Serpentine belt tensioner problem - Page 3 - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-27-2012, 10:08 PM   #21
amc49
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 5,547
Points 3,201, Level 35
Points: 3,201, Level: 35 Points: 3,201, Level: 35 Points: 3,201, Level: 35
Level Up 1% Completed
Level up: 1% Level up: 1% Level up: 1%
Forum Activity 56%
Activity: 56% Activity: 56% Activity: 56%
FF Reputation: 25 amc49 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
It does not matter at all where the Ford tensioner is made as long as they continue to use that low life insert design, it is ENGINEERED to fail prematurely, take one apart and compare to other brands.

I haven't seen any later Ford ones but if smart they would have changed the design. The old one actually served to collect more dust on the insert to wear it prematurely. Although no designs are airtight, the better ones shield the softer bearing material from dirt better, look at a later Gates one.
amc49 is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-19-2013, 04:29 PM   #22
Tiger-Heli
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12379
Location: Georgia, United States
What I Drive: 2002 French Blue SE Sedan

Posts: 633
Points 742, Level 14
Points: 742, Level: 14 Points: 742, Level: 14 Points: 742, Level: 14
Level Up 43% Completed
Level up: 43% Level up: 43% Level up: 43%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 4 Tiger-Heli Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
I changed my belt tensioner and idler pulley yesterday. Ran into some issues, but got it done and thought I would share the results with the forum.

For background - my 2002 Focus has 129,000 miles on it. The belt would squeal for about 30 seconds if it was humid out or had rained, right after I dropped the engine in drive - it had a lot of vibration also, but otherwise drove fine. (Which is surprising b/c the tensioner was totally shot when I took it out.) The tensioner was actually the newer style with the torsion spring, but as amc49 said, there is a nylon insert on the tensioner that fails consistently. I took the forum's advice and bought a Gates 38188 Tensioner and 36200 Idler Pulley from O'Reilly for $36 and $18. I don't think the idler was bad, but I figured I didn't want to do this job twice.

I had previously bought a set of long zero-offset box end wrenches from V-8 Tools pretty much specifically for loosening the tensioner.

I managed to release the belt from the top side of the engine using the 15mm double box end and slipping the belt off the alternator. It was pretty hard to take off (to the point I thought the wrench was flexing), and I probably wouldn't have had enough clearance to do it without hitting the motor mount, but since I think the tensioner was only going about 1/2 way to full extension, it was fairly easy, once I got the wrench to move.

Now the fun parts - all the bolts are really close between the block and the frame rail. (To the point that you couldn't fit a socket on them). I got the rear bolt loose with the long 10mm double box end (a ratcheting box end would have been nice here), but the front one was pretty well obscured by the idler pulley. Since I was replacing that anyway - I took it off next with the 13mm box end.

The bolt for the idler pulley was about 1/4-inch too long - I managed to get the pulley to drop down and fall out - and the dust shield on the back fell off.

With it out of the way, I could remove the front and back bolts for the tensioner with the 10mm box end and drop the tensioner down from underneath.

However, after I removed the tensioner from the engine, the rear tensioner bolt was blocked by the pulley when I removed the tensioner and couldn't be taken out. I whacked the pulley with a hammer and broke a few chunks out of the pulley and removed the bolt.

Installing the new tensioner went smoothly and I was even able to use a ratchet on the forward bolt.

However, the idler pulley bolt was NOT going to clear the engine mount bracket (without forcing it and since I broke the old one taking it out, I didn't want to do that), so I had to remove the mount. I had replaced the mount previously and used blue threadlock on the nuts and I was surprised when on the engine side of the mount the studs came out of the block rather than the nuts coming off the studs. It didn't seem to matter in the end and I just put them back at the end and torqued the nut/stud combinations down. (Hopefully this is okay - it seems to be - anyone?)

With the mount removed and the engine jacked up a couple of inches, I was able to install the idler pulley.

I then decided to put the belt on before replacing the engine mount. My first idea was that the idler pulley didn't have a lip and it should be easy to slip the belt under it, but there wasn't clearance for the wrench and the belt in the same spot, so I ended up routing it around everything but the alternator pulley and then dropping it back on. Went pretty smoothly and then it was just a matter of re-installing the motor mount and putting the splash guard and coolant tank and power steering reservoir back in place and firing it up to make sure it worked.
Tiger-Heli is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2013, 09:28 PM   #23
coldbear
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Fan#: 78292
Location: Dayton, OH
What I Drive: 2014 Race Red 6/spd. SE

Posts: 423
Points 1,346, Level 20
Points: 1,346, Level: 20 Points: 1,346, Level: 20 Points: 1,346, Level: 20
Level Up 46% Completed
Level up: 46% Level up: 46% Level up: 46%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 1 coldbear Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Motorcraft parts more expensive? lol.

Let me try to understand this breakage problem.? If you have to do the job over two or three times, how much was your time and part replacement worth? I try to save everytime I breakdown. But if I have to delve into a difficult lenghtly fix, I will buy the Motorcraft part and eat scraps for the rest of the week. I've never seen better quality than MC, but Ford isn't ashamed to charge excessively for their parts. When I use MC parts I don't sleep well, I am hungry.
coldbear is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2013, 10:21 PM   #24
amc49
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 5,547
Points 3,201, Level 35
Points: 3,201, Level: 35 Points: 3,201, Level: 35 Points: 3,201, Level: 35
Level Up 1% Completed
Level up: 1% Level up: 1% Level up: 1%
Forum Activity 56%
Activity: 56% Activity: 56% Activity: 56%
FF Reputation: 25 amc49 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
You still don't understand the problem or you'd know the Motorcraft part is the sorry one. Too hard to read the entire thread, huh?

Saying you've never seen better quality than Motorcraft says it all, you haven't a clue.
amc49 is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-20-2013, 06:44 AM   #25
coldbear
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Fan#: 78292
Location: Dayton, OH
What I Drive: 2014 Race Red 6/spd. SE

Posts: 423
Points 1,346, Level 20
Points: 1,346, Level: 20 Points: 1,346, Level: 20 Points: 1,346, Level: 20
Level Up 46% Completed
Level up: 46% Level up: 46% Level up: 46%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 1 coldbear Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
So Rambler...

That's my opinion on seen quality with the MC parts. I'm sure every manufacturer has their share of bad parts. I just stated my opinion. DON'T blow your head gasket when a personal opinion does not agree with yours. I think I have a very good clue!
coldbear is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-20-2013, 07:41 AM   #26
amc49
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 5,547
Points 3,201, Level 35
Points: 3,201, Level: 35 Points: 3,201, Level: 35 Points: 3,201, Level: 35
Level Up 1% Completed
Level up: 1% Level up: 1% Level up: 1%
Forum Activity 56%
Activity: 56% Activity: 56% Activity: 56%
FF Reputation: 25 amc49 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Take a few tensioners apart, the aftermarket ones often just stick and can be cleaned up to loose and working right again to reuse. They dimensionally will still be fairly solid in construction. The Motorcraft ones will be so worn out there is no way that can be done. The axis tilts way over sideways to make the pulley run very crooked and off the normal line after only a short time. Visible proof is worth way more than opinions..............
amc49 is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-20-2013, 08:26 AM   #27
Tiger-Heli
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12379
Location: Georgia, United States
What I Drive: 2002 French Blue SE Sedan

Posts: 633
Points 742, Level 14
Points: 742, Level: 14 Points: 742, Level: 14 Points: 742, Level: 14
Level Up 43% Completed
Level up: 43% Level up: 43% Level up: 43%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 4 Tiger-Heli Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
I "ALMOST" bought the MC part before reading this thread - the OEM lasted at least 125,000 miles.

One thing I found interesting, there have been several re-designs of this part.

Here is a Hayden 5557:


I think MC originally had a similar design - Gates makes a pretty big deal of saying how the flat torsion spring is a poor design and the helical spring is better.

Here is a MC BT106 similar to my part that failed:

It DOES use the helical spring, but notice the white nylon ring around the outside of the tensioner - that is the part that failed for me - it cracked and then came out of its guide, causing the tensioner to bind.

This is the Gates 38188 that I used:

It is similar to the Motorcraft design - but notice how the rotating assembly covers the nylon insert (if it uses one). I have to think this does a better job keeping dust and grime out of the mechanism.

(Pricing is odd too - the Gates is actually the least expensive and the Hayden or similar designs are the most expensive, even though quality seems to go the other way (too early to say that conclusively, though)).

Amc49 - Do you see any problem with the way I re-installed the engine mount (i.e. basically I torqued the nut/stud assembly on the engine side, rather than installing the studs and torquing down the nuts)?

Thanks!
Tiger-Heli is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #28
sailor
Crankshaft
 
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Fan#: 57268
Location: Williamsville, NY
What I Drive: 2004 Pitch Black ZTS 2.3 5spd.

Posts: 16,643
Points 11,871, Level 71
Points: 11,871, Level: 71 Points: 11,871, Level: 71 Points: 11,871, Level: 71
Level Up 56% Completed
Level up: 56% Level up: 56% Level up: 56%
Forum Activity 99%
Activity: 99% Activity: 99% Activity: 99%
FF Reputation: 79 sailor Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
To jump in on the stud/nut question, first off I'd say not to worry - it's NOT something you are removing/reinstalling often so wear from screwing into the aluminum isn't as big an issue.

This "problem" actually comes up quite often in my experience, usually from the nuts rusting on the studs so they stick & the stud unscrews. The "issue" in my opinion is that when screwing steel into aluminum threads it's quite easy to "strip" the aluminum out when tightening, and then you're into helicoils etc. to repair. If you take them apart while they're out, you can set the studs back in carefully with just enough torque to run them in until the unthreaded section bottoms & locks them in - and then tighten things in place with a steel on steel contact that gives better torque feel and isn't galling the aluminum threads leading to possible failure.

So, I PREFER to do it that way, but I've also seen cases where it's difficult or impossible to locate the part over the studs without a LOT of additional disassembly due to clearance issues - and in that case "cheating" by using the stud & nut as a bolt can get the job done. Just needs extra care in threading it in & tightening it down!

One other thing you'll notice in some applications is a different thread (coarser) on the portion that threads into aluminum. When you see that it'll "snug up" within a very short turn of the wrench if you're using the stud & nut as a bolt, so extra care is warranted when tightening that type.

Long explanation here, that might help ya in future decisions of how to do it, but for the current question I'd bet you'll be just fine as is.

Luck!

(and it looks like you did a good job from your descriptions!)
sailor is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-20-2013, 01:54 PM   #29
Tiger-Heli
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12379
Location: Georgia, United States
What I Drive: 2002 French Blue SE Sedan

Posts: 633
Points 742, Level 14
Points: 742, Level: 14 Points: 742, Level: 14 Points: 742, Level: 14
Level Up 43% Completed
Level up: 43% Level up: 43% Level up: 43%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 4 Tiger-Heli Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Thanks Sailor!!!

(In my case, I don't think it was rust as much as the blue LocTite keeping the nuts from turning. Sad that blue LocTite is stronger than the friction of the aluminum block/stud interface.)

So, if I understand correctly, what I "should" have done is broken the nuts loose from the studs, then lightly seated the studs in the block, then re-torqued the nuts back down onto the studs when installing the mount.

But now that it is back together, there isn't much point and might even be counter-productive to try to remove the mount and studs to re-install them correctly at this point.

Thanks again!!!
Tiger-Heli is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #30
sailor
Crankshaft
 
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Fan#: 57268
Location: Williamsville, NY
What I Drive: 2004 Pitch Black ZTS 2.3 5spd.

Posts: 16,643
Points 11,871, Level 71
Points: 11,871, Level: 71 Points: 11,871, Level: 71 Points: 11,871, Level: 71
Level Up 56% Completed
Level up: 56% Level up: 56% Level up: 56%
Forum Activity 99%
Activity: 99% Activity: 99% Activity: 99%
FF Reputation: 79 sailor Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
You got it!

Should be fine as is, and yeah - less times touched the better.
sailor is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:01 PM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Audi S3, Ford Fusion and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. Challenger Hellcat - Charger Hellcat