1st Gen R53 Cooper S Timing Chain Rails

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by smokintires, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. smokintires

    smokintires New Member

    Feb 11, 2014
    +46 / 0 / -0
    around 15k ago the tensioner on my timing chain failed, i had a huge slapping noise till it cane in, after i installed it, it was much better, yi could still here it when cold after starting.

    so now im about to drive 800 miles to college so id like to completely mend the issue. i have not torn into the engine yet, but do i need to replace everything? Sprockets, chain, rails? or can i just get new rials? so should the chain or sprockets have damage and need to replace? or is it something i have to get into the engine and pull them out to know?

    Thanks, Ben

    P.S. its an 06 R53, when i was getting help for the tensioner, a bunch of people we talking about the R56, even though it was in the R53 thread lol
  2. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Short North
    +10,050 / 0 / -0
    I just replaced all that stuff too. Not just the guides but the chain and sprockets too. If you are in there it just makes sense to me to change it all.
  3. beken

    beken Well-Known Member
    Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    IT - Complex business systems in the cloud
    Delta, BC
    +1,940 / 1 / -0
    Sounds like a full engine rebuild since you're in there, you might as well do a valve job, rings, even bore the cylinders and oversize your pistons. It'll be a brand new engine. That 800 miles you need to drive will have to be gentle for a break-in period.
  4. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    +14,638 / 10 / -4
    I think a full engine rebuild is a little overkill for a guy in college.
  5. clifforddward

    clifforddward Active Member

    Dec 2, 2013
    Cary, North Carolina
    +76 / 0 / -0
    #5 clifforddward, Jun 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
    Timing chain rails can be replaced from the topside without concern over engine timing (and the cost of associated tool to hold everything in place)...but first need to determine if your rails are worn. Could be that the tensioner is the only thing needing to be replaced. If you want to check the rails they can be pulled from the top, requires removal of the head cover (which will want a new gasket upon re-install), removal of the chain tensioner, and maybe some removal of stuff on the front side of the engine to get at the bolts holding the tensioner.

    15k seems a long time from first hearing the sound until replacement of the tensioner....did it take you that long to diagnose? Had you replaced the tensioner shortly after the noise first appeared I'd have said highly unlikely the guides would be worn...Given the time you were running without a functioning tensioner there is a possibility of additional wear on the guides from them flopping around.

    Timing chain and sprocket wear (both chain and sprockets should be replaced together) are really more a mileage related wear item....you did not mention mileage on car, but is is fairly common for the timing chain/sprockets to be good til well past 100k, particularly if oil has been regularly changed and engine maintained.

    I agree with Dave.0, a full engine rebuild seems excessive for the issue as stated.

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