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Andrew.T82

2010 520d (N47) M-Sport Timing Chain Conundrum

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Hello all,

Brand new to this thread and need some advice on a topic that I know has been covered a thousand times before... but I need your advice.

I just picked up a very tidy 2010 520d Msport BE Touring (manual).

The car has done just 66k miles and has full BMW Service history with regular oil changes at no more than 12k mile intervals and really is pretty immaculate. 

The car drives perfectly and I have no 'chin rattle' or anything to suggest that the car has any mechanical (or electrical for that matter) issues whatsoever.

I intend do around 25k miles p/a.

However, shortly after I collected the car on Monday I took it to my local trusted independent garage who I've been using for a few years. His advice, much to my horror as he was stood there infant of me literally taking another 2.0 d N47 engine out of a 120k mile 3 series was to 'sell it' quick before I have to pay out for the inevitable chain snap. I can't afford several thousand quid repair bills, which rules out changing the chain now even as a precaution to be honest. 

Current market values seem to be around £8-£9k and I paid a bit under that so might have a little bit of profit if I were to flip it on... The question is, should I do it? It seems crazy to get rid of a car as a precaution that's currently showing no signs of issues. My old man the same engine code in a 3 series to 160k miles without fault, but this garage recited serval cases of sub 100k miles lump's letting go incurring 2,3 4 and even 6k repair bills!!!

Would you keep it, change the oil every 8-10k miles etc and hope for the best? Or dodge the bullet and get rid now whilst it's still worth good money?????

An advice from experienced owners would be much appreciated!

Thanks

 

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Can't comment on the chain issue, but big bills are where I am at the moment. Unfortunately, nearly all modern cars have inherent issues that could land you with that sort of bill, irrespective of manufacturer. My 08 5series is having an engine fitted now, and we are changing the chain as a precaution. It seems that everything you buy is a gamble.

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7 minutes ago, rgt1973 said:

Can't comment on the chain issue, but big bills are where I am at the moment. Unfortunately, nearly all modern cars have inherent issues that could land you with that sort of bill, irrespective of manufacturer. My 08 5series is having an engine fitted now, and we are changing the chain as a precaution. It seems that everything you buy is a gamble.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

Indeed, the less you spend the greater the risk. I guess I'm weighing up the idea of swapping it for a belt driven car so that its at least an affordable/serviceable item :(

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I bought mine knowing the chain had been done by BMW 20k previous. Ended up with failed Injectors, seized oil pump and a knackered crank! You just never know.

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Your engine might do 250,000 miles without issue. It's not inevitable that they will snap.

 

You will never know but you do have proof of regular oil changes and that is what appears to be critical to keeping these chains healthy. Just keep changing the oil at 10,000 miles or less or yearly.

 

The Internet is full of horror stories on these engines but given the huge number out there the % failure is small, it's just when they do fail it's wallet busting to fix as it's an engine out to do the chains as the are at the rear of the engine. That's why you read about them.

 

A colleagues son just had a chain snap on his 1Series N47T, he maintained it on a shoe string, drove it hard and ignored the rattle.

 

These chains don't just snap, they rattle or slap about as they stretch, so they do give you warning but if it's your daily driver you need to listen for subtle changes as you may not notice it as it inevitably creeps up on you.

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Mine had its chain done at 140k and it's now on 203k. 

 

My brother had his start rattling at 180k on his 3 series. 

 

The n47 was by far the biggest produced engine at BMW for its era. So yes there does seem to be a common fault but like Andrew said it's actually a small percentage of engines. 

 

The rattle is quite obvious if you're used to what the engine should sound like. And it gets louder as it gets looser. 

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Listen out for this, as said above it's quite obvious.

 

 

Over and above the rattle there is a slapping noise which is the loose (because it has stretched) chain hitting the plastic guides. 

 

Just keep changing the oil with LL04 spec oil.

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15 minutes ago, Peggowski said:

Mine had its chain done at 140k and it's now on 203k. 

 

My brother had his start rattling at 180k on his 3 series. 

 

The n47 was by far the biggest produced engine at BMW for its era. So yes there does seem to be a common fault but like Andrew said it's actually a small percentage of engines. 

 

The rattle is quite obvious if you're used to what the engine should sound like. And it gets louder as it gets looser. 

Thanks Peggowski

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I guess I would be thinking something along the lines of... can I save up 2k (I think that's roughly the cost of changing the chain and guides etc) in say 2 to 3 years if it did start to rattle? If yes then crack on. If no then best to flip it and either get a different model or get one that has had it done.

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I had my chain done by Cowdray Garage (BMW specialists) in Colchester about 4 years ago and it cost just over £1000 including VAT. The owner told me that they do so many of them that they can get them done very quickly, hence the low cost. I had been quoted over £2000 by local specialists, so I made the 2 1/2 drive to drop my car off and they gave me a loan car for time they had it.   

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