May 15th, 2012, 01:19 PM
My wife has a 2004 Mini Cooper that just turned 40K. Due to the distance from and the high cost of the dealer we are attempting to have service done locally or by myself.
One of the items mentioned in the Service 2 is changing the poly belt.
Has anyone done this on a non S Cooper? Do they really need to be replaced as often as the service indicates?
I did our 4Runner at 140K and the old one really did not look that bad.
Thanks for any help.
May 16th, 2012, 12:17 PM
The poly V belt should be changed during the Inspection 2, this is normally around 55k miles. When I changed mine, it showed no obvious signs of wear and looked as good as the new one that replaced it.
It's an easy job to do, only made awkward by the limited access between the engine and the body.
May 16th, 2012, 01:56 PM
I guess I am curious if anyone has changed the belt themselves and what needs to be removed to accomplish this.
May 16th, 2012, 04:26 PM
I've replaced mine and also had to remove it (and put it back) when I changed the oil pan gasket. According to the service manual, you need to remove the wheel and wheel well liner to do this job, but if you are determined, you can do it without removing anything (except the belt!). It does help to have the car on ramps so that you can work underneath to fit the belt on the lower pulleys.
First, you need to compress the belt tensioner. This is a spring loaded idler pulley and there is a special tool for compressing it. There is also a square hole in the tensioner that will take a ratchet or breaker bar, but I found that there is insufficient room get one in there. I used large pry bar under the tensioner and a piece of wood across from the radiator support to the body of the car as a fulcrum (to lever against - as I pushed down on the pry bar, the tensioner was pushed up). There is a hole in the arm of the tensioner that aligns with a hole in the static portion, and a suitably sized allen key will keep the tensioner out of the way while the belt is replaced.
Remove the belt (noting which way it goes around the pulleys), fit the new belt, release the belt tensioner and the job is complete.
Note that the belt tensioner on the Cooper S is different and this method will not work.
There is an article on the Pelican Parts website describing the method for both the Cooper and the S.
Pelican Technical Article: MINI Cooper - Serpentine Belt Replacement (http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI/04-BASICS-Serpentine_Belt_Replacement/04-BASICS-Serpentine_Belt_Replacement.htm)