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Front Seat Belt Buckle Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Seat Belt Buckle Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

T50 Torx, flathead screwdriver, 3mm Allen

Applicable Models:

R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2007-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2007-08)
R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)
R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2009-11)
R57 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2009-11)

Parts Required:

Seat belt buckle

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before disconnecting seat connectors

Performance Gain:

Remedy fault code for seat belt pretensioner

Complementary Modification:

Replace opposite side buckle

Front seat belt buckles in all MINI R56 models are equipped with pyrotechnic automatic pre-tensioners. The pyrotechnic device has an explosive charge, which is triggered by the airbag (MRS) control module in case of sudden deceleration such as a car crash. Once triggered the device cinches up the seat belt by 55 mm (about 2 inches).

The pyrotechnic pre-tensioner in the seat belt buckle mechanism poses a hazard if not handled carefully. The front seat belt buckles are bolted to the inside of each front seat. If you aim to remove either front seat, disconnect the negative battery terminal and insulate the end to prevent accidental reconnection.

The seat belt pre-tensioners can fail over time and will set a fault code in the airbag (MRS) control module. If a fault code is set, the airbag warning light will illuminate. To replace this part you have to remove the front seat to access the fastener and wiring harness. If your airbag light is ON, you will need a code reader or scan tool to determine what fault code is stored. If you find you have a pre-tensioner fault code, this is a good place to start. You will also need to clear the fault code once the part is replaced. Simply replacing the part will not turn off the airbag warning light.

This article will also cover replacing the seat position switch. This switch sends the seat position to the multiple restraint (MRS) module for use in airbag stage deployment.

Interior trim pieces in MINI R56 cars are often made of preformed hard plastic. Plastic clips or metal screws are used to hold them in place. To avoid marring the trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

First you have to remove the seat that requires the new pre-tensioner (belt buckle).
Figure 1

First you have to remove the seat that requires the new pre-tensioner (belt buckle). See our tech article on Removing Seats. Place the seat on the ground or workbench. Then tilt it back to access the electrical connectors under the front cushion and the belt buckle (red arrows).

Release the two retaining tabs by pressing them toward one another (red arrows).
Figure 2

Release the two retaining tabs by pressing them toward one another (red arrows). Hold them in while you slide the connector toward the rear of the seat. Remove the connector from the mount (inset).

Next, release the retaining tabs (red arrows) at the electrical connector cover.
Figure 3

Next, release the retaining tabs (red arrows) at the electrical connector cover. Press the tabs (red arrows) away from the gray portion of the connector and hold it. Then slide the connectors out (inset).

Detach the wiring from the seat cushion (red arrow).
Figure 4

Detach the wiring from the seat cushion (red arrow). Then remove the harness from the seat rail (green arrow).

Working at the corner of the seat, remove the T50 Torx seat belt buckle fastener (red arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the corner of the seat, remove the T50 Torx seat belt buckle fastener (red arrow). If you're reusing the belt buckle fastener, be sure to match the thread locker color (green arrow) when reinstalling.

Remove the seat belt buckle with its pre-tensioner from the seat.
Figure 6

Remove the seat belt buckle with its pre-tensioner from the seat. Remove the wiring harnesses from under the seat by pulling it clear of the mounting clips. When reinstalling, be sure to get the harness in the same location as it was before. This is a good chance to clean the side of your seat. There may be stains or a bunch of debris on the rail like our subject vehicle. Install the new seat belt buckle and tighten the fastener. Be sure to line up the tab (red arrow) with the slot (green arrow) on the pre-tensioner. Be sure to properly route the wiring harness and confirm that the pre-tensioner electrical connector is properly seated. Lift the seat into the vehicle. Then reconnect the electrical connectors. Install the seat and seat belt fasteners and tighten. Reconnect the battery. Then check the vehicle for fault codes and clear the codes if necessary.

Working at the corner of the seat, remove the T50 Torx seat belt buckle fastener.
Figure 7

Working at the corner of the seat, remove the T50 Torx seat belt buckle fastener. If you're reusing the belt buckle fastener, be sure to match the thread locker color when reinstalling. Place the buckle out of the way (red arrow).

Locate the position switch (red arrow).
Figure 8

Locate the position switch (red arrow). It is a few inches away from the seat belt buckle mount (green arrow) between the cushion and rail.

Remove the 3mm Allen screw (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the 3mm Allen screw (red arrow).

Working under the seat, disconnect the seat rail position sensor connector by pulling it apart (red arrow).
Figure 10

Working under the seat, disconnect the seat rail position sensor connector by pulling it apart (red arrow). Then pull the sensor (green arrow) out of the seat rail with the wiring. Reverse the steps to install. When tightened, the screw expands a plastic anchor. Do not overtighten it.


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