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      09-15-2014, 07:41 AM   #1
mweisdorfer
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X5 w/ 3.0si AC Belt

To all;

Those of you who are looking to change out your drive and AC belts with 4 zone climate control, you need a special tool to change out the AC belt. The good news is that its only $20.00. I also found both belts for a grand total of $30.00 at Pelican Parts. They are not OEM BMW Belts, but they are Cont-tech belts, which is an OEM supplier to BMW and are made in Germany.

Below is the special belt tool you will need.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You just have to take the fan out and upper radiate hose prior to pulling the fan, remove the tensioner pulley and spare pulley, replace them and then use the pulley by removing the pin to secure the drive belt in place. Then use the special tool on the AC pulley and to move the AC Belt in place.

It takes all of an hour.

If your at around 100k and have not done this, you should.
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      01-05-2016, 07:30 PM   #2
TigerBalm
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How did you remove it though? Did you turn the crankshaft by hand or started the car?
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      01-06-2016, 10:19 AM   #3
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To remove the fan belt, you would remove the pulley. If your car has over 75k on it, it's a really good idea to replace the pulleys as well as the belts. Make sure you draw a diagram of how the belt runs prior to taking the pulley off. An 18" power bar with an E60 socket (I think that's the size) is really useful in taking off and putting the main belt into place, in this situation; make physics be on your side.

To take the AC belt off, just take a pair of heavy duty garage scissors and cut it off. To put the new one back on the AC pulley and crank, I turned the crank via socket on the crank by hand with the small tool under the belt on the AC pulley. It can be done by yourself, but it's a ton easier with someone making sure the belt stays on and continues to fold over the AC pulley, while you turn the crank. I did it by myself, and it did take a few try's before I got it on. Make sure the belt is room temp and try and stretch it out a little prior to installing it on the AC pulley and crank.
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      10-28-2018, 07:36 PM   #4
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Tool does not fit for the AC stretch belt install.
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      10-29-2018, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tewie View Post
Tool does not fit for the AC stretch belt install.


This is the one I used
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      10-29-2018, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tewie View Post
Tool does not fit for the AC stretch belt install.


This is the one I used
How? That thing doesn't fit on the AC pulley
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      10-29-2018, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tewie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tewie View Post
Tool does not fit for the AC stretch belt install.


This is the one I used
How? That thing doesn't fit on the AC pulley
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tewie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tewie View Post
Tool does not fit for the AC stretch belt install.


This is the one I used
How? That thing doesn't fit on the AC pulley

It's a major PITA.... the tool doesn't fit on the AC pulley perfectly. I really used it to leverage the belt up and over. You really need an extra set of hands to keep the tool on the AC pulley while you move the crank. You have to move the crank evenly and slowly.

My only other suggestion would be to talk to your local BMW dealer. They might let you talk to a mechanic for 5 min or so. The BMW dealer near me is pretty cool about stuff like that.
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      10-30-2018, 03:43 PM   #8
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A BMW mechanic told me he uses a shop rag between the belt and the pulley to lever it in to place while rotating the crank. Going to try this later..
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      10-30-2018, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tewie View Post
A BMW mechanic told me he uses a shop rag between the belt and the pulley to lever it in to place while rotating the crank. Going to try this later..
Cool. I'm glad your local BMW dealer is good about letting people talk to their mechanics. Some aren't. I think they think they are giving away trade secrets and therefore you won't use them for service.
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      10-30-2018, 04:01 PM   #10
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Cool. I'm glad your local BMW dealer is good about letting people talk to their mechanics. Some aren't. I think they think they are giving away trade secrets and therefore you won't use them for service.
It was actually an independent shop
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      10-31-2018, 09:56 PM   #11
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Used a strip cut from a drop cloth hooked around the belt to maneuver the stretch belt successfully on to the pulleys. I had the rag wrapped around the belt and positioned the belt on to the top side of the pulley and around the main crank pulley. While pushing the rag and the belt towards the back left corner of the engine bay (towards the pulley in the direction of rotation) I turned the crank counter-clockwise. After each slight rotation, I had to guide the belt on to the bottom of the crank pulley so the belt would not twist and end up partially upside down. After it was on I had to muscle the belt on to the last track while rotating the crank so it would be in the correct position. It all worked out, however I did damage a cheap belt doing some practice runs and ended up using an OEM belt that appeared way sturdier which is not surprising. Overall, I managed this without buying the $150+ installation tool and the belt is on there free of any damage. Hope this helps some of you DIYers save a few bucks on a tool you'll only use once or twice. I tried and returned a couple cheap stretch belt jigs that did not fit or work at all. I attached a picture of the free piece of cloth I used. It is a drop cloth and is very thin, sturdy and not stretchable. Good luck.
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      02-08-2021, 06:58 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your ideas.

I successfully replaced mine without any special tools!

I used a 7/8" socket (I think 22mm also works) to turn the crank pulley. I used a stripe of cloth wrap on the belt at the bottom of the compressor pulley and slowly turning the engine and pulling the belt outward. After half a rotation the belt is still on, but it's off the tracks. So I just use my fingers to keep pulling it out ward and turning. It easily came off.

Now, to put a new belt on, it's much easier than I though. No other tools needed! (Make sure the other Serpentine belt is already place in there .

First, loop the stretch belt over the crank pulley, carefully make sure it line up the grooves. On the compressor pulley, the belt obvious won't go on. However, it should be just enough to loop around the smaller rim on the face of the pulley. So, at that point, if you turn the crank pulley, the belt can also turn. So now, try to turn the engine a bit at a time, counter-clockwise, for every move, use your finger to push the belt inward at the point that the belt contacts the top of the compressor pulley. Just be VERY careful not to catch your finger under the belt. So, slowly, the belt should move towards the back of the car on the pulley surface.

After half a circle, the belt should be mostly in. At the point, don't force it. I noticed that the belt didn't get onto the grooves on the crank pulley. And it looks like it will be a mess if I kept turning it. So I change to crank it clock-wise and continue to use my fingers to guide the belt. After half a circle turn later the belt is in perfect position!

The attached image shows that the belt is just half on. Notice that the bottom part of the belt is still on the outer rim part of the compressor pulley.



Sorry if I am using incorrect terms. I am not a good DIY guy. I let my Serpertine belt unchanged till 149k miles. And not suprisingly it broke. LOL. And it broke on the most inconvenient day when I was >200 miles away from home during a ski trip. The belt was shredded into wool fiber and spread all over the engine bay. The broken belt also broke a coolant line. A local shop wanted $1300 to replace coolant line, belt, tensioner and the idler pulley. That's too fat of a bill considering that my whole X5 is probably worth about $5000. I insisted to just put a new belt in. The shop still charged me $470 for that!!!

After some researches (including reading from your comments), I ordered all the parts and properly completed the whole job! It coolant line was pretty easy to replace. Bleeding the coolant system is trivial. There are plenty of videos explaining how to change the tensioner and pulley. So there is no problem with that either. There was NO video and very few posts explaining the stretch belt. So that worried me a lot. Thank you guys a lot for giving me the confidence. I almost wanted to skip replacing it. I had no choice after seeing the belt was already falling apart.

Sorry for the long post.
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