R55 Timing chain tensioner replacement

Discussion in '2nd Generation: 2007+ R55 through R61' started by jcw88, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. jcw88

    jcw88 New Member

    Jul 28, 2019
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    Hey guys, I’ve got a 2009 Clubman JCW and I’ve got some noise coming from the timing chain cover. Looking online I saw a lot of people replacing the timing chain tensioner. I’m comfortable working on cars but I was hoping to find out a few things on this job before doing it. I’m just wondering, is it necessary to manually turn the crank while installing the tensioner? Is there any great risk of doing this without removing the valve cover and locking the cams in place or is it really as simple as most make it sound? I located it on the block already so I know how to get to it, I’ve got the Bentley manual and surprisingly it doesn’t shed a whole lot of light on the topic. Also, I know it’s in need of an oil change in the new couple hundred miles and is a touch low right at the moment (just bought the car, haven’t gotten around to doing much), could low oil cause the rattle as well? Thanks for any help!


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  2. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
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    Do NOT run your MINI low on oil. It will kill it. Change the oil now not later using a good quality 0w40 synthetic, also use an OEM or Mann oil filter. I hope this quiets your engine. Although these are not quiet engines due to the direct injection they use.

    It is possible you need a timing chain tensioner, but I'd try an oil change first.
     
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  3. oldbrokenwind

    oldbrokenwind Active Member

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    Try working with the PO or dealer to find out about chain history. If the chain hasn't been replaced in awhile, I'd suggest using a chain tensioner tool to measure the chain stretch. It's pretty easy, doesn't require the valve cover removal, and might save you a catastrophic failure after replacing just a tensioner. Oil that's "a touch low" shouldn't cause chain rattle. Just don't let it get below the "add" mark. And, none of the popular service instructions available will provide troubleshooting help, just how to do service and specs.

    Here's a piece from an online procedure I found showing how to do the measurement I mentioned. Hardest part is the 0.6Nm, or about 5 inch-lbs.
    Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 3.20.35 PM.png
     
  4. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    My timing tensioner when bad this year on my 2012 R58 JCW that has 56,000 miles on it. I went ahead and did the chain at the same time. It may not have needed a chain but better safe than sorry. I got this kit. I also rented the tool to lock the crank and cams from them.

    https://www.detroittuned.com/mini-n14-timing-chain-kit/

    MINI_Cooper_N14_Timing_Chain_Kit__90744.1545174874.jpg
     
  5. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Appears to be a quality kit from a very good vendor. Having the proper tools will make any job go faster and easier.
     
  6. jcw88

    jcw88 New Member

    Jul 28, 2019
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I still ended up picking up the tensioner but I actually ended up calling Detroit Tuned (where that kit came from) and since I’m local I’m going to take it in and have the timing chain, tensioner and components done in early September.

    For the mean time, I added a quart of 5W-30 Royal Purple today. After I was told how to actually “operate” the dipstick (which sounds strange but having to turn the dipstick to get an accurate reading is new to me) we’re all topped off there. I’m hoping it will be okay for the next work week before my appointment to get the timing done.


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  7. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Good luck! Let us know how it turns out. Once the chain is done it’s time for Mods
     
  8. jcw88

    jcw88 New Member

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    Agreed!


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  9. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Sep 29, 2009
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    I replaced my tensioner not long ago...
    Screw the old one out and screw the new one in...
    Torque to the proper setting
    No need to lock the cams.
    I did need to remove some of the intake hoses in order to get access to the tensioner.
    Took me about 1 hour total....
     

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