Where is the tensioner? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-20-2004, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default Where is the tensioner?

I cant seem to find the tensioner for the back serpentine belt. Please help.
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:57 PM   #2
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Back serpentine belt? what does it run your blower and water pump or your power steering and alternator? Let me know and i can help.
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:01 PM   #3
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Default Thanx for the fast response.

yeah, it'* the back belt that runs the supercharger and AC.
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:04 PM   #4
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The tensioner for that belt is just to left and below the SC pulley(when you are looking at the belt side of the engine compartment). You should be able to see markings on the side that indicate how tight the belt is. Should be easy to spot.
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:44 PM   #5
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Thanx, I found it. However, it doesnt seem to give me enough slack to get the belt on. Is there a best way to do this? maybe a pulley that is the easiest to get the belt around? I still seem to have an inch shy belt. lol. Dammit Jim, I'm a musician not a mechanic !!!
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:27 PM   #6
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It can be tough. The trick is to make sure you have it in the grooves of the harmonic balancer (crank pulley) correctly, or you're hosed to begin with. Work it onto all pulleys (idlers, wp, etc), and do the SC pulley last. Get a long wrench to use on the tensioner, and get as much as you can out of it. The belt will still fight you on the SC, but just to get it over the rim. After that, it'* cake.
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Old 08-21-2004, 12:11 AM   #7
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Thanx alot guys. I got with your help. Now I'm looking everywhere for the stupid bolt for the alternator so i can get the other one on. lol.

**Bangs his head against the wall repeatedly.
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Old 08-21-2004, 03:14 AM   #8
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THAT belt is harder to route, but easier to put on. Tie it to the strut bar with a string to hold the alternator loop near where you need it, route it around (by the diagram under the hood if you forgot how it came off), then untie the string when you're ready to put it over the alternator.
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Old 08-21-2004, 12:51 PM   #9
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That'* a pretty good trick. I got the routiing right, but now my problem is that I lost the bolt that holds the alternater. The one closest to the front of the car. Not the bolt that acts like a hinge for the alt. , but the other one. I've been told that the alternater is the tensioner for that belt.

I thought I had put the bolt in my pocket. Apparently not, and you can only look around an engine compartment for a little bolt for so many hours before you lose it.

If anyone could give me the correct size and thread for that bolt it would help me pick it up at the store without an example.

Thanx guys.
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Old 08-21-2004, 06:12 PM   #10
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I think it may be a 13mm head, but I can't remember. Mine just sits in the hole because the threads in the aluminum bracket stipped out. The belt tension holds it in. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN IT!!

My alternator belt seems to be the toughest to get on. So I leave the above mentioned bolt out, put the belt on, then put the alt in place and bolt it. That'* probably how I stripped it. My SC belt seems to go on best when I get it on all the pullies but the tensioner, because it does not have any ridges.
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