Tension Pully-Update


Old 10-21-03, 08:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Jackson N.J.
Posts: 89
Unhappy Tension Pully-Update

New tension pully still sitting on garage floor.
I bought one of those super skinny ratchets, and a "stubby"
socket; still doesn't fit.

to Joe_f: Thanks for the other web site tips, lots of great info, but nothing (that I could find) on replacing a tensioner.

I asked a GM specialist and got the "Just Bring It In"
speech. Another garage "name witheld" CLUE:" The one named after burning rocks." ; said they would try without responsibility.

Chilton book: NO mention of the tension pully.

For New Readers: I broke my tension pully on a 1991 Chevy
Corsica 3.1L V-6, and have no clue on how to change it.

4 people said that I have to remove the wheel,
wheel assembley, splash guard and lower the engine a little.
- it has a one bolt connection from the front.
-the space between the wheel well and the tension bolt is 1 and 3/4 inches.
-this problem is common on this model car--
thanks to about.com.
-it cannot be reached from underneath.
-the bolt aligns with the metal wheel-well,
and there is no pre-drilled hole for a ratchet.
-Doug66's idea of drilling a hole in it is looking
pretty good right now!!
-GM got smart, the new tension pully has a flush mount bolt( not a recessed one ) which can be accessed from above with an open box wrench.
-Its a $160.00 tow to the nearest Chevy dealer (3 quotes)(( NO WAY!! )).
-This DIY'r is dying!!
-I appreciate and thank you all for all your help on this!!
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Old 10-22-03, 06:36 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Sounds like the $160 you'll be saving should go toward a shop manual.......

I have the procedure here from Alldata, but it doesn't tell you much other than "remove bolt".

I can send it if you want and give me a fax #.
Old 10-22-03, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Barre,Vermont
Posts: 472
YA there isn't much room in there, is there....

if you jack the vehicle from the body, take the right front wheel off, and lower the sub frame on the right side, you can get to that bolt. I think you might have to take the passenger side motor mount up top off too, then after you have the wheel off, take the splash shield off, be careful you don't destroy the abs harness in the process..good luck
Old 10-22-03, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
I can feel your pain

I can feel your pain at not being able to get to a bolt without removing half the engine and surrounding sheet metal.
The service manuals make it sound easy (remove bolt).HA HA.
I don't know why car makers make things that are not user serviceable.
You should not have to take apart half the engine to change spark plugs or lift engines to change drive belts.
A little more thought by the design team and some input from the techs might solve this problem.
Old 10-22-03, 11:28 AM
darrell McCoy
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Posts: n/a
Yep, almost seems like they are trying to weed out the do it yourselfers. Most reasoning I have heard was, "well we dont have problems like we used to"?????? NO, everything is installed on the engine prior to installation. Remember when heater cores was a snap to replace??? Lots of new models have no grease fittings, so no preventative maint. Just replace. All beyond me.
Old 10-22-03, 03:31 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 20
I have replaced a tensioner on a 90 beretta, 3.1 V6, same engine, although berettas and corsicas, different years used different engine mount configurations. In my case, all I had to remove was the wheel and the wheel well splash guard. Then a box-end wrench from underneath got the tensioner off. Removed the belt first of course with one of those new serpentine belt tools. Also removed the coolant overflow bottle to get to the belt. I did not have to mess with any mounts, braces or moving the engine. Let us know if you figure it out.
Old 10-22-03, 05:25 PM
Desi501's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Boynton Beach Florida
Posts: 2,207
It might be hard to reach and it might take some special tools but that's the kind of stuff we deal with every day. You should be able to access it if you just remove the coolant overflow bottle.
Old 10-22-03, 06:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Jackson N.J.
Posts: 89
Unhappy Broken Tension Pully-Update2

Still no luck.

Chilton service manual makes no reference to the tension pully (I have one for every car I ever bought), but under 'fly wheel replacement' I found a picture of the tension pully being removed- can you guess?; yup through the wheel well!!

Des- I hear ya about those special tools, and the overflow bottle is out, gave me more arm room, thats all.

I went out and found a 13mm socket with a 1/2 inch
drive, stuck it on the serpentine belt tool ( its about 1/8 of an inch thick only, 24 inches long and has a 1/2 inch drive on it and is used for lifting the tension pully to remove the belt- for those unfamillar with the tool.)
My thought was to use it as a closed box wrench, still
to little room to get it on the tension bolt.

--Thanks for the tips guys, I promise to let you know the out come!!
Old 10-23-03, 06:45 AM
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Let us know.

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