What is safe oil tempearture to push F30 N20/N26 engine? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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Old 10-07-2019, 10:22 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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What is safe oil tempearture to push F30 N20/N26 engine?

Posts in N20/N26 timing chain threads mention the N20/N26 timing chain tensioner is oil operated and needs to reach operating temperature for oil pressure to build up before tightening.

So the question is, what is the right operating temperature for the tensioner to operate? The oil temp gauge starts at 160F, so is that the temperature(and above) that the oil chain tensioner fully activates, so that the engine can be pushed?

Hidden menu shows that F30 oil and coolant temperatures do track closely, maybe differ by 10C, in first 1-2 miles of driving, e.g. 70C for oil and 80C for coolant.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
timing chain tensioner is oil operated and needs to reach operating temperature for oil pressure to build up before tightening.
I cannot imagine such a mechanism that will not build pressure below some temperature.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:37 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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What is the tensioner mechanism like? I picture a mechanical device with some sort of spring. If this is the case, there's no temperature sensitivity except under extreme cold.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:25 PM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
What is the tensioner mechanism like? I picture a mechanical device with some sort of spring. If this is the case, there's no temperature sensitivity except under extreme cold.
Tensioner is spring loaded, but some posts(in this and other enthusiast forum) mention it is also hydraulically actuated with oil pressure. It can be true that the engine may not even start without the oil pump gets enough pressure, but this is no tech doc(at least not found by online search) to explain that.

My N26 timing chain(and plastic piece) has a slight snag while cold, but solid tight after a drive, so operating temperature appears to tighten the whole mechanism.

Hidden menu says "cold" oil and coolant was 27C this morning. My question is, does engine on already has the correct operating condition such that timing chain is at correct tension for moderate pushing(e.g. merging)?

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...yABEgLdN_D_BwE
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:19 PM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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OK, the other forum has the N20 engine technical document, page 69 and 70 shows that timing chain chain tensioner is fed by oil supply.

So my thinking is that while cold, the tensioner spring maintains TC pressure, so an aged tensioner may increase snag on cold TC. So maybe changing the tensioner is a good maintenance item to preserve TC.

Upon engine on, the oil pressure should take over and manage TC slack. It is unclear if tensioner has oil valves to maintain pressure even when cold(my guess is no).
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:47 PM
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The oil temperature gauge makes me drive slowly the first 5-7 miles, which is boring. Before, some BMWs didn't have an oil temperature gauge but had a coolant temperature gauge. That heated up quickly, like in 2-3 minutes. It's all in the mind. Before, I was probably driving too fast when the coolant was hot but the oil wasn't yet hot.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 20T View Post
The oil temperature gauge makes me drive slowly the first 5-7 miles, which is boring. Before, some BMWs didn't have an oil temperature gauge but had a coolant temperature gauge. That heated up quickly, like in 2-3 minutes. It's all in the mind. Before, I was probably driving too fast when the coolant was hot but the oil wasn't yet hot.
F30 N20/N26 has a heat exchanger that tracks oil temp close to coolant temp(up or down), it is the silver box that seats in front of oil filter housing to the front right side of engine.

This morning my coolant was up to 80C, and oil to 70C, with 1.4 miles of 20mpg street driving(didn't pay attention afterwards). The oil [email protected], or 160F, was barely get oil gauge to move.

My thinking is the timing chain should be ready for spirited driving with 1-2 miles/5 minutes of idle. BTW outside ambient temp was 20C.

Last edited by namelessman; 10-07-2019 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:03 AM
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Timing chain is ready for "spirited driving" as soon as the oil pressure light is out, unfortunately the rest of the engine is not.
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