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BMW E39 Tensioners and Pulleys Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Tensioners and Pulleys Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

13mm socket w/ratchet or wrench, small thin pick,

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1999-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

AC Belt, AC tensioner, drive belt, drive belt tensioner

Hot Tip:

Remove the mechanical cooling fan and shroud for more room to work

Performance Gain:

Replace cracked belts, stop squeaking belts

Complementary Modification:

Replace the belts when you replace pulleys and tensioners

The job of a tensioner is to maintain tension on the belt while the engine crank pulley spins the belt. The job of an idler pulley is to shape the path of the belt so it is wrapped around pulleys it has to drive and therefore offers more grip. If your tensioner gets weak it allows the belt to slip on the driven pulley and causes it to squeak. If a idler pulley goes bad the bearing inside can fail. This will also cause a squeaking noise until the bearing totally fails and comes apart. In this tech article we will go over all the steps required to replace your tensioners and idler pulleys.

In order to remove the tensioners and idler pulleys you have to remove the drive belts first. See our tech article on replacing drive belts.

AC and Drive Belt Tensioner Removal Six Cylinder:

On the six cylinder engine the AC belt is the forward most belt and the accessory drive belt is behind it. On the eight cylinder it is the opposite. The accessory drive belt is the forward belt and the AC belt is behind it.

This is the accessory belt drives of a six cylinder engine.
Figure 1

This is the accessory belt drives of a six cylinder engine. Notice the AC belt (green arrow) is running off the front of the crankshaft pulley and the accessory drive belt (yellow arrow) is running off the backside of the crankshaft pulley.

Working off the AC belt; identify the AC belt tensioner (green arrow).
Figure 2

Working off the AC belt; identify the AC belt tensioner (green arrow).

Use a 16mm wrench or socket w/ratchet to rotate the tensioner in the opposite direction and line up the locking tabs.
Figure 3

Use a 16mm wrench or socket w/ratchet to rotate the tensioner in the opposite direction and line up the locking tabs. Put a thin pick in the locking tabs in the direction of the blue arrow to hold the tensioner in place.

Remove the 13mm tensioner lower mounting bolt (green arrow).
Figure 4

Remove the 13mm tensioner lower mounting bolt (green arrow).

Remove the 13mm tensioner upper mounting bolt (green arrow).
Figure 5

Remove the 13mm tensioner upper mounting bolt (green arrow). You need to have the tensioner locked with the locking tabs to have straight access to this bolt.

Pull the tensioner off in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 6

Pull the tensioner off in the direction of the blue arrow.

Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. With the locking tab locked position the tensioner in place and tighten the two mounting bolts. Position the belt and remove the locking tab pick to release the tensioner.

Working at the driver side accessory drive belt remove the 13mm mounting bolt for the idler pulley.
Figure 7

Working at the driver side accessory drive belt remove the 13mm mounting bolt for the idler pulley.

Pull the pulley and mounting bolt out in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 8

Pull the pulley and mounting bolt out in the direction of the blue arrow.

If you only want to replace the pulley use a T45 Torx socket to remove the tensioner pulley and pull the pulley off the tensioner.
Figure 9

If you only want to replace the pulley use a T45 Torx socket to remove the tensioner pulley and pull the pulley off the tensioner.

If you want to remove the whole tensioner remove the two 13mm bolts (green arrows) that mount the tensioner to the engine block.
Figure 10

If you want to remove the whole tensioner remove the two 13mm bolts (green arrows) that mount the tensioner to the engine block. You do not have to lock the tensioner in place to access the mounting bolts.

Remove the tensioner in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 11

Remove the tensioner in the direction of the blue arrow.

Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Fit the tensioner in place and tighten the two mounting bolts. Install and tighten the idler pulley mounting bolt. Install the belt according to our tech article on drive belt removal.

AC and Drive Belt Tensioner Removal Eight Cylinder:
AC and Drive Belt Tensioner Removal Eight Cylinder - Working at the front of the eight cylinder engine identify the three drive belt pulleys (green arrows) and the two tensioner devices (yellow arrows).
Figure 12

Working at the front of the eight cylinder engine identify the three drive belt pulleys (green arrows) and the two tensioner devices (yellow arrows).

With a flat head screwdriver lever off the pulley covers of the pulley you want to replace.
Figure 13

With a flat head screwdriver lever off the pulley covers of the pulley you want to replace.

Remove the 13mm pivot bolt of the accessory drive belt tensioner.
Figure 14

Remove the 13mm pivot bolt of the accessory drive belt tensioner.

Remove the 13mm locknut on the accessory drive belt tensioner.
Figure 15

Remove the 13mm locknut on the accessory drive belt tensioner.

If you want to change the tensioner pulley only remove the 13mm bolt that secures it to the floating tensioner.
Figure 17

If you want to change the tensioner pulley only remove the 13mm bolt that secures it to the floating tensioner.

Pull the tensioner assembly away and remove the two 13mm nuts that mount the tensioner element to the assembly.
Figure 18

Pull the tensioner assembly away and remove the two 13mm nuts that mount the tensioner element to the assembly.

Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the tensioner to the assembly and then install the three mounting bolts. Fit the pulley if you removed it and tight the mounting bolt. Set the tension on the belt according to our tech article on belt removal.

If you only want to replace the tensioner pulley for the AC belt remove the 13mm bolt that mount it to the tensioner.
Figure 19

If you only want to replace the tensioner pulley for the AC belt remove the 13mm bolt that mount it to the tensioner.

Here we are showing the belt on the car but you should have removed the belt already.
Figure 20

Here we are showing the belt on the car but you should have removed the belt already. Remove the upper tensioner mounting bolt.

Remove the lower tensioner mounting nut and pull the tensioner off of its support bracket.
Figure 21

Remove the lower tensioner mounting nut and pull the tensioner off of its support bracket.

Installation is the reverse of the removal procedures. Fit the tensioner and tighten both the mounting nut and bolt. If you removed the pulley install and tighten the mounting bolt as well. Install the belt according to our tech article on belt removal.


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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:37:39 AM