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T-Belt Tension Assembly Guides

How to Install Your New T-Belt Tension Assembly Properly

A t-belt or time belt tension assembly is a device that applies force to maintain or create tension for your time belt. It could be applied perpendicular or parallel to the tension it makes. The timing belt of your automobile engine is guided by a belt tensioner and/or an idler pulley (which could be fixed, hydraulic, or spring-loaded depending on the make and model of the car in question).

Difficulty Level: Moderate

What You'll Need

  • Tensioner roller or pulley
  • Monkey wrench
  • Medium-sized straight-blade screwdriver
  • 15 millimeter socket wrench
  • Long-handled break/break-over wrench
  • ?-inch (1-centimeter) ratchet
  • Power ratchet (optional for a 12-inch extension)
  • Impact wrench and 36-inch extension (optional for a 36-inch extension)
  • 6-inch (15.2-centimeter) drive extension
  • 4-inch wobble extension
  • U-joint (Universal joint)
  • 24-inch extension (it can be a 12-inch or 36-inch extension)

Step 1:Shop for either a kit or just the t-belt tension assembly as required. A kit allows you to have spare parts in case other portions of your timing belt starts malfunctioning. Aside from the tensioner, the kit can also include the timing belt, camshaft and crankshaft seals, water pump and gasket, alternator belt, power steering belt, and so forth.

Step 2:To get to the tensioner, you might first need to disconnect the negative battery cable, alternator belt, and various other accessories (like the air conditioning compressor and power steering pump). From there, remove the valve cover.

Step 3:To take off the valve cover, find the single-mounting stud that extends to the lower alternator bracket from below the exhaust manifold. Use a wobble adaptor or woggle extension (the u-joint) adapter, 6-inches extension, and the ?-inch drive ratchet snapped onto the 15-millimeter socket by the engine block.

Step 4:Place your woggle with socket through the small place in the brackets beside the manifold. This will grant you access to a single-compression nut retaining the tensioner. Make sure you're getting the right nut then turn it counterclockwise to loosen it.

Step 5: On certain car models, the tensioner needs to be removed first to remove a bracket that holds your alternator. Watch out for vehicles with this awkward design.

Step 6:After removing the nut retaining the old tensioner, remove the tensioner itself. Warning: Don't open the cover over the compressed spring in the tensioner because the spring could fly about, cause you injury, and damage your equipment.

Step 7:Install the new tensioner in reverse order of the steps to remove the old tensioner. Use duct tape to keep the nut inside the socket. Place the ?-inch ratchet under the exhaust manifold with your screwdriver.

Step 8: Put on the tensioner. If it doesn't come with a pulley, then use the old pulley hardware. Otherwise, use your new tensioner assembly's pulley instead.

Step 9:Be careful when installing the belt. Make sure that its grooves are aligned and seated properly in the pulley's grooves to avoid it from riding out of the grooves once the engine is started, resulting in it being pinched, torn, stretched, and ruined.

Step 10:There should be a diagram on how the belt is installed among the pulleys. Follow that guide and take time to check the hard-to-see pulleys for the sake of ensuring proper alignment and fit of the belt in every last groove.

Your time belt tensioner or t-belt tension assembly should be regularly inspected whenever your time belt is served during tune-ups and routine inspections. This will ensure that everything is in perfect working order every time.


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