HomePOPULAR VEHICLELots of speculation over the N47 Engine. Let’s shed some light.

Lots of speculation over the N47 Engine. Let’s shed some light.

The N47 is a four-cylinder inline diesel engine ranging from 1.6L-2.0L outputting up to 204bhp. And as you can see, the N47 has been lumped in a fair few BMWs.

Which vehicles contain the N47 Engine?
BMW 1 Series (E81, E87, F20, F21, E82, E88)
BMW 3 Series (E90, F30, F80, E93, E92, F34, E91, F31)
BMW 4 Series (F33, F83, F32, F82, F36)
BMW 5 Series (E60, F10, F07, E61, F11)
BMW X1 (E84)
BMW X3 (E83, F25)
BMW X5 (F15, F85)
MINI (R56, R55, R57, R60, R58, R61, R59)

–       BGA’s TC0900FK, Timing Chain kit pictured, a market leader in the UK, fits the BMW N47 engine.

Knock knock

Whos there?

BMW intake valve

BMW intake valve who?

Knock knock knock knock knock…

The N47 is a four-cylinder inline diesel engine ranging from 1.6L-2.0L outputting up to 204bhp. And as you can see from the data above, the N47 has been lumped into a fair few BMWs.

If we go by our pure, hard, factual data from our sales in the past year, the TC0900FK (fitting N47 & B47 engines) is blowing all other chain kits out of the water with sales which could raise some concerns for the original manufacturer’s parts quality, however, do remember the high number of applications this part fits, which is in fact 1,692,325 vehicles (just in the UK)! Acting as a gold mine for motor factors and distribution centres. Here are some figures on the sheer volume of cars on the road that the TC0900FK Fits in the United Kingdom:

BMW Models on the road in the UK, the TC0900FK Timing Chain Kit Fits:

3 Series599,377
1 Series383,921
5 Series193,326
2 Series96,649
X1 Series94,523
4 Series91,137
X3 Series69,776
X5 Series55,312

What’s all the negative speculation on the N47 engine? There’s lots of questions to be asked before concluding.

One simple search on google will bring up countless threads of timing issues with the N47 engine, but to diagnose a problem further, more questions need to be asked. Was the oil regularly serviced? How was the car driven? Was the car neglected by a salesman screaming it up and down the country to meetings every day? We really can’t answer these questions, all we can do is provide some more general information on the topic and let you decide for yourselves.

Understanding the Timing Chain

Timing Chains represent one of the most critical components in the modern engine. The development came along to replace gear driven valve train systems in the early part of the 1920’s, such as those used in the infamous Model T Ford (which the 4BG group, BGA’s sister company produced the OE head gaskets for!) The invention of Timing Chains allowed for greater flexibility in engine design, reducing weight within the valve train and as a result, created more power and efficiency. Through the 1970’s and 1980’s they were themselves replaced in many instances by toothed timing belts, which required no lubrication and further flexibility in engine design, reduced replacement costs and more importantly, cost savings during engine manufacture. However, timing chains have come back over the last 20 years and feature in many modern engines due to their longevity, low maintenance and resistance to external influence. This results in a more robust timing system by comparison. An often hotly debated topic!

Timing chains aren’t for life

In some cases, it is thought that the timing chain lasts the life of the engine, such as that in the BMW N47 Engine – BMW’s engineers designed the engine so that the timing chain is located at the back, away from an easy service area as it is expected to not need maintenance. In this case, due to wear – if the timing chain begins to rattle between 40k-70k miles this will indicate imminent failure. When the timing chain does snap, this will cause catastrophic damage where the pistons hit the valves, causing them to bend as they collide with the rocker arms.

Best practice provides the best results

When replacing components of a Timing Chain Kit, it is best practice to replace all the associated parts. By doing so, the condition of the timing components, which are so critical to the operation of the engine are now all uniform and wear together again, preventing premature wear and failure.

Examples of failure:

MakeEngineReason for FailureReplace with BGA Part
VAGAGN/AWT/AUM/AUQElectronic Tensioner failure TC0100K
BMWN20Tensioner blades crack and fail with ageTC0902FK
FIAT1.3 Multijet DieselOil contamination leading to timing chain failureTC0380FK
BMWN47Chain elongation leading to early timing chain failureTC0900FK


There is lots of debate, so we would like to hear from you with your opinion! Mention us on social media and let us know your thoughts on the N47 Engines. @Bgautomotiveuk

BGA Paving the way

BGA introduced kits to give the installer everything they need to complete the job including Gaskets, Seals and Feed Pipes where appropriate. Saving time and money. BGA’s range covers over 350 references and over 7000+ relevant applications making them one of the largest suppliers of Timing Chain Kits in Europe. All of BGA’s kits are engineered and Q.C Tested in house by their own automotive engineers and where possible, improving on the original.


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