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Old 10-03-2006, 02:32 PM   #1
DonP
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Default Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Is this a worthwhile 130K mile maintenance item?

Wide price range - Any brands to avoid?
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

[QUOTE=DonP]Is this a worthwhile 130K mile maintenance item?

W ide price range - Any brands to avoid?[/QUO I did mine at 103k
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Do whatever Uzzy says (if he doesn't reply soon, PM the lazy *******).
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Now I remember,I used a Dayco brand with no problems.Some people here will tell you different.Good luck to you
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

'95? Use only the Gates OE.


You can get it from the dealer, or sometimes over the net, but make sure it's NOT the aftermarket



There is no predetermined change interval for tensioners. Belts are 4 years or 40K, I think. Something like that. Go with the Dayco over the Gates aftermarket.
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

At 130k, I'd say it would be good preventative maintenance, and will offer good piece of mind if you change it. Also, it makes good sense to change the belt if you do the tensioner.

On a side note, the belts on Saturns are spooky critters. At 150,000 miles, my car still had the original belt on it, and it still looked good, and was not excessively stretched. That just strikes me as not being natural, but I've seen others with long-lived belts. I changed it out for piece of mind.
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Keep in mind, the OE unit will have an arrow guage, from which you'd be able to see if the unit's spring/tension was still within the tension spec parameter.

At night, take a flashlight, and you'll be able to see the range within which the "arrow" should be sitting.
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke
Keep in mind, the OE unit will have an arrow guage, from which you'd be able to see if the unit's spring/tension was still within the tension spec parameter.

At night, take a flashlight, and you'll be able to see the range within which the "arrow" should be sitting.
The aftermarket Gates unit has that as well (just not so nicely marked), and it's a meter of the belt's stretch, not of the tensioenr's life. But a tensioner running an over stretched belt, will shorten it's life.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Hm, I found the indicator arrow, but not the "range" limit marks. Can you describe where they are? I posted a pic of mine as visible from under the hood; it's here. Uzzy, can you point out where, on the photos, I determine if the arrow is in range? Maybe you can save the photo, mark it up and re-post it? I'm confounded. Thanks, man.
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue
Hm, I found the indicator arrow, but not the "range" limit marks. Can you describe where they are? I posted a pic of mine as visible from under the hood; it's here. Uzzy, can you point out where, on the photos, I determine if the arrow is in range? Maybe you can save the photo, mark it up and re-post it? I'm confounded. Thanks, man.
It's actually that raised section to the left of the mounting bolt. There should be 2 distict raised areas. One is the good range, the other is the "belt replace" range. I'm having trouble seeing which way is which, and I don't have a tensioner here, but I've got one in my desk at work. I believe you are still well into the good range. And the arrow is of course the one pointing to the perimiter of the tensioner, not the one that is going aroung clockwise. The clockwise one simply indicates direction of roatation.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Spend the extra $5 and go O.E.. Bought a Goodyear "Gatorback" and was sorry because of noise, which I assume was due to poor tolerances.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSaturn
Spend the extra $5 and go O.E.. Bought a Goodyear "Gatorback" and was sorry because of noise, which I assume was due to poor tolerances.
And they just suck. We build those. Junk!
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Six weeks ago I had to install the aftermarket Tensioner and Belt (with the Delco badge) and I was convinced that the whole belt & pulley area was a little more hissy than it used to be when I listen with the hood open. I also believed that there were minor inconsistencies in the pitch of the idle if you sat in the car in Neutral and listend for about 1 minute.
Can't say for sure if it was different or if I was paranoid because of the discredited aftermarket parts. Seems to have gone away now, maybe a new belt needs some miles to break in?

I couldn't locate a Gates OEM on time anywhere in Canada. Saturn dealers refused to tell me which part they planned to charge $260 for, so I had the Delco delivered for $140 + $46 Belt. I could have got the whole Dayco package for just $114- but the supplier wouldn't deliver and it would have $40 cab fare.

I was to stressed to think of it, but do you suppose I could have bought some $14 5-rib belt which was 4-5 inches shorter and put it on the wobbly Tensioner to move the water pump just enough to limp the car to the parts store, and then to my own mechanic?
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by CND_SC1
I couldn't locate a Gates OEM on time anywhere in Canada. Saturn dealers refused to tell me which part they planned to charge $260 for, so I had the Delco delivered for $140 + $46 Belt. I could have got the whole Dayco package for just $114- but the supplier wouldn't deliver and it would have $40 cab fare.
The $260 part from the dealer is the right one, it has to be, they can't sell you any other one without telling you it is not the OE part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CND_SC1
I was to stressed to think of it, but do you suppose I could have bought some $14 5-rib belt which was 4-5 inches shorter and put it on the wobbly Tensioner to move the water pump just enough to limp the car to the parts store, and then to my own mechanic?
It's taking a chance. Might have worked, but not for certain.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

i just changed my belt tensioner at 160000 miles. also relpaced the idler pulley. both of them had loose and noisy bearings. also installed the new style upper engine mount with new longer mounting studs. old mount had cracked rubber and was causing vibration. took about one hour to change everything. all parts came from saturn. i will not use anything but dealer parts. they always fit and work without any problems.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Mine went after 88,000 mile and it was a 96. Is it a common problem for these cars? Weird.
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Critic
Mine went after 88,000 mile and it was a 96. Is it a common problem for these cars? Weird.
Somewhat of a common problem. Moreso than most, I'd say.
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

does anyone know what size the bearing is? would there be any issues swaping the wheel and bearing from a 2000+ tensioner onto the older ones?
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Old 10-27-2006, 03:27 PM   #19
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Default Standard # 6203 bearing

Quote:
> petdmc <
does anyone know what size the bearing is?
Standard # 6203 bearing
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Tensioner Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by petdmc
does anyone know what size the bearing is? would there be any issues swaping the wheel and bearing from a 2000+ tensioner onto the older ones?
A wheel bering? A wheel bearing won't fit. Almost all pulley bearings made by Gates (and most from the competitos as well) for passenger cars are exactly the same size. The ones with plastic pulleys can't be swapped, but steel ones can. Both of the pulleys on the Saturn's are steel.
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