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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 03-04-2011, 08:04 PM
newX3user newX3user is offline
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Location: USA
 
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Mein Auto: 04 X3 3.0
Belt Replacement

Hi,

I heard that X3s use a chain for the timing belt. I am wondering how east it is to change the other belt (serpentine belt?). My car (04 X3) is almost at 60,000 miles now, and I am thinking it could be time to change the belt.

To be honest, how many belts are there on an X3 engine and how difficult are they to change? I looked for a write up, but could not find anything.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2011, 08:50 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally Posted by newX3user View Post
... how many belts are there on an X3 engine and how difficult are they to change?
Yes, no need to be concerned about the timing chain until it gets noisy sometime years from now.
Just 2 belts you might want to proactively replace.

On your 2004 3.0, main serpentine belt drives the water pump, alternator and PAS pump.
The other belt is just for the A/C.

Lots of youtube videos for E46 and some other models, but not the X3.

This one might help for seeing how to remove the main belt:


Without any disassembly, you should be able to slip a 5/8" socket on a bar down and locate the release nut on the tensioner for the serpentine belt.
A skilful person would probably be able to remove that belt and fit a fresh one on mainly by feel within a few minutes total.

Assuming you have mechanical tensioners as shown, and not later hydraulic ones, which need a slightly different releasing approach.
Looks like they already removed the air snorkel over the radiator, and the electric fan.
You'd have to do at least that, and maybe the air box too, to gain comfortable working room from above, and get access to the A/C belt low down.
I don't think removal of the radiator is needed on the X3 as there is more working space than on an E46.

You'd need to be confident of how the belt is routed around components and pulleys before doing this, but fairly straightforward otherwise.
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:46 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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I need some urgent help here. I've removed down to and including the fan so I have full access to the belts. Unfortunately I have to remove the AC belt even though it's in good shape to get to the serpentine belt for my 2006 X3 3.0. The problem I'm having is that I can't get the ac belt tensioner to loosen up. I'm doing something wrong and am afraid to break something (already broke the fan plastic clip off.) When I turn the bolt that I was assuming to be the AC belt tensioner clockwise, it would just turn, but very hard. If I go counter clockwise it loosens the bolt, but not the tension. I feel like I'm not on the correct bolt, but can't see where another one is. When I turn the serpentine belt tensioner counter clockwise it loosens up readily.

I'd appreciate your help.
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  #4  
Old 07-28-2012, 03:36 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducx3 View Post
I need some urgent help here. I've removed down to and including the fan so I have full access to the belts. Unfortunately I have to remove the AC belt even though it's in good shape to get to the serpentine belt for my 2006 X3 3.0. The problem I'm having is that I can't get the ac belt tensioner to loosen up. I'm doing something wrong and am afraid to break something (already broke the fan plastic clip off.) When I turn the bolt that I was assuming to be the AC belt tensioner clockwise, it would just turn, but very hard. If I go counter clockwise it loosens the bolt, but not the tension. I feel like I'm not on the correct bolt, but can't see where another one is. When I turn the serpentine belt tensioner counter clockwise it loosens up readily.

I'd appreciate your help.
It looks like you are turning the bolt that holds the tensioner to the block--snap that off and you'll be in a world of mess. You need to get a female torx socket and put it on the tensioner torx feature and turn that to release the tension.

And you might as well change the idler pulley and tensioner pulley while your in there.

EDIT--I looked up that AC tensioner on another site and it you need a regular Torx bit--not female. I couldn't quite tell from your photo if it was male/female. Probably a T55 or T60 is needed.

Last edited by PSUEng; 07-28-2012 at 03:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2012, 08:21 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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Yeah I couldn't figure if it was male or female at first either. Thanks, I'll have to go pick one up.

Anyone know the torque value on the bolt I was messing with?
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2012, 09:07 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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No more than about 22 ft lbs. Unless you are removing the tensioner, I'd leave it alone.
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2012, 09:10 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSUEng View Post
It looks like you are turning the bolt that holds the tensioner to the block--snap that off and you'll be in a world of mess.
Yes no doubt! I did end up turning it 1/4-1/2 rotation past. Do you think I should go ahead and replace that bolt? Thanks for the help!
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2012, 10:32 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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According to this thread it is a standard (male) T60 torx bit for your mechanical A/C tensioner:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1377381

And clockwise rotation - to move the tensioner to the left.

Looks like a different tensioner than the one used for the main accessory belt, which uses a 16mm. (or 5/8") socket to release the tension.

(Later X3's might have hydraulic tensioners in either or both positions.)

I would leave that other bolt alone even though it is a bit over-torqued now.
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2012, 08:51 PM
noego noego is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 X3, 1997 Chevy truck,
just did mine on an '06 X3. follow the steps and procedures as in this video -- take your time and it should be a piece of cake.
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2012, 12:39 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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Piece of cake with the right tools. T60 it is.

I did see the above video, but they didn't use the torx bit for the AC belt tensioner. Just a slight difference in design.
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Last edited by ducx3; 07-29-2012 at 12:41 AM.
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