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Pelican Technical Article:

Drive Belt Tensioner Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

****

Tools:

19mm, socket with ratchet, extension or wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

accessory drive belt, drive belt tensioner

Hot Tip:

Spray threaded connections with penetrating oil to lubricate as you loosen.

Performance Gain:

Stop squeaking noises and prevent failure and broken drive belt

Complementary Modification:

Change accessory driver belt

Modern serpentine belts are usually a pretty good idea. You don't have to change three belts and the one that really has to be changed is always the inside belt which means you have to remove the other two anyway. They also have multiple ribs so they have a lot of surface area to grip pulleys. This prevents squealing when alternators and pumps are under heavy load. One problem is when the belt breaks or slips off due to a broken pulley you will lose drive to your AC compressor, power steering pump, alternator and worst of all, your coolant pump. This can leave you stranded. If you hear a squealing from a pulley that means the bearing is getting ready to fail and it should be replaced. Also, if your tensioner is weak it will not keep the belt tight and allow the belt to slip over all the pulleys it drives. These inexpensive parts can cause overheating, low charging, still power steering and low AC output. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to replace the tensioner.

In order to remove your tensioner you will have to remove your accessory drive belt. See our tech article on removing the accessory drive belt. You do not have to remove the cooling fan and shroud to do this job but it does make it much easier for you to access the tensioners. We have done so for photographic purposes. See our tech article on removing the cooling fan and shroud.

Remove the cooling fan and shroud if you want more room to access the pulleys and tensioners.
Figure 1

Remove the cooling fan and shroud if you want more room to access the pulleys and tensioners. See our tech article on removing the cooling fan and shroud.

This photo illustrates the front of the motor.
Figure 2

This photo illustrates the front of the motor. Locate the belt tensioner (green arrow). You will have to release tension on the tensioner and remove the belt.

Remove accessory drive belt.
Figure 3

Remove accessory drive belt. See our tech article on removing accessory drive belt.

Remove the already loosened 19mm tensioner fastener from the tensioner.
Figure 4

Remove the already loosened 19mm tensioner fastener from the tensioner. The tensioner will fall away from the engine so be prepared to catch it.

Notice the
Figure 5

Notice the "D" slot in the tensioner linkage (red arrow) and how the "D" groove of the tensioner fits into it for reinstallation. As the tensioner adjustment linkage is threaded up and down the "D" slot moves up and down and twists the tensioner to loosen or tighten the belt. You have to make sure the "D" groove in the tensioner fits into the "D" slot of the adjustment linkage. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the tensioner in the "D" slot of the adjustment linkage and hold it in place on the engine. Install the tensioner mounting fastener but do not tighten all the way. Install the accessory drive belt. Using the adjustment linkage adjust the tension on the belt. See our tech article on accessory driver belt removal for installation procedures. Now tighten the tensioner mounting bolt. Install the cooling fan and shroud.

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