Thanks for the info. I ordered the parts (belt, harmonic balancer, idler pulley and little shock absorber), excellent service from Phil at FastLane. Having seen the parts and taken a long look under the hood I'm realizing that this job is a little more involved, so a few more questions. BTW Ray the harmonic balancer on mine is also held on by a 17mm allen.
(i) any info on techniques for stopping the engine from rotating when unbolting the balancer. How does the official MB tool work? Any suggestions on where to go to rent one (I'm in Houston, TX). I called a couple of parts shop and got no where.
(ii) attached is a picture of the automatic belt tensioner, the picture is taken looking from right to left (of the car) across the front of the engine. Is there an official way hold this thing to take the tension off the belt?
(iii) assuming I get as far as installing the new balancer what is the torque spec for the bolt?
(iv) the balancer is keyed to the shaft and looks like the kind of thing that might take a puller to get it off the shaft. I have a puller that I think will do the job (with the radiator installed). Have others needed to remove the radiator to do this job?
(v) at present I can't see where the small belt damper/little shock absorber goes, I'm hoping it becomes obvious when everything else is out of the way - is that right or is it hidden?
thanks again, damn I wish there were manuals for this thing.