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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 03-28-2015, 07:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Arlington, MA
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My Ride: 2001 330ci
Belts/tensioners 2001 330ci

I've been having trouble learning how to renew the tensioners and replace the belts in a new to me 330ci. Put in the mechanical ones an am finding is very difficult to just put the main belt on. I'm thinking it can't or shouldn't be so difficult. AND, I'm suspecting I have the wrong tensioner on the wrong belt.

Simple question, when you detension the tensioner should it be pretty easy to route the main belt?

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Old 03-28-2015, 08:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Tulsa, OK
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My Ride: 2002 330Ci Conv.
Mechanical tensioner should be easy to detention and route belt; hereís a video to illustrate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...03YBb30w#t=236.

If thatís not what your setupís like, Iíd make sure the belt is routed correctly, which it appears to be from your photo, and then also make sure the replacement belt you have is the same size as the one you took off.

Belt routing diagram: http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/...eltdiagram.png

DIYs help you save money with repairs; let www.bmwpnpc.com help you save money with the parts.
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:47 AM   #3
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You have to pop that cap off that's on the tensioner. That is another way of taking out the tension for you to be able to slide the belt on. It is do-able to do by yourself but a lot easier with a second person. I use a T50 torx big and a 15" breaker bar and it's easy to hold the tensioner as the other person slides in the belt.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:07 AM   #4
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Right now I'm thinking I have the tensioners swapped. Both are mechanical, both have the same bolt distance, but they are not exactly the same. I took off the original main tensioner - hydraulic. Everyone says you can replace this with mechanical.

SilberVolgel's helpful video example answers one question - it shouldn't be really difficult to pull the belt on, that's what the pivot on the tensioner does (as well as tension of course). If everything is in the right place it should fit snug, but not excessive.
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