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      12-29-2014, 02:32 PM   #1
thecadman99
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Replacing Tensioner- Pulley only?

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I recently replaced my main drive belt, and now I'd like to replace the belt tensioner and idler pulley.

I'm concerned about getting quality tensioner (the prices are all over the place) , and actually considering just leaving on the OEM tensioner and changing out the two pulleys only.


Anyone have suggestions/experience?
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      12-29-2014, 04:38 PM   #2
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it's better to replace whole tensioner to OEM one. Not that expensive.
As far as I remember , there is no way you can replace just pulley for tensioner.
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      12-29-2014, 05:02 PM   #3
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How many miles are on the car? I think the recommended replacement interval is 60k miles but you should be fine to go to 100k. Get the OEM tensioner assembly. It comes with the pulley and the bolt. It isn't much more expensive than aftermarket.
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      12-29-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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I got a INA one, it looks exactly the same as the part it replaced and works just as good.
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      12-30-2014, 08:58 AM   #5
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Get the whole tensioner. Buy from ecs or pelican.
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      12-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
redline2001
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The OEM assembly is no more than $200
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      12-30-2014, 12:46 PM   #7
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if it works and not making noises just change your belt. sure its "recommended" but alot of things are. sure if youre already in there and feel like changing it why not but dont have to.
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      12-30-2014, 11:44 PM   #8
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I replaced mine at 98k miles as "preventive maintenance", and I discovered that all the roller bearings where indeed shot while performing the "preventive" maintenance.
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      12-30-2014, 11:49 PM   #9
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Agreed buy the OEM one. Normally i call the dealership, get the part number, then amazon it. Because...well... I'm cheap!

Or just type in the part number in google and see who has the best prices.
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      12-30-2014, 11:49 PM   #10
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Last week.
I did belt, tensioner, and both upper and lower pulleys.

Belt 40
Tensioners 105
Pulleys 44 each.

All 100% OEM BMW label on each packaging.

DN
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      12-31-2014, 07:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNemesis View Post
Last week.
I did belt, tensioner, and both upper and lower pulleys.

Belt 40
Tensioners 105
Pulleys 44 each.

All 100% OEM BMW label on each packaging.

DN
how would you rate the difficulty of that job?
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      12-31-2014, 07:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNemesis View Post
Last week.
I did belt, tensioner, and both upper and lower pulleys.
DN - did you use a DIY? I need to tackle this.
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      12-31-2014, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGEE View Post
DN - did you use a DIY? I need to tackle this.
Pic heavy DIY comming today for you bro.
Lol
Keep in mind, I had to do the OFHG also, so removed a lot of shit including the Rad fan.

Get these Torx ready.
T20
T25
T50
T60
Flat head.

DN
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      12-31-2014, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underground6t9 View Post
how would you rate the difficulty of that job?
That's a difficult question.
I had to do the OFHG also so I removed a lot if shit including rad fan and filter box, drained coolant...and removed all connection from coolant pipe that goes from rad to OFH.

Now after giving myself this room, its not bad at all.

But to get the belt out and back in without removing rad fan...ohhh shit.
Hope you have skinny arms and hands.

DN
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      12-31-2014, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNemesis View Post
Pic heavy DIY comming today for you bro...
Sweet!
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      01-02-2015, 06:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNemesis View Post
That's a difficult question.
I had to do the OFHG also so I removed a lot if shit including rad fan and filter box, drained coolant...and removed all connection from coolant pipe that goes from rad to OFH.

Now after giving myself this room, its not bad at all.

But to get the belt out and back in without removing rad fan...ohhh shit.
Hope you have skinny arms and hands.

DN
Thanks, Yeah i took a good look at it, I think ill just have a skop do the work.
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      01-04-2015, 04:44 AM   #17
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For me too, INA tensioner looks exactly like the original when I had changed them, it probably is the OEM provider.

Contitech belt also looks like the OEM provider for the belt.

I suggest take a picture, or make a drawing of the belt before removing, helps with figuring out how it goes back on.

First time it was difficult for me to get the belt in, but with experience it is now easy and I don't have small hands or arms. I am able to do it without radiator out.

My suggestion is to start putting the the loop on the A/C compressor, then crankshaft and etc and try not to leave any slack on them, then get to the compressed tensioner, when placing the belt on. Pay attention of course that the grooves on the pulleys are seated correctly on the belt's grooves.

The pin that holds the tensioner compressed for assembly helps, after all done needs to be pulled out with a pair of pliers.

A big wrench or breaker bar makes it easy to compress the tensioner spring along with the torx socket.

If you guys decide to take out the radiator, when placing it back make sure the tabs at the bottom of the radiator seat into their places in the radiator cariar by checking from underside. Also there is a locking tab on the engine side that needs to be pressed to get it out, and needs some attention to make sure radiator slides in correctly and locks in there.

I would rate the pulley and belt replacement an easy job. If you had done in any car before, it is even easier.
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      01-04-2015, 05:15 AM   #18
DarkNemesis
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Not Radiator Removal.
Just Rad Fan.

Sorry for not posting DIY on New Years Eve.
Friend had his appartment flooded. He broke a fire sprinkler in the closet and it flooded about 3 neighboring units and his and common area hallway.
Fire dept had to shut it off with some special tool.
He just moved out with his family to a hotel after insurance OKed it.

DN
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      01-04-2015, 05:50 AM   #19
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I'm at 272,000 miles on my original tensioner and pulleys. I have, however, replaced the belt twice at 100,000 mile increments. If that makes a difference in your decision. I think tensioner failure is over blown. Plus if the pulley fails it will start to make noise. If it spins very freely and sounds "grainy", then the bearing is going on it. New pulleys are very tight-spinning.

Also, I think you can just change out the pulley if you want, but it's only because I "discovered" that you could. My Wife has a 1997 Z3 M44 1.9L. The tensioner went on her engine a few years ago, so I replaced the tensioner and idler pulley. On the M44 you can just buy the idler pulley, which is the same as the pulley on the M44 tensioner. The M44 idler pulley also looks to be the exact same pulley that comes on the N52 tensioner. I was replacing my drive belt the same weekend I did the M44 tensioner, which is why I noticed both pulleys looked the same. I've not verified this by actual P/N on the pulleys themselves because I've never touched my N52 tensioner, but visually they look to be exactly the same; same diameter and same ribbing (spokes). The M44 pulley is P/N 11281748131 and is about $45. Now that said the purpose of replacing the entire tensioner is to get a new tensioner spring.
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      01-04-2015, 01:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
If that makes a difference in your decision. I think tensioner failure is over blown.
I think the tensioner itself could last the "lifetime" of the car easily. The problem is the bearing on the pulley that's attached to it does wear approx every 100k miles, and is not sold as a separate item. Maybe your finding on the M44 idler pulley can come handy later.
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      01-04-2015, 06:39 PM   #21
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The radiator fan comes out in about one minute. After removing the air intake you just remove the electrical connector, one torx screw then pull it straight up. Once you do that, there is all kinds of room. There are few easier jobs than the tensioner, pulleys and belts. Like DarkNemisis said, you will need a T60. I wasn't able to find T60 in a set or hardware store. I picked on up from my local Snap-On dealer.
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      01-04-2015, 09:53 PM   #22
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Wow, thanks for the posts all.

I'm sure I'm getting bearing noise from my pulleys, not sure if its the idler or tensioner.

I was scared of getting a "knockoff" tensioner, and thought I would just replace the pulleys (or even the bearings) with OEM.

I just went ahead and bough the OEM kit with tensioner, idler, and bolt kit.

I suppose its due since my 330 is nearing 150k!

Also getting ready to install my second thermostat... dread that
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