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A couple of my buddies had catastrophic engine damage when their timing belts failed. One had a VW Beetle, and the other had a Dodge Neon. I'm no mechanic, but I understand that these engines were designed such that there is no clearance between the valves (when fully open) and the pistons (when at TDC). Is the Mini Cooper 1.5 liter engine of such design? I have a F55 non-S on order, and I'm wondering how critical the health of the timing belt is going to be. (How about the 2.0 liter engine for the S crowd?)

Bobby D.
 

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I would be shocked if it wasn't an interference engine. I can't remember the last time I have seen non-interference engine in a car.
 

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As far as I know, having seen a video of the engines being made, I believe the timing gear is controlled by chain rather than belt on these engines, so interference should not be an issue, except for a very rare case of chain failure.

I hope I am correct as that is one of the reasons I chose the car. I am not a fan of periodic cam belt changes.

However I stand to be corrected, and would appreciate a definitive answer.
 
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