Do-It-Yourself information for the modifications I've completed

Do-It-Yourself information for essential wear and tear items

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Changing Your Belts

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Difficulty
Changing your belts isn't difficult at all. You just need a little patience and about 30 minutes of spare time (if you're taking your time).

How often to change your belts
Your belts should be changed somewhere between 60-90k miles. They will look cracked when they are starting to get worn, so this is a good indication. Plus they are fairly cheap so if you're in the mile range, just go ahead and do it. Why wait for them to break while you're driving!

Parts Needed
BMW OEM Serpentine Belt (BMW P# 11-28-1-437-475) $29
BMW OEM AC Belt (BMW P# 11-28-7-512-762) $15

Tools Needed
Screwdriver
T25 and T50 Torx Socket
Various sized ratchets


Instructions


Remove plastic rivets


Intake ducting removed

Remove intake ducting
1. Using a screwdriver pry up on the three plastic rivets and take them out. Remove the ducting from the top of the radiator. Be careful with the rivets, because they will break.
2. Remove the neck from the air box by squeezing on the two vertical sides of the ducting.

 


Remove the electrical connections and the torx screw


Remove the electrical connections


Loosen the rivet


Remove the radiator fan

Remove the radiator fan
(Note: Automatic transmission cars have a mechanical fan and the removal is different. These directions are for manual transmission cars. Please consult a manual or another source for automatic transmission fan removal.)

3. On the passenger side of the car, remove the wires and the T25 Torx screw from the radiator fan. (Pictures are shown from the direction of the engine).
4. On the drivers side remove the plastic rivet with a screwdriver.
5. Carefully remove the radiator fan by pulling it straight up. (When putting it back into the engine bay, make sure the bottom clips are holding it securely. It will make sense when you are looking at it.)

 


The old belts


AC belt and tensioner


Serpentine belt and tensioner


Turn the AC tensioner clockwise and remove the belt


Turn the Serpentine tensioner clockwise and remove the belt

Remove the dust covers and take the old belts off
6. Using a small screwdriver pry off the dust caps on the two tensioners. Use a stubby screwdriver and be careful not to hit the radiator when you're prying. (They will most likely fly off into your engine bay, so be alert!)
7. Stop and make a quick diagram of how the belts pass around the pulleys so when you put them back on, it will work like it used to!
8. Using the T50 torx socket, rotate the AC tensioner clockwise and remove the belt. I found it easiest to push down on the wrench to remove the belt.
9. Also using the T50 torx socket, rotate the serpentine belt tensioner clockwise. The picture shows the 3/8" ratchet, but I eventually switched to a 1/2" breaker bar to give myself better leverage to get the job done. I found it more useful to pull up the wrench to release the tension. Be extra careful with this tensioner to make slow movements, because it will snap back with a lot of force! Work Slowly!

 


New belts

Old AC belt on top and the new on the bottom


Old serpentine belt on the bottom and new on the top (notice the cracking)


New serpentine belt installed


New AC belt installed

Install the new belts
10. Taking care to work slowly install the serpentine belt exactly as you took it off. Make sure that the grooves are riding in the pulleys by following them around with your finger. If they are not, the belt will most likely break. (Notice the cracking on my old serpentine belt that indicated that it was needing to be replaced.)
11. Then install the AC belt exactly as it was taken off checking to make sure that it is installed properly.
12. Reinstall the radiator fan and enjoy worry free driving!

 

 

Conclusions

It's a really easy job that anyone can do. Making sure your belts are in good working order ensures you won't get stranded on the side of the road when it counts. Enjoy knowing that you're car is in good running order.

 

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