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Old 10-26-2002, 06:42 PM
Hilton Smith
Posts: n/a
96 C280 Belt Tensioner Removal

I have the spring loaded belt tensioner with the 15mm nut with which to realese tension that I believe has a bad pulley bearing.

Can I remove this tensioner after removing the belt? Do I have to remove the fan? Are there any accessories that have to be unbolted or removed to gain access to the tensioner mounting bolts?

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Hilton Smith
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Old 10-26-2002, 08:44 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Cumming Ga.
Posts: 238
If the pulley is making noise you can replace just the pulley without having to remove the entire tensioner. Just remove the 15mm nut and the pulley will come off, after removing the belt.You should be able to do this without removing the fan. If you remove the fan shroud you should have enough room to work.
Mercedes Benz Master Tech
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Old 10-26-2002, 09:05 PM
Hilton Smith
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I'm not positive the noise is from the pulley. I first heard a muffled clicking that sounded like a leaf stuck between the fan and the radiator and now it is a more pronounced clicking noise. The reason I suspect the pulley bearing is that with a wood dowel placed on the tensioner arm with the engine running and the other end of the dowel cupped at my ear, I hear a dull grinding sound. All the other accessories and pulleys give off a smooth sound with the dowel. The sound is coming from something in the area of the tensioner pulley - not internal engine noise.

Also the tensioner on Fast Lane is about $50 and I am not sure which pulley fits my tensioner based on engine numbers listed on Fast Lane. I'll have to call them Monday.

Thanks for the info.

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Old 10-28-2002, 03:39 PM
Hilton Smith
Posts: n/a
Update on 96 C280 tensioner noise.

I removed the tensioner pulley, I have the spring loaded tensioner with the 92mm diameter pulley, and the bearing apeared to be fine. I did notice that it didn't take much force to loosen the nut that holds the pulley on when I removed it. When I installed it and tightened the nut finger tight I noticed that the pulley had some play on the mounting bolt/stud. It made me think that there should be a bushing on this thing. So, I tightened the nut real tight and now the noise is gone!

About 400 miles ago, I had the head gasket replaced, and the only thing I can think of is that an apprentice mechanic tried to loosen the belt tension by turning the wrench to the left as an inexperienced one might be prone to do and lossened the nut a little bit without realizing it. I also found that several of the radiator hose clamps were not as tight as they should be and clamp on the lower hose where it attaches to the water pump was stripped although it wasn't leaking, yet. I can't imagine how long this has been like this. I changed the uppper radiator hose and thermostat last week - installed a behr - and the old hose looked so good I didn't change the others. Should be pretty good with just 44K miles.

It is not often that one can fix a problem without buying parts.

Hilton Smith
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