Diesel Engine Crankshaft Pulley….replacement by PaulT

Diesel Engine Crankshaft Pulley….replacement

Firstly, my recommended method followed by a story.


Jack up the right hand side of the car and use axle stands or other secure method to stop it toppling.
Remove the front wheel liner.
Remove the auxiliary drive belt from the pulley and from the car.
Remove the A/C belt from the car.
Using a suitable strong flat bar place one side against one of the notches in the pulley and against the chassis member – I placed the other end on an axle stand.
With tools available try to undo the pulley bolt which will be tight.
If you are lucky then it will undo.
If you are unlucky it will not budge.


Leave off the new A/C belt
Fit a new auxiliary belt, if you have not done this before it is a nice fiddle due to lack of space between the end of the pulleys / idler / tensioner – silly not to replace the belts.
Do not fit the A/C belt
Take the car to a garage where they have professional heavy duty tools to replace the pulley and fit the A/C belt.


Remove the bolt.
Remove the pulley – no puller required.
Fit new pulley and tighten the bolt as specified using the notch in the pulley to prevent the engine turning.
Fit the A/C belt
Fit the auxiliary belt


Refit the wheel liner
Have a cup of tea.


Yve got out of the car and said ‘the car is making a funny noise’. I got out and it was making a faint sort of metallic ticking noise. ‘I will look at it’.

I had a quick look and thought ‘wonder what that is’.

Two days later we had been and done a big shop and stopped to get the dogs food (he had plenty it was just that we were passing where we buy it). It was hot so I left the car idling so that the A/C was still working. I got out of the car and the noise was now like a load of big spanners in a slowly revolving washing machine drum. Shopping abandoned ‘let’s get the car back’.

Bonnet up and head thrust under it and the sound was definitely coming from the water pump end of the engine. Stripped the wheel liner out and it definitely seemed to be the crankshaft pulley.

Phoned Rimmers to enquire what time was the cut off for next day delivery to France (where we were) and told 2pm.

Did not have a 24mm spanner to slip the auxiliary belt off, a friend thought he which he did but only a ring which was too thick to fit on the tensioner. It was now just before midday in France and the stores close from midday to 2pm. I therefore made the decision that I was 99% sure it was the pulley so ordered a new one (OEM) pulley and belts. Items delivered midday next day

Just after 2pm I had a 24mm open ended spanner. Back to the car, remove the belt and near silence from the pulley.

Now the Haynes manual instructs to remove the air duct – on my facelift the securing to the front panel is via bolts and these just turned without coming out. I therefore decided to remove the bumper, strengthening member and headlamp panel – I had a new gold resistor so decided I may as well fit it.

The manual then instructs to remove the starter motor so that the ring gear can have a lever used to stop the engine rotating. I could not get to the top bolt of the starter. However, the pulley has notches in it so I used these with a bar to stop rotation.

A socket and bat made no impression so I bought an air impact wrench. That made no impression. Used a long bar of the socket and turned the key. That sheared part of the end that goes in to the socket.

Next attempt was with the long bar and a piece of steel pipe and whilst I pulled on it a friend hit the bar where it went in to the socket to try to shock it. No movement.

We both then pulled on the bar which bent alarmingly so time to concede defeat.

Put the front back on the car, fir the new auxiliary belt and off to explain my predicament to a garage who agreed to take on changing the pulley and fitting the A/C belt.

They managed to do it but commented that the bolt was extremely tight. The charge was 40 euros / £28.

The spanners in the washing machine have now been removed and I just needed to replace the liner.


I have been told that the pulley is a common failing on the BMW engine. However, if the engine is in a BMW the engine has to be removed to replace it due to a crossmember being in the way.

"Don't think of them as problems, think of them as opportunities."
"OK, I think I've hit an insurmountable opportunity!"


Posted 30 Jul 2015, 15:40 #1