2nd Gen R56 Cooper S Camshaft timing Off one degree, advice needed!

Discussion in '2nd Generation: 2007+ R55 through R61' started by Systemlord, May 28, 2015.

  1. Systemlord

    Systemlord New Member

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    Almost 2 years ago I had my timing chain and all components replaced by my Mini Dealer, with my 2-Year/Unlimited mileage warranty ending on June 28-2015 I decided to have the timing chain slack measured so I know where I'm at as far as expected life of the timing chain. It measured 66.42mm which is within spec and I was thrilled until the SA and tech both told and showed me that my static camshaft timing was off be 1 degree retarded. The timing lock tool would not lay flat on top of each other because the camshafts were off by the 1 degree. My MINI Dealer refused to do anything to re-align my camshafts, no surprise there huh? My question is how serious of an issue is it to have the camshafts timing off by one degree and does this affect performance at all? Pre-ignition?

    Much appreciated!
     
  2. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #2 BlimeyCabrio, May 28, 2015
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
    I'm confused... I don't really understand how it can be off by only one degree.

    As I understand it... it's either right, or it's off by one tooth on the gear... which is way more than one degree (because there are way less than 360 teeth)...
     
  3. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    If its not done correctly they have to redo it. Call Mini USA a make a complaint.
     
  4. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Or take them to small clams court, if you can't get any further up the chain of command.
     
  5. Systemlord

    Systemlord New Member

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    #5 Systemlord, May 28, 2015
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
    I'm going to rub their nose in it until they wish they never screwed with me, I'm going to make life miserable. If the BAR complaint doesn't yield any resolution I'll file small claims against they, I could also speak to the owner and see if we can't come to an agreement, or I'll tell him I ready to file small claims.

    I did call Mini USA to complain, they said they stand behind the Mini dealers tech, dead-end. I already filed a complaint against them through BAR. When I asked my SA why they won't cover it under warranty he stated, "it happens over time as the timing chain stretches. I asked him if my chain was stretched of course he said yes, then I asked him how he knew that and asked him what the chain slack would be on a brand new timing chain, the tech told the SA that they never ever bothered to check the slack on a new chain.

    I asked the SA again how he could claim my chain was stretch if he didn't know what a new chain would measure, he turned and walked away from me ignoring me completely. It's pretty clear he didn't know what he was talking about he knew I know which is why he walked away, I'd be embarrassed if I was him. I don't believe they ever adjusted the static camshaft timing correctly when they installed the first time. Irvine Mini doesn't stand behind their work even with a warranty.


    It's only been 2 years, how does that seem like over time? I'd by it if I drove 50,000 miles, but the cam timing shouldn't be off at all only after 10,000 miles. They didn't adjust the cam timing correctly the first time.
     
  6. ColinGreene

    ColinGreene Well-Known Member
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    Good luck getting the bar to do anything for you thats not smog related.
    or going after small shops.
    you have a R56 correct.
    its funny if they never told you that it was slightly off you never would have known.
    I seriously feel like you are making a mountain out of a molehill.
    Threatening to sue anyone wont get them to do what you want, if anything you will seriously anger them and they will black list you from service.
    Service advisors often are a means to a end, they exist simply to sell work for the dealer and make a mild explanation as to why the service is needed.
     
  7. Systemlord

    Systemlord New Member

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    2007 Mini Cooper S R56 60,000 miles

    Your right though if they had just done what I asked of them (measure slack, install updated tensioner) I wouldn't be here complaining and I would be happy with my Mini Dealers work, but they got greedy and wanted to milk me for more money. My engine runs so damn smooth and has a lot of power that I have gotten remarks about how smooth it runs from my body shop, they claim that my Mini is smoother than any Mini they have driven.

    The SA knew before hand either way I was going to get a new updated tensioner because the original tensioner was starting to show signs of not fully tensioning the timing chain with a slight baby rattle that really wasn't that loud. I asked the SA just for piece of mind to check the timing chain slack and give me the measurement for which they did, 66.42mm. When it was time to install the new updated tensioner the SA hit the brakes and stated he didn't feel comfortable doing so because the cam timing being off by one degree.

    That's when the BS started flying and when I hear something that's that far out there I know at this point everything that follows is BS. He even took me back to where my car was being worked on and showed me that the cam lock tools wouldn't lay flat on one another. You could see the square shaped slots at the end of the cams nearer to the HPFP and vacuum pump, the intake was slightly different than the exhaust by 1 degree. Nobody has touched my Mini since they installed the timing chain components so if it's off at all it's because they got it wrong from the time they reinstalled the new timing chain. Those cam gears don't turn on there own when properly torqued.

    I'll talk with the owner first and if he decides not to help then I lay down and give up the hunt.
     
  8. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Welp.... Something to consider...

    The timing chain is a series on individual links....
    They come from the manufacturer, manufactured within a design tolerance range...
    In reality, no two timing chains are perfectly, exactly alike.... Each link is made to a +- tolerance, and there are a lot of links that make up the timing chain... So when assembled you end up with what gets made... Somewhere down the line, a measurement is made of the assembled length of the timing chain... Some are too small, some are too big, and some are just right (within the manufactured tolerance range for that part). Most likely the "just right" get used (hopefully not the ones outside the tolerance range). But there are probably chains that get used that are just barely inside of the tolerance range.

    All of the above tolerance "stack up" will also be present in the engine that gets the assembled timing chain.... So the "imperfect" timing chain that is within manufacturer's tolerance is going into an "imperfect" engine, both of which is within manufacturers tolerance.... For clarification, the perfect timing chain and engine would be manufactured to a tolerance of +- zero.... The "Unicorn" engine....

    So along comes the timing chain tensioner, whose sole purpose is to take out the slack in the timing chain. Depending on where the engine ends up on the "Unicorn" scale, the timing probably isn't +- zero on a new engine.... As the engine is used, and parts start to wear, and the chain starts getting longer, and the tensioner is removing the slack, the timing will begin to drift away from where it started as a new engine. Measurements can be taken that will determine if the chain has stretched beyond the maximum. At which point the old chain could be replaced with a new chain.

    The question is this, if the timing is off 1 degree, is that still well within the engine design tolerance when the chain length measurement is taken?
     
  9. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    ^ yes EXACTLY

    That's how it gets off by only 1 degree... And why it DOESN'T MATTER
     
  10. Systemlord

    Systemlord New Member

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    You make some really good points, interestingly not even the tech knows if being off one degree on the cam timing is within spec or ok. All the tech knows is its off and is trained to adjust the cam timing neutral or zero. I have been driving my Mini every since the installation of new timing chain components and it runs like a champ!


    I took my Mini to the dealer not because it ran poorly (quite the opposite) but because I had a small amount of timing chain noise barely audiable. It's not known to me if the ECU via the Vanos corrects the timing by one degree, from what I know I doubt being off one degree on the cam timing makes that big a deal. I have driven it this way since I have owned the car.
     
  11. ColinGreene

    ColinGreene Well-Known Member
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    i dont see what the fuss is about, it runs well you said so yourself.
    The dealer is being retarded because the tech should have just taken care of it, its not hard to correct once the motor is that far open.
    its a street motor, you arent racing. the being off a degree will hurt nothing.
    Off a tooth, thats another story.
    Look at it like this way, its like having one short fingernail not missing a finger.
     
  12. Systemlord

    Systemlord New Member

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    The SA and technician should have done the right thing and just adjust it while it was open, the SA said to me that it's his job to generate sales/income in order to stay in business. They should have been thinking about keeping me a loyal repeat customer, now they have lost a repeat custumer. If they had offered a discount say half the bill i would have accepted it. Sure they don't care because there's plenty of fools out there to generate income for them.
     
  13. CarlB

    CarlB Active Member

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    If your car runs well, it isn't off one tooth. One degree is nothing. When tuning race engines they move the cam at least two degrees to get a change. Are you familiar with the concept of blueprinting a engine? Part of that process is taking into account all of the stacked up tolerances Metalman was talking about. I do not have MINI specific experience, but it is very common for production engines to be off up to 4 degrees. I am aware but have not used the MINI specific tool that lines up the camshaft, but I would be very surprised if it was accurate to one crankshaft degree. Remember the cam spins at half speed, so now you are talking about measuring half a degree.
     
  14. oldbrokenwind

    oldbrokenwind Active Member

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    Another 2 cents --- the two Mini dealers i've worked with both have a 2-year workmanship guarantee.

    Also, the two cam-locking tools are only needed when assembling the cams to the head. If used just for checking things, the chain tensioner should be "dis-engaged" from the chain. If your tech didn't loosen the tensioner before trying to "lock" the cams together, the "test" could very easily be off by 1 degree. And, how the hell did they come up with "1 degree"?

    But, as others have said, if it runs to your satisfaction, move on ---
     
  15. Systemlord

    Systemlord New Member

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    The tech had the tensioner tool installed tight for the slack measurement, then showed me that the cam lock tool wouldn't lay flat on top of each other, the tech also stated that after time the cams go out of sync. So I asked him if I needed to come in every 2 years to have it adjust again. Pure BS!
     
  16. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Your car is fine, the tech is full of Doo Doo.

    Just like the movie Frozen...... LET IT GO!
     
  17. oldbrokenwind

    oldbrokenwind Active Member

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    Anyone that has done a head install will know the cams gotta be locked BEFORE the chain is tensioned --- common sense and per the Bentley manual. Doing it bass-ackward, as described above, will give you all kinds of random results, depending on chain wear.

    This tech has his head where the sun don't shine! Or, he thinks you do.
     
  18. Systemlord

    Systemlord New Member

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    I remember the SA and the tech said that this 1 degree misalignment would cause a engine to run rough, the opposite is true. Engine runs smoothly and has loads of power, but this is just the way dealers make money off people.
     
  19. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    How it runs may depend on if being 1 tooth off advances or retards the valve timing. My guess is you are advanced & your Prince of an engine likes it. No proof on my part just the speculation of an old fart sitting here drinking his morning coffee. :)
     
  20. cristo

    cristo Well-Known Member

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    1 degree - no problem - but not sure why he told you it's off by 1 degree as most are
    probably off by that much due to chain stretch and tensioner variations.
    1 tooth - about 8 degrees - problem - but then it probably wouldn't be running optimally.
     

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