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 Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner

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LARRY70GS
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue May 10, 2011 6:08 pm

DEMonte1997 wrote:
The tensioner DID come with the elbow which I thought was nice. Good ole' Gates and their fantastic parts. smile

You can see the elbow in the first pic I posted. Follow the accesory belt from the alt pulley to the right edge of the picture. You will see the elbow just above the SC pulley. I can take another pic as the car sits now for a better view if you want.

Thank You Rick,
I see it now. I just ordered Goodyear 49239. Hopefully, they include the elbow. Actually, my water pump started to leak, and everything is original at 134,000 miles, as near as I can tell. I ordered both tensioners, all the pulleys, both belts, water pump, and even the heater hoses. Going to change everything on the front of the engine.

Just want to make sure there are no other elbows that I might need to replace (besides the one leading from the tensioner to the LIM) I want to have everything on hand once I tear into this on the weekend.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:23 am

So I just finished doing a complete replacement of the accessory tensioner and a couple things I noted:
No need to use the hi temp silicone on the heater hoses - in fact I wouldn't. Do however spend the $1.50 on new O rings at Ace or whatever. Mine appeared fine but were brittle beyond belief. BTW, anybody ever notice the arrows on the tensioner where the screws go



My elbow sheered off in the LIM so in order to get the piece out and not risk losing crap down in the engine, I used a cotter pin puller tool like below.



I never unhooked the battery, just be aware of your alternator positive lead. Overall, pretty easy job. I did like Larry and did everything at once which is the way to go if you can get there.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:49 pm

I recently replaced this along with my LIM gaskets. I actually broke the elbow AND the housing piece that fits into what I believe is the timing cover. Took some handy work to get that sucker out! I agree, any type of sealant is not necessary. The o-rings do the job just fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:37 am

i am trying to replace my whole assembly right under my alternator because while attempting to replace the pulley the bolt broke off and is stuck in there(sucks). i see on amazon that they have the assembly for my 95 supercharged but im not sure which one to get because after you specify the make, model etc it says fitment notes: serpentine - except w/ supercharger. what the hell does that mean? is this the assembly i get? help, i need my car!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:34 am

adri, I don't know about amazon, but I can give you Gates/NAPA #'s to interchange. 38268 is the supercharger belt drive tensioner and 38269 is the alternator/power steering pump tensioner. I hope this is some help.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:15 pm

I'll be doing mine today. Ordered the Gates version, part #38152 from Amazon. Its now $61.95 and 2 day shipping is free since I'm a prime member. At all my local shop parts stores, the Gates or equivalent were $90+. Still a good deal from Amazon.

I opened the package when I got it and not only did it come with the coolant elbow, but the accessory pulley as well. However it is plastic so I'll just keep it as a spare. The pulley that is on my Riv now is metal so I'm going to reuse it.

Hope that darn squeak goes away!! The whole reason I'm going to do this!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:18 pm

Jelorian wrote:
I'll be doing mine today. Ordered the Gates version, part #38152 from Amazon. Its now $61.95 and 2 day shipping is free since I'm a prime member. At all my local shop parts stores, the Gates or equivalent were $90+. Still a good deal from Amazon.

I opened the package when I got it and not only did it come with the coolant elbow, but the accessory pulley as well. However it is plastic so I'll just keep it as a spare. The pulley that is on my Riv now is metal so I'm going to reuse it.

Hope that darn squeak goes away!! The whole reason I'm going to do this!

you might wanna keep that plastic pulley - even if the metal one is not squeaking the bearings are sealed/dry and do not get any better with use/age.

just sayin

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:34 pm

albertj wrote:
Jelorian wrote:
I'll be doing mine today. Ordered the Gates version, part #38152 from Amazon. Its now $61.95 and 2 day shipping is free since I'm a prime member. At all my local shop parts stores, the Gates or equivalent were $90+. Still a good deal from Amazon.

I opened the package when I got it and not only did it come with the coolant elbow, but the accessory pulley as well. However it is plastic so I'll just keep it as a spare. The pulley that is on my Riv now is metal so I'm going to reuse it.

Hope that darn squeak goes away!! The whole reason I'm going to do this!

you might wanna keep that plastic pulley - even if the metal one is not squeaking the bearings are sealed/dry and do not get any better with use/age.

just sayin

Albertj

Yes indeed. Going to keep it as a spare for sure.

Who would have thought that to change a pulley tensioner, you would end up learning how to drain and refill your coolant as well as learn how to replace your alternator.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:05 am

Does anyone know the part number(s) for the o-rings that are on the back of the tensioner?

I found replacement o-rings for the black plastic elbow here http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t3092p30-lim-coolant-elbow

DEMonte1997 wrote:
ACDELCO Part # 1534066

ACDELCO Part # 24502846

Buy on rockauto. Throw these on the Dorman aluminum elbows. Top is orange (x3) bottom is purple (1). Or hit up local NAPA for them.


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Last edited by 98riv on Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:49 am

I know if you go pick up the cheap HELP Coolant Elbows it comes with the elbow we need, plus the elbow we don't need. (don't use the HELP elbows, they are crap for quality) You can use the O-ring from that elbow we don't need as it's the same size.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:16 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
I know if you go pick up the cheap HELP Coolant Elbows it comes with the elbow we need, plus the elbow we don't need. (don't use the HELP elbows, they are crap for quality) You can use the O-ring from that elbow we don't need as it's the same size.

So if I get the replacement o-rings that I mentioned above, they will also work for the tensioner o-rings?

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:28 pm

You can buy set of 200 various sized O-rings and grommets for around $10 at Amazon.com. Might contain the ones you're looking for?


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98riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:29 pm

I wasn't sure if any o-ring would work because the "old" ones are leaking already after being replaced less than a year ago.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:59 pm

Make sure the hole in the block is clean, and put a little grease on the Oring when you assemble it.
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98riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:10 pm

The tensioner o-ring looked fine, but noticed that the elbow was leaking again. I found out the coolant elbow o-rings were completely flat and it was very loose in the tensioner and in the lower intake manifold. This is the second time that a Dorman elbow has done this. I ended up going to the dealer and getting an AC Delco elbow. I never had this trouble with the stock elbow, so hopefully the AC Delco one will do the same. Here is the part number 24503423. I will also post this in the coolant elbow thread.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:49 pm

98riv wrote:
AA wrote:
You can buy set of 200 various sized O-rings for around $10 at Amazon.com:


I wasn't sure if any o-ring would work because the "old" ones are leaking already after being replaced less than a year ago.

Your headache with this approach is the composition of the O-rings - the color of the rings is not for decoration it is for identification. Black is usually neoprene or BUNA-Nitrile, they work for a little while with coolant but the thermal cycling and glycol "soak" makes them "creep" pretty quick and then they start leaking. Technically this phenomenon is called "extruding." The common black ones lasting about a year in the car coolant application sounds about right.

If you are interested here is a quick read pages on some of the different o-ring types (major types):

http://www.oringsplus.com/page.asp?pg=47

And if you're really curious/into this, here is the Parker Hanafin O-Ring handbook. It is an exhaustive reference, and has a really well-written section on how/why o-ring work (and fail).

http://www.parker.com/literature/ORD%205700%20Parker_O-Ring_Handbook.pdf

Bottom line for me is for an air suspension application (a Lincoln for instance) I'd use blue o-rings, made of fluorosilicon. They cost a good bit more than the black ones but don't extrude in the compressed air environment at the temps and pressures seen in the cars air-ride. They are tricky for a home mechanic to get, and the BUNA ones will work in the air applications just not as long - you'll get 5 years oro so out of the BUNA rings; I have no idea how long it takes for the fluorosilicon ones to poop out. ("poop"is a subtechnical term for "extrusion" - think about it smile )

For the coolant application I'd use the red / rust / orange o-rings made of silicone. These often come with those elbows in the HELP kit. Sometimes they pack black silicone o-rings with the elbows but you can still tell pretty much that they are silicone by feel. I would not use the black BUNA o-rings in the coolant application if I could help it. BUNA will work OK in the air application for a good while, but are harder to compress into place than the fluorosilicone blue and categorically do not last as long. .

Albertj


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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:20 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
... don't use the HELP elbows, they are crap for quality.)


bump 

That's a big 10-4, boys!

I installed a new elbow when I did the LIM gaskets - cuz it's the smart thing to do "while you're in there" right?  
It's a Dorman/HELP, and the damned thing has started narrowing the angle of the 90-degree bend and un-seating the end in the manifold...  
after maybe 10,000 miles!!  rockets 

I just paid $17 from a dealer for stock elbow & rear o-ring for the water pump connection.  Now if I can just get the old o-ring to let go from the pump!  rolleyes
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:01 pm

Excellent write-up. I wonder who the rocket scientist was that decided to integrate the cooling system with the drive belt system?

Oh well. My chirping is definitely on the tensioner but I'm not sure if it's the tensioner or the pulley. When I put a socket and ratchet on the bolt and take some of the tension off of the belt the chirping stops. Could I be lucky enough that it's just the pulley and not the tensioner making the chirp?

117,000 miles and the waterpump was replaced already as were both belts.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:12 pm

I'm just now reading how some say the "Help Elbows" are junk. I don't remember seeing anything of the sort when I was replacing my intake gasket, which required the replacement of an elbow and o-rings. I t was recommended at that time to get the "Help" elbows from the local auto parts stores and only use the one that was needed for the LIM gasket swap.

All worked out fine and hasn't been a problem since I did the job about 4-5 years ago.

But now I have seen aluminum elbows available for the 3800 engine. I think that is the final solution with a good o-ring.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:09 pm

Rickw wrote:


But now I have seen aluminum elbows available for the 3800 engine. I think that is the final solution with a good o-ring.

ALUMINUM??? Okay Rick, give! lol
Mark
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:07 pm

http://www.amazon.com/Dorman-47065HP-Elbow-Type-Heater/dp/B00A1A6PT4/ref=pd_ys_sf_s_rp_a1_3_p?ie=UTF8&refRID=0KVTE8JYBY7QARGVWBP4

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:14 pm

Thanks Larry, you get a + for that!   wink

Just how the hell could they wait until the damned engine is out of
production before coming up with these?!?  crazy
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LARRY70GS
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:34 pm

Eldo wrote:
Thanks Larry, you get a + for that!   wink

Just how the hell could they wait until the damned engine is out of
production before coming up with these?!?  crazy


Not sure of the total production numbers on the applicable 3800 engines, but suffice to say, there are alot of them still out there. I guess they figured it was a good investment, but you are right, they should have been made sooner. lol

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Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT2tEO4XcU
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:49 pm

Eldo wrote:
Just how the hell could they wait until the damned engine is out of
production before coming up with these?!?  crazy

Umm....ZZP and Intense have been selling these for quite some time now. I've had one in my Riv for awhile....
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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Replacing Accessory Belt Tensioner   Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:50 pm

Sure, Scott, rub it in...
cool

(Though I didn't see them back when I bought my ZZP S/C pulley kit.)
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