How do I adjust my belt tensioner?

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I need to put in a new serpentine belt tensioner, and to increase/decrease tension in the belt the arm with a pulley rotates. When it is bolted up it can't rotate much at all, and from the looks of it, the arm should be able to rotate from the base. I know that there's a trick to making it rotate, oterwise it would just lose all tension when driving. Here's a few crappy pics of it.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/giant016/Tensioner2.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/giant016/Tensioner1.jpg

posted by  giant016

Thanks for the help, finally got around to putting it in today. There was nothing to use as a fulcrum to get leverage from if I used a breaker bar. I ended up tying some fishing line to the bottom of the pulley, and the other end to a come-along that was attached to a tree. It took a few cranks to move the thing, way more than the 30-40ft lbs you needed.

posted by  giant016

I have never in my life found a belt tensioner that required a come-along attached to a tree to release. I can ALWAYS do it with the appropriate tool, and I'm no Charles Atlas.


http://research.umbc.edu/~lindenme/manuscript/1930s_Illustrations/Charles_A tlas.jpg

I wonder what you broke. :doh:

posted by  vwhobo

If I had something in the engine bay to lean a bar up against to move it I could have used a breaker bar or crowbar, but there was nothing. I couldn't get a decent angle at it to grab it and pull either. I agree that it took way more power to move it that it should have, but I think this is one of my few repairs that I completed without breaking anything.

I broke the tensioner when I replaced my alternator.:orglaugh:

posted by  giant016

that's what the big square hole in the end is for... you stick the end f a ratchet or breaker bar in there and push... it's really easy...:banghead:

posted by  dodger65

I understand how it is supposed to be done, but given the ergonomics (I think that's the right word) in this particular situation, that just wasn't going to happen.

posted by  giant016

what kind of car are we talking about? what motor?

posted by  dodger65

1999 Alero, 3.4 liter. It was really stiff and there wasn't much room. If a ratchet was placed in the hole on the pulley and held striaight up, that'd be 90 degrees. I don't recall what was in the way, but there was something blocking me from moving the breaker bar, the most I could angle it was maybe 70 degrees, and there's no way that I could get enough leverage to move that thing at 70 degrees. I'm guessing a real mechanic would have put it on a lift and gotten it from the bottom as the tensioner attaches kind of low to the block in this case.

posted by  giant016

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