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Old 08-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #21
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I know I've had this discussion before...

Oh yes...
Hydraulic tensioner thread

And from when I'd just finished changing my belts before posting in that thread, yes, you'll have to look as it doesn't appear this is a hard and fast rule on which bolt was used.

T-50 or 8mm hex...

You'll have to look to see if the bolt is 8mm or T-50 torx. My 03 vert had an 8mm hex bolt, my 00 wagon had a T-50. I ordered another bolt based on part # from realoem for my vert and it came as a T-50.

I don't see any real advantage to either as long as you use the right tool for detensioning.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
That indeed is a torx fastner, however, it was only used on the AC belt tensioner pulley and not on the serpentine belt tension pulley. If you have a torx bolt on the serpentine belt tension pulley, not sure how it got there. At any rate, torx or allen, to remove tension to remove the belt is turning CLOCKWISE.

As mentioned, bmw seemed to use both. Both mine are t-50s...I swear! But again, over the years, many of our cars might have HD bolts in there now.

OP, I use my 14" 1/2" breaker bar to detension and it works great. If you're using a shorter handle, I could see it giving you a workout.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #23
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dmax, as a couple others have stated, it seems some serpentine belt tension pulleys used the T50 instead of the 8 mm hex, running change, or BMW just took what they were supplied with? The spec was for both the AC and the Serpentine belt tension pulleys to use 8 mm hex. On my '03 325xi, the AC tension pulley bolt is T50 and the Serpentine belt tension pulley 8mm, same on my '03 330xi Sport. Go figure! At any rate, a good quality 8mm hex or T50 socket is a must!!! I use a 18 inch long, 1/2 inch drive breaker bar with 3/8 inch adapter (my T50 and 8mm are 3/8th drive sockets) to put the new belts on because you have both better leverage and control. I only use a normal 3/8 inch ratchet to remove the worn belts because you don't have to move the tension pulleys as far. The replacement bolt should be available should one be needed, what you will get, T50 or 8 mm hex, not sure, but as long as the threads are correct and the length, doesn't matter.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:52 PM   #24
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I'll repeat that a quality t50 or 8mm is a very good idea. Don't get stuck on a 5 minute job using a cheap sockey
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