R56 Serpentine Belt replacement

Old 03-09-2014, 07:03 AM
d454brisson is offline
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Pickle fork is the common name for the tie rod separator tool or fork. I just ordered a Dayco 5060353 belt from summit for my 2010 MCS Camden. I have 36k on the clock but want to keep one in the garage just in case.

Old 03-09-2014, 04:06 PM
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I just finished replacing the serpentine belt with no special tools using the procedure above from abonn and a 2X2 instead of a pickle fork. Here it is again with a few notes of my own:

-- Consider washing out your front passenger side wheel-well before you get started.
- Loosen right front wheel lug nuts
- Jack up right front & place jack stand, remove right front wheel
- Remove the wheel well cover (or bend it out of the way)
-- I removed it. ¨Bend it out of the way¨ may work if you've done this enough times that you could do it blindfolded. There are lot's of different types of fasteners to deal with and there is a black plastic triangle piece under the door that wanted to come out with it.
- Remove small metal plate in front (3 phillips head screws - one was removed for wheel well cover).
-- Couldn't find this plate on my car.
- Cut the old belt
- Release the AC compressor friction wheel
-- There is a little black plastic tab that you pull out on. It is attached with a cable of some sort. It pulls out quite easy but that doesn't release the friction wheel. After it is out about an inch it is spring loaded and you have to give it a little yank to get it to allow the wheel to move downward. Again, it is all spring loaded so you have to hold it down to get the wheel to move down and release the belt. As such, there is no point in doing this step until the belt tensioner arm and wheel is locked in the upward position as described below.
- Lift tensioner with floor jack and a pickle fork
-- I did this with a floor jack and a 14" long 2X2. Put the jack in under the front bumper so you can control the jack and push in the locking pin at the same time. Put the top end of the 2x2 on the tensioner wheel at an angle such that it will not roll off the wheel when you jack it up. Put the bottom end of the 2x2 on the jack. Raise the jack until everything is snug.
- Push in the locking pin
-- You reach the locking pin from above. It is located near the engine oil dipstick and is shown in a picture in a previous post. The pin has a spring on it that holds it out of the stop hole. While jacking up the 2x2 and tensioner pulley, push in on the pin until you feel it drop into the hole. Hold it in while you lower the jack. At this point the shear load on the pin will hold it in place.
--Remove the jack and 2x2.
-- Pull the old belt out
- Install new belt ($10-$20 on Amazon)
-- I got mine from pelicanparts for somewhere in this price range. Appears to be very high quality. I sprayed belt conditioner on it in hopes that it will last a little longer than the frst one. Install it on the top pulley fist as this pulley has a lip on each side that will prevent the belt from going on unless there is a lot of slack. I put it on the front pulley next but I'm not sure it matters which one comes second or third. You will need to pull the spring-loaded friction wheel release tab out to move friction wheel out of the way while you put the belt on the engine (rear) pulley.
--Release tensioner pulley locking pin. This is done by lifting the tensioner pulley upward (against the spring force) until the spring-loaded locking pin pops out of the locking hole. I did this using the lug wrench that came with the car; put the non-business end on the tensioner pulley arm and push upward on the other end of the wrench. A good push and you will hear the pin pop out. When you release the force the tensioner pulley will tension the belt as it should.
--Replace the friction wheel tab by pushing it back into it's hole.
--At this point the belt is replaced and everything should work fine. Start the engine and have a look a the belt to make sure everything is copesthetic.
-Replace wheel well cover, wheel (with expanding plastic fasteners as needed - I used antiseize to increase probability of reuse), lower the car and torque the wheel lug nuts.
--Anti-seize on plastic fasteners? I don't understand that part.
Old 04-22-2014, 09:49 AM
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Thanks for all the info guys. I'll be doing this on my r56 this weekend due to a water pump leak. Figured I might as well do it all..
Old 10-12-2014, 02:00 PM
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Just changed my belt. A few additional comments:

1) Somehow I failed to read how to remove the clips that hold in the fender liner. They are in 2 pieces. The inner piece is a screw that can be removed with a philips screwdriver IF you hold the outer piece somehow so it doesn't turn. Once you remove the screw part the rest of the clip comes out easy. I broke one figuring this out and stripped out the screwdriver slots on a second one because it wouldn't break free from the outer piece.

2) I pushed the tension pulley up from the bottom with a floor jack, like others has described. I bought the Bentley manual and was all set to do it the way they describe (remove headlight, remove grill, remove hood lock assembly) but then I read oldMGguy's post about how even all that disassembly wasn't enough to swing the wrench. My advice is is to proceed cautiously, being careful not to lift the arm too far. It had to be moved significantly farther than the 1/4 inch he suggests, but the method worked perfectly for me and it's certainly a lot faster than the "official" method.

3) if you own a 2010, be careful buying the belt. There was apparently a design change mid-year that requires a different belt.
Old 02-05-2015, 06:17 PM
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Replaced the serpentine belt in the fiancee's R56 today - forget prying the tensioner out of the way, it's just easier to remove the headlights and bridge support and use a wrench to move the tensioner.

I used the Pelican DIY: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarti...eplacement.htm
Old 03-23-2015, 07:06 PM
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Al-Hajj Jameel Ibn Dawood
Al-Hajj Jameel Ibn Dawood is offline
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Great Info

Originally Posted by MINI-Madness View Post
take a 21mm wrench, using the 12pt side, place on bolt and using a bigger wrench for leverage, I used a 23mm. put the 12pt side of the 23mm over the open face of the 21mm closest to you and pull back, push the retainer pin in and no tension. GOOD LUCK!
This was probably the most useful information imaginable! I had the Bentley manual, and read Pelican Parts DIY write up, but all of the information was incorrect. For a 2008 MCS, you'd think that someone would've noted that the fastener isn't a 30mm, but rather a 12-point 21mm. There's no need to do the shade-tree "push up on the pulley with a jack/prybar", "wire lift" or any of that. Just get a basic combo wrench (Home Depot, $3.79 in a pinch), loosen the intercooler duct for greater clearance, and put a little muscle into it. That's the hardest part of the entire task.
Old 07-21-2015, 03:27 PM
MyYellow 07
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So, my belt went at 65K yesterday, 1 mile from home. Thankfully!
With the help in here, I found this to be pretty easy to replace.
Went to O'Reilly for the $20 belt, as Autozone was special order?

Off came wheel
Out comes inner fender liner, really simple.
21MM wrench from bottom, with next size up helper to rotate tensioner.
Helper up top to push in pin.
Released the belt retainer pull.
Installed new belt.
Wrenchs again from bottom, pin self releases.
Double check it all and start it, all good.
Fender liner replace.
Wheel replace.
1 hour.

Had I been aware of the 60K service life, I certainly would have done this sooner. And carry a spare!
Old 07-16-2016, 07:13 PM
perryinva is offline
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So the serp belt actually only runs the AC, (which you can live without in a pinch) but is it REALLY needed because the Friction wheel contacts the back of the belt in order to drive the water pump??
Old 04-19-2017, 02:17 AM
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I ended up rebuilding my engine myself. Was being caused by bearing wear but I caught it early so no additional engine damage.
Old 04-19-2017, 09:51 PM
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I have the 21mm wrench from Way Motor Works for sale here: https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...oner-tool.html

Way sells the 21mm and 30mm as a pair, I needed the 30mm for my car. Makes the job super easy.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:24 PM
greystone is offline
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Wanted to add some comments after a successful belt replacement. It really is a pretty easy job, just a bit time consuming the first time. Taking the wheel liner off is tedious and very dirty/dusty, so hosing it out is a great idea. I did the job from below with a long pry bar and had a second person press in the ternsioner button from above. Then it's just wiggling the old belt out and replacing. Good opportunity to look at an otherwise hidden side of the engine compartment for any issues.

The auto tensioner is a PITA but nicer than trying to set the appropriate tension with a threaded pulley. Also strange that replacing this belt isn't part of one of the defined services.

Thanks for the input in the thread!
Old 09-29-2018, 05:44 PM
dmath is offline
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Reviving an old thread to say thanks for the great instructions. Most of the posts and all of the videos I saw were for older Minis. So I was a little stuck when I couldn't get the belt off due to the friction pulley. pepperstripes description of exactly how to release the pulley with the tab was exactly what I needed. Thanks.
Old 10-21-2018, 08:03 AM
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Pull the headlight. Clears great room for work and inspection, and get a clear angle on the tensioner pivot.
Old 10-22-2018, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by dmrispoli View Post
Pull the headlight. Clears great room for work and inspection, and get a clear angle on the tensioner pivot.
If you do it from the bottom with our wrench you just pull back the fender liner and you don't have to take out the headlight. This also allows you to pull the belt out right through the opening.

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