02 Regal LS Belt Tensioner Replacement - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-03-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
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Default 02 Regal LS Belt Tensioner Replacement

Does anyone know where I can get some information on the process of replacing my tensioning pulley assembly?

I have to put on 4 new serpentine belts in the 18 months I've owned this '02 Regal LS.

I knew I needed to replace the pulley on the tensioner, but this morning it threw the belt. I also knew that I had a potential problem because the last time I put the belt on, the bolt to release the tension was stripped. I was using the special tool for releasing the pressure too.

So, this morning, I go to put the belt back on and now the tensioner does not move.

I have been doing a lot of the maintenance and repair of my vehicles over the past 40 years. Yet I do not consider myself a mechanic.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:42 PM   #2
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Question is, what is it doing? Is the pulley not spinning freely or is the tensioner not providing enough tension?
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:49 PM   #3
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Mike, sounds like the tensioner is not moving at all, not sure if it is because he stripped the bolt or not though, if it is the tension of the tensioner below are instructions to replace it, if it is just the pulley it is a lot easier of a job.


1) Sufficiently drain coolant.
2) Remove serpentine drive belt. Use a 15mm socket on the tensioner pulley bolt and turn counterclockwise to loosen belt.
3) Remove alternator. Use 15mm short and deep sockets on mounting bolts.
4) Remove heater hoses from tensioner fittings.
5) Remove tensioner retaining bolts. Total 3 bolts 15mm socket size.
6) Remove tensioner from engine. Note: While removing tensioner you will be removing the large 90 degree plastic elbow that connects to the lower intake manifold and at the same time the shorter 90 degree elbow to the water pump. You may have to pry or pull hard on the tensioner to get it off.
7) Installation is reverse.

NOTE: The plastic coolant elbow, or in your case I believe its elbows, almost always breaks, so they will need replacing, which is not a bad thing as Dorman makes an aluminum elbow replacement for both, which is a much better fix then using the plastic ones.
Be sure to remove any plastic bits from the bores if they break off.
Here is a link to the part, it is part number 47065hp
Dorman Products - 47065hp


I am pretty sure that is it, if you have any other questions feel free to ask.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:31 PM   #4
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William and Mike, Thank you so much for your responses.
Several points:
1) the pulley itself is bad, it wobbles and rotates
2) the tensioner itself does not move, i heave to push down on the tensioner to release pressure to remove or install the belt. I tried to lift it, push it down it does not budge. when 3) when I put the belt back on I did not need to move the tensioner, the belt just slid right into place and had considerable slack.

So, i now have the car up in the air (ramps) to drain the coolant. alternator is pulled but I am embarrassed to ask where the heck is the drain petcock to drain the coolant?

The tensioner I am buying has the elbow included with it....oh joy. And I have had trouble finding time to replace the axle and wheel hub.

Oh, please let me say again, i do appreciate your help Mike and William.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:39 PM   #5
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Try in driv side toward the bottom. Could be a thing with a line on it you grab with your pliers. Then it comes out the bottom. If you have one. Some don't unfortunately
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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Thanks JW,

If I can' find it I think I may pull one of the heater hoses and get the draining started that way.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:46 PM   #7
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Well I got it off!! did NOT break the elbows (still replacing though). Pulled the heater hoses pulled the upper elbow loose and pitched the tensioner to drain the coolant to a manageable level. I hope the install is just as cooperative. crossing all my appendages and my eyes for good luck.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:39 PM   #8
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You are very welcome, happy to help!
On my PA the petcock on the bottom right side of the radiator, you have to lay up under the car to really see it, I have heard of cases where they can break off, so you may have been better off doing it the way you did it, I always loosen mine, and have had no problems, but better safe than sorry.

Glad you got it off, I hope you got the aluminum coolant elbows, and not the plastic ones, the plastic ones are known to have o-ring issues, basically they leak, unless you use the OE AC Delco O-rings, the ones on the Dorman plastic elbows are minutely smaller than the OE Ac Delco ones, many may not agree, but I took macro pics of both side by side, and to me it was clear they were not exactly the same size, if you need to see them I'll dig up the pics.

EDIT: Just noticed you used the coolant elbows from the tensioner kit, if it does not end up leaking on you I'd consider yourself very lucky, if you have not put all back together I highly recommend getting those aluminum coolant elbows!
You can use a little RTV on the o-rings, but mine still leaked. until I went with some coolant elbow o-rings that came with my lower intake manifold kit by Fel-PRO, which I am pretty sure are the OE AC Delco o-rings.
If you already have it back together, keep an eye on the area for coolant leaks, mine would only leak when the engine was revved up.

Found those o-ring pics, granted I do not have them laying on a ruler so you can really tell the difference in size, they were not exactly the same diameter.
I also attached a pic of the petcock, in case you ever need to fully drain the radiator, and do not feel like removing the lower radiator hose, the left side of it is what you'd see protruding from the radiator.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:23 AM   #9
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Mike,

Thanks again, I'm thinking of buying OEM elbows.

I've got over 195,0000 on the car and I really do not have a nice shop to work in. As of right now, it needs steering rack, sending unit, o2 sensor, front hub and axle, power steering pump ( I may replace it tomorrow since I have everything open) and the transmission is slipping. I may cut bait.

I do have another question though, which is the best (easiest) way to put the unit bac in, with the elbows on the tensioner or in the manifold and pump?
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Catmando View Post
Mike,

Thanks again, I'm thinking of buying OEM elbows.

I've got over 195,0000 on the car and I really do not have a nice shop to work in. As of right now, it needs steering rack, sending unit, o2 sensor, front hub and axle, power steering pump ( I may replace it tomorrow since I have everything open) and the transmission is slipping. I may cut bait.

I do have another question though, which is the best (easiest) way to put the unit bac in, with the elbows on the tensioner or in the manifold and pump?
The elbow I recommend are not OE Elbow, but are better in my opinion, as they are made of aluminum, and not plastic (nylon 6,6), so they won't possibly warp and leak or blow out like the old OE ones can.
The ones I recommend are linked below, you may be able to find them at your local parts store, but if not I'd try to order them from Rockauto, granted the actual OE nylon elbows not by Dorman have the better o-rings on them, I'd still go with the aluminum elbows.
Dorman Products - 47065hp


As long as you have the right tools, pretty much all of the things you need done can be done without a garage, and I am pretty sure we have somebody that could help you with info on doing all of the above.


At your mileage, one big concern would be whether or not your lower intake manifold gasket was changed form the known to fail plastic framed gasket, to the redesigned aluminum framed gasket, this is one of the more important things you can do to your car, as if that gasket fails as they almost always do, then you can get coolant in your cylinder, and since that cannot compress like air, it can ruin your motor, I have heard of things like them hydra-locking, to a connecting rod being thrown through the block, which would have you replacing your motor.
I am not familiar with the Regal LS, but isn't that the naturally aspirated version, with the plastic upper intake manifolds?
If so you will want to inspect the EGR port that goes into the UIM, as the EGR gasses can warp that area, and the area where the coolant goes into the UIM can also become warped and cause leaks.
The DORMAN Part # 615207 UIM Gasket Kit comes with a reduced diameter EGR stovepipe which helps correct the issue, some block the coolant passages altogether, but I won't elaborate on that, I'll wait till you decide to do the repairs, and if you start another thread on it I'll help you there, to avoid confusion with your current repair in this thread.
I will give you part numbers to the LIM Gasket Kit, since I already gave you the part number for the UIM Gasket Kit, the LIM Kit is FEL-PRO Part # MS98014T

Note: The LIM Kit actually has the o-rings you would want on those coolant elbows, I replaced my Dorman ones with the ones from that Fel-Pro Kit, and my plastic coolant elbow has not leaked, I used the plastic one because I did my UIM/LIM job right before those aluminum ones came out.

As for how to install the tensioner with the elbow, I'd put them in the tensioner, and easily get them to go into the bores of the manifold and pump, it might be easier if you get them to start in the bores, and thread the bolts to the tensioner in a little, and work the tensioner into place, tightening the bolts a little at a time as you do this.
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