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