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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:33 PM   #1
Mango
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Post Definitive tensioner pulley guide for M5X and S54 (Which tensioner pulleys you need)

This thread will help you decide what pulleys you have and what to buy based on the setup of your particular car.

Begin!

Your M5X and S54 engines have three belt-driven tensioner pulleys. The role of the tensioner is either to provide belt-spacing/traction and to quell crankshaft vibrations due to irregular accelerations from the crankshaft. This is done to prolong the life of belt-driven accessories and likely to quiet engine operation.

When should you replace your pulleys?

If your pulleys are original: replace them.

If you don't know how old they are: replace them.

If they are noisy or have excess play: replace them.


If they have 60,000 or more miles: replace them.


This is a crude diagram of the front of an M5X engine:



(Other engines such as the S50/S52 and S54 are same/similar. Even some Mercedes/Volvo engines use identical belt routing.)

Pulley 1: Alternator deflector pulley AKA idler pulley. There is only ONE part number that all E46s share (E36 S50 and S52 as well). There are some rare instances where some people have reported their car doesn't have this pulley. Always check before you buy!!

Notice the big nub sticking out of it:



BMW part number: 11287841228

Pulley 2: Main tensioner pulley. Your non-M E46 could have either a hydraulic tensioner or mechanical tensioner.

Look at your engine bay with a flash light and/or feel around the tensioner.

If you have this hydraulic tensioner:



You need:



BMW part number: 11281748131


If you have this mechanical ROUND tensioner with HEX-shaped NUT sticking out of it like this:



You need the following: Dayco 89133 purchased at either Amazon.com or your local Autozone. It may be under a different part number or name, but if you ask for an a/c tensioner for your E46, it will be the correct part.

This is how the Mechanical Tensioner Dayco 89133 pulley looks:





Pulley 3: A/C pulley.

If your A/C pulley uses a MECHANICAL tensioner as well, you'll again use the Dayco 89133 pulley:



This is the pulley all the way at the bottom. It's usually mechanical (haven't seen a hydraulic setup yet on the E46.) Just check yours to make sure by feeling with your hands or using a flashlight.

Remember: if the tensioner is round and has a hex-shaped nut sticking out of it, it's mechanical and you NEED the Dayco pulley.

If it's 3 inches long and straight, it's hydraulic and you need the hydraulic pulley: 11281748131 .

Both types of tensioners use different pulleys.

Install tips:

If mechanical, you can use a 16mm or 5/8" socket turned clockwise to ease tension on the tensioner for purposes of removing the belt. Use an extension on your ratchet for extra leverage. Safely remove belt. Then insert appropriate torx or allen-head socket into actual tensioner bolt and turn counter-clockwise to remove bolt that holds the tensioner in.

If hydraulic, you use the bolt that goes through the tensioner to both relieve tension and remove the pulley.

BONUS:

If you want to change the ACTUAL tensioners themselves:

Hydraulic:



OEM/Ruville. BMW part number: 68006019354

Mechanical:



OEM/Ina. BMW part number: 68106035048

Common E46 setups: One alternator deflector pulley aka idler pulley, one hydraulic pulley for the main belt, one mechanical pulley for the a/c. (That's how my setup is on my 2002 330i)

Another setup I've seen is: One alternator deflector pulley aka idler pulley, and TWO mechanical pulleys (aka Dayco 89133 pulley) I've seen this on a 2004 330ci.

Your particular setup may vary!

If this has helped you, click on the star-rating at the top of the thread and rate it!
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Last edited by Mango; 03-07-2013 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Auto-save 1362682865
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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Good thread as I need to do mine some time. Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:17 PM   #3
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Very good write-up
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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I added more info at the bottom for actual tensioner replacement (aside from pulleys)
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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What colors do they come in? Can I get them in green?
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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Thanks Mango, I was in the process of trying to figure out what parts I needed and what each pulley was. Good timing for me. This goes a long way.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
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Good job, sir.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
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great write-up

* it also might be a good idea to replace the hydraulic tensioner pully bolt as well. mine started to strip after a while.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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where was this thread two months ago when I was trying to figure out what i needed for the first time.

Thanks Mango, good info that I'm sure i'll reference again in a few years.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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Awesome Guide!

Perhaps add: aka "idler pulley" on the alternator deflector pulley as most here refer to it as such.

Also torque values for each item where it applies, would be awesome.

Thanks again for your contributions buddy quality work as usual.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:03 PM   #11
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Does everyone see the irony that when we do DIY's for our own, they seemingly always exceed the instructions put forth in TIS or Bentley, or even the bavauto youtube variety? We do better pictures and more detailed instructions, and add all the possible mistakes that others have made before in order to add real world experience to the mix. Our home brew advice is the best.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:13 PM   #12
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I did find the online version of the Bentley and find it hard going, only half the page used (due to pictures) still B/W and some text missing from the extreme right, also the hard copy expensive in the U.K
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:22 AM   #13
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Stupid dealer told me there was no replacement pully for the AC pulley, ended up doing the tensioner to get the pulley. Thank you for the part number, will use in the future. Again, thanks for your comprehensive work providing those of us that are as nutty as you the part numbers to do the job correctly the first time.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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In defense of the dealer, BMW does not supply the pulley separately, so if you were the dealer, it would be off limits to go off the ranch to purchase aftermarket parts. The dealer pledges to maintain your vehicle with only genuine BMW parts, and many would accuse them of all sorts of things if they started off the slippery slope of aftermarket parts. Next on the slope would be Chinese parts.
Personally I'd choose to keep the dealer doing just what they do.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:00 AM   #15
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Add Uro Aluminum Water Pump Pulley

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Old 03-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #16
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Thumbs up to an Al WP pulley!
But I'd avoid anything from URO. Has shown to be unreliable parts in many instances. Why take the chance where they have demonstrated low quality control standards?
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:26 AM   #17
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So I assume the Dayco 89113 will replace the pulley on this tensioner as well that is on my '05 330i?
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #18
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Yes, tommy d.

As far as adding water pump pulley, no. this is just the tensioner pulleys. i'll modify the thread title.

Also i want you all to notice the "haters" downrating this thread. I think they're mad

Why on earth would you rate a helpful thread 1-star? If you think you can do better, step up. this thread is to help people. apparently, you aren't. you know who you are. If this has been helpful, please rate it 5 stars. The stars doesn't matter to me, but i'd want to counter any moves by hateful/jealous people.

Moving on
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:58 AM   #19
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I'm sorry, they're five-pointed stars, Mang...can't go near them!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Yes, tommy d.

As far as adding water pump pulley, no. this is just the tensioner pulleys. i'll modify the thread title.

Also i want you all to notice the "haters" downrating this thread. I think they're mad

Why on earth would you rate a helpful thread 1-star? If you think you can do better, step up. this thread is to help people. apparently, you aren't. you know who you are. If this has been helpful, please rate it 5 stars. The stars doesn't matter to me, but i'd want to counter any moves by hateful/jealous people.

Moving on
Yeah, I noticed that, too. Fairly lame.
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