R53 Powerflex Transmission Mount Bushing Install w/ Upper Engine Damper Replacement.
You don't have to do both of these jobs at the same time... you can do one or the other. They both start the same way and are very similar, so I'll give you instructions like "If you are only doing job X, you can jump to step Y now".
Disclaimer: I'm not a trained mechanic. I don't play one on TV. I'm just a guy who is handy with tools and isn't affraid to dig around a bit in the engine bay for simpler work. This may not be the best or safest way to do the work, but it seems to have worked for me. The purpose is to get you familiar with the steps so you will have a better idea of how to do this work yourself. Please use your best judgement.
Tools: I needed a floor jack, a set of Metric sockets and a couple of screwdrivers
Time: Doing all of this work took me about 3.5 hours. I could probably do it all in 2 or 2.5 now that I've seen it done once. Hopefully these instructions will help you do it a bit quicker.
Note: I'm working on a 2006 MCS that has a handful of engine bay mods in place already. I'd like to give you more specific instructions but for some of the engine components, I've replaced them with aftermarket bits and the process will be slightly different for me than it will be for you. This is how I did the work and it seems to have come out OK. If you own a Cooper (non-S), please use Steve's Addendum on page 2 as a supplement to the steps described below. Steve also included a few supplementary comments which are NOT Cooper-specific, so you might want to review those as well.
OK... time to get to work!
Step 1: Find a good safe place to work. You will need access to the area immediately under and behind the front bumper. My garage is 3 to 4 inches higher than my driveway, so I backed the car into the garage and pulled front wheels right up to the edge of the garage, giving me an extra few inches of clearance without having to put the car up on jack stands. My car is lowered, though... not everyone will have to do this.
Step 2: Lets get aquainted with the transmission mount. Even if you are just replacing the engine mount and not upgrading to the Powerfles transmission bushing, you will have to free this mount so you can lift the engine off of the engine mount. We are working in this part of the engine bay... the transmission mount is hiding under all sorts of stuff.
Here is an exploded part diagram from RealOEM.com
We will be replacing part #3 in the diagram above with the Powerflex bushings. You can see the upper bracket (part #4) just above and to the left of the right-hand red part in the pic, above.
Step 3: Start removing stuff! The air intake tubes have to go... undo this clip by prying it loose with a flat bladed screwdriver. The pipe leads forward and is held in place by 4 clips... wiggle 'em loose and set the part aside.
Step 4: Remove the pipe that leads from the air intake box to the engine. Mine is an aftermarket piece, but yours should be similar... just not a pretty red.
Step 5: Remove this lower pipe. Just give it a twist.
Step 6: You will need to be able to raise and lower the engine a bit. Place a floor jack under the car and pad it with a bit of scrap 2x4. I was feeling lazy and I didn't want to lift the car to remove my skid plate, so I cut a bit of 2x4 to fit through the vent hole.
Step 7: Remove the center bolt in the transmission mount. (part #5 in the exploded part diagram in step 1, above)
Note: For those of you who just want to replace the engine mount, you can skip the next few steps. You can jump forward to step #15. The next few steps are only for you if you are upgrading to the Powerflex transmssion mount bushings.
Step 8: Now we need to remove the upper part of the transmission mount... remove the 4 bolts marked in red. The green arrow points to a bolt that is hiding and I'll show it in the next pic.
Step 9: That bolt hiding at the green arrow needs a 12" ratchet extension (as shown in the pic). It has to come out too. Unfortunately you will have to loosen the airbox, the computer module and fuse/relay box to see it and to get a ratchet on it.
Step 10: Remove the bolt holding these 2 ground straps.
Step 11: Once you get that last bolt out, you can remove the big metal upper portion of the mount, revealing this. In the pic below, I've got my fingers on the old transmission bushing sides. Both of them can now be removed and discarded... you won't be using them again. You might have to move the engine up and down an inch or two to wiggle things loose.
Step 12: When you remove the old bushing sides, you will see the holes in the bushing that will be filled by the Powerflex insert. Remove the blue curved bit from the bottom set of holes (shown half removed in the pic below). If you can't grip it, push it out from behind.
Step 13: I put a bit of copper lube (came in the Powerflex kit) on the bits of the bushing inserts that go into the stock part. It didn't want to go in without it. The larger of the 2 Powerflex pieces goes in the back. In this pic, I've already installed the front piece and you can see the lube on the larger back piece.
Step 14: Replace the upper metal portion of the transmission mount, replacing the 5 bolts marked with red and green in step #8, above. I put a dot of copper lube on the top flat face of each of the 2 new Powerflex bits to help this piece slide into place. Don't replace the center bolt yet.
Note: If you are just adding the Powerflex transmission mount bushings, you can now jump forward to step #19. This next section is only for people who are replacing the engine mount.
Step 15: You now move to the other side of the engine bay and free up the upper engine mount. Remove the bolt on the top of the mount and you may need to move a ground strap over here as well to get good access to the area.
Here is an exploded part diagram from RealOEM.com:
Part #3 is an oil-filled engine damper and I seem to blow them every 25k miles or so. You know that they are blown when they start leaking oil. I strongly recommend keeping the frame rail underneath this part very clean... give it a quick wipe-down every time you check your oil. When the mount blows, you will find oil stains here or, more likely, a nasty black oil slick. You can see the stains from the leaked oil in the pic, above. I've cleaned it up fairly well, though.
Step 16: Remove the bolt that holds in the back of the engine mount... part #4 in the exploded diagram above.
Step 17: We also need to remove Part #5 in the exploded diagram... you get to it by loosening the wheel well liner and going up from underneath. It's a strangely shaped bolt, but my normal metric socket set worked just fine. When I shot this next photo, I was on my back, head under the passenger side front wheel, looking up. You can see all of the mess that the leaking oil caused... The. bolt #5 is marked with a red arrow.
Step 18: Now use your floor jack to lift up the engine. You have to lift the engine high enough to get the engine damper out from underneath it and to place the new one. When lowering the engine, it might help to have a friend to work the jack while you muscle the engine around to guide it over the screw top of the damper. Once you get it lined up, slowly lower the engine to rest on the damper and then replace all of the bolts you removed in steps 15 through 17.
Step 19: It's time to move back to the transmission mount side of things. Use the floor jack to raise and lower the engine so that you can get that main center bolt back in place. It takes a bit of adjustment up and down to get the bolt centered so you can rethread it. I found it easiest if I raise the engine a bit too far and then very, very slowly lower the engine while wiggling the bolt. You will feel it when it pops in to place. Stop the floor jack at that point and tighten the bolt.
Step 20: Replace any of the parts that were removed in steps 1 through 15. For that funny clamp in step #3, I just squeeze it back together with pliars or vice grips until it clicks into place.
1st Gen "How To" Powerflex Transmission Mount Bushing Install W/ Upper Engine Damper Replacement
R53 Powerflex Transmission Mount Bushing Install w/ Upper Engine Damper Replacement. You don't have to do both of these jobs at the same time......