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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Need some help please so I can correctly diagnose my crank to start issue.

A few days ago, the car cranked for longer than usual on the way to the supermarket (2kms away). I assumed it's probably a battery issue because it's mid winter here in Victoria, Australia. On the way back from the supermarket, same thing ... car took a while to start then the engine seemed to run ok. about 200m into the drive back home the car stalled. Car had to be towed back home.

So I did some obvious checks - battery, camshaft, crankshaft, fuel pressure, etc. and it all seems fine. ISTA-D is throwing error 273C00 (Camshaft sensor, signal No signal). Like I mentioned, Camshaft sensor seemed ok as I checked for voltage and Hall effect (watching the signal wire drop from 5V to 0V as the sensor gets close to metal). I even replaced the Camshaft sensor with a working one, but no difference.

Anyway, I wanted to rule out the worst case scenario which is a timing chain issue in my book. So I removed the Camshaft sensor below.
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I then looked to see if the flywheel is turning and unfortunately it's not (see video link below).

BMW F10 crank no start - timing chain?


From my understanding the starter motor should have engaged the flywheel to turn, so is there anything I can check before concluding this is a timing chain issue? Is it wishful thinking to believe it may be something else? The car has only done 150,000kms and is a 520d (Engine label is N47D20O1). Thanks in advance.
 

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There will definitely be engine damage for sure. The cylinder head will need to come off. It will probably need a new cylinder head. The pistons usually hit the valves when the timing chain breaks and then damage the camshafts and camshaft cap bolts get broken and stripped.
The timing chain in itself is a huge job. The engine has to come out as the chain is at the rear. I have seen some people leave the engine in and remove the transmission, which is probably a bit quicker. It's probably a 16-20 hour job (just the timing chain)
It would be far cheaper to install a used engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There will definitely be engine damage for sure. The cylinder head will need to come off. It will probably need a new cylinder head. The pistons usually hit the valves when the timing chain breaks and then damage the camshafts and camshaft cap bolts get broken and stripped.
The timing chain in itself is a huge job. The engine has to come out as the chain is at the rear. I have seen some people leave the engine in and remove the transmission, which is probably a bit quicker. It's probably a 16-20 hour job (just the timing chain)
It would be far cheaper to install a used engine.
Bugger! OK - thanks mate ... appreciate the advice!
 

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Hi All, [ … ] I then looked to see if the flywheel is turning and unfortunately it's not (see video link below).
If the flywheel is not turning then why would you expect the timing chain / valve train to ‘turn’?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If the flywheel is not turning then why would you expect the timing chain / valve train to ‘turn’?
Isn’t that how engines fire up? Starter motor engages with the flywheel? So if the flywheel is not rotating… then engine probably seized due to seized or broken timing chain? That’s my understanding but hoping it can be validated… cheers!
 

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That's definitely a timing chain issue just by the rattle in the engine and stupid BMW decides to put the timing chain at the back of the engine for these 4 cylinder diesels... How old did you buy this car and did it have a full service history before you bought it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's definitely a timing chain issue just by the rattle in the engine and stupid BMW decides to put the timing chain at the back of the engine for these 4 cylinder diesels... How old did you buy this car and did it have a full service history before you bought it?
Hi Bimmer3er ... I purchased the car privately from the first owner. It had BMW Service History until the warranty expired then it's been service independently elsewhere ... so yes full service history with no gaps!
 
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