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Replace timing tensioner without removing belt

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  • Replace timing tensioner without removing belt

    I recently did my timing belt, water pump, and pulley on an '01 T5, but for some reason I managed to buy the wrong tensioner (got one for a p3) and had to put back the old one w/ 50k miles and 10 years. I now have the correct tensioner and want to swap it without taking the belt off.

    My thinking so far is I would need to keep tension on the belt or risking it slipping off the camshaft and having to redo the belt, right? So I wonder how much tension would need to be held there? Could my not particularly strong girlfriend hold the belt there while I swap the tensioner out?

    If not then I am thinking I can to tear it down to the point of taking off the plastic timing belt shield at the camshaft to jam a screwdriver under the belt and prevent movement like I did when I put the belt on. And now that I am typing this I am realizing it is one step short of just taking the belt off anyway, though an annoying one.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
    2001 V70 T5 - current
    1996 850 GLT - given away
    2002 V70XC - sold
    1986 740 GLE - scrapped

  • #2
    Just looking at your history, you seem awfully nervous. I may be wrong, but...
    1) You replaced a functioning belt because you were likely afraid it would break and trash your engine, right?
    2) You went to the trouble of getting the correct tensioner even though the one in the car is working, again to prevent a costly tragedy, right?

    And you want me to believe that you are going to risk messing everything up just to save a few minutes work?
    Sorry, I don't see it. You'll do it right because you aren't that big a gambler.

    PS,Mixing girlfriends and car repair is like dropping a lit match into a gas can to see if it's empty, it's only bright for a moment.


    • howmuchforagram
      howmuchforagram commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow, you have my number, my friend. Some few minutes can feel like eternities, though. Thanks for the advice.

  • #3
    If you're careful you'll be fine. Just line up the marks before tear down, remove the 2 bolts and swap it. Pull the pin tada... before you start 5he car, rotate the crank 2 full turns, check alignment marks, all good, TADA.



    • howmuchforagram
      howmuchforagram commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, I wanted to clarify, this is a tensioner on a p2 which is very different from a tensioner on a p80. It is one bolt and does not have the pin thing going on. I imagine your main points stand true though: mark the belt (already marked when I put it on), check alignment, be careful.
      Last edited by howmuchforagram; 04-28-2021, 12:03 PM.