Anyone with a BINI change their belt before?

Started by 94touring, June 12, 2010, 09:30:20 PM

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Mine has started to look as though its going to break soon, so I ordered a new one.  From the looks of it though, I'd say its going to be hard to change.  Anyone done one before on a BINI?


What year BINI?

I did not have to do the belt on te 2002 I had, but I did review the procedure a few times - same as for putting on the reduction pulley for the supercharger:

You have to loosen the passenger side motor mount and jack up the engine some to reach the belt tensioner pulley.  To release the load on the tensioner requires some prying - either with a special "factory" tool or some of the articles on the big BINI forum sites have ways to fabricate a suitable tool.  With the tension released, it becomes easy to replace the belt.  Then reset the tension and lower the engine back down and reconnect the motor mount.

That is the basics.  Check the pulley articles on or for better details.  MiniMania may have an article on their BINI side as well.


Thanks.  I did some research and saw an article where they lifted the engine, but I also read you can take the front left wheel off and undo the inner plastic and get to it that way too.  The car just turned 60k so its time for all the fun maintenance stuff anyways.  Changed plugs a couple weeks ago, have an oil filter on the way to do my oil again, need to do my brakes, air filter, and I also have a tiny leak in the coolant system toward the firewall which from what I've read could be a T-stat problem.     


The leak near the firewall could also be the expansion tank.  The 2002-2006 BINIs had recurring issues with the tanks developing leaks at the seam.  Sometimes the leak was just a pinhole, other times the seam would split wide open.


I've been looking at the expansion tank but doesn't look like its coming from it.  However when I add fluid to it after it gets low it leaks out more from wherever this leak is.  If I fill it all the way up I get a small puddle on the floor the next day, then after that may not see anything for a few days or a week. 


The pin-hole leaks that develop in the expansion tank are rather hard to trace and identify.  The last one on my former 2002 was that way.  It would very slowly leak some out under pressure, but with where the tanks sits above the exhaust manifold I could never find wetness - just the occasional smell of anti-freeze while driving.  The fluid level would gradually go down and I would top it off.  The dried residue was present, just no fresh fluid leaked out.  I had it checked while in for some other service and even the technician had trouble finding it.  He happened to be watching carefully when it got enough pressure built up to spray briefly.  The squirt would relieve pressure just enough and it would quit for a while until sufficient pressure built up again.  Never a constant squirt, always intermittent.


Got the belt changed.  Didn't lift the motor, took out the inner fender plastic and used a big wrench to pry the belt tensioner back.  Took some effort.  Got to the thermostat also but didn't see any cracks, the gasket looked kinda worn down though. 


Any white-ish residue around the thermostat area?  Any other area shown such residue from hot anti-freeze evaporating?


I inspected the best I could, but only thing I saw was a pool of coolant below the thermostat.  I looked at the white rubber gasket and it was pretty flush with the housing, so I ended up making my own gasket to fit between the housing and block.  Took it for a drive and no leaks yet.  Gona keep an eye on it and see what happens.   


Glad it went well. I'll take your cue and do it your way (when needed) as it's not exactly good to be jacking up the engine with the rubber bottom mount attached. They crack real easy.

I just replaced (3rd time now) the upper hydraulic engine mount on my wife's BINI. I read on the net that you have to put the car up on jackstands to do it but found that if you remove the front half of the plastic fender well attachments, you can pry it back and do it on the ground. Alot less hassle and easier to balance the engine on the jack when you remove the mounting bracket.

If you haven't done this yet, you'll find you need an E12 torx socket for the bottom mount bolt. You can pay upwards of $20 for it or you can go to Harbor Freight dot com and buy a set of 5 impact torx sockets for $4.50 like I did.  Besides, if you look around at the BINI, you'll find alot of torx head bolts that you'll have to remove someday and you'll have them already. (BMW LOVES torx head bolts)

You'll also need a 13mm socket, 16mm socket and an 18mm socket too.



I have noticed all the torx bolts!! 

Also when you pry the the belt tensioner back, have a skinny screw driver or close hanger available to slip into the hole on the metal pin doo-hicky to hold it in place.