From 2007 to around 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel engine that was made use of in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 series, as very well as the X1 and X3 diesel products.

The N47 motor sequence is inclined to early timing chain failure due to severe timing chain dress in. The circumstance is indicated by a rattling sounds coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may well necessitate engine substitute or a high priced restore. The problem affects all purposes and electrical power variations of the motor created between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously broken models, which call for the most considerable repairs, have been produced involving the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a compact amount of engines built following the remember are acquiring problems.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this motor is sandwiched concerning the engine and the transmission at the back of the motor. Its substitution is specially tough because it is situated in this sort of an inaccessible site. In most scenarios, parts put in in these types of inaccessible places are supposed to endure the lifestyle 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 elements reduce synchronization.

Diagnosis – Indications of a Failing Timing Chain

The indicators of a unsuccessful timing chain commonly surface progressively as the chain will become for a longer time and extra worn. As a end result, you are not likely to detect a unexpected extraordinary symptom until finally the chain is near to split fully. Alternatively, imagine about how your vehicle is executing these days and how it performed lots of months back. Tiny difficulties could counsel that the chain is about to fail wholly.

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

  • Rough idling: Get started your auto and wander away. It is probable that the timing chain is carrying out if it shakes or vibrates more than typical. Of training course, there are other concerns that could outcome in severe idling, but the difficulty is generally worthy of investigating due to the fact it tends to worsen above time.
  • Strange noises: You may hear your N47 engine rattle, especially when it’s idling, but not only when it’s idling. The challenge could be that the timing chain is free and rattling from anything at all else if the audio is persistent and tough. 
  • Metallic shavings in the oil: In excess of time, the timing chain will put on down. When it reaches the end of its practical lifetime, it may perhaps emit steel shavings. If it does, it will end up in your motor oil, maybe causing even further difficulties.  However, any worn-out portion of your automobile can generate metallic shavings, so it’s worthy of wanting into just before basically changing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not start, the chai could be weakened and not providing enough force to start out the motor. If the chain breaks though you are driving, it is probable that the timing chain has broken as properly. If this happens, the pistons may be broken, and the belt difficulty may possibly result in much more problems to your car or truck.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 engine could misfire before the chain has entirely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are connected by a chain. The chain could possibly result in the vehicle to skip a gear on both the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will turn into extra stressed as a final result of this, and it will eventually split.
  • Check out engine light-weight is on: Of program, the examine motor light could signal a significant range of factors have absent wrong with your BMW. Having said that, it’s attainable that the timing chain has failed or is soon to are unsuccessful.

Substitute and Repairs

Mainly because the timing chain is in these types of an inaccessible place, the mechanic will have to entirely clear away the motor from its bay to achieve access to it. Taking the engine out is a enormous and tricky undertaking in and of alone. Adhering to that, an additional prolonged disassembly is demanded to gain access to the chains them selves.

A few timing chains are provided in the timing chain alternative package: a single for the oil pump, one for the camshaft, and one particular for the substantial-stress gas pump. You will also need to have the searching software kit to retain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized though you are working on them. These are the main responsibilities that must be completed soon after getting rid of the motor from the bay in buy to replace the timing chains.

To start out, make certain that cylinders 1 and 4 are at major useless center in buy to keep the place for synchronizing the points.

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

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

It will be simpler to get rid of the fuel pump sprocket if the superior-strain gas pump is turned off.

Take out the flywheel from the crankshaft by removing the bolts that keep it in place.

Eliminate the starter motor’s bolts to attain entry to the oil sump.

By undoing the required bolts, you can take away the oil sump.

Get rid of the timing cover by loosening the nuts that keep it in area. It will take some prying and a handful of moderate faucets with the hammer. You can now entry all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you could now clear away the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Remove the oil pump’s chain as effectively.

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

Right after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 levels and take away the higher-force gasoline pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Acquire off the belt and the sprockets as perfectly.

The last product is your oil sprayer, which you may possibly take away for alternative if required.

Then, in reverse get, install the replacement belts, making certain that all factors are in sync until the summary.


This timing chain challenge is a style flaw in the engine, and the only process to remedy it is to prevent vehicles with this N47 engine or, if feasible, get rid of it in doing the job get. Due to the fact of the emission regulate devices set in it, this sort of as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a large amount of issues.


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By Kelli