Tensioner question [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Tensioner question

bigboy 9000
21st December 2002, 06:44 PM
Its only a small thing, but have been told that the tensioner for alternator, ac and power steering needs replacement. Was told the job was not too difficult, as long as I could control the spring. Does anyone know how to do this? The car is a '93 cde 2.3 LPT Thanks for any help

22nd December 2002, 03:18 PM
It has a serpentine belt. This means it has an automatic spring loaded tensioner. If it needs adjustment, the only to do this is replace the tensioner.


29th December 2002, 11:04 PM
Welcome to SaabCentral, Bigboy.

I did this job the other day because the tensioner pulley was making a rattling noise (the bearing was dry). By far the easiest way is to jack up the front right of the car and remove the wheel and wheel-arch liner. The part you are asking about is compressing the tensioner to allow removal of the pulley and belt (the pulley must come off to get the belt off).

I did it by using a "turnbuckle" to compress the tensioner. The Haynes manual shows how to make a simple tool to hold the tensioner after compressing it by pulling hard on the upper run of the belt. I have also seen it suggested that a 10-12" metal tube wedged between the lower part of the tensioner and the ground will compress it when the car is lowered gently on the jack.

The pulley is held by a 19mm bolt and this is on a left-hand thread.

Matt Phelps
28th March 2003, 03:06 PM

I don't suppose that the noise it was making was like a rusty rattling? I suspect I have (had) the same problem except my tensioner pulley has just literally snapped off the engine. I can't tell whether it has broken on the block (ie; engine out to fix it) or whether it has a plate which is bolted to the engine which is snapped.

Here's what it looks like now! What do you think? Is that the plate snapped or a bit of the block?


Either way did you happen to take any photos of what you did for your website? And how much did the new tensioner cost? I've been told it might cost around 250 quid? Does that sound about right to you?


28th March 2003, 03:16 PM
THEY CAUSE A LOAD OF TENSION TO US OWNERS.....Apparently it was the cam belt tensioner and pulley that had seized on the V6 I am waiting to buy, or will once they rebuild the heads and replace the 18 damaged valves, maybe more once the head fixer blokey examines them closely!!and all the other damaged parts I hope you manage to get your problem sorted out a lot quicker and cheaper!!

Matt Phelps
29th March 2003, 08:08 AM
Just got the wheel arch out and had a look - it's a broken plate that is bolted to the engine. The other bolt that goes through the pulley has literally snapped in half.

I can't think what might have caused this.

16th November 2003, 04:53 PM
I am having a continuing problems with the aluminum plate that holds the tensioner to the engine block breaking and shearing off the front star bolt. I ahve replaced this item three times in 6 months.

Secondly, the threads on the pulley are left hand threads because the by putting a 19mm socket on the pulley bolt and turning it counter-clockwise you can compress the tensioner. This is probably the easiest and safest means of doing this.