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Replacing Timing Chain Tensioner
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Icon7 Replacing Timing Chain Tensioner - 18th December 2015, 07:42 PM

Haven't posted in ages so thought I'd share some guides. This should help anyone who is having a noisy timing chain rattle (I know this is a very common issue with the Cooper S).

So first of all booked the car in to have the timing chain replaced at a local independent garage. Was going to cost about 500, which was a bit steep just before Christmas. Did some research and it seems there isn't a specific mileage to change the chain. So bought a tensioner from BMW directly for 16 (bargain)!

To complete this job you will need:

Torx bits and driver
Flat head screw driver
Spray lube (GT85 is what I used)
27mm socket
Socket driver
New tensioner


You can see the part number here if you needed to order the same.

Decided to give it a go myself, didn't seem like too big of a job.

First I located the tensioner which sits on the back of the engine where the timing chain runs on the side of the block.

[IMG][/IMG]

I removed the elbow as below. The upper join was a hose clip and the lower was a cir-clip. The cir-clip comes away quite easily actually. Just use a flat head screw driver.

[IMG][/IMG]

Then remove the oil breather and air box and this gives you a lot more access. Air box is only held on by locating pins and one torx screw.

[IMG][/IMG]

Next remove the t joint in the turbo tubing. This was a right pain. I had to loosen the hose clips right off and then get some lubricant in there as the t joint was heat welded to the plastic. With a lot of swearing and twisting, it did finally come out... The two pictures below show the hose clips that need loosening.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Next, get your 27mm socket and take out the old tensioner. Careful, some oil (in my case hot oil....) will spill out, especially if the car has recently been driven.

[IMG][/IMG]

Once the old one was out, I cleaned it up and compared it to the new one. Quite a difference! The new one had a longer tread, the spring was a lot stiffer and the piston came out a lot further (I presume to exert more pressure on the tensioner). Also the old piston was very non-progressive, felt like the spring was not in the best of shapes at all!

[IMG][/IMG]

Next step is to just put everything back together! Be warned though, putting the tensioner bolt back into the block is a PAIN! you have to compress the spring as well as trying to catch the tread. This part undoubted took the most time. However, once it was all done, started the car, boom, problem gone! I started the car before reassembling any of the pipe work and clattering had completely gone. RESULT!

Please note this is only a guide. If you do decide to follow these instructions, be careful. You DO NOT want to start the car without the tensioner fully tightened. I also take no responsibility if you break anything!!

Hope you all find this helpful!
  
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Default 18th December 2015, 07:58 PM

I would replace the whole kit if it was me. But a good guide none the less
  
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Default 18th December 2015, 08:42 PM

Will do! After Christmas though... Local garage quoted 530 with all parts, labour and VAT. Sound good to you?
  
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Default 18th December 2015, 10:42 PM

you can get the timing kit for 250 so 250 is labour 50 an hour labour at an Indy garage means they either take 5 hours or its a 2 hour job at 125 an hour. Who knows
  
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Default 18th December 2015, 10:43 PM

Chain kit for your information

Timing Chain Replacement Kit - R56. MINI - Servicing - Repairs - Tuning - Parts - Spares
  
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Default Replacing Timing Chain Tensioner - 19th December 2015, 12:09 AM

Good guide, thanks for posting
However, this is only ever going to be a temporary fix - as above the whole assembly needs replacing
Fwiw I reckon 500 is not bad
  
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Timing Chain Replacement Kit
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Default Timing Chain Replacement Kit - 16th April 2016, 05:58 PM

I am looking to replace my timing chain complete. My engine has just hit 50,000 but I am convinced that I can hear the chain starting to rattle when cold. Euro Car Parts is selling the complete FAI kit for 219. Any one ever done it DIY....
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