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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Belt Tensioner

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

16mm wrench, 13mm socket and driver, 3mm Allen

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New belt tensioner and V-belt

Hot Tip:

Mark the belts direction if reusing

Performance Gain:

Wont leave you stranded at the side of the road
Let the car cool so you don't have to work around a hot engine.
Figure 1

Let the car cool so you don't have to work around a hot engine. The belt is located on the right side of the engine. Looking down on it you will be able to see the belt tensioner (red arrow) as well as the alternator (yellow arrow) and A/C compressor (green arrow).

You will need to take the tension off of the tensioner to change belts.
Figure 2

You will need to take the tension off of the tensioner to change belts. The tensioner has a "nub" on the top outer portion. You can place a 16 mm wrench (yellow arrow) on this and turn it clockwise. Make sure you mark the direction of the belt before you remove it if you are going to reuse it (red arrow).

Turn the tensioner all the way clockwise and insert a retaining pin between the rotating part and the tensioner base through the locking (red arrows).
Figure 3

Turn the tensioner all the way clockwise and insert a retaining pin between the rotating part and the tensioner base through the locking (red arrows). If you do not have a retaining pin you can use a 3mm Allen key.

The ribbed belt is ribbed on the inside (red arrow).
Figure 4

The ribbed belt is ribbed on the inside (red arrow). If you are reinstalling the belt make sure you mark which direction it was running in before removal and that you do not turn the belt inside out.

With the belt removed you can remove the tensioner.
Figure 5

With the belt removed you can remove the tensioner. There are three 13mm bolts (red arrows) holding it to the engine. One of the bolts is hidden below the tensioner. The yellow arrow is the alternator bolt.

After removing the three bolts you can remove the tensioner from the engine.
Figure 6

After removing the three bolts you can remove the tensioner from the engine.

This photo illustrates the location of the holes (red arrows) in the tensioner bracket.
Figure 7

This photo illustrates the location of the holes (red arrows) in the tensioner bracket. The new tensioner should arrive pretensioned.

ThisPicture illustrates the routing of the belt.
Figure 8

ThisPicture illustrates the routing of the belt. Installation is the reverse of removal. Make sure the belt is properly seated on all the pulleys and that it follows the right path. If you are reinstalling the old belt make sure you mark which direction it was running in before removal and that you do not turn the belt inside out.

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Comments and Suggestions:
TheGlen1972 Comments: It's easier to remove your 3mm allen key with the tensioner still attached to the engine.
January 4, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Fritz Comments: I see you note to double-check the direction of the tensioner belt, if re-using it. Why is this?
I'm having trouble with an intermittent grumbling after a shop replaced my AC compressor, so I've taken it off a couple of times to play with the tensioner but didn't note the facing direction.
September 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: To keep the wear on the belt the same once reinstalled. The noise could be a faulty tensioner bearing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Thu 9/21/2017 02:41:43 AM