Need belt tension gauge

Old 06-22-02, 05:25 PM
Antony W. Serio
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Question Need belt tension gauge

I am attempting to replace the power steering pump belt on my 2000 Hyundai Elantra (the belts are not covered by the warranty). I have the service manual, so I was under the impression that this was going to be an easy job. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The car has three belts, and the only tensioner pulley is on the A/C compressor belt. For the alternator and power steering belt, I need to loosen the accesory to replace the belt. Then, I need to use a tension gauge to periodicly test the belt as I tighten the accesories back up. Sounds very half a**ed and jerry rigged if you ask me. I do not want to 'eyeball' the tension, as I could damage the bearings on the pump if it is too tight.

I have not been able to find this tension gauge anywhere. I have checked the local parts stores and Sears, then went online and searched JC Whitney, Snap-On, Haror Freight and half a dozen other sites. A dogpile search turned up a few manufacturers, but no vendors. Hyundai's web site only sells tools to Hyundai certified technicians, but they didn't have the gauge anyway. I asked the dealer, and they offered to replace the belts for sixty bux an hour.

If I was still in the service, I would have had half a dozen tension gauges with different ranges at my disposal. Then again, if I was still in the service, I wouldn't be able to afford payments on this car anyway . Does anybody out there have any more ideas as to where I can get one of these gauges? The gauge needs to measure between 5 and 9 mm deflection at 22 lbs of pressure.
Old 06-23-02, 09:19 AM
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Short of finding the tension gauge, couldn't you just get a spring scale like that used for fishing, and lay a straight edge across the belt, then measure the deflection at the specified force?
Might take three hands and a foot to do, but since you have the necessary specifications, it might get you in the ballpark better than the calibrated thumb/eyeball method.
I have a belt tension gauge made for the Porsche timing belts that runs $400, but it's calibrated in units that aren't easily translated to deflection/lbs. The 944 timing belts are especially crucial to proper tensioning; very sensitive to too loose or too tight-

For accessory belts, though, I usually try to adjust things on the looser side (but not loose!), because of the possible damage to the bearings mentioned, and check to make sure there's no slippage at full load. I'd rather risk the belt than ruin the bearings, so if you must err, better on the low side.
Old 06-23-02, 02:12 PM
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See the link in my signature file below. It has the OEM contact information, including who does the service tools. Hyundai is included there.

I can't see why whichever company is the OEM tool supplier for Hyundai won't sell you the tools. A sale is a sale .

See what my link turns up. They will likely ask for the tool # from the manual, so have it ready.

I have seen various tension gauges on the market. K-D & Lisle come to mind as two that I can recall. You might also contact Dayco and Gates who make belts and they might be able to help.

Sounds like a hokey system. Most times if you leave a 1/2" of slack at the longest length of the belt you'll be ok.

That's pretty hokey that Hyundai doesn't cover the belts based on the hype they give in their advertising. Although it's maintenance .
Old 06-23-02, 07:17 PM
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You might want to check a McMaster Carr catalog or a MSC catalog. They both sell these type of gauges.
Old 06-24-02, 06:18 AM
Antony W. Serio
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Joe, unfortunately, there is no 'official' hyundai belt tension gauge. In fact, the service manual instructs the mechanic how to read differing types. I went to the sites that everybody suggested, and came up with the following: (page 120). I have never seen this type of gauge before, and it looks like you need two people and a slide rule to use the thing. There were the more conventional dial type gauges in the MSC catalog, but they cost more than I am willing to spend, and don't cover the ranges that I need (ie way too large). Anybody else have any ideas? If I could find a professionl tool rental outfit in Northern Virginia (with a larger selection than AZ), I would be willing to go that route.
Old 06-25-02, 09:16 AM
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SPX Kent Moore is the OEM Hyundai tool vendor. Call them up and see what they suggest.
Old 08-23-02, 09:45 AM
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Hey Antony,

Did you ever have any luck finding one of these drive belt tension gauges? To no avail I have been looking for of these illusive tension gauges for I don't know how long. I have asked every parts store in this area and most just look at me like I am crazy. No one has heard of it and if they have they don't know where to get it. I have the Helm service manual for my car (1996 Honda Passport) and it says that a belt tension gauge must be used and the belts can not be properly adjusted just by feel, and it gives specifications to what they should be adjusted to. I would take this to mean that these gauges should not be that hard to find but obviously I'm wrong. I hate to resort to using the fish scale method. What did you end up doing or finding out?
Old 08-23-02, 10:06 AM
Antony W. Serio
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I was unable to locate anything that cost less than $300.00, so I wound up testing by hand until it felt 'right'. If I remember correctly, McMaster Carr and MSC both have the gauges, although they are rather pricey. You might have luck on a Honda specific board or mailing list. Good Luck!

Antony W. Serio

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