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Replacing Tensioner Assembly 

 

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 Post subject: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Hi expert dudes,

When I went to replace my fan belt I found that the tensioner pully was broken and also the tensioner has seized. Can anyone give me an idiots guide to replacing the tensioner assembly. I am unable to get one bolt undone (near the tensioner pulley). It is the square one that has a hex shape on the inside. So far no one has been able to tell me what tool to use or how to take it off. I tried an allen key, but that didn't work.

I have a 95 EF Falcon.

Your help is greatly appreciated.
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:27 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Why didnt the Allen key work ? Did you uses the correct size ?
The tension is quite easy to replace only has 3 or 4 bolts holding it on, I took one off a ef and can't remember using a Allen key .

 

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:30 pm 
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AFAIK there is three bolts holding the tensioner on... They're all normal bolts...

You're not talking about the square hole are you? The one to load the spring so you can actually get the belt on the car...
You may want to attach the photo so we can have a look see what you're talking about...

Cheers,
Tim

 

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:41 pm 
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There are three bolts, two can be undone with a regular spanner, but the third is a square shape on the outside and a hex shape on the inside. I don't have a pic, but can try to take one tomorrow, it is in an awkward spot, directly behind the tensioner pulley.

Hope this helps.
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:44 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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thats strange my ef and el, both have 3 normal bolts
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:48 pm 
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I've had the car since new, and have never had to replace it before, so never noticed. I'll try to get the camera in the spot to get a pic. Like I said, it's a very small space.
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:01 am 
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I recently replaced both the tensioner pulley and the idler pulley,and only 3 normal hex head bolts hold the tensioner assembly in place on 6 cyl EF Falcon.It is much easier to remove the tensioner assembly if you remove the thermo fan assembly first(no need to remove radiator) as this will greatly increase the space you have to work in.To remove thermo fan assembly,remove both upper retaining bolts,disconnect the 2 electrical connectors and lift the assembly straight up and out of engine bay.The square nut you refer to is actually not a nut ,but as stated above,where you insert and turn a 3/8 square drive socket to release tensioner tension so drive belt can be removed/re fitted.
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:47 am 
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As said above;

Use a 3/8" drive to fit the square hole in the tensioner, use a lenth of pipe on it as ut makes this a lot easier, pull down to the passenger side of the car and the tension will release. Slip the belt off the water pump pulley. AS already said, this is a lit easier if the thermo fans are removed but it still can be done. Once the belt is off, just remove it from the lower pulley, makes it easier to put back on. There are 3 x 10mm bolts. 2 you can see, 1 is at the top, 1 is on the drivers side of the tensioner at 9 o'clock and the last one is below the bottom pulley, remove these and the tensioner just comes off.

You say that the bottom bolt is square with a hex shape inside but an allen key won't fit. Sounds like some smart a*** has put a torx head bolt in there. You see if you can get a closer look, pull out the thermo fans, if it has a diamond or star shape it will be a torx head. You will then need to get a torx bit of correct size to get it out. Replace it with a normal 10mm head bolt.
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:55 pm 
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It's not the 3/8 hole to release the tension for the belt. I'll have a go at removing the fans. The belt is already off, it's just the one bolt to remove the assembly.

As I mentioned in my original post, I found the pulley was broken when I went to replace the belt that had broken and the tensioner has seized, hence the reason for trying to get the assembly off. It won't move at all.
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:31 pm 
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SWC wrote:
As said above;

You say that the bottom bolt is square with a hex shape inside but an allen key won't fit. Sounds like some smart a*** has put a torx head bolt in there. You see if you can get a closer look, pull out the thermo fans, if it has a diamond or star shape it will be a torx head. You will then need to get a torx bit of correct size to get it out. Replace it with a normal 10mm head bolt.


As above, try that.
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Tensioner Assembly
Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:58 am 
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Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, I just wanted to offer some "definitive" advice on the matter.

I also needed to replace the idler or both (there's no way of knowing which one is squealing until they are taken off), and being a cheapskate I decided to replace only the bearings.

The bearings are 6203-2RS (17*40*12mm), however the plastic pulleys are molded AROUND the bearing so there really isn't a way to replace the bearing in the plastic pulleys without cracking it. Plastic pulleys also wear and get flat spots, so it isn't really a win even if you could manage to change the bearing in one of those. They cost $25-30, but if you buy 10000 from Chyna, then they cost $1.40. I'm not kidding. Pulleys are same but not the same. As in - same size, same bearings, but upper one is ribbed and lower one is flat because it runs on the back of the belt. DON'T MIX THEM UP. Otherwise you will go nuts trying to figure out how the hell to put that mammoth belt back on.

Plastic pulleys made by Gates are part number 38009 for upper (grooved) and 38015 for lower (smooth), but Dayco has a line of STEEL pulleys in which you can replace the bearing (funnily enough $3 cheaper). I pushed them out with a vise using a largish socket to fit the outer ring and a bigger one behind for bearing to fall into. Same way to install the new one. DO NOT USE A HAMMER. Proper way is to use a press, but these are not that tight to need it. A solid vise will do.

The tensioner assembly is held by 3 longish bolts. Remove the one on lower right first BEFORE removing the belt. While the belt is still on, there is enough room to fit a 10mm socket on it, but with belt off, the spring moves the tensioner pulley in the way, so... A small 1/4 drive socket will fit, but I wouldn't put that much force on a small socket. Deep socket is generally thinner and would do it, but I don't have any so I did it like this. Whatever you do, don't try to undo the bolt from an angle or you will round it off, and seeing how it's in a tight spot and goes through the timing cover into the front of the block... Just don't. Refit the same way - lower right bolt first finger tight, then all the rest, then belt back on, then retighten all.

Belt is removed by inserting a 3/8 drive breaker bar into the square recess at the end of tensioner arm, compressing the spring and removing the belt off power steering pump pulley, as already explained. Belt routing is conveniently printed on a sticker on underside of the bonnet.

Hopefully you will remove the fans before you do anything else and gain 4 inches of space. If not I feel sorry for your knuckles, and your radiator.

I hope this clears things up and helps all who need to do this. Seeing how the arrangement is very similar in the last 25 years or so, there won't be any shortage of squeaky pulleys. Have fun!
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