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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

A few months ago I bought a car. Mini Cooper S r56 (N14) 2007 66k miles on it. New timing chain 60k.

From about two months the car has problems with idling (rough) and problems with it at 1100-1500rpm. It was very difficult to drive the car on the traffic lights. You had to give a lot of gas to move.
DTC P2178 - System Too Rich Off Idle Bank 1
As this is a frequent problem I've been reading about on many forums (on this car), I'm already making the necessary tests/checks and attempts to fix it.

Checked Vacuum Leaks (3 times by Liquid on cold engine and Propane Butane on hot) NO LEAKS!
New Valve Cover. New Spark Plugs. Checked Coils, all OK. HPFP checked live data by Software and on ilde 5MPa (like on BMW service manual) more when higher on rpm. OK.
Both O2 sensors positive and good live data readings. VANOS position by Software - OK. MAP sensor clean and read OK. Pressure Sensor clean and read OK.
Intake manifold removed, cleaned carbon buildup from valves, cleaned intake manifold. Changed intake manifold pvc (int) pipe for new one. Checked all pipes from Turbo to Intake. Checked Exhaust.
Replaced Crankshaft Sensor (weird data read) no luck.:serious: Checked Camshaft sensor - OK. Battery fully charged - readings OK. Cylinder pressure tests - All same readings above 150psi.
I could have forgotten about something, because these tests have been a lot for the last two months.

I began to lose patience and implemented my plan B "turn off as many devices/modules and sensors as possible, so that the engine will still work". I've learned a lot. :nerd: I will not describe it here because this post will be unreadable :big_grin:
Let's get back to the point.

Many times after disconnecting something the engine died >:D or worked a lot worse. Some sensors / modules did not cause changes in rpm, but it was not possible to drive smoothly without them.
Until I disconnected camshaft sensor. :eeksurprise: The car has no problem with idling any more. Has full power and again it is very dynamic. I have not enjoyed myself this much, in a long time.

Of course, after disconnecting the sensor I expected errors. These are the ones that are now appearing:
P0340 - Camshaft position sensor "A" circuit (obviously)
P1497 - Downstream throttle air leak
P2982 - Int Cam Zero signal max (obviously)
P2B64 - Int Manifold Leak Error

Should I check these NOT-obvious errors or have they appeared because the sensor is disconnected?
Why is there now no sign of "P2178 - System Too Rich Off Idle Bank 1" error and the car drives like new?

Detective Martin >:D

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Mike for the time spent reading my post ::wink::
I had hope that you will sooner or later say something in this topic. 0:)

A small explanation, I want to write that the chain was exchanged at 60k miles, meaning in theory is like new. I probably described it wrong in the post above.
I have a stamp in my service book and a signature that it was done, but again, I did not do it myself, I bought a car like that, so I have my suspicions.
BMW produced "prince" engines with a flat tensioner and it's a good start for me to look at. Probably the chain was changed, and if not :serious: then surely the tensioner was, as it has a "hole" in it. (attached picture for explanation from other forum).
I am waiting for BMW Mini pre-tensioner Tool, so I will be able to check the timing chain wear. ::smile::

From a logical point of view, I suspected something with cables/instalations, because it can not be that sometimes the engine work beautifully and after switching on a "good" sensor it suddenly drives like its broken. (Air leak = rough idle - with or without Sensor IN)
But as I wrote above in my case, the sensor IN - causes many problems. Sensor OUT - the car is like new.

Your statement (very helpful) only strengthens me in the belief that I should actually check the entire engine bay electrical installation and I needed such advice.

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bad news. :crying:
It looks like the chain is a bit stretched. BMW recommends replacing the tensioner if the chain is stretched to 67mm and replacing whole chain kit, if is stretched more than 68mm.
My (as seen in the attached picture) has 69.11mm.

So I will replace it soon. I just need to make sure that the weather will be good. ::wink::

@mike1967 Can a stretched chain cause above problems with rough idle and System Too Rich Off Idle Bank 1?


· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As life has taught me, I do everything myself because I want it to be done well and without cutting costs on the material.
My motto is: "If you want something to be done well, do it yourself."

A month ago I cleaned the entire INTAKE and inlet ports with valves (attached pictures).
I changed the thermostat, the water pump, the new tensioner puller, belt and Valve cover. I got rid of all the squeals and strange sounds from engine bay, so that I can be sure that the engine will be safe at higher loads.

As I mentioned before, I have a stamp and the signature in the car service book, that the timing chain was changed at 60k. Which, of course, looks like a lie. :mad: That's why I always check everything and do it myself. :serious:
I am still not 100% sure if this chain was NOT replaced, because it is very easy to overtighten the screw = which will show that the chain is longer than in reality. But I will change it for pure curiosity and safety. 0:)
It is better now to spend a little more than to buy another engine later. :nerd:

And like you, I like everything to be clean.
In my car (which, I maintain), in the engine bay there is no trace of leaking oil from any part. You can practically "eat" from it. >:D


· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I bought a reinforced timing chain from FEBI Germany with chain guide rails and upgraded tensioner.
Now I am looking for new bolts, as they should be changed according to the BMW recommendation.

Where in UK I can buy the following items:
- Inlet Camshaft sprocket Torx Bolt (M10x1x52) [10 - on the picture]
- Exhaust Camshaft sprocket Torx Bolt (M10x1x30) [9 - on the picture]
- Crankshaft Bolt [not on the picture, bottom sprocket 6]

- Chain guide bolt x 2 [15 - on the picture]
- Chain guide bolt Top [13 - on the picture]

I do not want anything from cheap materials/metals, I prefer the original parts so that the screws do not crack/break or the thread does not get damaged.
I checked many online stores with bmw parts, but no store has it separately. Many kits, one screw in one set, different screw in a second one, hard to match all screws in one kit.

Or maybe someone has information about the complete set of screws for the N14 engine?


· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys for a hint.

I ordered everything I needed at the local BMW delar yesterday and I collected everything today.
Actually, as you wrote, I did not ruin myself financially and the best part of it is that I have all the original parts.

As of today, 28.60.2019, if someone plans to change the timing chain, he must have a minimum of these parts brand new. :big_grin:
I saw many repair kits on internet. Many of them had a lot of unnecessary things in their kit and because of that their prices were astronomical.
I remember one set for 1300 GBP. :eeksurprise:
I will write them, with the part numbers, to help others purchase the necessary parts for this job.

BMW part number for Mini Cooper S r56 (N14 engine):

1 x 11 31 7 516 088 - Timing Chain Kit - in my case FEBI Bilstein (chain, side guide rails x 2, Top guide rail, tensioner "upgraded version") = 84.45 GBP
1 x 11 36 7 545 863 - Exhaust Camshaft Torx Bolt = 2.36 GBP
1 x 11 36 7 536 087 - Inlet/Intake Camshaft Torx Bolt = 2.80 GBP
1 x 11 21 7 616 164 - Crankshaft Hex Bolt = 4.79 GBP
1 x 11 31 7 550 461 - Gasket ring for Guide Rail Top Bolt = 0.57 GBP
2 x 11 31 7 535 770 - O-ring for Guide Rail Bolt = 2.38 GBP each = 4.76 GBP

Total: 99.73 GBP :big_grin:

1300 GBP? For what? Maybe the chain is made of gold ::wink:::big_grin:


· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You should also change the rocker/cam cover gasket and you'll need a small tube of gasket sealant for the corners of that (but I suspect you will already have this :)

Oh aye, and the front crankshaft seal will need replaced.
@ Scudder - My fault. ::wink:: I forgot to write, because I bought it long time ago, now lies and waits for change.
1 x 11117568264 - Crankshaft Oil Seal
And I have "whole" new Valve Cover with all new gaskets.
I also replaced all 3 gaskets in the vacuum pump, because at the bottom there was a little oil leak. I spread it on parts, cleaned it and even painted it. :big_grin:

@ Mike - What can I say?! We do not want poor, weak parts made of bad materials from China, that's why we're looking for original German parts. If not original, then what should we choose? ::wink::
The car I have now - done (on such a German chain) 67k miles and works perfectly - no "death rattle", so I trust that with the new chain kit will do calmly another 50k.

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
done a 207 gti this week guy bought car from someone they told him chain was done 8k ago, deffo was not had about 4mm left on tensioner travel, i always add 20k to what ever anyone else at least, i tend to use febi or FAI timing chain kits or recently been using this company on ebay they specialise in mini and saab parts
neobrothers link below.
I saw Neo bros on ebay, but I do not know where they takes mini chains from and that's why I chose febi. Have you done many repairs on their parts? How does it look like in real life, are they good?

I have a stamp in my service book and a signature that it was done, but again, I did not do it myself, I bought a car like that, so I have my suspicions.
I wrote this in my second post, which means that we completely agree on this matter.
However, I still feel fear that the problem will not be solved by the replacement of the chain.
But I still want to do it to be sure that nothing will break down suddenly in the engine and I can drive this car for much more miles.

I can not wait for it to be unscrewed and pulled out to check what condition the chain is in.

For sure everything will describe here, because I do not like people who are looking for help on forums, they assume topics, receive advice and then they disappear without writing what happened, whether the problem was fixed and possibly how it was done.

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I replaced the timing chain about 3 days ago.
It was work for the whole day, beautiful weather, lots of fun. :big_grin:0:)

The timing chain did not look worn as much (fraction of mm), all the guides were completely and nothing was broken, at that time I thought that maybe someone actually changed it at 60k. [picture 1 and 2]

After setting the engine in the right position and locked it I saw that:
- Inlet Camshaft is OFF about 5' (degree) [picture 3]
- Exhaust Camshaft is OFF about 3' (degree) [picture 4]

Because everything was unscrewed, I replaced the entire system with the timing chain anyway. [picture 5]
I measured the new chain with a BMW special tool and it turned out that in fact the old chain was more worn than it looked. (New chain 64mm)

Yesterday I have made more than 60 miles and everything looks that it is correct and the problem is fixed. I will check it on some longer routes as well.

The conclusion is as always; that you can not trust people and you have to take care of everything yourself. ::wink::


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