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Old 09-15-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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Turbo Oil line Replacement

We tackled this job today on a Club Member's car - thanks to M/A for the writeup and pics too.

The OEM oil line has a swedged fitting and an o-ring seal - the rubber o-ring gets dried out from the turbo's heat and after a while the line leaks. We used the Detroit Tuned kit, but I think it's a good idea to also replace the turbo to downpipe gasket (ours was blown out) and the nuts and studs that hold the downpipe to the turbo. New studs from MINI are quite a bit shorter than the originals.

The first thing to do is remove the top shield, the lower bolt on the left only has to be loosened, (you can't get it out anyway) as the hole is a slot so the shield can lift straight up off of the bolt. There are 6 bolts that hold the top shield on. It's difficult to get the shield out from under the various bosses on the head, but if you fiddle with it it will come out. The lower shield is held on with only four bolts, finding them is the hard part here! You really can't remove the lower shield out of the car till after the downpipe is out. To get the downpipe out you pretty much need to remove the studs out of the turbo, there just isn't room to get it out otherwise. The top stud galled coming out, but fortunately it only destroyed the stud - a good tap run into the hole in the turbo cleaned the threads right up and the new stud went in with no issues.

The clamp on the lower part of the downpipe can be a challenge too, it's SS and very stiff, and you have to expand it over the joint - take it to the rear rather than onto the downpipe, it will be much easier to reinstall if you do.

The only other difficult part is figuring out which of the 400 types MINI uses hold the 02 sensor wire clips together - the upper one is a tab on the side that you push in while pulling out the plug, the lower one has a red cap that you pull out to release the plug.

You also have to remove the turbo support brace and the inner shield that bolts to the block to uncover the line. BTW, DT says take the old line out the top, we found it much easier to get it out the bottom. When installing the new line, do the bottom first, the lay the line in the right place before installing the top banjo bolt and tightening the compression fitting.

I took a couple of pics to show what I mean.....

Here we have the top shield off, you can see the gasket has blown out and the old leaky oil line. Also, the top stud has galled in the turbo itself. I managed to get it out by double nutting it and working it back and forth and backing it out a little at a time till it came out.

I can see how the dealership charges $800 to do this job (the new OEM line is $100 of that) - but comes with a little clip on shiled to keep the heat off the swedged end of the line.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's the bad stud, and the other two cleaned up to go back in...

Click the image to open in full size.

Here you can see the new oil line installed and the new shorter OEM stud. The big hole is for the 02 sensor.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:23 PM   #2
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Thank you so much for your help today, Dave
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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Thanks! We did that write up. For anyone that wants to order a line, you can do it here. Big changes will be coming to our web site soon!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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The Detroit Tuned - M/A writeup is fine as far as it goes, but it does leave quite a few important tips out, such as how to unplug the 02 sensor wires and the locations of the bolts, especially on the lower shield. But I guess including all those steps with pictures would make for a pretty big file to print out....

I also suppose that if you're competent enough to do the job in the first place you can figure all this other stuff out too.

I'm frequently surprised at the complexity of projects MINI owners are willing to take on with just a minimal toolbox and a How-To writeup but very little understanding of cars and mechanical things in general, but I give them full marks for their enthusiasm and efforts!
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:58 AM   #5
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Curious that you decided not to shield the new fitting. Seems like it would have been good insurance against coking in the new line. I know MINI's clip is overpriced, but one could probably fab their own for pocket change.

Oh, and I have an overwhelming urge to give some serious detailing to that engine compartment...
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gil-galad View Post
Curious that you decided not to shield the new fitting. Seems like it would have been good insurance against coking in the new line. I know MINI's clip is overpriced, but one could probably fab their own for pocket change.
I believe the heat shield is MINI's attempt to delay failure on the OEM line. The OEM line uses a rubber o-ring in the connection to the turbo, that o-ring is what causes the line to fail and leak oil. DT's oil feed line does not use a rubber o-ring thus it doesn't really need shielding.

One interesting note is that Subaru had a similar problem on their wrx's where their o-ring on the turbo oil feed line failed. They actually made a recall and fixed it, I wish MINI would do the same!
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:39 PM   #7
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Actually making your own DIY shield is a snap. Here is one I made for my '08. Turbo Oil line Replacement-imageuploadedbytapatalk1347921579.427594.jpg
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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I think hubdub is right, the new line should not need it, and the old one was already leaking, so no help for it.

However, I think the little heat shield is a good idea for those lines that haven't started leaking yet - this car had already escaped the warranty period, and she was on a tight budget too.

I'm going to see if I can get MINI to replace mine right before it goes out of warranty!
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