WTFery Garage

Since May of 2017 I have left my Mini Cooper on jack stands taking up space in my garage. This week I finally worked up the nerve to work on it again as we are once again down a vehicle, our Kia Sedona is on its last legs, engine has a death knock and both back doors have broken in the last few months. So I broke down and started working on the Mini again.

I started by taking off the cylinder head to assess the damage.

Cylinder head removed and head gasket inspected, gasket is shot
Pistons and cylinders look good, water jacket around cylinders not so much

I spent several days cleaning the oil pump and the water jacket around the cylinders before reassembly with new head gasket and bolts.

Cylinder Head reinstalled

So 3 years of not touching the car I had to remember where all of the nuts and bolts belong which was not too easy. Frustrated with myself for not being more organized when I tore the engine down, but, in the end I got everything back together.

All back together except the passenger wheel, fender and grill

Moment of truth came and the battery had died, charged it overnight and only succeeded in a swollen battery. Replaced the battery and fired it up, was awful, sputtering and backfiring. So I shut it off and started troubleshooting the problem, seems both intake and exhaust VANOS solenoids were a problem. VANOS is an abbreviation of the German word for variable camshaft timing variable nockenwellen steuerung. So I pulled the solenoids and sure enough the were both in need of replacement.

The black rings should be shiny metal, instead they are baked on plastic and oil

Ordered the replacements from Rock Auto, chose the 3 day DHL delivery option, well that was a mistake as the should have arrived on Wednesday, instead I am still waiting on them to arrive and they are sitting in Atlanta in a status of with Delivery Carrier. Not too happy with DHL at the moment, I could have saved money on shipping and went with USPS and I would have the parts on Monday. I still have no guarantees that I will have the parts Monday as I may be waiting for DHL to have enough packages to drive the hundred miles from Atlanta to Columbus. A real WTF experience.