Timing Belt Tension Assembly 101

A timing belt tension assembly, also known as a t-belt tension assembly, is the part of your vehicle that applies force to create or maintain tension for your time belt. In turn, the timing belt of your ride's motor keeps the rotation of the camshaft/s and crankshaft synchronized together.

It keeps their timing in synch in other words, and the assembly ensures that the timing or cam belt always has the right tension. It adjusts this through the belt tensioner and/or idler pulley (that can be spring-loaded, hydraulic, or fixed depending on the car).

Fixing Your T-Belt Assembly

Is your t-belt assembly busted? Do the following to fix it yourself.

  • Shop for a T-Belt Assembly Kit: Shop for a t-belt tension assembly or kit as needed. The kit enables you to have spare parts such as the power steering belt, alternator belt, water pump and gasket, camshaft and crankshaft seals, the timing belt itself, and so forth. The standalone tension assembly is obviously cheaper to buy.
  • Disconnect the Cable and Remove the Cover: Disconnect the negative battery cable, alternator belt, and miscellaneous accessories like the power steering pump and air conditioning compressor first to get the tensioner. Afterwards, remove the valve cover. Find the single-mounting stud and remove it with a wobble adaptor, 6-inches extension, and the ⅜-inch drive ratchet snapped onto the 15-millimeter socket.
  • Tensioner Might Need Removal First: Place your woggle through the small place that contains the single-compression nut retaining the tensioner and loosen it. On certain vehicles, in order to remove the bracket that holds your alternator, you will need to remove the tensioner first instead. Regardless, after nut removal, remove the tensioner altogether.
  • Warning When Removing Tensioner: Don't open the cover over the compressed spring. It could fly about, causing damage to your equipment and injury to you and your helper. From there, install the new tensioner in reverse order of how you uninstalled the old tensioner. Use duct tape to keep the nut inside the socket prior to tightening it. Place your ⅜-inch ratchet under the exhaust manifold with help from your screwdriver.
  • Putting on The Tensioner and Belt: If your new tensioner doesn't come with a pulley you can use the old pulley hardware that came with your vehicle. Otherwise, use the new hardware that came with your tensioner and t-belt tension assembly kit. Carefully install the belt by making sure the grooves are seated and aligned correctly in the pulley's grooves. This will keep them from riding out, ruined, stretched, pinched, or torn when starting your car.
  • Check the Diagram and Instructions: The t-belt assembly kit should come with instructions that teach you how to put the belt on properly. Follow the guide and carefully double check the pulleys to ensure proper fitment and alignment of every last groove. If you can't do all this by yourself, have a mechanic do it for you.

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