Engine Drivetrain 1st Gen Cooper S Any tips for installing a tight belt?

Discussion in 'Tuning and Performance' started by ke4sfq, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. ke4sfq

    ke4sfq Member

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    #1 ke4sfq, Oct 12, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
    I've changed a lot on my car but this is my first time actually changing the belt. Doing it while putting on a new crank pulley. Its crazy tight and looking for any words of wisdom from you MINI experts about the best way to do this, last pulley to wrap around, etc.

    Its a NAPA #060535 belt, the same that came off and its a 15% SC pulley. Standard ATI crank pulley just installed, not the 2% one. I have read on other posts that 60535 belt is tight and I agree!

    In Picture: Doing the crank pulley last, this is all the slack I have pulled tight and the tension pulley is pulled up with a pin in the 2nd hole. I've been trying to pry some with screwdrivers but can't get it much further than the picture. Any ideas I'm missing?

    [​IMG]
    MINI Belt by KE4SFQ, on Flickr
     
  2. Rawhyde

    Rawhyde Active Member

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    Are you certain that your belt is all the way down in all the other pulleys? If it's not fully seated in one, you will have this type trouble. Make sure to double check your belt routing.

    O'Reilly's usually has the right belt under the Gates brand if it turns out that your belt is too short or mismarked. Did you compare the old belt to the new one before trying to install it?
     
  3. ke4sfq

    ke4sfq Member

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    Thanks for the reply Rawhyde! It was the same size as the original belt and same model number. I did have to get a second person involved and work it around with a screwdriver while pulling on the tention tool a little tighter. Don't know how in the world you could do it alone but I know people do. Maybe NAPA made this one a little shorter accidentally lol
     
  4. Rawhyde

    Rawhyde Active Member

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    I used the Gates belt from O'Reilly's for the JCW. I think the JCW pulley is roughly the same size as yours. When I put my belt on, it didn't require anything other than gentle manipulation with my fingers. I'm going to count myself lucky that it wasn't as hard to do as yours.

    Can you give me any impressions about the new ATI Harmonic Balancer? That's on my list for the next job I do to my MINI. Word is that the stock balancers delaminate and fail at around 40-50K miles. Mine's the original and has ~98K miles and I can't tell see any problems with it. Will a standard puller work with the stock balancer? Anything to beware of on the installation?

    Rawhyde
     
  5. ke4sfq

    ke4sfq Member

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    I'll keep that in mind about the JCW belt for next time!

    I'll let you know about it in general once I use it a little. My R52 has 83k miles. The OEM balancer looked fine on the outside and still does on the inside once I removed it. I had been getting a P1125 code/limp mode occasionally and it suddenly changed to a very frequent problem. I called Way about a possible throttle body when he said its probably the balancer. Drove it gently about 30 minutes and no issue where a few days ago I couldn't go 5 minutes.

    I pretty much followed this guide: Replacing the Crank Pulley - Library

    For the center bolt that the Harbor Freight puller pushed against, I bought a M12 90mm bolt from Lowe's that some other guides suggested. It all went well but it takes way more pressure to pop that off than I thought it would. All my washers on the tool are warped so be sure everything is lined up well and straight when you start to pull.

    The only really bad part of the whole deal was putting back on a belt. I never dreamed that would be my sticking point of the whole thing!!
     
  6. Onramp

    Onramp Enjoy the Hiways of Life!
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    Whenever I install a new belt, frankly I have to use the tensioner tool and pull like a son of a gun. Not a one person job...
     
  7. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    I find it easiest to put it on the idler pulley last. So it's on all the v pulleys first, then you're just slipping slick side onto the idler for that last tight bit, instead of trying to work a tight v surface onto a v pulley...

    Easy peasy, 80% of the time. But I've probably done at least a dozen MCS belt swaps now.
     
  8. minimark

    minimark Well-Known Member

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    Yep if you have the tensioner retracted it shouldn't be hard, if it is, my money is on a wrong sized belt.
     

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