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New tensioners can fail to release. You normally fix this by taking off the rocker cover and putting a bit of pressure on the tensioner rail from the top. You can however try removing the tensioner, pumping it up and down in some oil, then refitting it already extended (it will go in)
 

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Astroboy has hit the nail on the head there. also I followed someone's guide and machined a washer to allow more tension on the chain so I did that when I replaced my tensioner after doing my head swap where I had 20 thou machined off etc.

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So after my issue mentioned previously. The chain becoming slack on the non tensioning side and having to get my car recovered home. The issue was resolved by black magic it would seem as I stripped it all down (chain/rails off and tensioner out) for inspection, out t all back together and hey presto it was working. Been driving for a around 3 week with a slight chain rattle on start up twice until today where it is now rattling constantly. I had the head skimmed and I have a suspicion that may have been skimmed before so I am not going to look at spacing the tension out with a large washer. Fingers crossed


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Hi, is this thread also applicable to R56 engines.
Sorry for this, but it's a 1.4 petrol. It's still a mini and has stripes!
I know, it's the wifes 2009 model and it sounds like a small diesel. Only 15k miles with full BMW service history.
 

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So after my issue mentioned previously. The chain becoming slack on the non tensioning side and having to get my car recovered home. The issue was resolved by black magic it would seem as I stripped it all down (chain/rails off and tensioner out) for inspection, out t all back together and hey presto it was working. Been driving for a around 3 week with a slight chain rattle on start up twice until today where it is now rattling constantly. I had the head skimmed and I have a suspicion that may have been skimmed before so I am not going to look at spacing the tension out with a large washer. Fingers crossed


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I still have this issue, i have a full branded kit read to fit incase i get any problems (Trying to put off it as dont fancy removing the crank sprocket).
Iv just used a washer with the same outer diameter as the tensioner plastic, it was only 3mm thick i think an M8 and has done the job. You said before though that you had reused your old tensioner right?, Well in that case its likely that the tensioner is getting stuck. Even when i did this with a new tensioner it failed 3 months down the line, took it out and compressed/released it a few times whilst cleaning it down with wd40 on a rag. Been fine ever since lol so they can be iffy even on oem parts.

Its a good idea to deploy the tensioner before running up oil pressure, so just rock the car back and forth whilst in gear a few times and thatl do
 

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Hi, is this thread also applicable to R56 engines.
Sorry for this, but it's a 1.4 petrol. It's still a mini and has stripes!
I know, it's the wifes 2009 model and it sounds like a small diesel. Only 15k miles with full BMW service history.
They work differently i believe but are more common to fail then ours so i would look into it
 

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I still have this issue, i have a full branded kit read to fit incase i get any problems (Trying to put off it as dont fancy removing the crank sprocket).
Iv just used a washer with the same outer diameter as the tensioner plastic, it was only 3mm thick i think an M8 and has done the job. You said before though that you had reused your old tensioner right?, Well in that case its likely that the tensioner is getting stuck. Even when i did this with a new tensioner it failed 3 months down the line, took it out and compressed/released it a few times whilst cleaning it down with wd40 on a rag. Been fine ever since lol so they can be iffy even on oem parts.

Its a good idea to deploy the tensioner before running up oil pressure, so just rock the car back and forth whilst in gear a few times and thatl do
Cheers for the advice Wod yesterday after limping it home with a rattling chain (I know I shouldn't of) I decided to make a spacer as you have with a washer and fitted the newer non oem tensioner. This time I left the tension in the out position and refitted as I read it's not an issue and after stripping the whole thing down twice and having the cam cover off 3 times I was getting tired of this. Anyway it seems to be working just fine but I have been here twice before so we'll see



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Hi all,
So I replaced my tensioner a couple of months back but the issue seems to have reoccurred. Essentially I get the clatter on startup most times, if I then stop the engine and restart 7 times out of 10 the noise will go, sometimes it won't but then does after 5 mins of driving or a couple more starts/stops. Sometimes running the starter but turning off before it catches causes the engine to then turn over several times before starting which also seems to avoid the clatter so it seems oil pressure dependant. Very occasionally I get a tick on idle even when warm, most times it's near silent. To me it sounds like a stuck hydraulic lifter, which I don't think the R53 has, so guess it must be the tensioner right? I've enquired about getting the chain replaced but as it's a £500 job I'm not too keen! So my question is does this sound like a tensioner and if so do we think a new one or try the washer fix as mentioned in the previous posts? I have checked and do check the oil every couple of days as it uses/loses a fair bit and it never goes below the half point between Min/Max. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks, Nick.
 

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My theory is that these chains amd sprockets are getting worn amd cause the extra slack the tensioner can't handle in its normal range.

I will replace my chain soon and report back if it changes anything.
 

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I changed the chain on a non running R53 a few weeks ago.

The old chain was half a link longer than the new one.

It runs fine now.

Just to add, do a compression test on your car, and also get a fault code reader on, if it has lower than expected compression and a cam sensor fault, there is a good chance your chain needs changed.

It's actually quite easy to change if you're hands on and have the BMW tools...... Just nuts and bolts.


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My theory is that these chains amd sprockets are getting worn amd cause the extra slack the tensioner can't handle in its normal range.

I will replace my chain soon and report back if it changes anything.
Cool, thanks. I've ordered a new Tensioner so will be changing that to see if it makes any difference before I commit to a Chain change.
 

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I got a full kit with new sprockets, chain, guides, and tensioner on ebay for £50ish quid....

Might be worthwhile buying the kit rather than just a tensioner at £30
 

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I got a full kit with new sprockets, chain, guides, and tensioner on ebay for £50ish quid....

Might be worthwhile buying the kit rather than just a tensioner at £30
Though on that note, does anyone have or know of a good guide to changing the chain? I've done a Google search and all it points to is discussions on the tensioner!
 

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I've never seen a guide, but there's a few videos on you tube doing HG swaps, which show what you need to do to get to the point of taking chain off.

Before doing anything drastic get a fault code reader on it, and a compression test.

Doubtful but maybe your chain guide rail is worn/fooked.

What oil grade are you using and how many miles old is it?


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Oil is Millers NANODRIVE 5w-30 from Opie Oils, its a couple of thousand miles old, though has been topped up a couple of times. I've put a fault code reader on it and it shows clear.
 

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Well there is something not right if you're going through tensioners. Think you should do a compression test and if ok then you'll have proven the chain/sprockets to be healthy.

If the chain proves healthy the only thing it can be is a worn rail.

How many miles is on the car and does the service history show any HG changes, or chain changes etc?

You'll get a compression tester off eBay for £10 or there abouts.

Did you go through tensioners pre oil change?


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Astroboy has hit the nail on the head there. also I followed someone's guide and machined a washer to allow more tension on the chain so I did that when I replaced my tensioner after doing my head swap where I had 20 thou machined off etc.

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I have new longer bolts to solving this with extended head to easy bolt IN/OUT.
 

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I have new longer bolts to solving this with extended head to easy bolt IN/OUT.
Mine was just a stretched chain that the washer must have been compensating for. Does not make a single noise since fitting the new chain kit, not even from cold ?
 
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