R53 CAM Upgrade

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  1. #1
    Hello everyone,

    I'm going to change the CAM on my 2005 R53 MINI. I've got the workshop manual and watched numerous videos online on how its done. The funny thing is they are all a little different. One says to support the engine from below, remove the engine mount and then raise the engine so you can remove the CAM sensor. They then go on to use a tool that sits on the top on the cylinder head that holds the timing sprocket and chain in place. They also remove the timing chain tensioner. I've looked for this tool for sale and cant seem to find it anywhere.
    Now, the other way that I've seen is to leave the tensioner in and tie wrap the timing sprocket to the chain in the correct position through the holes in the sprocket. The idea is that the tensioner wont let the chain drop especially with the sprocket still attached. It seems like the easiest way to me as it removes the need to get to the hard to reach/remove timing chain tensioner.

    Has anyone got any experience in doing this and what method did they use?

    I don't need to change the timing chain, tensioner or guides as they were all done by a MINI specialist not that long ago. I do however plan to change out the gasket and the seals around the spark plug tubes along with the upgrading the CAM cover nuts and bolts to stainless steel ones. I'll also fit a new CAM sprocket bolt.

    With regards to the actual CAM itself, I already have it in my garage ready to fit along with larger injectors, so don't need any help choosing which one to go for. That has already been taken care of.

    I know people will say that I need a remap if I'm carryout this work. Luckily, a brand new rolling road place that is doing custom tunes has just opened up 200 yards away from my house! Prices seem reasonable and the guys comes from a classic Mini back ground as well as engine swaps with various brands.

    Anyway, I would appreciate any good advice people can offer when it comes to changing the CAM.


  2. #2
    Mini Mad nobbyclark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    2017 F56 JCW & 2016 R60
    Back when I had an R53, I got mine done by a garage as it was too many spanners on the Haynes scale for me. You don't need a remap if you're only changing the camshaft - at least I didn't. But you will if you are changing the injectors - as you say you are.
    2017 F56 JCW Cooper S
    2016 R60 All4 Cooper S: All boxes ticked.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the responses. I think I'm going to go down the route of trying to get a cam locking tool. Now I just need to ask my friendly Mini specialist if I can borrow his! I hope to get the job started in a couple of weeks but I want to wait for my modified/enlarged throttle body to show up first, and the stainless studs for the cover. That way I do everything at once. I'll let you know how I get on.

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