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  #1  
Old 11-15-2001, 09:26 AM
DTF
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Tensioner going south

Hello, I recently had a complementary inspection done to my '94 E320 wagon with 160,000 miles on it and the only suspect items were the two leaking oil cooling lines in the front bottom part of the engine and the belt tensioner. The tensioner is making a slight rattling noise when starting and during operation when something like a compressor kicks in. What happens when a tensioner completely fails and how dangerous is it for the engine? Quoted cost for the tensioner job is ~$400.
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Old 11-15-2001, 10:18 AM
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Do it fast!

If it fails, and/or the chain breaks, you will have catostrophic damage when your pistons meet your valves.
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Old 11-15-2001, 10:22 AM
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Pat,
I think he is talking about the belt tensioner, not the timing chain.
We just did a comprehensive thread on that same problem, so visit here:

All M104 engine owners, Please Read
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2001, 11:59 AM
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the oil cooling lines are easy to fix, but belt tensioner
is a shop item, IMHO!
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2001, 12:31 PM
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I plan on having it done in the shop but I still don't know what happens after a complete failure of the tensioner.
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2001, 03:15 PM
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Lightbulb Well...

your car has only one belt driving all the pulleys in front of the engine. If the tensioner fails you would have no tension in the ONLY belt that drives the pulleys to the alternator, a/c compressor, engine, water pump, fan, etc. You will not go far after the failure, not to mention the damage that a flying rubber belt can do to those components already mentioned, and the radiator (which is right in front of that belt).
Other than that, you should not worry about it.
Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2001, 03:39 PM
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OOPS!

Maybe I'll drink less coffee while responding!

I should have never taken that speed reading class in the 70's.
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Old 11-15-2001, 04:11 PM
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The rattling sound may be the worn bushing holding the shock to the shock mount...that is a fairly simple and less expensive fix than replacing the entire unit.

I've not heard of any belt tensioners failing in such as catostrophic manner as mentioned in the previous post. More than likely, the shock will wear out and the entire assembly will no longer be adjustable when a new belt replacement is in order, or a component sharing the belt needs to be replaced.

It is a moderate DIY job to perform, but time consuming, mainly due to the lack of open access to all of the components and fasteners involved. Some areas of the tensioner can't be readily seen, and have to be accessed by feel.

If a water pump replacement was in order, the task would be a bit easier...
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  #9  
Old 11-15-2001, 05:50 PM
Jack
 
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I will not worry too much at this time, be sure te shock (rubber bushing) is in good condition. Replace the tensioner when the next time you are working around the belt.

jack
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2001, 10:13 AM
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Tensioner Noise

The sound you are describing could very well be the tensioner shock rattling. The mounts are prone to wear out. If its the upper shock mount, you can do a quick temporary fix by adding a rubber washer or o-ring on the mounting bolt. It worked for me.
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