After using shop manauls as well as resources online I realized there wasn't too much of a clear answer on changing the water pump on an R56! It's really quite a fun job that can be a little challenging if you do not work on cars on a regular basis, or are not familiar with MINI's!
Tools Required for the Job!
- Knee Pad/cardboard to kneel/sit on.
- 4 Jack Stands
- Floor Jack
-Small Piece of Wood
- 30 mm Wrench (If replacing belt, which I recommend you do!)
- Metric Socket Set
-Small 10mm wrench
- Star Bit Set
- Breaker Bar
- Drain Pan for Engine Coolant
- A radio (Gotta listen to your favorite music right?)
Get the MINI onto a flat surface where you will be doing your repair! Break the Lug nuts loose on the front passenger tire. Use a floor jack with a piece of wood to pick up the MINI and set Jack stands under each Jack Point. On the R56 you will see Rubber blocks on each side that will rest into a Jack Stand.
Only when your MINI is on 4 Jack Stands, and NOT supported by the floor jack, take the front right tire off and set it aside. (I like to slide it under the MINI just as an extra safety precaution. Eliminates a trip hazard in the shop as well as provides something for the MINI to land on IF it falls thats not YOU!)
Remove Inner fender Lining. This is done by pulling out the plastic fasteners that are holding the lining in the wheel well. There are also two T30 Star Screws to remove. After feel free to bend it and wiggle it out of the wheel well. It is a cool piece of engineering from MINI that is supposed to be easily removed! After it's out, you will have pretty clear view of the front of the motor, you will see the crankshaft pulley(harmonic balancer), the alternator, your AC Pulley, a tensioner, and a friction pulley. What about the water pump you ask? Well see the little tiny corner of a silver pulley with 3 silver bolts? It's the pulley that is most towards the rear of you MINI! Yup, your taking that out!
Find a way to shrink your hands! If this fails, move to step 5. If this is successful, go to the ER immediately!
Remove the Engine Bay Brace by removing the 6 bolts on the top of the brace, then remove the 4 star bolts holding the hood latch assembely on, then remove passenger headlight bolts and assembly, undo the wiring harness completely, and remove headlight from vehicle. The drivers side headlight bolts can be removed but I did not find it necessary to actually remove from vehicle. First pic is the passenger side of the brace, second is the drivers side.
Remove 4 plastic fastners that secure the grill to the engine bay brace. Then carefully move engine brace aside. It will still be attached by the hood release cables, but your only objective is to move it out of the way to access the top of the motor mount as well as the belt tensioner assembly. Notice for assembly purposes that the metal engine brace (piece with all the stickers) sits behind the plastic grill.
Place jack very carefully under the motor using a piece of wood in between the jack and your oil pan! Put the jack under the motor so that it is touching the oil pan, do NOT crank up on the jack, damage to your oil pan will occur!!!! Take out the 4 long bolts, and then finally the nut on the motor mount, undo your ground cable nut, and gentley remove from the vehicle! Congrats, your motor is now sitting on the jack and is not attached to the passenger side of the vehicle at all!
Carefully lower Jack until the motor drops down and rests against the frame of the vehicle. This will bring the water pump down a little bit for you to access it. Keep the jack under the motor so that it is supported, and the weight not resting completely on the frame. This pic is the side view looking through the wheel well after you drop the motor.
There will be a little pull tab on the friction gear that drives the water pump. If you pull it, the friction gear will move away from the crankshaft pulley and the water pump pulley allowing you to spin it freely. Carefully take a small 10 mm wrench and undo the three bolts holdng the pulley onto the pump. Then carefully wiggle pulley off of the pump and slide it up and towards the rear of the vehicle. It will slide through to the back of the motor where you can pull it out. This does take a few min of wiggling and positioning the pulley but it DOES come out, so be patient. Pic from pelican parts website!
Using a combination of your fingers, 10 mm wrench, 10 mm socket, 10mm Deep well socket, and a rachet, carefully undo the 5 water pump bolts. As you remove a few bolts the fluid will escape and MAKE A MESS!!! Be ready with your drain pan!! After all bolts are out, carefully wiggle out the pump the same way you wiggled out the pulley. Again, it's very tight, and it can take a few minutes to get it out. It's very hard to see in this pic, however this is the view from the left side of the brake assembly looking up at the front of the motor, the silver tube is the AC line, black plastic piece on bottom right is the friction gear and above that is the hole where the water pump sits.
Make sure gasket came out with the pump, if it did not! REMOVE the OLD gasket and using brake cleaner clean the surface of the side of the block.
Wiggle new pump, (made of metal not plastic, THANKS MINI! lol ) into position and screw in bolts finger tight, using the same combination of fingers, 10 mm wrench, 10 mm socket, 10mm Deep well socket, and a rachet as before tighten the bolts carefully. BE CAREFUL. It is an aluminum block and you do NOT want to put a lot of pressure on the bolts, just nice and snug!
Re-install old water pump pulley.
Install loosely the aluminum motor mount bracket onto the motor mount using just the nut, slowly Jack motor up until the 4 holes perfectly line up with the mount. The motor will move side to side, and the bracket will move as well. Carefully thread bolts into the motor until all 4 bolts are in, continue using the jack, to put the motor back exactly where it was. Tighten all 4 bolts, the nut on the motor mount, and also the grounding wire!
Your serpentine belt will most likely be VERY cracked, and now that you have everything apart it is wise to replace it! On the top of the motor take your 30 mm wrench, or a cresent wrench, and place on the belt tensioner and rotate clockwise( or if standing in front of the vehicle pull it towards you) and use the service pin to lock the tensioner all the way up. This "service mode" will allow you to remove the belt and re-install a new belt without fighting the pulley. When new belt is in, simply use wrench to take pressure off of the pin, pull it out, and slowly release the tension on the tensioner pulley so that it engages the new belt. You wil want to double check that you have routed the belt correctly, as well as make sure that it is sitting correctly in the grooves.
Reassemble Engine Bay bracket, place 6 bolts back in the top, as well as the 4 star bolts for the hood latch mechanisms, then re-install headlights and adjust as needed. Place the 4 clips through the grill, and make sure everything fits perfect!
Reinstall wheel well lining, passenger tire, and torque to 100 ft. lbs.
Follow MINI's bleeding procedure to ensure that all air pockets have escaped the system. Air trapped in the motor could cause the motor to overheat, causing damage. You can massage the upper radiator hose to push air out of the system with the reservoir open, keep filling as the MINI will drink up quite a bit of coolant. MINI suggests using the bleeder screw to get air out of system, however this can break off due to age, and you will be doing a thermostat!!! Run MINI and check for leaks, add fluid and continue to "BURP" the coolant system until there is no more air in the system. On the next few drives and warm up cycles, check coolant levels and add as necessary! Don't forget to run the heater on full blast and make sure that you get any air pockets out of the heater core as well!!
Don't forget to turn off your radio! Congrat's, your done!