February 6, 2023

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BMW N47 Engine Problems – How to Fix Timing Chain Failure!


From 2007 to roughly 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel motor that was utilized in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 sequence, as very well as the X1 and X3 diesel versions.

The N47 engine collection is inclined to early timing chain failure due to extreme timing chain have on. The scenario is indicated by a rattling noise coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may necessitate motor alternative or a pricey repair service. The challenge influences all programs and energy variants of the engine produced between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most severely ruined models, which involve the most considerable repairs, were manufactured amongst the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a compact amount of engines designed immediately after the remember are possessing troubles.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched among the motor and the transmission at the again of the motor. Its substitution is specially hard due to the fact it is situated in this kind of an inaccessible site. In most cases, elements put in in such inaccessible places are intended to endure the existence of the engine, but not in this circumstance. The timing chain in the N47 can are unsuccessful everywhere from 40 to 100k miles, causing catastrophic motor destruction as its parts drop synchronization.

Diagnosis – Indicators of a Failing Timing Chain

The symptoms of a failed timing chain commonly show up gradually as the chain will become more time and far more worn. As a end result, you are unlikely to detect a sudden extraordinary symptom until the chain is in close proximity to to break absolutely. As a substitute, believe about how your motor vehicle is carrying out nowadays and how it carried out a lot of months back. Compact issues could propose that the chain is about to fall short fully.

Right here are some of the signals that your timing chain is failing:

  • Tough idling: Commence your vehicle and stroll absent. It is attainable that the timing chain is sporting out if it shakes or vibrates more than regular. Of training course, there are other challenges that could end result in severe idling, but the difficulty is usually well worth investigating because it tends to worsen around time.
  • Peculiar noises: You could possibly listen to your N47 motor rattle, in particular when it’s idling, but not only when it’s idling. The concern could be that the timing chain is loose and rattling towards something else if the sound is persistent and rough. 
  • Steel shavings in the oil: In excess of time, the timing chain will put on down. When it reaches the close of its useful everyday living, it may emit steel shavings. If it does, it will close up in your engine oil, maybe producing even further problems.  Nevertheless, any worn-out portion of your car can deliver steel shavings, so it is truly worth seeking into just before just replacing the chain.
  • Motor failures: If your BMW would not begin, the chai may possibly be destroyed and not giving sufficient pressure to commence the engine. If the chain breaks though you are driving, it’s doable that the timing chain has damaged as perfectly. If this happens, the pistons may be broken, and the belt trouble may well trigger additional hurt to your motor vehicle.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 motor could misfire prior to the chain has completely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are connected by a chain. The chain could possibly trigger the motor vehicle to skip a gear on possibly the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is overly stretched out. It will grow to be much more stressed as a result of this, and it will eventually break.
  • Verify engine gentle is on: Of class, the test engine light-weight could signal a huge wide variety of factors have gone mistaken with your BMW. Nevertheless, it’s possible that the timing chain has failed or is before long to fall short.

Substitution and Repairs

For the reason that the timing chain is in these an inaccessible place, the mechanic must fully remove the motor from its bay to attain access to it. Getting the motor out is a enormous and challenging endeavor in and of itself. Next that, yet another lengthy disassembly is needed to gain obtain to the chains themselves.

A few timing chains are involved in the timing chain replacement kit: a single for the oil pump, just one for the camshaft, and a single for the substantial-stress fuel pump. You are going to also require the seeking resource kit to continue to keep the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized while you’re doing the job on them. These are the main jobs that should be concluded soon after eliminating the motor from the bay in order to replace the timing chains.

To commence, make positive that cylinders 1 and 4 are at prime dead heart in get to keep the place for synchronizing the factors.

With the instruments you have, lock your crank shafts at this location.

Eliminate the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a tiny, and loosen the 3 bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be easier to clear away the gasoline pump sprocket if the high-tension gasoline pump is turned off.

Eliminate the flywheel from the crankshaft by taking away the bolts that maintain it in area.

Take away the starter motor’s bolts to obtain accessibility to the oil sump.

By undoing the required bolts, you can remove the oil sump.

Take away the timing include by loosening the nuts that keep it in place. It will just take some prying and a few gentle taps with the hammer. You can now obtain all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may now eliminate the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Eliminate the oil pump’s chain as effectively.

Likewise, clear away the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as nicely as the sprocket and belt.

Just after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 levels and get rid of the high-stress fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Take off the belt and the sprockets as properly.

The very last product is your oil sprayer, which you may take out for alternative if essential.

Then, in reverse buy, put in the replacement belts, ensuring that all elements are in sync right up until the summary.


This timing chain challenge is a design flaw in the engine, and the only approach to remedy it is to avoid cars and trucks with this N47 motor or, if feasible, get rid of it in performing order. For the reason that of the emission command products place in it, these as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a large amount of problems.