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



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

The N47 engine series is inclined to early timing chain failure thanks to serious timing chain use. The condition is indicated by a rattling sounds coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain might necessitate engine substitute or a high priced fix. The problem influences all applications and electrical power versions of the motor made between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously damaged models, which call for the most considerable repairs, have been produced in between the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It appears that a little selection of engines manufactured soon after the remember are having difficulties.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this motor is sandwiched in between the motor and the transmission at the back again of the motor. Its alternative is especially complicated because it is situated in these types of an inaccessible locale. In most conditions, components put in in this kind of inaccessible places are meant to survive the everyday living of the motor, but not in this circumstance. The timing chain in the N47 can fall short wherever from 40 to 100k miles, causing catastrophic motor destruction as its components reduce synchronization.

Prognosis – Indicators of a Failing Timing Chain

The signs or symptoms of a failed timing chain ordinarily show up gradually as the chain will become extended and a lot more worn. As a end result, you are not likely to detect a sudden spectacular symptom until finally the chain is in close proximity to to crack fully. As a substitute, think about how your car or truck is executing right now and how it carried out several months ago. Modest troubles could propose that the chain is about to fail wholly.

Here are some of the indicators that your timing chain is failing:

  • Rough idling: Start off your vehicle and wander absent. It is achievable that the timing chain is sporting out if it shakes or vibrates a lot more than usual. Of course, there are other issues that could end result in harsh idling, but the problem is usually really worth investigating since it tends to worsen about time.
  • Odd noises: You may hear your N47 engine rattle, especially when it is idling, but not only when it’s idling. The challenge could be that the timing chain is unfastened and rattling towards anything at all else if the sound is persistent and tough. 
  • Steel shavings in the oil: About time, the timing chain will wear down. When it reaches the stop of its valuable lifestyle, it could emit steel shavings. If it does, it will stop up in your motor oil, possibly leading to additional issues.  Nevertheless, any worn-out portion of your car can create steel shavings, so it is value on the lookout into just before just replacing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not begin, the chai could be harmed and not supplying more than enough force to start the engine. If the chain breaks while you are driving, it is probable that the timing chain has broken as properly. If this takes place, the pistons may perhaps be damaged, and the belt challenge may possibly induce additional harm to your vehicle.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 motor may perhaps misfire just before the chain has wholly snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are connected by a chain. The chain could result in the car to skip a equipment on either the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will turn out to be more stressed as a consequence of this, and it will finally split.
  • Check motor gentle is on: Of system, the look at engine light-weight could sign a huge wide variety of matters have long gone improper with your BMW. However, it is feasible that the timing chain has unsuccessful or is before long to fall short.

Substitute and Repairs

Because the timing chain is in these kinds of an inaccessible spot, the mechanic will have to fully remove the motor from its bay to acquire entry to it. Getting the motor out is a huge and complicated undertaking in and of itself. Adhering to that, yet another lengthy disassembly is required to achieve accessibility to the chains them selves.

Three timing chains are included in the timing chain alternative package: one particular for the oil pump, 1 for the camshaft, and one particular for the higher-stress gasoline pump. You will also have to have the looking resource package to maintain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized although you’re doing the job on them. These are the main tasks that have to be concluded right after eliminating the engine from the bay in get to swap the timing chains.

To start, make absolutely sure that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top rated dead center in get to retain the level for synchronizing the points.

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

Take out the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a minor, and loosen the three bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be a lot easier to remove the gasoline pump sprocket if the superior-force gasoline pump is turned off.

Take away the flywheel from the crankshaft by removing the bolts that hold it in put.

Get rid of the starter motor’s bolts to gain entry to the oil sump.

By undoing the essential bolts, you can get rid of the oil sump.

Take away the timing deal with by loosening the nuts that hold it in put. It will take some prying and a several gentle taps with the hammer. You can now access all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may now get rid of the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Take out the oil pump’s chain as effectively.

In the same way, clear away the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as properly as the sprocket and belt.

Immediately after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 levels and remove the substantial-pressure gas pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Get off the belt and the sprockets as properly.

The final merchandise is your oil sprayer, which you may well eliminate for substitution if necessary.

Then, in reverse order, install the replacement belts, ensuring that all factors are in sync until eventually the conclusion.


This timing chain problem is a layout flaw in the engine, and the only process to solution it is to avoid vehicles with this N47 engine or, if feasible, get rid of it in working purchase. Simply because of the emission manage tools set in it, these kinds of as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a lot of issues.


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