How do I remove belt tensioner? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-19-2006, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default How do I remove belt tensioner?

This is gonna be a kind of stupid series of questions to ask for some, but please realize that I am learning, and that I need to learn this. I've generally handled menial tasks around the engine which required nothing more than a socket wrench which any moron can do, but I for example dont have the slightest idea how to get the belts off.

Ok so here it goes, this is for my 96 BTW:
1. How do I loosen the belts?
2. Anything I need to know to remove the belt tensioner besides draining the fluid to below that level..
3. ...and will siphoning it out from the radiator/overflow tank be enough?
4. What should I know about re-installation of the tensioner? Will I need any gaskets/extra materials? I dont have a torque wrench as i've always done it by feel, so generally how tight should I re-tighten the bolts?
5. The main objective of all of this trouble is to replace the coolant elbow as it is currently seeping from a bad gasket (and to save myself $200 from the dealer, my local mechanic is on vacation). Would it be prudent to coat the rubber gasket with silicone grease or anything else auxillary I should do to prevent this problem in the future?

Thank you for your help. Pics are welcome as im a visual learner.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:30 PM   #2
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1 - long ratchet wrench or breaker bar on the tensioner nut, 15mm I beleive, you'll see which weay to turn the wrench so that it pivots to loosen the belt.

2 - you'll need to remove the alt too so disconnect the battery, and there are 2 bolts that you can't readily see from up top. We'll at least I couldn't on my Olds with the Series 2. The whole thing will slide out but it does take some muscle or creative prybarring to get it to pull out straight from the engine.

3 - no, drain the cooling system at least half way down the radiator. Use the drain built into the radiator. I use a plastic underbed storage container $4 from Walmart as a catchpan.

4 - no gasket materials needed, just a bit of silicon grease or vaselin for the orings.

5 - try to get it to pull oout straight with the tensioner housing. If it breaks off in the intake manifold you might have to pull it to get it out and thats about 5 hrs.

The coolant elbow is plastic, there not much you can do to prevent this from happening again, hopefully it won't for a long time
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:59 PM   #3
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the tensioner is held on with one bolt inside the metal part of the tensioner where it is attached to the engine. take the belt off of it and then undo that bolt and it will pop right out
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:09 AM   #4
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there is a first time for everything
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:22 AM   #5
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Glad to hear you are hopping into this... it'll be good experience and you will be able to say you did it afterwards. due to my anal retentiveness..I'm going to call the part you need to remove the accessory bracket. Tensioner is a smaller piece that I will refer to as a specific area.

Ok.. Tension on the belt is provided by the pulley under and slightly front of the alternator. Using the 15mm as mentioned and a counter clockwise motion slip the belt off. (Later use manual in glove box page around 6-67 for routing)

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. 5/16" or 8mm

Remove alternator, disconnect eletrical on back (one nut) then underneath at the back by valve cover a connector. Remove 3 13mm bolts from the front. One on either side and one under and left of the belt tensioner pulley.

Remove power steering pump by fitting a 13mm deep socket through the holes in the power steering pump pulley. There are two bolts.. at 12 and 6 oclock. (it'* actually easier than it seems. If you want to see them, jack up car and remove passenger tire and plastic wheel well splash shield. Gently lower pump down. It will rest close by if not on the oil pressure sender. (you don't want to break the sender).

Now you should have 3 or so bolts that hold the accessory bracket on. Find them all and it will free up.

I suggest aligning the bracket and starting a bolt or two with a helper.

Tightening. Tighten all bolts to snug plus a little. When I say a little... keep in mind the accessory bracket bolts to the head and block. You can't really hurt them...but vein popping tight isn't needed. Go snug then give it a little tug. No need to make it impossible the next time around. The alternator...well..that bolts into the aluminum accessory bracket..also..a little past snug, remembering you are working with easy to strip aluminum.
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:19 PM   #6
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Thank you GM for your clever use of plastic. /sarcasm

http://www.clanmob.net/hosted/bonnev...olantelbow.jpg

And what a difference a coolant flush makes. It no longer races to 210 degrees and then bounces between there and 200. It is much more stable and the 180 thermostat is LOVELY. Much more re-assuring that I wont have to fear of overheat. All thats left is a fan override.
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Old 06-22-2006, 11:00 AM   #7
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AWesome...how do you feel after your first successful DIY repair?

Great feeling isn't it.
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