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Hi folks.

I've got a 2007 Mini Cooper (non-turbo) which has had an infuriating vanos fault for months now.

I keep getting codes 283D, 287D and 2845 and the idle is rough and fluctuating.

I have replaced the following, to no avail:

Timing chain, guides and crankshaft sprocket (Febi Bilstein), including new stretch bolts on crank and phasers.
(Crank bolt torqued to 50Nm then 180 deg. Phaser bolts torqued to 20Nm then 180deg)
Both vanos solenoids.
Both camshaft position sensors.
O rings on the exhaust camshaft.

The timing is absolutely spot on using a Laser tool.
Oil pressure is 50psi at 3000rpm at the pressure sensor.

When I reset the vanos adaptations, the exhaust value is 60, when it should be between 40 and 60, and that's the crux of the problem. The inlet value is bang in the middle.

There is no visible scoring on the exhaust cam journal, closest to the phaser. The metal O rings looked fine but I replaced them with the new rubbery ones anyway.

Basically, the only thing left to replace is the exhaust vanos phaser but I'm loathed to do so
a) because they're expensive
b) I'd rather know that it was actually knackered before replacing it

My question is: What can go wrong with these things?

I bought a cheap used one and took it apart. There doesn't appear to be anything inside that can break. I did see a spring loaded locking pin, which I assume locks the phaser at the rest position when there's no oil pressure, but I think that's unlikely to break.

Please help as this is slowly driving me insane.
 
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