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Old 05-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
carsos
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Hydraulic belt tensioner disaster

I'm in the home stretch of my epic struggle with my cooling system overhaul, which is now stretching into a second day. While I was trying to get the new belts on, I stripped the bolt in the hydraulic tensioner. The DIY said this bolt was T50, but as I have just learned from searching this lovely forum, some are 8mm hex. Most likely mine was 8mm hex, and not knowing that, I used a T50 which stripped it.

TL;DR: Is there another way to get the belt on, if the bolt in the hydraulic tensioner is stripped? I have a belt-less, coolant-less car at the moment so I can't run out and get an extractor kit right now.


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Old 05-19-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
new//M3fan
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It also helps to get some high quality hex bits and torx bits. Most of the ones sold at stores are too soft. I recommend these


http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...Tools/ES11420/

I've used them several times and put over 50 ft-lbs of torque and they don't show any wear at all.

as far as your problem



Remove the top long bolt and try to get the bottom bolt that hold the bottom pivot of the hydraulic cylinder with a 13mm wrench if possible. just be carefull becuase it will snap.
Then take the tensioner assembly off and try to get the allen bolt off with a vice grip. or other methods.
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Last edited by new//M3fan; 05-19-2011 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:03 PM   #3
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I stripped mine and used a small prybar to reinstall the accessory belt. I think I put the accessory belt onto the tensioner pulley and onto everything except one pulley (either water pump or P/S pulley). Then I pushed the tensioner pulley down with a prybar and slipped the belt over the last pulley.

Later I removed the whole oil filter housing, drilled out the middle of the tensioner bolt, removed it with a broken bolt extractor, and put in a new one.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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^
That is the best bet right now. Using a pry bar to leverage the tensioner so you can slip the serpentine belt on.
Just be careful not to crack/chip/damage the plastic pulley when you do.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmersGarage View Post
^
That is the best bet right now. Using a pry bar to leverage the tensioner so you can slip the serpentine belt on.
Just be careful not to crack/chip/damage the plastic pulley when you do.
Well, i did just install a new aluminum water pump pulley, so i guess i'll try the prybar method and hope for the best, heh.

Off topic, but i just moved to dallas two weeks ago. Do you have any recommendations on a good shop indy shop to use?
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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Do NOT leverage against the waterpump/pulley itself when you pry on the tensioner, you will damage the waterpump's bearings/seal.

Welcome to Big D., what part of Dallas? Where from??

Last edited by BimmersGarage; 05-19-2011 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #7
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carrollton, from long island, ny. loving it so far. there are some things i still have to get used to, but overall it's pretty good here.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:24 AM   #8
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Sorry to bring back an old thread. Mine is slowly being stripped so I left it off the car so I can replace it. I want to get the bolt tomorrow and I'm wondering if the dealership is the only place I can get this locally? Or is there a specific size that I can ask any car parts store to find?
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
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Www.realoem.com

Enter your model # and go to ENGINE > BELT DRIVE/WATER PUMP/ALTERNATOR and it'll tell you the screw size
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:16 AM   #10
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Real OEM says it's an "M10X25"....but I fit an 8mm into it to get it out...I'm confused.



Here a pic of the bolt naked with my new pulley being modelled...LOL


I definitely want to get it replaced with something that's not slightly stripped for the future replacement of the pulley.
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Last edited by rovert; 05-30-2013 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:45 AM   #11
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There is no reason I can think of for why you can't use a normal, high grade hex bolt. A socket head cap screw (what you have in the pics) is basically just a bolt with a different tool used to fasten it. There is no other difference in the function of the fastener. If it was inset into a counterbored hole, then it would be a different story (which is the primary reason why these types of fasteners are used).
Considering all of the problems I have read about dealing with these things, I may just replace all of mine with normal Grade 8.8 hex head bolts.

Also, the M10 x 25 description has nothing to do with the size of the hex bit used to remove it. The M10 means it is a Metric 10mm diameter fastener. The 25 means it is 25mm long.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:19 AM   #12
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I would think having the 8.8 hex head bolt would make it much easier since we're always using a bunch of hex sockets anyways to take our cars apart. You're on a roll getting everything apart then run into the hydraulic tensioner and realize you don't have any allen sockets...what a burn! That's exactly what happened to me a few months back...
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:46 AM   #13
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So I went with you wise people's advice and bought an 8.8 HEX bolt from Home Depot.



Equal sizes:




Equal thread:


Installation with this was WAY easier without any chance of slippage:
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:45 PM   #14
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Good choice! I am going to use grade 8.8 hex head bolts to replace as many Torx and socket head cap screws as possible, when I start my major overhaul/rejuvenation project. There are some areas where they are necessary, so I will leave those alone.
I think the manufacturers use them in some places (like the belt drive) to discourage people from doing the work themselves. One other reason they use them is that they work better with automated assembly equipment. And, there are some places where they are necessary. But they use them in a lot of places where they are not needed.
Even though I have all of the proper bits and tools, I still do not like trying to torque these types of fasteners.
I also remember some poor guy who stripped a Torx bolt when he tried to remove his Disa. It turned into a major time consuming mess. I don't remember if he ever got it out.
I'm glad this worked out for you!
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rovert View Post
So I went with you wise people's advice and bought an 8.8 HEX bolt from Home Depot.



Equal sizes:




Equal thread:


Installation with this was WAY easier without any chance of slippage:
I forgot to ask, but what kind of camera/lens are you using? Nice detail shots...
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:27 AM   #16
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Re: Hydraulic belt tensioner disaster

LOL I was lazy and used my Samsung Galaxy S2X mobile phone. l seem to use that camera more and more since it's with me and easily acessible.
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