Clattering noise from the front.

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T48 TRE
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Location: Coventry

Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Tue 29 Sep, 2015 21:38

I wonder if any one else has the same noise as my 2.2i. All is ok when I start up and run it , But once it is hot and it is idling I have this terrible noise coming from the front of the engine, which seems to be coming from behind the casing where the timing chain would be. I had it into the garage but they could not tell me what it was without stripping the car down, and I was a bit reluctant to that then so I had an external chain tensioner replaced, but i believe there is also some form of tensioner behind the casing.
Thanks
Albert
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colb
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by colb » Tue 29 Sep, 2015 21:57

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showpar ... Id=11_6165

Should look like this under the cover, if something is worn in there changing the outer adjustment probably wouldn't have achieved anything.
Strip down and investigation is needed, possible renew the chain and tensioners whilst your in there.

Colb
Colb
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therealdb1
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by therealdb1 » Tue 29 Sep, 2015 22:07

Could be your Vanos units. I would say search for a Youtube video of a double Vanos engine like yours with duff units to see if the sound is the same. Otherwise take it to a garage with BMW engine experience since they would have more idea what's wrong without stripping the engine.
Do you notice that the car feels a bit flat when it's making the noise?

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Southernboy
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Southernboy » Wed 30 Sep, 2015 07:36

Vanos is one option, water pump is the other. Generally the vanos is more noisy at start up because it works on oil pressure and once the pressure gets up they tend to become quieter. A water pump will more likely be quieter at start up, but once the temperature gets up, it will be more inclined to be noisy.
Also, the water pumps on the Z3 are a more common cause of rattle and breakdown. They have plastic impellers which become brittle and hard with ultimate failure. There are replacement units available with aluminium vanes which make more sense.
Perhaps remove the serpentine belt, and check the rotation of the water pump... best not when the motor is too hot though, but warm won't be too difficult to handle. You can also check the main fan viscous coupling. The center bearing on that can also collapse and you can check that whilst the belt is off. Finally, check the alternator pulley bearing is moving as it should.
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Mr Silver
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Mr Silver » Wed 30 Sep, 2015 08:51

Before tearing the cam cover off try the serpentine belt tensioner pulley. Replace with modified hydraulic tensioner. HTH.

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colb
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by colb » Wed 30 Sep, 2015 09:04

All good valid checks described by the others before you delve into the engine.
Good Youtube video here with noise clip of a bad Vanos and its repair.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__7W4sz5vwY
Second one on refitting and tensioning here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23jXHhkpV_I

Colb
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Wed 30 Sep, 2015 19:15

Thank you for the reply and suggestions. I have just watched someone on You tube who ran their engine with problem vanos, and I can say that my sound is nothing like that. When the garage were trying to do a diagnostic of the noise they took all the belts off, so nothing was running except the engine and the noise did sound like timing chain, in fact its a little bit like a tincan being kicked around. I have no falter with acceleration and it pulls like a train, the noise is not there when I start up, nor when I rev up a little, or during normal driving, only at Idle. I am still thinking it is something that is stretching when it gets hot, and when power is reduced, allowing it to (relax) and jump a bit. I think I will have to let a garage have a strip down to see what it is. Anyone any Idea of a good independent around Coventry, I usually use Sytner but they are terribly expensive, I may add that although it is nearly 14 years old it has only done 51,000 miles.

Albert.
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billysally208
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by billysally208 » Wed 30 Sep, 2015 22:18

Hi, This may be a complete waste of your time, but could be worth a phone call - I bought a BMW Mini Cooper with a known gearbox problem to do up and sell - I found a guy in Coventry who specialises in renovating and replacing Mini gearboxes - John Tee who trades as Minigearboxes Ltd and has a website with contact details at http://www.minigearboxes.co.uk/#
He was a very friendly and accomodating chap who obviously knows his trade - and to cut a long story short I drove the car over to Coventry from Derbyshire and within 4 hours a refurbed gearbox had been installed at a very good price. When I collected the car he told me that he was repairing Mini gearboxes for Sytners in Coventry and that he undertook many different repairs on BMW's. I am sure if you were to speak to him he may be able to help you with your problem or put you in touch with someone who may be able to help. He is well known on the Mini owners forum and has loads of good feedback and comments from members on there.
Good luck with your problem and I hope this helps

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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Thu 01 Oct, 2015 17:42

Thank you billysally208, I have dropped your recommended garage an email, to see if he can recommend someone. It will not be until I come back off holidey before I consider getting anything done.
Albert
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 13:25

Hi Billysal I contacted the man you said might be able to help, but he only deals with minis.
Since my last post My car went in for an mot, which it passed, and I asked the garage to check out and repair the noise at the front. Again they did a re-con and came up with the price of £1000 -1200 Half of which was for labour, and they still did not really know the cause. I decided to cancel that, and will live with the noise. which is not heard when driving, only when Idling sometimes. I am going to do an oil change to a thicker oil ( presently on 0W- 30 ) and will go to 5W- 40, to see if that helps.
Albert
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Mike Fishwick
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Mike Fishwick » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 15:24

Does your 2.2 have an engine-driven fan? Can't remember if they do, as the later BMW engines rely on the air con condensor fan. If it does have a mechanical fan, it may be that the viscous coupling is on its last legs - 60 to 70,000 miles is a pretty usual life for these couplings.

It is easy enough to remove the fan and viscous coupling to see if the noise goes away, and alternatively it could be a failing bearing in the auxiliary belt tensioner pulley (about £30 for a new one) and/or the tensioner for the air conditioning belt.

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Air conditioning belt tensioner

For full details of either job, look in the Z3 Knowledgebase - the removal of the viscous fan is covered in 'Replacement of M52tu Thermostat.


Mod Edit - Gazza
Last edited by Mike Fishwick on Sat 12 Dec, 2015 11:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Southernboy
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Southernboy » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 16:20

Vanos / water pump / timing chain tensioners.... The timing chain itself is rarely an issue - I have never heard of one being at fault. They do have chain tensioners though, and if those are shot, the chain will slap around. The Vanos also rattles, and depending on the wear, will make enough noise to be heard at start up from inside the car, but quietens after a bit and cannot be heard whilst driving. If it were the chain, you would hear it on deceleration and acceleration whilst driving as the tension on the chain is taken up or released. Water pumps are a common issue and their plastic impellers wear causing noisees, especially if there are bits being ground up inside the pump casing.
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Alan W
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Alan W » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 18:17

I had a 'front end noise' last year on my 2.8 twin vanos M52TU with 56000 mls which seems to have now gone away but l've not used the car since March so not sure if it has actually gone away for good. Anyway, one of the jobs lve got planned for the spring (and after the divorce settlement lol) is a 'front end service' and changing everything l can in one hit.

So... my question is... what is there to change? Timing chain tensioner(s), water pump, 2 or 3 belts...
1999 facelit Z3 Roadster 2.8 Auto in Cosmos Black aka 'Gloria'
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 19:11

Hi Alan there is quite a lot you can change from the front of the engine under the bonnet. There is also a external timing chain Tensioner that fits on the left of the engine looking from the front , which I have renewed. Belts etc can be changed along with the ancillarys. however I believe there is a tensioner that is in behind the chain cover, and to get that off is a major work, you are virtually stripping the front of the engine off.
Albert
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 19:19

I have a video in my email which I received from Sytner at the time they did the fist diagnostic check of the noise, where they stripped all the belts off and ran the engine and took a video of the noise. Unfortunately I am not good at being able to transfer the video from my email to here, to let you hear it.
Albert
p.s. this is the video link.
https://video.citnow.com/vp56zwGdXCl
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 19:32

I do believe that I have been able to get the video to open in the last post.
Albert.
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Del
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Del » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 22:00

The mechanic has removed all the poly belts so it can't be any of the ancillaries. It doesn't sound like "big end" bearings knocking. I would guess it is a timing chain issue. As you have renewed the tensioner, I would suspect a timing chain guide issue. These guides can break or become dislodged meaning that the chain is not properly tensioned or not moving smoothly. This is not a known problem on these cars unlike certain BMW Mini Cooper S models. Mechanics typically allow around 5 hours plus and oil change for a timing chain strip down/change.

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Southernboy
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Southernboy » Sat 12 Dec, 2015 08:33

Just watched the video, and definitely the chain slapping around. If you want the details on a DIY, I can send you the comprehensive Bentley's workshop manual pages related to getting the job done... :wink:
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colb
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by colb » Tue 15 Dec, 2015 16:06

Lets not forget we are awaiting news on the rattle
Colb
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Gazza
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Gazza » Tue 15 Dec, 2015 17:38

Thread tidied up to keep on topic
Gazza

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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Tue 15 Dec, 2015 17:46

I do not appear to hear it as much as before, so I am not sure as to how serious it is. Sytner did not say that a breakdown was imminent, and it still runs perfectly.
Albert.
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Del
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Del » Tue 15 Dec, 2015 19:56

Can't help but keep thinking that timing chain problems on this particular engine are extremely rare and you've only done 50k miles - which is nothing in terms of timing chain life on this car. Are you happy that the car has enjoyed regular engine oil maintenance? Sometimes on a car of this age with very low mileage, previous owners have left oil in for years - tending to let mileage dictate the regularity of engine oil changes. My understanding is that the tensioner fills with oil and uses this hydraulic oil pressure in the process of tensioning the chain. I wonder whether there is a build up of sludge (which tends to collect around the chain and camshafts) which is inhibiting the free flow of engine oil in that particular area of the engine?

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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Tue 15 Dec, 2015 23:00

That could be one reason, but I know that it has had regular oil changes by Sytner at least every 18months, also I have been the owner since 2006, and the mileage was around 18000 when I received it, and has never been any problem.
Albert
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Thu 15 Sep, 2016 16:51

HI All, latest update on the clattering noise. I took it back to BMW Sytner in Coventry and told them to find out what it was. It went in yesterday, but they are reluctant to open the engine up to find out what is causing the clatter. I had a phone call yesterday evening asking me to go in today, and I now have the car back, but on Idle when hot it still clatters. They reckon it could cost 2500-3000 and still not get rid of the noise. So thier advise is run it until something becomes apparent.
Albert
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Del
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Del » Thu 15 Sep, 2016 16:55

Sounds like they haven't got a clue and don't want the work. :(

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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Thu 15 Sep, 2016 17:18

Del, they admitted they do not have a clue, and did not want to strip the engine down as they do not know what they are looking for. Fortunately they did not charge me this time.
Albert.
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colb
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by colb » Fri 16 Sep, 2016 20:30

Best look for a trusted indepedant BMW garage to do the job if you can't do it yourself.Sytners obviouly don't want to know it's not rocket science to diagnose and fix it moving parts are the cause and only a few to check out if it's not the belt pully's its. The timing chain or the tensioner
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Sat 17 Sep, 2016 17:43

Hi Colb, there was a couple of things they mentioned, but they also mentioned the oil pump, I think their feeling was not to start taking it apart bit by bit, which I would have to pay for, and they were talking of 2 to 3000 pounds, and still find that they could not fix it. So they left the choice to me, and as it it not getting worse, and is only noticeable when it is hot and idling, i decided to live with it for now. I would willingly have spent 1000 - 1500 pounds if i new they would cure it, but not up to 2500-3000, that is probably more than the car is worth.

Albert
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Sat 17 Sep, 2016 17:44

I take it nobody else has a similar problem, Sytners had never experienced it.
Albert
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mrscalex
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by mrscalex » Sat 17 Sep, 2016 20:18

Has the DISA been ruled out?
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pingu
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by pingu » Sun 18 Sep, 2016 00:35

I'm surprised the mechanic didn't put a stethoscope on it. I suspect that the plastic tensioner (Item 7) on the timing chain has worn away and the chain is rattling.

Very easy to check.

Remove Item 9 and prod around with your finger in the hole...
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Southernboy
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Southernboy » Sun 18 Sep, 2016 08:23

Hi Albert. Your observation of it being most noticeable when the motor is hot, and idling is significant. It supports, Pingu's prognosis, since the chain would not be under stress whilst idling, as it would be with your foot on the gas and therefore more likely to flap about. If you use a short length of narrow gauge hose (garden hose will also suffice) and apply it as you would a stethoscope - one end in your ear and the other in the region of the cam chains, or anywhere else you seem to hear the noise emanating from. That may help you to isolate the area you need to examine more closely. Removing the engine fan would probably be advisable to gain safe access, and it's a very simple - 1 nut - job to remove it. Bear in mind that nut has a reverse thread - ie. you undo it by turning it clockwise vs anticlockwise with conventional nuts and bolts. It may be advisable to first look at the exploded drawings as Pingu has posted, to see what parts are housed in those areas, and decide if they could potentially make the noise you are hearing before doing anything with tools etc.
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Del
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Del » Sun 18 Sep, 2016 09:24

+3 for a timing chain issue. Many small Vauxhall (Opel elsewhere in the World :D ) petrol engines are renowned for poor quality timing chain kits and can get noisy from 40,000 onwards. Typically they are quiet when the engine is cold and get noisy when hot when they sound like a diesel engine. The noise is most pronounced at idle. It’s such a common problem, the replacement kits are cheap

On the other hand, the Z3 vintage of BMW engines are not known for this sort of issue and I would have put money on replacement of the lower, external chain tensioner curing the problem. Was it a new tensioner you fitted or a salvaged item – just ruling out possibilities not criticising your progress.

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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Mon 19 Sep, 2016 10:05

HI Del, it was a new tensioner that Sytner fitted, but it made no difference.
Albert
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Mon 19 Sep, 2016 10:09

I am not capable of doing any work like this my self. If I could I would. but tools is one issue and not inclined is another. Gone are the days when I could take an engine to pieces, and put it back too many electrics and sensors for me now. I am not even sure where my Plugs are on this car.
Albert.
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Broon
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Broon » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 08:39

Albert - by the sounds of things I have exactly the same noise on my 54k 2002 3.0i. Nothing on start up and only audible once hot. I have had the car looked at by a specialist who replaced all pulleys / belts etc as well as the water pump. No difference. After reading comments on here and elsewhere I started getting a bit worried it might be the timing chain but after another look the garage are confident it isn't the chain and its just 'the noise it makes'. Anyway, after getting some comfort its not about to implode I've decided to just chill and use the thing properly.

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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 16:45

Hi Broon, that is more or less what the garage told me, go away and keep driving it until something more Positive happens. As I have said it is not intrusive, I only hear it when the window is open, or your standing next to the motor, and it has not got any louder since I first heard it. So it may go on for ever.
Albert
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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 16:50

Hi Broon, meant to say that it seems unusual that you have the noise at approx the same milage as me. also I do not hear any noise when driving ie. foot on the pedal, even on decelerating there is nothing, only idle.
Albert
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Broon
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by Broon » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 16:55

I had my wife drive slowly past me and I could hear it as she drove by. Otherwise I think it gets drowned out by other noises when you are in the car.

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T48 TRE
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Re: Clattering noise from the front.

Post by T48 TRE » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 17:06

I havn't tried that yet, my wife will not drive it. Never has and never will she says.
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