AC Tensioner - how did you guys replace this

#1
That tensioner is located down without easy access down under, did you replace it by accessing it on top removing the fan and shroud? or can it be done with the fan still in place?
 
#6
Like DJ said. It was a bit on the tight side. There is also a metal plate thing that is held with two 15mm bolts you could also remove which might also help.
 

BRomanJr

Well-Known Member
#7
I agree, did a couple Tensioner replacements from the bottom after removing the small metal ?guard? thingy on bottom.

Other trick I learned for the belt, is to release the tensioner then take the A/C belt off of the crank pulley rearward first, and putting it on from the rear of the crank pulley last while holding tensioner.
 
#8
got it replaced and engine is quieter now, still have to hunt down that other noise when I accelerate (like a whistle) maybe the idler is bad although when I spin it it sounds ok or could be just the transmission (somewhere near it...)

replacing the ac tensioner is really a PITA, not just enough room for the #15 socket to move around, have to remove the guard underneath. I wasn't able to access it from the top since I have 2 issues working from there... big arms and no visibility, accessing it down under is the way to go..


here's the pic with the new one just about to be tightened..

 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#9
I agree, did a couple Tensioner replacements from the bottom after removing the small metal ?guard? thingy on bottom.

Other trick I learned for the belt, is to release the tensioner then take the A/C belt off of the crank pulley rearward first, and putting it on from the rear of the crank pulley last while holding tensioner.
I did exactly this when I replaced my A/C belt last year. Installing the new one was especially painless using this method.
 

l008com

Well-Known Member
#10
Do you guys have a part number for the 5.3 ac belt tensioner? I see belt tensioners online but I suspect they are for the main belt? Unless it uses the same exact part on both belts?
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#14
Looked up my order from last year... (on edit - this is for the belt, not the tensioner...sorry!)

GATES K040365 Premium OE Micro-V Belt (lifetime warranty)
$8.91 (plus shipping, of course)
Use discount code 8915537580715087 to defray part of that (std 5%er)

Here's the link to the belt tensioners...look like the decent ones run around $25 or so...
 
Last edited:
#16
Although RA is often mentioned, Amazon is also a good place. In fact, I often us RA just to get the part numbers to search at Amazon.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#17
Something that didn't (?) come up in our last 'who to source parts from' debate...

When I looked up that order from last year for the Gates A/C belt # above, RA presented me with a 'warranty claim' button (thinking I was looking it up for a warranty concern.)

I don't know if they charge shipping costs for the return (at $8.xx , who'd bother sending it back?) -- but that beats the hell out of dealing with Gates directly - and I don't think Amazon is going to act as liaison > 30 days.
 

l008com

Well-Known Member
#18
I installed this part today. I removed the metal plate near the bottom of the radiator area but was still doing a lot of swearing. Finally I removed the plastic "skid plate" and that made it a million times easier to reach up and to see up what I was doing. Just have to eat a little rust and you're fine.

Unfortunately for me, the belt squeak is completely unchanged. I can't tell if it's coming from the AC compressor or the regular belt tensioner. The regular tensioner looks even easier to replace than the AC one though, you think?
 

l008com

Well-Known Member
#22
Yeah the tensioner isn't that expensive I just want to be sure that's what the problem is. I wasted 2+ hours replacing my non broken AC belt tensioner tonight.
 
#23
My Saab has a little squeal too but only when decelerating at a certain speed. Very strange. I don't think it's the A/C belt or tensioner since it doesn't change with the A/C on or off and I already swapped the main tensioner. Next would be the idler and then the alternator. I can't pinpoint it because it won't do it while parked and revving the engine. Again, very strange.
 

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