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General E46 Forum
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Old Yesterday, 08:25 PM   #1
KW Denver
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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My Ride: 2003 330i
Serpentine belt help!!

Ok guys,

I've done something wrong, but i can't figure out what. I have an 2003 330i, it had a hydraulic tensioner on it when I bought it. The hydraulic part had worn out enough to slip off the post on the lower side. I removed the assembly and bought a new one. That is the only part I am replacing (this time). when I compress the tensioner completely, the belt is still an inch short of fitting back on. I have removed and re-installed the assembly multiple times; it fits on easy, everything lines up.

1) The belt hasn't changed.
2) I didn't remove the water pump or alternator.
3) The new assembly is the same size as the old one.
4) I have check the belt routing from multiple websites. All routing the same way I have it.

Is it possible the previous owner changed from a mechanical to a hydraulic tensioner and did something wrong (is there a different belt length)?

What am I missing?
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Old Yesterday, 08:29 PM   #2
BMWCaptain
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Are you compressing the hydraulic tensioner when trying to get the belt on?

Check the routing of the belt again.
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Last edited by BMWCaptain; Yesterday at 10:05 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 PM   #3
KW Denver
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Yes, I am compressing the tensioner all the way. I broke the old one trying to compress past where it wanted to stop.

as for the belt routing, I have tried to upload a pic, not sure it will work.
I have routed it under the crank, under the power steering pump, over the alternator, under the idler pulley, over the water pump, and cant get it around the tensioner.
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Old Yesterday, 08:52 PM   #4
KW Denver
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Old Yesterday, 09:26 PM   #5
dleef
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1. compare the old tensioner side by side with new one. make sure it is exactly the same size pulley.

2. the belt looks too short in that pic. can you remove it, take to a parts store and compare to make sure its the right size?

3. possible there is an underdrive pulley kit installed, requiring a different routing?
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Old Yesterday, 09:43 PM   #6
KW Denver
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" possible there is an underdrive pulley kit installed, requiring a different routing"

How would I tell?
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Old Yesterday, 09:54 PM   #7
BMWCaptain
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Put your torx bit thru the belt and into the pulley and then compress the tensioner by push your wrench clockwise to move the pulley to the left closer to the water pump pulley.
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Old Yesterday, 10:49 PM   #8
zander271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWCaptain View Post
Put your torx bit thru the belt and into the pulley and then compress the tensioner by push your wrench clockwise to move the pulley to the left closer to the water pump pulley.

^This and use some muscle
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