R53 Cold Start Cylinder 2 Misfire, Possible Timing Chain Tensioner Issues - North American Motoring


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R53 Cold Start Cylinder 2 Misfire, Possible Timing Chain Tensioner Issues

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Old 04-11-2018, 11:23 AM
Nickkford Nickkford is offline
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R53 Cold Start Cylinder 2 Misfire, Possible Timing Chain Tensioner Issues

Hey everyone!

I have to start by saying I've been lurking for years, and finally just created an account now that I've had my first round of serious issues with my current MINI.

I'll start right at the beginning. I bought my 2005 R53 two years ago, she had roughly 100 000km on her, completely stock. I started with the common issues for R53's, I replaced the stock dipstick with the Cravenspeed Flexible one (relevant later on), did Strut Tower Defenders, etc. And then I started on the mods. I'll list them in case they might be relevant, but I haven't done any mods in a while, and they all went swimmingly, leading me to think that they're unrelated.

Mod list:
Cravenspeed Dipstick
Cravenspeed Strut Tower Defenders
Cravenspeed Lightened Crank Pulley
Cravenspeed Short Shifter (with shift we'll cover)
Milltek Non-Resonated Catback
Alta Intake
15% Pulley
Kingsborne Firebraid Wires (no longer installed, relevant later)
Scangauge 2 (if I mention temps, boost, etc, it's reading from that, not the most accurate, I know)
NGK Iridium Step Colder Spark Plugs (can't remember the exact part number, but I can find it later if needed)
FUBRICATION GP Wing (not relevant I'm sure)​​​​​​
​​​​​So let's start with the issue. Now that it's all gone bad, I'm thinking back to when I got the car two years ago .I brought it home and noticed a bit of a grinding sort of noise, seemed to be coming from in around the left of the engine. I took it in and had it inspected, and was told they weren't sure what it was, but it was not anything that I should be worried about. That always bothered me, but I went with it. Fast forward to last fall (around 110 000km). I drove to a restaurant, far enough away for it to get up to temp, and had breakfast. When I came back out, it threw P0302 , and was obviously running on 3 cylinders. I turned it off immediately, and tried it again. It started up with no issues and all was well. I brushed it off thinking it was bad gas, and went home. Then it happened again, so I parked it and started researching.

I started by replacing the spark plugs, which hadn't been done since the supercharger pulley was done. I pulled the plugs, and none of them looked too bad. I did notice that my cylinder 2 wire was corroded, and the little nipple actually broke off and stuck to the plug when I tried to remove it. So I went out and replaced my pretty and expensive kingsborne wires with some Bosch ones. With fresh plugs and fresh wires, it still would run on 3, and still only on cold start. I tried running injector cleaners and the usual cocktail, no improvement. Then came winter, so I parked her and waited.

That brings me to last week. I got a fresh coil pack (OEM), and put it on. It had no impact. I went back to the internet and found something about dirty intake valves, and tried some seafoam. It helped a bit, and it would only misfire every third cold start or so. It seemed to get better over time, so I was planning on doing another round of seafoam, thinking it would clear it right up.

And then it got worse. Last night after work, there was a tapping/ticking noise. I figured I hadn't checked the oil in a while, so I went to and realized I had forgotten which hole it was supposed to fill to. I know when I got the new dipstick, I read to fill it to the third hole, right under the little slope. That was my first mistake. Apparently for the past two years, I've been running it low on oil. Hoping for the best, I filled it right up. It drove fine, and I thought I had fixed it. The next time I turned it on it sounded even worse and louder. So now she is parked, and waiting for me to figure out what the next step is.

So, after that novel, here are my questions:
  1. From some YouTube videos, it sounds like the new noise is the timing chain tensioner, which would make sense, being that it is oil pressure driven. Would I be alright to just swap the tensioner, or should I do the whole assembly, given that it's been running low on oil for so long?
  2. If the tensioner is stuck, its possible that the timing is off. Could the timing being off cause the misfire?
  3. If the next step (or the next safe step) is to rebuild the engine, I would rather swap things out as I go with better things (RMW and such). What would you guys do while I have it all apart?
Thanks in advance! Any advice would be helpful.

Nick
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Old 04-11-2018, 02:11 PM
Whine not Walnuts's Avatar
Whine not Walnuts Whine not Walnuts is offline
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Moving to the Stock Problems/Issues area.

How many miles on it now?
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:33 AM
Nickkford Nickkford is offline
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Originally Posted by Whine not Walnuts View Post
Moving to the Stock Problems/Issues area.

How many miles on it now?
Currently it's sitting at 128 000 km or so, or around 79 000 miles
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