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R50 Airbox and Battery Box Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

R50 Airbox and Battery Box Removal

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

****

Tools:

10mm socket and wrench, pliers, zip ties

Applicable Models:

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

Parts Required:

Air filter

Hot Tip:

take your time

Performance Gain:

Allows access to clutch cylinder, tranny mount, thermostat

Complementary Modification:

Replace battery
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.

Certain jobs on the R50 MINI Cooper require the removal of the Airbox and also the battery box up top. Removing both of these items is not a difficult job, however there are a few steps that must be followed to get them out. Begin by disconnecting the battery. You will be working around the positive lead and also the ECU for the car, one touch of it against a wrench or screwdriver can cause damage to both the car and also yourself. Next disconnect the positive terminal, unplug the battery vent tube from the battery and lift the battery out of the battery box. Please refer to our article on battery replacement for more info. Also remove the upper airbox cover and air filter. Please refer to our article on air filter replacement for more info.

After you have disconnected and removed the battery, we can start to remove the airbox. Begin by cutting the zip tie that holds the wiring harness to the airbox. Don't worry, as we will be replacing the zip tie once we reassemble everything. There is a plastic insert that sits in the side of the airbox you thread a new zip tie into. Next, pull the circular electrical connector out of the holder on the side of the airbox. You'll need to disconnect the harness. This is done by twisting the harness connector until the two halves separate.

You will now have access to remove the two 10mm bolts holding the edge of the airbox to the chassis. Remove the two bolts. Inside the airbox, you'll see the air duct coming from the front of the car. You'll need to press this duct back out through the front of the airbox while pulling the airbox up.

At this point, you can move on to removing the battery box from the car. The first step is to remove the ECU from the battery box. Down below the wire harness connectors, there are two release tabs on either side of the ECU. Press the connectors to release the ECU. Pull it up enough so you can access the harness connectors on either side. Pull the tab on each harness connector out to release it from the ECU.

Once the ECU is disconnected, set the ECU aside. Inside the battery box on the floor, there are three 10mm bolts holding it down to the chassis. Loosen and remove these three bolts. Along the front edge of the battery box, you'll see one additional bolt holding the box to the transmission mount housing. Once removed, you will be able to lift the battery box up slightly.

Underneath the battery box, you'll see a series of zip ties holding the positive cable to the front of the battery box. Cut these zip ties and lift the battery box out. When you do this, pay attention to the insert part of the zip tie that fits into the battery box. You can thread a new zip tie in the hole for the old zip tie.

Begin by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery.
Figure 1

Begin by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery. This prevents any potential damage to both the car and yourself.

Cut the zip tie holding the wiring harness to the side of the airbox.
Figure 2

Cut the zip tie holding the wiring harness to the side of the airbox.

Pull the circular wire harness connector out of the securing clip on the side of the airbox (green arrow).
Figure 3

Pull the circular wire harness connector out of the securing clip on the side of the airbox (green arrow). Also loosen and remove the 10mm nut holding the two ground points to the chassis (purple arrow).

Twist the upper half of the harness connector counter-clockwise to release it from the lower half of the connector.
Figure 4

Twist the upper half of the harness connector counter-clockwise to release it from the lower half of the connector.

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts holding the airbox to the chassis (green arrows).
Figure 5

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts holding the airbox to the chassis (green arrows).

Press the air duct (green arrow) running from the front of the car forward while you pull the airbox up and out of the car.
Figure 6

Press the air duct (green arrow) running from the front of the car forward while you pull the airbox up and out of the car. It's a bit tricky, but it can be done with the air duct in place.

Sitting off to the side of the battery box is the ECU for the car.
Figure 7

Sitting off to the side of the battery box is the ECU for the car. You'll need to press the two locking tabs that secure the ECU inside (green arrows) once you press the locking tabs, lift the ECU up enough to access the harness connectors.

Pull the plastic locking tab on each ECU connector out to release the connector from the ECU (green arrows).
Figure 8

Pull the plastic locking tab on each ECU connector out to release the connector from the ECU (green arrows).

Now loosen and remove the three 10mm bolts in the floor of the battery box (green arrows).
Figure 9

Now loosen and remove the three 10mm bolts in the floor of the battery box (green arrows).

Also remove the 10mm bolt holding the front of the battery box to the transmission mount housing (green arrow).
Figure 10

Also remove the 10mm bolt holding the front of the battery box to the transmission mount housing (green arrow). At this point, you should be able to lift the airbox up enough to access the positive cable zip tied to the bottom of the box.

Cut the zip ties holding the positive cable to the bottom of the battery box (green arrows).
Figure 11

Cut the zip ties holding the positive cable to the bottom of the battery box (green arrows). At this point, you should be able to pull the battery box up and out of the engine compartment, allowing access to the items below.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Andy Comments: Exact same problem as David. Top left bolt in battery tray rusted and spinning, any help other than cutting plastic surrounding it would be greatly appreciated.
October 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sometimes I apply upward pressure when loosening. This can jam the loose nut below in place enough to loosen it. If not, you'll have to cut or break it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: I have a 2003 Mini not turbo and have three 10 mm bolts holding it in place from inside the box. When I removed the two bolts on the right side, I was unable to remove the third bolt in the back left corner. It spins but does not come up. That is the point where the box cannot be lifted out. Any ideas?
September 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sometimes I apply upward pressure when loosening. This can jam the loose nut below in place enough to loosen it. If not, you'll have to cut or break it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Skip Comments: What's the trick to removing the lower intake resonator?
April 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On what year and model? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
WM Comments: When removing the airbox top, be careful of the two retainers on the engine side. They are easily broken if you lift the top too high. Slide the top toward the engine to disengage them.

When removing the battery box, it is easier to remove the nut holding the large red wire to the battery terminal clamp and the bolt holding the wire to the fuse/relay panel just to the right of the battery box. You can then lift the battery box out without cutting the tiewraps on the bottom of the battery box. fig 11 They are nearly impossible to reinstall.
September 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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