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 Created by: MiniLittle
Orig. Posting Date User Name Edit Date
Mar 1, 2021 08:21AM kenatminimania  
Feb 26, 2021 08:15PM MiniLittle  
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 Posted: Mar 1, 2021 08:21AM
Total posts: 2200
Last post: Aug 11, 2022
Member since:Dec 29, 2004
Cars in Garage: 1
Photos: 9
WorkBench Posts: 0
Thank you for taking the time to post your experience!

I know it will help another R60 owner down the line.

 Posted: Feb 26, 2021 08:15PM
Total posts: 2
Last post: Jun 20, 2021
Member since:Feb 26, 2021
Cars in Garage: 0
Photos: 0
WorkBench Posts: 0

There is not much service information on the net about the R60 with the N16 engine. I recently did some service on it and hope this information will help those who need to do the same.


I recently replaced and or removed and serviced all of the following:


Thermostat, Crossover pipe, Valve cover gasket, Throttle body gasket, Both VVT solenoids. Vent pipe, Battery, Battery ground cable, Battery positive cable, Engine ground cables, Spark plugs, Eccentric shaft sensor.


Thermostat & Crossover Pipe: Much easier if you remove all the electrical wires in your way. The main harness where all the wires are attached just slips onto the holder. Disconnect all the plugs then just pull it up to remove it. Some plugs have a push type plug you squeeze to remove the plug, others have a tab under the retainer that has to be pulled down with a pick to release it. Look at them carefully so you don't break the tabs when removing.


T/stat housing is connected to the crossover pipe with a metal snap ring. Pull the top of the ring towards the block to remove it, you can then remove the housing from the pipe. First time on high mileage engines this may not be easy to get off, and the crossover may pull out of the back of the water pump. If mileage is high 100K plus, replace the crossover as well.


To remove the crossover you need to first remove the three clips holding the wire loom onto the  sides of the pipe. You may be able to get at them from the T/stat side, if not from under the car.


Installing the new pipe can be a pain since it has to go in straight but its not a straight piece, and it can be a pain to get the T/stat housing into the pipe and lock it since there is not a lot of room to do it. I found it much easier to connect the pipe to the housing and lock the clip, then install it as an assembly and push it into the pump securely from underneath.


Valve Cover: There are 13 bolts to remove, mine are all the same length, and had Loctite on them. Once removed you may need to pry up a bit on the T/Stat side to release any previously applied silicone. Remove the old gasket, four round gaskets around the plug towers, and two round ones under the 2 center bolt holes. Clean thoroughly with brake clean. Install the new gaskets making sure they are locked into position. Once its secured, add a small bit of silicone red/black or gray to the two corners on the driver side. Make sure the block surface is clean. Add a drop of Loctite 242 (blue) to each bolt, do not use the Loctite on the grounding bolt. Install all the bolts and using the correct tightening sequence, torque all the bolts down to spec. Allow 24 hours for the silicone to dry before starting it up.


Intake Manifold Re/Re: This should be easy, well not necessarily. There are 5 nuts at the top to remove and BMW engineers being what they are, could not help but hide the 6th one way down at the centre of the base of the intake. If you just need to replace the gaskets, its fairly easy. If you need to actually remove it from the car, it can be a pain getting the vent connector off. This hose connects to the bottom of the throttle body intake boot, and is very short. If the squeeze connector is seized (older high mileage car) its a real pain to get it off. There is very little room to get at it from any angle.


Only way I could get it off/on was to cut the hose about 3 inches from where it goes into the block. Three inches worked for me, you may need it longer/shorter. Reason is, if you cut it in the wrong location you will not be able to tighten the clamps to secure the copper pipe. There are too many things in the way, and not much room to maneuver to simply cut it anywhere. To re-install it you will need a helper to get into the right place.


Connect it first to the intake boot, then have your helper install it into its approximate position, while you guide it into position from under the car. Determine the best path for the hose, then insert a 2 or 3 inch piece of 5/16 copper pipe at least 3/4" into the upper hose end and tighten the clamp. Remove the intake boot, hose and copper pipe as an assembly. You will need to reinstall it after the Throttle Body is installed.


Throttle Body Re/Re: If your intake boot is the same as above, there is not enough room to remove the throttle body or manifold without removing the intake boot, and the throttle body. There are 3 torx bolts you need to remove to take it out. Re-installing is easy, if its aligned with the guide pins. If you have to force it in, its not aligned.


I've seen many videos that tell you not to disturb the throttle plate when cleaning it. In my experience, it has not made any difference. I moved it around, and held it fully open and snapped it back quite a few times during cleaning, and have not had any "unrecoverable" issues, only minor issues on startup.


Cleaning Procedure: I use Spray Nine de-greaser, a small stenciling brush and a balloon.  Yes, a balloon! Inflate the balloon so its about 3/4" larger then the TB opening. Insert into the opening. Fill the cavity with spray nine and let it sit, for 30 minutes. Then use the brush to clean around the plate etc. Do the same thing on the other side. Both sides have been done, use a wiper with some spray nine on it to clean off the plate and thicker deposits, repeat as necessary.


Move the plate as you need to get better access. Work slowly and carefully to avoid any damage. Once done, rinse off the spray nine with hot water. Blow out with compressed air, and let it dry, then add a small amount of grease to the moving parts of the plate, a small dab on each side is all you need.


Note: Spray nine is clear but will change to a purple color when in contact with grease/oil, and washes off with water. Good indication of missed areas!


What were the "minor" issues? First, before starting it, I did the throttle body re-learn procedures, as outline below, I did both, one after the other, then started it up. It runs like crap, and you may get some backfiring until the computer makes the required adjustments to get it running properly again. That took about 2 minutes. Then it runs with a bit of a hiccup, and will, until you complete the full drive cycle. i.e. driving it for a while, after driving for 30 minutes it was all back to normal. I used the same procedure on other BMW's with the same results. Don't know if this will apply to your car, only one way to find out. If it doesn't work, the worst that can happen is you will have to have the adaptations reset at your local garage. If you want you can do the Mini Drive Cycle as well to reset adaptations.


Variable Valve Timing Solenoids: One Torx head bolt holds them in, and they can be a real pain to get out. Most of the time when you get a code for them its due to them being dirty. There is a very fine screen that gets easily clogged, especially on high mileage engines with less frequent oil changes.

Cleaning Procedure: Remove the O rings (do not discard the O rings) then, place the solenoids in a cup deep enough to cover the entire body to just below the base of the electrical plug. Soak them in spray nine as long as you want. Use a fine brush to remove stubborn sections, sanding or scraping can damage the screen, so avoid that. Rinse in hot water. Blow out with compressed air, let dry. Repeat procedure if needed.


Note: If after doing this procedure you get a white residue on the solenoids, soak them in CLR for 15 minutes, then rise off with hot water, and blow or let dry.


Block Cleaning Procedure: Cut a small piece of scotch brite, soak in brake clean. Work it inside the VVT cavity to remove any buildup and on the block area as needed to clean the area. Spray off with brake clean.


Installing the Solenoids: Install new O rings. Lube them and the hole in the block with a bit of engine oil. Push it in until it bottoms. It may not go in with a new O ring, don't force it, if you do, it will damage the O ring and cause a leak. In my case the front one (exhaust side) was impossible to get in with the new O ring. Only way it would go in was with the old one, even then it took a lot of pushing to get it in. One thing for sure this O ring will never leak!


Note: I found it to be much easier to get it in and out if I removed the oil dipstick tube, with it in place you have very little room and no leverage.


Battery & Grounds: Almost all electrical connections are copper with Zinc plating. Even so, they do corrode over time. While I had the car apart I removed, cleaned and lubed the connections, as follows:


Battery: Removed the battery, hold down clamp, lower tray and negative cable. Cleaned the battery case (damp rag works well). Checked the acid level, filled to proper level with distilled water. Cleaned the posts with wire brush applied a light coat of electrically conductive grease to posts.


Positive Cable & Ground Cables: Remove the Negative cable from battery compartment body connection, soak both ends in mixture of warm water and baking soda. Let stand until the bubbling stops, then use fine brush to get into any missed areas and let soak a few minutes more. Rinse in hot water. Now soak both ends in full strength CLR cleaner, let stand for 20 minutes. Remove and rinse with hot water. Blow dry with compressed air. Use a wire brush to clean inside and outside the best you can. Remove the Engine Ground cable attached to the engine mount on the passenger side of the engine, and do the same thing to it.


Positive Cable: Use wire brush to clean it the best you can. Spray with break clean to remove any residue. Apply light coat of electrically conductive grease to all exposed metal parts of the cable. Don't forget to reinstall the red plastic shield on the post before you attach it to the battery.


Eccentric Shaft Sensor: The round plastic housing had a crack at the bottom so it was leaking oil. Replaced it with a new OEM, but it was bad, so I repaired and reused it.


The connector on this sensor is a bit tricky to get off without braking. It has a very thin pull tab two on opposite sides just below the bottom of the round edge. You need to pull the top of the tab a bit outwards to release it from the detent, then pull it straight up.


The outer plastic hub is very thin and cracks/breaks easily, remove it carefully without prying, just rotate it back and forth and spray some WD40 until it pops out. To repair the crack, clean it thoroughly with Spay Nine removing as much oil as you can, Rinse well with hot water, and blow dry. Inspect the area to locate the crack(s). Once you find it, do the following. Sand the cracked area with 800 grit paper. Don't go crazy, you only need to sand it enough so the plastic dust will fill the crack. Lightly wipe the area, but do NOT remove the dust from the cracked area. Put some liquid Superglue (do not use the gel type) onto a toothpick and place it in and around the cracked area. Do the same for both sides. Apply only a light amount of glue, if you build up too much glue you won't be able to get it back in. Let dry completely and re-install.



Electrically Conductive Grease: What is it, and where do you get it? Its called NO-OX-ID Grease. Find it on eBay. Costs about $10.00 for 2oz container. Its used to lubricate and stop corrosion on electrically conductive connections. You can also apply it to any audio, antenna, cable TV connections, spark plugs, etc. A light coat does the job so 2oz. goes a long way.



BMW & MINI Throttle Body Adaptation Reset:


  • 1. Make sure the ignition is Turned Off
  • 2. Press the Gas Pedal to Full Throttle (while ignition is off).
  • 3. Turn on the Ignition to the ON position for 30 seconds (Do Not Crank the Vehicle) (Do Not let go of the Throttle)
  • 4. After 30 seconds are over, Turn Ignition Off and Remove Key (Do Not let go of the Throttle).
  • 5. After Key is Removed, let go of the Throttle and wait 30 seconds.
  • 6. After 30 Seconds, the Car can now be Started normally.


Can also do the one below if you want.


- Put the power on but do not start the engine.
- Floor the throttle for 30-60 seconds
- Keep the throttle to the floor and put the power OFF
- Release the throttle and wait 2 minutes.

During the 2 minutes you should feel or hear some kind of mechanical sound.
That should tell you the reset is complete.


How to Perform a Mini Cooper Drive Cycle:

  1. Start engine and idle while cold for 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
  2. Accelerate to 20-30 miles per hour and maintain steady speed for 3 minutes and 15 seconds.
  3. Accelerate to 40-60 miles per hour and hold steady speed for 15 minutes.
  4. Decelerate and come to a complete stop. Idle engine in gear (DRIVE) for 5 minutes.
Note: The drive cycle above will terminate if engine RPM exceeds 3000 at anytime, if road speed exceeds 60 mph, or if there are large fluctuations in throttle angle.