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      10-30-2015, 06:38 PM   #1
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N55 Accessory Belt DIY

Thanks for the help from the few that gave information. Took some helpful pictures. Overall this is a very easy DIY if you have all the right tools and a car lift.

Found these helpful videos on understanding the basics.


RIBBED V-BELT 7PK 1860: 11287628653
MECHANICAL BELT TENSIONER: 11287582946
Deflection pulley: 11287578674
Deflection pulley: 11287578675

  1. Remove Intake Duct
  2. Remove Belly Pan
  3. Remove Radiator Fan

    There are two Torx on the fan. One up top on the passenger side. The second is on the bottom.

    Unclip the electrical connection on the top.

    There are 5 clips holding the fan in place. Two on the intercooler. Two on the left and right upper side. And Lastly a rubber mount on the charge pipe. The charge pipe clip is the hardest. Spray it with WD-40 or Liquidwrech and it will come off easy.

    After you have removed all the clips you need to pull the fan towards the engine block away from the radiator to be able to pull it straight up.


  4. Sketch Belt Pattern
  5. Use Star wrench to release belt tension.
  6. Remove Belt
  7. Remove Caps on Tensioner and Idlers
  8. Remove old Tensioner and Idlers
  9. Install new Tensioner and Idlers
  10. Install New Caps (I removed the old ones and they were in perfect shape. Save your self a few dollars and just reuse the old ones.)
  11. Install New Belt
  12. Remove Service Pin from new Tensioner
  13. Reinstall Radiator Fan
  14. Reinstall Intake Duct
  15. Reinstall Belly Pan

*Its worth noting that while you have the radiator fan out now is a good time to do other maintenance items and to look for potential problems. I discovered my crank shaft seal had gone bad creating a slow leak onto the vibration damper causing oil to be slung up onto the engine block.
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Last edited by Yeineken; 11-25-2015 at 07:57 PM..
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      11-09-2015, 02:21 PM   #2
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Best instructions I can offer:

Remove intake and front intake cowl (parts over the front of the motor)
Remove Radiator Fan (involves some tricky squeezing but not too hard)
Take pic of belt pattern
Use breaker bar to release tension and insert service pin to hold
Unbolt unbolt unbolt
Install new in reverse.

I know it's not much, just what I gathered from watching BMW tech do mine.
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      11-09-2015, 05:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus91
Best instructions I can offer:

Remove intake and front intake cowl (parts over the front of the motor)
Remove Radiator Fan (involves some tricky squeezing but not too hard)
Take pic of belt pattern
Use breaker bar to release tension and insert service pin to hold
Unbolt unbolt unbolt
Install new in reverse.

I know it's not much, just what I gathered from watching BMW tech do mine.
Much appreciated. I suppose I'll attempt to document it and make this into a DIY thread since it doesn't seem to exist anywhere.
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      11-09-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
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I've never seen a DIY... so IF you do this on your own... maybe you can take some pics and make a DIY for us 1Addicts.


On BMW's the serpentine belt is fairly easy to replace(although, I have not done it on my N54 just yet)... look at the idler with the shock/spring... pry off the plastic cap on the idler's face... then use a wrench on the exposed bolt to compress the tensioner, slip off the belt and install the new belt. That's how it was on my e36 and the Germans don't tend to change much over the years. Why reinvent the wheel - you know?
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      11-09-2015, 05:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone
I've never seen a DIY... so IF you do this on your own... maybe you can take some pics and make a DIY for us 1Addicts.


On BMW's the serpentine belt is fairly easy to replace(although, I have not done it on my N54 just yet)... look at the idler with the shock/spring... pry off the plastic cap on the idler's face... then use a wrench on the exposed bolt to compress the tensioner, slip off the belt and install the new belt. That's how it was on my e36 and the Germans don't tend to change much over the years. Why reinvent the wheel - you know?
It sounds simple enough. I'm a maintenance warrior and a worrier at heart. So I'm going to be switching out the pulley and tensioners as well since they have bearings and will fail eventually and recommended change around 60k. I'll test before and after its the bearings or the belt making my noise.

Edit - found these helpful videos on understanding the basics.

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      11-22-2015, 07:50 AM   #6
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Well I had a lot fun with this job. Took some pictures and will write up my process. The hardest part is just removing the fan and installing it. After that it's a walk in the park.
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      11-25-2015, 07:58 PM   #7
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Updated the original post for some pictures and steps.
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      12-01-2015, 09:20 AM   #8
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How many miles were on your car? Thanks for the DIY!
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      12-01-2015, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGMike
How many miles were on your car? Thanks for the DIY!
Around 63,XXX when the tensioner bearing failed. Luckily I was home and in limp mode drove over to the garage. It started making noise around 61,XXX.

*note I DD my car. It's on the highway driving 65-75 Mph at 2-3,000 rpm for 2 hours everyday during the week. If your car is not a DD then the life may be longer.
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      12-01-2015, 02:14 PM   #10
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Thanks! Im at 69K miles and its my daily as well. About 45 mins one way at 70-80mph.
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      12-01-2015, 03:15 PM   #11
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thanks for the DIY. does the star wrench go where the red dot is?
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      12-01-2015, 03:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houtan
thanks for the DIY. does the star wrench go where the red dot is?
Yes.
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      12-29-2015, 12:11 PM   #13
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Maybe have shot myself in the foot. I noticed a faint squeak tonight. Also noticed on the E36 video it states they are supplied oil from the factory one time... I didn't oil mine up. Going to investigate it this weekend to see what needs to be done.

- Update: 12/29

Squeal is back full force. I thought it was oil on the belt. Cleaned everything off after replacing the OFHG and it was gone but now it's back louder (assuming the messy oil was keeping the noise quiet). I don't see any oil leaking. So I'm going to replace the Power Steering pulley which I forgot to replace while I was in there. Hopefully that solves the problem and I don't have to replace the Alternator or AC Compressor just to solve a pulley bearing being noisy.

Dackelone any thoughts?
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      12-29-2015, 04:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post


Maybe have shot myself in the foot. I noticed a faint squeak tonight. Also noticed on the E36 video it states they are supplied oil from the factory one time... I didn't oil mine up. Going to investigate it this weekend to see what needs to be done.

- Update: 12/29

Squeal is back full force. I thought it was oil on the belt. Cleaned everything off after replacing the OFHG and it was gone but now it's back louder (assuming the messy oil was keeping the noise quiet). I don't see any oil leaking. So I'm going to replace the Power Steering pulley which I forgot to replace while I was in there. Hopefully that solves the problem and I don't have to replace the Alternator or AC Compressor just to solve a pulley bearing being noisy.

Dackelone any thoughts?
You might want to buy an automotive stethoscope. You can place the end at suspected pulleys to see where the noise is coming from.

http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-52500-Me...ve+stethoscope

Keep us updated!!
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      12-29-2015, 05:16 PM   #15
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Or even just a piece of small vacuum line stuck in your ear works too.
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      12-29-2015, 06:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post


Maybe have shot myself in the foot. I noticed a faint squeak tonight. Also noticed on the E36 video it states they are supplied oil from the factory one time... I didn't oil mine up. Going to investigate it this weekend to see what needs to be done.

- Update: 12/29

Squeal is back full force. I thought it was oil on the belt. Cleaned everything off after replacing the OFHG and it was gone but now it's back louder (assuming the messy oil was keeping the noise quiet). I don't see any oil leaking. So I'm going to replace the Power Steering pulley which I forgot to replace while I was in there. Hopefully that solves the problem and I don't have to replace the Alternator or AC Compressor just to solve a pulley bearing being noisy.

Dackelone any thoughts?
You might want to buy an automotive stethoscope. You can place the end at suspected pulleys to see where the noise is coming from.

http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-52500-Me...ve+stethoscope

Keep us updated!!
Dackel
I've located the sound to the Power Steering pulley or the alternator via listening and spraying lubricant onto the pulley to notice when it goes away. Hopefully it's just the power steering pulley.
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      03-17-2016, 10:48 PM   #17
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The star wrench is a T60 correct? and what is the the other type of wrench needed to take the tensioner and idler off?
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      06-09-2016, 10:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
I've located the sound to the Power Steering pulley or the alternator via listening and spraying lubricant onto the pulley to notice when it goes away. Hopefully it's just the power steering pulley.
Hi Yeineken. Thanks for the DIY, this will come in handy soon. My car at 85K is making a squeaking noise (video here) and I suspect it's one of the pulleys but haven't isolated it yet. Did you figure out which one was bad, and what did you need to change? Thanks.
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      06-09-2016, 11:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezilient
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
I've located the sound to the Power Steering pulley or the alternator via listening and spraying lubricant onto the pulley to notice when it goes away. Hopefully it's just the power steering pulley.
Hi Yeineken. Thanks for the DIY, this will come in handy soon. My car at 85K is making a squeaking noise (video here) and I suspect it's one of the pulleys but haven't isolated it yet. Did you figure out which one was bad, and what did you need to change? Thanks.
Actually it turned out my oil filter housing gasket failed and was leaking oil onto the belt causing the noise. I would still think about replacing the belts and pulleys as the do fail and having that happen on the highway could cause some serious damage.
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      07-26-2016, 10:52 AM   #20
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Re charge pipe clip. Slip some needles nose pliers in hole and rubber slides up and unlocks pipe.
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      08-16-2016, 07:34 PM   #21
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Did mine today. Had to disconnect the charge pipe at both ends and turn it out of the way in order to get the fan out. May have been able to force it, but just better to disconnect it. The clip that holds it to the rubber part on the fan housing just pops off easily if pried with a big screwdriver, so nothing to sweat there. Also, there wasn't 2 torx screws holding the fan in place...just the one shown at the top passenger side. Otherwise, was a pretty straightforward job. Was purely preventative maintenance - I had no noise or other signs of pending failure and the belt I removed appeared to be in great shape (~70K miles)
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      07-29-2017, 01:30 PM   #22
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I performed this DIY today. I got everything changed out but I never did get the damn fan out. It looked like it was getting hung up on what looked like a couple of small radiator hoses near the bottom of the fan. One on each side. The fan was completely disconnected and I could move up a couple of inches before it seemed wedged by the hoses and oil cooler. I also disconnected the charge pipe from both ends of the intercooler trying to get more room.

I didn't want to force it out so I proceeded with the removal of the tensioner and pulleys.

It was very tight working around the fan but it was completely doable with the fan still in there.

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