1st Gen R53 Cooper S Help: grinding noise when accelerating hard....

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by CheckersSD, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

    Mar 3, 2011
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    It first started last night. I was stopped at a light to get on the freeway. I accelerated hard and there was a slight grinding noise. I didn't think much of it at first. Well then it happened again this morning. It only happens when I am at a full stop and I accelerate hard. It doesn't happen in any other gears when I step on the gas and it doesn't happen when I accelerate gently from a complete stop.
    The only recent changes I've done to my car is the 22mm rear sway and x-brace that I installed on Saturday. I did some spirited driving over the weekend and didn't notice anything. Can anyone help point me in a direction for what I should check? Thanks!

    By the way I have the 6-speed auto.
     
  2. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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    Where's the grinding coming from? If you can't hear it with the hood open and the car idling, I'd be inclined to look at the suspension rubbing. The car's going to lean back pretty hard when you get on the gas, so it may not necessarily be engine related.
     
  3. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    To be honest I'm really not sure. There is no noise whatsoever when the car is idling. It is definitely when I accelerate hard. I will take a look at the rear suspension to make sure everything is okay. I torqued everything down to spec.
    A second issue arose just now. I was leaving the car wash and was at the stop light and I noticed just a tab bit of steam. First was a little wisp that caught my eye. It came from the right side. Then I noticed another bit of steam that came from the hood scoop. My water temp gauge was normal as was the idiot temp gauge. I pulled over and opened the hood and there was a quite a bit was of water coming from the engine compartment, the passenger side which would be consistent with the first bit of steam I saw from the passenger side of the car. I think it was from the car wash because the water was cold and it wasn't oily, warm, nor was it colored so I am almost certain it wasn't fluid. I think they pressure washers they use just got a lot of water under the bonnet. Everything looked fine under the bonnet otherwise.
    I really would like to figure out where the hell that grinding noise is coming. Ugh!
     
  4. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Grab the engine (not running) and rock it front to back. You might have an engine mount that went bad. This may allow more engine rotation than normal during heavy acceleration.
     
  5. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    I was kind of thinking that too. I have been reading about bad engine mounts and have been looking at replacing them with the TSW mounts from Way. When I rock the engine what am I looking for...easy to move, shouldn't move at all, a noise, etc?
     
  6. am0eba

    am0eba New Member

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    The steam is normal with supercharged MINI's... Water gets into the engine bay through the scoop, and evaporates on various hot surfaces...

    Many supercharged "S" owners learn to enjoy the "dragon's breath" coming from the scoop after a wash!

    _Dave_
     
  7. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    that is kind of what I was thinking am0eba. The engine looked fine and the temps were normal. I like the "dragon's breath" though! :Thumbsup:
     
  8. quikmni

    quikmni Moderator

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    For the steam, I got steam after getting a lot of water in the radiator vanes, such as when I spray the radiator to get bugs off. It took awhile after the wash for the engine to get hot enough to create steam.

    For the grinding noise;
    Trying to rock the engine by hand would be a good idea.
    Your X-Brace might be rubbing on the exhaust.
    Another place to check, is the rear sway bar and end links to make sure they are not rubbing on the trailing arm.
     
  9. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    okay I will check those out. Thanks quikmni
     
  10. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    This is less likely but check your Catalytic converter. I had one come apart on me and I thought my engine had a terminal issue. Its gonna vary a little but it will tend to sound like small pebbles in a tin can (or a hollow grinding) and it will happen most noticeably under hard acceleration at first. It will get worse.

    The other thing is that a cat-con shouldn't do that unless you are running rich. So, that is a sign of a problem in the engine.

    Good luck.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
     
  11. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    If I were running rich wouldn't I get a fault code? I could plug in my OBDII connector and check the AFR. Aye, this sucks. I was planning to get my pulley and tune in a week and half. I hope this isn't something that was going to take away from that? :sad:
     
  12. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    Like I said. It's un-likely. However, if you are within tolerances for running rich and doing it consistantly then it can still happen. It's not an overnight process. It's just an item to knock off your list of potential issues. :Thumbsup:
     
  13. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    I checked the upper engine mount and there is definitely a dark substance below it but is is covered in dirt and looks dry. I tried moving the engine and there is slight movement, not very much when I rocked it front and back, but when I lift it up and down the little black square pushing on top of the metal cylinder comes up off the cylinder about a 1/4". I don't that that should be normal but if someone could clarify please.
     
  14. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    Also the noise occurs when I accelerate at speeds around 20mph as well. I just heard it again.
     
  15. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    There are pictures in the forum that shows failed engine mounts. When they go, they do leak a black goo.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mini_racer

    mini_racer Well-Known Member

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    Possibility 1:
    The upper pass side engine mount will not make noise in and of itself when it goes bad. However, it can allow the top of the engine to move rearward enough for your exhaust to smack the top of the gusset (i.e. the X) on the X-brace.

    This can sound like a vibration, I am sure sure I would characterize it as a grinding noise though. The TSW/WMW Poly engine mount will cure this issue.

    Simple test.....Remove the X-brace. The front bolts are supposed to be one time use, but I use them a few times before I get new. (44lbs +90deg) The rear ones are 74lbs. Also, inspect the top side of the X-brace when removed, do you see a little spot in the paint where it looks like something (i.e. your header) has been beating on it?

    BTW, at rest, what is the clearance between the bottom of your header/cat and the X-brace at the closest point?
    And how many miles on your OEM passenger side mount?

    Possibility 2:
    Brakes? I was thinking this one more when you indicated the noise was always after a dead stop and so I was considering the chance of a dragging pad or sticking caliper piston. I am not so strong here since you indicated you also get this from 20mph. Easy to check though with wheel removal.
     
  17. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    Metalman, that is what is throwing me off because my UEM doesn't have black goo like those pics I have seen. Mine looks like it leaked a few years ago and no has dirt over it. However there is a fresh black spot on the tower behind the engine mount cylinder. Someone also suggested I check my axle as well. Would this make a grinding noise under hard acceleration?
     
  18. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    mini_racer, the noise, which definitely sounds and feels like a vibration, only occurs during hard acceleration, i.e. I push the accelerator to the floorboard hard. The noise/feeling seems like it is coming from the front/middle of the car. I think removing the X-Brace is a great idea to test this out because the header is the area it seems it might be originating.

    I might check the brakes, they front have started to squeak when I am coming to a stop but I don't have any lights letting me know my pads are worn. However, the grinding noise/vibration is definitely occurring when I step floor the accelerator at 20 and 30mph. Looks like I have an investigation/project for this weekend. I really appreciate everyone's input.
     
  19. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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    My money's on mini_racer's possibility 1.

    CheckersSD, you mentioned a gap between the dampener body and rubber pad of 1/4" - that's usually the case when it fails. If you enjoy the stiffness of the x-brace, go with the TSW/WMW poly engine mount. It's pretty noisy when you first install it, but it'll break in after a couple hundred miles and you won't notice any more vibration.

    I installed a catback exhaust and had to use 10 washers on the rear exhaust hanger on one side of the car to get the tips to line up right. After I installed the new engine mount, I had a horrible rattling sound and the tips hung to the right, so I took all the washers out. Problem solved. I was surprised how far the engine mount put the exhaust out of alignment. I don't have an x-brace, but I'd imagine if the clearance is tight, that could be the cause of your grinding.
     
  20. CheckersSD

    CheckersSD New Member

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    I am going to order the TSW Upper Engine and BSH lower engine mounts from Way along with the Powerflex bushing set. I figure while I am in there I might as well do it all at once.

    Because I do not have fresh "black goo" under the engine mount, it does make me suspect there might be something else. I will know better this weekend once I can take a better look under the bonnet and inspect the mounts and the ball joints, front axel, etc.
     

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