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Radiator Support Service Position
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Support Service Position

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20

Talent:

***

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, 8mm socket, 10mm socket

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper JCW Hatchback (2009-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Trim clips if they break

Hot Tip:

Have a friend nearby to help slide support forward

Performance Gain:

Access to engine

Complementary Modification:

Oil change

MINI R56 models are a feat of engineering. The front end of the MINI wraps around the engine in such a way, as if the engine was shoehorned in. This means there is no wasted space in the engine compartment as well as restricted access to certain engine components. Luckily, MINI designed the radiator support to slide forward for service work. In this tech article, I will show you how I place the front end into service mode for better access to the engine. If your steps vary or you have an easier way, please share your tips with us.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. 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.

MINI R56 models are a feat of engineering.
Figure 1

MINI R56 models are a feat of engineering. The front end of the MINI wraps around the engine in such a way, as if the engine was shoehorned in. This means there is no wasted space in the engine compartment as well as restricted access to certain engine components. Luckily, MINI designed the radiator support (green arrow) to slide forward for service work.

Start at the right side of the engine compartment near the engine oil dipstick.
Figure 2

Start at the right side of the engine compartment near the engine oil dipstick. Unclip the A/C service port (green arrow). Use a flathead screwdriver to open the mount (inset) and remove the line from the mount.

Next, remove the coolant expansion tank 7mm fastener (green arrow).
Figure 3

Next, remove the coolant expansion tank 7mm fastener (green arrow).

Detach the expansion tank from the radiator support by lifting the rear up then removing it from the radiator support.
Figure 4

Detach the expansion tank from the radiator support by lifting the rear up then removing it from the radiator support. Place the expansion tank aside. Leave the hoses connected.

Working at the left side of the engine compartment, pull the intake air duct (green arrow) out of the radiator support.
Figure 5

Working at the left side of the engine compartment, pull the intake air duct (green arrow) out of the radiator support.

Next, detach the hood release cable junction (green arrow).
Figure 6

Next, detach the hood release cable junction (green arrow). Open the plastic door. Then detach the cable from the pull (inset).

Next, remove both front wheel well arch trim pieces.
Figure 7

Next, remove both front wheel well arch trim pieces. See our tech article on wheel well arch trim removing. Then remove the 10mm fastener (green arrow) at the front fender. The left side is shown. The right side is similar.

Working in the wheel well, between the two light access panels, remove the Phillips head plastic screws and anchors (red arrows).
Figure 8

Working in the wheel well, between the two light access panels, remove the Phillips head plastic screws and anchors (red arrows). Remove the front bumper. See our tech article on front bumper removing.

Turbocharged models: Loosen the charge air duct hose clamp (red arrow).
Figure 9

Turbocharged models: Loosen the charge air duct hose clamp (red arrow). Then remove the hose from the duct (green arrow).

Disconnect the left and right headlight electrical connectors.
Figure 10

Disconnect the left and right headlight electrical connectors. Press the release tab (green arrow) and pull the connector straight off.

Lift the vehicle and remove the lower splash shields.
Figure 11

Lift the vehicle and remove the lower splash shields. Loosen the three Phillips head screws (red arrows) and remove the shield (green arrow). The right side is shown; the left side is similar.

Working at the A/C compressor, slide the electrical connector off the compressor (green arrow).
Figure 12

Working at the A/C compressor, slide the electrical connector off the compressor (green arrow). Then disconnect it by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it apart.

Working at the lower left side of the radiator support, loosen the intercooler duct hose clamp (red arrow).
Figure 13

Working at the lower left side of the radiator support, loosen the intercooler duct hose clamp (red arrow).

Pull the hose (green arrow) off the intercooler (red arrow).
Figure 14

Pull the hose (green arrow) off the intercooler (red arrow).

Working at the left side of the engine compartment, remove the 10mm headlight fastener (green arrow).
Figure 15

Working at the left side of the engine compartment, remove the 10mm headlight fastener (green arrow). Then remove the two 13mm radiator support fasteners (red arrows).

Working at the right side of the engine compartment, remove the 10mm headlight fastener (green arrow).
Figure 16

Working at the right side of the engine compartment, remove the 10mm headlight fastener (green arrow). Then remove the two 13mm radiator support fasteners (red arrows).

Working at the bumper support, remove the three 13mm support fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 17

Working at the bumper support, remove the three 13mm support fasteners (red arrows). The right side is shown. The left side is similar. The inset photo shows a good view of the one, which is obstructed in the main photo.

Now move back beneath the vehicle.
Figure 18

Now move back beneath the vehicle. It is time to remove the main support fasteners. Start at the right side and remove the two 16mm fasteners (red arrows). The right side is shown; the left side is similar.

The radiator support can be slid forward now.
Figure 19

The radiator support can be slid forward now. You will have about 2.5 inches of movement (green arrow). Slide the support forward until the rear-mounting hole reaches the front mounting threads. Then install one of the fasteners to hold it steady. If stuck, which is quite common here in New England, use a soft-faced dead blow hammer and lightly tap the support (yellow arrow) forward.






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