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Old 02-22-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
genes330ci
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Hydraulic tensioner

Ok guys I need some help and have a few questions... My car is squealing like crazy and I know its the hydraulic tensioner... I have been looking on the forum, but I cannot find much information pertaining to an hydraulic tensioner...

1) I have read that I don't need to change out the whole hydraulic assembly just the pulley true or not?

2) What are the parts #'s that I need for everything and link to parts? ( quality and affordable of course)

3) Is there a Hydraulic tensioner DIY VIDEO?


Thanks guys I owe you guys!!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:25 PM   #2
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I had a horrible noise and I replaced the hydraulic tensioner along with the pulley and it took care of the noise.

Replace both, It's very easy to do.

http://www.bmaparts.com/ShopByVehicl...sioner&mode=PA

http://www.bmaparts.com/item.wws?sku...e&weight=0.400
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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^ +1 , it only takes about 30 minutes to replace the entire tensioner
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:29 AM   #4
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Most here replace just the pulley and it works just fine.
I've only read of one hydraulic piston failing on this board.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:36 AM   #5
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Your tensioners are fine so no need to replace them. You'll need to replace all three pulleys (a/c, idler, and mainbelt pulley) to get rid of the squealing noise.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:51 AM   #6
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Check you water pump pulley too, that was what caused my squeak.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:54 AM   #7
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My car and my buddies car was doing the exact same thing. It is your idler pulley. Can almost guarantee it. Especially if it happens the worst in cold weather and only at certain rpms. Super easy to do, won't take long at all. And cheap as well. I think the part is like $20-30 at autozone

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Old 02-23-2012, 01:13 AM   #8
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To remove:

1. Remove fan
2. Remove intake
3. Remove main drive belt w/ 8mm hex head. Turn to the left to detension. It is very stiff. Do not allow it to snap back quickly. A breaker bar makes this a million times easier. If you do not have a breaker bar, a regular 8mm hex allen key will work, but it's really really really hard to turn (however, entirely possible). You just need to detension it enough to slip the belt off.
4. Turn that same bolt to the left. Use a lot of force. It will eventually give and unscrew.
5. Remove pulley, put new one on.
6. Installation is reverse of removal
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:53 AM   #9
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If one pulley is bad, they all are close to being bad...they pretty much have all spun just as much.

Dayco pulleys, from Autozone, are OE brand INA. Let me tell you, those Slovaks make some great pulleys!

You probably only do need the pulley as mentioned, but look at the belt when it's moving...if it's hopping up and down, then you probably do need the tensioner, but I also haven't heard of them failing.

Also, the tensioner on your belts might be different and if so, you need a different pulley for each.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
3. Remove main drive belt w/ 8mm hex head. Turn to the left to detension.
where do you use the 8mm hex? and clockwise or anticlockwise?
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggy View Post
where do you use the 8mm hex? and clockwise or anticlockwise?
Or, under the tensioner pulley black plastic cap there is a T-50 bolt...you need a T-50 bit and push it down gently from left to right.

Inspect the bolt first...some have other bolts...I've never used the hex head myself, but think that's on the tensioner below the pulley.

I use a 14" 1/2"breaker bar...perfect for this.

Facing engine...you put it in toward rt. side of car (the right being from the car's perspective)...and push over to the left side. I'm presuming that even in the UK the engine is mounted the same way, although many things are relocated.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggy View Post
where do you use the 8mm hex? and clockwise or anticlockwise?
8mm hex works just fine for me
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #14
genes330ci
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Thanks guys for all the AWESOME information w/o you guys it wouldn'y have been possible. I should be receiving the parts on Wednesday from BMA. Here is the parts that I ordered I hope this will help someone!!!

Idler Pulley = part # bmw038031... ($22.50)
Tensioner pulley= part # bmw038032...($15.48)
AC/ belt tensioner pulley = part # bmw082167... ($43.31)

TOTAL= $81.29 and it was free shipping!!!
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:41 PM   #15
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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 02-28-2012, 04:16 PM   #16
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thanks all - ive managed to remove belt and change the idler but i also found my hydraulic pulley is freespinning, it'll need changing soon. thankfully its not squealing like the idler was. but how do i release it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
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3. Remove main drive belt w/ 8mm hex head. Turn to the left to detension.
4. Turn that same bolt to the left. Use a lot of force. It will eventually give and unscrew.
and from another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnoe07 View Post
Clockwise to remove the belt. Counter clock wise to remove the pulley. Once the pulley is removed, you can access the bolts to remove the body of the tensioner. This is only for the hydraulic tensioner. I have never worked with the mechanical one.
so whos right?
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:43 PM   #17
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What do you mean? If you've got the belt off, pry the plastic cover off the front of the pulley and use the appropriate wrench to unscrew the bolt that holds on the pulley. If it is freespinning, replace it now.

Left means counter-clockwise.

Last edited by Stinger9; 02-28-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:53 PM   #18
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minneo is right...

He meant you move it clockwise...from the front of the car to detension the tensioner. The bolt for the pulley is normal...counter clockwise to loosen it.

Is that clear? If not, come back.

Also, I'm surprised that the ac tensioner pulley is three times the price of the other tensioner pulley...they're virtually the identical pulley, with minor differences in design, but the same bearing and the same plastic wheel...so that price difference is surprising...unless you got the whole mechanical tensioner.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #19
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You cannot buy the A/C tensioner pulley without the spring unit whole assembly try as you might. If you know where, tell us the source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post

Also, I'm surprised that the ac tensioner pulley is three times the price of the other tensioner pulley...they're virtually the identical pulley, with minor differences in design, but the same bearing and the same plastic wheel...so that price difference is surprising...unless you got the whole mechanical tensioner.

Last edited by Stinger9; 02-28-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #20
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thanks dmax, i think i got it - the 8mm will detension belt when turned clockwise and unbolt pulley when turned counter clockwise

ive also read to brace the pulley when unbolting? - or the force would be exerted on the spring (the 'hydraulic' part)

i will do this soon and make DIY but not yet...im sure i got at least a few days, compared to the idler i replaced was not freespinning, clicking when turned and made loud squeal for a couple minutes after startup. i reckon ill get some noise before its gets serious.

Petrol costs 1 for 5 miles in UK (=$1 for 3 miles in US!) and the autoshop ill buy from isnt that close. Also investigating an oil leak - try figure out what else needs buying before i go
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