Tension spring


Old 09-14-02, 04:41 PM
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Question Tension spring

I own a chevy s-10 pick-up, 1992. I want to replace the alternator myself, but I have never delt with this one belt, tension spring thing. I called a mechanic and he said that it takes a special tool to release the tension spring- anyone have any ideas on how I can do this without the tool they are talking about? I hate to pay someone $70 to put on this part.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-15-02, 08:18 AM
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I haven't been under an S-10 hood lately, but the vast majority of serpentine belt tensioners are released in on of two ways, both involve applying torque to the tensioner in the opposite direction of tension (making slack in the belt) and slipping the belt off either tensioner, idler pulley, or one of the accessories.

1. Look on the tensioner for a 1/2" square hole. If it has one this accepts a 1/2" drive breaker bar. Stick the breaker bar in the hole and rotate the tensioner to slacken the belt. After you unhook the belt from one of the pulleys or accessories slowly let off on the breaker bar. Sometimes there is enough spring tension when you release to rotate your bar into a position that makes it hard to remove the bar, so watch how you inititally position it.

2. The other type of tensioner does not have the 1/2" hole, but has a bolt head in the center of the tensioner. Do the same operation as in #1 above only use a wrench or breaker bar & socket.

Never heard of a special tool for this.

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