As long time reader of this site know I have penchant for breaking my car. Something about the engine not being happy about every 20k miles or so. Oddly, it has happened near the end of long trips with 10-12 hours where I manged to average the speed limit for the entire journey, including fuel and food stops. Yeah, I zip about...
Those that want to check out past fun with my engine can reference the following:
May 2010 - P0301 Driving Me Nuts The short version. Replaced all pistons, timing chain guides, all exhaust and some intake valves. Mileage ~40K
About 2 years earlier after MOTD 2008 there was an issue where the piston ring gaps lined up and caused a loss of compression in Cylinder One. The piston was re-ringed. Mileage ~20K
Back in August returning from a long weekend in the land of my youth, Maryland, culminated with a visit to Helix in Philly problems cropped up. It was a warm day and long slog across the PA Turnpike. Light traffic and a Valentine One made for zippy cruising. Then it happened, Just as I entered Ohio and stopped to fill up on restart CEL flashed, the engine note was wrong and knew from past experience it was running on 3 cylinders. Pop out the code reader, misfire on Cylinder 2. All the normal checks that one can do in the corner of a gas station lot on a smoking hot engine are done. Yep, all the wires are plugged in. No sparkplugs blown out.
Knowing the drill that if I give it a bit more gas on start up that all 4 will come to life I try that. Yep, so now as long as I stay above about 1200 rpm it will run on all 4.
Clear the codes, drive home. No new codes...
Once home I consult those that know more about this than me and do some injector position swaps. Nothing is resolved from this, codes don't come back for while.
Then the codes start. P0302 - Misfire Cylinder 2 But they are rare and don't come back that often. I just know something is broke though and I'm biding my time.
Fast Forward a few months when I decide to get a compression test. Sure enough there are issues. Cylinder 2 is low, real low. Cylinder 4 is down, but not much. Squirt a little oil in the cylinders and test again. Compression comes right back up then slowly drops... Yep, probably need rings again.
I'm sick of this. Every gosh darn 20K or so miles this "engine" wants love. Thats just not right.
Knowing the inevitable is coming I start putting away the pennies and not driving a whole lot. All the while plotting on how I want to go about this. I could look locally for a shop to do the work, or I could ship it off to someone that I know knows MINIs. It's also time to come off that speed fence and bring this thing down a few notches to increase the reliability. That 8K rev limit, I turned that down to 7k months ago.
Lucky for me it's only 223 miles from my door step to Detroit Tuned. Hello Chad, this is the issue, lets fix it please. BTW, I need it for the Dragon, you have 2 months. Now Chad is a busy fellow, good shops are. And he know of this months ago when I was starting the process. I kninda waited a little long and there are others booked for the shop now too. It's now go time if I want it back in time and have some break in miles on it too.
This weekend, weather permitting, it's off to Detroit Tuned to drop of the MINI.
Pull engine, tear down, inspect everything and send to machine shop to make sure the cylinders are actually round!
From there we can see what the issues are and create a plan of action.
There are a few other things that will be accomplished while the car is apart and my wallet is still strong. Brakes need a refresh. Those Alta PRS things are headed for the recycle bin. There are various other bits that are long in the tooth and hopefully I can get refreshed.
While there the Craven strut tower defenders I have on my parts shelves will be install. The replacement airbox, also from Craven will be installed. If things play out right the AST Coilovers are coming out to be replaced by TSW springs and yet to be decided shocks will go in place. These springs have a provenance too. This set is the R53 Beta 3 that used to be in agranger's Jango. Amazing how these parts make the rounds.
So settle in kids. Hopefully there will be lots of updates with pictures of the next journey into the heart of my MINI...
Common sense really isn't common.