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Crankshaft Pulley Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Crankshaft Pulley Replacement

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$350

Talent:

****

Tools:

17mm socket, belt removal tool, M12 x 80 bolt

Applicable Models:

R50 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
R53 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2002-06)

Parts Required:

harmonic balancer

Hot Tip:

use penetrant oil

Performance Gain:

Prevents the engine from excessive vibration

Complementary Modification:

new serpentine belt
How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is due to be released in late 2015. See The Official Book Website for more details.

The harmonic balancer is one of those items on the MINI that seem to be a "when it fails, not if it fails item" When the balancer fails, it separates into two pieces, causing all of the accessory items driven by the serpentine belt to stop spinning. The harmonic balancer on the MINI Cooper was redesigned for the 2004 model year to address a problem with the old design. If your balancer fails, the replacement balancer for all cars is the later (2004-on) style (See Figure 1).

People tend to swap out the harmonic balancer and replace it with either a lighter or different sized pulley. While this does work to free up power from the engine, it often comes at the expense of no dampening being engineered into the design. With the inherent imbalance of an inline four cylinder engine, this will eventually lead to wear on other parts of the engine. If you want to use a lighter, different sized pulley, be sure to use one that has dampening built into the design.

Begin by removing the serpentine belt (if it's still intact). Use the serpentine belt tool to relieve tension on the belt, and then insert the lock pin into the tensioner. See our article on serpentine belt replacement for more info. Now jack up the passenger side front of the car and placing the car on a jack stand. Remove the wheel, the wheel liner and the front splash shield of the car.

Directly underneath the liner is the harmonic balancer. Its press fitted onto the end of the crankshaft. We will use a regular three arm puller in order to remove it. Both styles of crank pulley are secured in place with a long 17mm bolt. The trick here is how to loosen this bolt as turning it will just cause the engine to turn. On cars with a manual transmission, you can simply put the car in gear and have a helper press on the brakes to prevent the engine from turning (See Figure 2 and Figure 3).

On an car with automatic transmission, you'll have to screw two M6 bolts into the pulley hub and use a screwdriver wedged against the body to brace the pulley. You should then be able to loosen and remove the bolt.

Once removed, you'll want to thread a longer M12 bolt into the hole the balancer bolt sits in. This will act as a point for the three arm puller. Now setup the puller as shown here. the idea is to have the bolt in the center longer than the stock one. As you turn the center shaft of the puller, it will press on the bolt and the three M6 bolts screwed into the hub with pull the balancer off the crankshaft (See Figure 4 and Figure 5).

Once the balancer is removed, it will become apparent how the rubber center fails . In our case, the rubber center portion of the balancer has deteriorated and eventually ripped itself to pieces. When this happens, the outer pulley portion of the balancer separates rendering it useless (See Figure 6).

Clean the balancer hub on the engine and inspect the hub for any damage. Now place the new balancer on the hub. Since it is a press fit, you'll need to push the balancer on. BMW specifies the use of a special tool to drive the pulley on. In this case, you'll only need the long M12 bolt from before. I just used a 1/2" deep socket over the bolt at the head, then threaded the bolt in. As I tightened the bolt, it draws the balancer onto the hub. At a certain point, you'll run out of threads to keep turning the bolt. Remove the bolt and place the new balancer bolt in. Once this bolt is able to catch the threads inside, use it to continue pulling the balancer all the way down. Counterhold the balancer and torque the bolt to 115Nm (85ft/lbs.) (See Figure 7 and Figure 8).

On the R55/R56/R57 cars, the harmonic balancer is much easier to replace as it is held on to the crankshaft with only three Torx bolts. In order to access the balancer, you'll need to remove the serpentine belt and also the right front wheel liner. Please refer to our article on Serpentine Belt Replacement for more information. Once the three Torx bolts are removed, pull the balancer off the hub. Do NOT remove the central hub bolt. This bolt secures the timing chain drive sprocket in place. If you remove it, you will lose valve timing and possibly damage your engine if you try and start it. Once the new crankshaft pulley is installed on the crankshaft hub, torque the bolts to spec.

Shown here is the later (2004-on) style harmonic balancer that is a direct replacement for all years of MINI Cooper S.
Figure 1

Shown here is the later (2004-on) style harmonic balancer that is a direct replacement for all years of MINI Cooper S.

Once the serpentine belt has been removed, locate the 17mm bolt holding the balancer to the crankshaft (green arrow).
Figure 2

Once the serpentine belt has been removed, locate the 17mm bolt holding the balancer to the crankshaft (green arrow).

On a car with automatic transmission, you'll have to screw two M6 bolts into the pulley hub as seen here and use a screwdriver wedged against the body to brace the pulley.
Figure 3

On a car with automatic transmission, you'll have to screw two M6 bolts into the pulley hub as seen here and use a screwdriver wedged against the body to brace the pulley. You should then be able to loosen and remove the bolt.

Once removed, you'll want to thread a longer M12 bolt into the hole the balancer bolt sits in.
Figure 4

Once removed, you'll want to thread a longer M12 bolt into the hole the balancer bolt sits in. This will act as a point for the three arm puller. Now setup the puller as shown here. the idea is to have the bolt in the center longer than the stock one. As you turn the center shaft of the puller, it will press on the bolt and the three M6 bolts screwed into the hub with pull the balancer off the crankshaft.

Shown here is the balancer removed from the car.
Figure 5

Shown here is the balancer removed from the car. Inspect the seal around the hub for any leaks or damage and replace it if needed. Also clean the hub of any grease or dirt before you place the new hub on.

Here are the remains of the original balancer.
Figure 6

Here are the remains of the original balancer. As you can see, the rubber center portion of the hub has deteriorated and eventually ripped itself to pieces. When this happens, the outer, pulley portion of the balancer separates rendering it useless.

Now place the new balancer on the hub.
Figure 7

Now place the new balancer on the hub. Since it is a press fit, you'll need to push the balancer on. BMW specifies the use of a special tool to drive the pulley on. In this case, you'll only need the long M12 bolt from before. I just used a 1/2" deep socket over the bolt at the head, then threaded the bolt in. As I tightened the bolt, it draws the balancer onto the hub.

Once the balancer has been seated on the hub, remove the long bolt and socket, and thread the new balancer bolt in.
Figure 8

Once the balancer has been seated on the hub, remove the long bolt and socket, and thread the new balancer bolt in. Also thread in two of the M6 bolts. Counterhold the balancer and torque the bolt to 115Nm (85ft/lbs.).

Shown here is the pulley/balancer used on the later R55/R56/R57 engines.
Figure 9

Shown here is the pulley/balancer used on the later R55/R56/R57 engines. This pulley is considerably easier to remove then the earlier car, as it is held on with only three Torx bolts (green arrows). Remove the three bolts and pull the pulley off to replace it. Once you have replaced the pulley and fitted the bolts, torque them to spec.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Benjamin Kwesi Eshun Comments: Am in Ghana and need to order this pulley immediately for my car.let me hear from you today
December 1, 2016
JD Comments: The auxiliary belt got shredded on my sisters 2003 Mini Cooper S. I have replaced it with a new one, but noticed a crack forming on the crank pulley you call it harmonic balancer here during the belt replacement. I have also noticed there was NO bolt holding the balacer in place on the crank that shocked me. I still installed the belt and started the engine. It seems fine other than visible wobble on the balancer that may well have been the cause of the belt breaking over time of excessive wear from its wobble. I popped here just to confirm there should have been a bolt securing the balancer and there is, so I was correct to suspect it somehow fell out. I guess I need to order a new bolt and keep the balancer secure and hope that solves its slight wobble. At the very high cost of a new balancer, I will keep an eye on it and replace when that crack starts to deteriorate to a point it makes noise or symptoms it is failing.
November 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: yes, get a fastener for it. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paris Comments: i have just paid $1500 for work on the 2004 mini cooper s. harmonic balancer and alternator belt was replaced i am told. i feel sick..... should i? does it cost this much for this repair?
October 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure what the repair will cost in your area. Call a few shops and ask for a quote. Could be right on mark.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kool2Roll Comments: My 2006 Mini seems to be stuck in 1st gear. Can't go over 20 mph, I heard that there's an additive that you put in under the battery. After you take apart the battery assembly. This additive should fix the problem, Someone refereed to it as being stuck in limp mode. Ever hear of this issue?? Pls Help!!
September 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Never heard of this. I would ask the person you got the info from. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Steve B Comments: I bought a replacement balancer and it just slid on, no press fit needed. Do I need to get a new one or can I torque to spec and it won't slip?
August 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should be a tight fit, not loose. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out if you got the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
brawsie Comments: Nice write up, pelicans. I have a suggestion though. Could you include some pics of the r50 pulley dismount procedure? I skipped over the part in the text about using a 3 arm puller the first time i read it. Consequently, I grabbed the wrong puller and had to beg a ride to the parts store to get the right one. It may prove helpful for others i the future. Once again, thanks for doing these.
July 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Steps 2 and 3 show the W10 W11 engine procedure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tsaramuna Comments: M looking for mini Cooper crankshaf 2006 model
June 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Brent Comments: Some of the instructions are a bit mixed. The pulley securing bolt is not 17mm, but the head requires a 17mm socket. As you follow up with the bolt is indeed an M12 bolt. It would also be helpful to suggest a length for the M12 center bolt for extraction and replacement of the pulley. 10mm seems to be about right in my estimation.
June 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chelsea Bug Comments: Mechanic is telling me that my Mini Cooper 06 Sport manual transmission. That its harmonic balancer thing is broken and the crankshaft pulley is a well. However he is telling me the only place that sells crank shaft pulleys for minis are the BMW parts store. This sounds like BS to me. Pleas e help.
May 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Pelican Parts can get it for you.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.


http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/supertech/catalog.cgi?action=frameset&return-url=/cgi-bin/supertech/catalog.cgi%3Faction%3Dframeback%26page%3D663&catalog-url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pelicanparts.com%2Fcatalog%2FSuperCat%2F6325%2FMIN_6325_ENGMIS_pg1.htm %3Futm_source%3DSuperTech%23item1


- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
skinnyman Comments: On my 2002 mini cooper the harmonic balancer bolt supposed to be torqued to 85ft pounds . Is there suppose to be a additional 45 degrees also
February 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Gerby Comments: Hi I drive a mini cooper s 2006 model eml just went on and the car lost its power and stopped and did not start since then...
What can be the problem?
January 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a faulty throttle housing or belt slip. I would start by checking the DME for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
lextech Comments: i would like to know whats the best pully on the market oem or after market
January 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: MINI factory. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Gianlu Comments: Is the Alta Performance pulley good for engine basement bushings in long time use? What lightened pulley can I use if I can?
November 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: M7 pulleys are high quality. You can see the options here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/supertech/catalog.cgi?action=frameset&return-url=/cgi-bin/supertech/catalog.cgi%3Faction%3Dframeback%26page%3D663&catalog-url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pelicanparts.com%2Fcatalog%2FSuperCat%2F6316%2FMIN_6316_ENGMIS_pg1.htm %3Futm_source%3DSuperTech%23item1 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bill Comments: I just did this repair on a 2003 Mini. I purchased an aftermarket pulley which looked just like the OEM. I had to use the puller to remove the old one but the new one I was able to pretty much press onto the shaft by hand. Maybe the pulley was bored incorrectly? Im only concerned now because with that done and a new belt I have a high pitch squeal which sounds like a belt, but now makes me worry that the crankshaft is slipping inside of the pulley.
September 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Spray a small amount of water on the belt, does the noise go away? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeff Comments: I have a 2003 non-S Cooper. What is the correct torque for the harmonic damper installation?
August 31, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 115 Nm. As per MINI repair info.



I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mostarac Comments: hi guys im having problems with mine and im curious is this broken one ?
July 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Craig Comments: Can you tell me if the harmonic balancer is the same part between the cooper and the cooper s?
June 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What year? For faster response, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Virginia Mini Comments: Is the pulley portion of the balancer suppose to spin freely?
June 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Soopah Doopah Coopah Comments: My check engine light came on. Looked near the drive belt and found shavings that don't appear metal. Its almost making a strange noise but continues to drive fine. Dropped it off at the shop already, you think the shavings are from the dispenser tearing itself apart? Thank for answering all these questions! R53 btw
May 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: dispenser? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ErinR Comments: Hi, what size are the 3 hex bolts green arrow pointing to them? One broke off while putting back in. Thanks!
February 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure if they are M10 or M8. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
race4u Comments: What is the thread pitch of the balancer main bolt. 1.25 or 1.5
January 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They might be able to look it up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
race4u Comments: How long does the 12mm bolt need to be that you screw into the crank for the puller to push on. Trying to prep for my timing chain job. And the 3 6mm bolts you use for the 3 bolt puller how long were those?
January 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have bolt lengths for this style of pulley removing. I use a puller that has a long rod that goes into the crankshaft and my puller center bolt.

Your best bet is to remove the center bolt, then get something maybe 20mm longer to push against. If you have a puller, the supplied bolts should work the the M6s. If not, get something about 130mm long and washer to take up any extra space. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mr.logical Comments: I have a 2007 525xi with the N52 engine. I suspect the front main seal is leaking. What special tools do I need to replace the seal? Do you have any pictures oulining this procedure like above? Any special things to watch out for?
November 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a special seal puller and installer. As well as a sealant that has to be injected. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Brian Comments: My cooper does not have the bolts for attaching the puller and I cannot fit the prongs behind the balancer to pull it off.. suggestions?
August 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Can you share a photo of the pulley? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Shirk Comments: So on an R56, you can just remove those 3 bolts to get to the seal? Mine is leaking and I don't want to mess up any timing. I know not to touch the middle bolt.

Is it ok if the crank spins at all while loosening the 3 bolts? Any special need to be done when putting the pulley back on?
May 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, on an R56 the seal is behind the timing chain components. I would grab a repair manual. It will list the special tools and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you find what you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
george Comments: can you send me some pictures for the timing marks Pres how to put mini cooper s 2003 manual
April 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any to share.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-779 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mini mad Comments: Hi can any of you chaps tell me if the early cooper s ie mine 2002 model suffer from a clicking sound from the pulley ?
doesnt look a cheap job to change out if its not the problem,
almost sounds like a stone in the tyres though changed tyres, hubs, an brakes all around.
seems to happen when moving an not when sat still reving the engine
regards ian
April 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What pulley? Crankshaft? If so, they fail on early MINIs (R50) - Nick at Pelican Parts  
eric108 Comments: So I have a 2004 R53 can I wait until the part becomes bad and not worry about it coming apart while I am driving.
February 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, Just inspect it when you change your engine oil If it looks to be moving or failing, replace it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
poom Comments: If u dont lock crankshaft position with special tools then u end up benting the valves because this engine is free spin motor so no camshaft marks and crankshaft marks be careful !!!
October 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is not the case when replacing the crankshaft pulley on the W10 and W11 engines.

However it is the case on the later N12 N14 engines used in the R56 models.


Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Iron Butt Comments: Be sure and put a few of the lug studs back in the brake rotors on each side as the hub will rotate while the rotor is held by applying the brake. It is hard to see this happening as the hub is hidden by the rotor.
June 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
brett jameson Comments: I have a 2004 mini cooper s, holding the brake pedal, ignition in position 2, and having it in gear does not stop the crank from turning. I understand using the screwdriver and m6 bolts in pulley to stop rotation and get bolt out/pulley off, but how can you stop the crank from moving when installing new pulley???
July 8, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You brace the pulley as you would when removing it. The bolts and bar, wedged against the vehicle body should stop it from turning. Here is an image from the procedure: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI/11-ENGINE-Crankshaft_Pulley_Replacement/images_small/pic03.jpg- Nick at Pelican Parts  

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