is where the oil is going. It gets burned up in a slosh of oil and air in the combustion chamber.
For the slight slap sound. If I was as knowledgeable about what I know now. I would of just bought a upper guide rail and taken off the valve cover and just replace that only to start with. It's only 40 dollars US. Of course when I changed my chain it was not because it was old. It only had about 10k on it. I changed it because I rebuilt the whole thing. and I know first hand on the N14 that the oil wiper ring is made out of a composite plastic and that could burn oil(I don't think it did on mine). So I put MAHL rings in there. And I have a NM oil catch can that has a bung to plug the valve cover breather coming from the gas tank. so that takes care of some of my oil air infusion problem. But I don't run the catch can unless I am leaving on vacation or something where there is alot of driving involved. I don't need the low rpm oil catch can issue of there not being enough action going on and requiring a higher level of vacuum in general to make the can work proper.
40 buck for a upper rail to start with. If it is the chain it gonna be down time and $$$$ anyway. With the upper rail make sure to tighten down proper. You may have to tap for bigger bolts; but they are tiny anyway. I think they are 7mm.
Low revvs you say. with the upper rail check you chain tensioner plug that is easy enough and make sure it is the revised tensioner spring piston plug. That only takes about 15 minutes to get at and an hour to change. The original were too short for practical application. The revised are about 5mm longer and you guess it will tighten the chain right back up.
After that you would have to at least pull the valve cover with a flashlight; making sure none of the side plastic chain guides were broken in your driving around.
So that is that 55 dollars US for a chain tensioner re vised after measuring your old one and confirming it is the shorter(in all likely hood it might just be the re vised). Then a upper guide rail for about 40. So for a 100 dollars US roughly you could more than likely borrow much needed time and make that slap issue go away.
 

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One thing about all I just said you would need a cam lock kit which is 50 bucks. but you would not have to loosen cam gears or crank gears or mess with the chain itself. So that kit could be the cheapest kit. just get another when you do the chain that is better.
People may argue me. But changing the timing chain is full of riddles and pitfalls it took me a year and two sets of crunched valves to figure it out. But I am commenting now because I did do it right and my car runs well now. I also rebuilt the entire engine also in that time.
I actually know a real slop way I would do it off hand to save time if I had to. anyway.
 

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Slop way meaning. I would do it. Without ever breaking loose the bolts to the cams or crank. leaving the old chain in it and only replacing the guides. So I would not have to set the timing only scoring marks one backs of the cam gears and one on each link over the cam gears. pulling the entire cams out instead and leaving the old chain in it. Replacing the three guides and tensioner. Done!
Once you break the bolts loose on the cam gears and crank gear your in it for the full ride. And you will learn one way or another.
 

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use a bungi cord to hang the chain to the bottom of the hood making sure the chain does not lose its footing on that crank gear if you do it that way. God help you man.
 

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not the correct way to do a timing chain on these engines strip the vvt down to fit a chain kit very much long way round, also changing a chain kit on a 100k car and not doing the sprockets wont end well, also the preload on chain that must be set when doing them the proper way ie all sprockets free wheel and preload the chain removes all movement in the guides and wear,, the only way to do these jobs is the right way with lock kit with new stretch bolts,,, anything else would more likely have it running slightly out of time and that over time will crack valves and cause a load of damage to cat and 02 sensors,, rule of thumb on these engines is 60.000 miles do the chain kit,, as for oil burning i have rebuilt many of these engines and re ring them etc and after customers have said how little oil it now uses,, as common are valve stem seals after 5-8 years old rubber goes hard the breathers do take oil from crankcase and more so when get more levels of piston blow past... hence using 3 piece oil control rings is better than factory rubbish single ring type,, so high levels of oil burning via the breather is more because of engine wear and also from silly 20k oil changes and no flush used as well cause rings to gum up etc, i got two mini's booked in for next week for rebuild the same way as both wont go through emissions tests for mot due to oil burning from wear,, both are around 90k both on second timing chain kit as well and will get another one as part of rebuild and will be done the correct way,, all valves out all stem seals done pistons out re ring with better ring sets big end bearings head gasket new head bolts and timing chain kit, all this tends to sort them right out and barely use a litre of oil to 5k
 
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