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Old 01-26-2013, 10:14 PM   #1
tne0007
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Getting the AC Belt off....

Hello - I am in the middle of trying to change the serpentine belt on a 2004 325i. I finally got the fan/fan shroud off and I was about to unscrew the T50 hex screw on the AC tensioner when I realized I don't have a T50 hex bit. So, I began to look up other means to getting the belt off and I found a lot of people suggesting a 16mm or 5/8 socket to a bolt underneath the actual pulley (I think - I have yet to find a picture confirming that this is the one everyone is talking about) and I began to get to work.

Well, after about 10 minutes of trying to figure out how to connect my socket with the bolt (I do not have an extended socket like they do in the tutorials), I'm asking about other routes to getting the belt off. I'm not too worried about the serpentine belt because I can clearly see and touch the bolts, but this AC tensioner bolt/screw is in the way of my getting the job done. Any suggestions outside of raising the car? Might I be able to unscrew one of the other two pulleys/wheels used the by AC belt to complete this task? Thanks for any input.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:37 PM   #2
lcoleman
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It's A.

I think it's a 14 or 15, you'll need a deep well or a short extension. Just keep trying, you'll get it. Remove t he belt before removing any bolts, or you risk damaging threads. If you don't pull the tensioner down, you don't have a chance in hell of getting the new belt on anyway.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:40 PM   #3
tne0007
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Thank you for that diagram! At least I know I've been fussing with the right bolt...
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:34 AM   #4
SK8URDEAD
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its a size 14mm and just remember when untensioning it to do so slowly and when you have the belt off bring it back slowly or you'll risk braking it.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:08 AM   #5
RayPooley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tne0007 View Post
Hello - I am in the middle of trying to change the serpentine belt on a 2004 325i. I finally got the fan/fan shroud off and I was about to unscrew the T50 hex screw on the AC tensioner when I realized I don't have a T50 hex bit. So, I began to look up other means to getting the belt off and I found a lot of people suggesting a 16mm or 5/8 socket to a bolt underneath the actual pulley (I think - I have yet to find a picture confirming that this is the one everyone is talking about) and I began to get to work.

Well, after about 10 minutes of trying to figure out how to connect my socket with the bolt (I do not have an extended socket like they do in the tutorials), I'm asking about other routes to getting the belt off. I'm not too worried about the serpentine belt because I can clearly see and touch the bolts, but this AC tensioner bolt/screw is in the way of my getting the job done. Any suggestions outside of raising the car? Might I be able to unscrew one of the other two pulleys/wheels used the by AC belt to complete this task? Thanks for any input.
The best and only advise I can give you is to buy the right tools. This vid should give you some idea of the procedure.

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Old 01-27-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
BMWCaptain
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If you don't have the correct torx bit, then you can use about a 8 or 9 or 10 mm hex bit. I have a 2003 and that is what I used on mine.

Note: not all tensioners are the same as in that diagram. Mine does not have a hex bolt like my 99.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
330iPilot
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You have a Harbor Freight nearby right off of Josey. A serpentine belt tool kit is cheap!

http://www.harborfreight.com/serpent...kit-66344.html

Last edited by 330iPilot; 01-27-2013 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:43 PM   #8
tne0007
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Thank you all very very much!!! I changed the belts and did not have to lift the car! Turns out either method would have worked and it wouldn't have taken me all this time to change out the belts - I didn't realize I wasn't TURNING anything (bolts or screws), I was LOWERING the tensioner using the bolt/screw! duh!

I was putting all kinds of weight on these bolts trying to get them to come out!

Again thank you all for your input!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
tne0007
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Originally Posted by 330iPilot View Post
You have a Harbor Freight nearby right off of Josey. A serpentine belt tool kit is cheap!

http://www.harborfreight.com/serpent...kit-66344.html
I got it and viola! All the tools I need in this one $9.00 kit!

Thank you!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:46 PM   #10
tne0007
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Originally Posted by RayPooley View Post
The best and only advise I can give you is to buy the right tools. This vid should give you some idea of the procedure.

Thank you - I didn't realize that I wasn't turning the bolt or the screw, I was using it to lift/lower the tensioner! This was very helpful!
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:29 PM   #11
SK8URDEAD
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that kit wouldnt work for me if i had to use it on my hydrualic tensioner lol. for people that have those like me you have to use a 8mm hex bit or allen key to detension the tensioner.
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