Monday 26 September 2011

E39 530d: Drive-Belt Bracket snapped!!

How very unfortunate - the bracket holding the guide-pulley for the auxiliary drive-belt has sheared clean in two and rendered the car undriveable!

As I started the car on Friday afternoon there was a crunch from the engine. It started up OK, but the battery warning-light came on and I lost power-steering. Assuming the drive-belt had snapped I ordered a new one and started to take the broken one out, which turned out to be involved in itself as you need to remove the fan-cowl for access, and the fan with it! Once I got to the belt I noticed it hadn't snapped after all, but it would not sit tight around the pulleys.

That's when I noticed a pulley was missing and sure enough there it was lying in the floorpan with the bolt still through it, attached to a torn piece of metal. Worrying that the chunk was part of the block itself I continued to dismantle the front of the engine until I found the culprit. Luckily its a metal dog-leg bracket that bolts on to the engine-block to hold the pulley in place and it unbolted easily enough. I guess the shock of another cold diesel startup made it give way, or the PAS-pump struggled to right the wheels on the gravel I was parked in and put too much strain on the belt.

Either way, it appears to be a common enough fault that new brackets aren't hard to come by - the cheapest and easiest place in this case is, surprisingly, the BMW dealerships themselves. I rang BMW WIlliams in Liverpool this morning, giving the part number (7 in the below diagram) and they said it would need ordering but will arrive this afternoon so fingers crossed as the car is off the road.

I'll get back with the results and a full How-To guide soon!

No.DescriptionSupplementQtyFrom Up To Part Number

01RIBBED V-BELT5 PK X 2063111287787369
02Belt tensioner111282354130
03Torx screw with collarM7X38211517789351
04Adjusting pulley with lever111282354131
06Flange nutM6113537801713
08Hex bolt with washerM10X70 ZNS3107119903817
09Hex boltM10X125107119900630
10Roll pin211282247435
11Fillister-head screwM8X35 ZNS207119901027

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