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Turbocharged Engine Timing Chain Guides Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Turbocharged Engine Timing Chain Guides Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

6 hours6 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Socket set 8, 10, 18mm, T20, T45, E12, E14, wrenches, timing and crankshaft pulley tools

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Timing chain kit, crankshaft seal

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine and clear DME fault codes when done

Performance Gain:

Proper engine operation

Complementary Modification:

Change oil

MINI R56 models with a turbocharged engine utilize a gear driven timing chain to synchronize the crankshaft and camshafts.

Once our MINI engines have around 100,000 miles they may develop a problem where the timing chain guides wear or break. This creates a dangerous situation. The timing chain guides do just that, guide the timing chain so there is little to no slack in the chain. If the chain is allowed to move as the result of a broken timing chain guide there is a chance the chain could jump and throw engine timing off. If this happens valves could contact the pistons and engine damage could result. In this tech article we will walk you through all the steps to access and replace your timing chain guides.

The guides wear from lack of lubrication and running low on engine oil. This can cause timing chain rattle at start up, noise when running and worse-case scenario a jumped timing engine.

In this tech article I will show you how to replace the guides and timing chain. I will also show you how to measure the timing chain component wear, in the case you can install just an updated tensioner to fix your issue. This article covers an N14 turbocharged engine. Although normally-aspirated engines are similar, camshaft timing procedures vary, be sure to use the article for your specific engine. Any questions, check with a MINI repair manual. Read the article before attempting this repair, as there are many special tools required and it is no easy task.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Drain the cooling system. See our tech article on Cooling System Draining and Filling.

Place the radiator support into service position. See our teach article on radiator support service position. This is not necessary, but will give you a lot more room to work.

Remove the left side charge air ducts and valve cover. Remove the drive belts and crankshaft pulley. See the associated tech articles for these procedures. Remove the right side engine mount and bracket. Support the engine from above or below.

TIP: Screw plug 11317562528 is recommended to be replaced when doing the timing chain and tensioner replacement.

To locate camshaft at TDC for MINI Cooper R55/R56/R57 (2011-2015) CLICK HERE

To locate camshaft at TDC for MINI Cooper N12/N14 (2007-2015) CLICK HERE

To purchase camshaft timing tools CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

This photo shows the timing chain and guides, often referred to as the timing chain cassette.
Figure 1

This photo shows the timing chain and guides, often referred to as the timing chain cassette. It comes out of the engine as shown, in one piece, the chain (green arrow), crankshaft sprocket (yellow arrow) and guides (red arrows).

Working at the rear right of the cylinder head, remove the timing chain tensioner (red arrow).
Figure 2

Working at the rear right of the cylinder head, remove the timing chain tensioner (red arrow). Use a 24mm wrench to loosen it. Then unscrew it by hand.

Install the timing chain pre-tensioner tool 11 9 340 with the seal from the tensioner (inset).
Figure 3

Install the timing chain pre-tensioner tool 11 9 340 with the seal from the tensioner (inset). Pretension the tool to 0.6 Nm (red arrow). Finger-tighten the lock nut (green arrow). Remove the tool without loosening the lock nut.

If the distance between the red arrows is less than 68 mm, replace the chain tensioner with sealing ring P/N 11 31 4 609 482.
Figure 4

If the distance between the red arrows is less than 68 mm, replace the chain tensioner with sealing ring P/N 11 31 4 609 482. If distance A is 68 mm or greater, replace the components below, found in the timing chain repair Kit P/N 11 31 8 623 601.

Reinstall the timing chain tensioner.
Figure 5

Reinstall the timing chain tensioner. Using an 18mm socket on the crankshaft pulley bolt (red arrow), rotate the engine over to find 90 degrees BTDC.

When rotating the engine, monitor the camshafts.
Figure 6

When rotating the engine, monitor the camshafts. The IN (green arrows) and EX (red arrows) on the camshafts will point up.

Cylinder 1 camshaft lobes will point as shown.
Figure 7

Cylinder 1 camshaft lobes will point as shown. Intake (red arrow) will point up and in toward the center of the cylinder head. Exhaust (green arrow) will point down and in toward the center of the cylinder head.

Working at the transmission bell housing, locate the crankshaft locking bore (red arrow).
Figure 8

Working at the transmission bell housing, locate the crankshaft locking bore (red arrow). The inset photo shows the MINI special tool 11 9 950 (green arrow) placed into the bore to lock the engine in 90 degree BTDC.

Remove the timing chain tensioner (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the timing chain tensioner (red arrow).

Next, lock the camshafts in place using the locking tool 11 9 550, 11 9 551 and 11 9 552 (red arrow).
Figure 10

Next, lock the camshafts in place using the locking tool 11 9 550, 11 9 551 and 11 9 552 (red arrow). Follow the instructions on your tool when installing. The instructions may vary. Be sure they are secure and properly attached to the cylinder head.

Loosen the camshaft sprocket fasteners (red arrows) using an E14 external Torx socket.
Figure 11

Loosen the camshaft sprocket fasteners (red arrows) using an E14 external Torx socket.

Remove the two 10mm guide rail fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 12

Remove the two 10mm guide rail fasteners (red arrows). Then remove the guide rail (green arrow).

Bolt special tool 11 9 280 (green arrow) to the crankshaft pulley hub.
Figure 13

Bolt special tool 11 9 280 (green arrow) to the crankshaft pulley hub. Then counterhold it as you remove the 18mm crankshaft pulley hub fastener (red arrow).

Remove the engine mount bracket on the cylinder head.
Figure 14

Remove the engine mount bracket on the cylinder head. Remove the two 10mm fasteners (green arrows), if they haven't already been removed. Then remove the four E12 external Torx fasteners (red arrows). Remove the bracket from the engine (yellow arrow).

Working just above the crankshaft pulley hub, remove the two timing chain guide fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 15

Working just above the crankshaft pulley hub, remove the two timing chain guide fasteners (red arrows). Use a T45 Torx socket. Be sure to replace the bolts and sealing O-rings (green arrow) when reassembling.  

Remove the crankshaft pulley hub (red arrow) from the timing chain and engine.
Figure 16

Remove the crankshaft pulley hub (red arrow) from the timing chain and engine. The hub sits inside the chain (green arrow) sprocket. Once removed, you will need a new crankshaft pulley seal. See our tech article on crankshaft seal replacing for the installation procedure and special tools.

Working at the front of the cylinder head, remove the timing chain guide fastener (red arrow).
Figure 17

Working at the front of the cylinder head, remove the timing chain guide fastener (red arrow). Use a T45 Torx socket. Be sure to replace the bolt and sealing washer (green arrow) when reassembling.  

Remove the dipstick (yellow arrow).
Figure 18

Remove the dipstick (yellow arrow). Then remove the intake (green arrow) and exhaust (red arrow) camshaft sprockets.

Secure the timing chain from falling into the engine (red arrow).
Figure 19

Secure the timing chain from falling into the engine (red arrow). I used a flathead screwdriver to secure the timing chain.

Remove the timing chain and guides up together from the engine.
Figure 20

Remove the timing chain and guides up together from the engine.

Note that the oil pump sprocket stays in place (red arrow).
Figure 21

Note that the oil pump sprocket stays in place (red arrow). Later you will align this with the crankshaft sprocket.

With the chain removed, it is time to assemble the new parts.
Figure 22

With the chain removed, it is time to assemble the new parts. First, slide the two guides together. The front guide stays straight (green arrow) while you insert the rear guide (red arrow) at an angle to engage the locks (yellow arrow).

Once engaged, rotate the rear guide (green arrow) up to lock it (red arrow) to the front guide.
Figure 23

Once engaged, rotate the rear guide (green arrow) up to lock it (red arrow) to the front guide. Note the locking tab positions in the previous photo and this one for help aligning and locking.

Install the crankshaft pulley sprocket (red arrow) to the lower part of the chain and feed the teeth into the guides as shown.
Figure 24

Install the crankshaft pulley sprocket (red arrow) to the lower part of the chain and feed the teeth into the guides as shown.

Lower the chain and guides into the engine (red arrow).
Figure 25

Lower the chain and guides into the engine (red arrow). Align the crankshaft sprocket (green arrow) with the oil pump sprocket, as mentioned earlier. Install the new crankshaft seal, then the crankshaft pulley hub.

Bolt the special tool 11 9 280 (green arrow) to the crankshaft pulley hub; then counterhold it as you tighten the 18mm crankshaft pulley hub fastener (red arrow).
Figure 26

Bolt the special tool 11 9 280 (green arrow) to the crankshaft pulley hub; then counterhold it as you tighten the 18mm crankshaft pulley hub fastener (red arrow).

Install the timing chain pretensioner tool and tighten it to 0.
Figure 27

Install the timing chain pretensioner tool and tighten it to 0.6NM (green arrow). Then install the camshaft sprockets and tighten the fasteners (red arrows). These fasteners are single use; check with a MINI repair manual for the most current torque spec. MINI now recommends removing the pretensioner tool and installing the timing chain tensioner. Once you do that, rotate the engine one full rotation and recheck camshaft timing. Install the crankshaft and camshaft locking tools and be sure everything is aligned correctly. If your timing is correct, reassemble the engine. Take your time installing all removed items and reseal everything with new gaskets. Be sure the wiring is routed as before to avoid issues. Once assembled, replace the engine oil and top up the coolant. Run the engine and recheck your work.




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Comments and Suggestions:
Mr Richard Comments: Please help
On a Mini Cooper 2009 r56 engine. Should their be slack in the oil pump drive chain located behind lower sprocket of timing chain. I'm in the process of replacing the timing chain and noticed that the oil pump chain has approximately 3/8" to 1/2" slack / deflection in it, is this normal?
November 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it shouldn't have a ton of slack, but won't be tight like a timing chain. Check if the gears are worn. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bigwull Comments: hi guys a would like to thank the member who gave me the answer to my problem of locking the crankshaft on the r56 engine i reduced the diameter of the pin like the member said so the pin went right in up to the end and locked the crankshaft thanks
November 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mr richard Comments: Help please
How much slack should be in the Oil Pump drive chain?While replacing the Timing chain I noticed the Oil Pump chain located behind lower timing chain sproket has 3/8" to 1/2" slack/deflection in it,is that normal?
October 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it shouldn't have a ton of slack, but won't be tight like a timing chain. Check if the gears are worn. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tama123 Comments: I cannot find anywhere in this article a description or steps to remove the Vibration/dampener pulley or what size the pulley bolts are. Does anyone know? E-12 E-14 larger ?. Also I've been told buy a couple local mini mechanics that if you are reaching 100000 miles or so changing the timing chain tensioner to the older version or 82mm to help with timing chain stretch at or around 100000 miles is pointless. Is there any truth in what some suppliers state that the 82mm tensioner will help with stretch and quiet a noisy chain on start up? Thanks in advance.
September 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The steps needed before the procedure are listed. All articles are here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI_R56/MINI_Cooper_R56_Tech.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jerry Comments: I'm confused about special tool 11 9 280.

I understand it holds the pulley/crank from spinning while you remove the 18mm bolt, but doesn't the tool that locks the crank/flywheel at 90 deg do the same thing?

I mean it is the crank you want to stop from spinning while removing that 18mm but right? Or does the hub still spin on the crank?

I ask because I thought I did my homework before tearing into this, and or ordered the cam locking tool set. I missed the part about needing special tool 11 9 280, and really can't afford to wait a week for delivery. I will have to make my own if it is truly necessary
September 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The crankshaft locking tool can't hold the force need to get the bolt out or safely hold the crankshaft without stressing timing components. Otherwise MINI would suggest that. You need the crankshaft holding tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Justin Comments: On the last step, it says to install the pre-tensioner tool and tighten to 0.6 NM? Am i reading that right? I dont even have a torque wrench that will go that low. You sure you dont mean 6 NM? .6 seems like nothing, not even finger tight.
September 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 0.6 Nm or 5 in-lbs. That is correct. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jwood Comments: The notes on figure 27 say to install the timing chain pretensioner tool and tighten it to 0.6NM 5.3 in-lb. Can you recommend an appropriate torque wrench that can be used at this low of a setting. Most small torque wrenches have a working range with a low end around 20 in-lb. I am struggling to find one that is rated for the such a low torque setting.
May 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Look for a 1/4 " drive torque wrench. SK, Stahlwille should both make one.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can get you one.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Victor Comments: Hi can you give me the torque settings for the cylinder head bolts
May 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
deli Comments: Are you sure that screw plug 11317562528 needs to be changed? I have no idea where this part belongs and I was not able to find it in parts diagram either. It looks like this part is for first generation.
May 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think that is for engines with a two piece tensioner. The tensioner and plug are sold separately. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
youngnp Comments: Phxer - Yeah there is only one hole. If the words on the cams are both facing up, you're close. What I had to do was use an inspection mirror and a flashlight to see inside the hole while spinning the crank over. The hole tolerances are pretty tight so you'll have to be right on it to get the pin in.
May 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Phxer Comments: In figure 8 is there only one hole that the crank allighnment tool will fit in?
May 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, just one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
2nd mini Comments: 0.6nm = 5.3 in lb = .44 ft lbs. I guess we're just measuring chain stretch here. Hardly seems like enough tension for something moving so hard and fast.
April 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Guide wear more than stretch. The spec is used to hold the chain when repairing, not running the engine. It is MINI's spec. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
2nd mini Comments: Hi, is there a timing mark somewhere to indicate 90' before TDC? Seems like there can be a lot of lee way just eyeballing the cam lobes.
Thx
JD
April 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is how it is done, once the cams are in place, it is locked down. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Michael2007Mini Comments: In figure 15, it states to "Be sure to replace the bolts and sealing O-rings when reassembling. The same for figure 17 with the guide fastener and washer. Are all three of those parts, single use bolts just like the head bolts, cam gear bolts?
March 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, single use. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ricksink Comments: As usuall excellent instructions Thanks Nick
March 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
MattD. Comments: How exactly do you pretension the tool to .6nm, what type of torque wrench would you need? Thank you in advance!
March 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A 1/4 drive torque wrench. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Allen Comments: Is this process only recommended if you have had some mechanical training? I have had almost no experience with engines but the process doesn't look impossible. I also don't want to spend 1700 taking it to a mechanic. Thanks
March 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you are mechanically inclined, you should be able to perform the task. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
r56 Comments: Hello! In the last step you wrote "rotate engine one full rotation" - I should just do 360 degree rotation with crankshaft pulley bolt?
January 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: yes, 360° until you can line the marks up again and check your work. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RTSMini Comments: Hi do you guys sell these special tools? If so where?

Thanks
November 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, we do. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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