Timing chain noise - help needed

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  1. #1
    L Plates Snowcol's Avatar
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    Feb 2018
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    Mini Cooper S R53
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    Hi, I have a 2003 R53 MCS which has developed a noise like a tractor from the right hand side of the engine. It goes away after 2000 rpm however my local garage thinks it's the timing chain or possibly the tensioner. They can't confirm until they get into the engine and that's going to cost more than I can afford to spend on the car I think.

    The car is otherwise in fantastic condition with loads of go faster mods and I just love it. I've had loads of fun with it including some track days. Now I need to find someone who can fix this for me without breaking the bank or spending more than is sensible on a 16 year old car with 137000 miles on it.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for a garage or mechanic in the East Kilbride area or Glasgow / Hamilton / Ayrshire areas that might be worth trying for a reasonable quote? What would you expect to pay for a timing chain change?

    I really don't want to sell the car as I have done loads to if and it is such a great car to drive but if I can't get this fixed I will need to try and sell it to someone with the skills and the time to do the timing chain work.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Appreciated

  2. #2
    Change the tensioner, easy and cheap fix and more than likely to be the cause.

    You can probably DIY it as well with the wheelarch liner off

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  3. #3
    JCW Upgrade
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    Try Douglas at B&M Centre in Glasgow, has a wee sub forum on here.

    Davy
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  4. #4
    Site Owner MINI William's Avatar
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    Sounds like the tensioner. Forum sponsors B&M are in Glasgow and look after a lot of NMS members cars including mine. Give them a shout
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  5. #5
    L Plates Snowcol's Avatar
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    Folks, thanks for all the replies and I will get on to Doug right now.
    I know the last owner changed the tensioner just before I bought the car 2 years ago, however I don't think he changed the chain. I don't have a receipt for it in amongst the bundle of receipts that came with the car.

    What's your thoughts on doing an engine flush, using Wynn's or STP. In case the tensioner needs de-gunked? Is that likely to work or am I deluding myself?

    Cheers again

  6. #6
    Waste of time imo, won't help as if it's gone it's gone.

    Ongoing, more regular oil changes than OEM spec will help but it's about prevention rather than cure

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  7. #7
    L Plates Snowcol's Avatar
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    Folks, thanks for all the help and suggestions.
    I changed the tensioner today and hey presto, the clattering disappeared.

    Thankfully the bolt did not take too much to get it free and I managed to do it through the wheel arch using a 19mm ring spanner. No need to take the oil cooler off and easier than trying to get at it from above.

    After speaking with a couple of mechanics about the cost of replacing a stretched timing chain it was a huge relief to fix it for just 20!

    Thanks again for your help

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Alasdair JCW's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it's sorted. Even better that it was such a cheap fix.
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