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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY-Replacing N52 tensioner, idler pulley and serpentine belt



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TwinT1addict's Avatar DIY-Replacing N52 tensioner, idler pulley and serpentine belt
TwinT1addict
12-24-2011
Welcome everyone. As you may know i have up in the general section about changing my belt tensioner, belt and idler pulley. I completed this job successfully and will do the best i can to write my first DIY to replace the tensioner, serpentine belt and idler pulley...
  #110  
By AlanAZ on 09-28-2013, 11:39 AM
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Less than 1 hour if you have the correct tools discussed in this thread, and the head of the tensioner pulley bolt is not broken off.

1. For tensioner, you do not need a security/tamper t60 bit with the hole cutout in the tip, regular t60 is ok.
2. Does it matter if the t60 bit is a two piece design? Probably not, so long as it's strong enough.
3. When routing/reinstalling the new belt, can the entire install all be done from the top of the engine, or do you need to also raise the car, and remove the under tray to have access from underneath? On N52, all can be done from above.
Last edited by AlanAZ; 09-28-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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  #111  
By pepsih on 10-18-2013, 02:44 PM
anyone know the torque specs for the n54?
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  #112  
By Barrique_Red on 01-15-2014, 08:50 AM
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Planning to do this DIY today. I purchased an original BMW tensioner and BMW belt. The following two pics show that the tensioner is made by INA and the belt is made (in Romania) by Contitech (Continental?).



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  #113  
By Barrique_Red on 01-15-2014, 02:25 PM
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A few pictures from the job of replacing the tensioner/belt/idler on my 2006 325xi today.

Handy Tools:


Screw locations for air inlet:










Close-up of tensioner and idler showing the bolt and socket for releasing tension:


Using a long handle wrench to release the tension. Lift in a clock-wise direction.


New tensioner with pin to hold the spring in place during shipping:


Install/Remove the tensioner bolt:


Remove the cap from the Idler, and use a 16mm socket to remove the bolt.


After installing the new belt, remember to release the tension and remove the pin that came from the factory.


I noticed my new Idler came with a stronger bolt than the original I removed:
Last edited by Barrique_Red; 01-15-2014 at 02:31 PM.
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  #114  
By 09E90utah on 01-22-2014, 03:24 PM
Could you provide the torque specs on the idler and tensioner? Since the tensioner is aluminum, I'd hate to over tighten.
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  #115  
By spencers on 01-25-2014, 02:36 PM
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Thanks for the easy instructions! Knocked this out in 15 minutes flat.

Half-way in I realized I didn't have a T60; luckily a T55 worked just fine to release the tensioner.
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  #116  
By xcyx on 01-26-2014, 11:45 AM
What do you look for to know that you have to replace all of these? does it strt making noise or something?
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  #117  
By Spy021 on 01-26-2014, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcyx View Post
What do you look for to know that you have to replace all of these? does it strt making noise or something?
I can't speak for everyone, but for me I noticed the serpentine belt was riding off the roller about a 1/4 inch. From what I'm told the tensioner somehow warped? Anyhow, I replaced that and since I already had it apart I went ahead and changed the idler pulley as well since it wasn't too expensive and sitting right there.
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  #118  
By Barrique_Red on 01-26-2014, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcyx View Post
What do you look for to know that you have to replace all of these? does it strt making noise or something?
My odometer turned 80,000 miles. I figured, why not?!?
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  #119  
By spencers on 01-27-2014, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcyx View Post
What do you look for to know that you have to replace all of these? does it strt making noise or something?
Noise on cold start. Also take the belt off and spin the pulleys. If they keep spinning for a while, it's probably time to replace.
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  #120  
By xcyx on 01-28-2014, 12:46 AM
Does it say somewhere when it should be replaced? is 80km the limit when it should be replaced? this is not the same belt where ppl say if it snaps your pistons go through the roof is it? i was told e92 has a chain..
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  #121  
By Barrique_Red on 01-28-2014, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcyx View Post
Does it say somewhere when it should be replaced? is 80km the limit when it should be replaced? this is not the same belt where ppl say if it snaps your pistons go through the roof is it? i was told e92 has a chain..
This is the accessory belt. A/C, Power Steering, Alternator.

The N52 engine has a timing chain that handles the valve timing. Other (Japanese) cars I've owned in the past have a timing belt, which I think is what you are referring to.

As I recall, the Bentley manual says to replace the accessory belt on the N52 engine every four years. I don't recall there being any mention of a replacement interval for the tensioner and idler pulley themselves. I could be (am probably) wrong though.

I did mine at 80,000 miles (not km), figuring it should now last until my odometer says 160,000 miles. That's another 7 or 8 years, and I am sure to be replacing a lot more in that time.
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  #122  
By ska///235i on 01-28-2014, 12:35 PM
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It preventive maintenance and its cheap/easy fix...just do it
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  #123  
By xcyx on 01-28-2014, 03:54 PM
Thanks guys for all the info! esp clairfying the difference between the accessory belt and timing chain. I will definitly change it, im at 120km and it has never been changed.
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  #124  
By cxc511 on 03-08-2014, 03:23 PM
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I have been doing some research after hearing a sound coming from my engine that occurs during cold starts, which brought me to this thread. Was anyone dealing with a similar issue before replacing their tensioner, idler pulley, and belt?

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  #125  
By Spy021 on 03-08-2014, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cxc511 View Post
I have been doing some research after hearing a sound coming from my engine that occurs during cold starts, which brought me to this thread. Was anyone dealing with a similar issue before replacing their tensioner, idler pulley, and belt?

Yep, this is exactly what I experienced that led me to discover these parts needed replacement.
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  #126  
By cxc511 on 04-12-2014, 07:50 AM
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Just wanted to say a quick thanks to the contributors to this thread, as the forum continues to be a great resource as I encounter issues with my car. I was able to order essentially OEM parts from RM European for $109 shipped and take care of this problem vs what what probably amounted to a $400 visit to the dealer. BTW, the INA tensioner assembly included a bolt so I probably didn't need to order one separately. Also, I hope the video I added is useful to others who may have this issue.
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  #127  
By TwinT1addict on 04-17-2014, 09:02 PM
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What's up fellas seams like this DIY was helpful to you guys. Keep the info coming.
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  #128  
By sumedonkey on 04-22-2014, 12:16 AM
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Thanks for sharing! Did this over the weekend and it was very straightforward. FYI, you can use a 11mm socket for the tensioner bolt. Also, I ordered my kit from Tischer and the PN for tensioner was different.
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  #129  
By The English Hacker on 04-24-2014, 07:05 AM
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First off, thanks to the OP and all contributors. I'll be doing this job in the next week or so. I have all parts. If I have anything new to add I'll take a few photos.

Is there any consensus on the pulley torque specs? Some good points have been raised in this thread. I think my digital torque adaptor may be able to measure the torque of the existing bolt.
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  #130  
By The English Hacker on 04-27-2014, 07:45 AM
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Did it today. Quite easy thanks to the instructions here. No opportunity to check the pulley torque because my digital adaptor's battery was dead. However, I erred on the side of the lower number as the original wasn't particularly tight.

I stuck a small screwdriver in the old tensioner to keep it open but then forgot to remove it before disconnecting it from the block. Left it to the side while I dealt with something else. Came by 30 mins later and the screwdriver was snapped in half and the tensioner had broken apart. It couldn't take the stress of being compressed for so long.
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  #131  
By e70sportmia on 06-03-2014, 10:13 AM
What's up fellas!

Does anyone have a good place to get the parts, at a good price? I checked FCP Euro and they have it for $119 shipped. Any cheaper places???

Thanks,

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...t-kit-adk0022p
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